Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,064 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: 8,064 |  Reviews: 2,870
Photo of Kala1073
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I say about this beer that has not already been said. This is a staple in my refrigerator. It pours a golden color with a head so foamy it looks like clouds dancing on a field of golden sand. Bubbles rise from the bottom to the top until the end. The smell and taste are nearly identical and are both very enjoyable. I pretty much enjoy everything there is about this beer and would recommend anyone and everyone to give it a shot!

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale straw yellow with a finger of bubbly white head that left great sticky lacing on the glass.

S: lite belgian yeast aroma with slight citrus and spice notes that also had faint booze notes.

T: apples, belgian yeast, and cloves strike first on the palate with apices and citrus accents. It also had some booze punching through the flavor.

M: duvel was light bodied with a good amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but citrusy crisp finish.

D: duvel drank very good and has been a go to beer when there is not a big variety of beer at certain liquor stores but has always been a tasty beer for me.

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

Chilled bottle poured into a glass. I decided to revisit this one.

A: Even a careful pour into the cavernous Duvel tulip produces four fingers of fluffy, eggshell white head. Retention is outstanding; the foam recedes slowly and collapses in clumps, leaving tons of sticky lace down the glass. The body itself is a pale straw color, perfectly clear, with active effervescence. This is what the 5.0 is made for.

S: Green apples, lemon zest, grass, spice (pepper or clove). The last time I had Duvel, largadeer kicked it over the floor and spilled some on himself, smelling like yeast. The aroma brings back memories.

T: Hops for sure: the flavor brings to mind a Noble pilsner. Grassy, lemon, leafy presence that supplements pale malt. Green apple and pear are noticeable, and there's a light spiciness (clove) in the finish. The aftertaste evokes hints of tea and earth. I gather this is a pretty fresh bottle.

M: Very crisp, giving the impression of being light-bodied. Well carbonated and it massages the tongue.

D: An outstanding beer. The gift packs with the glass are quite a good deal, too.

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Photo of Lolli1315
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a good 2 finger pillowy white head that holds great along with plenty of lacing all over the glass. A pale golden color with little hazyness, incredible looking beer.

S- A bit of fruitiness that that is complimented by the sweet malt that is quickly followed by a kick of powerful slightly spicy yeast.

T- Starts off with the hint of fruity apple character that melds into the Belgium yeast character and finally into a sharp spicy yeast characteristics. A warming alcohol sensation helps to finish the beer as the yeast characteristics linger.

M- Medium mouthfeel with a very pleasant amount of carbonation as the beer finishes dry in the mouth.

D- Great beer, and a sipper to drink over a period. Don't know if I would want to put another one down though.

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Photo of mfreire212
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a big Ommegang fan, so I figured I might as well try the flagship beer of the fairly new parent company.

Served from the fridge, into a standard pint glass (OK, so I was too lazy to retrieve better glassware on the top shelf)

A: Impressive right out of the gate. Golden yellow, tight, white head that hung around for a bit. Nice.

S: Spicy, with a hint of the alcohol beneath the surface.

T: Again, the best description is a pepper/spicy flavor up front, followed by a mellowing, alcohol burn.

M: A bit sharp at first, but not too thin and it has a nice finish.

D: I like this offering, but it does have a bit of a kick. Don't see me drinking these all night, mind you, but very enjoyable after dinner, or by the pool.

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Photo of association330
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml "cage n' cork" bottle. Best before: Dec. 2012

A - Pours as golden and effervescent as advertised, with a fluffy white head that drops to a thick cap with sticky lace.

S - Grainy pils malt, Belgian yeast, citrus peel, apple, spicy phenols, perfumy hops, slight booze. An overall balance of sweet and sour. Something great is coming up, you can tell.

T - Really follows the nose. Great balance of all the spicy/malty/hoppy/boozy characters. Gently peppery alcohol and phenols linger at the back of the throat after the swallow.

M - Highly carbonated, which lends a light, refreshing mouthfeel. Slick, with no astringency. Some alcohol warmth, but it's well-controlled.

D - Devilish. I was never a big fan of Belgian brews until I started trying the ones that weren't Trappist ales, and Duvel is a whole 'nother ballgame. If someone claims that Belgians are too sweet and candy-like, tell them to try Duvel.

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

Served in a brandy snifter from a 330 ml bottle.

A - Golden yellow, nice head retained well with splotchy lacing as it receded. Effervescence persists throughout - like champagne.

S - Apple

T - As the appearance would suggest, a light, effervescent, smooth, fruity taste.

M - Very pleasant. Leaves a certain tartness that lingers in the back of the throat.

D - Except for the high alcohol content, I could easily drink another. The perfect beer for a hot summer afternoon - as long as you don't have to drive anywhere.

Notes: Best before: 11 2012,
L1921 0643

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

Pours a beautiful light gold with a one of a kind, thick and frothy white head, most of which will be at the end of your glass upon completion. A decent aroma, light wheat, apple and alcohol notes. The taste is exceptional. Very crisp and refreshing. Lemon, wheat, grain and apple combine perfectly. Semi sweet up front followed up by a bit of bitter hops and dryness to end. Highly carbonated, but this adds to the crisp nature of the beer.

