Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

7,949 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Ratings: 7,949 |  Reviews: 2,841
Photo of jpittman80
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

one of my all-time favorites, a true world classic. It's quite clear, golden, and full of foamy white head that's leaves the tell-tale Belgian lace. Aroma of spice from the yeast, tiny hint of hops and light fruit, maybe apples. The taste - it's almost impossible to describe the relative complexity (for such a light beer), but of course, I'll try. Peppery sweetness initially, it mellows in the middle to a yeasty fruity balance, and finishes a little dryer than one would expect with the perfect amount of hop bitterness and flavor. You would never know that this packs a whopping 8.5%. Truly, a masterful and artful blending of all things that mark great brewing.

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Photo of pharmer
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow color, almost surprisingly pale in fact. Head is white and fluffy and laces nicely all the way down the glass,

Smells of cloves, yeast and very faintly banana.

Tastes very similar to the smell, but so much more complex. Starts sweet, then as the carbonation releases on the tongue, some hoppy bitterness kicks in. This beer is quite highly carbonated, reminds me of champagne actually. Finishes dry and warm with alcohol, makes me want another sip.

This beer's drinkability is probably too high actually, because at 8.5% ABV, one could end up on the wrong side of intoxicated in a hurry. Highly recommend this one for any serious beer lover.

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Photo of jpro
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow... finally getting around to trying this. Pours a brilliant pale gold, with lively carbonation - and crystal clear (managed to keep the yeast sediment in the bottle). The cloud-white head is pretty massive and leaves a few patches of lace on the glass. Carbonation keeps a steady stream of small bubbles rising up from the bottom. There's a nice ring of foam that manages to stick around after most of the head dissipates. Aroma is of fruit (apple/pear), spice and yeast. Taste is so clean... again, there's a touch of pear, followed by pepper and a light touch of grain and some sweetness. Alcohol and/or medicinal notes peek through. Mouthfeel is crisp, lively and pretty light on the palate. Drinkability is exceptional - it's almost impossible to put the glass down. Hard to believe we're talking 8.5% here - completely unnoticeable. Delicious...

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dead horse meet stick. For my own record keeping here's my review.

Poured into my Duvel tulip the beer is a almost pastel golden hue. The head is something to behold. Three full fingers of pillowy stark white goodness. The retnetion and lace are of epic proportions.

The aroma is sweet and lighlty spiced. Some fruit notes along with a heavy yeast character. There's just a touch of dry book dust.

The flavor is smooth and complex. The light sweetness gently melts into a dry yeastiness. This is then followed with spices and candied fruits. Touches of hop bitterness poke around on your tongue periodically. No sign of the ABV at all.

Light to medium body. As crisp as a fresh apple in the mouth.

Overall an outstanding beer that will knock you on your ass if you don't respect it. A true classic.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into Duvel (what else?) tulip glass.

A - Pours a mirky golden blond with two fingers-worth of white frothy head. It sticks around long after the initial pour with about a fingers-worth on top of the body of the beer acting as the cap. There's some sticky white lacing along the sides of the glass after a quick swirl. A very nice looking beer.

S - Classic funky sweetness, pineapples, cloves, yeast, other tropical fruits. Reminds me a bit of a Hefe in some ways but a little more yeasty and some more malty sweetness.

T - Yeasty funk, slightly bitter, a nice malty finish that's slightly sweet yet also slightly bitter...hmm. Seems like it should be so straight forward on the palate, but it really isn't at all. The 8.5% is hidden really really well, very impressive.

M - Light to medium bodied, smooth and crisp, dry finish.

D - A wonderful beer that tricks you into thinking it's straight forward and dull but in reality, it's complex and wonderful. The alcohol is hidden so well that there's no way I'd guess it's 8.5%. Recommend.

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Photo of antoines15
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured the cute little bottle into my newly acquired tulip glass. (thumbs up)

A: awesome "collar" on this beer. Two finger head that lingers for a decent amount of time. The glass was cleaned using the same stuff bars use to clean their glasses and it will never see dish soap. Awesome lacing as well on the glass.

