Thirsty Thursdays: Duvel Beer Review
What better time to sample a Belgian beer than on a snowy Sunday afternoon watching not one, but two awesome NFL playoff games. Just to rub it in a little more- I later enjoyed some of New York City’s finest wings from Blondie’s with a tray of veggies on the side of course.
Needless to say it was a good night for me and both, Patriot and Giant fans. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Raven’s kicker, Billy Cundiff after shanking a 30 yard field goal. I always feel for those kickers but nonetheless I’m looking forward to a heated rematch and some awesomely expensive commercials in a couple weeks time.
Dave Matthew’s Band and the Belgium Golden Ale
Sunday wasn’t my first time sampling the imported Belgium Golden Ale “Duvel”. My first tasting came while I was over in Europe playing hockey. A few buddies and I planned a road trip from Cologne, Germany to Antwerp, Belgium and hit up a Dave Matthew’s Band concert while we were there.
After 10 of us piled into a van the trip literally started off with a bang. Our designated driver, lets call him “Shannon”, backed the van into a parked car while the occupants sat idling. Whoops. Not the best way to start off a road trip.
I don’t know if it was the fact that we were ten hockey players in a van or that the damaged car was filled with illegal contraband but the mildly pissed off owner of the car said that we should go.
We did however eventually make it to a pub in Belgium and my initial impression of Duvel was this – “What is this “magical” beer the Belgians drink?”
It was good, and I mean really good.
Served in a traditional tulip glass the foam rested on top of the crystal clear beer.
Looking back now I can’t remember with much detail what I liked most about the beer. If I had to guess, it had a lot to do with getting it fresh from the source, the quantity it came in and the people I was with.
New York City and the Belgium Golden Ale
Being an off day from the hustle and bustle I grabbed the 75cl bottle (the equivalent to 3/4 of a litre or approximately 26 ounces). To my surprise the bottle came nicely topped with a champagne cork and wasn’t something we often see here on this side of the Atlantic.
Nothing is cheap in this city and I had to shell out a handful of dollars and cents, something I’ll gladly do over paying 5 dollars in any New York City establishment for a Coors Light. The alcohol content was a strong 8.5% abv.- giving you a good bang for your buck.
Considering myself more of a beer connoisseur (definitely still a rookie) than I use to be, I opted for a reasonably sized red wine glass in place of the standard tulip shaped glass most bars serve a Duvel in.
Honestly any glass will do and it is what makes you feel comfortable that is important. Just make sure it is clean, as I was reminded how important that is during a recent trip to ‘Beer School’ while visiting the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Colorado. Foam and bubbles stick to dirt in a glass and can make a good beer taste skunky.
I gave the Duvel a steady pour trying to give life to the beer and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of carbonation and foam sitting a top the pale golden beer. The initial smell was on the sweet side but the yeast took over reminding me of Stella Artois (its Belgium cousin).
The heavy foam which hung around forever made it look heavier than it tasted. The beer struck a mix of fruit and spice with a clean smooth aftertaste.
Crisp and clean is the simplest way to describe this beauty.
In my opinion this is a great beer for anytime, with anyone and with anything- 8.9 out of 10. Go earn it!
PS. Stay tuned for highlights from my trip to Anheuser-Busch brewery, time spent with the Budweiser Clydesdales and Beer School.