Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,007 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: 8,007 |  Reviews: 2,857
Photo of pvsob
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light gold/straw color with a solid two-finger head (white). Head is meringue-like. Great retention and leaves outstanding lacing. A beautiful beer!

S- Pilsener malt, banana, clove, light hops, and Belgian yeast. Hints of pear/apple.

T- On par with the aroma characteristics, but the yeast and hops help create a spicy, slightly bitter finish. Little to no alcohol presence, but half way through the chalice you definitely start to feel a mellow buzz.

M- Medium feel with moderate-high carbonation that cleanses the palate and makes you ready for another sip.

D/O- I really enjoy a good pilsener, whether it be German or Czech, so this is probably my ideal beer. Add into that the traits of the Belgian yeast and I'm a happy imbiber. Bottom-line: This is just a great beer, easy to find, and reasonably priced. There's a reason this brew gets so many great reviews; it delivers on all aspects of what a world renowned beer should have. I've been drinking this gem for years and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Get it in ya. Cheers.

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Photo of tjinohio
3.37/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer to look at. Great color, wonderful head and lacing. However, I found it a bit lacking in other categories. The bouquet is extremely subtle. The taste was full and alcoholic, both good things in my book, but doesn't last. The mouthfeel was okay. I would have liked a little more carbonation. Nevertheless, it is a very easy, drinkable beer. But, for me, not one I would go out of my way for.

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

Poured into a delirium tremens tulip from a 750 ml corked bottle.

This beer looks absolutely perfect when you pour it. A nice white mountain of foam sits atop a very light, golden, pale colored beer with bubbles flowing up from the etching in the bottom of the glass. Heaven in a glass.

The smell might be the best part of this beer. I was smelling it forever trying to find out what fruit smells i could decipher and after a while i decided that it smells like apples and strawberries. Maybe even like pears and bananas at the end? There is also that Belgian bitter yeast smell floating around in there, mmh! I love this beer way too much.

The taste is just beyond words. It is a strong beer and alcohol is evident in every sip. The malts definitely take the back seat in this beer, but hey that is completely fine. Its not like you cant taste the delicious pilsner malts, they just complement the hops and the yeast perfectly. The beer is perfectly hoped, not so much that it outshines the yeast, but not so little that you cant taste them. The only way that i can describe what this beer does to my taste buds is that it gives them multiple orgasms. Its perfect in every way!

The beer is pretty carbonated, i would compare it to champagne after it has been sitting out for a little while. You just never want this beer to leave your mouth... ever. Its light, but fills your mouth flavor at the same time.

This beer is all too drinkable and goes way too fast.

Its is a bit spendy for my budget, but when i get the craving for Duvel, nothing can satisfy me but Duvel.

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Photo of csais75
2.84/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A heavy blonde beer you can find everywhere in Belgium or in France. Classical smell fot that kind of beer. In fact I must admit that subtlety is not his first quality. In my opinion it is has a conventional aspect. Okay to drink but overestimated in my opinion.

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

poured 11.2 ounce bottle in duvel tulip

A: rose a massive bone white head of stiff foam. pale golden one of the best heads i have seen on a beer. peaks of head remain till the last sip, lace covers the glass in thick patches

S: hops, malts, spice, like a pale ale.

T: balance, spice and tasty, complex, this is the best belgian strong golden ales i have had to date. it is perfect. one of the best.

M: high carbonation helps the beer through the pallet and is an important part of the balance, when the beer is simple every little thing makes a huge difference, Duvel is a pleasure to drink.

D: this stuff is so good i would drink it anytime,

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Photo of DRMcKnight
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my opinion this beer is phenomenal!

[A]: A hazy pour that is bright golden-yellow with a tall white head. The bottle reads, "Pour unhurriedly" with a purpose! This beer is very carbonated... if you pour just a tad too fast I can only imagine the mess on your hands... not to mention the loss of tasty beer.

[S]: The smell was great- although I don't remember much of it because the taste blew my mind, which brings me to:

[T, M, D]: As said earlier, this beer is very carbonated, as well as dry and tasty. Definately a beer worth the $7. It is now a member of my beer hall of fame.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duvel bottle-shaped bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a pale, golden yellow that allows for translucency while being a bit hazy from the bottle conditioning yeast. The blisteringly white head is huge and creamy. It sat at three fingers at its peak, forming a thickness in the very center.

