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 descartes
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Apperance: Deep yellow, thick looking brew.
Smell: Rich straw smell, with some fruitiness. Can smell the alcohol.
Taste: Apple front with heavy bitterness in the middle and end. Again the alcohol comes through towards the end.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth yet heavy, crisp.

Overall: A very good beer, which could use some time to mellow.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Charming stubby bottle, best before date of 03/08.

At first I thought the image of the Duvel tulip glass half-full of head was a little ambitious, but it's true. This beer pours an enourmous, cream-white, snow-soft head that is uncontrollable and looks like a good creme brulee in my personal tulip. The color is a dark gold that's just cloudy enough to keep you from seeing through it. The head absolutely refuses to die down and remains a half-finger thick, thanks to tons of rising champagne-like bubbles! Huge lacing!

Smell is very faint but proper for the style of a golden ale - not much to say about it.

The taste first surprised me - here, thought I, is something very normal - until I swallowed and exhaled. Huge, floral, sweet notes blossomed on the back of my tongue and built through my whole palate, leaving a tiny, well-balanced bitterness and a sweet alcohol warmth in my belly (which my tongue completely didn't notice). TONS of sugary citrus, orange peel and gentle spice notes. Awesome!

Mouthfeel is really good - so much big-bubbled carbonated fizz which swirl the tastes across your tongue, but not enough to wash away the aftertaste, which is a plus because in my book the aftertaste is this beer's strongest point. Sweet and complex enough that I can't think of any outstanding flavors to describe it by. This is like champagne combined with beer!

Drinkability is totally exceptional. This ale has an astounding 8.5 abv - astounding because I don't taste it at all. I could, with dazzling ease, drink myself silly on Duvel.

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Photo of Mandrake
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy medium yellow with a huge purest white head that is retained extremely well, leaving huge trails of lacing as it recedes into a mountain of thick foam. Smell is intense, the head bringing out the volatiles, with lots of breadiness and spices mixed with bright fruits and a touch of hops. Taste is mostly breads and peppery spices, the yeast really bringing out some musty character, with bright Saaz hop bitterness in the finish. Fruits are apparent throughout, apple and pear alongside a touch of bright citrus. Mouthfeel is excellent, stellar carbonation persists throughout, and it is very crisp and quite refreshing for a BSPA, while still being warming and full enough to enjoy on a cold night. Equally suitable for drinking right after mowing the lawn or while curling up in front of a fire with a good book. Can also be drunk at an incredible range of temperatures, equally good straight from the fridge or the cellar. Drinkability is great. A beer that I was less impressed with upon first sampling which I've really come to appreciate over time. Top notch.

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Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my tulip glass.

Appearance: Clear golden in color with a fantastic white head! Completely translucent. Extremely carbonated.

Smell: Sweet and fruity.

Taste: Subtle malt flavor. A bit of hoppy and spiciness buried in a candy apple bliss.

Mouthfeel: Extremely carbonated but smooth and easy to drink. Nice.

Drinkability: What a great high-quality, tasty, classy beer. It goes down very easily and is very suitable for formal occasion. I highly recommend.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of CrazyMike
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It was very, very difficult to not give this all 5's. But I realized this beer isn't a god among men (but very close) so 4.5's are close enough.

Wow, this beer is just amazing. Beautiful pale appearance. The aroma is sweet and fruit filled. The taste is also fruity, sweet and creamy. A bit spicy and goes down smoothly. This begins to push the boundries of a beer and begins to taste like a fine wine. This is just everything I would expect in a great beer.

This beer is unfortunatly extreamly rare. I luckly found two bottles of this in a dark corner of a liquor store. I would definatly recommend you try this if you can find it, I would even recommend importing a case. It's worth it.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of those beers I've enjoyed for years that I've never bothered to jot one single note down until now.

Pour this baby carefully or it could get away from ya, It's manageable especially when chilled down a bit below serving temp. Huge white head developes perfectly in a tulip, as it settles it leaves chunky lacing and forms mountain peaks in the frothy goodness. Tons of fine carbonation billow to the surface. A touch on the unfiltered side but I've read this is from the yeast.

Yeast is evident along with some candied sweetness, some spiceyness.

Taste: Whoa this is one carbonated pup. Extremely crisp and sweet. Fruity and malty are the main focus but it somehow finish clean and bitter with a nice alcohol finisher.

Notes: This is a monster of a beer. The best appearance I've seen in a pale and great taste to boot. This is hella easy to drink at 8.5%.

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Photo of jaluria
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears cloudy and yellow/gold in color with off-white head that lingers for quite some time and leaves behind some nice lacing. Aromas of bananas, hops, pine, and dried fruit (apricot) come to mind. The taste is smooth and dry with a crisp, unmistakable fruity flavor that seems very tropical. The alcohol taste blends with the bitterness nicely to generate an evolving flavor spectrum from which this beer draws it's taste. Overall, this is an excellent beer and one of the finest examples of this style.

