The story of Pauwel Kwak, according to the brewery’s website is as follows. “In Napoleon’s time, Pauwel Kwak was a brewer and the owner of the De Hoorn inn (near Brussels). Mail coaches stopped there every day, but at that time coachmen were not allowed to leave their coach and horses, in order to have their thirst quenched along with their passengers. As a result, the inventive innkeeper had a special Kwak glass blown that could be hung on the coach. In this way, the coachman had his Kwak beer safely at hand. Today Kwak is one of the few remaining historic Belgian beers and is still served with respect for tradition in its original Kwak glass. Recognizable, special and just as idiosyncratic as the taste of the beer itself.”
The beer pours a dark amber with copper hues. The thin cream colored head dissipates rather quickly but does leave a light scattered soapy lacing both atop the beer and along the sides of the glass. The carbonation is notable but not as lively as the other Belgians tasted so far.
The nose presents with aromas of sweet malts. Cutting through the malts are fruit notes of cherry and banana. A hint of darker fruits like raisins, figs and dates mingle with caramel and nut aromas. Earthy hops and yeast notes are evident as is a vinous note of white grape.
On the palate boozy malts assert their dominance. Caramel and fruit notes of cherry and fig can be found hiding beneath the malts. A yeasty funk breaks through on the midpalate along with spicy hops and the same vinous white grape notes found in the bouquet.
Overall not a bad beer. An easy drinking Belgian strong ale that while is a little disjointed and blah is still better than two thirds of beers out there in the market place. Try pairing this with a goat’s milk blue cheese, lamb ragout or a pear and cherry tart.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Pints out of 5
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory