Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,053 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: 8,053 |  Reviews: 2,868
Photo of NilsFrisk
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light pale with a big white head, dissapears a little to quickly.
Smells yeasty, and warm from the alcohol.
A lot of carbonation, a little to much maybe. A bitter character, some buttery yeast flavor, the 8,5 abv is hidden very well, but still warms your belly.

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Photo of pBRale
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes 8-25-11

Appearance: Tall foamy white head that quickly settles and has low retention. Clear, beautiful pale golden color. Highly carbonated.

Smell: Some fruitiness, with some alcohol on the nose. Intriguing array of smells.

Taste: Piney, some fruits, especially banana. There is a sugary taste as well. So many flavors that I am having trouble describing them because they meld so beautifully. One of the finest tasting beers I've had in a while.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated--springy, leaves the mouth wet and drooling for more. A very juicy beer.

Overall: An outstanding beer that truly takes a full bottle to meet, as new flavors and aromas emerge throughout the drink.

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

A: Beautiful towering and craterous white head, with numerous streams of bubbles streaming from the bottom to top of the glass.

S: Pale malts, a little bit of straw, and some spicy Saaz hops. The aroma is very nice, and I wish it would come through a little bit stronger.

T: Nice mix of sweetness from the malt and sugar and spiciness from the Saaz hops.

M: Smooth, nice carbonation, though a little thin in mouthfeel.

The lively carbonation and balanced flavor profile make this beer extremely drinkable in spite of its 8.5% ABV--perhaps dangerously so! An excellent beer for those times when you're in the mood for something light in body and mouthfeel with good carbonation, but also full in flavor. This seems like a great beer for pairing with a meal.

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Photo of hoobaga
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale, golden. Clear at first but gets hazier with pouring, typical of a bottle-conditioned beer. Big soapy head visible along with many small carbonation bubbles visible.

Smell: Slight spicy smell, a little touch of grass. Alcohol smell is definitely present, not in a negative way though. Citrus is also present, but not in a bright way, more of a dull citrus aroma.

Taste: Biscuity malt, slightly citrusy aroma on the top, medium spice-like taste, warm alcohol present, slight bitterness throughout (and even after). Many many flavors going on at the same time.

Overall: Very unique belgian beer, can't really say I've had something quite like this before. The Duvel brewery did a good job brewing a beer which has so many different flavors which compliments each other, somewhat like a flavor bouncing effect.

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Photo of Mako82
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

A - Clear, golden in color. Long lasting white foamy head, looks to be very fizzy
S - Grape champagne smell, followed by cloves, subtle malts in the background, smell of yeast
T - Slight chaukly taste, nice combination of simple malts and hops, hint of clove in the background, slight bitterness, very clean and refreshing
M - Fairly carbonated

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

Poured in a Duvel tulip.

A - Hazy golden straw with 2 fingers of delicate white foam. Awesome retention and a ridiculous amount of lacing.

S - Sweet grassy aroma, twangy Belgian yeast, soft grain, over ripened golden delicious apples at first, but as it warms up the acidity comes out make it more of a tart aroma. Unknown spice and hints of alcohol.

T - Sweet grainy malt, spicy hops, some sourness comes through the middle, with tart apples in the background. It has an herbal bite towards the end. Finishes dry and slightly acidic.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

Great yeast strain! The sour and acidic qualities really make this beer stand out. It's complex but focused.

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Photo of SkitzIrish3
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting 4 months for this beer since I last had it overseas...

Pours with an insane amount of foam (that sparkles). Patience. Straw color, damn near clear, and good carbonation.

Smells spicy, orange and lemon, but mainly green apples.

Sweet and spicy on the palate, follows the nose. It is a bit sour and has a dry bitterness I didn't notice last time that is brought out by the alcohol. Tasty stuff and a must try.

