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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,009 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: 8,009 |  Reviews: 2,857
Photo of shodrod
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite summer beers. It pours a gorgeous, light, hazy golden color with a head that hangs to the side of the glass. The aroma is generally a 'yeasty' kind of sour smell. The flavor delivers what you expect from the smell: a lovely sourness with hints of apple and pear. With an ABV of 8.5% this beer is easy to drink for longer periods of time than many Belgians of equal quality.

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Photo of sogrady
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like the Duvel, but I don't love it. The appearance is excellent, gold and clean, and it pours nicely.

The alcohol is less than apparent, with a yeasty almost skunked - bad batch? - nose. Taste is sweet at the start, a bit more bitter towards the back, overall pleasant. Still, there wasn't anything about this beer that really hooked; it's good across the board, but great in few. At least by my taste.

Looking for a clean drinking Belgian Pale with some octane? Go for it. Just keep your expectations reasonable.

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Photo of mariposafan
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was preparred to be less than impressed with this beer. Wrong again!

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. It poured a hazy light golden color with an amazingly fluffy head that stayed and stayed. Nice lacing on the glass showing a timeline of the entire drink.

The smell was citrusy with some banana - it reminded me of a hefeweizen almost but with an underlying maltiness. There was also something a little sharp about the smell that had me worried that there'd be too much bitterness in the taste.

Not to worry. The taste was just fine. There was a sharpness there but it wasn't tongue clenching bitterness so much as a citrus bite. Malty, fruity, altogether enjoyable.

The mouthfeel was a little thinner than I'd hoped for with this much flavor but still very nice. The carbonation that produces that amazing head kept it nicely tingly without feeling like a soda.

This isn't the sort of thing I'd even consider drinking multiples of at one sitting but for what it is it's very drinkable. The alcohol didn't make itself known until I stood up.

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Photo of philphilphil
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very good, but hyped.
Appearence was cloudy golden colour with good amount of head.
Smell was lovely pils malts.
Taste was amazing, and deceptive, hides the abv by about 3%, softer than leffe blonde despite the 2% higher abv
Mouthfeel, not thick given the strength. I like it.
Drinkability is not bad, 3 of these would be good for being drunk. Price however is abit high, however for getting drunk its only a premium price. Will enjoy this again.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz poured into a Duvel tulip (obviously). From notes, reviewed 09/09/10

A - Fluffy, snow white head with large bubbles. Formed a perfect plateau in the middle which remained. Dark, lemon yellow beer.

S - Typical belgian yeasty smell. Slight citrus, spice and alcohol.

T - Fruity but not over citrus-y. Strong yeast with lingering sugars.

M - Crisp and crisp. Tingly carbonation on tongue followed by mild alcohol heat.

D - Basic for the style but a great example. Always liked this one.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked/caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a slightly cloudy straw yellow with a creamy two fingers of white head; decent retention, some lacing. pretty much the epitome of how a belgian strong pale ale should look.

aroma is a really nice bouquet of belgian yeast, citrus, banana, malts, and a touch of spice.

flavor substantiates the aroma, with all the above-mentioned characteristics following through nicely. very tasty beer, and i'm not a big BSPA guy. a dry finish to it. probably the measuring stick against which other belgian strong PAs should be/are judged, which is not to say it can't be (or isn't) surpassed. brooklyn local 1 might give it a run for its money... would like to stack it up against that, DT, mischief, maybe a few others in a tasting.

medium, medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. creamy. pretty drinkable considering its 8.5% ABV. definitely a classic in its style.

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

Pours a very slightly hazed but bright gold color with a a cap of frothy and prickly white bubbles, great retention and sticky lacing. Scent is light and dances around watery fruit, fresh grain and belgian yeast. Taste brings a touch more umph but still pale... light fresh grains, watery fruit like apple, belgian yeasts that dont overpower. Lighter side of medium bodied, prickly carbonation that doesnt diminish taste, slightly dry. Very very good stuff, could be drank all day with no regrets.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finally got my hands on a bottle of Delerium Tremens and tried it last night, really enjoyed it. Then I noticed that Duvel is king of the BSPA category, a full 10 spots above DT. Duvel? Really, Duvel??? The stuff I see at the grocery store all the time and have always discounted because it's so widespread? Sheesh, how long have I been walking right past this stuff and not given it due respect?! Right under my nose this whole time??! OH THE INJUSTICE, HOW IT HURTS!!

