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 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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Photo of rawthar
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy, diluted pale sunbeam yellow with a white merengue of thick head

S- Hints of caramel over ripe dark fermenting fruits, some pepper, maybe a bit of coriander, and lots of Belgian yeast

T- Bready, nutty, flavors follow the nose, a bit of phenol, a tart and pilsy finish

M- Smooth carbonation, silky body

D- Goes down easy, inoffensive

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow, very fizzy and carbonated, similar to apple juice in appearance and aroma.

Taste, very fruity, must be the yeast, but lacking hop character, and is extremely hot on the alcohol. Tastes like it might be 18 rather than 8%. More apple downward bottle. Can't really say this one was enjoyable, but this kind of thing has never really been my style. Next time I score a bottle on a whim, I'm gonna age it. I like big extreme beers, but this just tastes like a macro as if its a boilermaker (i.e. a shot of alcohol in the beer).

Too expensive and rough to get through to rate any better on the drinkability scale.

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Photo of cakirkl
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip, nearly a 4 finger head! A light golden color; a little too light might be confused for a dark adj. lager. That head is sticking around for some time; it's a bright white, thick but also fluffy. The lacing left is thick rings from every sip; it makes up for the slightly light coloring. It is begging to get marked down for the light coloring which slightly disturbs me, but 4.5 gets the nod.

S - The head is so big I can't stick my nose into the glass. Gives off a light pear, brown sugar, sweet smell. Also getting some golden fruit, bananas, and a slight bit of cloves. Smells good!

T - Finally the head has reduced itself to about 2.5 fingers, I'll try it now. I had this beer right as I began drinking craft beer, and I thought, this beer doesn't have much on it. My palate is a bit more developed now, I must say, I'm floored by this. It's nearly a delicate beer, but oh so good! Getting a slight mix of everything from the nose, a bit less pear, and ever so slight alcohol which holds the beer together. There is no one dominant flavor, just a swirling mix of wonderful-ness. I wish something would stand out to me, but it doesn't, which is what keeps it from a 5; though it is very much flirting with perfection.

M - Also something I thought of right when I had the first sip. Superb! Everything works together nicely, and the alcohol on the back end of the tongue keeps this beer from going a little bit light, perfection.

D - I must say, the 8.5% is masked quite well. But as it warms up a bit, it is slowly becoming a bit more boozy. That's just nitpicking, but I'm enjoying it thoroughly as my nightcap. Sits around a 4.25 but I can't justify a 4 but can justify a 4.5.

Overall: This is a wonderful beer to try. If you haven't, do it.

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Photo of hawks10
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip, best before March 2011, bottled March 2008??

Pours a golden pale orange with just a touch of haze. Tons of fluffy and pillowy white head erupts and sticks around forever, leaving chunks of lacing behind...

Spicy and malty. Bananas and cloves with a strong Belgian yeast aroma...

Fruity and thick, bready malts with a bit of yeasty spice. Balanced and crisp, full flavored but light...

Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation, slightly drying with a bit of a lingering alcohol burn...

It's Duvel, we pretty much all know what to expect, good beer, but not something I am ever salivating over...

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Photo of johnwarne
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer haiku for you:

"Strong pale ale Duvel,
You make others turn their tail.
A classic Belgian."

Readily available, and yet never fails to disappoint. This is a classic representative of the country, and you will not ever have remorse about sampling one [or two] of these. Do not underestimate the kick: seems stronger than 8.5%.


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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to a Duvel tulip ... of course.

A - Pale yellow in colour with a lot of thick, bubbly white head and also a lot of visible carbonation.

S - Some light bitter hops up front with bready malts. Typical nose for a Beldian Pale Ale.

T - Some bitter hops up front and sweet bready malts: well balanced. An ever-so-slight spice taste with some bitterness in the finish.

M - Light body, heavily carbonated.

D - A solid beer. I am happy that I bought this but would not seek it out in the future.

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Photo of jlapennas
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Fruity with a bit of Pils malt in the background. Fruit aromas remind me of peaches and orange. No hops detected. There is a sweet creamy note to the aroma, the overall effect almost reminds me of a orange creamsicle. Fairly subtle alcohol in the background.

Appearance: Extremely clear straw gold. Beautiful billowing head that never fades much. Classic Duvel appearance.

Flavor: Fruity notes and crisp carbonation dominate at first leading into some malty sweetness and a bitter dry finish. Finishes with a bit of warming alcohol but pretty smooth considering it's such a big beer. As in the aroma, the esters are not the same as I remember from past bottles. I'm getting a lot of flavors that remind me more of Maredsous beers, not the Duvel of my memory/imagination.

Mouthfeel: Very highly carbonated and dry. Refreshing when cold. Great.

