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Duvel | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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2,799 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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

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Reviews: 2,799 | Ratings: 7,801
Photo of Cwrw
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged for 1 year and a half.

Luxurious ultra-foamy aspirin white head forms quickly, remaining until the first sip, after which it slowly puts on a magnificent churning, foaming show, until it reaches a good 3 or 4 centimetres. Upon my word, the head is like a living thing. Untouched, it remains like styrofoam. Sometimes it appears so thick it looks like ice cream sticking to the side of the glass. Lacing is the thickest I have ever seen. The liquid is almost rose-wine coloured, slightly pink and occasionally almost white. Light light orange and very pale, with only fleeting golden glimpses. Whilst at first it appears to be transparent, held up to the light it is clearly not, but quite thick and murky. Aroma immediately is sugary aged peaches or nectarines, along with a baking-bread yeast smell. A definite aged smell to this bottle: musky, dusty, and very mature. The sweetness borders on sourness, and some honey aromas become clear. Candy apples, pears, apricots, sugar-rich candy, light but very bready malt, ripe green apples, soap characteristics; not as spicy as it is sweet. Taste delivers on the aroma fully. What struck me immediately was how incredibly drinkable this was for a strong Belgian. The taste is a superbly balanced experience. I was expecting cloying sweetness with some fruity yeast, but it has so much more. The hops, undetectable in the aroma, complement the sweetness expertly. Dusty, full yeast taste on the middle, giving green apples again strongly, along with other fruits, perhaps pear. Toasted malt with strong caramel and semi-sourness, almost akin to tomato juice if tasted strongly enough. Very full, yet it disappears in effervescence on the tongue in a slight tingle and foaminess. When exhaling with the beer in the mouth, I get strong dough or pasta tastes. Some fresh pine wood tastes. The aftertaste for me personally was all green apples and sugary pear. Yes, the phenols are there, but at first I did not even notice the alcohol--it was that smooth and balanced. Certainly it does not suggest 8.5%. This bottle seemed to be very foamy, but not overly gaseous in the mouth. The lees, tasted separately, give super fresh apple and fresh dough smells, dust and ultra-sweetness. The lees give the beer even more of a white appearance, almost like a wit-bier. Smooth in the mouth, very full, it tasted basically as though I had poured some dry yeast into a glass full of lukewarm water and consumed it. The yeast made the beer warmer. Personal verdict: one of the best. This is classic beer, and when aged it accrues even greater proportions, like a classic novel written a hundred years ago. This is something most people will revisit again and again, with friends, on memorable occasions. This beer is one of the few I have found that have an indescribable quality about them; it is not easy to put into words why this is such heavenly liquid.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearences can be deceiving.

But then you'd expect that from Duvel, the devil of beers, laughing heartily with it's devilish deviltry.

It pours a bright blonde with an enormous, creamy, dense head on top, a beautiful sight to see, but not one you'd expect for it's headiness and strength.

Aromas are of over-ripe fruit soaked in liquor, and delicious yeast, a full mouthful in itself, pulling the drinker in.

Tastes are of rum-soaked apricots, black pepper, ripe banana, and, way in the back, cooked green apples. The very first sip is warming and tempting, but urging you on.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, appropriately heavy on the tongue.

Drinkability is lower, if only because the intoxication (alcoholic and otherwise) gets to be too much when several are had.

Still, a fine beer for all occasions, and I imagine it would be fun to use this in a bait and switch on a Bud drinker. Ha!

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Photo of waughbrew
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling light gold with humungous topping of creamy white foam. Bubbles rise to continously provide fuel to keep the head afloat. Aroma of great peppery lemon seed with yeasty brightness. Flavors of hay fields and banana trees. Vanilla and freshly cut grass. A white pepper spiciness lasts forever. A little harsh biting carbonation at first, but after sitting for ten minutes or so a creaminess appears. Medium-thin body is pleasant and crisp yet lasting.

Every time I have this beer I feel differently about it, so my review may change often. There have been times where I would have given it a perfect score, and times that I am disappointed by a harsh bite. Anyways, definitely leave the lees in the bottle for this one.

