Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

7,901 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: 7,901 |  Reviews: 2,818
Photo of elgiacomo
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dec 28, 2009

330ml bottle poured into Duvel glass. Yellow in color with a huge, frothy, rocky white head that seems to last forever. All sorts of sticky lacing, a very attractive beer.

Aroma is belgian yeast, and fruity, pears, green apples, some banana, some spice.

Flavor is fruity and yeasty with some spice, smooth going down, somewhat lively carbonation.

Not my favorite style, but still a very nice beer.

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an exceptional beer. It has a nice pale golden hue, that has a seductive glow when put to a light. Duvel has a very nice head, that is just as impressive as its color. The head doesn't stay too long, or too short. Nice lacing occurs, and leaves behind a spiraling foam covered glass edges. A taste of hops, strong flavor, with notes of citrus. The citrus element helps to create a smooth drink, with a crisp and refreshing finish, that lingers a grateful amount of flavor. Carbonated just right, which adds to its crisp taste, without taking away from the overall beer. This beer, has a good amount of AVB, so this really does hit you if you let it it. Also, this is a great beer to have in a Belgian Tulip glass, or in a bottle, but preferably from a glass. Duvel is also great on tap, or course, what beer isn't good on tap. I can go on, this beer was excellent. I recommend this beer, for both a beer selection/collection or to impress your friends.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - a beautiful pale translucent gold with a massive sticky 2 finger head with lacing like I've never seen that lasts forever and ever. I find the need to emphasize the craziness of this head. Pillowy and from out of this world. At smallest, it settles at one finger - and STICKY as hell. This is BEAUTIFUL!

S - Yeasty with considerable citrus and hops. A little bit of orange and much lemon rind. Unlike anything I've ever encountered. Strong, beautiful citrus and potent, honest hops.

T - Like nothing I've ever tasted. Heady and citrusy and the stickyness accompanies the swallow. I'm blown away by this brew and it's the third time I've had it - the best to date. I question whether there are many that can beat this! this is amazing!

M- Perfect - Hoppy, carbonated to the most ideal amount. Very carbonated and hoppy.

D - The most perfect beer I've encountered. Granted, though, you can't have 4 of 'em. Duvel is everything you want in a beer. You should experience it if you get the chance!

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Photo of MOB210SA
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice strong POP from the cork on this one. After having this glass for so long, finally poured into my Duvel glass.

Poured "unhurriedly" (and to not disturb the settlement until the end) amazing fluffy 2 fingers of pearl white luscious head. Maintains and hardly receeds, thick heavy blanket on top. A large amount of bubbles showering from the bottom of the glass. Does amazingly look light golden yellow "pilsner" like in color- but the color doesnt take away from the ale at all. Huge beautiful sticky lacing that clings and is pretty damn impressive. This beer just looks Alive and couldnt possibly look any better.

I great subtle dark fruitness with a nice amount spices to it that doesnt overwhelm. Smell really is balance nice. Can smell a sweet maltiness. Great fragrance to it, kind of stimulating to the senses. Smell just a beautiful bouquet of all the ingredients within.

The taste goes hand in hand with the smell and is just absolute liquid perfection. Was this brewed on Mt. Olympus? haha

The mouthfeel is perfect. Almost a champagne like bubbliness. Very highly carbonated and bubbles and tingles on the tongue in a great way. An awesome lingering on the tastebuds thereafter. Leaving you wanting more. Smooth and very enjoyable.

When you rate a beer you are comparing this offering to the actual specific style and your own personal taste. I think Duvel couldnt look, smell, taste, or possibly be any better. I would take this over a Delirium any day and this beer is a masterpiece in itself.

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Photo of scarfacecrowe
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the beer from a large pint bottle into a glass. Duvel has a somewhat hazy amber color with a thick snow white head that hangs on forever. Maybe it is because I am inexperienced but I cannot put my finger on the aromas coming off the beer, it definitely is not unpleasant. Wow! this beer tastes great and is well balanced but complex, not to grainy and not to hoppy, with a touch of carbonation. Also, the finish is very smooth, no hoppy or alcohol aftertaste just very very clean. This is the best beer I have ever tasted!! Drinkability is high but this is a beer you do not throw down like you would a Bud Light, but drink slowly and enjoy. Definitely a world class beer! Also, checkout the cool Duvel website.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic 330ml bottle poured in a Grimbergen chalice.

As mentioned by others, it's difficult to review such a "simple" and "popular" beer which is, at the same time, so fantastic.

