Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,044 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:
A Duvel is still seen as the reference among strong golden ales. Its bouquet is lively and tickles the nose with an element of citrus which even tends towards grapefruit thanks to the use of only the highest-quality hop varieties. This is also reflected in the flavour, which is beautifully balanced with a hint of spiciness. Thanks to its high CO2 content, this beer has a wonderful roundness in the mouth. A Duvel is both the perfect thirst quencher and the ideal aperitif.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Ratings: 8,044 |  Reviews: 2,866
Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of bs870621345
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been aging this for about a year, and if memory serves, it dried out nicely.

Pours a clear golden color with a nice fluffy white head and beautiful lacing.

Smells like fruit, alcohol, herbs, and grass.

Taste opens up with alcohol and fruit moving into a nice herbal character. Finishes very dry and a hint of fruits and herbs.

Mouthfeel is light and spritzy...pouring into a duvel glass flattens out the beer.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Dries out nicely with some age.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BTW, This is a 1 1/2 year old Duvel...

A - Interesting. It begins very soapy and large. Then settles to a point and becomes very foamy. Lots of nice lacing too. Brew is clear with no cloudyness. Yellow with some whites and oranges, but not much.

S - Very spicy! YUM. Lots of cloves and ginger. Not your typical Belgian.

T - This brew is WAY out and very spicy for the style. Great unique flavors. Not as much Belgian Yeast as I wished for, but great flavors... Lots of lemon and grassy fruits.

M - Very mild heat. High carbonation. But, quite smooth none-the-less.

O - I was expecting one of the best beers I've ever had, Duvel delivered. Just short of outstanding... Highly recommended even at $4/330ml.

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Photo of SawDog505
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into huge Duvel tulip glass. Pours a straw yellow, with 4 inches of fluffy, white head that lingers the entire beer. Lacing every where. Smell is clove, banana, q breadyness, and a hint of spicy hops. Taste is all that, more powerful then the smell, clove dominates, but in a pleasant way. Body is nice, not thin or thick, easy drinking for abv. I think it is a good amount of carbonation for the style. I am not a huge fan of Belgians, but this is very pleasant. I am coming around to the style, still a work in progress.

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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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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,044 ratings