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Photo of baiser
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very pale straw colour, with a HUGE foamy white head. No matter how gently you pour this beauty, the head will be big and creamy. The head subsided in such a way that it reminded of what happens when you heat marshmallows and then let it cool quickly, sort of a deflating effect. Left a nice blanket of foam over the beer.

Smelled fruity and alcoholic.

Flavour of malty sweetness throughout each sip. A mid sip hop bitterness is present, but only slightly noticeable. The warmth of the alcohol really takes over towards the end. Taste is a tad phenolic as well.

This just feels so damn smooth and creamy in your mouth. It's like it explodes in your mouth after you sip it in (well maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but it's close).

A good session beer except for the 8.5% abv. Wonderful belgian ale, a devil of a beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice light straw color with a gigantic meringue-like head. The nose is very lemony. The beer is a sweet malty flavor with a lemon undertone that finishes with just a slight hop kick on my tongue. Very refreshing for this moderately warm summer day. The beer is moderately thick in my mouth, without an overowering carbonation. This is a nice, easy drinking beer. The only thing keeping this from being a true session beer for me is the ABV.

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Photo of dedalus
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. stub bottle.

i have no duvel glasses so i poured this one into a burgundy glass. even with the yeast sediment the beer was clear and golden with a voluminous, fluffy white head. beautiful.

the aromas were spicy hops and alcohol, with apples and pears and a candyish sweetness.

tart wheaty flavors hit first, followed by the apples and pears (these fruit flavors were unfortunately a bit more subdued than i remember they were in my last duvel). the hops finish things up with a spicy snap, and reverse olfaction after the swallow raises some grainy, sweetish, wheaty flavors.

the signature explosive duvel mouthfeel was out in full force here, and the mouth filled with creamy, foamy smoothness with every lift of the glass.

all in all, a wonderfully drinkable beer. i wish the fruit flavors would have been more pronounced, but i have no real complaints. the duvel went perfectly with a plate of steamed broccoli and cauliflower covered in butter, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, and aged cheddar.


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Photo of noclue
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 750ml bottle corked and caged. Served in tulip glass.

Appearance: slightly hazy golden yellow. Huge fluffy billowing head with soapy sticky lacing.

Smell: Spice, ground pepper. Fruity, yeasty, sweet, sweet malt aromas.

Taste: Sweet and fruity up front. Wham! sweet and fruity turns to bold and phenolic, which fades into spicy hops and alcohol. The alchol is present, yet pleasant and very much wanted.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth. Streaming effervescent carbonation is crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability/Overall: So light and crisp that you forget about the high ABV. Easy to drink and a pleasure to enjoy! A devil of a treat!

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the stubbie bottle pours a slightly hazy golden liquid, with a thick, fluffy white head. So far, this is one great looking brew. Some lace on the glass, as the head shrinks, but never fully disappears. Swirling the glass brings another rise to the head. Smells slightly yeasty, with some spice to it, almost peppery. Pale malt flavor, with some tartness, slight fruit notes to go with a slight spicey flavor. Slightly bitter in the finish. The alcohol is noticable at the end. High carbonation makes this have an almost creamy mouthfeel. Overall, what a classic! Nothing is overpowering. This has a good amount of alcohol, but you might not notice it until it is too late. Damn you devil!! Welcome to the dark side!

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my favourite commercially-available beers of all time. This beer is best enjoyed in a tulip glass. Pours a nice, golden color, and is a bit hazy with the "in-the-bottle" fermentation yeast. Has an excellent, foamy head that remains the entire time you are drinking it. You can eat the head with a fork. The smell is exquisite, with spicy and fruity tones and a bit of malt. The taste is wonderful. I enjoy belgian ales, and this one is excellent for a bottled beer commercially available in the USA. It is a strong, crisp, spicy ale with a bit of fruitiness that goes down incredibly smooth. I highly recommend this for anyone, anytime, but especially one who is trying out the Belgian style. Excellent ale!

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.09/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm still not a huge fan of Belgian ales, but I enjoyed Duvel a lot more than the two Chimay varieties I tried earlier this week.

