In the spirit of beer being the beverage of the everyday man (and woman), we present Musical Cheers, a column that puts real beer in the hands of real people. Musical Cheers is guest authored by a revolving selection of friends and columnists with tastes as varied as the beers they review.
Guest reviewer name/occupation: Andrew Kruse-Ross, editor/writer, nice guy.
Currently listening to: St. Vitus “Born Too Late"
Currently reading: Knut Hamsun's “Growth of the Soil"
Britcom you're currently watching: “Father Ted"
Favorite Voltron lion: Pidge's green one, obviously
Preferred Blue Collar Brews: Miller High Life, Stroh's, Corona, Modelo, Guinness
Preferred White Collar Brews: Chimay, Westmalle
Name of beer reviewing: Duvel Belgian Golden Ale
Type of beer: Strong Golden Ale
ABV: 8.5 percent
Pre-tasting: Duvel is often available in the squat bottles like many other Belgians in its class. I've often been known to advise others that if it's from Belgium and comes in a squat bottle you'd best put on your seatbelt. I expected that much like its contemporaries, the ABV is going to crush me and the alcohol is likely going to lead the flavor notes. Nose isn't overpowering: only slightly citrus-like and mostly malty. Pours beautifully with a frothy head.
Post-tasting: Surprise. It's hard to believe so much alcohol content could be contained in a drink this balanced. The perfect amount of crisp carbonation and smooth mouthfeel; this is an amazing beer. Rich malt flavors lead the way. It reminds me of a rustic French bread followed with a touch of spiciness and only the slightest hint of citrus and fruit but at no point does it fail to be … well, beer. The alcohol content is palpable and it's a one-and-done (ok, maybe two-and-done).
Let's be clear: This is the best beer I've ever had.
You'll like this beer if: If you like beer or think that higher-end beers aren't for you, try this. This is the gateway beer you've been looking for.
You'll dislike this beer if: Your name is Carrie Nation. I've yet to meet anyone that claims to like beer and not enjoy a Duvel.
Rating 1 – 10: 10