Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,064 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

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,064 |  Reviews: 2,870
Photo of beergeek279
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from 330 mL bottle. Color poured a pale yellow with a good amount of head. The smell was that of fruit, with a bit of alcohol to it. The taste is fairly dry, almost like brut champagne, and the alcohol is somewhat detectable, but not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is fairly carbonated, with hints of alcohol. As for drinkability, I could drink these as long as I could hold out :) I had heard many good things about Duvel, and having tried it I have to say I heartily agree! Along with its darker cousin Maredsous, this is certainly one of my favorite Belgians!

 566 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This has always been one of my greatest faves, a fact I've often regretted the next morning. Pours into a thick, sturdy head that takes its time dissipating and leaves good lacing on the sides.

Cloudy in appearance yet bright, clean and crisp in taste. It has a strong and clear nose, sharp, yeasty with a very light citrus. A testament to brewing skill when a brew has an alcohol content this high and you aren't overwhelmed. Sneaks up on you, though.

 455 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had the Duvel in a 11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. Despite pouring it very slowly, there is still a good 2.5 fingers of fluffy head. The head dies down to about 1.5 fingers, but that's it. There is also a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The color is a pale orange-yellow that is slightly cloudy. The smell is very fruity, mostly banana and citrus. It is very pleasant. The taste is a great blend of fruit, spices, and alcohol. It isn't overly sweet though, there is a good malt/hops balance. The beer has a great strong mouthfeel to it. The drinkability is just a little lower, because the alcohol doesn't seem to be masked, as in other stong ales.

 675 characters

Photo of hotstuff
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured an extremely large white foamy head. It left an excellent lacing on the sides of my mug. It was observed to have a yellow in body. It also had a cloudy appearance to it. It had a flavor of clove. This was a smooth tasting brew in my opinion.

 258 characters

Photo of usualpulp
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bubbly golden color, with a fluffy white almost creamy looking head. Fruit aroma is very present and can be smelled while pouring. The taste of Duvel is wonderful. Very fruity and hearty tasting, while being quite refreshing at the same time. ItÂ’s easy to forget that this brew is 8.5% abv. The power of this beer sneaks up on you. Banana flavor is very present here and very well balanced with the cloves and hops. So many flavors stand out, but none of them are too overpowering. Definitely one great Belgian beer, and a must try.

 541 characters

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

I was astonished to see that I have not yet reviewed this beer, it being one of best in my book. Duvel is responsible for my love of great beers, particularly Belgians.

Many other brewers try to imitate Duvel, and many reviewers compare other similar beers to Duvel, and for good reason. This is simply one of the best examples of a strong Belgian golden ale.

Perfect appearance. Clear, pale yellow in color (that is until the yeast is roused in the bottle) with a towering, rocky, pillowy, bright white head. Creates substantial lacing. The aroma is malty sweet, candy-ish, estery, and fruity, with a touch of spiciness. The body is incredibly light and smooth, but all the while this is an intriguing and complex ale. The taste is initially sweet, with candy like flavors. Subtle notes of pear and apple complement the sweetness. The sweetness is followed by a fresh hop flavor and spiciness. The alcohol is predominately hidden and the beer finishes slightly dry.

Thanks, Rodney.

 991 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby bottle: Unique color of light yellow, very gem-like in character looking much like a sparkling white wine, with lots of bubbly carbonation. The head on this was a monster, an amazing sight to behold, tall, bright bleached white head nearly over three inches. The head is super foamed cream, looking like light styrofoam, or more so, close to a meringue. Upon the first sip, the head barely moves, only where the liquid touches does the head dissolve, leaving huge cliffs of foam clinging on to the glass. I wouldn't even call it lace, it looks just like the origianl head just stuck like glue in marshmellow clumps all around the inside of the glass. Miraculously amazing!

Smell is super zesty clean of light lemon and orange peel and spicy, notes of yeast and sharp hops. A super sniffer and strikingly complex with brightness.

Taste is more of the same, mirrored of the smells, light, smooth, zesty clean and fresh with pops of lemon, orange, yeasty peppered spices, other bright fruits of apple and pineapple all just complexly mixing over the palette and taking it for a ride of enjoyment - finishing strongly twinged of bittering sweetness, zesty clean, and actually somehow smooth. Feels lightish-medium body but packed full of carbonating action with a perfect smooth hold and slightly drying and tart. How'd they do that. So complex in character and flavors its hard to use words to describe it, just drink it and see, you'll become stupified with levels of wonderment.