Lots of ripe green apple and yeasty tang and lemon juice and airy pilsner malt and band-aids. Everything is complimentary; each aroma builds upon what came before. There really isn't a lot more to say about the aroma and flavor besides that. Duvel is the quintessential Belgian Pale because of this incredible ability to be complimentary and whole in execution.

Duvel is super-carbonated which makes for one of the more sharp, prickly beers you will come across. The beer is very drying as well and the feel is definitely a large part of what makes the dry quality happen. The strong ABV% of 8.5 prevents this beer from getting a 4.5 in drinkability but you definitely get bang for your buck.

Duvel is a staple, a classic, a treasure.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Best before 02/2012.

(A)- Pours a beautiful clear golden yellow/orange color that produced a large frothy pure white head that took some serious time to dissipated. Left rings of lacing all around the glass as it slowly went down.

(S)- Silky biscuit-like wheat with glorious clay & yeast here & there. Creamy banana & lemon with a light spiciness to it. I could smell this all day; its crisp, refreshing, and awesome.

(T)- Crisp, with a dry & light bitterness up front that flows into a silky lemon & banana fruits with a light yet earthy clay. Finishes dry with a crisp yet almost bitter yeast.

(M)- A great carbonation level that fizzes to life on the tongue. A superb balance that is incredibly smooth despite the carbonation level & light bitterness. Crisp & refreshing; great mouthfeel. Superb alcohol integration.

(D)- A superb example of the style as well as a great beer overall. Defines the style. Crisp & refreshing. I could have one after another if this wasnt 8.5%abv. A superb beer that I always enjoy as long as I dont get a bad one (which happens often).

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

330ml bottle 8.5% abv poured into a sniffer.

(Note that this bottle has been aged for about 3.5 years)

Appearance: Perfect... Effervescent, beautifully golden beer (clear if yeast is not poured, otherwise slightly cloudy), with typically huge, white head rising out of the glass. Sublime lace work left on the glass.

Smell: Wonderful, complex aroma. Granny smith apples, lemon zest, pears, yeast, malt, spicy hops and a wonderful whiff of alcohol to finish it off.

Taste: This is a big beer with a strong flavour. The beer starts of with a malty sweetness, yeasty in the middle (slightly spiced pears) , rounded off with peppery and spicy hops. Alcohol is present in this beer, but unlike other beers I've had it works really well with the other flavours and is integral to the beer.

Un-aged beer has a much bigger hop bite and an incredibly dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, aggressive carbonation (I do generally prefer understated carbonation though).

Drinkability: I find I can't drink more than 2 Duvels. Though that being said, both go down very very well.

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

This beer comes in a stubby short-necked brown 33 cl bottle with a white label with red writings. A coat of arms on top. Looks really nice.

A: This beer pours hazy pale golden with a massive white light fluffy head that slowly dissipates leaving rich lacings.

S: Smells very nice, yeast and spices (some pepper) - just like a nice Belgian should smell. There's citric notes and a touch of ripe bananas and some faint green apples.

T: Rich and full taste. Sweet malt, very nice balanced together with hops and spices as well as yeast. It's almost like a fruit-salad: ripe bananas, lemons, lime, green apples and maybe orange zest. A faint tone of wheat?

M: The longlasting aftertaste is mostly dry but also a bit sweet. The body is medium and the carbonation is rich. A very smooth beer that leaves a warm feeling in the chest (from the alcohol).

D: This is a very nice and complex beer, BUT it's much stronger than you think. It goes down almost to easy - be aware!

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Photo of NewGeneric
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally giving this one a proper review.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Wow! Just a mountain of foam on top of a beautiful, mostly clear, golden beer. Kinda soapy looking, with big chunks of thick foam hanging all over the sides of the glass as it slowly dissipates. Leaves just a thin layer of head sitting on top. Very pretty.

S: Spicy, fruity, floral hops up front. Hints of citrus and other spices come through as well, but that seems to be about all I get.

T: Tastes very similar to the smell. Some aromatic, biscuity malts make their way to the surface. I'd like a bigger malt presence, but it just seems to be covered up by the hops and yeast.

M: Probably the best part of Duvel. Almost perfect. There's really good bitter properties, nice slightly oily residue. Even so, it leaves me just a touch dry afterward. Only fault I can find here.

D: As a starter, I'm not that impressed, but once I've had one, I could probably easily kick back a few more. Goes down real smooth.