A: Pours a pale yellow hazy color, nothing special. However, its head is impressively big (actually, huge), bubbled, creamy and persistent. Tons of lacings are left

S: Smell is a bless. Really. Spicy. Stingy. Citrus. Sweet grains. Special attention to the Belgian yeasts and citrus and grassy hops

T: Taste follows the nose. I mean, exceptional. Sweet grains, Belgian yeasts and hops, oh yeah, wonderful hops. In overall, a quite dry beer in the palate. The bitter aftertaste is just a must

M: Heavy creamy body. Huge carbonation. Excellent bitterness

O: The truth is that its taste is simply extraordinary: Delicious malt taste and very bitter end. Its mouthfeel and drinkability are just perfect to a beer with such a high ABV.
Therefore, IMHO this beer has a good reputation just because it deserves it...

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Photo of tzieser
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What else can be said about this beer that already has been said? not much, i'm afraid. it's a fantastic brew. extremely well balanced especially for the abv, easy to drink, phenomenal flavor, pretty easy to find, everything about this beer is just excellent. hey, it's one of the best beers for you (out of craft brews) at around 120 calories per serving. i actually liked duvel green (duvel draft) a bit better than white, but i would never pass up a classic duvel.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Duvel means devil. This is a great great beer.

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip (0.33L bottle with no date). Beer is hazy and yellow, forms a thick aggressive white head that slowly falls away leaving a complicated net of lacing all over the glass. Good head retention.

Sweet fruit, esters, some yeast, some alcohol, some wheat like aromas, smells amazing.

A little sweet, medium to low bodied. A slight wheaty aftertaste but its not disturbing. Nice fruit flavors. Drinkability insanely high. I love this beer. Mouthfeel has great connectivity and overall one of the best IMO. I love this beer.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale gold with an immense amount of lovely pillowy foam. Smells strongly of floral hops with a slight whiff of spicy yeast and a pear like sweetness. Tastes quite dry with hops up front and a medley of fruit undertones that fade in as it warms in your mouth. Crisp apple and pear, as well as some wine-like notes that are enhanced by the alcoholic warmth. Nice dry finish and a pleasant lingering bitterness on the tongue. Crisp and probably too drinkable for this high of an ABV. It is obvious why this beer has so many imitators.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Pours very light golden, with the infamous Duvel towering white head. Sediment floats about in a strange vapor-like form. Just the head by itself is more complex than most beers, sits on top the whole time, slowly getting all awesome and chunky looking and leaving good lacing. Smell is strong of yeast, lemon, pear. Not a fan of the pilsner malt used, I'm not really a fan of pils in general and gives it the scent a bit of a macro vibe. Tartness hits your mouth right away followed by many tastes, peppery Belgian yeast, apple, white grape, warming alcohol finish. Definitely alot of complexity here. Pretty good mouthfeel, but I have to knock it down to a 3.5. There is a little too much carbonation and alcohol presence for me, but I suppose that is understandable for the style. Feels very heavy too with a very dry finish. I like the complexity and I can understand why people love this beer, maybe I'm not a huge fan of the style. I had Duvel Draft (aka Duvel Green) and preferred that because of the toned down carbonation and alcohol taste.

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Photo of CaptMurdock
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 22 oz. bottle into a Victory tulip.

Look: This is one of the best looking pours I've ever had. A perfectly white fluffy head takes up almost half of my glass and laces in a spectacular way. I found myself accusing the label of lying because there is no way a bottle conditioned beer can look this clear. The amber hue is absolutely perfect!

Smell: The aroma was a bit livelier than I'm used to with this style. There was a warming sensation of sweetness and the slightest hint of citrus. Nothing overpowering but as you tip the glass the aroma certainly lets you know that it is there.

Taste: I'm really having a tough time with this because if I picked up this bottle without ever hearing all the praise I would absolutely be raving about it. Unfortunately I had always heard that Duvel was the Gold Standard for a Belgian Strong so I held of trying it for so long. Although it was a brilliantly crafted brew it really didn't change the way I looked at the style. Up front the huge head complimented the warmth of the alcohol perfectly. The warmth gave way to some hops and sweetness and the whole thing finished quite dry. These are all the things I look for in a Belgian Strong. Although Duvel did it well I'm not sure it was the best.

Feel: Great carbonation intertwined with the warming sensation of the alcohol really make the mouth feel exceptional. Thin yet heavy. Very well done.

Drinkability: I put a two glass limit here simply because of the ABV. I could see myself going through a few 22 oz if I had no where to be.

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Photo of Methodd
3.3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL bottle poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: Very light golden color. Huge, huge amounts of shock white fizzy head that turns into clumps of white foam. Huge clumpy lacing stick to the glass.

