Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

BA SCORE
95
world-class
7,902 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Belgium
duvel.be

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

BEER STATS
Ratings:
7,902
Reviews:
2,819
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
11.45%
 
 
Wants:
462
Gots:
1,598
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,902 |  Reviews: 2,819
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look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours like a pilsner yellow with strong lacing and carbonation
S: Mustiness, pepper, floral
T: Ripe banana, spice, bread, muddled hops
M: medium heavy, high carbonation
O: one of the more popular tripel/strong pale ale beers available in the US.. the high alcohol content and drinkability are nice and make it a must buy if searching for a solid belgium ale

 360 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I've had this classic many a time before, but haven't yet reviewed it somehow (though I could swear I remember reviewing it in Holland). "Best before: 09/2015." 11.2 fl oz brown glass "snub" design glass with iconic label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Colorado beer store and served into a Duvel stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high. Props to Duvel for the pouring instructions - "Pour Unhurriedly." 8.5% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a four finger wide head of white colour. Disappointingly thin and airy. No real creaminess. Not as fluffy or soft as it should be. Head retention is good - about 5-6 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent clear pale gold of above average vibrance. Has some yellow and copper hues. Very clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing, classic appearance for a Belgian golden ale.

Sm: Starches, Belgian golden malts, clean crisp barley, floral hop character, and Belgian pale malts. Hints of vitamin-y biscuity yeast character. Sweetness seems perfect based on the aroma. Has a kiss of candi character and a faint trace of peppercorn. There's also a vague fruitiness - perhaps from the hops? As best I can tell, it's crisp ripe apple. The distinctly Belgian character of the yeast - the light fruitiness, the spiciness - is what really elevates the aroma for me.

No alcohol is detectable - a feat at 8.5%. If I smelled it blind, I'd guess it was maybe 5%. Wow.

It's an inviting, alive aroma of moderate strength.

T: Light starchiness is present, and doesn't work too well in this flavour profile. The bulk of the body is comprised of Belgian golden malts. Hop character is predominantly floral, with a kiss of fruitiness in there too - crisp apples and pears. The yeast is lightly biscuity and spicy, and definitely feels like a Belgian strain. Clean crisp barley lends it some added depth of flavour. Light clove and grassiness also make an appearance. Quite estery. Duration and intensity of flavour are average for the style.

What's amazing here is how well the beer hides its ABV; I'd never guess this was 8.5%. Dangerously downable stuff.

It's also very well balanced, and boasts some impressibe subtlety. Decent complexity. It could be more intricate and nuanced.

Mf: Could be softer. It's nicely smooth and dry, and is well-carbonated. Aptly medium-bodied, with perfect thickness given the flavour profile. Very good presence on the palate; it's almost fleetingly light - which greatly aids drinkability. Not as crisp or ripe as many beers in the style; it's a bit more subdued. Effervescent. The texture complements the taste well, but isn't quite ideal. There's room for improvement.

Not oily, gushed, harsh, hot, boozy, astringent, or rough.

Dr: Extremely drinkable - especially for the ABV. Every time I drink it, I'm shocked how quickly it disappears from my glass. Undoubtedly a classic beer in a demanding style, Duvel remains one of the beers you have to try if you're an enthusiast. It's one of the best in its class and is absolutely a style-defining beer, but I don't know that it's the best Belgian golden ale out there. Still, I could happily kill 12 of these in a night without getting tired of it and definitely plan on picking it up again in the future. I can see why it's in the top 100, but I don't know that it's amongst the best 100 beers I've had personally. What sets it apart for me isn't the taste necessarily, but more its incredibly light feel and dangerous drinkability. This is the definition of easy drinking.

Probably the best widely available beer in the world, period.

B+

***
12/31/16:

I revisit this often, and I figured I'd add more impressions:

That's just it. ABV couldn't be better disguised, it's soft as fuck, the malt backbone is perfect, it's refreshing in spite of its ABV, the hop profile is terrific for the style...this is just great.

As drinkable as any beer could be at this ABV. What a treat.

A- / EXCELLENT

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,902 ratings.
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