Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

2,815 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Reviews: 2,815 | Ratings: 7,883
Photo of Maracuja
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured perfectly clear until the end of the bottle when the yeast was roused. A perfect decant was not possible as the head was literally rising out of the glass! Hazy yellow-gold body with an orange-cast topped by a dense, rocky bright-white head that holds extremely well - buoyed by a tight-beaded effervescent carbonation - and leaves some exceptional
lace. Aroma is quite fragrant: fruity, yeasty, candy sweet and malty, lightly peppery with a touch of spicy hops. The body is light/medium with an extremely fine and highly effervescent carbonation that is pillowy soft and velvety smooth in the mouth.
The flavor is surprisingly full and rich, starting with a candyish malty sweetness, becoming dryish in the middle with some earthy and lightly spicy hop flavors, and finishing long and malty with some more distinct Saaz notes and touches of bitterness. The alcohol is amazingly well hidden. Impressively balanced with a fresh hop presence and bitterness that dances amongst such sweet malt character. Amazing. As Michael Jackson notes, Duvel is equally impressive served chilled, or as it warms toward cellar temperature. This makes it quite drinkable, and enjoyable, as a glass can be savored over a period of time. One of my favorite beers in the world, and absolutely recommended.

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Photo of schematix
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I agree with the bros: 5/5. Perhaps the best beer ever made.

Heavy on the alcohol, yet light, yet satisfying. An unlikely contradiction that is so true you have to taste it. Simple ingredients with deep complexity. Epic head. If poured correctly, the last sip of beer will be all foam. And it'll get you buzzed in a hurry.

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Photo of vcek
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a golden honey color with 4 fingers of beautiful pillowy white head that goes down very slowly. The lacing retains very nicely.
S- I'm getting banana, apples and possibly tangerine with citrus zest, even some white grape. Definitely citrusy hops and yeast.
T- Much like the smell, mostly apples, citrus, white grape, and yeast. Delicious.
M- Medium bodied, but on the lighter side. Smooth but crisp with a dry finish
O- This is a great beer, and that is an understatement. It may be the best beer of its class out there, and is a personal favorite.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the 750ml bottle. Even better than the 4 packs. What can I say? This is the ultimate of beers. Poured out to an amazing clear and beautiful golden color with a white cloud like foamy head. Dream like aroma of sweet spice and crisp herbs. The taste is heavenly, with the carbonation demanding attention from your tastebuds to savor every drop of this brew. Flavors of citrus, sweetness and bitterness were most noted, but this beer is almost beyond words. Finished crisp and clean, like it was daring me to not take the glass from my lips. The ulitimate beer in my opinion. Well worth the price tag of the big bottle. Highly recommended. This is the end all be all of world class beers in my opinion. The only brew that has every earned all 5's in my reviews. This is beer from Heaven. Grace be to GOD, this brew is the ultimate.

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Photo of DaverCS
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle poured into a Belgian glass.

Appears to be a light golden-straw color. Ample carbonation streaming from the glass with an equally generous amount of fluffy white head.

Aroma is crisp yeast. You can tell this beer will be dry and yeasty. Slight notes of grain. The yeast is obviously present and quite complex!

Taste is absolutely spectacular. This is my go to beer. In my opinion, I wouldn’t change anything about this beer. Immediately when the beer kisses your lips the carbonation grabs you and keeps you the entire sip. The beer is akin to a dry champagne with notes of yeast and light hopiness. Some nice notes of grains or wheat in the mid-palate. Really no malt to speak of. Very little hop bitterness, however, the bittering-hops that are present act to balance and add characteristic to the beer rather than being added in for the heck of it. This beer is incredibly smooth even at such a high ABV! It drinks like a 4% (be careful!). I LOVE Belgian beers, and I think this is the best example of a Belgian bottle conditioned beer. So crisp!

Overall, this is a perfect beer in my opinion. It pairs with any dish. Non-beer drinkers will love this beer as well as more veteran beer drinkers. If you are getting into beer, getting into Belgians, or just want to try an EXCELLENT beer look no further. This is why this beer receives a 100/100!!!

*** Add on 3/22/15***
I aged this beer for just over a year to see how it turned out. While very similar to the original, it has more yeastiness to the flavor and aroma. Almost a slight funk to it (not in a bad way). However, it doesn’t change enough to warrant the year of aging, but it was still fun to try!

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Photo of dobiechief
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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 Eeroomnhoj
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer!.

Bought a bomber at the local Costco and kept it for a few days until the timing was right. Opened it up the other night and thoroughly the entire beer from start to finish. Will drink this one again!

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Photo of mikeylab
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"All '5's' should be rare." It is my opinion that this beer deserves all 5's. Taste is ABSOLUTELY subjective. Mine tells me that this one is 5's all the way around. I buy one for people who haven't had tried it any chance that I get. I love it to no end; haven't had one in months, yet think about it almost every day. I am glad to have been introduced to this beer. I drink a lot of alcohol. But this is magic in a bottle.

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Photo of Gajo74
5/5  rDev +16.8%

This is quite possibly as close to perfection as a beer can get. It's beauty and quality is subtle and not easy to discern for the non experts. The first sip feels heavily carbonated and one might be tempted to wonder what all the fuss is about. However, this beer is meant to be sipped slowly. After a while, as the carbonation settles and the beer warms up the taste becomes more pronounced. As you get to the bottom of the snifter glass you feel a poignant sadness that it is all about to end. The taste is so unique; it feels like you are drinking a white wine at times. The alcoholic content is high, yet the flavor is so clean and the taste so pure, I didn't even feel a buzz. (I mean this in a good way) it is a taste I will dream about and think about for a while.

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Photo of lackenhauser
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I first had Duvel years ago after a store owner told me about it. I have to admit I was intrigued by the high alcohol at first. The taste was so far out there and unique I loved it immediately. I dont have regular access to it so when I saw the gift pack of 4 bottles and a glass I jumped on it.

Pours a gorgeous golden color with a head so thick you need a spoon. You could even float a bottle cap on it Jim Koch!!! Great lacing all the way down the glass. If it wasnt for the huge head I would think BUD-really!!!

Wonderful aroma. Sulphury. Phenolic. Earthy. Woody. Spicy. Extremely complex. Black pepper essence.

Extremely citrusy flavor. Spicy notes. Yeasty. Malty with a tart finish.

Body is extremely complex as well. The beer is very "bright" on the tongue. Somewhat sweet at first but dries out quickly.

An amazing brew. My first all 5s. I have had this over the years and it ranged from "eh" to wow!!! This is a great beer all around. I wish I could find it more often. Truely a classic.

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Photo of prsguitarsr4me
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. What a fantastic beer. Poured into a North Coast snifter. Its a clear as day gold with a frothy white head. The aroma is subtle but sweet - not too revealing. It is still mysterious at this point. The taste is just awesome - clear, fresh, refined - it goes down like love in a glass. Nice carbonation, too. Totally drinkable - tastes like heaven and the alcohol is masked remarkably well. This may be my favorite lighter beer (I'm usually a fan of imperial stouts and IPAs). I'm about to drink a Chimay after this one to compare. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Photo of Beelzebier
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a very hazy pale yellow, difficult to see through the glass at all despite the light color. The head pours very thick remaining at least 2-3 inches thick after dissipation.
S: A flavorful aroma of bread and hops. The smell is mild while still being extremely enticing.
T: This brew tastes of well cooked bread, with a sweet almost fruity taste. This taste is controlled with slight hints of a spicy earthy taste.
M: A strange mouth-feel that is nothing but delightful. The carbonation level is somewhat high but the slightly thick mouth feel really brings this beer into perfect equilibrium.
O: This is one of my favorite beers, if it is not my favorite it is definitely one of my favorite imports. Everything about this beer is just exceptional, the only downside is the price which is above average even for imports.

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Photo of AlexTheAleMan
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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 Hoppsbabo
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a composite review using my original review as a backbone. I drink this every week and I've had it in every form in all sorts of weird places around the world.

S: Sweet, hard to pin down. Vinous. Banana. Peppery cloves.

A: Poured into a medium red wine glass. The glorious head, I can only compare to the toxic foam on the River Ganges. It's so pretty. The body is a beautiful opaque golden colour with lots of active strings of bubbles and it looks like champagne.

