Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,024 Ratings
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:
A Duvel is still seen as the reference among strong golden ales. Its bouquet is lively and tickles the nose with an element of citrus which even tends towards grapefruit thanks to the use of only the highest-quality hop varieties. This is also reflected in the flavour, which is beautifully balanced with a hint of spiciness. Thanks to its high CO2 content, this beer has a wonderful roundness in the mouth. A Duvel is both the perfect thirst quencher and the ideal aperitif.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,024 |  Reviews: 2,861
Photo of bogus564
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalise.

Golden in color, with a beautiful white head that just seems to last forever.

Smell indicates a grassy nose, with a fruitiness right up there with it. Delightful.

And oh, the taste - butter smoothness, I catch clove right away. The yeast is well done as well, as I'm pretty sure I'm getting some coriander in there. This is truly sublime.

The mouthfeel is outstanding - the balance is some of the best I've ever experienced in a beer. I have to hand it to the Belgians - they really know how to do yeast. And the carbonation was beautiful - bubbles from the opening to the last drink.

Great drinking beer; I could make a night of this one, with a nice barbequed chicken sandwich.

 707 characters

Photo of oatmealjunior
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My 2nd ever BA review on one of my longtime favorite brews. Poured into a tulip from a 330 ml stubby bottle.

A: Sublime, pure-white head, it almost makes you giggle with surprise at the shear size of it, an easy 4 fingers that keeps a pretty solid retention throughout. I don't know if you could call it "lacing", more like "chunking", giant craggy cliffs of meringue-like foam left behind on the sides of the glass and on top of the brew itself which was a beautifully clear pale-gold color until i disturbed the yeast and it became a little more hazy and somehow more gold in color. I've never seen anything like it -5.0

S: The smell is very subtle, strong scent of pastoral hay, light citrus and apple with some distinct peppery belgian yeast. Nice, but nothing mind-blowing -4.0

T: This is one area where Duvel shines in my opinion, it has all the flavors you'd expect from a belgian; the peppery yeast, apple skin, grapefruit, hay, banana phenols, light pilsner-esque hops and bright, sweet toasted wheat, maybe a touch of corriander. The only difference is the extreme balance achieved by duvel, every time you think one flavor is taking a dominant role, you take another sip and the flavor changes leaving you want to explore deeper. Also, alcohol content should be discussed here; with an 8.5% abv, you'd expect to taste some alcohol, and you do, especially as the brew warms. But its as if all the other flavors come in to perfectly support and mask it ever so slightly, the alcohol adds to the taste rather than detracts. One word to describe duvel's flavor? "elegant" 5.0

M: Champagne-like carbonation, airy/cloudy head. It starts out juicy and creamy gets sort of dry towards the middle where you're introduced to some warmth from the alcohol content and it ends sort of tart and sweet, leaving you wanting another sip. Very nice -4.5

D: This is where the "Devil" moniker comes into its own. So light, crisp and refreshing for an 8.5% brew, just the slightest hint of alcohol and each sip leaves you craving another one. Endlessly drinkable, if i could drink only one beer for the rest of my life, it would be duvel, hands-down. i had to struggle to keep some in the glass to finish the review -5.0

Overall, I'll admit i'm slightly bias. The first time i tried this beer i was living in india at the time, and had nothing but terrible terrible beer for months, until a friend of mine offered me an unassuming glass of pale, yellow beer which i assumed to be either carlsberg or tuborg . . . until it hit my tongue. he said that i had the biggest, most over-the-top, cartoonish double-take after my first sip as my mouth filled with the golden nectar. i wasn't expecting it and was absolutely floored by the depth and complexity. I thought i was looking through rose-colored glasses without having anything decent to compare it to for months, so i was cautious when i went to taste it again back in the states, and was pleasantly surprised when i found it just as heavenly as the first sip. I cannot rave enough about this beer.

 3,045 characters

Photo of Bravo4
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a Duvel glass.

A- Light golden color with exceptional head. This beer is worth buying just to experience the head. It has about 4 fingers of thick, chunky, white head. The head lasts and lasts. Absolutely amazing. It leaves thick, chunky lacing.

