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Duvel | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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2,799 Reviews

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: 2,799 | Ratings: 7,800
Photo of counselor
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased in a 4 pack with 2 sweet Duvel tulip glasses. Beer poured a pale straw with tall, fluffy head that lasted the whole beer. I agitated once in a while and released more and more carbination (and aroma). Aroma changed as it warmed, initially, cool crisp malts and as the beer warmed figs and plums fille dmy nose. The beer's taste also changed as it warmed. Initially crisp flavors of bananas, pears and grassy dry finish. Later, diacytle flavros abounded with adry lemon drop finish. Yeast flavors present thoughout also changed as the beer warmed to add to the overall enjoyment of this beer.

Most enjoyable and the abv well disguised amidst the many flavors present in this offering

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Photo of stimy
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this at a "The Belgian Beer Diaspora" beer tasting hosted by the late Michael Jackson at the National Geographic. The tasting involved pairing a number of Belgian beer styles with a Belgian and American interpretation of the style.

These are my tasting notes:

This beer had a huge white head. Champagne mouthfeel, very carbonated tasting. I'm not a huge fan of "champgney" beers.

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Photo of HopBacchus
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sandy blond nectar pours out of a bottle into an official Duvel glass leaving a clumpy head, lacing here is pretty good

This beer definitely smells Belgian wheaty yeast and faint hops follow crisp fruit and alcohol

Yummy! subtle wheat malts and a crisp hoppy finish. There is a light presence of spices and fruit alcohol is easily detectable

Over carbonated in my opinion and the the spirityness detracts from the body leaving it lacking in substance

The high level of carbonation and alcohol make significantly detract from the drinkablity of this brew

This is a good brew one of my favorite widely available beers i, i think they could have masked the alcohol better and given it a tad less carbonation otherwise go out and buy some, enjoy

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
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 maccroz
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A light cloudy beer that pours with a thick, and I mean thick, foamy head. I tried to pour this slowly, but I got lots of head. According to the picture on the package, this is normal.

It tastes very sweet with a fruity yet bitter aftertaste. The first sip tasted a bit reminiscent of my Colt 45 days, but it has a very extravagant array of tastes that follow the initial shock.

As for drinkability, I'd say this is a beer to try once in a while. It's good, but it's hard to knock back more than one of these 8.5% alcohol havin' beers.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours to my Tremens tulip light clear gold with a big fluffy white head. Aroma of yeast funk, hay, hops, and light sugar. Flavor is sweet dry and effervescent hay and honey. Light mouthfeel and very easy drinking. While I like others like Piraat a bit better than this one, it is an excellent choice and could be enjoyed in any occasion or weather.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light straw gold with a massive head in the tulip glass. Almost looked like water coming out of the bottle. Lots of soapy foam and nice lacing.
Smell is fruity and floral yeasty hops.
Taste is very complex fruits, apricot, slight banana, apple and spice. Some floral character as well.
Feels just too carbonated for my taste. This hurts the drinkability for me as it's too filling due to the carbonation.
Well crafted and complex, deserves to be in the top 100.

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Photo of brendan13
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours into a snifter a pale golden with a big fluffy inch or so of white head that hangs around for a fair while. Little spots of lacing.
S - Belgian yeastiness & spicy phenols. Really not much else.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with a musty, earthy sort of touch. A pretty dry finish.
M - Medium bodied with a bit of a carbonation bite on the back of the tongue.
D - Not something to session but a nice beer. It MAY be the "original" Belgian Strong Pale Ale but it's not the best.

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Photo of icetraxx
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The first two glasses I poured out of the bottle were crystal clear golden colors, the last looked more like a Witbier as it was slightly hazy from the bottle conditioning yeast. I had to pour slowly due to massive creamy head formation. The head fades in spots and doesn't in others, making it look like melted marshmallows are floating in the beer. This is by far the best lacing beer I've ever had. My empty glass is filled with tons of bubbling foam and lace, it looks like my glass was once filled with whipped cream. Amazing.

S: A bit of honey (due to the fact this Duvel was aged and the hops settled down and made a honey-like aroma), noble hops, sweet malty grain, and belgian yeast (little funk though). Unfortunately the aroma isn't very powerful, even with the higher ABV acting as a vehicle for aroma.

