Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
BA SCORE
4.25/5
Outstanding
8,034 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Belgium
duvel.be

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#761
Reviews:
2,863
Ratings:
8,034
pDev:
11.76%
Bros Score:
4.75
 
 
Wants:
479
Gots:
1,668
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,034 |  Reviews: 2,863
Photo of scottum
3.32/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seems a bit overrated to me. Pours out very pale with way too much head and froth all over the place when I uncorked the undisturbed bottle. Quite sweet with the whole Belgium citrus/grain/spicy thing going for it. There are many better brews from Belgium that I enjoy more so I plan to stay away from this pricey monster of a beer. But my advise to BAs is to try it as most floks seem to like it.

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Photo of bierman2000
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A strong Belgian golden ale doesn't get any better than this one. The color just shines thru the light and it is very drinkable , a true gem, with just the right amount of sweetness and a bit of hop balance. The foamy pour lets the beer breath and this beer truly is the Devil as the alcohol is not noticeable, until you stand up afer a few. If there is one beer tour to take in Belgium or anywhere it is the Moortgat brewery tour where Duvel and Maredsous are brewed and enjoyed.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.6/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), 2-3 weeks in my fridge, served 45F, reviewed 45F-55F.

This beer poured with a huge, white, foamy head, collapsing to a dense meringue. The bottle says to pour slowly and it's easy to see why. The head clings thickly to the glass in clumps of foam.

The color is light yellow with swirls of fine sediment. Streams and streams of champagne-like bubbles rise quickly.

The smell is fairly subtle: sweet, spice, yeast.

The front is strongly sweet. The middle is spicy, citrusy, both sweetness and tart. Tingly. The finish is dry with noticable alcohol.

Overall, this is a decent beer: tasty, fresh. The alcohol doesn't really overpower the beer, but there's little complexity in the flavors to support it. I prefer Orval and Chimay... and La Trappe, come to think of it.

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Photo of AfricPepperbird
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, uncorked properly, poured slowly, with intense concentration.

Duvel is a pretty beer; the head is thick: it will stubbornly occupy your glass and produce a creamy, immovable topography of its own design. The color is alchemic, with a cascading effervescence not dissimilar to fizzy French wines but with duplicitous aspects that, for this price, cannot be found in real Champagne or elsewhere.

The aroma is complex, overwhelming. Spice, fruit, oppressive maltiness. The taste then expands; intense fruit esters. Banana, pear, citric sourness;— ruthlessly, at first, a rude, invading stampede, but then following with a finish that lingers long as it dissolves into exotic, florid memories. The dénouement is sophisticated, an ethereal stretch; it is the proper occasion for a taste of cheese, a nut, or a bit of fruity juxtaposition. It is also the time for intense thoughts, and for deep, rustling feelings.

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

Malts: Danish Summer Barley
Hops: Styrian Goldings; Saaz
IBU’s : 30
SRM: 8
ABV: 8.5%
Hops added three times during the boil. Dextrose added prior to primary fermentation. Two yeast strains used. Infusion mashed. Secondary cold fermentation for 1 month. Dextrose and yeast added during bottling for 3rd fermentation. (Based on info compiled by Michael Jackson.)

At the time of my writing this review, there were over 120 other BA reviews already for Duvel. As a result, I won’t waste the words necessary to describe the Coors Light-pale body, the famously meringue-like head that would make a properly-poured Guinness feel inadequate, the gushing fountain of bubbles emanating from the etched bottom of my proper Duvel glass, or the stunning, textbook Brussels lace down the sides of my glass. Instead, I’ll talk about what I think makes this beer different. For starters, the nose, which has the characteristic Saaz bite, also has a smell that seems to embody the concept of carbonation. The overall, non-component smell of Duvel is that of sweet corn growing near the sea. Please pardon my weak foray into poetry, for that’s not my intent. I mean that Duvel literally smells like walking in a cornfield bordering a body of saltwater: like sweet Tostitos.

The indescribably smooth body gets this characteristic from the immeasurably small bubbles that eventually compose the head. I heard once that Champagne, as it ages, witnesses its bubbles literally become smaller and more numerous, lending the desired creaminess to the mouthfeel. Duvel creates this sensation even when brand new. Taking a swig, it’s hard to even taste any liquid until I’ve swallowed, the bubbles are so numerous and foamy.