So I drove down this evening to the grocery store at the bottom of the hill and picked up a 750mL bottle for $9.99. Best before Nov.19.2012. Remove the crown, twist, POP, into my favorite tulip it goes.

First pour, although less than moderately rigorous, gives a giant frothy 4" of white head atop a tiny 1" of effervescent mostly-clear pale yellow brew. I carefully feed it a little more and the foam rises a full 1" above the lip of the glass without falling. This is going to take a while.

At first the smell is big skunk. Crap. Maybe I should have pulled a bottle from the back of the open-faced beer cooler (this one was front and center, and I doubt this gets much circulation). But the skunk gradually fades a bit and a mix of other things starts to emerge.

On the tongue the robust carbonation is very bright but not harsh. Feel is moderately thin, not much body, so it's the carbo that is keeping it from being watery. Taste is a bit sour with overly-ripe lemon rind, significant (but not over-powering) skunk, mellow rounded cinnamon and clove spices enhanced by a bit of alcohol.

Overall I'm seriously underwhelmed, especially given all the anticipation. I strongly suspect that this is a semi-bad bottle, especially because 10 minutes after finishing it the skunk is still lingering on my palate. Certainly will get another from a different source and update this review if warranted. :/


Update 27th October 2010:

Got another bottle from a different store (and pulled it from the back of the shelf where it was out of the light). Best by 14/02/13. Appearance and feel are the same. A little skunk in the nose and taste but not as much as I remember from last time and it fades almost completely. This is totally different from last time. The sourness is gone, it's a much nicer rounded Belgian Pale Ale... light honey, warm cinnamon and clove, a little citrus hop. Similar to before in substance, but overall much nicer this time around. Changed as follows. Smell: 3.0 to 4.0, Taste: 3.0 to 4.5, Drink: 3.5 to 4.0.

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

Poured properly into a Duvel tulip. You'd assume either i'm the man to have a Duvel glass, or this is one of the 4 Duvels that came with the glass in the gift-pack...(the latter).

Given that the pour looks identical to what is considered "correct," including a towering head from the Duval logo up to the brim and a golden, relatively clear brew beneath, I'd say this is a beautiful beer. There is ample lacing and the head remains intact through most of the drink. An improper pour (from experience) has made an iceberg head phenomenon (?). The beer looks lively and very well carbonated. Plumes of bubbles rise from the stem where the Duval "D" is engraved.

The smell is that of a good Belgian ale. I actually performed a nasal rinse in preparation for this beer (no lies). There is well placed spice, notes of citrusy hops and a typical sour Belgian funk. I can almost smell a whiff of lavender that's relaxing enough to permit falling into a deep sleep.

So good. It tastes like liquid gold Belgian ale. My favorite part about this beer, which is why I give it such acclaims. It tastes floral, rich, yeasty, smooth, sweet mixed with a sour/bitter aftertaste. Which is how flavors should transition down the tongue. With the abv at a staggering 8.5% I am almost reminded of weak chardonnay. I could see this pairing with both good friends and good foods.

Bubbly, thanks to to the bottle conditioning and double fermentation at the brewery, as well as refreshing. For a golden ale this is more dense than usual, but still a bit watery for my liking. Hiving experience in brewing my own pilsner, this beer possesses deep complexity and the mouth approves.

Definitely drinkable year round and may become a new bar favorite. Pace yourself because this is almost too easy to drink. I would have another for sure, I'm super satisfied with the purchase.

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Photo of faroutadventure
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= Pours a beautiful white head. Carbonation , with rolling bubbles. Clear , clean looking.

S= Fresh , fruity, clean smell. Invites a sip.

T= Very smooth, easy, clean, finishes smooth.

