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Duvel | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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2,794 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: 2,794 | Ratings: 7,783
Photo of trevorwideman
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a lovely, huge head that recedes slowly, sticks to the glass and looks so inviting. Pale, unfiltered straw colour. Smells so good. God I love Belgians! Citrusy, spicy aromas, nice and complex.

This beer goes straight to the nose at first sip. My God, it's everywhere! Mild alcohol, but it's hidden well in all the flavours. Coriander spice, yeasty, banana perhaps? Tangy on the tongue, but goes down creamily smooth with a nice aftertaste that's only mildly bitter, and the taste of fruit sticks around long after.

if it wasn't for the ABV, I could drink this all day long. a very exceptional beer in one of my favorite styles. Cheers!

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bubbly crystal clear straw yellow, with a huge rocky, frothy white head...the definition of what a belgian strong pale ale should look like. Aroma has citrusy and spicy hop notes with a fruity ale yeast and biscuit like malt background...certainly appealing. Flavor begins with a crisp hops profile of citrus, spices, and minerals followed by a distinct malt profile of biscuit and dry toasted bread flavors, then a background of fruity ale yeast. Intriguing and original, really a combination of a pilsner and a blegian pale. Very good brew, glad it was one of the first high gravity beers available in NC.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2 yr old black label 750... Poured a hazy, large, egg shell colored head that left nice lacing on the glass. Sweet aroma of citrus, and spices (mostly cardamom). Sweet, slight citrus hoppiness, mildly spicy, and finishing alcoholic as well.

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Photo of Luigi
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pale cloudy color with a massive, creamy, rocky head that never goes away! Plenty of carbonation bubbles. Smells clean with an alcoholic sweetness backed up with yeast. The taste is crisp and fruity. Kind of grape like. Sweet alcohol and pale malts too! Oh my God! You just can't drink one! The problem is with 8.5% alv you have to be careful.

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Photo of sinistermadman
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from the 330 mL stubby. Pours a cloudy yellow with an active carbonation, nice head retention.

Smell: Fruit, spice, wheat? and grass.

Taste is pure Belgian strong ale. Delicious. Very juicy, finishes with a near puckering sweet sour twang. Carbonation makes the brew feel very light, most welcome on the palate. Finishes clean with a nice warming sensation from the alcohol.

This is incredible stuff. Truly worth all the hype surrounding it. Cheers.

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

750ml bottle. Pours a pale yellow color and makes a HUGE fluffy and clumpy white head. Aroma is very yeasty with some citrus fruit lingering around. Flavor is quite complex with notes of lemon zest, coriander, nutmeg, fresh baked bread, yeast, alcohol and caramel bananas. Light to medium on the palate, carbonation is firm, strong dry finish. This is a very quaffable brew, the strength creeps up on you. I enjoyed several of these while in Brussels last week, it was nice to see something so good and readily available everywhere.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle from the Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a golden / yellow colour. Big foamy white head with quite big beading lasted until near the end...

Aroma of pear, pepper, spices, hint of lemon and other citrus.

Taste – quite noticable alcohol taste. Quite peppery with hints of honey, vanilla and lemon...

Feel - Quite sharp on the tongue... turns creamy quite soon after the initial sharpness...Acidic notes...

Overall - probably the best strong pale ale there is.. an exceptional beer...

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Photo of Citadel82
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have always loved this brew. I originally puchased it as part of a gift set to get the funky giant tulip. I have since puchased it many times without the tulip and keep going back for more.

What can one say? Pours out clear, faultless burnished gold with a massive white head that leaves sheets and clumps of lace as it withdraws.

Aroma is distinctly fruits - plums, green banana, some spice and some leafy hops. A whiff or two of alcohol in the back. Intriguing and beckoning...

The taste is slightly sweet almos candy sugar, some spicy, leafy, hops, a strong presence of alcohol and more fruit and spice. A complex and tasty brew.

For such a pale beer the mouthfeel is heavy. coating the mouth with rich layers of flavor that linger long after each sip.

Yes, I will buy again!

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Photo of asabreed
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl. bottle, purchased and enjoyed with mustard crusted rabbit at Can Can in Richmond. I figured there was no better time to try it.