The taste is sweet and apple-pear like, with perhaps some lesser hints of figs, lemons, vanilla and lightly almond-flavored pastries. The long, long finish exhibits more of the sweetened Tostitos flavor (perhaps more like Cap’n Crunch cereal?) before it sours a bit in the back of my mouth. The souring, however, is less prevalent than it is in the VAST majority of other Belgian Ales, whose sweetness is almost never fully mitigated by hop bitterness. Since Duvel has a touch of acidity to begin with, the sourness is not entirely unanticipated, nor unpleasant.

For a Belgian Ale, Duvel is one of my all time favorites—not as sweet as most, and slightly hoppier. It’s also so amazingly elegant and well balanced. Even not being a big fan of this style, it’s hard to find faults with Duvel…

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The cork flew right out of my hand with a literally deafening pop sound. My right ear is still ringing and I think the neighbors called the police. This amazing beer pours a pale, hazy yellow with a huge white head that loves to hang out and tease you. I smell a very pleasant fruitiness, mostly lemon. The mouthfeel is very crisp from the high carbonation, but it's a most enjoyable carbonation. To simply state the complexity of taste: sweet, fruity, spicy(mostly on the finish), simply amazing. This beer defines what high drinkability is. 8.5% ABV? You would never have a clue of that high level without the label on the bottle stating it. Not to sound repetitive, but this beer can definitely be dangerous. I'm going to struggle to limit myself to one 750mL bottle.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.89/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So good it's painful. This is a beer you don't ever want to stop drinking. One of the best qualities of this is the sound it makes when you pop the cap. The "whooshing" sound of the air escaping lasts twice as long as most beers and if you put your hand near it, you can feel that it's twice as powerful. It takes much longer than most beers to pour also because the head was so large. I once tried to take a sip of this straight out of the bottle, and was punished with a head that rushed out and foam went everywhere. I learned my lesson: A beer of this quality requires respect. As for the taste, a strong yeast flavor is the first thing I notice. A wonderful flavor of ripe fruit follows. Apricot, apple, peach, it's all there. It's got a slightly alcoholic finish which doesn't bother me in the least. It just serves as a reminder of the strength of this brew. The apperance could have been a little darker, and the mouthfeel a little thicker, but other than that, It's pretty close to perfection. If you haven't tried this yet, you need to right now.

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

Hazy golden lemon color and a formidable head (even after a gentle pour) with the consistency and color of stiff egg whites. Persistent carbonation adds to the attraction of this pretty pour. Smell is very pleasant though a tad weaker than one might expect given the "action" of this beer. Clean malty grains and yeast with some spice on the edges. A really wonderful, interesting taste. The easiest aspect of the taste to pick out is the yeasty, bready finish. Sweet grains start it out, giving way to noticeable carbonation and an astringent warmth and finally the afore-mentioned finish. Mouthfeel is clean and pleasant--the flavors linger without coating the mouth. Given the strength of this ale, it has an ominously drinkable character.

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Photo of Rocko
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First thing you notice is that if foams alot, you need to pour this up easily. The color is golden with a misty touch from yeast sediments. Imho the smell is nothing special... It tastes great though, it's bready taste that sticks around for a while with a citrus tone. If you are sensitive you might taste a little alcohol.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow color with a mammoth and lasting head. Very minimal lacing. Sweet, bready aroma. Very tingly on the tongue, and the flavor was not overly complex. I tasted citrus (lemon mainly), vanilla, a little alcohol, and some yeast. Very smooth finish makes this beer quite drinkable. Very good Belgian.

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

There's not too much to say about this beer, and yet there's so much to say. It is perfection. Each time I taste it, I can taste a different aspect: it's sweet, yet not overpoweringly sweet while a little bitter; it's spicy, but not so much to hide its flavors; it tastes light on the tongue, but it has depth (it feels like no other beer I've had). It's as though someone took an excellent Pilsner and slapped an amazing brew on top of it. At 8.5% alcohol, you'd think that you could taste the alcohol, but the flavors all work together to leave no hint of alcohol, making it that much more dangerous. This only bad thing I have to say about this beer is that my local beer stores often run out of it leaving me to desire it almost all the time.

Serving Note:
While I don't buy into the Belgian ideal that every beer deserves its own glass, there's something satisfying about pouring Duvel into its glass and letting the head almost overflow taking up half the glass. It's a beautiful glass of beer.

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

My favorite beer (hence the nickname). A much copied style (and copied very well by many), this stands out even amongst the great competition. There is just a little something extra-tangy in the taste that I haven't experienced, even after trying many of the greatest Belgian ales (my favorite style). The appearance and taste are legendary. Huge, lemon meringue looking head, fruity, spicy taste. Unbelievable drinkability for such a potent beer! I'm sure these strong ales aren't for everybody, but every beer lover should give this a try. As for you Belgian beer fans, try it head to head against the "competition". Somehow, the Duvel is totally unique. Enjoy!!