Smell: Nothing remarkable. Citrus and yeast.

Taste: Boozy. Citrus, pear and very yeasty.

Mouthfeel: As the head indicated it's heavly carbonated. Smooth swallow and little after taste.

Drinkability: Typical Belgian Strong. Not really sure what all the hype is about. I'm not a fan of the style but even so I don't see anything to write home about here.

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Photo of OnThenIn
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: I poured the Duvel into the Duvel glass and had a perfect pour, with the division between the foam and beer at around the middle of the Duvel symbol and the foam reaching the very top of the glass. This ment about four fingers of super fluffy white head that left the most incredible lacing. The color of the beer was a pale golden straw.

Smell: A little sweet with a tiny bit of floral hoppyness. There was also a slight banana and clove aroma. Aroma is this beers worst aspect due to how weak it appeared.

Taste: There was a huge spice flavor with a backing hop bitterness that finishes beautifully clean, crisp, and mildly sweet. There seems to be a bit of clove and banana, as there was in the aroma. It was dry. It is rather reminescent of a hefeweizen and saison put together.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation was to the point of prickly, which is not a personal preference, but it worked rather well in this beer. The body was medium to thin body, with the carbonation providing a great deal of body.

Drinkability: This beer is dangerous. I didn't really fall in love with the style or it after drinking it, but other than in the aroma I couldn't mark it down. I mean this is one of the most finely made beers I have ever or probably will ever have. You can not tell its 8.1% until you start feeling it and if the carbonation was a little lighter you would drink it like it was water. I really wish it was lower abv and cheaper so I could session it.

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Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear yellow with a medium bubbly white head, and very good lacing.

smell is of fruit (pear, apricot, some banana), spice, pepper, light wheat, and floral.

taste is of pear, a touch of peach, a little sour malt, a little sweetness in the back, and a few hops, end is smooth.

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Photo of ribby
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Maybe I don't get this style.

Appearance is exceptional. I have never poured a bottle-conditioned brew that is so clear. A lot of carbonation that bubbles up into a head that is tall, but delicate, almost meringue-like.

The smell is fresh and mildly hoppy, with a hint of vegetal character that is stronger in the taste. Maybe it is the nature of the hops, maybe its the alcohol, but it seems a bit off.

The carbonation and head give this an exceptional mouthfeel.

I think that I will try to retaste this one when I work my way through what the beer elves brought me.

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head is very abundant and thick. The nose is powerful fresh hops but some also reveal the apple and pear. Beer is cool but it still remains very powerful and sparkling, we also feel a slight tingling pleasant and characteristic of language. And despite the undeniable taste of alcohol mild and dry, it remains mild in flavor and thus easier to digest. Archetype International and mother of all Devil beers, this beer is always pleasant at a terrace.

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Photo of burnstar
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this many times but finally getting around to reviewing it. Pours a clear light gold with lots of visible carbonation. Huge persistent white head. Very nice earthy yeasty spicy smell. Light malt with fairly low sweetness. A hint of tartness. The main things here are earthy slightly phenolic yeastiness and lots of spiciness. Medium bodied and dry. Very easy to drink. Pretty much the prototypical Belgian strong pale and very good.

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Chalice

Appearance- Light Golden with a magnificent cotton froth white two fingered head. Phenomenal head retention and lacing.

Smell- Banana, citrus, and spicy yeast notes assault the olfactory senses.

Taste- Hint of alcohol on top of a heavy pilsner flavour that is in perfect symmetry to the bitterness of the hops. The complexity of this beer is overwhelming and seemingly changes in character as I work my way down the bottle. The yeast, while not overwhelmingly present in its spicy character, adds another layer upon this multifaceted beverage. Together the delicate yeast character, malt flavour, and subtle alcohol presence works in concert to create a beer masterpiece.

Mouthfeel- Holy Bible Batman! The smooth, carbonation, and clean crispness of this beer is absolutely devastating creating an inexorable force that makes you pick up the glass for more of it's aesthetic perfection.

Drinkability- If I did not have a limited supply of this beer I could not stop because of it's sheer drinkability. It is absolutely absurd that a beer this complete, complex (in all aspects of the senses) yet balanced could be created! Astounding!