I'm not 100%, but I think this tasted different when I had it in Ireland. Not sure if shipment has to do with a slight difference (it shouldn't with 8.5% ABV). I didn't taste the banana with this glass. Maybe my palate has grown. Still really good, but not up to the standards my palate had previously regarded it.

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Photo of output01x
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 mL. capped bottle (Best Before 10/2013) into a tulip glass.

A painstakingly slow pour releases a 3 1/2-finger snow white head that continues to grow and expand minutes after the pouring is complete. The body is a hazy yellow gold with torrents of energetic carbonation bubbles racing about. Thick lacing clings to the sides of the glass in globs.

Strong yeast aromas carry notes of lemon zest, orange rind, ripe green apples, and muscat grapes. The nose is slightly musty and a little sour but undeniably welcoming.

Just like the nose, the taste is filled with fruits including lemon zest and grapes. Also noticeable in the taste is some light, bready malts and light floral hops. Sweet and ever so slightly sour, the taste is light but complex. A slight alcohol warmth can be noticed growing in the back of the throat about 1/2 way through the beer.

Medium bodied with excellent carbonation, this beer is deceivingly drinkable. The body is light, crisp, refreshing, and easily swallowed. The carbonation is extremely fizzy but does not seem to adversely effect the taste at all.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a bright, clear golden color. The massive, ivory colored head has a frothy, slightly rocky consistency. Head retention is outstanding, and gobs of sticky, splotchy lace adhere to the glass.

S: Some pale, sugar cookie-ish malty sweetness. Musty, herbal spiciness is prominent - noble hops seem to be included. Somewhat peppery. Fruity notes of golden delicious apples and ripe pears, with lesser hints of white grapes. There's also a light, perfumey alcohol presence.

T: Faintly grainy, with some sugar cookie sweetness up front. Quite spicy and musty, both from what have to be Saaz (or similar) hops and yeast phenols. Hop bitterness is a little higher than I was expecting. Fruity esters are prominent, with flavors of golden apples and pears. There's a softly tart, mildly vinous quality into the finish, along with some faint alcohol.

M: Medium-light body. Carbonation is perky, but refined. Faintly sticky at first, before a gradually increasing dryness into what becomes a crisp finish. Alcohol is present, but it drinks like a much lighter beer overall.

D: This is another Belgian mainstay I'd never had before. It's also an excellent beer, but it's a bit more pilsnery than I was expecting for the style, at least in terms of its apparent body and hoppiness. Definitely a unique and memorable brew. This is stunningly drinkable, balanced, and refined for such a hefty offering.

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Photo of mrkipling
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked bottle poured into a Trappistes Rochefort goblet.

A - Gorgeous fluffy white head, almost like marshmallow. Lovely golden hue. Tiny streams of bubbles escape to the surface from the bottom of the glass. Basically, it looks fantastic.

S - It obviously has the characteristically yeasty smell that you would expect. Citrusy, in particular lemon. Rather sweet. The smell of the alcohol peeks through as well; not so much as to be off-putting, but slightly too much for my taste.

T - I'm getting a slight sweetness, and a hint of the citrus that I can smell. It's quite refreshing, yet at the same time slightly bitter - although perhaps that's just because I favour silky smooth beers and am just developing a taste for this style.

M - I'm not so keen on the lasting impression that this beer leaves on my palate. At first it hides the alcohol content well but quickly becomes slightly too bitter. It's not quite smooth enough. However, it retains its carbonation perfectly and remains refreshing and ultimately enjoyable until the end.

O - If I was stocking up at a specialist beer store, this is not something that I would choose - I've had quite a few beers that I've enoyed far more. That said, it is definitely above average and still a very enjoyable beer. The fact that I can buy it at my local supermarket (which is not the fact with Rochefort 10, for example) means that I will undoubtedly be purchasing it on a semi-regular basis.

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Photo of Tschnab
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pale yellow almost gold pour with an active carbonation stream and a huge fluffy snow white foam.

S- green apples, honey, straw, and yeast.