Appearance: Huge head that slowly dissipates at a crawling pace down the glass. It wasn't going anywhere. Nice champagne-like color, though this was a pretty gorgeous lemon yellow color with tons of bubbles climbing their way up.

Smell: It was nice to have this chilled and keep getting my nose in the glass as it warmed. The alcohol is present, but it melds perfectly with the banana and candi sugar aromas. Some citrus, yeasty bread. Some pepper, spice, and lemon peel. I suppose this is what a Belgian Strong Pale Ale should smell like, but this is one of the best aromas I've ever gotten from the style, from chilled to room temperature.

Taste: Does justice to the aromas for sure. Sweetness is balanced with the yeasty flavors, and a slight hop bitterness at the end. Banana, alchol, and candi sugar are at the forefront, but there's certainly a near-perfect balance going on.

Mouthfeel: What I was hoping for with the taste and aromas. Light to medium body, perfect carbonation. I don't think this could be better.

Drinkability: Duvel's fairly expensive, yes, but it's definitely worth it. I think rather than a corked and caged, I'd know prefer the 4-packs, which I certainly will make a staple since I know I can get them around here.

This is an all around exceptional example of the style, and surely one of the best. I'd recommend, if you haven't had many, trying some from some other breweries, then trying Duvel to see what you think. Either way, it's a great beer, and one worthy of celebration.

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

Appearance: Almost completely clear yellow straw color at first pour. The beer had a huge thick head on it made up of mostly large bubbles. Now this is what I would call mousy. Drinking the beer left a thick Belgian lace on the glass. After quite a few minutes, there was still a very prominent head being held together by a bunch of bubbles rising.

Aroma: Through the foam I get a good bit of citrus in the nose. There is so much going on in the aroma, but the hops are there to add to the complexity. As it warms a bit, I notice a faint banana in the background. The Pilsner malt is also becoming a much larger part of the aroma profile as it sits a bit.

Taste: This is a really clean beer that is medium bodied...however you can't even tell from the generous carbonation. The flavor is as complex as the aroma. There is a lot of malt presence for a beer this light. You can pick out some really subtle spiciness from the Hops, but this really blends well with the whole tasting experience. As it warms up, I am getting a lot more spice that is deeper than just the hops. It is gaining a very slight peppery note. This is probably about the only thing that is noticeable from the alcohol. Other than this, I wouldn't think that this beer had 8.5% ABV at all.

Opinion: Of course you know that I am of the opinion that this is an incredible beer! It is light, and very well balanced. The mix of subtle flavors masks the bite that this beer packs. After finishing this 750mL bottle myself, I am feeling a bit warmer. I highly recommend this beer!

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

Sweet malty goodness. I first had this beer in Maarssen the Netherlands at a bar. Poured golden with a white large pure white head that lasted forever.

The taste is of sweet malt, pears, and fruity sweetness. just a hint of hops.

The mouthfeel has alot of body but the beer is well balanced. I get excited everytime this beer is spoke of. This beer will always have a place in my heart.

Definately a must for someone experiencing belgians for the first time.

A truely remarkable beer!

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

poured a clear golden color with a head that just would not stop rising, white and puffy. Smell is malty and candy-like with all the pleasures of a Belgian Ale. Taste is malty and sweet with spicy notes. The alcohol aroma is there, but not as strong as you would thing. It carresses the tongue as only this style of beer can. A great drinker. Easy to forget the amount of alcohol present.

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Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow, huge white head fills up to the rim of my big Duvel tulip. Lace all around the glass. Smell is sweet and malty, spicy and grassy hops. Taste is very malty, slightly sweet, spices in the middle and a nice clean bitter finish. Very smooth mouth, the alcohol is perfectly hidden, very refreshing, excellent and timeless beer.

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

I've had this several times but thought that last night was a good time for a review. I poured a cold bottle into a tulip glass anddid it real slow to achieve some clarity.

It is a pretty beer. Perfectly golden with a faint orangey hue, a big, pillowy, bitter, yeasty head that is most similar to whipped cream. Fantastic carbonation. Perfect amount.

The nose on this beer is complex and sweet and it makes you want to swirl it and smell it over and over before each sip.

Upon first sip there is a cold deep sweetness, balanced absolutely perfectly by a hoppy bitterness; they both must be there and coexist, they make the beer refreshing, they cover the strong alcohol, and provide a wonderful aftertaste. As you progress with the glass, the flavor becomes a bit maltier with some citrus and fruit. The bitterness eases up.

