Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
Liked This Beer
4.25 w/ 7,964 ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale

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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Ratings: 7,964 |  Reviews: 2,846
Photo of mactrail
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Briary and stickery. Really dry. Fairly tart, but mostly it's devoid of any malt sweetness. Maybe they have a special sugar-eating bacteria. Slight fruity taste is interesting and pleasant along with the yeasty Belgian flavor. Looks nice with classic lacing all around the tulip glass.

Rather sharp and austere like a Belgian Pilsener. On tap at Cueva on Adams Avenue in San Diego.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a straw yellow with three fingers of billowy white head, which dissipates quite slowly. Good lacing left on glass.

Light citrus smells, pepper, coriander, with a strong sweetness at the end.

Tastes dry yet sweet, like a sweet white wine. The alcohol can be noticed at the end, but the flavor is quite delicate and light. The spices can also be tasted at the end.

Wow. At El Corte Ingles for 1.70 euros; given that they hawk Spanish lager for .50 a can, why would you ever choose differently?

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Photo of chicagoabbot
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml into a Duvel tulip...it's hard to call this anything other than the perfect beer. You don't even realize it has alcohol in it. The head is massive on top of a clean golden body. I take care to pour it to the point where Duvel recommends, so that there is an even divide between head and body at the Duvel logo. Lacing is excellent. Deep clean funk in the nose. Balanced like a tightrope walker. Tastes soo clean. It's not the beer with the most depth ever, but I have to give it a 5 for sheer excellence. Mouthfeel is unreal. So much energy. Perfect. It only gets a 4.5 overall because it's quite expensive in these parts--a 4 pack for $16. However, if you haven't had Duvel, you should immediately try it. Regardless of the quantity this beer is produced in, you can see that the brewers keep quality at the top of their priorities.

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Photo of ikantspel
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

served from 750ml into duvel tulip

best by 2.19.14

serves a crisp golden color with a huge head coming up. beautiful lacing is starting to materialize.

sweet yeast and spices are coming through. maybe a hint of fruit (apple). almost like champagne

perfection. cant see and BSPA getting better than this. crisp yet complex. taste just like it smells with a spicier finish.

this is just amazing. if your barely starting your journey into the great beers of belgium this is a great start.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330 mL stubby bottle from the LCBO; best before May 2014. I've never met anyone with anything bad to say about this beer, so I've been meaning to try it for a very long time. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a slightly cloudy pale golden-straw colour, with easily-visible streams of bubbles racing their way to the surface of the liquid. Looks like champagne. Topped with three fingers of thick, silky, uneven white head with legendary retention - it leaves webs of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass as it gradually diminishes. The aroma is enjoyable, with notes of lemon citrus, pineapple, pear, white grape and lots of grassiness. The usual coriander, clove, and strong yeasty qualities are also readily apparent.

Simple, elegant taste. Coriander spiciness and yeast are fairly dominant, with a bready malt backbone. Tons of light fruit flavour, almost like a white wine - white grapes, lemon zest and green apples; kind of a candied fruit feel. A bit of banana and lots of peppery spice. There is some astringency from the hops throughout the sip. A bit of warming ethanol toward the end of the sip, but in general this beer feels much lighter than it actually is. Lingering aftertaste of yeast and spice. Medium-light bodied, with only a bit of stickiness on the palate. Fairly high carbonation, and pretty crisp-feeling.

Worth the wait. With 2400+ reviews, everything that needs to be said about this beer has probably been said already. Fantastic stuff, worth a try even if you don't really like the style. I'll be picking this up again some time, I'm sure of it.

[Updated April 6 2014]

Another stubby bottle. Duvel was the first BSPA I had the pleasure of trying, so I didn't really have anything to compare it to at the time of my first review. With a few more examples of the style under my belt, I am comfortable bumping this one's score up. This is absolutely one of my favourite beers, with a fresh, zesty aroma, a straightforward (but still delicious) flavour profile, and a lively mouthfeel that begs you to take another sip - epic stuff all around.

Final Grade: 4.57, an A+.

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Photo of afdempse
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

4 solid fingers of foam rise up above the beer as it is poured into the glass. The staying power of the head is nothing short of amazing.

Heady aroma full of spicy phenols and esters. Banana, peppercorn, sweet grass, and a touch of citrus. Mild hints of alcohol.