T- like the smell, very honey like and lots of bubblegum and banana as well. green apple adds a tart layer, as I get some subtle champagne flavor. Just a bit metallic.

O- a classic. A great intro to Belgian beers, and a beer you can't go wrong with.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the stubby into the classic Duvel tulip.

A - Mountainous soapy head caps a murky amber. Great looking.

S - Cloves, apple and toffee.

T - Cloves, honey, sour apple. Dry. The warmth from the alcohol content is ever present but very drinkable all the same.

M - High in carbonation, thin bodied. Dry.

O - Not a massive fan of this classic but I will say that it's got the typical belgian yeast grunt with a touch of booziness. Good, not great.

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Photo of Callaghan
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured very slowly "unhurried", into a tulip. Best by date of 09 2013.

A: The head is the stuff of legend. Massive 3 finger white, creamy, though lumpy head. Slowly dissipates into about 1/2 finger, and never goes less than that. Easy to bring back some also, with a slow swirl of the glass. The color of the beer is a beautiful golden, dull lemon color. Slightly hazy, about perfect. Awesome lacing down the sides.

S: Everything seems very present. Yeast is strongest, but I also smell a lot of citrus, mostly lemon. Biscuit last. There is a lot going on, it is very complex. Slightly sweet too.

T: This is my first time trying this, after reading about it on this site. I am absolutely amazed, one of the best tasting beers I have ever had. Citrus comes through pretty strong. More than just lemon, some grapefruit and others. A hit (not a mistype) of alcohol in the middle, with biscuit and yeast. Very nice indeed. Still more going on at the finish, I must say, this is amazing. I get toasted malts, light hops, and more...it all blends very well.

M: Good amount of carbonation, dances on the tongue. Solid medium bodied. The aftertaste, I think, is helped with the light coating this beer leaves on the the tongue. The taste just lingers, and it is quite enjoyable.

O: Absolutely wonderful. This beer became even better after it warmed up a touch. I don't believe it has taken me this long to try Duvel, but I am really glad I did. So complex, yet extremely drinkable. Great tingle in the mouth, with a wonderful taste. Truly a great beer.

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

A slow and steady pour got 3 fingers of lively and lovely white foamy head at the top of my snifter attempting to break out. Bubbles rush from the bottom to the top of the glass like an inverted avalanche. The body is a light golden color. The head takes its time shrinking to the point where I can take a sip, and never completely leaves me.

Very subtle nose as has been noted. Yeast is the strongest, most apparent scent, and is backed by a biscuit aroma with bananas and spice. They blend together very well. After a few minutes I also began to pick out a gardeny aroma that almost reminded me of a big fresh salad.

Yeast and biscuit transition into banana and salad. Cuts off with spice and a bit of hops. Actually a little sour apple sprinkled in for good measure, almost like a fermenting sour apple. Makes for an invigoratingly good character.

Medium bodied. Bubbles bite the tongue enough to tell you they are there. Easy sipper, a tad drying. Only a little bitter.

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Photo of mooseo
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A - Slightly hazy golden yellow, with a huge creamy white head. Massive. Bubbles rapidly rise from the middle of the glass. Great retention with lacing everywhere.

S - Delicious complex aroma. Citrusy (lemon & apple stick out) with some yeast, hops and spice.

T - Incredible. Up front are pleasant citrus notes, yeast, and toasted malts. The finish is spicy with a nice tart sweetness. Well balanced with just a bit of alcohol coming through and a hint of bitterness. Perfect taste.

M- Smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Lively carbonation.

D - This might be my favorite beer ever. Provides an all around great drinking experience. The drinkability is high and the taste is stunning.

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Photo of Parky1
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straw, small bubbles create a long lasting frothy head.

Subtle and complex. Yeasty and spicy.

Very clean, again subtle and complex, too many flavours for this amatuer to pick out. Dry, yeast and coriander are part of it.

Dry and crisp, but smooth and strong.

No disguise of the 8.5% strength, many flavours well integrated and difficult to pick out. Refreshing!

