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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 JosiahS
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Produced a fizzy white head, 1/2 finger but it seems to be sticking around nicely. Color is straw yellow, very clear with noticeable carbonation bubbles floating to the surface.

Aroma is of bubblegum, coriander, pepper, lemon rind, yeast and a light fruit, maybe pear and the faintest smell of banana. Slightly dry as well.

The mouthfeel is light and delicate with medium carbonation but a bit harsh going down.

Bubblegum carries over from the aroma, along with coriander and a dryness that reminds me of wine. Tart grape is definitely present and followed throughout the pallete. Finishes tart, slightly sweet, bitter and faintly harsh yet clean with little to no lingering flavor except the occasional bubblegum and tart apple. The flavors marry much better as it warms to room temperature, easing the bit of harshness to a muted state.

It's dry. leaves me wanting more to quench my thirst yet no amount satisfies. This is a style of beer that i can respect but don't favor all that much.

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Photo of Takahiro
3.28/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 750ml bottle into my Duvel Tulip glass
it's been years since I tasted it before.
This is the first Duvel after I got into drinking Belgian style beers.

Looks straw light-pale color, very clear.
fluffy 1.5" white foam that lasts a while
bubble size varies

smellls sweet fruit up front. I also pick up lager-like characteristics in the back ground. smell is "rounded" sweetness (not sharp), and some yogurt (i pick this one up in saison I recently brewed).

taste fruity. Some sweetness, which is different from maltiness/body. as a matter of fact, the body is fairly light. there's some soury yogurty (rounded) flavor, which I tend to pick up from strong Belgian beers. May be some "wheaty" characteristics, i don't know.

I notice that some of the sweetness comes from alcohol, which I feel very well in the after taste.

this one leans towards hoppiness, which seem to intermingle with the alcohol in the after taste.

it's drinkable, but not as good as I thought it would be.
may be related to "bad" handling before it got to my mouth.

will try again.

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

Finally had this. I think I prefer Russian Rivers 'golden ale' which is called 'Damnation' and it compares nicely to this one. The duvel is VERY SMOOTH espeically considering the high ABV. Its not really complicated. Very easy to drink which is impressive considering its over 8%. Not one of my top 10 beers because its a little to boring especially for a potent brew.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into my Duvel tulip, as is only right.

About time I actually reviewed this beer, so here goes-- Pours a pale straw colored golden with tones of carbonation. Huge fluffy white head climbed 4 fingers, to the top of the glass. The head is very thick and sticky, leaving giant chunks of lace everywhere it travels.

This smells a little like apple juice, with some sweet malts and a light floral hop note. There is also that unmistakable Belgian yeast smell too... The sweet malts and floral hop hit first on the tastebuds, but give way to the dry, slightly funky, little spicy, and completely delicious yeast notes. There is a crisp clean finish to this beer that reminds me of a fresh apple... This is quite refreshing and easy to drink with its fairly light body and ample carbonation. This one could pack a punch with 8.5% ABV, and it hides that alcohol so well, you would never see it coming.

This is the measuring bar with which all other Belgian strong pale ales and golden ales try to compete. And it is highly regarded with good reason. It is quite delicious, and a feat of excellence to balance a beer so nicely with that high an ABV.

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Photo of alli4051
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into Duvel tulip.

Pours a light, pure golden color. Produces a foamy white head that never completely dissipates and leaves lots of lacing. Smell is the quintessential Belgian yeast tones. Taste is again yeasty and finishes with some fruity notes. As it warms flavors become more pronounced and even more appealing. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Drinkability is superb with this one. I was actually surprised to find the abv clocked in at 8.5%. Ive been growing a distaste for Belgian styles; however, this experience has me completely rethinking the style entirely, that's how good it is.