M= Lots of body with a full mouth feel.

D= Invites you for more, but be careful with an 8.5% alcohol. It is wonderful.

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Photo of decimator
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a mug.

A - Poured a clear yellow with a big bubbly head. Head slowly dissipates and decent lacing is produced.

S - Sweet, grass, fruity (citrus, bananas, apricots, peaches, pears) and a hint of spiciness.

T - Similar to the aroma. Sweet, malty, lots of fruity sourness and a bitter bite in the finish with a hint of booze. Well balanced flavours and the alcohol is almost entirely masked.

M - Good carbonation, full bodied, smooth, bit sticky, tangy and crisp finish.

D - The flavour and mouthfeel combine to give this beer very good drinkability. Quite enjoyable and satisfying.

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Photo of NODAK
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is full of citrus...peppery spices...and some yeast as well.

Pours a bright golden color with a fair head.

Carbonation is very high. Mouthfeel pretty heavy. Citric tartness hits the palate first...followed by an assertive yeasty taste that dominates most of the body of the beer, along with some peppery as well. Alcohol is slightly noticeable on the finish, but for the ABV it's very minor and hidden...hops somewhat minor but certainly present to finish the beer off on a fairly dry note, along with some more tart citrus.

This is the definitive beer of the style...very drinkable, straight forward and delicious. It's really impressive how drinkable this beer is for how heavy and high in alcohol it is.

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

750ml bottle into Bruery tulip. This is one of those iconic beers that it's almost impossible to believe that I haven't reviewed yet, much like Arrogant Bastard was not too long ago. Nice to finally sit down and make this one official.

Pours a quite-hazy pale straw, with a dense, rocky white head that towers above the rim of the glass as the beer is being poured. Once this one finally settles down to about 2 fingers, there are massive honeycomb-sheets of lacing, and the the bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass leave the sides of the head look like tiny, intricately stacked spheres that get progressively smaller from top to bottom. Stunning beer.

Nose is replete with a huge array of aromas - honey and white pepper, pears, just a bit of apple skin, just a bit of fresh-cut hay. What's amazing about this one is the clarity of each of these aromas - there's no sifting around through a set of muddled-together scents wafting about, these are beautifully clear and precise and distinct. A beautiful example of why yeast can be more important than any other ingredient in a beer.

Taste is world class as well. Lighter than the nose, starts off dry, white pepper and a bit of tangy yeast coming through, with the apples and pears coming through close behind. No honey sweetness here anywhere to be found, though a nice grassiness comes through in our first real glimpse of the hops. The finish carries a bit more pepper, light sourdough, bit of grassiness, and a kiss of lemon. Alcohol is barely there at all, only showing up just enough to add another wee layer of complexity. Absolutely beautiful beer.

Mouthfeel, not to be outdone by the other aspects, is as close to perfection as I ever expect to find. Light and delicate, yet with a creaminess from the persistent head, and just enough fullness from the suspended yeast that really, this beer is everything anyone could want it to be, and all at the same time.

I won't mince words with drinkability. Why bother? This beer is a masterpiece, in which every single characteristic is poured over until it's honed to perfection, and then all taught to dance together in perfect harmony.

My first perfect 5 rating.

Part of me wanted to deny it this, if only to say that I still hadn't rated anything a perfect 5. But honestly, with this bottle and at this moment, it was flawless perfection. At one point in my developmental craft-beer stages, Belgian Strong Pales were some of my least favorite beers, or at least so I proclaimed. Now, however, one sits perched atop my overall rankings ladder in a seat no other can lay claim to. What changes a couple of years can bring.

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

A- Pale gold with frothy head. Spirited carbonation. Bonus marks for the great lacing in my glass.

S- Citrus banana and spices. Floral notes as well. Some yeast aroma.

T- Sweet fruit. Apple, banana and pear. Good spices to fit the bill and notes of citrus in it as well. It also has it's share of yeast. A small amount of bitterness which doesn't stand up to the sweetness all that well. Of the spices I can make out just the faintest hint of cloves. A lot of depth to the taste. It sticks around for longer than most beers after it's been downed.

M- Very rich and smooth. Medium-full body.

D- Seemingly well hidden ABV. As it warms up, all the flavors come out, but there's a definite increase in the alcohol's kick at a certain point as well.

Recommended to try at midrange temperatures, but I found too cold, and I couldn't taste much, too warm, and the the alcohol came at you. There's a great point in-between where it really shines.

All in all an assertive BSPA with tons of flavor. Sadly it was a bit too sweet and spicy for my tastes, but for that reason I can understand why most other people would enjoy it.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle (courtesy of BA infi) into my La Fin Du Monde tulip.

Pours a hazy golden hue with a ridiculously fat white head that lingers for a good long while after the initial pour and leaves a great amount of lacing. Translucent and full of smallish bubbles, it looks almost like a hefeweizen. That's always a good thing in my book. Smell is full of subdued yeast and malts, along with some spiciness and citrus. Very familiar scent that's more than welcome.

Sweet malty kick to start things off, followed by the citrus-y esters and a bit of wheaty banana as well. Hops show up at the end with some light bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. Alcohol is definitely present, as the warmth bookends the flavor experience. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a just-right amount of carbonation. Body is well-balanced. Finishes somewhat dry, but pleasingly so.

Drinkability is very good. The alcohol, while present, is never overpowering and serves to complement the rest of the flavor profile. A sipper to be sure, but it's quite tasty and you'll definitely enjoy drinking it. Crisp and refreshing, a fine example of craft brew.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Thick, light yellow. Fairly cloudy but not completely. Great foam and lacing. And I don't think I've seen so much carbonation in a beer. Outstanding!

Smell: Fruity, peppery, yeasty alcohol. I especially get bananas here but also a spicy zest as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Outstanding taste and mouthfeel. A great floral and citrus hops taste. Lots of bread and yeast as well. Very heavy, fruity taste and thick feel overall. I definitely get some more banana, but also other ambiguous fruits as well. Alcohol is definitely here. Also outstanding!

Drinkability: The taste and mouthfeel mesh together so well on this one and it's such a pretty beer.

Overall: One of the most outstanding beers on the market.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - the beer pours a hazy pale yellow colour with a huge fizzy/foamy white head. I can make out an average amount of carbonation. There is a fair amount of lacing on the glass, and the head sticks around for a long time.

Smell - First off I notice a light apple juice like scent, also some floral notes. There is a medicine like smell and faint hops.

Taste & Mouth - Wow.. in a word - delicious. Not to mention that it hides the 8.5% alcohol very well. First off is a nice grainy bready taste, and some fresh fruit notes, followed by some light hops, and nice sweet and sour finish. It also provides a nice warming feeling in my chest.

Drink - A top notch brew. This will be become a staple in my beer fridge. It may be the perfect all around beer.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Brilliantly clear golden yellow with a massive, rocky, frothy white head that lingers forever and coats the glass with lacing.

S - Light sweet pilsner malts and pear-like/apple esters. Slight citrusy aroma. Light spicy hops.

F/M - Pilsner malt candy sweetness, pear-like and light lemony/orange esters. Low spicy hops with a firm bitterness. Pleasant alcohol bitterness and perfumy flavors. Very dry with a very clean aftertaste. Medium body with moderately high carbonation.

D - Excellent drinkability. Clean and dry and full flavored and it goes down so good. It hides the rather high alcohol very well.

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Photo of Jef59
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

Pours a deep golden yellow with a huge head that sticks with great, thick threads of lacing.

Smells of sweet fruit, alcohol, and nuts.

The taste is of bold malt and fruitiness. Has the banana-like characteristics of many of the best Belgian pales, except better. A distinct nuttiness is also very present.

Each sip hits the tongue more velvety than the next with the perfect amount or carbonation, and despite the strength of this beer it's deceivingly quaffable. A great brew!

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Photo of montecristo2
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass from a 22 oz. bottle.

