Brouwerij Louwaege

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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
3.97 | pDev: 10.33%
Brouwerij Louwaege
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
View: Beers
Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 33ml bottle brown glass bottle. White and gold colored label has a rather strange design to it.

Appearance: Clear golden pour if you are careful, my second bottle was rushed and created a fused hazy yellow body. Massive white head, mountainous peaks and crevice troughs as it settles, classic Belgium looks. Sprightly carbonation and a superb presentation in the Hapkin goblet used at the bar.

Nose: Light peppers, crisp hops, toasted malts and yeast. Freshly baked bread odors and Saaz hops.

Taste: Shy start, but the soft sweet malts are soon invaded by a Saaz like crisp hoppy character. Hints of yeast and a breaded dough middle with a finish big in fruits with black peppers and some yeast to boot. Spicy at times.

Mouthfeel: Firm body, clean crisp conditioning. Big feel but a nicely balanced drinker.

Drinkability: Dangerously quaffable, the wheaty nature of the brew imparts a thirst quenching character whilst the clean crisp aspects make for a brew that is very hard to put down.

Overall: Sampled many of these during my recent Easter Trip to Belgium and found them to be great nightcaps. A lovely brew that seems to have a captivating spell, Duvelian in nature, but with some gorgeous spiced fruity aspects that add to the quaffability and your dehydration the next day!! Recommended.

Jul 17, 2006
More User Reviews:
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown slender bottle with a “best before” date notched on the back label. Front label depicts to brewers either praying to the gods for a good harvest or they are in fear of the man with the big axe.

Appearance: Bight golden with a near perfect clarity, rushing bubbles are champagne-like and easily hold the white bubbly lace all the way to the end.

Smell: Fruity all over, some rind of lime with hints of melon and apple skin. Tad phenolic with light medicinal and spicy aromas amongst the sweet grainy and alcoholic nose.

Taste: Just as smooth as it is crisp from the hard up front carbonation and undertow from the medium body that bring things together. Quick on the spicy flavour which is riding on the coattails of the carbonation, the spiciness come from not only the alcohol but a heavy hand of hop as well as some sharp phenolic activity and coarse grain. Hops are there just for bittering and do a stellar job at it. Rounded and sweet maltiness tries to fend off the bitter and sharp flavours with help from some noticeable fruitiness. Ripe apple, citric rind, melon (honeydew?), star fruit and some other vague tropical fruit are in the mix. Big on the esters and an obvious alcohol. Ends up that the bitter and dryness wins in the finish and cleans house for a tidy aftertaste.

Notes: This is one hell of a one-two punch for a Belgian Strong Pale Golden Ale, bit more flamboyant and rustic than Duvel and Lucifer. Highly recommend if you are wanting to get into this style of beer or have not tried it yet.

Jan 24, 2002
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pbrian from Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep yellow with a huge pillowy head. Steady stream of carbonation. Sweet perfumey aroma with lots of Saaz in the bouquet and the initial flavor profile. A nice malt character comes next followed by a dryish finish. Combine all of this with a little spicyness and a hint of its strength and you get a very complex and enjoyable beer.

May 22, 2002
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marc77 from California

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very clear golden hue topped by a formidably thick, creamy and persistent bumpy white head when decanted off the yeast. Thick, sticky, largely bubbled trails of foam is left. Soft, grainy malt and lemony esters upfront in aroma, ensued by mellow clove phenol and mildly tart and sweet, slightly unripe pear fruitiness. Trace rustic yeast must rounds the aroma out. Lightly cidery sweetness is perceived at first in flavor, then is ceded by an enjoyable combination of light clove and a herbal hop flavor. Sweetness is well countered by an assertive hop bitterness for style, lending an overall balance only slightly skewed towards residual sweetness. Fruity esters of a tart, lemony citrus nature surface mid palate and when combined with the persistent sweetness, an alcohol soaked lemon drop impression is left. Moderate in body for style, w/ a crisp, agreeable mouthfeel that lends excellent drinkability. Finishes dry and mostly clean with a dart of peppery alcohol and sweetness. Hapkin epitomizes the style. It has a superlative depth of malt flavor w/ judicious fruity esters and is light enough on the palate to be deceivingly drinkable. The hop profile is assertive yet well integrated. Delicious! Like other fine Belgians, the 11.2 oz bottle is a tease...

Nov 18, 2002
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hooligan from Florida

4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden beer, rather clear for the style with a lacy stark white foam. Peppery hops are up front in the smell, with some yeasty characters. The taste is crisp, slight esters from the yeast, quite saaz-peppery, and considerably drier than other beers in this catagory. A really good beer, really easy to drink, and a nice change from other strong goldens...

Feb 15, 2002
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here is a golden ale from Belgium that is excellent. Pours with a thick serious head that doesn't completely go away, at least in their glass. Good lace. Hazy yellow color but surprising little yeast. The ABV is high but you don't really taste it. Finish is a nice mix of malt and hops.

