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 blitheringidiot
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This thing practically jumped into me Duvel glass all by itself, filling up with about ½ DUVEL and ½ cloud like pillowy snow white head that popped and stuck to the glass as it dissipated. Slightly hazy light straw hues with a fountain of beading bubbles erupting from the etched calligraphy D from the bottom of the glass. (A must have for any beernut.) After a minute or so to settle, the second pour went thru the four inch meringue clouds. A perfect pour that left stratus lace and a mini volcano of puffy capping throughout the pour that is fueled with effervescent bubbles.. This might be the most ever written about the appearance since Bells Sparkling Ale.

Belgian yeast strand aroma.

Yeasty bready doughy taste. Peppery awl-kee-hawl esters abound with some JuicyFruit gum A bit vanilla bean malts ease up and a short sticky bread pudding aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied. Rock solid carbonation that won’t quit a bit and is in it to win it.

8.5 % ABV is scary due to the simple delight of the brew.

Last swigs: So the hunter has become the hunted. Duvel is a Belgian institution inunto itself. Now, so many other Belgian styled American beers more readily available at more affordable prices have surpassed this offering in many ways. Special t’anx to BA Shapudding for the DUVEL glass. Truly, proper glassware is essential to enjoyment. I have a bomber in the cellar that will be excitedly opened at a later date to do an update. Reminds an awful lot of Lucifer. Changes as it warms.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A blonde yellow beer pours with fluffy head floating on top (like an icecream float). There is a lot of carbonation in this beer.

Smell is dry with a pilsner element to it.

The taste is a mild blend of malty smooth flavors that smooth into a bitter taste. It turns on itself and ends with a sweet, fruity finish.

Watch out - this beer is contagious. One will not cut it. Buy 4 or 8.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw yellow with a mountainous fluffy white head. Chunks of lace left in it’s wake.
Aroma is kind of grainy, kind of yeasty.
Flavor is kind of lemony, kind of apple, sweet/tart,
A crisp refreshing brew. The alcohol kind of sneaks up on you, the 8.5 isn’t real noticed until you about finish the bottle.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This Beer puored a cloudy bright golden, rich frothy head, that left soft peaks, all the way to the bottom, thousands of tiny bubbles rushing to the top, just like champagne.
smell:complex fruity aroma, citrus
taste:delicious, and hard to describe, I definitely taste, some sort of citrus, lemon meringue aftertaste, a bit peppery,somewhat dry finish, but refreshing and wet also, just delicious.
mouthfeel:light and bubbly, I can feel the bubbles dancing all over my tongue, leaves a slight coating on the tongue, which is pleasant.
drinkability: Awesome stuff! This must be what set the standard for this genre, it's got it all, not a good session brew, but perfect for a special occasion, I could drink a bottle of this every week! Highly recommended!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Duvel pours a cloudy yellow with hints of orange and an incredibly massive foamy head. I was pouring slowly and the head simply erupted. Looks nice in the glass...almost the same as on the bottle...and it's not going anywhere. The smell has a spicy peppery hint to it along with a nice pale malt profile. Hints of alcohol and floral hops come through in the nose.

The first taste is wonderfully smooth with a nice malt profile and hints of peppery spice. There are some light citrus tones as well...and as I drink some nice lacing begins to build up on my glass. Hops balance out the brew well. The yeast seems to impart a sort of outdoor/earthy flavor on my tounge as well. Overall good flavor on this one.

The mouthfeel is good, but there is a bit too much carbonation for me here. Seems a little too fizzy going down. Otherwise it is very smooth. Drinkability is good as well and I could see myself having a few of these.

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

750ml bottle; corked.

I will start with the head. The head from this beer is white, tiny bubbles producing a very foamy froth. Lacing is all over the glass and retention, well, you could die waiting for this ale to fall asleep. The color was a straw yellow. At first it was champagne white, but the more you pour, the darker it gets. As it sits, the head will get rocky. Colorado has nothing on Duvel.

