I was quite confused recently when I checked this blog for something and found no entry for Duvel, the classic Belgian golden ale. There were 3 beers listed under the tag "Duvel", meaning the brewery, Duvel-Moortgat (maybe I should change that to be more clear?), there was the Ommegang collaboration Duvel Rustica, one of the Maredsous brews, the 8, I think (and why only the one? I am so behind!), and the Singel, or draft version. How, after nearly 3 years, haven't I included one of my all-time favorites I know I've had it at home, the bottlecaps in my collection tell me so.
On closer inspection, the Duvel Single entry includes notes on the bottle, for comparison. But I feel like making a single entry for the bottle version, as well, and here is where I will post what was probably my first posted review on BeerAdvocate.com, over 11 years ago, in November of 2002. I gave it all 5 stars, which I never do anymore, but I stick with it. The picture is the bottle I had last night, in the latest glass I've acquired in their artist series.
Huge, billowing lacey, white-as-the -driven-snow head that must be properly poured into it's own glass, or the closest equivalent. You know, I've seen people gulp Duvel out of the bottle, and I didn't have my gun on me? Their loss!
This is a golden beauty whose aroma has to savored and worshipped. Spicey, fragrant, floral, angelic. Pours clear and golden like a lager or a pils, but, buddy, it ain't!
Letting the yeast in with the pour gives an extra amber/ orange haze: go ahead, drink the yeast, it's good for you! Flavor floods the tongue, Saaz hops jitterbug along the taste buds, and the finish will not quit the mouth. Overwhelmingly pleasant! Head settles some, but remains as a 1/2" ring.
Is there any greater delight? Do five stars mean anything at all if they are not applied to a brew so fine and lovely?