Overall: I've experienced a fair amount of inconsistency in this beer over the last couple years and this particular one adds to the puzzle. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it but it's not the same or as good as some other bottles I've had. As mentioned above, reminds me very much of Maredsous in it's yeast character and it also seems a bit sweeter than I remember. Still quite enjoyable and a style all it's own.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A - Hazy golden, the color of straw. Huge pillowy four-finger head that takes its time to recede to a thin cap with big chunks of foam hanging around. Lots of patchy lacing and rings around the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S - Lots of candied fruits, brown sugar, and maybe just a hint of pineapple. While it's light, it's definitely a Belgian ale.

T - This is definitely a better beer at cellar temps. Fridge temps kill the subtlety. Apricot, plum, and figs dominate. Dark sugar and a little malt.

M - You can't review this beer without talking about the carbonation, and those tiny bubbles are definitely one of the best points of this beer. Very champagne-like, and it makes this one of the best-feeling beers on the planet. This is one of the reasons people keep coming back to this one over and over.

D - While it says 8.5%, it certainly doesn't feel like it. Very light and fresh tasting, and I feel like I could drink a case of it without any issue.

Overall - This is THE benchmark for the style, and it shows. This is the beer that others (of the style) strive to reproduce. The absolute best thing I can say about it is that even with the incredible options that I have here in California, I still buy a bottle of this almost every week. Outstanding.

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

I think everyone in here knows Duvel. Well I sure hope so!
This is a classical beer.
Served in a authentic Duvel Glass from a bottle, the appearance is great, a nice golden color toped with a thick creamy like foam. This is my favorite part of this beer.

Then the smell is dominated with a bit of bananas, apricots, a little mineral side as well like limestone.

The taste is nicely balanced between acidity and bitterness, a bit of cereal sweetness, nice powerfull and just right
the carbonation is creamy and velvety. The after taste is a bitt on the alcohol side.

Great beer, great history, great bargain!!!!

Cheers lads

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Photo of appenzeller
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is just beautiful. Huge, frothy lingering head. Color is Duvel gold.

This beer smells of cider, flowers, beautiful nose that is slightly pungent but not overpowering.

Taste. Ah, it gets even better. Malts not easiy discernible, sweetness of apple, some acidity tasting of lemon or lime, beautifully balanced with hops. The high ABV of this beer is barely discernible, no wonder it's named "Duvel."

What can you say? Sometimes the hype is justified. First tried this as a poor college kid wandering Europe, not sure how I got my hands on it then but it was a revelation. This beer is the equivalent of a Bordeaux first-growth, a Chateau Margaux of the beer world. In other words, one of the world's great beers. And you can try it for the price of a sandwich.

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Photo of seh410
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The beer itself is a cloudy opaque golden hue. It's topped by a thick, foamy, lacy white head - its so fluffy and white that it looks like meringue, like a beer baked Alaska. The thick head lingers, almost like foam on a cappuccino. It leaves lace on the sides of the glass and floats on the middle like melted whipped cream. It's fantastic looking.

Aroma: You can definitely smell the high alcohol volume → it's gives off a hint of sticky sweetness in the background. On second whiff, it smells thick almost... it has a very rich aroma with hints of banana (?) and citrusy spice

Taste: This is fantastic. Jumped to the top of my list after the first sip. It tastes full and rich and creamy but yet very light and refreshing. It warms in the mouth (that's the high alcohol content showing itself) and tastes of yeast with hints of fruit. SO good.

Mouthfeel: So creamy but also light and fresh. It feels good going down for sure.

Drinkability: Absolutely. I could easily polish off a couple of these (not that I'd want to or should with that 8.5% ABV). I've never come across a beer with this high volume that drinks so well.

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Photo of Daniell
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: forgetting how generous Duvel's head is I overpour, resulting in too much head. Colour is actually very pretty. At first I think hoegaarden but then I realize it's darker than that and kind of more cloudy, especially when it's help up to light and it's kind of golden. The head is excellent too despite my overpour. It just sticks around. And the lacing. It stays there. It just sticks to the glass like a bunch of clouds. This has to be a 5.

S: predominantly citrus. Candied cumquats perhaps? Something herbal/medicinal in there too. Trying another approach after drinking a bit, I'm thinking sour lemons with some dust. Or maybe orange marmalade or even lemonade. Later after eating some beef bake I get some really amazing juicy pineapple. Almost like putting your nose up to a ripe pineapple in a store to check if it is indeed fresh. It even carries some of the circumstantial aromas you get in that sort of scenario, if you know what I mean. Kind of like the earthiness and nuttiness and even the sulfur and sweetness of the pineapple. I also almost get the rubberiness of Orval in there. 5

T: reminds me a bit of Orval but without the bandaids I so dislike. Tropical fruits, sulfur, herbs, bitters. I like the way you gulp it down and it finishes on the bitters, which linger around. They're kind of mild and very balanced though so you end up with a very "wholesome" taste in the mouth afterwards. I think this aspect of the beer is excellent. Later on I also get pineapple in the taste. 5

M: Not that carbonated but I think I released the carbonation earlier. It's certainly not a problem for me. Might revise when I next have it (which should be very soon) 4.5

D: the only thing which would prevent me having about 8 of these is desire to preserve my liver and feeling bad about not appreciating the complexities of the beer as I get drunker and drunker (oh, and the price). 5

I had this one after delirium tremens which is supposedly in the same style (I think they are worlds apart). I did find Duvel markedly better than that beer, particularly as it seemed to keep on giving so that may have influenced my ratings. Definitely a world-class beer though and I will make sure to buy it a bit more often and try the bomber version.

