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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1168
Reviews: 628
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-30-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,168 | Reviews: 628 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ipogios


5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber colour topped by a creamy head. This beer looks beautifull... especially the glass adds to the appearance. Aroma consists of sweet malts & fruits. Taste is VERY SWEET. Pauwel Kwak has a sweetness like no other beer i've ever tasted. If you don't like sweet beers then don't even bother trying this one. On the other hand, if you are into sweet beers then you wouldn't mind drinking Kwak all day long. Just have in mind the ABV. Don't let the sweetness of this beer fool you. It's a very strong beer. An excellent beer in my humble opinion. MY FAVOURITE.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2003 15:32:11 | More by ipogios
Photo of RDAdams


5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For years I have thought Chimay Grande Reserve and Duval were the finest beers on the planet. I now prefer Kwak to both!

Appearance: Dark amber to copper with a large cream head. This beer has beautiful legs.

Aroma: Complex, fruity aroma with sweet smelling esters and phenols balanced with the malt.

Taste. If it's in the aroma, it's in the taste. And the effervescent carbonation enhances the tastes of the esters and the phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and warm without an alcohol taste. The high carbonation is very pleasant.

Drinkability:Awesomely smooth This is a World Class Beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 19:28:39 | More by RDAdams
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.88/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not poured in the official glassware however, this beer is still a must try for any Belgium beer lover like myself anyway you can get it. This beer appears a slighlty ruby with a hint of brown amber shade to it and pours with a massive off white cream colored head. The aroma is a deep buttery malty treat that spreads joy throughout the world, and puts an instant smile on my face. The taste has a deep warming effect going on through out my palate and through my chest as I take each sip of this nectar of the gods. With hints of candied sugar that it was primed with those deep butter flavors are complemented with a smooth nutty malt flavor. The last trickle of flavor provides just a hint of some fruit tones that are amazing to me. Mouthfeel is sticky and the carbonation tickles and soothes the back of the throat at the same time. Drinkability in one word Incredible.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2003 10:10:53 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of atlason

New York

4.78/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Goose Island chalice. Enjoyed with a Belgian beef stew, made with Kwak.

A: Deep amber brown, half finger of thick, stable head. Lacing is thick and uniform.

S: Spicy yeast and liquorice.

T: Dubbel-like maltiness, caramelly with rich spicy character and prominent liquorice. Very grassy but mild hops. Aftertaste is medium long and very consistent with the main taste.

M: Perfect chewiness but a little bit tiring on the palate due to sweetness.

Overall one of my favorite Belgian beers, perhaps my favorite after Orval.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 00:36:49 | More by atlason
Photo of xylophonica


4.75/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Dark copper colour. Colour verges on orange when held up to the light. Finger or more of head. Head looks particularly creamy with a dark chocolate tint but fades quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Chocolate and banana. Little bit of toffee and sweetness in there as well. Alcohol kicker! Bit of bubblegum as well.

T - Sweet and strong. Alcohol content is there but not unpleasant. Lots of malt and sweet fruit.. nuff said! Of the fruit flavours banana is most obvious with some definite caramel overtones for good measure. Aftertaste suggests bubblegum.

M - Smooth at first but with a bitter aftertaste. Probably the worst feature of this beer.

D - Love this one. Could drink all day.

In terms of appearance it starts off well but a lack of lacing prevents it from earning any further points. Smell is great as is the taste. Highly recommended - don't worry about the gimicky glass, it's still a damn good beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 08:36:56 | More by xylophonica
Photo of rosebud

New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was not impressed with this beer when I had my first sip after it was poured. But things definitely got better as it started to warm up. As it warmed up the malt and hops became more apparent. Nice little hop taste on the beginning of the tongue, followed by nice malt and toffee taste at the back of the tongue, warming itself as it travels down your throat. This is a beer to be sipped over a long period of time after it has warmed to enjoy all its character.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2002 14:19:38 | More by rosebud
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pauwel Kwak has a thick, creamy, light beige head, lots of streaming bubbles, some lacing rings, and a clear, brilliant, copper appearance. The aroma is subtle, but one can detect some molasses, brown bread, and sugar. Taste is of the same, with indistinguishable fruit and a little-to-no hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light, watery, and prickly (from the carbonation), and Pauwel Kwak finishes clean, dry, and delicious. The alcohol only shows up when one inhales after a sip, not in the flavor or aroma. This is a most excellent beer!


Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 15:23:16 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malty aroma has an overtone of sweet apple and a hint of caramel. It pours a clear coppery brown with a fairly thick, if not persistent, pale tan head that leaves some respectable lacing. Scrumptious flavor has firm notes of malt, caramel and apple and just a hint of cloves. It is slightly sweet and slightly bitter, and these two components nicely balance each other. Smooth, full-bodied texture has a firm fizz and leaves a subtle tingle and a malty, fruity finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 16:21:01 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of TXHops


4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML silk screened brown bottle.
-ABV: 8.0%
-ABW: 6.4%
-Malts: three malts, including wheat, with some candi sugar in the kettle

Kwak is probably my favorite Belgian Ale. It’s one of the few that doesn’t just taste “Belgian”—all fluffy and estery with massive amounts of phenolics and esters. Kwak has more to it and it comes out different than 99% of its brethren. The result is a beer that I absolutely love, and it’s one of the few Belgians that I find to be unique.

As for the beer itself, Kwak is an orangey-tea color with a thick, cream-colored head. The aroma is pretty subdued in the beginning, but as the beer warms, the estery nature of the Belgian yeast becomes more and more evident, smelling very similar to a Bavarian hefeweizen: cloves and bananas. However, there’s a maltiness in the aroma that I’ve never gotten out of any other Belgian—it doesn’t smell like alcohol and candi sugar. Instead, it actually smells like malt. However, there’s a crisp tartness in the nose as well—quite appealing. The flavor is very banana-like as well, and the full body with the high carbonation virtually slides down the gullet. There is a slightly acidic finish, reminiscent of tropical blender drinks. In fact, the whole nature of Kwak is oddly tropical, with flavors of passion fruit, and pomegranate to go with the bananas. Unlike most Belgian Ales, this one isn’t fluffy. Kwak actually has body that doesn’t scream candi sugar. It’s one of the only Belgians I’ve ever had that actually felt substantial in my mouth. With that substance and lack of foaminess comes less of the normal Belgian yeast twang, which combined with the high ABV and airy body, typically imparts a lingering sourness in my mouth. Kwak leaves a sticky, tropical sweetness, though there’s enough spritziness to avoid the cloying problem that you’d assume would manifest itself after the above description. It’s almost like this beer were brewed with a standard Belgian high ester yeast and then allowed to bottle condition with a British ale yeast—it’s so much more nuanced and subtle than I'd expect.

One of the most unique beers I’ve tried, even by Belgian standards. This is definitely my favorite beer from a country that I believe produces too many beers with an overwhelmingly similar flavor profile. Cheers to Bosteels for doing something different.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 20:17:33 | More by TXHops
Photo of RBorsato


4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on-tap on 03/09/06 at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA. (unfortunately, not in a Kwak glass...)

Amber-ish to tawny brown in color with a nice off-white head and moderate carbonation. A very malty (raisin and licorice qualities) Belgian in both aroma and flavor. Fairly fruity overall with some light yeasty character. Medium bodied, refreshing and dangerously drinkable; looking forward to tasting the bottled version.

Per BB: 8% ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2006 20:09:12 | More by RBorsato
Photo of tonton

Hong Kong

4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the standard 33cl bottle into a Burgundy wine glass. This glass is great for tasting and for nose but limits the head.

Darker than I thought it would be, caramel color.

The smell hit me immediately - wow! I love it. Strong caramel with a bit of Scotch whiskey, especially when I really breathe it in. Excellent. The best smelling beer I've tried.

Tastes like a good Belgian, with a nice strong caramel finish.

Carbonation is moderate to strong.

I've decided I'm going to buy the gift set with the quarter yard to try this as it was meant to be tasted.

Now my current favorite Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 05:25:54 | More by tonton
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like drinking this out of the tall glass with wood base in Belgium, but it's still a pleasure anytime...

Thick light-tan head made of tight bubbles sits atop a remarkably well-filtered, glowing golden brown. A zillion bubbles feed a head that seems like it'll never diminish, but it eventually does minimize to a mere skim. Lots of lace.

Fruity and yeasty esters fill the nose first, with a brown sugar, dessert-like maltiness eventually dominating the aroma. A little alcohol shows through as it warms, which is when this beer really opens up.

The flavor is something unique. You definitely won't find another Belgian like it (I haven't yet, at least). Malt dominates, bringing a tangy sweetness in that reminds of fine caramel/chocolate hard candies, brown sugar, root beer schnapps, dark fruits, and honey. The finish keeps a thick honey flavor on top of the palate.

Mouthfeel has a slightly syrupy feel, which matches the flavors well, and the ever-active bubbles inject a constant effervesence which never intrudes, even when the beer warms and seems to get thicker in the mouth with ever sip. Kwak is way better when it warms...drinking it too cold mutes everything great about it.

