One of the world’s most mimicked beers is definitely also one of the best. Duvel, pronounced properly as doo-v’l, is a Belgian Strong Golden Ale at 8.5% that is thankfully available at most all LCBO locations, all over the U.S. and the globe. Duvel’s web site has been newly renovated with a slew of interactive videos that take you deep into the history and process of making this beer. I do recommend checking it out.
The Duvel can be found in both 330ml, and 750 ml corked bottles. All are bottle conditioned, and are sure to cellar beautifully adding rich layers of complexity to an already vastly layered beer. It is amazingly refreshing and quenching in the summer, but also satisfying and soothing in the winter. It is one of the most striking beers when poured, especially if properly served in the signature Duvel snifter. This is a world class beer that has been crafted and perfected for over 140 years. It is without question worth absolutely everyones attention for at very least a try.
That being said, Belgian strong ales aren’t for everyone. By nature they are very complex with spicy, dry characteristics and big pungent aromas. If this is something that you go for, then this beer is a haven.
In its snifter, the Duvel rests as a bright golden yellow beer with foggy pale straw streaks peering through it. Into the light you can see that it is completely transparent in a crisply clean manner with a massive flood of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass building up a giant fluffy white head that should properly be over 2 inches tall. The Duvel shows great pale malt sweetness with a grainy and cereal like backbone, and a gentle balance of fresh hops. Delicate and slightly sharp spice plays around the entire beer and along with the incredibly effervescent mouthfeel, helps to create a hugely quenching beer.
The blend of sweet malt and bitter hops are soothed and balanced both by a gentle tartness and an overall dry texture. As the beers builds on your palate you can pick of the subtle flavors of earth, hay fields, light sweet fruit, hints of zest, floral herbs and a sweetly dry finish. It end quickly with a satisfying snap that is sure to please. Enjoy the Duvel on its own in any season cold around 7C and let the layers of heritage and passion dance on your palate.