Mar 17, 2003
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John from New York

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy straw/gold color. Huge foamy white head. Aroma and flavors are a combination of soft fruit and spicy notes, semi-sweet and tart notes. The yeast adds some sour apple elements. Pear and pineapple coat the palette. Carbonation is crisp, mouthfeel light. Alcohol is evident but well cloaked. A very good, if rather basic, Belgian pale.

Feb 05, 2003
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beerguy101 from California

3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color, medium white foamy head, Aroma is sweet and fruity. Malty, spicy and yeasty, typical of a Belgian. Citrusy. Refreshing and very drinkable. High alcohol (8.5%) not really noticeable. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. Nice beer.

Aug 21, 2003
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mickeymac from California

4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a slim brown bottle, with an interesting label: two workers in a field of barley with a large hatchet that appears to be hanging over their heads. It pours a hazy goldish-yellow with a big foamy white head. The smell of lemon mixes with a fruity sweetness that is reminiscent of tropical flowers to create a very appealing aroma. Despite the 8.5% abv, alcohol is not particularly noticeable in the flavor. This, combined with the somewhat light body and thoroughly enjoyable flavor, creates a beer that encourages big drinks.

Feb 19, 2003
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oberon from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real nice por loved the rich yellow/gol color with big blossuming head.Smelled very spicy and sour (tart) and even a little yeasty.Had some tropical fruit in the taste,like pinapple maybe.High in alcohol but pretty easy to drink.Iam becoming a fan of Belgian strong pale ales.

Feb 28, 2003
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jreitman from California

4.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first thought when I tasted this beer was "wow". The beer presented itself with lot of thick, creamy head and an appealing gold color. Slightly sweet with a fair degree of carbonation. A well-balanced flavor profile that keeps me guessing. A wondefully drinkable beer.

Apr 13, 2002
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packetknife from Idaho

3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer hits you like a hammer. It smells spicy and somewhat champagne-y. Bubbly with a solid head. Not the smoothest but it's hard to put down. I can't have more than a few though. Youch.

Apr 26, 2002
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CharlesRiver from Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow in color with a nice white head. The smell is fruity and bright to me. Taste is clean, smooth and very effervesant in the mouth. I am not tasting the hops as much as I thought I would, actually more sweet than anything. The aftertaste is the best part, well balanced and warming!

Dec 03, 2002
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Realale from Missouri

3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Brilliant golden in color. HUGE fluffy head billows to several inches out of the top of Duvel glass, and ever so slowly settles to a thin partial cap of foam.

Nose is clove and biscuity malt. Rather simple. Its nice and rich in the mouth, with a good base of malt, but the clove is just too much for me - it pretty much obliterates everything else. Length is good, but the clove is there all the way.

To be fair, I've had much better bottles of this beer. This bottle had a best before date of Oct. '02, and while I usually ignore "best by" when the beer has been in my cellar, perhaps this one is serious. I have one more bottle, which I'll let age awhile longer in hopes that the clove was an abberation, or decreases with time, and will alter my review to incorporate the results of that bottle.

Dec 31, 2002
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mzwolinski from California

3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy gold in appearance, with a fairly persistant foamy head which leaves little in the way of lacing. Aroma is zesty with hints of lemon, corriander and floral hops. Taste is fairly typical for the style, spicy, but not overly so, with a pleasantly bitter hop finish. Body is medium but lightened by fairly heavy and even cabronation. A decent belgian golden, but nothing terribly special.

Apr 03, 2003
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Gusler from Arizona

3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a somewhat "Hazy" golden color, the head is white, modest in size, the lace in filmy sheets, to coat the glass. Nose is malt, citrus, light bubble gum tones, and sweet. Front is malt sweet, the top is light, the finish intensely acidic, fairly well hopped, dry, and a nice "Belly Warming" from the high ABV. Quite a decent drinking beer, this bottle is 18 months old, and has improved with age.

Oct 16, 2002
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RBorsato from Virginia

4.95/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy pale yellow with a full white head and good carbonation throughout. Flowery Saaz hop aroma. Fruity soft malt cahracter that is reminiscent of the style. Medium bodied with a smooth dry finish. Good effervescence (not as airy as Duvel).

Very much like Duvel; maybe a bit smoother - as close as it can get !

Best Before: 10/2002 Tasted 11/11/02 [11.2 oz bottle]

Nov 12, 2002
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JISurfer from South Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't think this is the best Blegian I've had, but it's still overall pretty decent. Kind of a skunky smell, but nothing too bad. It had a fruity taste, mixed with a strong wheat taste. I did like the color. It was a pale straw color with a white head to it. All in all, not bad though.

Mar 22, 2003
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Naerhu from Japan

3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Massive crown of pure white head on a semi-opaque yellow, with hint of orange, body. This foam, I mean head, is out of control.

Aroma of pineapples and kiwi fruit. Sweet starfruit flavor, though not very complex. White bread toast. A tad of the yeast and alcohol. There is something funky in here. Orange soda.

Light and refreshing mouthfeel.

I do not know whether this was really pleasant, or just a pleasant experience. Come to think of it, just a pleasant experience, as I will not bother to drink it again.