T: I originally thought this tasted too much like a Pilsner, but I have warmed up to it quite nicely by my second glass. There is a tinge of skunk in the particular bottle I am drinking, which really worried me, but it has settled down nicely with some decanting. This beer has a slightly sweet edge, but not too sweet. The sweetness is mildly balanced by hop bitterness, and a slightly spicy/yeasty element. The Belgian yeast is very conservative in this one, which is very disappointing. No tartness and no funk. Crisp, clean, and refined.

Complexity seems to be lacking, possibly due to age. Age has definitely added a honey-like edge, but the hop fruitiness seems to be completely lost. Drink this one fresher.

M: Super creamy for the light color. Mixing in the yeast even adds better mouthfeel.

D: Very easy to drink for the high ABV, yet I can't see myself having too many due to a lack of complexity.

O: I prefer the beer with the yeast mixed in. I have had Belgian-style brews that I have enjoyed quite a bit more for the money; this is a solid beer, even so, I have yet to be a fan of Belgian-style Pale Ales. Serve this one at a higher temperature (55 degrees F) in order to get the most flavor out of it as possible.

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Photo of scooter231
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So the first time I tried this I was a little disappointed. It didn't live up to the hype as I thought it would. But, it's been quite a while- so I'm giving it another shot. Here goes...

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw-like color with miles of white poofy head that leaves lovely lacing around the glass. The head won't stop! It grows and grows! Smell is malty and peppery- makes my nose twitch a little, actually. Lemon, lots of lemon. Spicy.

Taste is also lemony with a strong maltyness dominating. Some juicy fruityness and a hint of bitterness at the end. It's tasty, but... pale? I think is the right word. It just doesn't impress me like it should- the big WOW isn't there- it's just not flavorful enough.

Mouthfeel is lively and bubbley, smooth, a bit chewy, and crisp. Clean feeling. Overall a very drinkable brew- not overwhelming, and certainly easy to drink considering it's alcohol content. But it just doesn't do it for me like I'd like it to. I'd take La Fin or Delirium Tremens over this any day.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle into a pint glass. The first glass pours a bright and clear golden yellow, the last glass is cloudy with yeast sediment. Every pour results in a thick soapy white head that coats the side of the glass as you drink. The smell at first reminded me of a macro-brew. As it sat odors of yeast, banana, and alcohol are present. The taste is sweet with strong flavors of banana and yeast with little hop flavor. Carbonation is strong, but it is very drinkable. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of jporf911
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter. Consumed on an empty stomach to ensure full appreciation.

Appearance- Pours with a wonderfully frothy, active two-finger head that lasts a long time. Lots of bubbles rising to the to top; small amount of yeast evident in the glass. Strong, clear golden color that is very reminiscent of white wine.

Smell- Again, very reminiscent of white wine. Crisp apple, mild spice, and a bit of a bite of yeast.

Taste- Starts off with a hit of yeast, followed by a slightly juicy apple taste and fruity malt, and finishes with a wonderfully bitter bit of hops. The alcohol is definitely evident but not unpleasant. The hint of white wine similarity is in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel- So crisp and creamy that it practically begs to not be put down. Trust me, it's hard putting down long enough to write this. The bubbly carbonation tingles the back of the throat.

Drinkability- It's delicious, and I feel honored to have tried one of the best beers in the world; however, it's not something I'd make a session out of. One or two are quite satisfying enough.

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Photo of Schneic8
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful golden color with a nice head and somewhat translucent.

Smell: Sweet fruity smell. Yeast and barley smell also. Very appealing.

Taste: Has a nice light taste with lemon tones. Nice long lasting feeling with a warming alcohol feel. Seems to have a high carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp that is not overpowering and almost dry with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Very nice beer and easy to drink. I would like to try it again but it didn't blow me away.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duvel pours a beautiful pale straw/gold with a huge fluffy white head that leaves all kinds of lacing on the glass. The nose has lemon zest and pilsner malt notes. Maybe a bit of pear and pepper.

The flavor has more lemon zest along with some banana notes. There is a good size punch of hop bitterness on the back end that quickly leaves and the beer finishes dry. I got no hint of the high ABV on this. Mouthfeel is a bit creamy with very high carbonation.

Overall, this is a very drinkable, thirst-quenching beer.

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Photo of AltTrinker
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A shorty 330ml freshness dated bottle poures a HUGE, solid foam head. Great care needs to be taken to slowly pour this beer so as to not over-develop the head. The head lasts forever, leaving lacy traces all over the glass with chunks of foam in the center of the beer. I chose to pour the yeast, giving a slightly turbid, pale golden color.

