Thursday, 24 January 2008

A Duvel lunch

After Grimbergen night, I have to admit I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. Not a hangover so much as a stomach grumble. I felt for sure I’d finally succumbed to the aforementioned norovirus, and perhaps I’d spoken too soon when I wrote that beer would protect me.

But I revived a bit by lunch, which I spent with Ed, a journalist with tremendous experience and now with the European Voice here in Brussels. We had a lovely chat over a couple of Duvel ales at a restaurant on Grand Sablon, talking about pretty much everything, though not much about the beer. Luckily, I remembered to take the photo here with my phone and got his tasting notes by email.

I have to admit that Duvel was not really one of my favourites before the 40b40. I’d always found it a bit too strong in alcohol, which was not balanced by other tastes. But this time it was OK. I like the strong puffy head it makes, particularly in the official Duvel glass. Ed noted, “velvety, hoppy, seductive”. That seems a fair call to me. The hoppiness is wonderfully strong, and it all goes down very smooth.

Ed also gave me some important advice on aging. “Look”, he said, “40 isn’t so bad. Not as good as 30, of course...” Thanks, Ed.


  1. Duvel is a rather strong Belgian beer, little bit sharp taste. If you leave it to ripe in your cellar for 7 years, it gets much sweeter and tastefull. It gets more dangerous too.
    Or mix it with a small amount of the liqor 'blue curacoa' for instantly sweeter taste and a spectacular 'green' look. A café in Antwerp used to sell it as 'groene duvel' (green devil).

  2. I am Belgium's eldest teenager (62 years old) and I have been enjoying beer as from age 18 but as from age 25 I don't drink any Duvel anymore because they might cause legendary-though,terrible many days long hangovers, en-
    counters of the worste kind :
    - steel pinball continiously rolling over a marble tile, inside your head
    - a rubber strap around your head , tightly screwed on stronger and stronger by a screw on the back of your head
    - with a consequence that your eyes come popping out...
    "Duvel" is the Flemish dialect word for "devil"
    and I know that he can give you a satanic hangover, you will remember the rest of your
    eartly beer lovers live, to be continued in
    Heaven later on, first counter on the right when you enter, there where you will
    see all those purple-red nosed angels.....


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