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Photo of ROCKETMAN998
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Best before Jan 2011

Pours a bright golden almost pilsner like color, semi cloudy with a humongous head that dissipates quickly to an 1/8 inch layer. Good streaky lacing

Smell is yeasty, slightly sweet and fruity. can smell a bit of alcohol

Sweet malty flavors introduce the taste well with a bit of sour apple before a touch of bitter hops round it out and linger for bit. Very well balanced and delicious hiding the alcohol well.

Mouthfeel is light and inviting, highly carbonated and smooth. Has a clean, dry somewhat crisp finish.

Drinkability is very high even with the 8.5 ABV. Must be careful. Good summertime beer.

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Photo of xylophonica
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel glass.

A - Dark, golden amber colour. Some sediment floating around with lots of bubbles. Thick head with thick lacing developing. A mountain of froth would be an understatement.

S - Sweet mild scent. Hints of banana and mango with some vanilla thrown in. Smells somewhat like a mild wheat beer. Maybe a bit of bubblegum as well.

T - Sweet. A bit of spicy banana with some vanilla. Aftertaste is slightly smoother than the early bitterness would suggest - almost herbal in nature.

M - More bitter than I'd expected. Bitey, with a lot of carbonation present. Nothing special.

D - Not a bad beer but not something I'd want to drink over and over again. Carbonation actually makes it a bit gassy so might be an issue to drink more than a couple. Herbal flavours become more obvious as you drink which is good but then so does the alcohol content which is not so good.

I first drank this beer a few months ago and wasn't really impressed. However I thought I'd give it another go for the sake of the positive reviews it's had here (and the fantastic glass!) Once again I don't think it lives up to the hype. Personal preference in this style of beer would be Kwak over this anyday.

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Photo of uconnroller
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky yellow color. Has a very large head at first, give it a minute and it will go away, but continues to have a transient lace head retention. You should pour this beer slowly with the glass angled.

Smells yeasty with a mixture of bananas, citrus hops, and apple. Definitely a Belgium.

Tastes is not as strong as it smells.

A surprisingly light body for such a murky looking beer. There was a lot of carbonation. Drink up before the carbonation disappears.
Very smooth beer, very easy to drink.

A good Belgian beer.

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

330 mL bottle. Best by 09/2012.

Pours clear golden yellow with thick, white, fluffy head. Lots of active carbonation. The picture perfect Belgian ale pour as expected.

Aroma is dominated mostly by spicy, floral and slightly sour Belgian yeast notes. Also some sweeter notes of bready malt and wheat.

Sweet malty flavor notes with bits of apple or other fruit and a very slight bubblegum. Bready with a touch of caramel perhaps. Floral yeast notes linger throughout.

Silky carbonation, light to medium body. Overall a nice example of Belgian beer; A great showcase of the various flavors and aromas a good Belgian yeast offers.

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

330ml bottle poured into tulip glass. Best before date: May 2012

Pours a brilliant clear golden color right up to the bottom, when the yeast is introduced to the glass, adding a slight haze. The tiniest of bubbles work their way up the glass to greet the larger than lift white head.

Sweet fruity accents greet the nose, hinting at apples and complimented by a yeasty spiciness unlike any other.

First taste is a whole boat load of flavors on the palate. Lots of sweetness from the malt but well balanced by a slightly earthy character before the spice makes it way through. Peppery and clove-like spice make a strong showing before another round of a candy sweetness lead you to the finish. Noble hops contribute a musty herbal note to this finish, helping round out the beer. Medicinal phenols and warming alcohol notes may be a bit too much but they don't take that much away from the beer.

With so much going on at 8.5% abv, this has a surprisingly lighter feel than one would expect. Quite a strong carbonation seems to be a bit too much. Overall Duvel sets a high standard for the style and certainly one that shouldn't be missed.

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Photo of jpittman80
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
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 +6.8%
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 +10.1%
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 +6.1%
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 -0.9%
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 -5.9%
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 +1.9%
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 +5.9%
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 +14.8%
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 +11.8%
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 -12.5%
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 +4%
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 +12.5%
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 +11.8%
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 -4.5%
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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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,009 ratings
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