S: smells kinda sweet but also like a typical BMC lager almost.

T: nothing like a BMC lager. I don't really care for belgian strong pales but this one is of a different breed. I'm not good at picking out what I taste, but I do know that I like this.

M: seems pretty carbonated and is just a very pleasing beer. I can see why it is so highly regarded.

D: not sure if i could drink more than say...two of these, but that could just be because I don't particularly care for this style.

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Photo of ugaterrapin
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus glass. A slow pour resulted in a two fingers worth of pristine pillowy white head. The head lingered for a while and left some impression lacing. The aroma is predominately a sweet sugary smell. There are some malts notes in the nose, but not much in terms of hops. The taste has a crisp balance. I was afraid of an overpowering sweetness, but it wasn't to be found. The light malt character, subtle hops on the finish, and perfect carbonation makes this a great Belgium beer. I am not the biggest Belgium fan, but this is one I plan on revisiting.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one the first beers I bought at the SAQ long before the start of this BA life. Didn't like it much. Kind of felt there was something special but that stubby bottle was a chore. Had it a few more times with a better appreciation every time and I now think I'm ready to review it.

A- Very pale, hazy yellow. Like a cloudy, slightly watered down pineapple juice. Very nice creamy head. Lacing is a whole bunch of little groups spread evenly on the surface of my tulip. A second pour yeilded a head that once receded, left a thick shoelace looking strand all around the glass. Had never seen this and it's really cool. It's like I taped a thin cylindrical white rope all around the inner lip with some stalagtites dripping down from it. A nicer liquid and I'd award this a 5. The head is just so nice. Every time I swirl it a head nicer than most beers builds right back up.

S- Funky fermented pineapple juice. Other tropical fruit like passion and guava. Belgian yeast. Bubblegum. Gets better and better as it warms and loses some funk, releasing the tropical.
After pouring again I noticed the head brings out most of the rubbery farty funk and the liquid holds all the delicious tropicalia. Alcohol comes up with the temp.

T- Powerful. Citrus. Soft citrus peel bitterness. Taste like many strong belgians but with a hop kick and just generally good. Alcohol is noticeable but if you like the taste enough you completely forget about it. Grain comes it towards the end of the swallowing sequence.

M- Very high carbonation. This one just wants to bust out of your mouth. Dry.

D- High. If I found this in a bigger format I'd buy it no problem.

Nothing incredible but definitely top-notch.
This may be one of the times I'm not noticing just how good this is because it's so available.

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Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at local spirits shop in 330 mL bottle. As per the label's directions, chilled then poured into a wine glass (ordered my Duvel glass tonight).

Aroma: Sweet, pungent floral upfront, with some light spicy heat lingering in the background. They compliment each other nicely. Fantastic initial impression. 11/12

Appearance: Duvel has a unique characteristic, here: its incessant head retention. It's almost as if this beer is existing in a stasis -- the head on this guy just does NOT disappear. It's huge and billowy and cloud-white, with a mix of large and small effervescent bubbles. The beer itself is light-golden in color and quite clear. Exceptional appearance. 3/3

Flavor: Ah, the final arbiter of any beer is its flavor. Not to be outdone by appearance, the flavor kicks in as this beer slams your taste buds with a velvety hammer. Spicy phenols, laying-low hops, and pear-like notes are orchestrated by the sweet malty backbone on this one. One to sip and savor the complexity. Unique, memorable -- and most importantly -- delicious. More, please. 19/20

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and refreshing with the heat of the alcohol (nearly 9%!) being -- not masked -- layered nicely among its other characteristics. Light- to medium-bodied, slight astringency as the sweet creaminess snaps instantly to dry heat. Very complex. 5/5

Overall: Highly complex... what a wonderful experience. I couldn't really have more than two at a time, but man... what a treat. Lovin' it. 10/10

48/50 -- Deserves every bit of praise it gets as a world-class beer. Cheers!

