Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,093 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: 8,093 |  Reviews: 2,873
Photo of SeanChouffe
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a large bright white, rocky and retentive head that lasted to the end. The color is a bright yellow color. It is a little hazy with a good showing of effervescence. Smell is fruity, earthy, and citrus. Taste is sweet, fruity and with a dry peppery finish. It has a great balance of tastes, mouth feel, and a crisp finish. A very distinctive character.

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

Pours a golden yellow with an out of control head white head that last quite a while. Little bubbles continuously coming up from the bottom of the glass. It has a pleasant aroma of fruit and yeast. You can taste the light fruit and malty flavor it also has a nice little hint of spice. It is very drinkable even with the high content of alcohol. It might be a little pricey for some but I’ll take quality over quantity any day. It's good to have the Devil in your collection.

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Photo of putnam
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bright sunshine yellow giggled with careless white foam which rolls up and down the sides of my glass...

Cold, it tastes like beer-flavored Champagne.
Warm, it gives off a dense, voluptuous perfume of tangerine syrup and muscat. This is the essence of decomposing aromatic botanicals. A steamy, bubbling sludge of mint greens, pine, orange peel, sage and roses is offset by dusty chalk and stubborn fizz.
This is laughing, pitiless, beautiful beer.

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

Yum. This stuff is daRn tasty.

Poured up with a huge, uncontrollable head that stayed with the beer right to the end. The head became creamy and soft. Delightful to look at and drink past. Lace and gobbets of foam stick to the sides of the glass. Wonderfully messy.

Pale, slightly foggy, straw yellow. Smells mildly of cloves/orange with a hint of pepper, spice and yeast. The first mouthful is quite bitter, but settles nicely into yeast, hops and fruit. Feels wonderful in your mouth, carbonated just about right.

Pleasant to drink. I'm going to go find another one.

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Photo of Loki
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 33cl bottle at Falstaff in Paris and served with the proper Duvel glass. Hmm....neon Duvel sign in 1st floor window, I wonder who provided the glasses?

I have to say I had no idea what to expect from this beer. I didn't know what style it was, only that it was highly rated and I hadn't had it.

Poured a golden pilsner yellow with a volcanic eruption of head that did not allow you to empty the bottles contents in one effort even using proper form. Tiny streams of bubbles in the beer. The creamy white head was very pillowy and looked much like a fluffy white cloud on a beautiful North Carolina summer day. The head retention was very long (as I was trying to pour the rest of the beer in the glass) and the lacing was quite impressive as well.

The aromas were fairly muted at first, then came alive quite quickly. Scents of fruit, yeast, candied malt, and then hints of spice and hops. Very inticing and a little surprising, I would not expect such candied malt scents from such a light colored beer. If I smelled this blind I would have guessed its color more in the range of a Triple or a caramel color.

The taste was just as surpising as the aromas, but along the same lines. Full and rich the flavor started with candied malt and some sweet fruit. The middle started to become dry and slightly hoppy, but finished very crisp and clean. The alcohol is very well hidden, but you can note its pressence. The alcohol profile complements this beer and I don't think the flavor profile would be complete without it.

The body was light to medium light with amazing effervescences and carbonation that dances on the tongue and tickles the throught. The carbonation is very close to that of a good Brut (dry) champagne. This beer was as good cold as it was when it warmed. It did not last long enough to get to warm, but we were sitting outside and it was 93 at midnight, so it did warm some.

A wonderful beer that I cannot wait to experience again. Cheers!

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Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold color, large head. A full bodied Belgian golden ale. Very malty, slightly toasty and candy sweet. Slightly hoppy. Full flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and sharp. Some alcohol bite present at 8.5%

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

What a real nice pour, a straw color with a huge rocky head that sticks very nice to my glass,aroma is spicey and very yeasty.The taste is fruity with definent yeast flavors and some very spicey notes,a truley enjoyable complex beer.A world classic Iam glad I finally got the chance to try this beer.

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

Pours a very pale golden color with the biggest fluffy white head I've ever seen. It's mostly spices in both the aroma and the taste. It's highly carbonated and very light in body. Actually very refreshing and quite drinkable. At 8.5%, it's high drinkability might be dangerous.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer must be the very definition of "Belgian ale." It has all of the best qualities of Belgian ales in the most perfect proportions, including the fluffiest God diggidy head I ever saw. It has everything you could possibly want in a Belgian ale, and it's virtually impossible to ask for more. The Belgians can craft better brews, but as meat-and-potatoes belgian ales go, this has to be the best.