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

From notes:

NB: My bottle is labeled as "Duvel - Belgian Golden Ale" rather than a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

A: Light blonde. Translucent. Whispy head.

S: Fruity.

T: Not complex but delicious. Slight bitter in aftertaste. Slight bitter in aftertaste.

M: Not quite creamy. Perhaps fluffy. Reminiscent in looks and mouthfeel to champagne.

D: Extremely. Hard to put down.

O: A buy again; a recommend. Pricey, but it is high in alcohol. {11.2 oz was ~$3.50} Not as heavy and more carbonated than other golden ales.

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Photo of tigg924
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay glass

Appearance: bright caution light yellow, cloudy, one inch head, high carbonation

Smell: hay and honey

Taste: hay, honey, some funk, and a good dose of apple

Mouthfeel: funky, smooth, light body with high carbonation

Drinkability: A classic light and funky Belgian beer that hides the alcohol well. I could have several of these. Very pleasant to drink and complex. One of the best in the style and worth the money, I could have several.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear pale gold color with a HUGE 1.5 to 2 inch head that fades to about 1 inch. Super perfect pillowy head and nice ring lacing. Probably the best head I have seen on a beer thus far in my beer drinking adventure.

S - Nice spices, peppercorns, subtle fruits, sweet malt.

T - Mainly sweet malts, very little bitterness, mild spices. Some subtle apple fruit taste shows through. A dry champagne like essence is present as well.

M - Perfect amount of carbonation made for small bubbles rising in my glass over the life span of this beer (which wasn't very long). Dry and crisp like champagne.

D - This is one of the best beers I have ever had. I have tried other beers in this same style but this is by far the best of the bunch. A remarkable beer that I will come back to for life.

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Photo of nova009
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a bottle into a Duvel tulip

A- pours a clear golden yellow, a nice foamy white head that retains well

S- reminds me of a champagne, tart apple, spice and yeast

T- great taste, almost like a dry champagne, apple and spices

M- light and smooth, nice bubbly carbonation, you really don't want to stop drinking this one

D- fantastic, I could drink these all the time

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Photo of axeman9182
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 mL bottle poured into its namesake tulip.

The beer pours a radiant straw yellow, with a massive, frothy white cap. The head leaves tons of lacing, and ten minutes after the fact it's still 2+ fingers high. Damn impressive. The nose is of pale malt sweetness and spicy flavors from the yeast, and it's very good but it's not quite worthy of a perfect score. Each sip leads off with some juicy sweetness, apples and pears. A flash of white pepper-led spicy flavors follows, before closing with an aggressive hop bite. Served cold Duvel is quite crisp, but as it warms up the mouthfeel becomes a bit more chewy and lets the various flavors linger around a little bit longer. Either way, it's delicious, and the high yet creamy carbonation ties everything together nicely. Every part of this beer fits together and integrated itself so nicely that Duvel is a pleasure to drink, my biggest challenge was keeping some in the glass long enough to type up this review.

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Photo of jporf911
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter. Consumed on an empty stomach to ensure full appreciation.

Appearance- Pours with a wonderfully frothy, active two-finger head that lasts a long time. Lots of bubbles rising to the to top; small amount of yeast evident in the glass. Strong, clear golden color that is very reminiscent of white wine.

Smell- Again, very reminiscent of white wine. Crisp apple, mild spice, and a bit of a bite of yeast.

Taste- Starts off with a hit of yeast, followed by a slightly juicy apple taste and fruity malt, and finishes with a wonderfully bitter bit of hops. The alcohol is definitely evident but not unpleasant. The hint of white wine similarity is in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel- So crisp and creamy that it practically begs to not be put down. Trust me, it's hard putting down long enough to write this. The bubbly carbonation tingles the back of the throat.

Drinkability- It's delicious, and I feel honored to have tried one of the best beers in the world; however, it's not something I'd make a session out of. One or two are quite satisfying enough.

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

Poured into a branded chalice. It looks pretty much exactly like the picture on the bottle. Head goes all the way up to the top of the glass. Once it dissipates some, it leaves tons of lacing and has a nice layer of head left on top of the beer. It smells of Belgian yeast and a nice fruity smell almost of apple juice. Some hop bitterness in the flavour to go along with the yeast flavour. Fairly smooth.

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

I've had this one so many times I'm surprised I haven't reviewed it. Poured from a 330ml bottle into, what else, a Duvel tulip, the glass adds a wonderful effect to the beer allowing it to showcase its four finger head and the tornado bubble gimmick doesn't hurt either. Smell is yeasty and spicy. Taste has tropical fruit up front followed by alcohol presence and a peppery spice character following. Mouthfeel is smooth but slightly watery with a semi-dry finish. Highly drinkable, not hard to finish. Always a staple for me.

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Photo of Surly87
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very pale light gold in color. Amazingly large foamy white head.

Nose is full of pear and apple notes and a good bit of yeast spiciness. A good deal of alcohol is evident in the nose as well.

The flavor is incredible, along the lines of the nose with pears and apple, a bit of spicy yeast and a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is excellent with strong carbonation, but a super smooth feeling in the mouth.

