Review of Duvel Belgian Strong Ale

01 Apr
Tonight I would like to share with you my review of a beer that is somewhat of a cult classic.  A beer that always receives high marks.  One called Duvel Belgian Strong Ale from the Duvel Moortgat brewery in Belgium.

First, a little bit from the brewer taken from the website

Duvel is a 100% pure and natural beer, with no additives or preservatives.  And you can instantly taste the difference.  Its surprisingly high alcohol content (8.5%), huge, creamy head, delicate effervescence and silky smooth mouth feel is what distinguishes Duvel from other Belgian beers.  With its subtly bitter bite and delicate aroma.  Duvel holds a unique position within the rich Belgian beer tradition.  After bottling, the beer continues to ferment for a fortnight after bottling in the warm cellars of the brewery.  Finally, the beer is chilled for 6 weeks in the cold cellars.  This extra long maturing process is unique and contributes to the exquisite flavour and pure aroma of Duvel.

So, without further ado.  Let’s try it.

An 8.5% ABV beer poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle.

The beer poured a clear, straw yellow/gold color with a very thick, rocky, soapy, white head with both large and small bubbles.  The head retention was excellent with lots of lacing left behind as it went down.  Through the glass I can see tons of bubbles screaming to the top.  It looks very lively.

It was a very clean smelling brew with notes of lemony citrus hops and bready malts.  Smells nice, fruity and very fresh all the way around.  No real alcohol fragrance stands out, but I did detect some spice or peppery notes at the end.  It’s balanced very nicely.

With the taste I, again, got a slight lemon flavor, however this time I got a splash of the alcohol.  The alcohol was not harsh, but rather favorable and light.  Some mild hop bitterness with touches of green apples.  Very nice, well balanced and prominent.

The mouthfeel was medium, dry, crisp and smooth with some alcohol warmth and bite.  The palate was covered admirably and evenly.

Well….  This beer is really good, however I don’t flip for it like some seem to.  I am more than happy to drink it and it is very well made and very well balanced, but personally, I wouldn’t want to drink it continuously.  I could have a few no problem, but with the high ABV, I would have to watch out with this one.  It does come in a cool little bottle though.

Score:  4.1 out of 5
Grade:  A- 

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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Country: Belgium, Duvel


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