Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,053 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: 8,053 |  Reviews: 2,868
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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Photo of Chizoad
3.51/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into pint glasses. Crazy head which eventually faded leaving a mesa in the middle of the glass and lacing all over the glass surface. Beer was pale golden with vague haze.

Fairly decent smell, but mostly hops/malt and something like cloves? I have no idea really. Interesting but not outstanding.

Tasted much as it smelled. A mild bitterness that seemed tastier at first than it did later. Maybe it's the style that I don't have a great appreciation for. I haven't had many of these at all.

Medium body, tending towards thinness. Easy drinker.

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Photo of Epicedion
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Beautiful. Pure gold topped with a poofy head. Lacing all the way up the glass. A thin stream of bubbles constantly rises from the nucleation D etched in the bottom of the glass.

S: A lightly sweet, spicy smell with some lemon and grain behind it. Pleasant and soothing.

T: There's sweet citrus up front, which gives way quickly to some spice, followed immediately by more citrus and slightly bitter hops. This beer is perfectly balanced to be refreshing without being overwhelming in any category. It couldn't be better.

M: Smooth, silk with some prickly carbonation. Alcohol but not very dry or astringent. My only complaint here is that it's a little bit thin, but that's mostly bolstered by the carbonation.

D: Complex with no downsides. But be careful, a couple bottles and you'll be sailing.

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

Stubby dark brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on label.
Pours a pale golden straw color with a unique multi-sized bubbly head. The lacing looks like a honeycomb, with lots a large airy bubble pockets.
A potent aroma of morning pasture, fresh herbs, daisies with dry malt are upfront. Whiffs of orange zest and hint of pineapple last throughout. A light vodka-like alcohol vapor is noticed.
Bold sweet malty tastes meld well with a multi-layered hop bitterness and bite. Sweet liquidy sugar and tart orange flavors mingle with the edgy citrusy bitterness. A hint of leather and tobacco create some unexpected, yet welcome depth and character. A fine effervesence creates its own one-of-a-kind fizzy body. It sort of reminds me of a Mimosa.
This is a fairly potent brew that looks innocent enough, but is really a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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Photo of MealInAGlass
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Holy crap this beer is delicious.

When poured into the trademark tulip glass that came with the package deal, I'll have to admit that I don't particularly care for the 50/50 mix. Aside from that, this beer is delicious.

I was talking to my girlfried at the time I took my first sip, and I just paused in mid-sentence to admire the delicious-ness of Duvel. Naturally, I got yelled at for ignoring her for beer.. But it was worth it.

Appearance: 4
Smell: 4.5
Taste: 5
Mouthfeel: 5
Drinkability: 4.5

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Photo of JamisonM
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into Duvel tulip glass

A: huge bright white head with great head retention a wonderful golden color the look of this beer in the duvel glass screams class in every way

S: spice, yeasty, some pepper and lemon very complex

T: spice and esters taste is complex and I have trouble putting it into words its fantastic taste like a dry champagne but don't get me wrong its beer for sure

M: med mouth with high carbonation

D: yea you can drink this all night if you wanted to only the abv would hold you back

overall: extremely well made world class beer they invented the style and they do a damn fine job brewing this, I have never had a bad bottle of this nectar of the gods.

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Photo of dobiechief
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was one of my first ventures into the world of real beer, and it is still one of my very favorites. It is absolutely lovely in a glass, with a virtually perfect head. The color is so appealing that you want to take some time appreciating it. The aroma is a bit sweet and citrus-like, as is the flavor. The mouthfeel is among the best out there; rich and inviting. The aftertaste is sweet and pleasant - never detracting from the overall effect.

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

Poured a pale straw yellow into a Duvel tulip (surprise!), filling it to the brim with a 50/50 ratio of beer to frothy meringue-like head. This settled down to around a finger, leaving thick patches of extremely tight lacing.

Nice aroma of apple, yeasty spice, banana, and a hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel was light and crisp with ample carbonation. Strongly reminiscent of dry champagne with a nice balance of banana, light biscuit, and mild spice. Long, dry apple finish mixed with a touch of booziness.