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

Appearance – Very light colored (yellow) for a BSPA. The head is monstrous even with a conservative pour. I emptied the bottle in my glass, went upstairs to watch the top half of a Mariner’s inning, came back downstairs, and it was still there.

Smell – A complex aroma. I can pick up some fruit, malt, and yeast. Pleasant.

Taste – The light appearance is deceptive. This is a heavy hitter, and it’s not just malt, yeast, and light fruit. You have to wait for it, but there’s nice spicy bitterness and even some evident hops past the crest of the standard BSPA flavors.

Not to go overboard, but this is a good brew. It is fun and complex. I know that it is sold at thousands of grocery stores around the country and I may sound like a bumpkin for belaboring the point, but The Devil is very interesting indeed. I have often dismissed it myself in the past (thinking of it in the 3.0 or 3.5 area), until I actually sat down and took some time with it for the review.

Mouthfeel – Again, this is right on. Well carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability – The bottle didn’t even make it to the end of the review. So what if half the Bud-drinking losers you know have it in their fridge's – it’s great!

Comments – I really developed an appreciation and respect for this beer after taking my time with it. This is well done.

PS: Large amounts of sediment that I'm not supposed to drink - but I do.

Update: A sampling of this in 2004 shows amazing consistancy. After sporting a gorgeous appearance from several different bottles I’m upping this rating by 0.5.

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

A wonderful beer. Had this last night for the first time after getting off work around 11:30PM. What a way to end the day! Reminded me of champagne. A very foamy white head, lots of carbonation. Poured a straw color into my Chimay goblet (so I don't have a Duvel glass - sue me!). Scents of sweet fruits and honey. Taste of honey and bananas, and a nice crisp zap of hoppiness that keeps it from being too cloying. Definitely did not notice the high amount of alcohol, so this would probably have led me to dance in the middle of the street if I had a large supply of them on hand. I'll have to get my wine snob old man to drink this as part of my ongoing campaign to get him to respect beer.

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Photo of nkmu
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a glorious 750mL bottle all to myself several nights ago, and I now have a new favorite. One thing that struck me most about this beer was the perfect level of carbonation-- I can't really explain it, but I want--nay, need!-- to feel it again. The main taste to me was of fruit, specifically apples. Maybe that's just me though...

I was raving to my girlfriend about the beer, and told her i could think of nothing i wanted to do more than sit in a dark, silent room while drinking a bottle of Duvel. she suggested something she could do to me in that room that would improve the experience-- yep, it's still my wildest *beer* fantasy. time to make the 45 minute trip it takes to buy more!

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While not quite as pretty as Orval I think it tastes quite a bit better. With chunky white head, clear straw coloring, and a faint, slightly spicy aroma this beer still presents it's self very well. Very crisp with a slight spiciness and a bit of bitterness. Not as sweet as I expected, and very, very drinkable. I found it a much better beer as it warmed, or it could just be the 750ml bottle of 8.5% goodness warming me...either way its a winner!

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Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reminds me of champagne almost from start to finish. The fizzy white head quickly recedes down to the top of the slightly hazy honey/straw colored beer. Nose is sweet, a bit fruity, with hints of honey. Flavor is also sweet, with hints of honey and candy. Mouthfeel is crisp, a bit tingly. Average drinkability due to sweetness and carbonation.

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Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a 1” head, Full carbonation and cloudy, yellowish color. Very light in taste, with a bite of hops. Carbonation almost explodes in mouth on first sip. Head remains throughout glass. Strong hop presence. Beer practically floats off the tongue and hops grab onto the sides of cheeks and the flavor lingers there. Excellent amount of lace. As beer warms and settles, hop flavor mellows and the beer seems to thicken up and gains a citrus finish.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a sweet looking 330 ml brown bottle, best before date May 2006. Looks like heaven in a glass, slightly hazed golden hue, massive amount of carbonation action (more fun than watching sea monkeys), and a massive chunky white head that stayed all of the way and left some serious lacing. Light citrus aroma, some coriander, a bit of hay. Flavour is very light and subtle at first, considering that this is 8.5% abv, but it all seems to come out in the finish and linger, mostly citrus tones lightly surrounded by spice. Very smooth mouthfeel, deceiving, as the angel on my one shoulder says to stop at one, but the devil on the other side says to go hog wild. This is very, very, very fine ale, all the hype was true.

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

The beer pours a light golden color with a frothy white head that lasts. The nose is fruity with belgian spices. There is a banana smell and a hint of corriander. The taste is good; again with the spices and the fruitiness. This is a good Belgian ale straight from the heart of Belgium. The mouthfeel is a bit too intense. The carbonation reminds me of a few bottle conditioned homebrews that went wrong. The beer is light bodied. It is a good drinking beer and one that I would love to enjoy again, although Ommegang's Hennepin is better.