Edit: I recently had it while out and was less blown away by it. Oh well, next time I get the chance to review it I will do so and see if I want to change any scores.

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

Poured from an 11.2-oz. bottle into my Duvel snifter.

Appearance: Clear, light golden with a two-and-a-half-finger white head. Amazing retention and lacing. And most interestingly, there's this stream of bubbles constantly rising up from the center of the bottom of the glass. It's like an underwater volcano! I've never seen that in any other beer.

Smell: That archetypical Belgian yeasty smell. Fruity tones, as well.

Taste: Wow, now this is interesting. I'm not sure what to make of this. It tastes dry, kind of bitter, but it's not the hoppy bitterness I'm used to. Alcohol is present, that's for sure, making this a 'warm' beer going down. The fruitiness I detected in the smell is nowhere in the taste. In fact, this is probably the least sweet Belgian-type beer I've ever had. Actually, it's spicy in a slightly lemony way. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Dry, light-medium body.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sipper. It's too complex to just gulp down. It demands the drinker to take his time and try to pick everything apart. I enjoy doing that, so this is a definite winner.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a light yellow color with a white head. The aroma is pilsner malt with some lemon citrus and grassy and spicy hops. The flavor is lemon and oranges with low to medium bitterness, spicy hops and pilsner malt. The beer is very dry. Medium to high carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel poured a yellow color, with a very good sized head. It smelt like typical beer, but strong. It had a very strong hops, and overall beer tast. It was easy to drink, and you would want another afterwards. Overall a very good beer, one that you will never get sick of.

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

What a perfect beer for a pounding headache.

Huge, billowy head that clumps together and sticks to the glass like white caps left behind on the shore on a windy day. Poured in a crisp, clear pale moonlight yellow until I soiled it with the lees, because I do love my x-tra yeast. Juicy and cloudy it did become.

The scent is powerful and provocative. Clove-ish, spicy yeast and a warming, rounded phenolic aroma that assures you pleasure will be had.

When it touches your lips and then your tongue and the inside of your mouth, the warm spiciness boldly propagates. A touch of mellow peachy fruitiness ferries the elixir down your throat. A sense of well-being springs up from the depths while an aftershock of sedation follows soon after.

Yeah, this is good. Maybe not earth-shattering, but it's expertly balanced and a steal at $3.99!

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

Pours a crisp, light golden color, with a huge, fluffy white head. Aromas of Belgian yeast, apples, pears. On the palate, this one is very complex, light and refreshing, yet strong and flavorful at the same time. Some peppery spiciness, more apples/pears and some sweet malt. It's easy to see why this one spawned a style of its own.

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

12oz bottle into a Tremens tulip

a- pours a pale gold with a massive, airy pure white head. ridiculous head retention, bubbles continuously rising fueling the white fluffy mass. the head on this beer is a beautiful thing.

s- heavy floral, almost perfumy hop presence. very nice yeast esters that are reminescent of pears. spicy, peppery with a hint of alcohol

t- a surpising high amount of bitterness balances the soft pale malts. the fruity esters are much more tame than in the aroma. a bit of sweetness leads into a dry finish with the slightest hint of alcohol.

m- very high carbonation level with a light-medium body. very smooth with very little alchohol presence.

d- one of those dangerously drinkable beers. smooth ass hell with an 8.5abv that is no where to be found. not to mention it's very tasty.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iconic, reliable, and tasty Belgium Golden Ale. A standard...

Presentation: 330 ml brow capped bottle. White background label with name of the brew in large fonts, seal and signature alongside perfunctory legal notes. Back label offers a brief narrative of ingredients, history, serving, storing, and socializing instructions. Notes best by date (08 2012), and shows Alc. by Vol. (8.5%) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Lightly hazy straw to pale gold pour with a nice frothy head, good retention, and nice lacing with a consistent surface memory.

S - Spicy and yeasty nose, with a light sweet touch. Feels very fresh...

T - Rich fruity and spicy yeast sense, fresh again, with a light tart touch, almost apple tartness.

M - Light body with generous carbonation and a crisp finish.

D - Too quaffable... Alcohol is integrated beautifully, and for something that goes down with such ease it is important not to forget that this is a 8.5% brew.

Notes: For my liking it is nothing spectacular, but I think it has to do more so with my feel towards Belgian Strong Pale Ales for which I am not particularly passionate. Having said that this remains top quality and reliable, and I have never seen a complaint trying to reach my lips when having this one.

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