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Photo of codfeast
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

50th review, on tap at my work.

A: A hazy pale yellow, with a massive white head. a small island of foam stayed anchored in the middle of my glass all the way through.

S: Spicy, earthy yeast, fruits(apricot and apple).

T: Spicy and sweet fruits battle it out, with the fruits winning in the end. Only to be cleaned out by the alcohol.

M: Crisp and clean, with a dry almost tannic finish.

O: A real standard. Very easy to drink. Pour myself one 4 out of 5 nights while doing my closing work.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a light golden color with a massive 4 finger white head. The head continues to grow slowly, and doesn't start going down for about 10 minutes. A tornado of carbonation, and amazing lacing. Fairly clear to see through, although it changes to a little cloudy by the end.

S- The nose on this beer changes drastically from the time you first pour it until it airs out a bit. Hops, grapefruit, malt, wheat, grass, spice, some honey are what I pick up. Super complex nose, and very balanced.

T- Somewhat more smooth and malty than the nose, and still incredibly complex. Very smooth caramel malt aftertaste. Really nice taste, it seems I get something different w/ every sip. Dry hops a little on the aftertaste as well.

M- Full bodied, malt/dry hop feel on the aftertaste. Possibly the weak point of this beer, although it's still really good. Somewhat carbonated as well, although I think this is a new bottle.

O- Overall, this is an excellent beer. Highly recommended. I will continue to enjoy this one. Cheers.

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

I have now had hundreds of different beers, but for some reason I have never got around to drinking Duvel. After finishing a glass of this beer only a few minutes ago I realize that I was missing something special, very special.

A: I slowly poured from a 330ml bottle into a snifter and watched those bubbles go to work, eventually producing a massive soapy head as white as cloud tops. As I peered through the glass I was surprised to see how transparent the beer remained, although the numerous bubbles made it difficult to see anything clearly. As the beer settled it displayed a beautiful pale golden hue and changed from clear to hazy leaving even lacing as the beer descended deeper into my glass.

S: Initially the beer reminded me of many other triples and hefeweizens I've ran across, but that soon changed as more subtle scents poked their way through. Most notably was banana, honey and sugar, but more interesting were the undertones of wheat, grass, and spices which were not was I was expecting to find, but am glad existed.

T: Much like the smell, it took me a few sips to notice the complexity of this beer. I felt my tongue being bombarded by hops, sweet malts, grains, and spices. The experience was enjoyable to say the least.

M: Medium bodied, mild carbonation, light coating.

O: Excellent beer that I regret neglecting for so long. Please forgive me beer gods! If you were like me and saw this beer on the shelves numerous times and instead decided on something else than next time I beg you to give this beer a shot, I would doubt you would be disappointed. Cheers!

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Photo of GlassFreeek
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel Tulip Glass.

A: Awesome, golden appearance w/ a big white, consistent looking head.

S: Awesome Belgium yeast and spices. Slight hoppiness, you can kinda smell the "dryness" to it.

T: Wow, exactly what you're looking for every time. Very tasty brew. Awesome Staple in any Belgium strong ale collection.

MF: Champagne like, dry and refreshing.

Overall one of my all time favorite beers.

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Photo of hikix
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is starting to become very popular in
NYC. I actually tried my first one at a bar right across the street from penn station. I saw the beer menu, saw this beer which i never heard of and then saw it was 8.5% abv. I was in the mood for something new so I asked the waitress if it was good and she said she highly recommended it. Well, one turned into 4 and I pretty much couldn't stand up by the time we were leaving. And at $10 a pop it turned out to be the start of a pretty pricey night!

Well since then I drink Duvel every couple of weeks. I would drink it more often but its super expensive and really strong! Beside that, the gripe I have is the beer is SUPER bubbly. Bubbly to the point where sometimes I have to sit up to burp myself haha. If you see it available you have to try it.

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Photo of DrinkThemAll
2.7/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter...