When I brought my nose to the rim of the glass I was greeted pleasantly by my new friend. I smelled pineapple, dry crackers, and tiny bits of lemon holding up the rear. I could also smell spring water. I may be crazy, but when I picture standing next to a clean stream or spring, this would be what I would smell.

Crisp. The tiny bubbles excite and awaken your tongue from its usual slumber. Do not swallow to early, for the bubbles will fight you all the way down. The taste is buttery, slight lemon and alcohol. Some freshly baked crackers, or light wheat bread.

A VERY drinkable beer. One of the many things that draw me to this beer is that the novice and the expert can with some patience enjoy it. Few beers offer such calm complexity.

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

I have heard so many good things about this one that the anticipation was heavy. The beer label says to pour carefully and to take your time, which is what I did, being that it is bottle fermented. It pours a very pale amber, straw color with a good deal of carbonation bubbles rising to the top. By pouring slowly, I was able to create a perfect head, about an inch thick, a white, rocky froth. Belgian lace is all over the glass from the beginning to end.

The aroma is distinct, an alcohol tinged banana coconut smell. Hard to pinpoint, though. The taste is faintly alcoholic and yeasty. It leaves a slight bitter aftertaste. This is a distinct and unique beer that has few equals.

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Photo of jahsausage
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying this beer again after about 5 years, back then me and a friend drank it out of a bottle and complained. This time around I poured into the closest glassware I could find to the one pictured and it came out a nice "hazy lager" colour with a pure white head that refused to go away. This time around I can certainly appreciate the taste a lot more, it is definitely a "yeasty" beer which can scare a lot of people off. The taste is probably the best i've had in this range of alcohol strength, how the hell do those belgians manage to hide that alcohol taste? it continues to amaze me.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off is the pour wich is an enjoyment in itself. The beer bears a golden colour and is quite "fuzzy". Its not clear and bears traces of yeast. With a little aid from the special glass the bubbles create a wonderful fountain from the center bottom swirling up to the high, high foam mountain wich is snow-white.

The aroma bears a strong fruity and yeasty smell with an underlying tone from the alcohol. Its fresh and distinctue.

The taste hits you quite aggressive and is clearly malty and fruity with an underlying citrus-smell. After a while you get a dominating sweet and malty taste with finishes off as quite dry and somewhat alcoholic. Surprisingly the alcohol does'nt take over or anything like that, good and bad (depending on how many you drink ;p)

Some people seem to think that the taste is too powerful and the 8,5% should say: "dont drink more than one!" but i totally disagree. I can sit and sip at these little suckers all evening and all night long. The perfect belgian ale and it beats any other beer in this family.

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Photo of benmiliron
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paid $9.99 for a 4-pack of 11.2 oz bottles.

Nice meringue-like head floating on top of clear yellow beer. Very clear, no yeast. Tastes great, your standard belgian - nothing special but nothing lacking. Nice and creamy, yet not too filling. Very nice. This is a great session beer if you can afford it. I'd like to find it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This came in a corked 750ml bottle. After finally wrestling the cork out of the bottle I poured this into a snifter where a huge fluffy white head formed that peaked over the glass. The body was a hazy yellow color. The head gradually collapses into a rocky cavernous landscape with chunks of lace strewn about the glass. The second fill of the glass the body was much murkier. The aroma had hints of apple with a spice and yeast notes present as well. The spice was the main contributor to the smell as this warmed to room temp. A bit of malt sweetness is the first thing you taste before the spice comes in and sticks around though the finish. This has a very clean and crisp taste that has a strong bready and yeasty presence. Mouthfeel on this is medium to full with a very filling quality about it even when you take a small sip. Drinkability is perfect, I could drink this all day or until I hit the floor as the 8.5% does not show at all. Great beer that everyone should give a try if they haven’t already.

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Photo of mudhoney
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip glass this beers appearance is highly impressive.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a super frothy white head that lingers for the duration.