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Photo of aristeros
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been five years since I've had one of these!

Poured into a tulip. Enormous white head, very thick with excellent retention, the thing lasts over a minute. The beer itself is a light straw color with very visible carbonation.

Nose is very yeasty up front. Some banana, some cloves, a bit of red fruit, a lot of pepper on the back end.

Sweet apples is the first thing I taste, much sweeter than the nose. Some banana bread, with sweet malts and spices on the back end. Bright, light mouthfeel, and it would be easy to mistake this for a less strong beer. This helps the drinkability a great deal--I could happily have several and not realize what I'd done until I tried to stand up.

I never regret having one of these. World class.

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Photo of techfed87
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clean and sharp with a thick white head.

Color is a transparent yellow, with a steady stream of bubbles percolating from the bottom of the glass.

Smell is sour, with tones of malt that appear very much lager like.

First sip is light, with several complex flavors appearing up front in the pallet. Has the qualities of a very nice Pilsner, with the complexities of something much more mature.

In terms of Belgian Ales, this ranks right up with the best of them. And while I may not put the type in my favorites list, I can definitely appreciate it for what it's worth.

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Photo of JoePat
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a bright golden yellow color with a bright white head towering over the beer. The head lingers for a very long time almost looking like a kruasen in a fermenter as it subsides.
I smell some clodeves, apple, and banana in the head. There is a little yeast in there as well.
The taste is a little sweeter than the smell with some earthy hop flavor as well.
The mouthfeel is almost explosive at first with all that carbonation but afterwards it is smooth and goes down well.
While not an extremely drinkable beer due to the carbonation the taste keeps me coming back for more.

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Photo of feelmefoam
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel pours the typical bright, clear yellow-gold color of many belgians, but the head, if possible, stands out from the rest. It is huge (3 inches high) white and fluffy as fresh snow, and has ridiculous retention time. The lacing is thick and foamy as well, and leaves no part of the glass untouched. The head is still here 5 minutes later, even after drinking, and I have it all over my nose.

Speaking of the nose, it's quite a thing to behold as well. Ripe apple, pear, and banana with some spicy yeast and buttery pilsner malt comprise the aroma, all melding together in a strong yet tame awesome aromatic adventure. Alliteration aside, this thing smells nice.

On the tongue, Duvel has elements similar to the nose like the ripe pears and apples, but a bit of citrus thrown in for good measure as well. Banana lingers in there too, accompanied by some buttery-cracker like malt flavor (the pilsner malts, according to the label), all backed up by some zesty, spicy yeast flavor and a bit of dry hoppiness. This beer is complex, flavorful, but mellow and extremely enjoyable.

If you need a second opinion, my roommate just walked in and took a sip, said "That's the fucking SHIT!" then walked out, only to return and steal more a few moments later. This beer is strangely addicting; I've never been the biggest fan of Belgians (I'd rather have a fresh American IPA), but this is by far and away my favorite and I can't put it down.

The mouthfeel is perfect. I know Miller High-Life claims it, but this is the real champagne of beers. Light, zesty carbonation over top of a buttery smooth medium bodied beer creates the perfect crisp and smooth drinking experience.

I've heard the hype. I have friends studying abroad in Belgium who drink this like its water, and now I know why. Belgians aren't my favorite type of beers, but this is the best of the Belgian Strong Pale Ale category and the best Belgian I've had period. Truly complex and packed with tons of flavor and good-looks, this beer remains so drinkable that I'm almost done with the bomber after pouring it only ~ten minutes ago. The only downside is the alcohol, which I'm starting to feel. Still, this is the highest rating I've given out to a beer to date, and it blows my mind that it goes to a Belgian. But Duvel certainly deserves it.

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Photo of ocmpoma
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out into my Duvel tulip (of course!) a hazy gold with a huge, fluffy white top that did fade out eventually but could be summoned back with a swishy-swish or two. Great lacing; one of the most appealing brews visually, especially when poured into its own glassware.

The nose on a Duvel is fantastic: sweet malt, pine, and fruit up front with a back end of honey and bit of mustiness. It's a gorgeous, very bright and crisp nose. And the taste is just as solid -- the benchmark Belgian pale, all birght citrus up front with strong hints of pine and spices on the end; a very very clean, smooth, and bright taste that manages to be light and strong at the same time.

8.5 alcohol, but you wouldn't know it -- the mouthfeel is a bit thin and too bubbly for me, but it makes the brew easier to drink. Awesome drinkability and overall an outstanding, world-class beer.

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Photo of vdread
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duvel is hazy with tons of foamy head that leaves solid lacing all the way down.

smells fruity, of apples, pears, and yeast.

taste is strong with sweetness, alcohol and yeast. malt is toasty, spicy hops are apparent. when warm, slightly more sour fruity flavors stick out, especially banana and apple.

mouthfeel full, well carbonated, ending dry.

it's a great beer on all points.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel 750ml into namesake tulip

Perfectly clear golden pilsner with a giant rocky white head thats the same size as the body. Hangs out for, like, ever-ish. Seriously, the head doesn't really go away, it just cotton-candies its way down leaving huge sticks of chunk.

Big fruity, estery, dry aroma during the pour. Dry yeast, crackers, hay, pale pilsen malt, crisp earthy hops, green apple.

So crisp and dry on the palette, no residuals at all. This is famous for its incredible attenuation, and it shows in the pure and clean flavor profile. Lots of bright light fruits, dry yeast, earthy-spicy hops, pilsen malt, fresh cut hay, green apple peal, bananas.

Light bodied and briskly carbonated, it belies it's big malt bill with a great dryness.

This is a beer that can fool the masses. Easy to drink, tasty, and inoffensive, this is the quintessential everybody beer. Only one other big beer (Aventinus) has the same type of mass appeal to those who are typically scared of beer that you can taste. This was one of the first 'amazing' beers I ever had, and it was a life changing experience. And now, after having drunk this numerous times, I finally get around to reviewing.

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Photo of JohnL9013
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This beer pours the most impressive, gigantic head I've ever seen, period. There isn't so much rings of lacing as much as a solid column of foam that coats absolutely everything. Bubbles rise within the beer, which is a hazy pale yellow. The appearance of this beer is second to none in terms of the head.

S: Not crazy in the smell department, but very balanced. Pleasant hop aroma with sweet malts.

T: The guys at Duvel are right when they tell you to let it warm up a tad before drinking it as this will actually make the flavor more balanced and smoother. Overall, this is certainly the cleanest beer I've ever had. The quality of the taste is absolutely phenomenal, and the freshness due to superb bottle conditioning (and likely addition of preservatives) is astounding, frankly, and the balance between sweetness (prominent), hops (slightly above average), and bitterness (low) makes this beer remind me of American IPA's, although this beer still stands alone. Very pleasant, mild, and balanced considering the abv. What is surprising is that the alcohol content is so high, in fact, you will not be able to taste it!

M: Superb mouthfeel. The carbonation is very fine and rolling this around in your mouth is very pleasing.

D: Drinkable to the extreme...just wish I had more than this 330 mL bottle!

I have mixed feelings on this beer due to the horrendous $6 I paid for its measly 330 mL. What is there is top-notch. Mouthfeel, drinkability, appearance, perfect...but the taste isn't as big as the pricetag suggests, though I hate to admit it, but now I can finally understand why people go crazy over this stuff.

edit: I am re-reviewing after tasting a second, far more impressive bottle.

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Photo of NeutroMan
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle conditioned, corked. Poured into a tulip.

Sparkling crisp, clear golden color with a huge, rocky, white head that doesn't go away and leaves beautiful rings of lace.

Aroma is one of clean, toasty, biscuity malt sweetness with some apple and yeast.

Flavor is moderately spicy with the yeast and soft, smooth malts contrasted with hop bitterness. Some alcohol warmth towards the end. This beer sucks you in and leaves you yearning for more.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, thanks to the generous carbonation. An absolute joy to drink.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle conditioned poured into tulip.