Clean, crisp flavors unfold in layers. Sweet bready msugarcane cane sugar, pepper, clove and a hint of white grape. Distinctly edgy hop bitterness that frames the beer and balances the sweetness.

Full-bodied and effervescent. A high level of carbonation plays well in enhancing some of the lesser notes in the aroma and flavor. Finish is dry, and leaves you wanting more.

Simply constructed, yet so complex in execution. Drinkable with a capital D. The gold standard of Belgian Strong Pales.

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Photo of julian89
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale, golden, clear. 3-4 ingers of head with a nice residual lacing. The color is glorious.

Smell: The best way to describe would be a spiced slight lemon scent. Very crisp.

Taste:A clean crisp citrus taste. Very slight to no alcohol taste. It's soo smooth and simple.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied lots of carbonation. Smooth flow, medium attack smooth and easy after.

Overall: Excellent. Loved this Belgian. Will definitely return for more.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

How more I found out about other beers, how more I started to appreciate Duvel. Some years ago I thought it to be too strong and/or too simpel. But with every bottle I drink I find out the real great characteristic of this beer.

L: exceptional; top is very, very thick;
S: yeast, hops and alcohol blow your nasty thoughts about life into pieces!
T: lovely, strong and fragile in one; perfect hoppiness;
M: almost perfect; after every sip you want to shout: Ah! (and quickly take another)
O: classic, a bit two dimensional, but one of the best in this category.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had Duvel many times, and I really enjoyed every bottle. It is about time that I started reviewing them.

At the local bar they provide the bottle with a very large specialized chalice.

There is a large fluffy, sweet smelling head on the pour. There was about five fingers initially, and it held on for quite a while.

This beer tastes great. I could describe it, but you should have already had a bottle. This beer is affordable and high quality. You can get it almost anywhere. So, what's your excuse for not having tried it?

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Photo of PolarBear3
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pale, slighty hazy golden colour. 3 fingered off white head with nice lacing that hangs around.

S - Yeasty and citrusy with pineapple, apple

T - yeasty, bready with citrus and pineapple, green apple and a little pepper spice.

M - light to Medium with good carbonation

O - A very nice beer easy drinking beer that can be enjoyed any place at any time.

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Photo of richkrull
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy pale golden color with at least an inch of off-white head on it.

Smell is malty with yeast and spices coming through.

Taste is much like the nose - malty throughout with a bit of a spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. This beer goes down very smooth and easy.

Overall a really really good beer. I'm definitely going to explore some more beers from this style and will pick this one up again for sure.

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Photo of tony223366
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my beer journal. Reviewed on September 26, 2011.

A: Beautiful pale straw yellow color. Amazing head! Three fingers of rocky, fluffy white head. Really sticks around. Lots of lacing. A beauty.

S: Lots of fruity apple. Bit of alcohol and spice.

T: Very tasty. Pale malts up front. A bit fruity in the middle with alcohol to finish. Nice spiciness from the phenols throughout.

M: Really great mouthfeel. Very smooth with a nice alcohol bite.

O: Another Belgian worthy of it's reputation.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The benchmark of the BSPA style, eh? Poured into appropriate glassware.

A- Bright golden with a huge head that fills the tulip. Big sticky lacing and a snowdrift head that settles slowly into tufts of foam. Beer looks like sunshine in a glass.

S- Very light and sweet, green apples and lemons, lots of yeast.

T- Crisp fruit, a bit bready and lots of yeast. Hops are herbal and linger in the finish. Yeast contributes a decidedly peppery flavor/mouthfeel to the beer.

M- Sweetness is in check and this beer has a strong, dry finish. It's strongest characteristic. Carbonation is ample.

O- I like it, but I can think of others in the style I like more. This one is a devil though... The alcohol sneaks up on you even when you know you should be looking out for it.

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Photo of Brunite
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale, golden, clear. The head is epic....just huge. Nice lacing is seen.

Smell: Hops provide a slightly spicy smell. A little grassy. Some dull citrus. Just a hint of breadiness.

Taste: Biscuit, spice, citrus, tangy...all in balance. Clean, but complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium light in body. Lots of carbonation.

Overall: Excellent. A great job at putting complexity into something that looks like a BMC product. A classic.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An iconic, world class beer that continues to live up to its reputation.

