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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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

1,167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1167
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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Ratings: 1,167 | Reviews: 628 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FLima


3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper color with a thin head.
Strong aroma of Belgian yeast, brown sugar and prunes.
Intense fruity flavor, notes of Belgian Yeast, caramel malt, spices including cloves and cinnamon, apple juice and finishing with overripe dark fruits and hints of tea bags.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8% is well hidden on its malty base.
A bit overly sweet beer, though the prior time I had it was very cold and I remember enjoying it greatly but it was on bottle. Maybe it was badly served from tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2013 14:41:29 | More by FLima
Photo of damndirtyape


3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brasserie Cafe du Foy in Lille. Served in a branded Kwak glass - which as a rounded mini-yard of ale type of glass.

Appearance: Deep amber color. Lots of bubbles coming up slowly through the beer which were fun to look at when they collided with the necking on the glass. Light tan/hint of orange thin dense head. Thick chunks and strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Caramelized malt with some underlying mild fruity esters.

Taste: Buttery / caramel / toffee flavors. Nice malty beer, but with enough floral/herbal hops at the end to counter it. Some fruity esters scattered throughout. If this is to be held to style as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale....then this beer is wrong. But it's so tasty I feel it's a cross between a Belgian Pale Ale and an English Strong Ale - the toffee notes go so well with this beer.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, sticky. Plenty of carbonation to pull the beer off the teeth, but no so much that it gets in the way of the thickness of the beer. Very nice.

Overall / Drinkability: Very good with food. Had this with Welsh Ch'Ti (think Welsh Rabbit, but with potatoes, ham, and bacon under the cheese on top of toast, all cooked up in a gratin dish) which was great, and this beer was so dangerously drinkable, I wanted another but knew I would regret it if I did. A very good beer and I hope to have it again someday.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2013 17:22:45 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of RoamingGnome


3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


On tap at Cafe Hollander. Served in a test tube. Pretty well chilled...

A) A rusty looking brew with over a finger of light tan head. Decent retention. No lacing noted.

S) Fairly sweet and malty. There is some banana, and a mix of spices. Faint alcohol...

T) A little toast and caramel sweetness. Yeasty, fruity, mostly banana. Adequate spice, mainly clove. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, but worth noting.

M) Medium body... Carbonation is about the same. Finishes with some alcohol warmth, but not an unpleasant lingering burn. Drinkability is good from a mouthfeel standpoint.

O) I've had this several times, so I knew what I was getting. It's good... Although, half way through I reached the conclusion I was over paying for the privilege of drinking this from the test tube, and accompanying wooden holder.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2013 02:33:33 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of server222


3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

great malty charcacter, slight fruit notes and with a hint of the belgian yeast profile. nose was to be expected from the style, slight malty notes mingled with small fruit and spice smells. glassware was the intial spark that got me to try this one. very ornate glass with wooden handle to support it's odd shape.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer but i was expecting a more intricate expierence with more sophistication. Average to me but a great representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2013 18:17:12 | More by server222
Photo of skatonic


4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very sweet, but to be fair I like sweet. Good overall, would really only have one at a sitting. Served in a tall glass with a wooden holder. Strong, but pleasant. A pleasant beer with a very nice taste and finish. Hard to have more than one though. Different for a pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2012 03:57:53 | More by skatonic
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into one of those crazy wooden handled glass trumpet shaped glassholder devices that im sure has a proper name, and for this it gets bonus points. cheeky monk in denver. has a nice redorange glow, some cloudiness, and a small white head. lovely. smells really yeasty, almost sour if you think about it like that, some notes of dried fruit as well. flavor just isnt my favorite for a belgian. its tart and sweet at the same time but not in the right proportion, it kind of filled me up too, which is uncommon for this style. the yeast dominates the flavor with subtle notes of dried cherries and raw sugar. feel is nice and bubbly, crisper than most in the finish. not a bad beer, but on a night of drinking fine belgian ales, this one did not stand out.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 06:34:21 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of zonker17


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in Kwak glassware at Benelux, Milwaukee.

A - copper color and 1 inch beige head. Reduced quickly with decent lacing.

S - light malt, fruits

T - mineral notes, iron, banana

M - slightly syrupy

O - not outstanding in any way but also a drinkable beer

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 03:35:42 | More by zonker17
Photo of Jamesthebrit


3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hazy reddish brown.
S: not getting any particular smell
T: Drinks similar to a red wine. Light on carbonation, hints of grape fruityness. Little character overall.
M: Bitter with a lingering dryness. Interesting but a little harsh.

Overall I thought this was a solidly average brew. It was interesting to get those grape tastes but it when the pieces came together it wasn't doing it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 16:49:15 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of DAllspaw


3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Hopleaf in Chicago.

Clear pour, and aptly described by previous reviewer as tea brown. Doesn't look particularly enticing.

Smell a bit hoppy and some definite funk, but tastes leave me wanting just a bit more, especially with this high ABV, expected more depth of character.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2011 18:37:14 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of bsp77


3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into Tulip.