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Photo of Mitchster
2.47/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Phoosh, off goes the cap with a blast. Pouring it slowly was not enough to tame this wild head. The head literally GROWS before your eyes, forming a peak of meringue so thick, you can float a half dollar on it. The beer itself is highly carbonated. It actually formed whirlpools of spiral bubbles in my glass. The color is crystal clear straw golden. Aroma is typical Weihenstephan Weizen yeast, with that banana/clove tang. Pretty typical in the aroma department. The taste is also pretty typical bavarian wheat, but with a warming punch of alcohol. No lambic aroma or taste. Has a sweetness in the back of the throat for the finish, and not much for hop flavor. Fumes of alcohol warm the nostrils after a hearty gulp. Aside from the wonderful head, I don't know why this beer earns such stellar reviews. It may be a Belgian-style strong pale ale, but it tastes like a typical bavarian wheat, and not even a good one at that. In my opinion, it tastes like a "DoppleWeizen". I had a hard time finishing just one bottle, and would not buy another in the future.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing mountainous head and a wonderfully integrated pepper/citrus/alcohol aroma. It has a good citrus/ alcohol flavor with a creamy medium/light body. Slight pleasant after taste reminds you of how good the last drink was and invites you back for another drink and before you know it the whole 1.5 liter bottle is gone. This beer is too quaffable (not a bad thing).

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Photo of Shiloh
3.41/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer scares me....I love it, but it still scares me.....I have never seen such a thick head and yet the colour is weak.......medium body at best but a wonderful citrus flavour.....ABV is just to high.....Damn.
Slight pleasant after taste and rewarding....

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

Pours a clear straw color until the last drops of the yeast fall into suspention then the beer turns a hazy which is quite pleasing. The citrus fruit fills the nose with hop overtones that are lovely. I wonder if they use candi sugar like homebrewers do to get the high alcohol content. The alcohol is not over powering for being 8.5% abv. I now see why this beer is number 3 on top ten list.

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Photo of doho95fu
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this for my New Year's stash, and it was a pretty good choice, because it actually reminded me of champagne in some ways. The beer is golden with the thickest head I've ever dealt with, there were icebergs of foam. The lacing was thick and pervasive. The beer had a cloudy, mucky appearence as well, with lines of bubbles dragging up the sides. The smell is of fruits and alcohol in my book, even here I notice some champagne-like characteristics. The taste again was fruity, with currant, and alcohol kicks involved. The mouthfeel is good and the beer brings to mind the word effervescent. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Duvel is probably my least favorite beer from this fine Belgian brewery. The hoppiness is excellent but he finish is rough. It is also lacking in body. I prefer a more rich beer like the meredsous 10 or 8. This is still drinkable but I won't be stocking it in my fridge on a regular basis.

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

Duvel(Belgian White Label 330ML) definately is Belgians Devel. With all of the holy trappist and abbey beers that come out of Belgium there has to be some evil beers as well, and this is one of them! Thie beer pours a syrupy golden colour with an ultra dense rocky head that just won't quit, and it smells excellent. The aroma of Duvel is hard to pin down but it is very spicy, peppery, and full. The taste is more of the same and not as alcoholic as many would expect a 8.5%abv beer to be. The mouthfeel is slick, smooth, and full which lends an excellent level of drinkability to this beer. Another true belgian classic(much better in the white label and the 750ml bottles IMHO)
but if you can't get it in the white label the black is great as well

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Photo of cretemixer
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice cloudy golden straw color. Beautiful white frothy head that never quits, but leaves a delicate lace as you drink. Hoppy citrus aroma dominates the nose. Smells clean. Tastes as refreshing as it looks. Highly carbonated, well balanced, very drinkable. I'm glad I have 3 more in the cellar.

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Photo of Dantes
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Package: 750ml corked bottle, Black Label, labeled 8.5% ABV

Cost: $6.99

Presentation: Duvel glass at ~45º

Appearance: Rich yellow color. Cloudy. Moussy head lasts forever. Extremely fine bubbles. Strong lace as beer is finished.

Smell: Citrus, apple, pear, and hops. Mustiness. Marks off for slight alcohol bite.