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Photo of EskimoDave
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I saw the glass and four pack for sale at the Jasper Liquor Store and I had to have it. The glass is large and beautiful, much like the beer. It's bright golden, with the stylized etched 'D' on the bottom of the glass providing a constant stream of bubbles to feed to the bright white, monsterous, chunky, clinging head. The nose is floral hops mingled with bready malt and yeast with light spices poking through. On the tongue you get an extremely well balanced beer. Bready malt, banana, yeasty, sweet, light spices poking at the tongue, all while the hops whisper sweet nothings to your uvula. This effervescent beer is deceptively drinkable for 8.5%. The whole four pack would have been gone if I wasn't so careful.

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

The beer is hazy golden, with a white head that leaves lacing.

The smell is sour notes, yeast, a bit leathery. old stable. Also spices like coriander and cardamom.

The taste is sweet, candid sugar and raisins, balanced sour notes from lemon, lime and some vinegar. Spices like clove and ginger is also there.

Rather much carbonation and a refreshing feeling.

A very rewarding beer, especially with cheese.

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Photo of richmof
3.08/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A commercial strong ale, with toe cheese on the nose and unrefined alcohol in the mouth. The alcohol dominates across the palatte, which is quite a feat, given it is only 8.5%.

I note this beer is currently 59th on the overall beerlist for BA, and 5th out of all the Belgian beers, and I just find that to be divorced from reality. I doubt it would make it into my top 59 for Belgium!

When I think of all the beers I know that are behind this on BA ratings list, it pains me.

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Photo of jbowers56
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great looking beer. Huge white pillowy head sits atop a fine clear colden yellow brew. Plenty of lacing already from the head as it slowly fades.

Aroma is complex. Sweet malts are there. Spicy pepper like smells and also some banana like esters. Having not had this for a long time, I am most excited to taste this one!

Crisper and cleaner on the palate than i expected. Finishes dry and spicy. Yeast characters are interesting, more so once I poured the rest of the bottle in to get the yeast from the bottom. Same esters are present as in the nose. To be honest, I was hoping for more richness from the malt as was suggested by the nose.

Very strong prickly carbonation dominates the mouthfeel. Despite this, a very smooth beer.

Way too easy to go back for more.

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Photo of likethetaste
2.81/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was excited to try this beer after drinking Chimay.

This poured a lovely pale with nice white head that would not go away. Lacing stayed for ever. Very nice. Lots of bubbles. Lots!

Smell. Strong yeast, bread, biscutty smell.

taste... well.. I could tell this was good quality stuff but I just do not like this type of beer I guess. Very yeasty and just not pleasant to drink. I did not like it. I guess I just don't like this type.

Very strong beer so be careful!!

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Photo of Durge
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pleasantly surprised to find this offered at the Poolesville Country Store restaurant in Poolesville, NY near Colgate University. Poured nice and cold from the bottle into the big tulip glass this one shows a clear gold color with a one finger unshakeable white head and very good lace. The aroma is fruity clove and bright citrus bread. The first mouthful gives a mid-plus bodied and smooth feel with lots of lively carbonation. The tastebuds detect banana and sweet melon, clove and anisette. Full, sweet, and pretty drinkable. A more than pleasant experience that I want to repeat!

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Photo of mike130
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beer. Poured into (sadly) a pint glass (I haven't gotten around to buying a tulip/big snifter yet). Absolutely colossal, creamy-looking head. Lots of retention, leaves a little "mountain" of foam in the middle with loads of lacing all around the glass. Loads and loads of bubbles coming up constantly from the bottom of the glass, this really is one of the best looking beers out there. If there's a single thing the Belgians are unparalleled on, it's good head, and this beer shows it.

Smells very nice - loads of estery aromas, banana, a bit of spiciness, a touch of hops. Quite yeasty, sort of like a less sweet hefe with a touch of hops. No trace of alcohol.

The taste is much like the flavor - banana, sweet, not as yeasty as would be expected but still there's a yeast flavor to be found. A nice touch of hops near the end, and you have one of the best beers in its style. Very, very tasty and extremely well balanced. Can tell it's strong but there is not a distinctly alcohol taste as in some other brews.

Mouthfeel is good - quite carbonated, leaves a dry sort of feel on your mouth afterwards.