Appearance: Rich, hazy orange with thin white head.

Smell: Sweet, fruity malts with plum and raisins. Light spiciness and banana.

Taste: Very sweet with lots of malt - very fruity with plum and raisins predominately. Light spiciness with minor banana underneath.

Feel: Somewhat syrupy with moderately low carbonation. Off finish.

Overall: Some nice flavors going on, but too sweet and syrupy to be top notch.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2011 01:06:30 | More by bsp77
Photo of Tschnab

New York

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at waterzooi.

A- White thick creamy head sits above the dark orange pour.

S- Grapefruit, clove, apricot, brown sugar. Very unique blend of spice and summery fruit.

T- very smooth and creamy sip gives a floral flavor, filled with brown sugar, yeast, clove, banana, apricot and rock sugar.

O- really refreshing, pretty interesting, a little lacking in umph though.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2011 02:46:00 | More by Tschnab
Photo of MoustacheHero


4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A unique offering all the way from Belgium.

A: A hazy orange pour with bubbly white head. Very inviting.

S: A bouquet of cloves, spices and light sour notes.

T: Very big flavour. A load of spices mixing together in a saison-like fashion.

M: A full bodied, thick mouthfeel.

O: A really great beer, especially when looking for big flavor, or something a little out of the norm.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2011 01:58:08 | More by MoustacheHero
Photo of Skeeter206


4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Grill Next Door in Haverhill, MA. I got the yard, which is a wooden handle holding a pretty cool looking glass that will not stand on its own.

A~ The glass and handle is awesome, but the beer could have looked better. Dark orange look, with a slight white head that dissipated almost immediately with little to no lacing.

S~ Smells sweet, some citrus, some licorice in the smell, kind of a weak smell.

T~ Taste out performs the smell in this beer. It has a lot going in on in my opinion, some sweet malts and citrus with nougat like taste up front. Licorice on the backbone but not too overpowering. A little bit of alcohol in there.

M~ Good mouthfeel, not too carbonated, and not too thick and syrupy. Slightly carbonated, not too heavy not too light for the style.

O~ Another very good beer on tap at the grill next door, its a beer you need to try out of the yard glass they created for it. Its quite the experience, and a 22oz 9% alcohol beer will kick you in the liver pretty quick.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2011 17:23:34 | More by Skeeter206
Photo of Durge


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another nice discovery at The Grill Next Door in Haverhill, MA this one shows a deep and cloudy rusty amber color with a fairly scant white tuft on top and very little lacing left on the snifter. The aroma brings mild cherry nougat and mild apple raisin. Not very strong but not concerning. The flavor includes a mild apple pie a la mode sort of idea. There’s a fair touch of licorice and sweet scone. It’s medium to light bodied with a very fine, subtle carbonation. It feels a bit watery but that doesn’t ruin it. The clove/spice idea dominates the fruit introduction as it works over your taste buds, but it finishes weakly with an odd, sweet but watery licorice summary. Not my favorite but not bad if you like licorice somewhat unbalanced in your beers. Moderate drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2011 04:23:15 | More by Durge
Photo of BeerNemesis

New York

4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pauwel Kwak | 330 ml. on-tap | 8.4 % ABV | May 2011

Brewer: Brouwerij Bosteels
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale (BSPA)
Glass: Pauwel Kwak "Coachman's glass"

The glassware really makes Kwak impressive to behold. My friend was skeptical that BXL East would serve it in the proper glassware. It's a good thing they did because it's shimmering amber body and creamy crown have never looked better. In this case, presentation makes a huge difference.

Sweet apricots, cherries, toffee malt, rose water, Belgian candi sugar, grassy herbs.

Apricots, banana, toffee, caramel, and bready malts come forth first. Then spices and grassy herbs alternate in waves, washing over rocks of Belgian candi sugar in a delightful gustatory symphony. A touch of warming alcohol on the finish seals the deal.

Chewy and supple but not too heavy. The cascades of carbonation massage my tongue. Clean and herbal on the finish.

I didn't know what to expect and had actually been avoiding this beer because of negative reviews. I was wrong. It's a blast to drink.

Would I get it again?:
Oh Yeah!

Bottled: on-tap May 2011
Served: May 19, 2011

Price = $9.00 at BXL East (NYC)

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 05:21:51 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of AdamBear


4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the tap, poured in to the classic oddly shaped Kwak glass.

A-nice chestnut and hazy with a foamy white head that stays.

S-caramel and belgian sugars. much like a clean belgian dubbel. very sweet with a good strength

T-wow, this is a good, clean, and light drinking belgian. the belgian sugars and caramel come in so easily with out any alcohol taste. ends with the good sugars and dark roasted malts. there are no bad aspects to this that i can find. i'm impressed. the taste on this is much lighter than the alcohol suggests.

