Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,045 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: 8,045 |  Reviews: 2,866
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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Photo of cagocubs
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from stubby into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy golden honey color with a massive white fluffy head that sticks around and laces the glass. Impressive head is like a cloud. Beautiful looking beer.

S: Earthy smell. You can notice sweet fruit and spice along with bready yeast. Clover/spice mixes with alcohol for interesting nose. Real balanced inviting smell.

T: The taste is delicious and complex. Many flavors are present starting with hops, yeast, malt. Sweetness from fruits and spice. Earthy clove and florals present. The alcohol gives it a nice warming effect and dry finish.

M: Taking a sip and leaving it in your mouth you can sense the active carbonation. This gives a light and crisp feeling. At the same time the alcohol and dry finish tame your senses and make you take time with this beer. Great coating and finish.

O: A solid choice. Simple, yet at the same time very complex.

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Photo of sergeantstogie
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip produced a huge fluffy meringue head that stayed until about halfway through the beer.

Smelled of sweet honeyish malts and noble hops.

Taste was of honey, spicy noble hops and some citrus with an almost white wine like tang.

Mouthfeel was perfect with the sweetness and spiciness accentuated by a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, this beer rocks. It was one of the beers that introduced me to the wonderful things being done with beer in Belgium and going back to it, it is still a well crafted and delicious beer for any time of year.

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

A: Massive 1 1/2" soapy white head that left a nice lacing in my Duvel tulip glass over straw coloured liquid with very good clarity.

S: Floral, citrus, and a white wine alcohol type smell.

T: Bitter and refreshing taste of citrus and white wine.

M: Medium to thin viscosity with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Very drinkable Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but I actually prefer Piraat 9.

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

A - Light golden color and hazy. Pours a thick white head with exceptional lacing.

S - Smells fruity and bitter (from the alcohol) -- similar to other Belgian Strong Ales.

T - Sharp, tangy, and fruity. Has a pleasant dryness. Although it tastes outstanding, there are other BSAs I prefer over this.

M - Dry and carbonated, similar to a fine champagne. Quite full-bodied as well.

O - This beer exemplifies what a world-class BSA should taste like. The consistency, flavor, and aroma merge together almost flawlessly.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.47/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bomber into a tulip

a - pours a light hazy yellow with a big three finger, fluffy white head. retention is excellent - head falls to a thin cap and stays all the way to the bottom of the glass. also leaves tons of sticky alce.

s - slightly toasty and grassy. lots of pungency present from the saaz hops which is not really a good thing to my nose.

t - lightly toasted bread balanced by light hop bitterness and lots of spicy notes.

m - medium bodied and chewy. high co2 content.

o - pretty good but not great. definitely not a session beer at 8.5%. certainly not deserving of it's reputation.

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Photo of EkimGram
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: 11.2oz (330mL) bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Pale cloudy golden-yellow colour with a monstrous, bubbly head that fades to a nice substantial lacing. Constant stream of light carbonation emits from the stem of the glass.

Smell: Spicy and very yeasty. Sweet, clovey.

Taste: Even more yeast and spice. Just a hint of booze followed by a healthy bite. Cloves, yeast, and a hint of banana finish it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is biting and aggressive. Finishes slightly sticky.

Drinkability: Excellent, truly excellent. Lots of flavour and feel. The alcohol is barely noticeable, everything goes down so smoothly. I can't wait to crack open the next bottle I have in my fridge. It really doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. best before 10 2013.

pours out a very nice pale golden color, just slightly cloudy. huge 4-5 fingers of pure white head with big soapy bubbles and amazing rocky retention. super thick lace just clings to the glass everywhere. lots of carbonation bubbles rising up. just an amazing looking beer, i dont think it gets much better than this.

in the aroma, lots of belgian yeast coming through, lots of fruity bannana and spicy clove, some sweet, dry maltiness and a bit of a floral hop kick. a slight hint of alcohol.

a nice balance of yeast, malt, and hops. yeast comes in with some spiciness, clove, bannana, fruits with some sweet, dry grainy maltiness, and a slight floral hop kick. definatly has a warming effect the more you drink it, despite its crisp light feel.

smooth, full bodied. a slight tartness with a creamy feel and a very dry finish.

overall, a classic great belgian beer, the prime example of the strong pale style. ill definatly be drinking this again sometime, but still, theres many belgians i would pick up before this one.

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

A cloudy, medium, and straw yellow body with quite a bit of active carbonation. Poured a light frothy head with incredible lacing.
Smelled a mixture of spices and tart fruitiness. Cloves are strongly present. A very strong nose that begs for a taste.
Taste was reminiscent of the aroma, completing the flavor profile. Spices were well balanced with tart apples finished by a beautiful hop bitterness. I was taken back by how strong in flavor this beer is with its high drinkability - light body, great carbonation and and a lasting mouthfeel. Purely fantastic!

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,045 ratings