shameusburp (171) - Virginia, USA - MAY 24, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I tried it because everyone else has tried it. Itís the belgium training beer before moving onto other trappistís. Classic trappist taste.
DKlovesbeer (172) - Sarasota, Florida, USA - MAY 15, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
The first time I poured a glass of this beer I looked at it for a moment and then burst into a fit of laughter. The clear golden body is simply gorgeous; the eggshell white head is remarkable; the lacing is outstanding, truly world class. What really got me going though was the thickness, and foaminess, of the brilliant white head. A cross between a cloud and a mountain range, I have never seen a head so fluffy in my life. Itís more like whipped cream than beer foam. This is a fine looking beer! Another thing I noticed--and this one changed the way I look at beer glasses--was that the beer was clear enough to see the bubbles rising from the inscribed logo of my Chimay Trappist glass. You have to see it to understand, but trust me, the glass makes all the difference. Aroma is clean and yeasty with big bursts of malt and alcohol. Fruity aromas come out after a few sniffs, as do floral fragrances, and possibly some hops character. Smells a bit like a lager; Iím not sure why. Mouthfeel is effervescent and clean. The distinguishing characteristic of Duvel is a complex sweetness that is both satisfying and arousing. Flavors of yeast, alcohol, cherry, and malt dominate the foreground, while bitter hops linger in the finish. This beer is very refreshing, yet at the same time it is a warming beer. I know this is an ale but if I didnít know better I would label it a super-lager. Overall, I canít think of a better treat on a hot summer afternoon or a crisp winter evening.
Wakie (612) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - MAY 13, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Couldnít believe I had forgotten to rate the devil. A nice Belgian with some light spice. Cloves meet fruit and make this a winner.
Gorbalev (2953) - Ontario, CANADA - MAY 13, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
330ml bottle. Standard strong wheat spicy smell, possibly touch of banana. Poured large white head, frothy. Settled quickly, good lacing. Constant bubbles. Body was a pale yellow but slightly cloudy as well. Initial taste is all alcohol, almost overpowering. Some spices and fruit notes can be detected once you recover and it warms a bit. The finish was very dry and clean. I’m still pretty new to this style but I was let down in that this is rated so high. I liked it, it was a good beer, but I just found the 8% alcohol tasted way stronger than it should have, and then limited my enjoyment.
BrainDead (30) - Derby, ENGLAND - MAY 13, 2004
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Supermarket bottle. Very strong tasting with a big head and some off flavours like stale spices in an Indian shop.
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - MAY 9, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2005 Bottle @ Akkurat, Stockholm
Tested the 750ml and 330ml bottles side by side. Could not notice any difference. One of my favourite Belgian beers. Nice, big, rich head. Complex aroma and taste. Easily downed, though 8.5%. Have fooled many muggles into thinking itís much weaker. Should be on anyoneís top 25-list.
ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 8, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 1, 2007 I just donít think this really belongs in the same "class" as Chimey Blue, they both are great,...... itís just too different in so many ways, but who am I? This "Speciale Ale" (why so special) 750ml bottle has a best by date of 17 07 06; it pours with a nice 3-finger, creamy white head and beautiful lacing as it falls from the rim; golden straw color; oh, that aroma: bananas, tropical fruit, yeast; the flavor has somewhat of a sweet malt base with hints of bubblegum and dough, finishes slightly dry, quick, and slightly acidic; moderately full bodied. This brew is has a subdued, yet full of character flavor that is amazingly easy to drink for an 8.5%er; The smell and taste of this brings back many memories, some good, some not so good, of my local "mates" in Brussels. A favorite while there for me, Iíd drink this every day now if I could.........
Lunkie (1465) - Glen Iris, AUSTRALIA - MAY 8, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Spicy fruity aroma with cloudy colour and great head. Smooth fizzy palate. Great as I am a nursing mother!
snoot (286) - Anaheim, California, USA - MAY 7, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a hazy yellow, big rocky white head. Spicy aroma, definite notes of alcohol, very similar flavor. Slightly astringent finish. Better than I remember it.
SilkTork (5277) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - MAY 7, 2004
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUL 30, 2012
Duvel was first brewed in 1923 using the yeast from McEwanís Scotch Ale. Originally it was a dark ale, but became lighter in colour to reflect current fashion for lighter coloured beers. The bottle conditioning is the third of the fermentations it under goes. The wort is divided into two batches and undergoes the first fermentation with two different yeasts. Despite all the effort involved in the brewing process, the beer tastes mostly of alcohol and cloves.
Sept, 2002. I had it at cellar temperature and found nothing remarkable about it other than the strong alcohol taste. The alcohol strength was very apparent in my glass, overwhelming all else. The mild fruit flavours were there in the background playing substitute second fiddle to the massive pounding of the big bass drum of the alcohol. I found this to be merely a posh Carlsberg Special Brew - something your upmarket wino might drink on his birthday. [2.2]
May, 2004: Compared with: Carlsberg Special Brew and Bush. The Duvel did well, finishing in 2nd place, and improving on my first tasting. The colour is pale gold. It has a huge fluffy white head like soft ice-cream. Eventually the head settles with some attractive lacing into a folded pure white scum. There is a steady stream of bubbles. The initial aroma is of a spicy wheat beer. The general appearance is of a dirty pilsner. It is not attractive.
On tasting the initial flavours are wheat beer spice notes and a big alcohol hit, followed by more alcohol, then a chalky dry finish. The alcohol feels much, much more than 8.5%. My mouth feels as though Iíve just gargled with an antiseptic mouth wash. This is not pleasant.
After allowing to settle some more, and to warm a bit, some delicate fruit flavours come through and the palate settles into something full, smooth, comforting and clean yet with interesting edges. The alcohol has burned off so the aroma is mostly spice, mainly clove, but with a hint of pear liquor. Some other flavours emerge - heather and pine, and sweaty shoe leather - but the whole flavour thing is mostly just too delicate to be impressive. Alcohol and spice are the main components, while the dry, chalky finish is rather dull. I did enjoy it more than my first tasting. [3.1]
March, 2005: BBE Sept, 2007 I bought a pack of these with the intention of letting them settle a bit in order to get an impression of this beer when it isnít rough with alcohol. I also got the special glass. Problem is, I have no patience and Iíve gone through nearly all of them quite quickly! I have been enjoying them. Iím finding them quite sweet, light and delicate. The alcohol seems less noticeable - perhaps I am just getting used to strong beers. They are like strong wheat beers. Bubblegum, bananas, honey, vanilla - lots of fun flavours. The more of these I drink the more I like them. [3.6]
May, 2006 Blind tasting: Clearly bottle conditioned. Dry. Lightly citric. Fresh, light and drinkable. Attractive sorbet sweetness. Very nice. Clearly Duvel. [3.8]
Nov, 2011 Nice. Dashed out to Carrefour late at night just before they closed to get a beer, and ended up buying a wooden case of assorted Belgium beers. Good deal! In Nice for the Nice-Cannes Marathon, and also to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. The beer was, as usual, a bit alcohol assertive for me. Perfumey, and chalky dry. Itís OK, but not really my thing. I do like a Duvel now and again, though. [2.7]
July, 2012 330ml dark glass bottle from Tesco. Bottle conditioned. From the fridge. Light, dry, biscuit malt. Perfume. A perfumed strong lager. A hot fermented strong lager. Drinkable. OK. [2.9]