Jan 20, 2004
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marburg from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this hanging around for a while in the back of my beer closet -- kind of forgotten. I got six of these litle while back and immediately sucked down 5. This is the sixth.

Crystal clear untainted straw golden color. Big fluffy head that slowly fades. Big cantalope and honey dew aromas are very obvious -- especially at warmer temps. Just the most mild peppery hint. Soft banana cake is a most subtle accompaniment.

Similar feel continues on the palate, though the seemingly untempered sweetness is balanced nicely by a completely integrated hoppiness. This isn't merely balanced -- it simply IS. Bready, yeasty overtones swirl in and out here and there. But this is a brew that's dominated by Belgian-style fruit up front and a dry hoppy finish. A really stunning example of Belgian excellence.

Jan 08, 2004
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GreenCard from Maryland

3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: crystal clear golden color, lots of bubbles, thick spongey layer of off-white foam that slowly collapses on itself and disappears almost completely

Aroma: pilsner-like hops, pale malts, strawberry fruitiness, alcohol, cane sugar

Flavor: champagne-like bursts of flavor, malty sweet and slightly pilsner-like here as well, minute herbally hop flavor that appears just as a slight bitterness tries to off-set the sweetness, hint of coriander (?), finishes semi-sweet with an herbally and alcoholic aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, very bubbly, alcohol warmth and slight burn in the throat

Other comments: Style-wize this is Duvel's major competitor, though it's hard to topple the brand-image of the original Belgian Strong Golden Ale. Less balanced than Duvel (despite it being just as strong). It's OK, but Duvel still holds the title in my opinion.

Jul 25, 2004
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pio from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours the color of the sun with a huge cloud of head shading it's cornea-burning rays. that pillow stays on top like an impressive crown, clinging pornographically to the glass.

lilly of the valley and light honey played up my nose. there was a quite alluring aroma of freshly cut apple, green apple. i could almost hear the crunch of the knife slicing that green sucker down the middle. a foamy mouthfeel that absolutely fills the mouth. and it's sour turning bitter not without hint notes of sweetness and somehow light malty or woody tones abiding with fruitiness concerning apples, lemons and tomato. this little wow is followed by a great hop development on the palate. this is also a moment of alcoholic revelation, a warm salute to 8.5% indeed! a very high drinkability permitted i could handle it alcohol-wise.

May 18, 2003
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Globetrotter from Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this gem at Moscow's biggest discount grocery store - they must have hired a closet BA to serve as beer purchaser. Comes in a brown long neck 33 cl bottle with a white and gold label featuring a couple of muscular field workers apparently threshing grain. The Russian import label lists nothing but purity law ingredients. Best before March 2006, I opened it on 9/23/05.

Initial pour comes out clear gold under a huge 3+ finger white head that is very sticky and firm, receding slowly but perceptibly, leaving mountains and craters as the liquid goes down. Very nice lacing clings to the glass. The secondary pour clouds things up considerably, leaving an almost banana colored fuzzy sheen. The nose is sumptuous - very flowery, slightly spicey, with just a hint of cabbage. The mouth is very prickly and fairly light. The taste? Wow, a hoppy Belgian. A touch of grainy malt opens, quickly overwhelmed by dry espresso bitterness, with a bit of carnation to sweeten things up. This is not the standard francophone sweetness of raisins, but much more flowery. A nice dry bitter aftertaste really inspires to another sip. Very, very nice.

Sep 23, 2005
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granger10 from Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle courtesy of CJRMellor and his cooler of goodies.

Pours a hazy golden color with a large fluffy white head. Decent lacing around the glass. Lots of bubbles rising to the top. Very effervescent.

Aroma is bready and yeasty at first but there's definitely a spicyness in there along with some citric qualities.

In the taste I'm not getting near as much yeast flavors as I was in the aroma. There's a good amount of hoppy spicyness along with more fruity flavors underneath. Carbonation is strong almost taking away from some of the flavors of the beer. Nicely balanced though and quite enjoyable. Finish is dry and lingering.

This beer is really effervescent giving it a champagne like mouthfeel. Kind of light in body but it holds the flavors together well.

As for drinkability, I could have another, the alcohol really hid well. The carbonation though nice might take the drinkability down a bit.

Overall this was a nice beer rivaling Duvel in many aspects. A style that I don't seek out too often but usually enjoy when trying it. Thanks Craig

Feb 14, 2005
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chaduvel from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of a 4 pack. Thanks to Kluk for the recommendation. Poured into a Hapkin glass. Large pure white head, golden color of a sunset below. Head is gigantic. Head fades around the edges but holds a bulbous center nearly to the end, nice lacing around the sides of the glass. The shape of the glass directs the scent right to me and wow. Very aromatic. Smells intensely flowery with some hints of sour. Taste: Saaz hops up front in a big way. Middle has a distinct perfume flavor, and then a dry alcohol finish, can definitely taste/feel the 8.5%. Nicely done.

Aug 19, 2003
Hapkin from Brouwerij Louwaege
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 62 ratings