T: Fairly tart bitterness. Dry and champagne like. Lots of white bread, green grapes, black pepper and vinous yeast. As it warms it gets very earthy. The unique black pepper/clove-like flavour reminds me of burning dust, like when you put on the fire for the first time after summer. Lemon and citrus in the aftertastes, but sometimes apples. Light on the tongue but not so carbonated as to dissipate.

A: Imparts a sharp bitterness on the back of the tongue. Once that's settled I get a nice soft bread flavour and lots of apple.

O: This is a true premium beer, in a totally different league from anything I've reviewed from Belgium. In my book it's a candidate for the best beer in the world. The nose on it is so good that I once spent ten minutes just whiffing it from a deep wine glass.

EDIT: The 750ml corked version is fresher and more alive. The foam is chewier and the lemons and apples seem to have been replaced with pungent fresh cut grass and earth. If this beer was hard to find I bet it would be more sort after than Westy Xll.

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Photo of butlerj
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If real Czech pilsner and good champaigne could mate ( possibly after a romantic evening of consuming large quantities of cloves and very dry mead), this would be their offspring. This beer has all of the flavor and nuance that American lagers claim to have. Imagine if a BMC beer was actually as good as their advertisements claim and you will get a pretty good idea what Duvel tastes like.

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Photo of Luminol
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Golden in color but a bit hazy. Tons of carbonation. Nice beautiful foamy head.

S: I'm picking up a lot of smells here: clove, apple notes. The smell is very refreshing.

T: The taste is similar to how the beer smells. There's hints of clove and banana, some spices, and a bit of orange. It also has this apple cider-type flavor amongst all the flavors. The bitterness is very mild.

M: Light bodied, and the carbonation draws out the flavors. The carbonation really makes this beer stand out.

O: This is a perfect beer. It's very tasty and refreshing. It's a really good Belgian Golden.

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Photo of jesey
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer. A truely great Belgium because it is not overly sweet like a lot of Belgiums are. It's balanced with nice grassy hops which produced a creamy mouthful and a dry finish. People who love the hoppy American ales but are turned off by the spicy, sugery Belgium ales will most likely find this truely enjoyable.

* Note if this beer is properly prepared, its color is very clear and not murky. You should have no problem seeing through your glass. So, let it sit for at least 3 days before drinking, and don't pour the yeast into your glass unless you know you like it. It makes a big difference on taste--much drier and smoother, and with a much more pronounced hop flavor without the yeasts floating around. I always let mine sit for a week so the yeasts are settled.

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Photo of soultrain
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured lovingly into a Duvel Tulip.

A-The Perfect head: the most magnificent head in beerdom. If it was possible, i'd give appearance a 10, as this beer is one of the finest visions in the world to behold. The most fun beer to watch, ever. I've been hip-mo-tized.
S-Heaven smells like Duvel, Duvel smells like heaven.
T-Citruc twang, fruity and hoppy with an ever so slight alcohol zip, then dry finish: deliciousness! Refreshing! Can I have another?
M-Once the massive head had settles down, drinks like a pilsner or something, but more warming, of course. Light/medium mouthfeel.
D-Supreme drinkability. I was gonna dock it 1/2 point for the alcohol level, but nah, but this beer really is perfect. Pure delight.


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Photo of vitesse
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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 tubacharlie
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured unhurriedly, as the label suggests, yields a crystal clear ale of a light straw-gold color with a rocky white head of large and medium bubbles. Slowly receding and leveling out to a thick carpet of foam, the bubbles coalesce into a smoother surface with nice lacing stuck to the sides of the tulip glass.

The palpable yeast presence emits a light, peppery aroma with intriguing floral notes, especially after swirling around the dregs in the bottle and pouring down the center to cloud up the contents. A hint of clean alcohol esters is also discerned.

First sips reward the tongue with grassy, spritzy grain and cereal flavors accented with dry biscuit and slightly astringent hints of sweet citrus and green apple. Smooth and nicely balanced, the devilishly high alcohol content is hardly noticeable. Well carbonated and effervescent, the brew enjoys its brief party in the mouth before a wet hop sendoff, leaving a hint of bright bitterness in the good-bye, enticing one to yearn for another visit.