Very dessert-y, it amazingly never becomes overly sweet. At just the right temperature, there's hardly anything finer.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2007 22:24:06 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of BEERchitect


4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Belgian beers that is not being advertised.

Looks plesantly coper with yellow and golden undertones. High carbonation and tall head retention that stays with the beer. Loosely knit bubbles that regenerate.

Smells sweet and spicy. Delicate in its floral display. lightly spicy and hoppy. toasty and malty backbone.

Tastes caramelly and sweet. Quickly interfered by spicy gingers, and nutmegs. Light hopping rounds out the sweetness. Bold yet delicate int he body. Medium, creamy mouthfeel.

Finishes a bit dry, yet does not abandon the caramelly sweetness.

Impression: served in a terrific suspended glass, this beer is more than a beverage, it is an event. May be quaffed down, but may be sipped and savored. Delicately balanced for smoothness, complexity, and age.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2005 05:02:23 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For some reason this beer has always been a favorite of mine. On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slight hazy amber orange color with very god head retention and lacing. The is terrific, showing off butter, brown sugar, toffe, sugar daddy candy caramel, and a boatload of spice. Flavors generally replicate the nose, on a fairly sweet frame. Mouthfeel is full (yet light) and fairly long, with a soft, lush finish. Alcohol is very well disguised, leading one to foolishly believe they could down a number of these (bad idea, no matter how delicious this beer is).

What else can I say. Yummm....

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2009 22:34:32 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of tavernjef


4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle - Color is of golden dark honey and the head is super tall, mega froth from the pour, 11.2 seemed more like 16, the head is frothy foam of off-white color but deeper in color at the bottm of a two finger high head. Head is smooth like whipped cream with some large divets. Smell is mostly malt like caramel and toffee with a light alcohol warmth hint and citrus fruits.Taste is smooth and yummy, amazingly sweet and malty with some toffee and rum-like capabilties in warmth, slight spicy citrus. Feel is all sweet and smooth with incredible silkyness and a warming from the alcohol thats like a brandy or rum. Surprising kick for 8%, pleasantly smooth character.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2003 20:29:32 | More by tavernjef
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at Pelgrom cafe in Antwerp. It was served in its unique glassware with the wooden base.

It looked like an amber ale or alt, but smelled sort of like a weizen. I'm pretty sure it's got some wheat in the recipe based on aroma and taste.

The flavor was really good and it would have been easy to drink another if I didn't have Kulminator to go to for beers that are harder to find. The glass was a novelty, but I prefer regular glassware. I could easily make a mess if I drink this without paying attention to the base.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2006 23:16:26 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of tapman


4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a mini-yard complete with a wooden stand that could be used to drink the beer even more fancy-like.

Looks a little hazy, but must have been filtered a little bit since it is somewhat transparent.The glass was thick in ssome parts, where we found a deep orange color, and in the skinny parts the beer appears to be a light orange. 1 finger head with light lacing.

Banana, passion fruit, passion fruit, and very small pickled spicy jalepeno in the nose.

Taste is banana, delicate Belgium yeast. Light malts are a cross between a elgium ale and an American Belgium style ale, that is to say a little less bright and more savory. Hops are sweet and floral.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. Thicker, more interesting texture than any Chimay that I've ever had. Still, very refreshing as is a credit to the style.

I thought this brew was excellent. Its not very delicate as other Belgium-like examples of the style, but way more drinkable than most. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2007 04:32:56 | More by tapman
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a hotel rocks glass. Room temperature.

Nice amber colored and clear, tan head fades rather quickly. Just a great bready malt aroma, spicy hops mix well with an earthy yeast character to create very pleasant and enticing aroma. One of those beers you just have to smell before each sip.

Taste is sweet and bready. I'm thinking hot cross buns here, with a nice little spiciness and how about that alcohol warmth? Very nice beer to sip, warming the cheeks a little at a time. Finishes with a minor alcohol burn that does leave the mouth tingly, but there is an underling sweetness that lasts.

Medium bodied and smooth, with some carbonation tingling. Nice easy sipper here. This one is recommended for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 20:50:33 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of boss302


4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A orange clear not much head 4

S Lots of fruit and berries, Belgian typical. 4.5 

T Some sweetness. Rich and flavorful.  Apricot, plums. Clean finish. 4.5 

M thick and creamy very smooth mouthfeel. 4.5

D A fine beer, I will be purchasing more of this. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 00:54:58 | More by boss302
Photo of skizziks


4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked 750ml bottle. The cork pops like champagne, flying across the room indicating quite a bit of carbonation. A gentle pour into a Duvel tulip gives about 2.5 inches of dense light tan foam that takes a couple minutes to recede. Lacing quickly slides down the glass. Color is a deep ruby copper, very clear. The second pour is sloppy and I get some large chunks of yeast, but it doesn't hurt the beer any.