Two final thoughts.
First: I have heard that beer is linked to simplicity. In that respect, this beer is as complex as anyone would ever need- and there is no sense drinking black glasses full of swamp mud and coffee grounds to have a "superior feeling" about your beer. This is as good as it gets.

Secondly: I was at a homebrewing store and talking to a frequent Belgian traveler who said Belgians, and Duvel don't travel well; it was a much better beer in Belgium. I can't imagine that, it is so good here.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foamy and pillow-like, bright white head with remarkable retention. Thick, condensed lacing with great strength. Bright golden in color with a slight chill haze; noticeable spirals of carbonation.

Semi-sweet candied sugar aroma. Mild mix of corriander and pepper with a touch of diacetyl.

Sweet candied malt character. A wonderfully balanced peppered spice that gives the sugary sweetness a nice kick. A touch of earthiness and hints of citric fruit; lemon and orange peel. Some whaffs of alcohol and diacetyl in the aftertaste.

Light bodied; smooth and syrup-like on the palate. Prickly, but not annoyingly overcarbonated.

Light and refreshing with a lot of substance. A classic that deserves the credit it gets.

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Photo of budsboy
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale straw color, slightly hazy, with a monstrous bone white head that sticks around and forms cloud-like formations on top of the beer. Lots of tiny, frenetic bubble streams in there.

Smell is sweet malt and woody spice, faint coriander and citrus fruit, all subdued.

Taste is biting hops, coriander and cool, sweet malt with a big warming alcohol in the gullet. Bitter, spicy finish. Addictive. Spiceness increases as it warms.

Nimble and light on the tongue, heavy dose of champagne-like carbo.

Very tempting brew. Wonderful cap to this warm, sunny day as night and mercury fall. Try some.

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

Poured from a 750 ml. Light, golden hue topped with a soft, pillow-like, white head that clings dearly to the side of my glass. It appears to be soft and delicate. An eye catcher to the female eyes.

The delicacy pours over into the subtle nature of the general smells: alcohol, bread, and a nice hint of noble hops.

The flavor is absolutely divine. Smooth to the bone. Light and bubbley on the tongue, but full of rich, fruitiness that rounds out on the palate. There is a fun snap that lingers, somewhat lemony in quality. Mild, phenolic afterglow keeps things on the clovey-spicey-warm end of things, and reminds you that you are drinking a heavier, belgian ale. Because the truth is that this lil' devil will sneak up on you and knock you onto your pushin' cushion in terms of alcohol. The alcohol is more than appropriate for this paradoxical, little number.

You could easily pair this number with a variety of foods. A nice veal francese wouldn't hurt. But mostly, behold this fine selection and savor each and every naughty moment.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It has been a glorious week for John's Grocery, as we've recently acquired several new Belgians (Duvel, Maredsous 6/8/10, Saison Dupont, Scaldis, Foret, many others, including American and English... and soon to come: Tripel Karmeliet, Hoegaarden, and more).

This is a very fine beer, indeed. Pours to a clear golden yellow pilsener color with a very lively carbonation, particularly from the etching in the bottom of my Duvel tulip. This is an extremely heady beer. As it is tipped back, the four finger head forms a marshmallow mountain in the center of the tulip. It truly is a sight to behold, as it the abundant pillowy lacing.

The smell is very bready and yeasty, paired with a generous serving of clove notes. The pilsener malts provide a distinct pils character, but it is much more exotic than that. Also quite sweet from candi-sugar, but not disgustingly so like many strong belgian beers. Underlying all of this is also a sweet berry flavor. It's quite good, especially when it warms up a bit.

The taste is very delicious. It's like a pils, but not bland and skunky/saazy. Despite the alcohol content, it is just as refreshing as a good pilsener as well. The taste profile matches up quite well with the aroma.

The mouthfeel is quite light and refreshingly swillable (though this is quite far from swill). The finish manages to stay quite moist with a small otherwise un-noticeable alcohol burn coating the mouth. Despite the high proof, this is beer is damn drinkable. I drank mine in several gulps, though I'm sure it will catch up with me shortly.