Appearance- Hazy golden color with slight orange tint. Head is enormous and very thick and creamy. Lots of lace are left on the sides of my Duvel glass.

Smell- Spices and mild apple smell. Not too overpowering, but still not my favorite beer smell.

Taste- Sip begins with mild hops bite which leads to a rounded spice flavor. Hints of apple are noted. Overall taste isn't too strong in the spice department as I found Chimay to be. Finish is dry and crisp. Definently a complex taste, but not a style I'm into.

Drinkability- Wouldn't want to drink too many of these because Duvel is fairly heavy and strong in alcohol. I think this would be a great introductory beer to the Belgian style, as it is complex and not as overpowering on the palate as the Chimay Tripel and Dark.

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Photo of maccroz
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A light cloudy beer that pours with a thick, and I mean thick, foamy head. I tried to pour this slowly, but I got lots of head. According to the picture on the package, this is normal.

It tastes very sweet with a fruity yet bitter aftertaste. The first sip tasted a bit reminiscent of my Colt 45 days, but it has a very extravagant array of tastes that follow the initial shock.

As for drinkability, I'd say this is a beer to try once in a while. It's good, but it's hard to knock back more than one of these 8.5% alcohol havin' beers.

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Photo of beerinator
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark banana peel. Fairly cloudy. The off-white head had mostly settled when I was presented with it.

Aroma: Sweet fruit, slightly sour smells. There is obvious citrus in the aroma, as well as banana and raisins. The fruit is spiced with hints of clove.

Taste: The sweetness from the fruit flavors help to smooth out the sharpness and slight bits of sour. The carbonation is slightly sharp and it tingles on the tongue. There is a bit of grape in with the other fruity flavors. Great mouthfeel

Notes: This beer has a nice warming quality. Because of it's great flavors and it's balanced taste, this one will stay in my good graces.

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Photo of tfinn
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was thinking "orval" in my mind when I asked the steward at the beer store for two bottles of duvel. "do you want the small or the big bottles?" he asked. the big ones of course.

pours bright clear golden yellow with a wonderfully large fine creamy-bubbled head, fed by champagne-like trails of carbonation. lacing? but of course!

the smell is primarily sweet fresh malt with aromatic hops somewhere deep in the profile, beckoning the drinker to imbibe. reminds me of sweet straw. (not grass.)

taste is a perfect balance between sweet maltiness and bitterness. (I keep trying to think of how it could be improved, but fail to come up with ideas.) there are some sharp flavors in here, perhaps phenolic in nature? definitely not fruity esters. it could be the yeast: it settles out very well in the bottle, but I'm sure some of it remains in suspension. I'm one of those people for whom sour and bitter are very close in taste; it wouldn't surprise me if people found sour components in the flavor, or just found it overly bitter. for me it's perfect.

mouthfeel is thin yet thick with complexity. it's a little grainy, but that works in this situation. overall impression is light, but still substantial flavor-wise. the fine carbonation helps the proces. the finish is clean, with perhaps a faint hint of alcohol, but nowhere near what is expected for an 8.5% beer. its drying properties only encourage another drink.

drinkability? going through a full 750ml of duvel would not be a problem due to its exceptional attenuation and clean finish -- but I know better. this devil is one to make deals with in moderation.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow this beer has the biggest head ever. Pours a very pale lager yellow with a foamy monster that looks like marshmellows expanding. The lacing is clumpy mounds. Smell is rather clean to the nose, slight yeast smell, fruit notes bring up the rear. The taste is a blast of yeast, I detect light malts and a mild hop bitterness. Very refreshing, a light bodied ale, very drinkable, and that is scary with this monster being 8.5%

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Photo of cbl2
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: This review refers to the 12 oz. bottle


Pale yellow with an insane amount of head.


Bitter and hoppy with some mild malty undertones.