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

750 ML bomber..

Nice woosh when you pop open the cork. Pours our a murky golden blond with one hell of a head, almost cotton candy like. Smell is fruity malt, with apple overtones. Stunningly drinkable, nice medium body with the fruit overtones. This is what a light bodied ale should taste like. I would drink this any day of the week..

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours a very unclear light straw color. A big head which dissipates some but stays until the end. The scent is very green tangy apple. There is some slight pepper and spice as well.

The flavor is strong green apple. There is a slight grassy flavor as well. Very tangy and finishes with a very dry crispsness. A very champagne like finish.

It is smooth with a tiny bite. A very crisp feel in the mouth. Refreshing. A quality ale for a hot day.

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Photo of TheDM
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured an extremely invigorated head of long lasting finely sized white bubbles with an excellent lacing and a cloudy wheat yellow colored body. It has a very mild malt-hop aroma and a flavor of fizzy banana clove and bread. It is a very smooth brew and hides its alcohol content well.

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Photo of barleypop
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sure glad I finally got around to trying this one. This is my definite favorite in its style.

The beer rushes to life as you unleash it from the bottle. Once slowly poured, it shows a thick dense head with a golden orange colored body.

The nose is very fruity. Most prevalent to my sniffer was an aroma of lemon,banana and spice.

The fruit comes alive on your tongue with agressive hops and carbonation. Very velvety on the tongue. Excellent finish. I enjoyed this one with a sharp cheddar and it was a nice combination. I can't wait to try this one on tap. Truly a special ale.

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Photo of granger10
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm sorry, I know this is supposed to be a great beer but I just did not care for it too much. The head on the pour was too much for me to handle, out of control. At each taste it felt like the beer was turning to foam in my mouth. Because of that mouthfeel dropped. The taste was of a complex fruit sweetness that I did enjoy but nothing special. The balance was not there and the finish seemed too yeasty to me. Give me a Maudite any day over this.

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

served in the famous little 12 oz. black stubby bottle...
this beer lived up to every bit of the hype. truly a world class beer. maybe the single greatest all-around beer i've ever tasted. every bit deserving of its huge reputation.
perfectly complex and balanced belgian beer flavor. balances sweetness and acidity perfectly. beautiful pale golden color and great thick fluffy head. lots of lace on the glass.
just perfect. worth every cent.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 100th review. I feel like I am losing my virginity. Forever I will now be branded with a mug, but enough of me lamenting my aging this beer deserves my full attention. I can mope later.

I chose this beer because the first real piece of glass I got was a duvel tulip glass, and now it can finally be put to its proper use. Housing an enrmous head. This head looked like someone had taking a can of whipped cream and just unloaded it into my glass. However, below the frothy, white clouds lay a beautiful straw colored liquid. As the head finally receded it left some of the largest lace I have ever seen. There were huge rings of it all down my glass and it was rocky and bubbly like soap suds.

The smell was of delicate malts that reminded me much of a white wine. Dry and sharp with just a hint of fruity honey. There was just a touch of the yeast to add a more earthy smell.

Tasting this was quite a sensation. It was crisp and refreshing, but it was not overly light by any means. The barest bit of hops and carbonation hit the front of my palette while a malty, bready taste full of honey and green raisins. The final third of the taste was just a little peppery displaying the 8.5%ABV quite nicely as it flowed down my throat. The aftertaste was suprisingly not dry but watering. What an interesting beer.

The mouthfeel was very much like a chardonnay or dryer white wine.

(There is still lace stuck to the top of my glass!)

Overall this is a great beer that I will never turn down. It is light, but at the same time full bodied. It is crisp and refreshing enough to drink on a hot summer day such as this, yet I could easily drink a couple of these on a frosty autumn night. I now join the ranks of true BAs.

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Photo of Realale
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour a full clear gold, with a huge bright white head composed of very large bubbles. The head settles slowly to a rocky, incomplete 3/4" cap.

Nose is subtle. Some base bready maltiness, a touch of yeast, and a bit of phenol.

Midweight in the mouth, with a nice round malty feel. It is simply full of malt, and quite yeasty, despite a clean pour. The malt becomes bigger, and the beer more complex as it warms closer to cellar temperature, than fridge temperature. Some earthiness appears, as well as some spiciness. Great soft, fine carbonation from the bottle-conditioning adds a lot of character.

It is a subtle beer, but that can be a very nice thing, as it is here. Small bottle. Best before date of April, 2004.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,093 ratings