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Photo of Dennycurr
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

They don't make 'em much better than this.
Packs a punch too.
This ain't no ..."sit at the bar and down a 6 pack while watching a football game "... beer.
Is a beer to be savored.
Looks fantastic when poured correctly in a Duvel glass.
Have yet to see it on tap...
So...I wont call it the best beer ever ...but even in a bottle...it's in my top 3 I've ever had...


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Photo of axisjones
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect looking poor, massive cumulous head with a slightly hazy golden straw head.

A yeasty aroma with a mild green tea and clove scent. The peppery scent is noticable.

Peppery, orange peel with coriander with spicy hops. Super clean and finishes bone dry.

This beer is classic in every sense of the word. Created the style and still the standard bearer. There is nothing like a bottle of Duvel. Its reputation is completely deserved.

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

Tasted on 12th June 2005, bottle best by end 03.2008. Poured into my Duvel glass. As a previous reviewer stated, it's hard to control the pour. Massive head formation, white foam on a straw/golden colour with a slight haze.

The first smell is faint, probably due to the head, slight hops, bitter honey maybe some ginger.

Taste very good, not sweet, mild alcohol fruit changing to some bitterness. Silky smooth mouthfeel. A very well rounded beer; it's the full monty start to finish. Head returns with a swirl of the glass.

Footnote: I measured the Duvel glass tulip afterwards and the volume is 600ml (20 fl. ozs). Even with my bottle being 330ml, the massive foam head easily fills the space. I don't know how the glass was designed, but it is a perfect accessory to the beer.

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Photo of OatherS
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The short stubby bottle has a white label with a nice crested bottle cap.

Appearance: Poured just a tad too quickly and the head is MASSIVE. Effervescent, champagne like quality. The head is very slow to fade. Laces nicely. Very transparent golden color. Awesome.

Smell: Not very strong aroma. Somewhat of a fruity odor, with a slight alcohol smell as well.

Taste: Very nice smooth almost liquor type flavor. The strong alcohol percentange taste is there but it is not over powering.

Mouthfeel: Not quite as bubbly as I thought from the head and bubbly appearance. Nice and smooth.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer, drink this one slowly.

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

Everytime I open a bottle I am always asking, "Now why is this not the best beer in the world?" There are few beers that single-handedly define the style ideally. Duvel does it as well as any other beer.

A careful pour is needed as the beer's head fills the chalice at about twice the pace of the liquid itself. Medium straw and with brilliant clarity. The carbonation contiunes to build a head that is shows great stability, longevity and airiness. The beer leaves impressive lacing thoughout the session.

Moderate, yet complex aromas of fruity pears along with sharp acrid scents of under-rippened berries and apples. Softer pilsner malts soon find the olfactories, giving a firm malty base for the esters, acidity, and spices. Noble hops give a perfume and lemongrass note that again gives complexity while balancing the malts. Spiced with subtle white pepper and zesty alcohols, this beer takes on a ligtly vineous, berry-like, citrusy, lightly tart taste. Again the hop flavor perplexes the taste with a light earthiness that complements the fruits with vibrant lemmon counterparts.

The beer is as dry in the body as a beer can be without getting chalky or powdery. Acidity cleanses the palate very well. The beer expands wonderfully in the mouth with its abundance of controlled carbonation, yet evaporates with a cotton-candy like whimsy. Alcohols accentuate the carbonation and accompany the spiciness into the finish. Effortless to drink and dangerously smooth.

The beer is basically ideal!

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

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

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Photo of allengarvin
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, poured into a Duvel chalice glass. Pours a light, pale, and slightly hazy yellow-gold, crowned with a huge supporting head of foam. Nose is spicy, even peppery, with lots of phenols, accompanied by a floral and fruity scent. First taste is dry and citrusy, reminiscent of lemongrass, or perhaps curacao orange peel. Fruity and floral, like apple blossoms, light and delicate. Finally, it finishes dry, lingering for long moments. Body is very light for the strength, deceptively so. The mouthfeel and texture is very effervescent.

I've reviewed nearly 300 beers, but somehow I'd not gotten Duvel, despite it being a favorite I drink 2 or 3 times a month. One of my favorite beers of all time, light, easy to drink, but with a substantial punch. A classic and a style unto itself, without equal.

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Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,783 ratings.
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