#34 – Duvel

#34 - Duvel

Size: 330 ml

ABV: 8.5 %

I have been drinking Duvel fairly steadily for the past 6 or 7 years. Fed up with weak tasteless lagers that permeate the world these days, I have always sought out something with a darker streak of menace. Many a night has gone woefully astray after a couple of Duvels, and I probably have the devil to thank for my passion for all things wet and Belgian.

It could have been oh so different however, as when Moortgat launched the beer in the 1920s, it was to celebrate the end of World War I. Moortgat Victory Ale found its way onto the streets, and half of Belgium probably drunk a few and forgot what on earth they went to war for. One of these Belgians, a shoemaker, and friend of Albert Moortgat sat in a bar one night, and commented that the beer was ‘nen echten Duvel’ – a real devil. Even then it was 8.5%, and a new name was born for the Moortgat Flagship beer.

You may also notice, when you drink Duvel that it seems more lively when served in its own glass – well, there is some logic in this. Not only is the traditional tulip glass designed to release flavour, but also as it narrows towards the top, it helps preserve the carbon-dioxide and therefore the head. Not content with that however, a couple of years ago, the manufacturers of the glass also engraved a ‘D’ into the inner circle of the bottom of the glass which also scientifically enables further levels of carbonation.

So it was time to put Duvel to the test. Was it as good as it always was, and did the glass really have these magical properties? It didn’t disappoint. The appearance was as golden and heady as ever, and the smell evoked some form of inebriated nostalgia. The taste is warm and definitely gets stronger as the beer gets downed. It’s fairly complex and behind the fruitiness is a sourish taste that encourages you sensibly to drink slowly, which when messing about with the devil is probably good advice.

(Post-Script) – Did you know that there is also a Duvel Groen (#162)….?


Filed under 8, Belgian Strong Ale, Duvel Moortgat

10 responses to “#34 – Duvel

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  2. Pingback: #34 Duvel « The Belgian Beer Odyssey – 1 to 1000 | drinkingglasses

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  9. Hello Beer Shrimper. I love Duvel too – my child-like review

    Duvel In one word – Devilish

    If Duvel were a song – it would be the theme music to The Magnificent Seven.

    If Duvel were a person – it would be Yul Brynner, obviously.

    What I like about Duvel – its mountainous head, golden colour, zesty taste and subtle strength (8.5%).

    Needless Duvel anecdote….

    Now Duvel is a very special beer in many ways for me. Not only is it a world classic, it was the first true Belgian beer I ever tasted. I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. Melanie – my superior other and high-ranking member of the ‘Tidy Gestapo’ – and I went to Brussels for the weekend back in 2000. After spending some time tickling the cobblestones I eventually persuaded Melanie I needed a pit stop as I was hanrgy (hungry / angry) and quite fancied a refreshing beer to lift my dampened spirits. We found a lovely backstreet pub that they tend to do rather well in Belgium and took a pew at the bar. At once we were approached by the proprietor, a rather well maintained lady of a certain vintage, who asked if she could serve us something to take away our troubles. She presented us with a menu of beers, which was actually more like a book, and, feeling weary, I asked if she could recommend something instead. Without missing a heartbeat she suggested a Duvel and off she went. On her return, she placed the rather striking beer glasses on the table and elegantly poured out the golden beer. She fixed her gaze upon me, raised a seductive eyebrow and informed me, in her rather sultry French accent, that this beer was known as ‘the Devil’ and had to be handled with care. And with that she sashayed off into the distance and a love affair began that has lasted until this very day.

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