S- It has a decent wheaty-yeast smell to it with hints of fruit.

T- It has a very yeasty taste with strong hints of fruit.

M- Very balanced mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation and smoothness.

D- This beer is very drinkable and I would reccomend it as a good session beer.

 566 characters

Photo of Mjoepp
3.2/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden but a little "muddy", probably yeast as it smells belgian yeast. The head is enourmous if you pour the liquid clucking through the bottle The head is white and quite creamy when it settles in.

S: Sweet belgian yeast and a little touch of flowers. Light carbonation.

Taste: Sweet belgian yeast which is noticed both while the liquid is in the mouth and and ater swallowing. The aftertaste is a bit hoppy and a bit of sweet candy.

O: Not what I rememberd, but it is easy to drink. Almost to easy.

 508 characters

Photo of impending
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


330ml into a Duvel tulip. The pour is crystal clear. Classic pale gold. Something few beers can do - I poured carefully, the head was a solid finger. Sitting still on the table the super active carbonation grew the head. Two minutes later the head sat two fingers. Cool !

The head truly deserves special note as the half inch head lasting the entire session is dense and clumpy, I could be looking down out an airplane window !

The malt aroma is crystal, pure. Delicate green fruit, blended subtle spices. Superb !

If all of Belgium was condensed to a single brew - this is it. Seems kinda silly describing the flavors, it's an icon, an archetype and my opinion doesn't matter.

Extra credit:

1) When incorrectly served too cold - it's still excellent, still extra delicious when very chilled, refreshing
2) ubiquitous


 840 characters

Photo of dolzan
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer, but not the beer nirvana that the other reviews would make you think.

Very pale with an enormously large head.

The aroma is fruity, and the feel is very smooth, but the finish lacks something, as if the beer goes away without saying goodbye.

 261 characters

Photo of chickenm
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

330mL bottle poured into a tulip glass. Gorgeous looking beer, pale golden color with a massive white head, and lots of bubbles. Aroma of yeast, citrus, spices, and a little honey. Taste is sweet, yeasty, and fruity with some mild bitterness. Crisp, dry mouthfeel, a little bit like champagne. Decently drinkable, but I wouldn't have more than one of these at once.

 365 characters

Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale gold with a finger and a half head and lots of carbonation, leaves decent lacing

S- Maybe it's my nose, but not much. Some Belgian yeast.

T- Slightly sweet with a touch of hops, not bitter but balanced

M- Light, with a sense of effervescence

D- Very drinkable, but a little too bland (and expensive) for me.

 320 characters

Photo of Trapiste389
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I almost cried when I poured this beer out and saw the head. watching the belgian lace alone was worth the price of the bottle. I tipped the glass a few times just so I could see the lace. The smell was wonderful, dry and herbal. It was one of the most delicous beers I have ever tasted. Dry, and even a little bit spicy, but with enough malt to keep the phenolic taste from overpowering. The mouthfeel was exceptional as well, very balanced and satisfying. though at 8.5%, it is not exactly a sesion beer. a thoroughly satisfying beer.

 536 characters

Photo of Luk13
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 33cl.
Appearance: Awesome. Hazy straw yellow with lasting foamy head.
Aroma: Tropical fuits, mostly pinneaples and pears. Belgian yeast and alcohol esters. I also get subtle herbs and spices.
Taste: A nice mix of citrus, honey, belgian yeast, herbs and hops.
Palate: Lively carbonation alongside with a creamy texture. The fine bubbles makes it very enjoyable.
Overall: Complex and nuanced yet easily approchable. I could drink this on a regular basis. A very well executed classic that I appreciate more with time.

 524 characters

Photo of Kala1073
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I say about this beer that has not already been said. This is a staple in my refrigerator. It pours a golden color with a head so foamy it looks like clouds dancing on a field of golden sand. Bubbles rise from the bottom to the top until the end. The smell and taste are nearly identical and are both very enjoyable. I pretty much enjoy everything there is about this beer and would recommend anyone and everyone to give it a shot!

 440 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale straw yellow with a finger of bubbly white head that left great sticky lacing on the glass.