Some great fruity characters burst on the tongue. No sweetness, just fruit followed by bitter finish that lingers.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice fresh lemony yeast smell as the bottle uncorked. Poured a pale gold with a huge spongy white head. The head got rocky and foamy as it fell and ended up looking like a cloud. Left good sticky lace and had carbonation to make champagne jealous.
Sweet, bready and fruity aromas. Pale malt, tropical fruit and a herbaceous sweetness. Light, tart belgian yeast at the end.
Complex taste. Bready malt, pineapple, apples, pears and a light citrusy yeast. Finished with a bittersweet flavor that was a bit like fennel. This had a little funkiness to it but in a good way. The alcohol was also present but hid reasonably well. Great melding of flavors.
Light bodied with a creamy, bubbly mouthfeel and a crisp dry finish.
Great drinkability. Complex and well rounded.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden-yellow color with a two-inch thick pure white head. Head is ridiculously fluffy, like a meringue...very appealing to look at.

Aroma: Saaz present initially in the nose, and it does well to bring out other spices from the yeast--slight clove, slight orange as well.

Taste: Saaz very prevalent, and provides a delicious spicy balance to the Belgian yeast. Orange/clove, maybe even a bit of cumin is present in the palate. There is a yeastiness that gives a bit of a bready flavor, yet there is a tartness that complements this breadiness well--almost like the raw dough of christopsomi.

Mouthfeel: Body is light and the alcohol definitely comes through and kicks you through it.

Drinkability: Very tasty, but you feel the alcohol quickly, so having more than 750 ml maybe a bit of a push.

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Photo of Doiv
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Of the same ilk as Leffe Blonde, Duvel is noticeably stronger, but a lot more heavily carbonated.
Watch the gas - a bottle of this stuff nearly killed me when the cork decided to release itself.

The head this beer forms is ridiculous – it will occupy half your glass. However, the mouthfeel is not too gassy at all, and is very creamy.

The aroma is very malty and yeasty, akin to jam tarts, and a minute hint of alcohol.

The flavour is like a lager that was made yeasty, very malty and very strong, and it is really rather a nice drink. Hints of citrus notes can also be detected, and there is a nice bitter finish.

Drinks fantastic.

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Photo of aaronbeach69
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see what they mean by "almost a champagne"

this is a great bubbly beer.

the mouth feel is smooth wtih a bite at the end that comes from the many spices overwhelming my tounge. I like its sparkling nature makes it a perfectt celebration ale I woudl think...

The smell is really cool, you smell slight esters and hops but mostly spices of many sorts, and each taste and smell vary from instance to instance. This beer is complex goodness and I would love it on any special occasion...

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Photo of Reidrover
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok I have decided to try a foray in to Belgian beers in the next few months, as I have overlooked them in my ratings..so heres a good start an old fav. Duvel.Love the bottle!
Poured into a chalice its an attractive beer , after the fury of the pour is over..its light golden with livelly carbonation and a large frothy white head.
Nice spicy coriander aroma..also bananas come to the fore..over ripe.
Nice smooth malts followed lightning fast by the spiciness..then a long slow sugary finish..alcohol well hidden.
Very nice on the tongue,,invigorating.
Very drinkable for one so strong..I will buy this again.

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Photo of pootz
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazey pale starw color with a miraculous chunky white head that lasts and lasts. Tons of effervescence from a properly bottle conditioned ale spirals up the glass sides. Aromas of lemon, pepper and dried almond cookie dough. Starts with a shocking schwak of citrusy-peppery power then the palate fills with complex spicy, nutty tastes then a clean dry finish where the hops linger with the spicy aftertastes...all this in good balance too! WoW!! This is a pale, dry, balanced, bottle conditioned high strength ale that delivers taste, refreshes and warms...a bottled hummer fer sure...Baby get the shoppin' cart I'm loadin' up on Duvel in case you ever leave me... I have a substitue.

Seriously guys this is as good as it gets and this is what ale was meant to be.