Very easy drinker - could pop down a sixer of this if it wasn't so damn alcoholic - no point on wasting this by drinking while not sober enough to enjoy it. All in all, probably one of the best beers in the world and most likely its style. Despite it being widely available, it does not disappoint. Top notch beer.

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Photo of fiver29
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours golden color with white head. Aroma is fruity, yeasty, and spicy. Tingly mouthfeel. Flavor follows the nose and is real fruity, has lots of yeast in it, and has a nice white pepper spice to it. Finishes semi dry. Nice solid brew. This is exactly what I thought it would be.

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Photo of longbongsilver
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Having had Belgian style ale in the past, figured the time was right to go O.G. with it. Pours a highly translucent white-yellow w/ the weirdest head I've ever seen (looks like it floats IN the beer after pulling from the glass). Get an unexpected whiff that reminds me of lemon (and little else) before the first swig.

Kinda sweet, despite the smell. Barely any carbonation, very little malt in the background, don't taste the alcohol at all. Very subtle.

To me it's a ridiculously deceptive chillout brew: pop open the stubby size bottles and next thing you know you've lost count. While it definitely does the job, I expected more of an edge.

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Photo of kreeper
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Absolutely beautiful beer. Hazy, golden yellow with a classic dense thick white head. A full inch and a quarter over the rim of the glass without any spill. Duvel has a very pronounced, fruity aroma, lemons and pears. The first bottle I had, I did not realize that there was some yeast in the bottle (although I love the yeast). The beer is very refreshing, and very fruity. Somewhat dry finish, very pleasant.

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

Poured into a Duyvel tulip.

Wow. The Duvel glass contains this beer perfectly, with three full fingers of foam billowing up to the top of the glass. It takes several minutes to dissipate, clinging to the glass as it recedes. The nucleation point at the bottom of the glass creates a near volcano of bubbles that rush to the surface. This beer looks absolutely perfect.

Aroma is dominated by a spicy belgian yeast - phenols, bubblegum, some banana.

This beer tastes crisp and clean. The yeast flavor is not as potent as the smell would indicate - a trait that I enjoy. There is a strong pale malt backbone, that expertly disguises the 8.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel is effervescent, cry, crisp and clean. Very pleasant. Drinkability scores high as well... this beer just goes down easy and hits the spot.

I really didn't think I liked Belgian style beers... this beer is certainly causing me to rethink that position!

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Photo of ericj551
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duvel pours a very slightly hazy light golden yellow with a thick, fluffy head that sticks around. The aroma is sweet pale malt with tons of fruity esters, maybe some pear. The flavor is crisp, the fruitiness alludes to sweetness, but the beer finishes dry. Tons of flavors from the yeast. There is some bitterness in the finish, but it is just enough to balance the light, fruity malt. A bit of herbal hop flavor lingers in the smooth finish.

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Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Poured a cloudy light golden color with a fluffy white head covering the top. The head was long lasting and left excellent lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma is dominated by the fruity, spicy Belgian yeast. It has some hints of apple, hops and a little alcohol coming through. The taste is also not surprisingly strong with the Belgian yeast flavors. It has a light, crisp, fruity flavor that is very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little above average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very good tasting and easy drinking beer. Overall an excellent example of it's style and a delicious beer at that.

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

750 ml bottle, poured into the signature Duvel tulip, which also doubles as my favorite glass in general.

On a 1-5 scale, this is the only beer I can think of that deserves a 6. A careful pour according to the label's direction yields a massive 4-finger bright white foamy head that slowly reduces into an alternately smooth and lumpy cap that refuses to go anywhere. Gorgeous clumps of lace all the way from top to bottom. A tornado of bubbles up the middle of the glass continuously feeds the head.

Bursting with clean, fresh aromas. Tangy fresh sliced apples, a squeeze of lemon, lightly yeasty, mildly spicy, extremely appetizing.

Big hop bitterness up front that yields to a lively fruitiness that is a bit juicy at first, then becomes lightly sweet and dry at the same time, a la a brut champagne. A big burst of clean yeast. A bit of clove, some phenols. Warming alcohol toward the swallow. So much going on- wonderful stuff.

Moutheel is very interesting, as it somehow manages to be vigorously carbonated with tiny bubbles, yet very creamy at the same time. After a last burst of bitterness at the swallow, it finishes rather crisp and clean, practically begging you to take another sip.

Overall impression: Incredible beer, and one of my absolute favorites. Every beer drinker needs to give Duvel a try.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,007 ratings
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