S: lite belgian yeast aroma with slight citrus and spice notes that also had faint booze notes.

T: apples, belgian yeast, and cloves strike first on the palate with apices and citrus accents. It also had some booze punching through the flavor.

M: duvel was light bodied with a good amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but citrusy crisp finish.

D: duvel drank very good and has been a go to beer when there is not a big variety of beer at certain liquor stores but has always been a tasty beer for me.

 623 characters

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

Chilled bottle poured into a glass. I decided to revisit this one.

A: Even a careful pour into the cavernous Duvel tulip produces four fingers of fluffy, eggshell white head. Retention is outstanding; the foam recedes slowly and collapses in clumps, leaving tons of sticky lace down the glass. The body itself is a pale straw color, perfectly clear, with active effervescence. This is what the 5.0 is made for.

S: Green apples, lemon zest, grass, spice (pepper or clove). The last time I had Duvel, largadeer kicked it over the floor and spilled some on himself, smelling like yeast. The aroma brings back memories.

T: Hops for sure: the flavor brings to mind a Noble pilsner. Grassy, lemon, leafy presence that supplements pale malt. Green apple and pear are noticeable, and there's a light spiciness (clove) in the finish. The aftertaste evokes hints of tea and earth. I gather this is a pretty fresh bottle.

M: Very crisp, giving the impression of being light-bodied. Well carbonated and it massages the tongue.

D: An outstanding beer. The gift packs with the glass are quite a good deal, too.

 1,106 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a good 2 finger pillowy white head that holds great along with plenty of lacing all over the glass. A pale golden color with little hazyness, incredible looking beer.

S- A bit of fruitiness that that is complimented by the sweet malt that is quickly followed by a kick of powerful slightly spicy yeast.

T- Starts off with the hint of fruity apple character that melds into the Belgium yeast character and finally into a sharp spicy yeast characteristics. A warming alcohol sensation helps to finish the beer as the yeast characteristics linger.

M- Medium mouthfeel with a very pleasant amount of carbonation as the beer finishes dry in the mouth.

D- Great beer, and a sipper to drink over a period. Don't know if I would want to put another one down though.

 764 characters

Photo of mfreire212
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a big Ommegang fan, so I figured I might as well try the flagship beer of the fairly new parent company.

Served from the fridge, into a standard pint glass (OK, so I was too lazy to retrieve better glassware on the top shelf)

A: Impressive right out of the gate. Golden yellow, tight, white head that hung around for a bit. Nice.

S: Spicy, with a hint of the alcohol beneath the surface.

T: Again, the best description is a pepper/spicy flavor up front, followed by a mellowing, alcohol burn.

M: A bit sharp at first, but not too thin and it has a nice finish.

D: I like this offering, but it does have a bit of a kick. Don't see me drinking these all night, mind you, but very enjoyable after dinner, or by the pool.

 728 characters

Photo of association330
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml "cage n' cork" bottle. Best before: Dec. 2012

A - Pours as golden and effervescent as advertised, with a fluffy white head that drops to a thick cap with sticky lace.

S - Grainy pils malt, Belgian yeast, citrus peel, apple, spicy phenols, perfumy hops, slight booze. An overall balance of sweet and sour. Something great is coming up, you can tell.

T - Really follows the nose. Great balance of all the spicy/malty/hoppy/boozy characters. Gently peppery alcohol and phenols linger at the back of the throat after the swallow.

M - Highly carbonated, which lends a light, refreshing mouthfeel. Slick, with no astringency. Some alcohol warmth, but it's well-controlled.

D - Devilish. I was never a big fan of Belgian brews until I started trying the ones that weren't Trappist ales, and Duvel is a whole 'nother ballgame. If someone claims that Belgians are too sweet and candy-like, tell them to try Duvel.

 915 characters

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

Served in a brandy snifter from a 330 ml bottle.

A - Golden yellow, nice head retained well with splotchy lacing as it receded. Effervescence persists throughout - like champagne.

S - Apple

T - As the appearance would suggest, a light, effervescent, smooth, fruity taste.

M - Very pleasant. Leaves a certain tartness that lingers in the back of the throat.