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Photo of troutmask96
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Devil, indeed.

Where to begin in my love for this sensational beer? Is it brewed with rose petals? Is the water they use at the brewery somehow fresher? Do the beer gods smile down upon the Duvel family more than the rest of us?

Whatever their secret, this is perhaps the most uniquely outstanding beer to ever meet my lips. As you pour Duvel from its bottle (into your Duvel tulip, no doubt), a thick foamy head comes quickly rushing up, and with it smells from a thousand different points of light. Currant, caramel, fruit, sweet alcohol, the aforementioned rose - just a few of the notes in this veritable cornucopia of sensory orgasm.

This is also perhaps the most refreshing beer I've ever had. It drinks much like an American lager, but in a good way. Very, very light, crisp, and refreshing. This is truly the champagne of beers.

I save ratings of "5" for world-class standards. That Duvel captures so many depicts the true greatness of this brand.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a frothy golden color with a lively white head. Aroma is sweet with touches of banana and spices. Complex taste of sweetness followed by a nice alcohol burn. A good bitter finish to top it all off. This is the beer that started it all off for me. I love this brew.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel. What a beer. I lived off this beer in Amsterdam for a few months but never thought to review until I had a bottle last night at the BXL in New York.

Had it severed in a proper Duvel tulip glass. As usual it poured a nice golden bright color with a very thick white bubbly head. The body is just like a good champagne and has the activity of one.

This beer has a great balance between it hoppy character and a sweet taste to round out on the tongue. The great taste lingers in your mouth which is all for good.

Although it rings in at 8.5%, it is a pretty easy beer to drink and I have experienced having a bunch in one night but still being able to taste them all.

Just picked up a 4 pack with the glass for $12.99, what a deal!

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Photo of sopor
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh, the classic, perhaps the measuring block that all Belgian SPAs have to compete against? This seems to me to be the perfect example of this style, even if it’s not my favorite of this style.

Pale golden straw with a fluffy dimpled pure white head. A few bubbles are in no hurry but definitely dedicated to their task of joining that clouds of froth forming into pads where a tower of bubbles does it’s part to maintain the cover for the duration of the drink. Smells really good, candy sweet and dry yeasty notes intermingle and caress my anxiously awaiting olfactory sensors. Taste is dryer, with just a bare hint of sweetness laced with dry champagne. The yeastiness noted in the nose is subdued, in part due to the carbonation coming alive and foaming on the tongue just as you begin being able to taste it. Hops finish up almost resinously bitter, but in balance with such a light malt profile. With a light body and that carbonation that sparks to a rolling boil in your mouth, the beer is pretty refreshing, and hides it’s 8.5% to a degree. You won’t likely toss back Duvel like some ESBs, but you’ll have no trouble enjoying them.

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Photo of ClearDog
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass. Very nice cloudy, dark golden yellow. Two finger, fluffy white head. Respectable lacing. I like how the engraved "D" in the bottom of this special glass causes the carbonation to rise from that point only. Very hard-core appearance.

Smell -- Quite complex. Very fruity. I'm getting faint whiffs of apples and maybe pears. Spicy.

Taste -- Fruity but not overly. Almost tastes like champagne. There's more going on here than I can describe.

Mouthfeel -- Light and dry. Nice carbonation. Very pleasant.

Drinkability -- I like this beer a lot and will most definitely seek it out again . . . I've got the special glass now. It's a little more on the pricey side, but that's pretty typical for a good Belgian. Very pleasant and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ToggleEyes
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes Yes Yes. Duval was a wise choise for me tonight. I love this stuff. I wasn't sure if paying 2.49 for a little 11 oz bottle would be worth it, but I was wrong. It poured out crisp and pale gold. formed a huge champange head that stayed floating till I was almost done. the smell was fruity and floral with a little bread dough. Taste was awsome. Sharp hops and sweet on the tounge. If it didn't taste so good I could easily chug these little guys down one by one.
Awsome beer. going to buy the 4 pack next time.

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Photo of sockeye101
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not knowing what I was getting my self into I grabbed a 750ml bottle of this one of the local Fred Meyer's and figured it probably wouldn't be anything noteworthy, seeing it was from Freddies. But man oh man was I wrong. Duvel has got it going on!!! Beautiful golden color and a massive, thick, chunky head that clung to the glass and remained there until the glass went in the dishwasher. Smell was sweet and fruity with malts and hops. The flavor was very distinctive and full of fruity tones and hops and malts. I highly recommend this Belgian.