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Photo of lamergod
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serve from a bottle to a Wine glass as it's the closest thing I have to a tulip glass
A-Fabulous!The greatest beer I've ever seen .Very thick head,probably around 4 fingers thick,murky gold because of the unfiltered yeast left in the drink

S-This is tricky .Maybe I'm still not at that level to understand smell but I got some slight banana smell,some hops

T-Fabulous down the throat!Smooth .Just like smell,some bananas but this time some apples

Highly drinkable!Smooth down the throat,no taste of alcohol but you can feel the burn due to the high ABV .
I'm still amazed how they hid the alcohol smell so well even though the ABV is so high

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There is a reason I keep 8+ bottles at all times and have a stash of matching Duvel glasses. This is the standard by which all Belgian strong golden ales are measured. I only rated the beer this highly because nothing else I have tasted comes close.

The color is perfectly golden with a thick mousse, you could put it on pie instead of whipped cream it's so thick! When it finally fades it leaves a gorgeous lace. Once the beer warms a touch, it begins to express itself magically. The nose is rich with the sourness that all Belgian golden ales seem to have (from their yeast I bet!), also are hints of banana, clove, hay, and hints of white pepper and other spices. The palate explodes with banana, white fruits, spice, and grass. Very rich. The texture is rich with great balance of flavor, alcohol, and bitterness. So rich yet so smooth, this beer is perfect.


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Photo of thecarster1
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- 11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter, one and a half fingers of white bubbly head that fades very slowly to a thin layer of creamy lace that sticks around, loads of carbonation, bright straw yellow coloring, also i'm loving the shape of the stubby bottle.

s- first off i'm getting loads of belgian yeast, some banana, peppery, sweetness, grass.

t- nice yeast, ripe banana, tart apple - maybe more like pear, some fresh pineapple as is warms, dry finish with some sharp bitterness, noble hops, suprisingly refreshing, some slightly alcoholic esters, the flavor really opens up as it warms, it sweetens and smoothes out, then in the next sip i think it gets more peppery and bitter. this is one complex brew.. a devil if you will..

m- very smooth then rocky and highly carbonated - light in the mouth but substantial at the same time - crazy but i'm liking it.

d- at long last, the highly regarded duvel. not what i was expecting, but i really am enjoying it, for me this isn't an everyday drinking beer, but i can see myself having this again, maybe for say thanksgiving dinner, i think this would pair well with turkey and gravy. very nice

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Photo of duffmanrob
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ive had this several times, but im finally getting around to reviewing it.

This is one of my favorite beers.

Poured out of a bottle into a duvel glass.

A. a crisp golden color with a very big head. The head stayed a good size until the end.

S. the smell up front was like a lager, very crisp. smelled yeast, bread, and a faint hop smell. very well balanced.

T. smooth taste, not too overpowering, bready taste, but with a small citrusy hop flavor.

M. awesome. a very crisp feel. the carbonation was perfect. didnt linger, and was very refreshing.

D. one of the most drinkable beers ever! over 8% so you have to be careful because i could drink it all day.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received the Duvel gift set with glass for Christmas-

A: pours a hazy yellow with a huge foamy head- probably 5 fingers. Lots of retention. Huge pieces of foam stick to the sides as the beer goes down

S: spicy yeast character on the front of the nose with some bread grain and lemon zest

T: the tartness from the citrus quality comes through strong on the front of the palate and follows with the lots of Belgian yeast. The flavors are balanced wonderfully and it leaves a nice fruity taste in the mouth.

MF: this one is quite bubbly with a medium body

D: this has excellent balance and flavor, the alcohol is very well hidden

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

Poured into Duvel goblet

A: pours golden yellow, with frothy four finger head. leaves chunks of foam not just lacing.
S: strong malt and yeast spiciness. a slight pine hop aroma
T: mildly bitter hops with light roasted malt, pine and slight citrus. can barely taste the alcohol
M: crisp, medium high carbonation
D: easy to drink for a high abv brew.

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Photo of weatherdog
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl stubby bottle into a Duvel branded tulip. Bottle has a best before date of 07/2012.

Pours a crystal clear golden straw with a billowing 4 finger white head that filled the rest of the glass. It receded in about a minute to a nice protective layer upon the beer. With each sip new lacing can be seen on the sides of the glass.

Smells almost of a clean crisp lager. I'm just detecting just a little bit of Belgian yeast character.

Taste is near perfection and what I look for in a great pale Belgian. It has this great pilsner malt taste with just a enough floral hops to balance it. The yeast character is complex and so interesting. There is this restrained appleish fruitiness that still lets the malt shine but exhibits its flavors in the background.

The high carbonation fits perfectly and adds to the crispness of the beer. It goes down like water and leaves you wanting more and more.

I'm assuming this is a relatively young Duvel as the best buy date is 2.5 years out and this bottle is from a Christmas gift pack so I'm very interested to see how the flavor profile changes in 1 year, 2 years and maybe even 3 years.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,901 ratings.
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