… Part 5
My gracious host prepared for us a salad of mixed greens, herbed goat cheese, strawberries, and a fresh made oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. This definitely added the fresh lightening sensation needed to an otherwise deep and heavy meal. After the meat came out of the oven, I let it rest for about 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle and find their home. We then enjoyed a succulent beef brisket with creamy sweet onion potatoes, and the salad paired with a corked bottle of Kwak which I had been holding onto for almost a year.
Kwak is brewed by the Bosteels Brewery in the small village of Buggenhout in Belgium. The brewery has been in the hands of the Bosteels family since Evarist Bosteels established it in 1791. Their three beers have been recognized across the world with many awards; Tripel Karmelite won the “World’s Best Ale” award at the 2008 World Beer awards, DeuS won “Best New Beer of 2003” from Celebrator magazine, and Kwak has won several gold, silver and bronze medals at the World beer Cup over the years.
In Napoleon’s time, Pawel Kwak was a brewer and the owner of the ‘De Hoorn’ in Bendermonde. Mail coaches stopped there every day; but at that time coachmen were not allowed to leave their coach and horses in order to quench their thirst along with their passengers. As a result, the inventive innkeeper had a special Kwak glass brown that could be hung on the coach. In this way the coachman has his Kwak beer safely at hand! We unfortunately were not drinking the Kwak from its signature glass, but the beer stood up to its roots with unbridled ease. It poured smooth and lively raising a creamy dense white head which held its height during the meal. The beer itself is a deep bright amber with gold straw tint reflecting throughout it. The nose is mellow, fruity, and mildly spicy with sweet malt and light hops ticking the nose. Lean in a take a deep nose and you will get earthy coriander and banana, and a sweet tropical touch hiding deep in the background. Oh man I am ready to try this prize.
Kwak glides gently over your tongue releasing a fruity malt flavor with a great depth of complexity. Rather than the spice and malt acting as separate antagonists, they have joined forces beautifully to create a sublimely balanced and delicious beer. There is a slight nut flavor that gives the whole beer a creaminess I can only describe as nougat. As Kwak clears your palate is finishes with a caramel banana treat right at the end. The whole time the beer hides a light bitter hop character keeping Kwak superiorly refreshing. The savory, sweet, caramel, and hop characters in the Kwak met every challenge that the dinner could through at it in championship form. The refreshing clean hops cut right through the creamy and buttery potatoes but matched the sweetness in the caramelized onions. The malty fruit and nougat like flavors became best friends with the meat creating a mouth watering match. And the light sweet touches in the beer helped the salad open your palate for more and more and more. This was overall, and by now obviously, fantastic!
… Part 7