The aroma screams spices. Not much fruity aroma detected at all.

The flavors are malty and citrusy. Honey, lemon, and a hint of pepper that warms the beer well with each drink.

The mouthfeel is robust and definitely not shy with a lingering spicy taste.

A very strong beer not intended for session drinking but a good choice for a belgian ale nonetheless.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Newly sampled after purchased from the bar-car on the Eurostar from Brussels to London... Small bottle with a white label and red lettering.
Medium-to-pale golden and clear, Duvel has lots of bubbles rising topside. It was topped by a huge, billowy, white, marshmallow-like head. The initial head/bier ratio was about 2:3. The fluffiness lasts and lasts, to the last drop, and lacing is top-shelf! A lovely sight!! Nose exhibits some bready malt along with a spicy/peppery character. The body of Duvel was medium, yet it had a prickly feel due to the abundant carbonation. Taste produces a sort of bready/crackery malt giving a smidge of sweetness to the palate, and even a hint of tartness. Then comes the pepper and spice notes for a lovely finish. Yeasties poured in at the end of the session clouded things up yet added more spicy aspects. I can also feel the "heat" a bit as it descends. Much better than my last experience, especially while zipping through the English countryside. Prosit!!

overall: 4.2
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** ***

(Original review of 16MAR02). Had this from an 11.2 oz bottle. I like strong Belgians, Dubbels, Trippels, but, frankly, I was not impressed by this. Light golden-straw color; a bit hazy, with a big whipped-cream head. Nose was spicy, yeasty, even salty. Medium body, but a bit prickly on the tongue. More spiciness in its flavor, slight fruitiness, crisp and ends dry. Not bad, but not my top bier. But everyone has different tastes, right? I respect others opinions, so let's move on and drink some more.... (4.0/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5 = 3.60)


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

Appearance: Hazy brassy golden in color; yields a massive snow-white head when poured properly into a Duvel tulip chalice. The head is remarkably persistent, there is a profusion of thick sticky lace, constantly renewed by the slow-rising streams of carbonation. Great clumps of foam linger to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: Densely spicy, with strong clove notes, earthy yeast notes, and bread malt.

Taste: Begins with a slightly sweet malt note and green apple peel, towards the middle of the taste, bread and yeast notes dominate, finishes with a wave of mild and warming alcohol

Mouth feel: Slightly tingling carbonation combines with a rich and full feel.

Drinkability/notes: A ubiquitous classic, the fact that Duvel is so readily available may cause one to hold it in contempt, resist this temptation. A remarkably elegant beer that compares quite well to champagne. I suspect that the experience is greatly enhanced by the use of proper glassware. This is a beer that is not to be missed.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom eleven point two ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Written From Notes Compiled 6/04-8/04:
Hazy gold color, much darker at the top of the glass than the bottom. Huge 4" that fades into jagged spires. Great hops and yeast in the nose. Taste is huge. Fulll of yeast, alcohol spiciness, hops, and butter flavors. Mouthfeel is full and well carbonated. So much closer to being the "Champagne of Beers" than the macro label that carries the phrase.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all, I think that the actual Duvel glass truly brings out all of the fantastic features that this beer has to offer. The head on this beer is as good as it comes. Very thick and fluffy throughout the entire glass. It never got less than a quarter inch thick. As far as the aroma goes, this is where the tulip shaped glass shined! All of the floral fruitness is concentrated to the exact spot that your nose hits as you take a sip. Yeasty explosions fill the nostrils and remind you that you are enjoying one of Belgium's finest. Taste...this beer has all the pieces to make this a true classic. The super sweet malt taste is perfectly balanced and comes together ultra smooth with a somewhat dry finish. This beer is truly spectacular and I am now an advocate on proper glassware! Enjoy this one!!!

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

Aged for 1 year and a half.

