Hapkin | Brouwerij Louwaege

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59 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Louwaege

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-29-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 49
Reviews by pbrian:
Photo of pbrian
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light orange in color with heavy carbonation and a big, fluffy BSPA head that went down slowly and covered the inside of my Chimay glass.

Smell – Big Belgian yeast aroma with strong spicing. The fruits are heavy as well. I can pick up a nice mix of oranges and bananas along with lush, juicy cantaloupe.

Taste – Wow! The pepper and alcohol really step it up at the taste. The yeast lays back a bit, but just a bit. The fruits are there as well. This is a real heavy hitting Belgian Pale.

Mouthfeel – Medium to full in the body and very fluffy. The alcohol is enough to take note. There’s also a bit of refreshing dryness at the end.

Drinkability – If I would have drank this cold it would have lasted a bit longer. But I popped it a little below room temperature so it went pretty quick. I will definitely buy again.

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Photo of Jason
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl. oz. bottle from a gift pack of 4 bottles and one Hapkin glass. Best before May 04 (It's not September). "Hapkin Anno 1877 Belgian Golden Ale"

Liquid gold safely buried beneath a mountain of white, frothy bubbles. Smells fruity, with traces of hops and alcohol.

Tastes sweet, with hints of hops and malts in there. Goes down smooth with a some lingering bitterness in the back of the mouth on the end.

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Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yeasty Belgium. Grassy with corriander spice on tongue. Creamy head, Boldly hopped, creamy feel on tongue, grainy. Finishes on sweeter side, with subtle fruitiness. Some astringent sour fruit aftertaste. Standard, nice drink, though nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of Filosoof
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice balanced blond. Nowadays brewed by Alken-Maes. Postel Blond is also brewed by Alken-Maes. It looks like there are parallels.

L: the head is disappointing; I have never seen so many big bubbles; a fluffy head thus, though my glass was really clean.
S: nice, hops, flowers;
T: a nice balance of the hops and the sweetness; alcohol is mentionable; a bit methylated spirit;
O: a littlelittlelittle bit to sweet for my taste, but nevertheless this beer is okay!

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Photo of Beertracker
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Alken-Maes' Hapkin is best served at cellar temperatures (46-50°F) from a signature Hapkin axe embossed pear shaped, stemmed glass. This wicked Belgian Golden Ale pours up lively with a lacy, but short lived white head that sits craggily over a bright golden body. The enviting aroma is filled with a nice intermingling of earthy (catty, grassy/haylike, floral/perfumy), spicy (lemon pepper, turmeric, vanilla) & fruity (dried apricot, banana, peach pit) estery notes. There's just a hint of alcoholic warmth along with some delectable honeyish malt notes underlying the spicy, Noble Saaz hop accenuated aroma.The delicately balanced flavor starts off rather fruity with a soft, light graininess that carries into a slightly earthy, spicy hop influenced bitterness which takes over to deliver a harmonious finish with a devilish alcoholic warmth. Hapkin is a lovely elixir that shows just how devilishly drinkable this style can be. Michael Jackson refers to this one, as one of the "Wickedest beers in all of Belgium" and I couldn't agree more. Here's to the former Count of Flanders, Boudewijn Hapkin with the Axe and his namesake beer... don't lose your head!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of Goldorak
2.79/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: You've got to give credit to those belgians, they sure give good head! Really thick and clingy meringue that just would not quit, with a peachy yellow, not quite opaque brew underneath.

Smell: Yeasty, with sort of a lactic twang, and vegetal finish that reminded me of asparagus.

Taste: Really lively carbonation that seizes your tongue. Yeasty and quite boozy, especially in the aftertaste, that eventually became a bit much for me. It's sort of a Duvel knockoff that left me lukewarm.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one with a buddy who got a 6-pack from a Belgian beer club he was in.

Effervesence is the word to describe this beer. It is almost a champagne kind of feel.

Color is a pale straw yellow. Deceivingly light color, but the bubbles are there, with a creamy white head.

Aroma is fruity with some spiciness (a hint of pepper).

Flavor is complex yet balanced.

A great beer.

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Photo of UniversitateaDeBere
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 33cl brown bottle claims in is brewed by Alken-Maes, it has the same front label as the picture on this page (as at 11 Feb 2007).

Poured into a Duvel glass, it looked the part, a little lighter than Duvel, but very simular with its huge white head. Golden clear, until I added the sediment towards the end.

Wheaty smell, summer flowers and hops also, but nothing strong.

8.5%, but no great flavour or taste to it, even after I had added the bottom of the bottle in. A flowery, almost sweet feel to it, the sweetness hangs around, but nothing comes and bites you with this beer.

Not a bad blond, but not up with the best either, if I ever see it on tap, I'll give it another go, otherwise, I will not be buying it again.

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Photo of degerrit
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served into an Snifter glass.Enjoyed on may´11.
Light pale straw in color.Cloudy but transparent to the light.Rocky white snow crown,thick & lasting wide lacing rings.Mildy floral & perfumed hoppy aroma.Fruity mouthfeel,spicy hints too.Smooth & very kind bitterness on the aftertaste.Outstanding drinkability.ABV well hidden gives a full but very refreshing body.Very well balanced flavors.Among many others Belgian Strong Ales this is an essential one.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of marc77
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
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...

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Photo of safaricook
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of hooligan
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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...

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of granger10
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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

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Photo of RBorsato
4.95/5  rDev +25%
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]

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Photo of Realale
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Hapkin from Brouwerij Louwaege
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 59 ratings