I wanted a Belgian beer today after a bunch of yardwork. I'm so glad I bought this!
Great head, thick and at least three and a half fingers tall.
Effervescent, golden colored brew.
Smells of slight banana, sweet yeast.
Tastes delicious-Sweetness turns slightly sour on the outsides of the tongue. Hops and yeast character- mostly yeast.
Great lacing on the glass.
Lots o' alcohol! But I love it and you don't even notice it...until it's too late! Hahahaha!

Definitely an exceptional purchase if you are looking for an awesome Belgian beer.


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

Hard to believe a small grocery near my house sells this for $9.99 all the time, great buy!
if you look up the word "beer" anywhere this is the picture that ought to be beside it! Golden Yellow with a slight haze to it but probably the best head ever, thick and dense, impressive!
Slightly "Grolsh" like with a touch of white peppery skunk to it, belgian scent comes through also!
taste is as gold as she looks ,slight bitter sting with a sweetening malt effect, so cleanly crisp at the end its almost frightening!
medium mouth with an effervescant thing happening, somewhat dry.
This is where the "Devil" comes into play with ya.So tasty but dry so you what more to quench that spot, Alcohol seems non-existant so you just keep pounding 'em down, Great Brew!!!!

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Photo of Whiteweasel
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a pint glass and poured from a bottle.

A: Pale yellow, not the greatest colour. Great head and incredible lacing though. The consistency is suprisingly clear.

S: Luxurious, with a plethora of fruits; grapes, peaches, strawberries, and bananas with a heaping serving of clove. Belgian yeast scent comes out beautifully.

T: Malty, sweet, complex and yeasty, all similar to a Chimay. Flavours are top notch. Like a fine wine; rich like a glass of brandy.

M: Harsh on the tongue, very carbonated, and very very boozy. Quite the number on the mouth, but in a good way.

D: This beer is so damn good, but its so alcoholic that its damn near impossible to stay sober after having more than 2 or 3.

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

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Cloudy light yellow with a huge head that nearly towered out of the glass.

S: Immediately reminded me of a pilsner, perhaps it was the color that had me thinking that way. Smelled peppery and citric, perhaps lemon.

T: A slightly bitter hoppy start, with a fruity and citric rind middle with an alcohol push at the end.

M: Creamy head beginning, feels very light. Almost like an extra dry champagne with the way it dissipates.

D: Very easy to sip. Much lighter than the bold full taste suggests.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Translucent, hazy, golden, thick creamy head. Oddly clear in the center. This looks promising. Nice lacing.

S: Smells a lot like a pilsner, with some faint skunky notes and fainter spice. Pretty nice, but muddled and muted.

T: Scrumptious; exceeded my expectations. The main taste is refreshingly robust for a beer that looks so pale. There is a carbonated creaminess preceding a sharp spiciness. This spice, in turn, gives way to smooth estery malts which escort the remaining flavours -- fruit, yeast, through to the aftertaste. Aftertaste is light, ever-so-slightly dry, but with a stickiness in the back of the throat.

M: The initial mouthfeel is fizzy and encompassing, the creamy head filling the mouth. A balanced sharp-sweet effect simultaneously soothes and pricks the mouth. Very nice.

D: Drinkably smooth but still interesting. The alcohol is detectable. Not the *very* best BSPA I've ever reviewed (that honour goes to Unibroue's Don de Dieu) but Duvel is a better example of the style (indeed, probably the epitome of the Belgian Strong Pale Ale). Highly recommended; I will buy it again.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Sometime ads exaggerate how a beer looks in real life. This beer is beautiful! A clear golden yellow sits underneath a huge frothy head. Wonderful head retention and amazing lace.

S: A light floral aroma with hints of lemon, apple, and pear. Also getting some grassy & peppery notes.

T: The initial taste is sweet acidic flavor, then goes into a short bitter phased, followed by a cereal malty finish. A dry aftertaste with hints of doughy yeast. Flavors picked up throughout the beer are Belgian yeast, banana, herbs, & spices.

M: Light body with lively carbonation. Tickles on my tongue.

D: Must drink again. Must drink again. Must drink again.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,009 ratings
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