The nose initially gives a sharp, bitter aroma that mellows to a citrusy, lemon and corianter scent. The taste is more muted than the aroma with pale malty sweetness noted in the mouth, followed by hoppy bitterness down the throat that lingers on-and-on. The mouthfeel is light to moderate.

This is an eminently drinkable beer, especially to perk-up the taste buds before the evening meal. The 8.5% alcohol is well hidden in this smooth, very drinkable ale.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a cloudy pale yellow color. The beer has a creamy head that leaves huge globs of lacing.

S - sap, pine, oranges, spice and warm alcohol

T - sweet malt that turns piny and spicy

M - high carbonation and dry

D - taste similar to champagne. This is something to sip and enjoy though the bitter pine taste seems too strong.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a nice looking beer, huge white head that doesnt disappear, a yellowish hazy colour with tons of carbonation

Smells fruity, bready/yeasty and winey.

Tastes of bananas/fruit, sort of winey and sweet like candy sugar with some alcohol and hops in the aftertaste.

A nice bubbly aftertaste, but overall I think this beer is a bit overated compared to other belgian beers.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass (all I had at the time).

A: Pours a very pretty golden yellow, almost totally clear. There is lots of carbonation, and a huge white head.

S: Belgian yeast, a little sweet/fruity, Pilsner malts.

T: Sour and a little acetic at first but fades into nice crisp, light, fruity yeast flavor with the pilsner malts. It is a bit minerally. Better as warms, less off flavors, but mineral flavor increases.

M: Light as expected. Not much aftertaste at all, and finishes pretty dry. Only a bit of alcohol presence.

O: Man, this just didn't do it for me. The malt aroma just reminds me of cheap beer and I just couldn't get over it. It did get a little better as it warmed up some (or as I got used to it) but didn't meet my expectations. But I'll try it again and see if I have a different experience.

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Photo of ticklechicken
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful beer. Big bubbly head, slightly opaque yellow body with beautiful streams of bubbles rising rising throughout, nice textured lacing.
S - Smells of sweet citrus , grape, almost like champagne.
T - Citrus and grape taste, with a sour aftertaste that builds as you drink.
M - Strong carbonation has a tingly effect in the mouth, rather than a sudden bite. Feels good.
D - As I was drinking, I couldn't help but think of the similarities to champagne. That said, it's definitely an enjoyable beer that I'll come back to.

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Photo of klewis
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

"best enjoyed chilled with discerning friends or good-looking strangers." Love it. 11/08 freshness date

A: Pours a straw color with a massive frothy head. The head subsides in its monstrousity fairly quickly, yet sustains with good volume and tons of lacing.

S: Aromas of Belgian yeast, citrus, and lots of spicy notes including clove and pepper.

T: Somewhat tart with prominent a lemon flavor. Also features some bready and yeast flavors with an alcohol foundation.

M: Medium bodied with an abrasive carbonation. It seems the carbonation takes much from my ability to taste all of this beers flavors.

D: I hate the mouthfeel, but ignoring that, this is a wonderful Belgian.

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First Duvel I have ever had. Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into the duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very yellow, almost piss-like semi-clear color. Huge head from a moderate pour. Very nice lacing down the glass and head retention is amazing. Still had a head throught the session. Pillowy fluffy head.

Smell: A little challanged on the nose. Slight malty and banana peel aromas. A faint lemony rubbery aroma.

Taste: Very nice. Tastes like a nice strong pale ale but with that european feel to it. Packed with flavor in such a light colored beer. Alcohol comes through a little bit but its contained through the malty finish. Nice bitter hops on the initial attack.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated. A lot of tiny bubbles. Medium viscosity with a nice creamy aftertaste that coats the palate, yet refreshing.

Drinkabilty: Great sesssion beer if you can handle a couple of these. Strong but not too strong. Overall very refreshing and tasty. Great to accompany grilled meats and veggies.

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Photo of Dmann
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very interesting beer. This one poured a pale yellow color with a really nice frothy white head that left little specks of lace down the glass. The smell was quite unique, with a slightly bitter apple scent and a grainyness to it as well. The taste was quite dry like champagne but with better flavor. The apple scent came out slightly in the flavor but I mostly detected a peppery spice which was very nicely paired with the bubbly mouthfeel. This is definanlty not a beer that I could drink all of the time, but I think it would pair well with many meals and would convert some wine and champagne lovers to beer as well.