Pale blonde - almost straw coloured - with yeast haze circulating through tulip glass. Head is pleasantly white, but there's a lot of it and more carbonation in the mouthfeel than I'd choose.

Aroma is the quintessential Belgian yeast, with malted grains and spices. Flavour is well balanced from start to finish. For me the Belgian yeast dominates, but there's a lot going on between the initial malt & bready sweetness to the pleasantly dry & crisp finish. Alcohol warmth is present, but 8.5% ABV is surprisingly subtle.

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Photo of maleman
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle (with "best by" dating) into a pint glass. I thought I was being careful but the pour must have been too fast as it foamed into a head at least half the glass. The head was very light and fluffy as was the lacing. The color was very pale blonde. The nose lent notes of malt and bready goodness with a hint of pepper and clove. The taste was complex with clove, grass, pepper, and resin. There was a trace of alcohol, but nothing way out front that grabs. Mouthfeel was light-bodied with greater than average carbonation. A brew that lives up to its reputation...well worth the time to find it and price to buy it.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25oz bottle poured unhurriedly into a Duvel tulip.

Wow, bottle conditioning shows here. Huge ass head, white fluffy cloud pillowtops chillin. A light golden color with a crazy amount of lacing.

In the nose, pale sweet, funk, earthy hops and more sweet malts. Very non-chalant, balanced, subtle brew of perfection. Taste follows the nose. Nothing really stands out here, just a slightly funky, mildly hopped, highly drinkable classic elegant beer. Belgian yeast & hops stand out most, but nothing over the top. Light body (4/10) and well carbonated, light & crisp & refreshing.

This seems to be the epitome of the style, but all in all - nothing spectacular for me (personal taste). Easily downed the 25oz bottle & hides the alcohol really well. Picked up at Total Wine & More for $8.99, might do again someday.

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

750 ml poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Massive amounts of head. 1st pour was pretty much all head. It's thin, but structured, and sticky. Pale, clear yellow. Streaming carbonation.

S- Pale bready malts. Earthy, peppery yeast. Some light apple/pear notes. No alcohol. Extremely clean.

T- Right in line with the nose. Nice malt backbone. Light bread. Some green apple-like sweetness. A big bite of spicy Belgian yeast Both a little sweet and spicy on the finish.

M- Fairly light and easy drinking for the levels of yeast, alcohol and carbonation.

O- There are a handful of beers that I consider true benchmarks of their style, and Duvel is one of them. It manages to toe the fine line between pleasing discerning beer geeks, and being so easily approachable for those without a big beer background.

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Photo of AlphaFiend1
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is beautiful, through and through. Bright golden with a rich head - an impressive example of head retention. Natural, spritzy carbonation forms at the nucleation point in the base of the glass. The aroma offers subtle earth tones, light fruit, and a hint of spice. A medium, but surprisingly quaffable mouthfeel for the ABV is both inviting and alluring. A dry finish leaves you thirsty for more.

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Photo of peensteen
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy pale golden colour, 2 fingers sticky white head, fluffy lots of lacing left on the glass. Smell is yeasty with notes of grass, lemon citrus, green apple, sweet candy like notes, moderately hoppy, good malty backbone with faint alcohol notes. Taste is yeasty with notes of lemon rind, green apple, lightly sweet, grassy hop, mild to moderate bitterness, minimal alcohol in finish, malt is there as well. Aggressive prickly carbonation, med to full body, solid weight. Without a doubt one of my favourites, easy drinking and full of flavour, complex without going over the top, well balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of jpelder1
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml brown bottle. Suggested to be drunk "with discerning friends or good-looking strangers".

Appearance: Poured a golden-yellow into an oversized Cabernet glass, mounds of bright white, fluffy, foamy head stick to the sides of the glass and hang around longer than the liquid.

Smell: Sour fruit (in a good way), with a good kick of hop pungency. A touch of yeastiness at the end.

Taste: Hops hit you first, a little astringent. The fruity aroma stays in your mouth, lots of alcohol warming (but less than you'd expect from 8.5% ABV). Slight yeast aftertaste, with a big dose of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Bright, like a less sweet Coca-Cola. Definite bite from the carbonation. You forget the ABV until you're halfway through your glass. Beer this good shouldn't be this drinkable...