Aggressive pour was, well a bit too aggressive given the carbonation of this beer. Produced huge head that lingered for a long time. Light golden color, great lacing.

Smells initially of cakelike yeast and some citrus and hint of banana.

Incredible taste, some hops, some malt, plenty of bready yeast flavor. This is my first Duvel and was not at all disappointed. This is just an incredibly balanced beer leaving you wanting nothing more.

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Photo of ProLiquorMan
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A murky yellow color. Has a very large head. You might want to pour slowly for this beer.

Smells wonderful. A mixture of unripe banana, apple, and papaya. Smells very "Belgian".

Tastes like it smells. A slight alcohol presence.

A surprisingly light body for such a murky looking beer. There was a lot of carbonation. Drink up before the carbonation disappears.

A good Belgian beer. Reminds me of Golden Monkey without the hints of mandarin oranges. I should have gave Golden Monkey a higher score.

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Photo of digita7693
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A clear golden with an amazing head, looks brilliant in the Duvel Tulip.

S nice hoppy smell, with slight citrus notes and something sweet in the background

T pretty much follows the smell and the alcohol is not noticeable

D Very smooth, carbonation is excellent, great beer anytime of year, but I love it in the spring/summer sitting outdoors at cafe or in the garden

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - Golden and pale yellow with the nicest head in all of beerdom. Great clarity. Honestly, I've seen it matched by a couple other Belgians, but this is basically the best looking beer ever. Carbonation not only comes from all over the glass, but shoots up in an intense stream from the laser etching at the bottom of the Duvel glass.

S - Pale, grainy malt is dominant. Light, musky, slightly lemony hops are there, joined by spicy notes from the yeast, along with some green apple.

T - The malt is upfront, with lots of lively spicy, lightly peppery notes. There's some fruitiness as well, though it's less discernible than in the aroma. The hops contribute an underlying, slightly musky herbal bitterness that really seems to cling, despite the carbonation.

MF - The insane amount of carbonation makes this the most lively beer I've ever had. It just exploding across the tongue with each sip. It gives the impression of a nice, light body. It's just really fun to drink.

D - While the carbonation makes this great to look at and fun to drink, it also makes it pretty filling. Given that, one is enough; I'd prefer less carbonation if I wanted a second. At the same time, the alcohol is incredibly well hidden in flavor, and the light mouthfeel just reinforces it.

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Photo of ReFill31
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A : The beer itself in its glass is really beautiful! A lot of foam with excellent retention and a nice ring on the glass. There is about 2 inches of foam on top of the beer. The beer has a nice pale yellow color with little carbonation.
We cannot serve Duvel in another glass than its own!

S : Some light hops, some cereals, and a little bit of alcohol in the end. We can smell also some bananas. Really appealing.

T : Some light hops,some citrus taste and earthy note from the malt. There is also some alcohol in the end but not in a bad way.

M : Very enjoyable, Some carbonation, the foam that stays on top adds something else.

D : Although it is a high ABV (8%) it can lose points... But this beer is so enjoyable that I could easily drink many of those (not on the same night though). I will always some back to this one, as it is one of my favorites!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a pale golden color that is quite see through, with about 3 fingers of white foam and a lot of retention. Moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of bananas, citrusy hops, yeast, and hints of spice.

t - Tastes of citrusy hops, bready malts, and banana.

m - High carbonation and light body.

d - A decent belgian that is readily available in grocery stores. I would agree with others that this could be a good gateway beer for people looking to get into Belgians, but I don't think it is as good as some others I've had. Thought the high carbonation hurt it a little bit, but still a nice beer that I'd have again.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold, ridiculously huge white head. Took almost ten minutes to get the head to settle enough. Aroma of yeast, bread and touch of banana and spice. Little sweet followed by funky Belgian yeast finish. Little lingering bitterness. A very solid Belgian golden, but just not really my thing.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,949 ratings.
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