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 (5537) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, 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 McEwan’s 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 I’ve 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 isn’t rough with alcohol. I also got the special glass. Problem is, I have no patience and I’ve gone through nearly all of them quite quickly! I have been enjoying them. I’m 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. It’s 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]
haddonsman (1234) - Derby, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - MAY 7, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2009 Top notch. Outrageous frothy white head, particularly when served in it’s own glass. Hazy yellow body. Full of fruity flavour, big lemons and limes, tart taste and a crisp alcoholic kick. Tastes as fien as any beer I’ve tried, but can’t be beaten when the sun’s on your back whilst sat in the main square in Brugge watching the world go by.
Sammy (11069) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 6, 2004
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
light hazy color, nice head. Pleasant taste not overpowering. Found it a bit creamy and sweet and not overly dry, but higher than average alcohol does affect mouthfeel.
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - MAY 3, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Gigantic tall and frothy snow white head on a an unclear yellow body. Nice and heavy aroma of yeast, citrus, flowers and fruit - very fresh! Flavor is hay, yeast and hops with a nice alcohol bite. Warming and full. A very nice and easy drinakble ale.
jaysoneslick (24) - Montana, USA - MAY 2, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Father-in-law brought some back w/ him for me to try, and holy sh*t this beer was fanfuc*ingtastic!!
beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 1, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very abundant head ! Nice, fruity aroma of citrus. Sweet, fruity flavor of citrus. Dusty, powdery mouthfeel. I love this beer !
billk (353) - Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA - APR 30, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2004 bottle 11.2 oz. White label w "Belgian Golden Ale" on it. Pale yellow gold, how cloudy it is depends on how carefully you pour it. Holy Christ! what a head! be carefull. Looks like pure white merangue. Fantastic lace. Aroma is dry, spicey, malty w moderate but sharp hops. Very clean, bright, sharp, dry,bitter flavor but very smooth. Some alcohol taste. There is a pleasant, exotic, spice sensation that runs through the flavors on the palate that is quite enjoyable. Very nice finish with a bit of a nip.
tbookman (618) - Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 30, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Straw yellow, clear and bubbly. Nice spicy flavors throughout, fruits and other things I can’t quite discern. Very quaffable and enjoyable, with a dry, slightly bitter finish.
RugbyMike (14) - Woodbury, Minnesota, USA - APR 26, 2004
4.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow! Even at very cold temperatures, this golden ale has a head that rises like a snow-capped mountain peak far above the rim of the glass. This is a powerful ale that will sneak up on you in a hurry. It is tart, but not hoppy. Hard to put my finger on because I have never drunk anything like it. There is a bit of an alcohol finish as in a barley wine. Give it a try. It will grow on you quickly.