D - Except for the high alcohol content, I could easily drink another. The perfect beer for a hot summer afternoon - as long as you don't have to drive anywhere.

Notes: Best before: 11 2012,
L1921 0643

 567 characters

Photo of uustal
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful light gold with a one of a kind, thick and frothy white head, most of which will be at the end of your glass upon completion. A decent aroma, light wheat, apple and alcohol notes. The taste is exceptional. Very crisp and refreshing. Lemon, wheat, grain and apple combine perfectly. Semi sweet up front followed up by a bit of bitter hops and dryness to end. Highly carbonated, but this adds to the crisp nature of the beer.

 441 characters

Photo of CaptYellow
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes:

NB: My bottle is labeled as "Duvel - Belgian Golden Ale" rather than a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

A: Light blonde. Translucent. Whispy head.

S: Fruity.

T: Not complex but delicious. Slight bitter in aftertaste. Slight bitter in aftertaste.

M: Not quite creamy. Perhaps fluffy. Reminiscent in looks and mouthfeel to champagne.

D: Extremely. Hard to put down.

O: A buy again; a recommend. Pricey, but it is high in alcohol. {11.2 oz was ~$3.50} Not as heavy and more carbonated than other golden ales.

 517 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay glass

Appearance: bright caution light yellow, cloudy, one inch head, high carbonation

Smell: hay and honey

Taste: hay, honey, some funk, and a good dose of apple

Mouthfeel: funky, smooth, light body with high carbonation

Drinkability: A classic light and funky Belgian beer that hides the alcohol well. I could have several of these. Very pleasant to drink and complex. One of the best in the style and worth the money, I could have several.

 468 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear pale gold color with a HUGE 1.5 to 2 inch head that fades to about 1 inch. Super perfect pillowy head and nice ring lacing. Probably the best head I have seen on a beer thus far in my beer drinking adventure.

S - Nice spices, peppercorns, subtle fruits, sweet malt.

T - Mainly sweet malts, very little bitterness, mild spices. Some subtle apple fruit taste shows through. A dry champagne like essence is present as well.

M - Perfect amount of carbonation made for small bubbles rising in my glass over the life span of this beer (which wasn't very long). Dry and crisp like champagne.

D - This is one of the best beers I have ever had. I have tried other beers in this same style but this is by far the best of the bunch. A remarkable beer that I will come back to for life.

 796 characters

Photo of nova009
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a bottle into a Duvel tulip

A- pours a clear golden yellow, a nice foamy white head that retains well

S- reminds me of a champagne, tart apple, spice and yeast

T- great taste, almost like a dry champagne, apple and spices

M- light and smooth, nice bubbly carbonation, you really don't want to stop drinking this one

D- fantastic, I could drink these all the time

 377 characters

Photo of axeman9182
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 mL bottle poured into its namesake tulip.

The beer pours a radiant straw yellow, with a massive, frothy white cap. The head leaves tons of lacing, and ten minutes after the fact it's still 2+ fingers high. Damn impressive. The nose is of pale malt sweetness and spicy flavors from the yeast, and it's very good but it's not quite worthy of a perfect score. Each sip leads off with some juicy sweetness, apples and pears. A flash of white pepper-led spicy flavors follows, before closing with an aggressive hop bite. Served cold Duvel is quite crisp, but as it warms up the mouthfeel becomes a bit more chewy and lets the various flavors linger around a little bit longer. Either way, it's delicious, and the high yet creamy carbonation ties everything together nicely. Every part of this beer fits together and integrated itself so nicely that Duvel is a pleasure to drink, my biggest challenge was keeping some in the glass long enough to type up this review.

 965 characters

Photo of jporf911
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 1,095 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a branded chalice. It looks pretty much exactly like the picture on the bottle. Head goes all the way up to the top of the glass. Once it dissipates some, it leaves tons of lacing and has a nice layer of head left on top of the beer. It smells of Belgian yeast and a nice fruity smell almost of apple juice. Some hop bitterness in the flavour to go along with the yeast flavour. Fairly smooth.

 405 characters

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,024 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.