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Photo of eat
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Alright...Duvel has been one of my biggest disappointments so far in my reviewing of beers. Definitely the biggest ratio of widely respected-to-I didn't think it was that great. I originally gave it a 3.6, which isn't a terrible review but is considerably less than average. Glassware choice may have been an issue. I don't remember what I used but I didn't have anything appropriate at the time. This time around I'm using a Maudite tulip, which is very similar in design to the proper Duvel tulip. I'm really hoping I was wrong last time, maybe it was an off bottle.

Pours almost clear and light golden yellow in colour. Decent airy, slightly rocky head which fades to the thinnest patchy covering. Some lacing though.

Smells like a ton of yeast, some light lemon and hops, a little grain and sweetness. Mostly smells of yeast. There isn't a lot of smell coming off it.

Astringent/acidic, slight hops, yeast, grain. It almost feels like it's going to upset my stomach; like it's part vinegar or something. It has a very strange quality to it. Dry finish. Pretty smooth for 8.5%, I'm not feeling it at all. I'll up the score to 4.0. There's something about this that's a bit indescribable.

This has one of the most prickly, lively mouthfeels I've ever experienced in a beer. It actually kind of reminds me of San Pellegrino (yes, the sparkling mineral water). That isn't an insult though, I love the feel of San Pellegrino. But it's weird at the same time, I don't quite know what to make of it.

So I think I can see how a lot of people are into this. For me it's a little uninteresting though. It's definitely not bad, I just wouldn't put it in the same category as the best beers I've had. I would gladly drink Duvel if it were free but won't be buying this again.

Old Review (05-26-2009):

Huge head (maybe I poured a little too quickly), settling down to a decent layer of foam that stuck around until the end. Really light color; I was expecting it to be a little darker but it's a murky, pale golden yellow. Not a bad looking beer. A little bit of lacing. 3.5

The smell is acidic, metalic, mildly spicy, a little yeasty. It doesn't smell bad but doesn't really smell good; pretty neutral. 3.5

I was expecting more taste than this, it's a little bland. It doesn't taste bad it just doesn't taste like much for my taste. Kind of like a light tasting white beer. Mostly tastes like the smell; an acidic bite, mild spice flavour, thin tasting though not bad tasting. 3.5

The mouthfeel is nice, thicker than the taste would leave you expecting. Good carbonation. 4.0

I don't know if I just had a bad bottle or what. I bought this today after reading all these great reviews but can't say I feel the same way. I definitely didn't think it was bad, I just really wasn't blown away at all. I do remember having this last year once and feeling the same way about it, mostly indifferent. I kind of feel like I'm missing out...what am I missing here? 4.0

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Photo of champ103
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Huge white head with a lot of bubbles rising to the top, other than that, a bright golden color (looks like a pilsner). Leaves a ton of lace on the side of the glass.

S: Faint hops, malt, yeast with floral and citrus (still reminds me of a pilsner)

T: Complex spices with a little alcohol burn. Hops, malt and citrus are present with a good amount of banana flavors.

D: Good for how high the alcohol content is, but it is still very noticable. Don't drink this too fast.

I like this beer a lot, but Belgian strong pale ales are not my favorite. As I have noted, this reminds of a pilsner but with more alcohol. Duvel is one of the best example of a Belgian strong pale ale though.

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Photo of therica
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My rating is based on the warning that you'd better let this stuff set for at least 5-10 minutes after pouring, or you'll burn out your nostrils with a biting gas, and your throat as well.

Pour it slowly- as the bottle say, "Pour Unhurriedly."

A= nearly clear-yellow, immediate massive head at least equal to the fluid. The head gradually settles, forming chunky thick islands of foam that look like half-melted marshmallows.

S= nice, inviting, florals, evidence of the hops-bitters, slight reminder of lemonade, some bubblegum scent after it's been sitting for 10 or more minutes. Very Belgian-Ale typical. Whiffs of strong alcohol.

T= a little watery for my taste, and yet it rates so highly. Lots of sour-bitter hops, florals, typical trademark Belgian flavor, evidence of its 8.5%ABV alcohol on the tongue.

M= a bit more alcohol-burn than I like, and aftertaste more reminiscent of wine-sour than hops-bitters. A little more watery and lacking balanced flavor and bouquet than I'd like, afterwards.

D= as far as alcohol, not very drinkable in quantity, and for my own personal tastes, there are many other Belgian's that I'd prefer if I were going to knock off a quantity of 8.5%ABV beers.

I've had this in Belgium, where I noted a malt scent and slight sweet hints in the nose, possibly a taste of cardamom, and how it seemed to change character in the taste as it sat, over time.

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Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,800 ratings.
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