Luxurious ultra-foamy aspirin white head forms quickly, remaining until the first sip, after which it slowly puts on a magnificent churning, foaming show, until it reaches a good 3 or 4 centimetres. Upon my word, the head is like a living thing. Untouched, it remains like styrofoam. Sometimes it appears so thick it looks like ice cream sticking to the side of the glass. Lacing is the thickest I have ever seen. The liquid is almost rose-wine coloured, slightly pink and occasionally almost white. Light light orange and very pale, with only fleeting golden glimpses. Whilst at first it appears to be transparent, held up to the light it is clearly not, but quite thick and murky. Aroma immediately is sugary aged peaches or nectarines, along with a baking-bread yeast smell. A definite aged smell to this bottle: musky, dusty, and very mature. The sweetness borders on sourness, and some honey aromas become clear. Candy apples, pears, apricots, sugar-rich candy, light but very bready malt, ripe green apples, soap characteristics; not as spicy as it is sweet. Taste delivers on the aroma fully. What struck me immediately was how incredibly drinkable this was for a strong Belgian. The taste is a superbly balanced experience. I was expecting cloying sweetness with some fruity yeast, but it has so much more. The hops, undetectable in the aroma, complement the sweetness expertly. Dusty, full yeast taste on the middle, giving green apples again strongly, along with other fruits, perhaps pear. Toasted malt with strong caramel and semi-sourness, almost akin to tomato juice if tasted strongly enough. Very full, yet it disappears in effervescence on the tongue in a slight tingle and foaminess. When exhaling with the beer in the mouth, I get strong dough or pasta tastes. Some fresh pine wood tastes. The aftertaste for me personally was all green apples and sugary pear. Yes, the phenols are there, but at first I did not even notice the alcohol--it was that smooth and balanced. Certainly it does not suggest 8.5%. This bottle seemed to be very foamy, but not overly gaseous in the mouth. The lees, tasted separately, give super fresh apple and fresh dough smells, dust and ultra-sweetness. The lees give the beer even more of a white appearance, almost like a wit-bier. Smooth in the mouth, very full, it tasted basically as though I had poured some dry yeast into a glass full of lukewarm water and consumed it. The yeast made the beer warmer. Personal verdict: one of the best. This is classic beer, and when aged it accrues even greater proportions, like a classic novel written a hundred years ago. This is something most people will revisit again and again, with friends, on memorable occasions. This beer is one of the few I have found that have an indescribable quality about them; it is not easy to put into words why this is such heavenly liquid.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearences can be deceiving.

But then you'd expect that from Duvel, the devil of beers, laughing heartily with it's devilish deviltry.

It pours a bright blonde with an enormous, creamy, dense head on top, a beautiful sight to see, but not one you'd expect for it's headiness and strength.

Aromas are of over-ripe fruit soaked in liquor, and delicious yeast, a full mouthful in itself, pulling the drinker in.

Tastes are of rum-soaked apricots, black pepper, ripe banana, and, way in the back, cooked green apples. The very first sip is warming and tempting, but urging you on.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, appropriately heavy on the tongue.

Drinkability is lower, if only because the intoxication (alcoholic and otherwise) gets to be too much when several are had.

Still, a fine beer for all occasions, and I imagine it would be fun to use this in a bait and switch on a Bud drinker. Ha!

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Photo of waughbrew
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling light gold with humungous topping of creamy white foam. Bubbles rise to continously provide fuel to keep the head afloat. Aroma of great peppery lemon seed with yeasty brightness. Flavors of hay fields and banana trees. Vanilla and freshly cut grass. A white pepper spiciness lasts forever. A little harsh biting carbonation at first, but after sitting for ten minutes or so a creaminess appears. Medium-thin body is pleasant and crisp yet lasting.

Every time I have this beer I feel differently about it, so my review may change often. There have been times where I would have given it a perfect score, and times that I am disappointed by a harsh bite. Anyways, definitely leave the lees in the bottle for this one.

