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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV | Duvel

Duvel, the famous Belgian ale that has been known to spawn a beer geek with a single sip. What makes this beer so special is more about the process, and not the ingredients. Instead of the usual brewing and fermenting process, Duvel ferments with their own strain of yeast, then lagers the beer for 3 weeks. After lagering, they bottle it with extra sugars and yeast which sets off a secondary bottle fermentation. Lastly, the beer is matured for six weeks in cold cellars.

Luckily this four pack of stubby 330ml bottles I picked up comes with a free Duvel tulip glass, so I am once again in posession of a fine beer drinking glass! And doesn't it look great in the picture?

Poured into the aforementioned tulip glass, Duvel has a light golden color with a huge fluffy white head. Even with the tulip glass pinching the head at the top, it rises 3-4 inches. After a long wait the head does recede, and with it, sticky chunks of lacing are left behind. This is a good looking beer.

The aroma is a complex blend of lightly toasted pilsner and pale malts, mild spice, light lemongrass hops, and a unique dry, almost granny smith apple aroma. The flavor is similar to the aroma, with a sligtly sweeter fruity flavor throughout. The juicy fruit flavor gives way to some hop bitterness and a warming alcohol finish. There is an amazing crispness to each sip that begs you to come back for more. While there is a hint at some medicinal yeast flavors, they are very subdued.

Let's face it, this really is a phenomenal beer. Often overlooked due to its regular availability and plain label, but damn near the best Belgian beer ever made. Duvel is simple, yet complex, and with it's deceivingly high alcohol content, the Brabantians picked a great name for this great beer Duvel, or "Devil."

Personal 9.5/10
Style 10/10

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