I realize now that most of my reviews are essentially pleas to those of you mired in the swamps of the MillerCoors and InBev/Anheuser-Busch to TRY SOMETHING ELSE. This review is no different.
From strictly an appearance perspective, Belgian Golden Strong Ales look remarkably similar to the lagers we all know and consume, at least at first glance. Yes, there are some differences, especially in the head and head retention, but for the most part, those who only take a quick look at their beer before drinking are unlikely to notice too big of a difference.
This makes Belgian Golden Strong Ales (BGSA) the perfect beer to use as a first step away from light Lagers and pilsners. BGSA’s are full flavored, bold, dry, and crisp. These are characteristics that MillerCoors & Budweiser love to claim for their beers. Once you have tasted a BGSA, you’ll realize that their claims are, at best, empty promises.
Duvel is the beer that is considered the best example of BGSA and it does not disappoint. When beer fanatics talk of Belgian Beers, Duvel almost always enters the conversation. There is a good reason for this: Duvel is the beer that most wish that Budweiser, Coors, or Millers would be.
I highly recommed this beer. Period.
Appearance: Clear Bright gold, could almost be mistaken for a lager, if it wasn’t for the thick white head that holds retention for quite some time. Unsurprisingly there’s a fair bit of Belgian lace.
Aroma: Strong yeast aroma, with hints of lemon and banana. Good foundation of malt make this a very bold smell.
Taste: Light malt that comes across quite peppery, and a little heat from the higher ABV. Finish is a clear malty taste that seemingly goes on for quite some time. Some beers talk of being liquid bread, Duvel is one of a few that can actually come close to tasting as such.
Mouthfeel: Lively on the tongue with a copious amount of carbonation and a dry aftertaste that compliments rather than annoys.
Drinkability: One of the better benchmark beers out there, this beer is a standard drink for beer fans for good reason. Quite pleasant and memorable. This is a goto beer in the best possible sense.