While the taste doesn't bowl me over as much as the "heavier" Belgians, the drinkability is off the charts. Light, crisp, and packs a punch while keeping you coming back for more.

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Photo of DarrinRasberry
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review, so take it as you will!

Dumped this into a poor man's 20oz. Guinness Imperial tumbler. Really need to get sufficient glassware for my new hobby.

Appearance: Poured carefully (as the bottle advertises) and still watched it launch to the top of my glass like a mad scientist's explosive experiment. Half an hour later a quarter-inch of the head is still there, giving me a mustache with every sip. I've only tried about a hundred beers, and this is a beautiful as it gets.

Smell: Takes a couple of whiffs, but I pick up nudges of pine and lemon. Reminds me of the rampant summer shandies that are infesting the local bars about this time of year.

Taste: Head has honey that quickly transitions to an enjoyably bitter aftertaste. Drinking brings a deep fruity feel at the kickoff with a malty answer at halftime. Expected it to finish bitter like the head (especially after warming up in the glass) but I get instead a pleasant, balanced lingering taste instead. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Thick and fizzy, but not soda-fountain fizzy. I still feel it like a lip-balm.

Drinkability: I'd drink these all day if it had a lower alcohol content. Delicious, but not perfect - by the end of a 750 you will get used to the amazing flavor this beer has.

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

Well in 2003 this was my gateway back to beer in general and my introduction to Belgian beers, had my first Duvel in Ghent, Belgium. Had at least ten on that first trip, and probably well over a 100 since then, I guess I might as well review it.

330ml 11.2 Oz. bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip (what else?).

Appearance: Bright yellow with the largest richest head you will ever witness, the head will not dissipate and the lacing is extraordinary. I have found no other beer to approach this one in appearance.

Smell: Hoppy, spicy, complex for pale ale.

Taste: Delicious again a spiciness to it but also a depth in flavor. Perfect hop balance with the perfect amount of bitterness. This is the mother of all Belgian pale ales.

Mouth feel: Excellent carbonation, extremely smooth and well balanced.

Drinkability: Could run with the Duvel for as long as consciousness would allow.

A beer that is a "must have on hand" all year round.

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into my Russian River Stemmed glass

A yellow ale with fluffy white soapy looking head. A mix of large and small bubbles cling to one another forming a head that forms a giant mountain of head above the rim. Tons of carbonation bubbles are rushing to the suffice, reminds me of cream soda.

Aromas of pears and fruity yeast com through in the nose the most prominent. A bread like quality is coming through on the sweeter side as the ale warms. Booze and tannins are there as well but not in a offensive way, much more inviting.

The taste is very dry and the carbonation scrubs the pallet. The ale has a nice balance of hop bite with peach and pear bready yeast flavor. The alcohol burn is chased away quickly leaving very little aftertaste. This delicate Belgian is how champagne should taste. A thin body appears even thinner through all of the carbonation making it an easy drinker. You will not find many beers that come in this strong that are this easy to drink.

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Photo of PintOHops
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Tulip

A - Mostly clear yellow/gold color with lots of fine bubbles rising to the top. Produced 2-3 fingers of fluffy head, somewhat soapy looking as well. Retention is great, and it left lots of splashy lacing.

S - Very dry & champagne like, I get grape skin, some pear upfront. Beneath the dry champagne like qualities is soft banana & clove, it's mildly spicy with a bit of tangerine peel or orange peel in there somewhere, maybe a bit of pepper.

T - Very very yeasty with soft, delicate banana & clove, unfolding into pair & apple like notes that are intertwined in the yeasty goodness! A bit dry with sour/tart grape notes on the finish, and long musky yeast flavors that linger just a bit. I did notice some alcohol but man is it hidden well! Delicate yet very simple.

M - Soft & smooth with just a touch of carbonation, medium in body.

D - Everything about this beer seemed just so delicate, I thought it was very simple in both taste & smell, which was nice. The drinkability has gotta be pretty damn high on this one, as It tasted like 7% around room temp! I'm not big on the style but I'd have this one again sometime. Definitely recommended. Cheers!

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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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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,053 ratings