Duvel 8.5% ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
I have been neglecting Belgian beers as of late. Today, that ends. I am drinking a beer that, though it has been recommended to me many a time over the past year, I never got around to trying. I have been too busy focusing on U.S. craft beers, especially those being made “in my backyard.” But as I fell into a beer review funk recently, I thought it would be a good idea to switch things up. In that spirit, I grabbed this stumpy little Duvel bottle. I have been well rewarded for my decision.
True Duvel aficionados (or someone who spends 10 seconds googling “Duvel”) will immediately be appalled, as I have poured my Duvel into the “wrong” glass1. “Always serve in the tulip shaped Duvel glass at 5°C”, it clearly states on their website. While I’m sure the experience of drinking a Duvel is best out of a Duvel glass, I don’t have one. I’m not too worried about it though, as Duvel was enjoyed out of various glasses for over 40 years before the Duvel glass was created, in the late 1960’s.
Enough about beer glasses, onto the actual beer.
The coloration of the beer is an inviting light golden color, with a snow white foam head. The nose is even more inviting with a traditional Belgian Ale aroma with slight citrusy notes reminiscent of grapefruit. Going against my usual protocol I did not take the first sip of this beer. My brother, the Bud Light Drinker, took the first taste and gave, for him, the following overwhelming praise, “It tastes like beer.”
“This beer is really light and easy to drink for having an 8.5% ABV.” was my first thought upon taking a sip. The foam creates a nice creamy front to the beer which flows into a light yet full bodied flavor. The finish is clean with a slight bite or bitter aftertaste. Before I knew it I was 2/3rds done with my glass and had hardly typed up any notes. This is always a sign of a great tasting, easy drinking beer.
If I ever find myself in Bruges I will be making a visit to Duvelorium Grand Beer Café. It looks like one of the coolest tap rooms I’ve ever seen and I’m sure they will have plenty of the appropriate Duvel glasses to properly serve this tremendous beer in.
As making it to Bruges is not feasible anytime soon for most, I recommend buying a bottle and drinking a Duvel out of whatever glass you have handy. If you happen to be at a bar that has the recommend Duvel glass, don’t waste a moment, order this brew. You’ll be in for a wonderful treat.
- Expert beer connoisseurs will be able to tell from the picture that it’s a Chimay glass, even though the perfect white head of the Duvel blocks out the “Chimay” lettering. ↩