This beer is most definitely one that I'll be coming back to and I can see why it is held in such high regard.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I see this beer at the stores all the time and the reviews on here say it's one of the best representations of this particular style. It's really good but it isn't a gift from God as so many have said.

It pours a dark golden color with so damn much foam and carbonation it takes several tries to fully empty the bottle into my Perfect Pour glass. The aroma is fruity and floral and has citrus as well. When I took a gulp it had those characteristics but seemed to have a slightly stale feel to it, kinda hard to put into words. It was fantastically smooth and clean finishing. If it didn't have that odd twinge to the taste it would have received a five. The label says it is good for another two years, I don't know. I'm not sure if this is a repeat buy for almost five dollars a pop. Maybe I'll retry down the road.

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Photo of bigboybrewing
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle into my Duvel glass, a very strong golden color with a large white frothy head. The head lasted quite some time and all around the glass. Smells a little fruity, some spice. A good scent, not too strong. Tastes good, better as it gets warmer for sure. A nice fruity taste with the light bite a wine may have, a little malt and spice. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and easy to drink. Overall, I really enjoy this and would recommend to anyone. It was recommended to me and I love it. Out of a glass, let it sit a bit after being chilled.

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Photo of misinformed
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Best before 7/2012 bottle poured into a snifter.
A- Poured with the iconic 4-5 finger head that eventually dropped down to around 1-2, but was present until the end of the glass. Beer itself is pale, hazy, light gold.

S- Yeast, fruit/apple juice, clove and spice. Underwhelming.

T- Similar to the smell of course. Yeast and tart fruit. Some grain/dough and definite spice notes. Maybe I've been drinking too many wit beers lately, but clove stood out. Not a long finish at all. Fades very quickly. Overall well balanced, though.

M- Light to medium. I didn't notice anything worth jotting down on my notes.

D- High drinkability. Smooth and refreshing, but it lacks something that makes me want to drink it often. I've had a lot of other beers lately that seem to wish they were this one.

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

A: Poured into the Duvel glass that I got in a four pack of Duvel. Came for the glass, stayed for the beer. Pours a hazy straw colored gold, with an absolutely huge, booming head of billowy white dreams. One of the best beers I've seen, leaving behind good lacing.

S: Can pick up some spices and citrus, but overall underwhelming.

T: The taste makes up for the smell. Definitely don't drink it too cold. Crisp fruity taste, citrus, a munch of malt. The spices are rather subtle, but make the beer. Tiny bit of alcohol present as well.

M: Super smooth and creamy, not that boozy, very easy to put down.

D: Duvel is good, don't get me wrong, but the price to satisfaction ratio isn't that high. The glass, however, is incredible, and worth the purchase alone.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a hazy pale yellow with a two finger pure white head. Maintains nice lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of only subtle fruit. The flavor is of malt, fruit, and subtle alcohol. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this is an excellent brew. This was actually my first time trying it believe it or not... I am totally happy it is readily available in my area and that the one I bought came with 3 friends. I will be consuming his friends in the near future.

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Photo of carolinabeerguy
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet. Best before: 11 2012.

Appearance: Pours light golden color full of carbonation bubbles. Features a 2-3 finger white foamy head reminiscent of soap suds. Excellent head retention and lacing throughout.

Smell: Crisp carbonation and hoppy bitterness up front with a hint of sweetness. Middle has a hint of spice and lemon rind. Finish is mildly bitter.

Taste: Excellent blend of malt and dried fruits. Light hints of alcohol at the finish. Nice dried fruit aftertaste. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation up front. Fairly dry finish with just a small amount of alcohol burn.

Drinkability: High drinkability. The 8.5% ABV is masked well.

Overall: Very good beer that gets better as it warms up. I'm not quite as high on it as some other reviews I've read, but I would definitely recommend trying it.

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip that I convinced the restaurant owner to give me. ;-)

A- Clear light yellow body with massive >2 inch billowing soft fluffy head. This head is retained(though not at this size, through the duration of the experience. There's a small stream of carbonation coming from the center-bottom of the glass which also lasts all drink long. I almost cried.

S- Smells sweet and cidery, you know, like apples with a small touch of yeast.

T- The smells remain consistent with the taste, taste and smell are ditto.

M- Feels like champagne. There's a soft carbonation feel on the tongue, not prickly nor uncomfortable. No alcohol astringency. The 8.5% ABV is hidden well.

D- Don't stop.

If I can say this about any beer, it's this one: brewed masterfully. Practically perfect in every way.

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Photo of jhtipton
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a Mikasa Tulip glass just waiting for an opportunity to shake hands with a Duvel. Started with approx 3.5 inched of fluffy foam in the glass but no problem getting a sip through.It was a hazy pale yellow in the glass. I purchased this at the EMart in Seoul and it showed an expiration date of Nov 2012. Nice taste and mouthfeel. I did not get overtaken by the purported 8.5% ABV but maybe it will catch me later. A lttle fruity maybe pears and citrus. I am not great at identifying the flavours: I can just tell you if they don't taste right. I look forward to trying this again. For me, however, I could use more hoppiness. Cheers.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,064 ratings