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Photo of ahking
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A truly unique beer. Aroma is floral and fruity (pineapple, citrus). Pours a golden pale yellow color with a large sustainable head. Liquid gold. Its hard to classify the flavor of this beer as it is so unique. There is a sweetness of honey, apples, and cedar. This beer is quite hoppy, but balanced very well. Hops and malt are equally strong and each distinct -- they don't blend together on your tongue as well as a pale ale would. While this is lighter bodied ale, it is certainly not a weak beer. Alcohol is evident but not overwhelming. This beer gets very nice as it warms.

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Photo of maddamish
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a nice golden color. Clean and clear in appearance. This brew had a big creamy head to it that did not quickly dissipate. I had to let it sit for a couple of minutes before I could pour the rest.

Smell: Creamy sweet smell mixed with bread notes.

Taste: What a wonderful beer. Fruity, bready and sweet. Very creamy and just as smooth going down.

Drinkability/Notes: This is a solid beer all around. The drinkability is high but watch it, this is a higher end alcohol beverage that will sneak up on you. A beer for people who don't like beer.

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Photo of Litterbean
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straw like yellow with an orange hue. Big fluffy head.

Smells of yeast and grassy hops. Underneath there's hints of sugary sweetness and fruit notes.

Crisp, clean taste. Pear, apple, and some faint orange in there. The use of pilsner malts is apparent. A leafy hop taste balances it out.

Good carbonated mouthfeel, and a smooth sipper. Not bad at all.

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Photo of wl0307
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle--not shared with other beer lovers but just blissful me drinking this mighty beer in a huge bottle... BBE 09/2008.

A: the bottle pops open and pours into a big tulip-shaped wine glass a golden-hued nectar, coming with a fast effervescent, rocky, meringue like fluffy but bloody tight paper-white beer head with very good retention; the highly-carbonated body is not just fizzy--it's like raining/then drizzling bottom-up, or even like a hot spring!! Massive, it looks... the foamy cap sustains the best I've ever seen.
S: fruit-esters, lemony+orange-peel, coriander seed and clove, candyish pale malts, while slightly woody aroma with sweetish edge and profound yeasty note sustains solidly in the background. Overall, floating, refreshing, lightly perfumy, and deceptively light!!
T: refreshingly fruity malts on a bed of perfumy and vegetation-like hoppyness catapults the strength in no time! Then overwhelming yeasty flavour is combined with a thin-bodied citrus-fruity edge, slightly sour-sweet but very tangy, to cause a profound yet very floating mouthfeel of fruitiness. Pretty dry in the aftertaste, like being dry-hopped, but it doesn't stop there, as it becomes drier and drier, dragging all my senses onto a single point deep down the palate... and the woody yeastiness and hoppyness leaves more marks on dryness than on bitterness, which makes this beer extremely light and easy to quaff without even noticing the strength.
M: exceptionally light and lively on the mouthfeel, this is one of those beers hiding their strength just too devilishly well. But for my palate the body is slightly too thin.
D: overall this is hellu'va fine beer. I once saw a Belgian guy quaffing this beer straight from the (330ml) bottle at lunch time when I visited Mechelen, Belgium. While I was sipping "elegantly" a small bottle of Het Anker's Goulden Carolus Classic in a goblet, he drank Duvel like a Bud/Stella Artois/Corona, and he consumed two bottles of them in 20 minutes!!--now I could imagine why, but still disagree with the way the beer was "wasted". He liked it anyhow... and so do I in my own way.

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Photo of Derek
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, slight yellow hue. Tons of fluffy, white head, decent retention. The lace really looks like lace!

S: Bready, pilsner malt. Clean hop aroma.

T: Bready, pilsner malt. Fruity yeast profile, with a touch of earthyness. It's a little cidery, though the alcohol is well hidden. Very well balanced... starting slightly sweet, with a crisp, slightly tart finish.

M: Moderate body, moderately high carbonation.

D: Should be approachable/enjoyable by all. Not a session brew though.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well my batting order for trying the Belgians went Chimay, Corsendonk, and then Duvel and this was my favorite beer for a very long time. NEver got around to reviewing it till now.

750 ML bottle ppured into my Duvel tulip.

A - A 5 by far, especially because this is one of those brews that has its own look. It's a pale golden color with tons of carbonation feeding a HUGE head of pure white foam. Over all the time I've been drinking this I've perfected the pour that is desctibed on the bottle and illustrated by video on their website. A pale golden color up to the middle of the letters in Duvel and then a bubbly white head filling the rest of the tulip. Truly a marvelous sight. The most lacing I've ever seen in a beer.

S - The pilsner malt comes through in the smell along with some granny smith apple and an alcohol kick. The yeast is prevelent throughout as well.

T - One of the best balanced beers I've ever had. It seems like the malt sweetness, yeasty taste and slight hoppiness all take turns on this one. The alcohol provides a grand finale of warming at the end. Definitely a unique and wonderful taste.