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

Poured a very pale straw colour, with a HUGE foamy white head. No matter how gently you pour this beauty, the head will be big and creamy. The head subsided in such a way that it reminded of what happens when you heat marshmallows and then let it cool quickly, sort of a deflating effect. Left a nice blanket of foam over the beer.

Smelled fruity and alcoholic.

Flavour of malty sweetness throughout each sip. A mid sip hop bitterness is present, but only slightly noticeable. The warmth of the alcohol really takes over towards the end. Taste is a tad phenolic as well.

This just feels so damn smooth and creamy in your mouth. It's like it explodes in your mouth after you sip it in (well maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but it's close).

A good session beer except for the 8.5% abv. Wonderful belgian ale, a devil of a beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice light straw color with a gigantic meringue-like head. The nose is very lemony. The beer is a sweet malty flavor with a lemon undertone that finishes with just a slight hop kick on my tongue. Very refreshing for this moderately warm summer day. The beer is moderately thick in my mouth, without an overowering carbonation. This is a nice, easy drinking beer. The only thing keeping this from being a true session beer for me is the ABV.

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Photo of dedalus
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. stub bottle.

i have no duvel glasses so i poured this one into a burgundy glass. even with the yeast sediment the beer was clear and golden with a voluminous, fluffy white head. beautiful.

the aromas were spicy hops and alcohol, with apples and pears and a candyish sweetness.

tart wheaty flavors hit first, followed by the apples and pears (these fruit flavors were unfortunately a bit more subdued than i remember they were in my last duvel). the hops finish things up with a spicy snap, and reverse olfaction after the swallow raises some grainy, sweetish, wheaty flavors.

the signature explosive duvel mouthfeel was out in full force here, and the mouth filled with creamy, foamy smoothness with every lift of the glass.

all in all, a wonderfully drinkable beer. i wish the fruit flavors would have been more pronounced, but i have no real complaints. the duvel went perfectly with a plate of steamed broccoli and cauliflower covered in butter, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, and aged cheddar.


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Photo of noclue
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 750ml bottle corked and caged. Served in tulip glass.

Appearance: slightly hazy golden yellow. Huge fluffy billowing head with soapy sticky lacing.

Smell: Spice, ground pepper. Fruity, yeasty, sweet, sweet malt aromas.

Taste: Sweet and fruity up front. Wham! sweet and fruity turns to bold and phenolic, which fades into spicy hops and alcohol. The alchol is present, yet pleasant and very much wanted.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth. Streaming effervescent carbonation is crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability/Overall: So light and crisp that you forget about the high ABV. Easy to drink and a pleasure to enjoy! A devil of a treat!

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the stubbie bottle pours a slightly hazy golden liquid, with a thick, fluffy white head. So far, this is one great looking brew. Some lace on the glass, as the head shrinks, but never fully disappears. Swirling the glass brings another rise to the head. Smells slightly yeasty, with some spice to it, almost peppery. Pale malt flavor, with some tartness, slight fruit notes to go with a slight spicey flavor. Slightly bitter in the finish. The alcohol is noticable at the end. High carbonation makes this have an almost creamy mouthfeel. Overall, what a classic! Nothing is overpowering. This has a good amount of alcohol, but you might not notice it until it is too late. Damn you devil!! Welcome to the dark side!

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

One of my favourite commercially-available beers of all time. This beer is best enjoyed in a tulip glass. Pours a nice, golden color, and is a bit hazy with the "in-the-bottle" fermentation yeast. Has an excellent, foamy head that remains the entire time you are drinking it. You can eat the head with a fork. The smell is exquisite, with spicy and fruity tones and a bit of malt. The taste is wonderful. I enjoy belgian ales, and this one is excellent for a bottled beer commercially available in the USA. It is a strong, crisp, spicy ale with a bit of fruitiness that goes down incredibly smooth. I highly recommend this for anyone, anytime, but especially one who is trying out the Belgian style. Excellent ale!

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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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