Taste: More integrated than the aroma. Creaminess, yeast, and malty sweetness moderate the hops, fruit and alcohol. Vinous quality appears as beer warms. Spice notes are well-incorporated. Elegant. Dry palate-cleansing finish. Ready for more!

Mouthfeel: Warm. Carbonation plays across the palate. Mouthfilling.

Drinkability: Very quaffable despite relatively high ABV.

The Real Deal! Duvel was my introduction to great beer. I read an article about the 10 best beers in the world. Duvel was #1, so on my first trip to Europe, I couldn’t wait to try it. I remember sitting in Brussels' Grand Place with my father. They came out with that lovely golden brew with a beautiful head of foam. We were amazed by how good this was! I have seen this reaction from many people to whom I’ve introduced this masterpiece. At Belgo in London. one friend mentioned liking Pawel Kwak, so we each agreed to order the other’s favorite. Needless to say, after that round, we both ordered Duvel. It is the perfect “food” beer, especially for highly-spiced or “sweet” cuisines like Indian, Thai, or Szechuan. My only quibble is I think the “white label” is better than the “black label” version despite protestations from the importer that they are the same. The “white” seems smoother and less carbonated. Winstonian says that the “white” is lower in alcohol, but I have no corroboration. More amazing is that this is no “boutique” beer. In fact, it is practically the Benelux Budweiser, and is still made by the family-owned brewery. I admire the Unibroues of the world, but this is the original and still champ; le vrai roi des bieres!

Backwash: Often someone on the forum asks which beer would you drink if it were your “desert island” beer. Well, I can’t think of a better one: refreshing, complex, satisfying, and devilishly drinkable. Appropriate in almost every circumstance. I’ve seen a novelty item, which enclosed a cigarette and match in a glass tube, marked “break glass in case of emergency.” Well, this is the beer I would want in that (bigger) tube.

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Photo of stoutlove77
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It started as I seen the bottle, it was the only one left sitting on the counter as it seemed it was destined for me to cherish for the night. As I poured I was curious as one of the most noticable details was the foamy top that reminded me of such south american beers I had before. It poured a rich golden blonde with a sweet aroma and luscious fruity essence that was one of the main attractions I had hoped for. The taste was rather clean and crisp with a warm spice of after taste. The ABV of 8.5% was cleary masked in the flavor though it later help in keeping warm. This is a keeper, if you have a chance to spot the black label give this a try.

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

A delicate, white, bubbly, rocky head sits a top a body of hazy golden liquid. The head remained throughout consumption. Carbonation present. Aroma consists of Saaz hops and a pleasant fruit (slight citrus or pear) scent. Touch of alcohol in aroma can be noticed as the ale warms. The crispness from the carbontation dominates the mouthfeel. The taste is exquisite. Some citrus flavor and pepper in midtones. Excellent balance to hop bitterness. Dry finish. Warming effect noticed as it goes down. Very drinkable for having an 8.5% abv content.

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Photo of Ardon
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fantastic. Possibly one of my all time favourites. Extremely easy to drink considering the alcohol content. I could go through six of these and not even notice until I passed out.

Possibly my favourite part of this beer is the head. Very creamy leaving a really nice looking Belgian lace. Possibly the head with the most flavour of any beer I have tried.

This is a fantastic middle ground for luring over lager fans to the ale side of beer. Duvel has that same clean and bitter refreshment of a lager but so much more complexity. Could also win over Champagne drinkers.
Overall, astounding.

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Photo of aaronh
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, golden straw colored beer that pours with white, piloowy head that seems to stay perched atop the beer forever. Very fine bubbles of carbonation can be seen trailing up through the liquid. The lacing this beer leaves on the glass leaves no doubt why the call it "belgian lace". The aroma is unmistakably Saaz hops, with some similarities to Pilsner Urquell. However, this beer has much more going on in the nose. An overall sweetness, with some fruity pear notes dominate the aroma. The taste is fantastic. At first, it doesn't seem like much is going on, but then the flavors start developing. None of the tastes are stronger than the others, as this is a beautifully balanced beer. Alcohol notes of sweetness are present immediately, but just a hint. Then a light peppery citrus flavor appears, only to be replaced by a spicy bitterness. Then some sweetness reappears, but it's different than the initial sweetness. The finish is clean but yet flavorful. The mouthfeel is very good, but the carbonation seems a little strong as it tickles the back of my throat. For 8.5% ABV, this beer is amazingly drinkable. the alcohol is present in sweetness only, and that nice warming feeling your throat gets as you swallow the beer. I could easily make drinking this beer a regular occurence. Truly an exceptional beer.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,034 ratings