Friday, January 3, 2014

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV - Duvel

For the Tenth Beer of Christmas, we drink the beer that introduced the tulip shaped glass to the beer drinking world.

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
In the 1960s, the third generation of the Moorgat family (the family that started and still owns Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV) decided that their beer deserved to be served in a unique glass. The tulip shaped beer glass held 33 centiliters (just over 11 oz) and, therefore, a full bottle of Duvel.

The glass is a beautiful, pale golden yellow with a thick head of medium sized bubbles. The head retention is impressive and a thin cap remained even at the end of the glass. Nice clumps of lacing adorned the sides of the glass.

A malty sweetness with notes of pepper and yeast are the main components of the aroma. There's also a little hint of hard apple cider coming from the fruity esters of the ale yeast and from the rather high alcohol component.

Duvel has a crisp and lively carbonation. It's sharp on the tongue, almost like champagne. It's similar to the First Beer (Brouwerij Lindemans' Framboise), but it's a bit stronger. Sweet, fruity flavors (apples and white grapes) and touches of alcohol come through with the first of the drink. Hoppy bitterness follows in the aftertaste. Pepper and other mild spices also come through. Of course, this is typical of most Belgian beers.

Overall, Duvel is a good pale ale. Crisp, clean, and very sessionable. However, like the Obscura from two nights ago, there are other great pale ales that come in at much more affordable prices. But the Belgian PLUS pale ale PLUS strong alcohol content style may be hard to find without dropping a few dollars.

Brewer: Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Location: Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium
Style: Strong Pale Ale
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
Interesting Note: Founded in 1871 by Jan-Leonard Moortgat, the brewery is still controlled by the Moortgat family. Over the years they've expanded their line of beers to include Maredsous (in conjunction with the monks of Maredsous Abbey) and they've purchased Brewery Ommegang, which produced the Third Beer of Christmas for 2013. In late 2013, they purchased another American brewer, Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Missouri.

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