Aroma is very powerful. I smell a lot of fruit from more than 2 feet away. Up close, I sense white grape, yellow apple, and other fruit I can't pick out. Wife says berries but not what kind. Taste has a lot of dark sugar with some mild raisin, some malt. Very complex. Little hop in aroma or flavor. Balance is sweet with some numbing alcohol on the finish. Everything about this beer is beautiful. I love it, my wife (drinking wine and starting to regret it) loves it. The sweetness is not out of control and the medium to light body makes this a pretty easy drinker. The only thing slowing me down is the fantastic aroma that hits me so hard every time I raise the glass, I have to give myself a second to recover before I can sip. I'm sure the tulip helps this, getting my nose right down in it, but it is powerful stuff.

Wonderful beer, wish I had a case of it. Very "belgian". Any belgian lover should love this. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2006 18:27:45 | More by skizziks
Photo of mcallister


4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a very cool rounded bottom tapered flute type Kwak glass that was placed in a wooden kwak holder for stabiliztion. You actually use the holder to lift and drink.

A very clear amber with hues of gold throughout. Off white head of medium density rests atop with good retention. Minute lace resides.

Lovely fruity, flowery esters. A roasted caramel malt aroma also. Chamomile, honey, peach and apricot are some of the smells as long as a guest appearance of sweet hops.

Wow!! What a smack of sweet malt and honey suckle in the front palate. Dominated by a flowery floral mid palate with a slight hop bitterness finish. The same flavors as were in the nose with a little more malt and less fruit.

Mouthfeel is smooth and simple. Somewhat creamy and very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2006 21:09:26 | More by mcallister
Photo of Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a deep ruddy-orange color. The beer has a decent head that dies down to a ring.

S - licorice, pomegranate, maraschino cherry

T - sweet, candy like malt with hints of fruit. A subtle alcohol taste similar to desert wines lingers in the mouth.

M - medium carbonation, very smooth body and a slightly chalky finish

D - excellent taste and mouthfeel. This is a great sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 01:26:57 | More by Grunewald
Photo of roblowther


4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a medium density, rocky tan head fed by a zillion little champagne bubbles up the side of the glass. The smell is caramel & roasted malt with something cherry-like in the background. The taste is caramel but has almost a burnt note in it somewhere. The finish is dry, offsetting the initial sweetness. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, silky and oily. The drinkability is very good, certainly helped by the mouthfeel. Not too much alcohol in the forefront on this one, given its strength. Definitely one you could sip (note "sip") all evening. The beer, overall, makes me think of sitting in an exposed timber and plaster pub somewhere, drinking at a long wooden table as old as, well, beer, meeting new friends and listening to the world go by outside. For whatever that literary detour is worth.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 09:42:02 | More by roblowther
Photo of ChopperSmith


4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a chilled 750ml bottle into an authentic Kwak glass...A small yard glass with a wood handle.

Appearance - Deep golden almost copper color with a big tan head with good lacing and retention.

Smell - Fruity, yeasty, with a little spice and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste - Yeasty, Fruity and a little spicy. Very nice sipping brew that gets a little better as it warms and releases a slightly stronger yeast flavor with spice behind it.

Mouth feel - A little overcarbonated, but not too bad. Slightly creamy.

Drinkability - It's a good BSPA, and one of my favorites. I've had many over the years and never been disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 22:34:47 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to categorize this beer. It's not at all like Duvel. But considering it's from Belgium and it's strong, I can see it being lumped in with this style. Kwak is a most unique ale and I can definitely see it being very hit or miss with most folks.

To find this on tap was a special treat for me. Quite a strange yet curious look - tall, fairly compact, creamy, off-white head...but not off-white leaning toward tan, as I often see, but instead a yellowish-pink. Hmm. Bright salmony orange-pink color - again different - impenetrably cloudy thick. So, I knew this wouldn't be drinking clean and crisp.

Banana nectar and fresh cut oak bust out in the aroma riding a wave of cakey yeast. These characteristics carry over well into the taste, taking full bloom. The banana hits first, immediately followed by some almond, then the yeast, smooth, silky, very lightly musty yet not spicy pushes it all through, with the subtle afterburn of warm alcohol in its wake. A fruity - peach or maybe pear - nectary flavor and feel throughout as well. Rather full-bodied feel, similar to a barleywine.

Not really sessionable I feel due to it's weight - in alcohol and overall feel. A once-in-a-while treat - after a meal or perhaps before. One of a kind.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2010 18:49:08 | More by Bouleboubier
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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,168 ratings.