On another note: after drinking about half my glass I was shocked to see that on the bottle it is labeled 8.5% - that sure doesn't seem to be an effect until its "after-effect", so I say its sneaky head swimmingly delicious.

 1,719 characters

Photo of MJR
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Into it's proper glass, it pours a clear, pale gold with the characteristically massive head that intially takes up more space than the liquid. The head leaves gobs of sticky lace down the inside of the glass. Tons of bubbles race to the top, from the heavy carbonation. A truly classic appearance; if this doesn't rate a 5, nothing does...

Smell: The aroma is quite perfumy with a touch of spiciness, along with a faint fruity sweetness. Hint of bready yeast... A touch of Saaz is in there too.

Taste: Combines both sweetness and spiciness with a nice, firm Saaz bitterness. The sweetness has fruity suggestions of pear and apple, with a touch of honey, while the spiciness has a peppery note. The yeast imparts a touch of breadiness. A bit of a phenolic character shows up later in the finish. Finishes with a light alcohol flavor. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Light and spritzy with carbonation for days... It's very prickly on the tongue, with a dry mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Suprisingly good considering it's strength. This beer is well known for it's ability to hide it's 8.5%abv. You don't notice how strong it is until it sneaks up on you...

A world classic. I can't add anything that hasn't already been said...

 1,239 characters

Photo of johnrobe
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic brew. Every beer lover must try this one. It pours a deep, slightly hazy straw color with a voluminous, champagne-like, brilliant white head. The fruity ester and yeast smells are quite subtle and do not betray the treasure yet to come. Silky smooth, the "Devil" comes on in a wave of lightly sweet bready malt combined with a bit of banana and mildly spicy esters. There is no hint of alcohol taste despite the relatively high alcohol percentage (8.5%) making this one of the most aptly named brews around. Deceptively smooth and drinkable, this beer can unleash a stealth attack on your sobriety lest you take care with your pace.

 642 characters

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

I liked this beer very much. It had a hoppy and malty sweet "continental" aroma. Fluffy white head and hazy golden liquid. The taste is amazing. Soft malt and bready yeast notes with a nice crisp hoppiness. finishes clean and refreshing. This is a strong beer that you could easily mistake for a beer of a more moderate alcohol content. Be careful!

 348 characters

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

Sampled from a 250ml bottle this legendary beer pours a very pale hazy golden hue, with a highly carbonated champagne like tawny white head. What a perfect pour with one of the most amazing head retentions I have seen, will have to credit this with the priming of the candied sugar. Brilliantly spiced aroma along with a thicket of musty maltiness and a decent amount of hopping. The mixture of malty sweetness, bready yeast notes, and striking bitterness equates to one of the most amazing beers in the world. The mouthfeel is a complex combination of fizzy carbonation and syrupy sweetness. If and when they begin to keg this stuff it is going to be the true end of the world. So, drinkable just imagine what it will be like on tap.

 734 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with large white head - Do not make my mistake and uncarefully pour it into a regular glass - it will foam all over the place. Pour it into the predescribed bowl-shaped glass. The aroma is fruity and very complex. The taste is very smooth and sweet with a lot of carbonation. It is slithgly dry, but sweet at the same time - I can't explain it well. This is a great beer and I would highly recommend it. The taste is one of a kind with a bit of spicyness about it. I love the taste, but I don't think I could drink more than one of these at a sitting because it seems like a very full bodied beer to me. Sorta fills me up.

 643 characters

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

750 mL corked and caged

Appearance: Tremendous creamy white head topping a highly carbonated body the color of sunshine. Great mosaic lace and excellent heat retention. Creamy, creamy goodness just waiting to be pierced.

Smell: Fruity nose that is much more complex than my smelling skills are talented. Alcohol very present, but not distracting. Just adds to the bouquet. I smelled this for several minutes before I took the first sip, in ecstasy the entire time.

Taste: Starts creamy and sweet, then the fizzy carbonation hits. Bitter, slight cork and oak dominate the middle. Finishes slightly numbing and dry, with more woody, earthen notes.