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Photo of Billolick
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle , with cork and cage. Pours very light wheat, cloudy, head is the stuff of beer dreams. Lacing is world class. Intricate,fluffy, voluminious. Great retention, finally dissolving to the tiniest of tiny bubble sheens. Nose of yeast, pepper, powdered sugar, alcohol, citrus and a light fruityness. Taste is of limes, gin, tart, peppery, bitterness late. mouthfeel is creamy and crisp at the same time. World class Belgian. Its a blessing to us all that this nectar of the gods is widely available. Go get some now, chill, pour and enjoy with a wide variety of foods.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

duvel, my first belgian love.

i opened the short bottle with the new "old" white label and up spurted some head right to the top of the bottle, despite the fact that it had been at rest forever. You know why they built the duvel glass so big.

I pour the beer into a duvel glass. the huge head puffs up tremendously, looking like an unfinished sculpture. The beer itself is a straw yellow with an orangey hint when you look straight through the glass. its not a beautiful color, though it is amazingly clear, and when you see it with the monstrous head it looks like a work of art.

my first swoop through the beer's aroma brought out grassy and kumquat flavors, with a bit of that special funk one associates with belgian yeast. now that the head has fallen to a much smaller level--though still with a contorted shape--i stick my nose deep in the glass and reveal a bundle of fruit flavors--green apple skin, pear, peach, and key lime pie along with floral overtones much like hibiscus. though the detectors in my nostrals may be shot by now, there's also a deep bready flavor that pokes through at the end of the fruit and flower medley.

on to the taste. those bread flavors really start to come through in that first big sip--it's sweet and soft with a bit of fruit character on the middle of the tongue, though less than the nose. A sweet herbal taste descends into a dry, mineral-like finish. from what i understand this beer began its life long ago as an english or scottish ale, and the firm bready middle really recalls that region. the saaz hops and super pale malt (pilsner malt?) bring it over to the belgian side.

Duvel sits up there with some of the best. the complexity of the taste is not overwhelming, but the balance between sweet and dry is phenomenal. also, the 8.5% abv hides incredibly well in such an "open" beer-- the hops and malt are in almost perfect unity, one leading to the other, and the strength doesn't reveal itself at all in the flavor profile. the best indication that it's there, other than the bottle, is i just tried to write "halt and mops" rather than malt and hops.

as an end note, once the beer warms a bit a peppery alcohol taste steps in front of the warm bready flavors. in my opinion this is definitely a beer to enjoy on the cooler side of the temperature scale.

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Photo of Suds
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve had this beer dozens of times, I was shocked that I hadn’t reviewed it.
From a corked 750 ml bottle, it pours with an enormous white head. The head is head itself is absolutely amazing. Stable and rocky, with large pockets between the bubbles. It reminds me of glass insulating foam (the kind used on chemical piping). Lace is phenomical. The aroma is flowery, a mix of hops and esters. It’s got a peppery tinge to the smell as well. The beer itself is crystal clear and effervescent. My glass has a scoring at the bottom, and the steady stream of bubbles that rises from it looks vaguely like a flame on a roaring fire. The taste is sweet up front, followed by an intense hoppiness. I remember the surprise that I experienced when I first tasted this beer. It’s so intensely flavorful. In some beers, the aroma is the dominant attribute, but with Duvel, the mouth-taste is essential. It’s full, and almost chewy. I get a yeasty taste throughout the beer as well. This beer is simply marvelous.

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Photo of MediocreatBest
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a gift set that included the Duvel glass, and let me say, this beer looks dead sexy sitting in it's own glass. Golden in color with a bit of roange and a giant white clumpy head with tiny bubbles surging towards the top in a column in the middle of the glass. It smells like freshly cut grass and pears, and though it doesn't really make sense, it smells like it's color. It tatses like i'd think grass would with a touch of peper. the carbonationa nd alcohol burn on the outside edge of the tounge a bit and the aftertaste is lemony with other cirtus characteristics.The head lingers for a long time. It is thin in the mouth but the carbonation really gives it a fuller feal. While you can taste hints of the 8.5% abv, it adds to teh beer, and overall youwouldn't think the abv was that high making it quite drinkable. I probably drink this beer slower then most, a definate sippin' beer because the flavor burst on your tounge with each small sip, and as it warms the pear/cirtus flavor comes out more and the slight peppery flavor disapears. I think pepper might be the wrong word but i can't think of how else to describe that flavor.

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Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,801 ratings.
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