M - A ton of champagne bubbles tickle the tongue. They make the warming feel even better.

D - I want more every time I take a swallow.

Notes: An old favorite. both sentimentally and tastewise. Glad I finally picked up a bottle for review. I forgot just how good and unique this beer is and I now remember why my avatar and desktop both feature Duvel pics. A truly great Belgian strong pale ale and A great change of pace for me from all the hop bombs and stouts I've been into lately. I love this beer. One thing I will say though is that I've never drank this beer without proper glassware and I don't know if it would be quite the same without it.

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Photo of JanM
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well crafted beer that makes me happy. It pours with a bauta-head, and with rings of lacing like sediments marking every gulp. The color is light yellow and it smells of yeast and citrus. The yeast is coming to the fore in the taste as well, complimented with citrus and spices. It ends with a dry, bitter bite. The mouthfeel is very fizzy, a little too much for my taste. Unlike many other beers I tasted this one tasted better in the first sips.

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Photo of davidchollar
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

interesting note - i got a 750 ml bottle of this life-affirming jesus juice tonight for 1050 yen, that's about $8.75. i don't know how much this costs back home, but i think this is worth every penny, or yen.

interesting note, part 2 - i don't have the proper glassware for this beer but - as i'm new to the belgian beer scene - i learned a valuable lesson. i poured my wife some in an oversized wine glass, and i served myself in a weizen. after a few minutes, my wife still had this amazing 1/2 inch thick and creamy glorious white - almost styrofoam - head and i had maybe an eighth of an inch around the edge. her wine glass was tattooed all up and down with a wallpaper of lace. it really makes a difference what you serve this beer in. (i know, duh, right? well i was skeptical until that little experiment) regardless, it looks great, golden and wonderful

there is so much going on in the nose i don't know where to start, it's almost like perfume. complex, sweet but also a strong alcohol smell, buttery toast in the background with a nice floral fruity bouquet up front. every sip gives new insight into the world of better beer. my first taste and first review, but i will re-visit this brew soon. this is definitely one for reflection. jesum crow, what an incredible beer!

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

Sampled multiple times. About time to review it. Poured a off straw colored yellow with light hues of amber. Head retention was ample and remained throughout the tasting. Decent lacing as well.

The smell has a strong indication of Belgium quality. Some light malt with a touch caramel. More noticeable is the spices and fruity esters. Definite cloves and cinnamon as well as some bananas and a bit of pears as well.

The taste has a good malt backing with a basic taste but the real flavor is noticed in the spice, yeast and fruity esters. The spice has some good biscuit flavor that reminds me of an apple pie. The fruitiness accentuates this but has more of a banana taste. This becomes more noticeable in the aftertaste. And the yeast has a smoothness to it that is not overly alcohol even with a high ABV.

The body is med to high. Very easy to drink with low phenol flavors. Overall a good example of a Belgium is pretty widely distributed.

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Photo of Finite
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew needs no help getting a head forming. The head is thick luscious and pure white with marvelous head retention and amazing lacing on the glass. Carbonization is a perfect flow of bubble. The colour is a dark lemon to light orange which is slightly pale. The brew smells of sweet fruits and well balanced spices.

The taste gets better as you go. At first I was unsure if I liked the taste but after a few sips I was enjoying it thoroughly and by the end I was I love. The flavors on the palate are unlike anything if witnessed. It’s sweet but lemony with hints of pepper and spice yet in the background at the back of my throat is the alcohol, untouched just reminding you of its power. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with great carbonization. The flavors in this beer are delicate yet at the same time there is something powerful and devilish about this beer. It’s a real sexy flavor range but quite strong at the same time. It really feels like this beer lures you in to something sweet but packs a punch just as you start to relax. The aftertaste is a perfect reminder of you last sip, tasting of citrus rine and spices with hints of bitterness.

This beer is one of the best I’ve tried. It’s a real trip and every sip packs a seductive punch. I will have a six pack of these in my cellar always.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Allagash Belgian tulip glass
Bottle Conditioned
Best before date labeled for 10 2008

* Thanksgiving 2005 *

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a bunch of tiny carbonation bubbles. Looks like a pilsner with champagne bubbles in a haze. The head on this beer is unreal; it looks like it has the consistency of shaving cream. I was expecting a big head for a bottle conditioned beer, but this Duvel is massive. The head is sudsy, fluffy and all over the glass. One of the most aggressive heads I have ever seen. Patterns of sticky lace decorate the glass.

Whiffs of Belgian yeast....a blend of spices and light fruits.

Spicy and fruity with pear flavors and white pepper. Very clean and light with a creamy quality on the palate. Distinctive Belgian yeast taste. This is such a great beer with complex flavors that make this an interesting beer.

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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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