I've had this in Belgium in the smaller bottle, and I definitely thought the 750 mL to be drier and woodier. Very impressive and wonderful brew. If you haven't tried it, do yourself a favor and grab one ASAP.

 867 characters

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

The mother of all heads! A full 2" head above the glass can be achieved and it stays around until the very end. Pours a beautiful yellow, straw color. I drink it moderately chilled.

A fair amount of hops with a nice malt balance. Biting carbonation. This tastes like pale ale and wheat beer all in one.

This is way too drinkable for a strong one. 8.5% but hard to tell until you are done! This is by far the most drinkable strong beer I have had.

Too bad I live in Iowa. Can't get it here. This is a top 10 beer for me.

 529 characters

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

Pours a hazy golden color (like a cloudy pils), huge rocky white head, mostly lasting, sheets of lace. Aroma is fruity, banana, apple, some lemon, yeasty, and grassy - very "fresh" smelling. Flavor follows with apple in the forefront, lemon hiding out in the back a bit, ends dry and grassy. Body is full, very lively carbonation.

 330 characters

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

Pours a clear light gold color with tons of carbonation. Has a fluffy bulbous head at first, settling to a soft one. Nice lace and stain. In the proper glass, its a beaut.

Nose is a delicate and amazing mix of malt, wheat, and hops, embodying the definition of clear and crisp, yet still complex. Sweet, soft, and inviting, as it opens it has phenols of banana and pear with a slight vinuous edge.

Taste is creamy and malty with a hops tinge at the end. Also has a strong sweet nectar side to it, a light fruitiness akin to a version of green apples or white grapes decreased in strength (not a negative). Nice blend of stinging hops and crisp wheat underneath it all. Dry hoppy and chewy wheat-like finish, slides down your tongue with too much ease of a smooth moderate mouthfeel.

Way too drinkable considering its completely invisible alcohol content. A seemingly moderate beer yet undeniably edible. Simple, elegant, but complex, plus one of the best glass designs. It started a revolution in Belgian brew styling and continues to be a true classic. The scion of its own style.

 1,092 characters

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

I hadn't had this in a while...nice to come back to!

I grabbed the appropriate style glass, poured this baby and waited for the head to settle...10 minutes later, I was all set. The head took up half the glass, and really didn't settle down until I was about half down. Sort of a hazy buttercup yellow. Nice lace left in the glass.

Spicey in flavor, with a hint of citrus. Also, I did start feeling the alcohol in this before I was through...didn't really taste it though.

I gave this a 4 for the taste characteristics. While this was very balanced and smooth, I enjoy a little more flavor. Still very good.


 623 characters

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

I haven't had this beer for a few years and I tasted it up against some Trappist ales and forgot how complex this brew becomes once it warms up.

Huge head and beautiful golden colour are trademarks of this beer but the nose is fruity and hoppy with a freshness that
makes me salivate with anticapation of the first taste. The beer gets bigger with each mouthful while its drinkabilty
is deceptive. I tried it cold and it still tasted full and big
and when it warmed up the great balance really came to the front.

Truly a classic beer that is often immitated.

 567 characters

Photo of marburg
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's not a whole lot to be said after 191 reviews, but what the hell? Why not? Great golden color with a storm-like swirl of carbonation from first sip to last. Thick, rocky head -- more or less sits atop the beer like a fluffy pillow. Very floral, spicy aroma. Fruity in the sense that many fruits -- melons, oranges, etc -- have a bitter rind and a sweet inside. This beer is more or less the same. Bitter and sweet. Very, very tasty and definitely not as hard to drink as the abv might suggest.