Overall: I get this one only a couple of times a year, otherwise I'd feel like I'm spoiling myself. Tried with Wisconsin Blue Cheese, pair is excellent.

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Photo of Dave128
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330mL bottle into Duvel tulip. Picked up the gift set because I've heard the glass and beer are both awesome. So far the glass has not been a disappointment. I was saving this beer for my 50th review and am certainly looking forward to it. Enjoyed after mowing the lawn on a Fall Sunday afternoon.

A - Beautiful golden hazy color with a 3 to 4 finger white foam head that lasts forever. Like 3 minutes before I was about to take a drink that wasn't all foam. A pretty thick disc of foam sits on top after that. Lacing everywhere on the glass that the beer touches.

S - Very sweet and clean. That's about all I can say. It smells so clean and refreshing. A very simple beer with high quality ingredients. The only nag I have with this beer is that it doesn't really offer much in the nose that translates into the taste.

T - Crisp and refreshing. sweet and even a little bit tart at times. I assume its a side effect of the yeast strain, but it adds a ton of character to this beer. Absolutely delicious. Its hard to put my finger on what stands out in this beer because it is so simple in ingredients, but those simple ingredients make this a killer beer. Can detect a hint of alcohol in the finish, but nowhere near what you would expect from a regular 8.5% abv beer. Bitterness is apparent on the end and I'm not sure if I taste much hops.

M - Medium bodied with airy carbonation. Some sips almost feel creamy in the mouth from the delicate foam that occurs.

O - An outstanding beer. If it weren't so expensive, this would be all that I drink. Very nice look, flavor, and refreshing qualities give this one an A.

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Photo of fx20736
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 ml bottle into a chalice.

Hazy lemon yellow with persistent, active carbonation rises to a thick, cotton candy white head that is frothed and whipped into a stiff peak of meringue that leaves reminders of it's elegance as lacing on the glass.

Aroma: pale crystalized malt, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. A Summer field of Clover hops accents this amazingly complex nose that has an elusive medicinal quality to it.

Mouthfeel: full with a gauze like thickness.

Chardonnay like with tart, granny apples, dry green grapes, fortified with sugar and pepper. Warming alcohol is well hidden.

Notes: a special beer, uniquely Belgian. Beautiful to look at, complex, medicinal, simultaneously dry and sweet. Amazing.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: pale gold and crystal clear, with vibrant bubbles that stream from the bottom and persist throughout the drink. The Duvel head is legendary: I call it, "big-as-ya-want-it," because you could easily overfill even the most generous glass with a center-pour of this beer.

S: golden orchard fruits, earthy and bright; floral; tangy yeastiness

T: sharp, crisp, alcohol, yeast, hops, some pepperiness and spice, deeper pale fruits and darker spices orchard rich, yet with a crispness

M: astringent, tart, biting, brisk; light-medium body, super carbonation; scintillating

O: this is a classic drink - limitless in its pairings, BTW - I honestly consider this beer to be the a top 5 Belgian strong pale ale. Duvel is my standard by which other Belgian strong pale ales are measured. Any BA is best served by having a Duvel at some point.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle with a 06/02/14 cork date poured into a Duvel tulip.

It pours like chafed wheat, with beautiful gold throughout. It almost looks like a slightly more yellow champagne, with great clarity and visible carbonation. A 1.5-finger pure white head leaves great lacing all around my glass; wonderful retention, too. Very tight bubbles in the head. A stunning beer by any standard.

The smell is a very refreshing combination of ester fruits and pilsner malt. A sweet banana taste from the yeast comes through in the forefront, and there's a hint of lemony citrus as well. The sweetness is balanced by a distinct bread-like biscuit character. It's enticing and well-rounded, rich with several aromas in a harmonious interplay.

The sweetness from the Belgian yeast is more present in the taste. There's a lingering sweetness that seem to suggest a lot of residual sugar. Some citrus to the taste as well. There's a nice malty backbone to this - again, the pilsner malt comes into play. Some cane sugar, and maybe some pepper as well. There's a definite alcohol note as well, and the ABV isn't hidden terribly well.

Mouthfeel is great, and this is lively without being overcarbonated. Creamy yet effervescent, this is really drinkable.

A model (progenitor?) of the style, and a delicious beer at that. I'll never grow tired of Duvel.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 90.1% out of 100 with 7,964 ratings
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