A classic that never goes out of style, it pairs nicely with some Gorgonzola spread on freshly toasted baguettes. Some smoked salmon on the side is gracefully engaged and complements the combination, for a petite feast of grandeur.

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Photo of SlainteAlbanyNY
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 330 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass halfway up the Duvel label (proper pour, even on draft (single))

Appearance: Blonde in color with a nice creamy head after being poured with correct vigor. The lace clumps to the glass.

Smell: yeast, malty, sweet fruity smell!

Taste: A mix of flavors, but sooo good. Complex, spicy, funky and immensly complex.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and tasty. Goes down very smoothly. The taste lingers on the tongue - in a good way. It can stay there forever as far as I'm concerned!

Overall: Oh so drinkable. One of my favorite Belgians. I've been drinking it for years and still get that 'Yup, this beer is still that good' feeling whenever I have it. The warmer the better too as with most Belgians.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 330ml bottle (BBD January, 2008) poured into a proper Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured a bright golden color (deceiving if you know nothing of Belgian ales) with a head that took up about half of the glass. Both the color and head are exquisite.

Aroma: Pepper, some spiciness and malt as well.

Taste: Crisp and refreshing, a clean malt flavor is present throughout. You get a little bit of the alcohol in the finish, but for a 8.5% ABV beer it certaintly goes down easy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, the carbonation is also excellent.

Overall: This beer is perfection in a bottle; one of, if not the best that I have ever tasted. If you've never tried it, do so immediately.

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Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've put this review off for a while now...just because I wanted to make sure I was reviewing it correctly. I kept asking myself, "Is this your favorite beer?" And I keep nodding and telling myself that it probably is. In the big world of Beer fandom...it's really not a unique beer to have as your numero uno, but if you're at a bar, or you're anywhere where you're surrounded by Bud Light drinking fratboys, and you pop this bad boy open....you instantly become king of that domain; no matter where you are. Duvel is, in my slightly noobish state of being a beer advocate, the number one beer on the planet.

This is the first part of my review, and basically just the brief opening I have planned for it. I'll continue to edit this review until a full, and rather lengthy review is completed. Do you care? Of course the fuck not. Why? Because Duvel is awesome.

I want to write this review with the utmost respect and certainty, as this beer deserves nothing less.

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Photo of smanders
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from the tap at Pub Concorde in Caen, France.

Appearance - Sediment-filled glass with cotton candy-like head.

Smell - Unbelievable. Fruit, spice, a little sugar.

Taste - Bubbles of sugar and spiciness all at the same time. Notes of fruit and grain. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel - almost creamy.

Drinkability - It's not one of the best beers on the planet for nothing. If you think you know a lot about beer but haven't had Duvel, stop and enjoy a pint right now. Your education (and enjoyment) level will increase to the nth degree.

In case you're wondering, it's still phenomenal from a bottle.

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Photo of MOB210SA
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice strong POP from the cork on this one. After having this glass for so long, finally poured into my Duvel glass.

Poured "unhurriedly" (and to not disturb the settlement until the end) amazing fluffy 2 fingers of pearl white luscious head. Maintains and hardly receeds, thick heavy blanket on top. A large amount of bubbles showering from the bottom of the glass. Does amazingly look light golden yellow "pilsner" like in color- but the color doesnt take away from the ale at all. Huge beautiful sticky lacing that clings and is pretty damn impressive. This beer just looks Alive and couldnt possibly look any better.

I great subtle dark fruitness with a nice amount spices to it that doesnt overwhelm. Smell really is balance nice. Can smell a sweet maltiness. Great fragrance to it, kind of stimulating to the senses. Smell just a beautiful bouquet of all the ingredients within.

The taste goes hand in hand with the smell and is just absolute liquid perfection. Was this brewed on Mt. Olympus? haha

The mouthfeel is perfect. Almost a champagne like bubbliness. Very highly carbonated and bubbles and tingles on the tongue in a great way. An awesome lingering on the tastebuds thereafter. Leaving you wanting more. Smooth and very enjoyable.

When you rate a beer you are comparing this offering to the actual specific style and your own personal taste. I think Duvel couldnt look, smell, taste, or possibly be any better. I would take this over a Delirium any day and this beer is a masterpiece in itself.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,883 ratings.
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