 500 characters

Photo of SamuraiJack
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At last... Living as I do in the middle of nowhere, I suppose it's less odd that it's taken me this long to get a chance to taste this - the original in the style. First - obviously this is a beer for those who like Belgian beers (it's odd to read so many negative reviews until one realizes that the common denominator in all seem to be a dislike of the style). If you want to know if you are going to like Belgian style ales then this is the benchmark and the starting point. If you like Belgian style ales, you owe it to yourself to go get this beer.
Initial pour shows a huge and incredibly active head, white and chunky and sticky. Eventually it fades into a very sticky lace. The beer itself is a gorgeous pale cloudy gold in colour. Aromas are of spice (cardamom?), pepper, malt sugar and underlying hops. It is unbelievably fragrant - even distractingly so!
First taste reveals a beer that is overwhelmingly creamy and smooth. Mouthfeel is perfection in my opinion due in part to the perfect balance of the smooth creaminess and the crispness provided by the active carbonation. While many talk about the sweetness of the beer (be it honey or candy sugar in source), this sweetness is balanced ideally by the bitterness and sharpness in the foundation. Fruit esters swirl on the palate, riding on the malt and that odd and oh so tasty spice flavor. The finish is perfectly dry, leaving you hungry for more.
There are beers that look gorgeous after your pour them and then disappoint when you drink them. This is not one of those beers. Each stage in the experience of this beer builds on the last - beautiful looking beer, leading to an incredible fragrence and then... the taste. Refreshing, crisp, flavorful, balanced... and right when you think "this beer is perfect for me" the alcohol kicks in and you suddenly remember that it's more than 8%ABV. Youch!!!
If I had could only have one beer in my fridge for the rest of my life it would be this one. It's that good.

 1,983 characters

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow with a thick, soapy and bubbly head, very active. The head will maintain throughout, and thin, sugary lacing will dominate the interior of the glass, very well formed. Initial aroma is huge - spices, hops, even some vanilla, cloves and fresh bread is noticed, the aroma seems to change somewhat throughout the duration, but is always quite pleasant. An initial combined taste of fresh fruity, sugary, bubble gum, spicy flavor is quite nice, with an immediate belly warmer feeling going on. The alcohol is noticed throughout, but does not seem to be overpowering. Very creamy and delicious throughout, crisp, malty and fizzy finish, leaves you begging for more. A sipping beer, take note though, this one will sneak up on you in a hurry, the Duvel feeling will last for quite some time! For $8.50 a 4 pack, a little over 2 smacks for a Duvel, a near steal, this is an awesome brew!

 902 characters

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

Immense, foamy, large-bubbled, hissing head; the beer itself is a slightly cloudy gold. Aroma is hoppy, spicy, and fresh, like a summer day after rain. Crisp and cinnamon-tasting, with just enough creaminess to make it one of the most sippable (is that a word?) beers I have ever had.

Lacing is very good, and the head just will not quit. If you think it's gone for good, give the beer a few swirls -- just a few -- and it comes roaring back. Even with only 3 inches left in my tumbler, I brought an inch of head back with a couple of whirls of the glass. I really wish I had a proper chalice for this beer. Now that the Belgians are winning me over, I'm going to get one, and serious drinkers of this beer (and its ilk) really should have a proper glass to do it justice.

A definite must-try. Amazing.

 809 characters

Photo of Ave
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not having tried this until just recently, I was surprised at what my eyes & nose was presented with. Bright golden in color, slightly murky like a heffe & with a massive foaming head. This brew of course really dose better in a tulip or bulb. It settles in & becomes very foamy even as it dissipates in density it holds its volume. Very impressive! The smell is almost overwhelming, as it seems to be with most of the big Belgians. Very sweet & fizzy in the nose with that wonderful Belgian yeast aroma.

The flavor is unfortunately not to my tastes, being as sweet & fizzy on the tongue as it is in the nose. It taste like Belgian Champaign beer. Not a bad thing I guess, but I don’t like most Champaigns. It is supper yummy, but just too sweet.

I can get my way through a liter, but not much more than that really.


 837 characters

Photo of Mark
3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy light golden color, almost yellow. Exceptional frothy white head, nice rings of lace. Aroma seems similar to almost every other Belgian or Belgian style I've tried. Ditto on the taste, I can't identify it but it's a spicy hoppiness. I know it's also the yeast, espescially with Duvel as I have heard they don't use spices. Spritzy mouthfeel, almost champagne like ( a drink I don't care for) 8% on or abouts but pretty drinkable for such strength. I've tried to get in to the genre but it's not easy for me. My apologies to lovers of Belgian ale's but I can take or leave them.

 582 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, straw color with a thick white head. The aromas are medicinal, and fruity. The flavor is somewhat fruity; apples maybe? A sweet herbal flavor also comes through. This smooth, medium-full brew is easy drinking, finishing with a dryness that sticks with you. It has a strength that will easily sneak up on you.

 314 characters

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,064 ratings