A-Pours a very faint hazy yellow with a massive 3 finger soapy white head that dissipates to about half a head with spotty lacing...

S-Smells like bubbles, very unfamiliar combination of aromas coming off this one but smells like lemon grass and bread with a lot of yeast, slightly fruity i would say...

T-Again like bubbles and grass very faint fruit and a bit like champagne very smooth and slightly dry...not much to my liking

M-Light body with medium carbonation, bitter dry lemon grass and bubbles...

O-Didn't really care for this one, very light, dry and smooth but lacks and any wow factor, tasted like bubbles and a light champagne...it's not a horrible beer i just didn't have the buds for this one i guess...

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Giant fluffy cloud of brilliant white foam rests upon an elixer of golden sunshine yellow! Crispy lacing dripping all over the inside of my Bruery tulip! Beautiful carbonation!

S- Fresh cut green apples, lemony citrus, clove and star anise, nice yeasty bready nose. Hints of Pinot Grigio and fresh cut wheat. I hope it tastes as refreshing as it smells!

T- Tangy, fresh, bursts with apples, lemon, white grapes, yeast, and spices! A bit of pepper, clove and citrusy hops! Damn! I haven't had one of these since the mid 90's!

M- Really tart and refreshing! Crisp, citrusy, and yeasty! The carbonation never stops popping in your mouth!

O- All the pop of champagne... but with so much more going on than sour grapes! LOL!!! There's a reason this is one of the top beers of it's style... It deserves it! I found this bottle for $2 on the singles rack, but at $15/4-pack... it's still totally worth the price!

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Photo of doktorhops
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first taste of this renown brew and whilst I'll give it a shot you'll see no sympathy for the Duvel from me, I'll be going straight for the jugular.

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a 500ml tall chalice.

A: Straight from the cork popping you know you're in for a raging brew; fizzing out with intensity, pale orange cloudy body with a 3cm white head that dissipates to a sticky lacing around the glass... yep, that looks inviting, almost a challenge "look at me, I'm a Tripel!".

S: Wow! This is the first time I've taken a whiff of a beer and thought "Is this a beer?"... there's all kind of crazy going on here; the fruitiness of a Botrytis white wine, the sharp twang of over-ripe apples, bold musky yeast aromas and a hint of sugar syrup. I hope to think the beer tastes as interesting as it smells but I'm also certain it will... it must!

T: Buy me a case of this. Again there is so much going on it's difficult to put into words, there is a flavour that hits every part of the tongue in this Tripel; dry champagne mixes with a musky yeast and sourdough body, then you're presented with some sugar and alcohol notes (with sugar covering the 8.5% alcohol) with a slight (not nearly overwhelming) hop bitterness. The end result leaves your entire mouth salivating for more, even if you didn't like the taste of this beer you would still want to take another gulp... there is an art of seduction from this Devil.

M: Medium bodied, the carbonation is lighter than Champagne and adds to the creaminess.

D: This is the beer that makes everything else pale in comparison. It's not about the flavour either, because it really doesn't even have a great flavour to it, but the way it reacts in your mouth and the effect it has in the aftertaste is sublime. I really want to scull an entire bottle of this and cap it off with another six till I pass out in total inebriation, however I cannot afford to do this and must satisfy my beerlust with mere mortal brews... this makes me sad.

Food match: The finest of foods; caviar, lobster and truffles poached in a light saffron roux with Parma prosciutto wrapped asparagus.

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

appearance - Cloudy pour with massive frothy head. Perfect golden color and very lacey going down.

smell - Almost reminds me of a white wine with apple, with some citrus/honey, clove-like spicing and faint alchohol.

taste & mouthfeel - Wow. Love it. Very smooth and creamy. Balanced hopping. Bitter with more sweet. Carbonation bite makes it crisp.

overall - Looks great and delivers. This is definitely one to remember and have again later. One of the best Belgian Strong Pale Ale's I've had.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,053 ratings