M-creamy carbonation with a good smooth finish

D-this actually goes down a lot better than most belgians. i do love a good belgian, but i find most to be too heavy to be drinkable, some heavier than the ABV suggests...but not this one. it stays great all the way through. i'll be recommending this to others. JUST ONE MORE THING: In no way, is this is a great BSPA. it doesn't remind me of one at all. instead, i think if you're in to dubbels, this is a good beer for you. I'm actually surprised it isn't listed as one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2011 15:21:56 | More by AdamBear
Photo of rsdaugherty


3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap into goblet at Yardhouse downtown Denver
A - a dusky opaque brown/amber/red hue, barely a 1 finger head quickly disappeared to a thin scattered layer 3
S - fruity, toasted malts, mild sweetness, florals, grass 3.5
T - slightly sweet nuts/malts, a flowing structure/flavor throughout the taste, an appealing spicy slightly floral/bitter aftertaste, good balance 4
M - minimal carbonation but what was there were small bubbles and gave a nice smoothness, medium body, light mouth feel 3.5
O - 8% ABV not that much of a factor, a solid good beer but not up to the complexity level I had expected, I would drink it again but I will not seek it out 3.5

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2011 23:27:45 | More by rsdaugherty
Photo of Aiptasia


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one with a friend on tap in the authentic Pauwel Kwak mini-yard glass with wooden holder stand at Kickbacks gastropub in Jacksonville, FL. The wooden stand is shaped like a C clamp with the mini yard bulb slipping into it, which became progressively harder and harder to fit into the holder as the alcohol hit us.

The holder and the yard glass does draw attention, as we were asked about it several times by other patrons in the pub. People must have thought we were drinking some kind of hopsanomic science experiment with the number of questions and comments from random strangers we got.

A: A ruby ocre color. No real noticeable head and only traces of a halo lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Smell was decent, caramel and dried fruit notes so similar to other Belgian darks.

T: Taste was well balanced. Even amounts of fruit hops with mild dry citrus. Not overly sweet with a dry finish.

M: Medium bodied. Drinkable. Micro-carbonation with a very dry finish. Not sweet.

D: High alcohol content means drink it with care. As it isn't as sweet as some Big Belgians, i'd consider it slightly more drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2011 02:55:44 | More by Aiptasia
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a hazy red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, alcohol, and a nutty note. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew, but was not awe-inspiring in any way. I know that some people swear by this beer, but I just don't see it. Sure it is an okay brew, but there really isn't any complexity or depth to it in my opinion. I would probably buy this just to get the Kwak glass, but that is about it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 18:23:17 | More by thagr81us
Photo of AaronRed

New York

4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was recommended to me by the waiter at Waterzooi.. with my mussels. He picked this one our for me given what I was eating and though it would go well, which it undoubtedly did. It was served in small yard style glass in a wooden holder. Very crisp, almost grassy aromas- reminiscent of hayfields or being out somewhere on a meadow. Taste was fresh and somewhat bitter, with some subtle tartness in the back of the sip. The beer has strength, but you can't really tell when eating. Goes great with food, especially with mussels in a creamy bacon sauce. I have to say the experience was great and this beer added to it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2011 11:54:42 | More by AaronRed
Photo of Ochsenblut


3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a mini-yard at a local pub in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

A- Reddish-brown and opaque with a finger of fine off-white head that faded to very sticky lacing.

S- My recent cold prevented me from getting everything out of it, but I smell sweet candy and something floral I couldn't place my finger on.

T- This beer hit me, even closed up and sick as I am with a medicinal and licorice taste. The alcohol is not very well hidden and there is no real hops presence to speak of.

M- Medium to heavy mouthfeel with a small amount of carbonation.

D- This beer lacks complexity. But if you like black licorice and an alcoholic sting in the back of your throat whilst a cold is on, Kwak does the job nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2011 10:20:45 | More by Ochsenblut
Photo of yaegerje


4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ the Bull-Dog in Uptown, Minneapolis MN.

Came in its 'traditional' serving glass with wooden holster/handle.

A - In a dark bar it looked like a hazy orangeish copper

S - mostly sweet fruity notes, a bit of malt

T - A really pleasingtaste, nice and malty with just a little taste of hops coming through? I really enjoyed the taste, mellow carbonation and fruitiness too

M - nice and smooth, no complaints

D - I'd order again, I think it was only 6 during happy hour so it was worth it to me

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 17:51:50 | More by yaegerje
Photo of CaptainIPA


3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap @ Cafe Hollander on Downer and presented in a distinctive mini-yard glass with wooden holder. Heck, the glassware alone is worth the price of admission.

Pours a rich copper color with a billowy white head that fades to a rimming of foam. Sweet malty aroma with a hint of red wine vinegar.

Opens with a malty wallop and flavors of carmelized banana and coriander. Sweet but never cloying. Subtle notes of licorice surface with faint suggestions of juicy fruit gum. Mild hop bitterness emerges, followed by the burn of alcohol. Spicy and rough on the palate.

A complex and powerful ale, with a pronounced and artfully balanced malt character. A bit too heavy for session drinking. Worth imbibing to experience the authentic glassware "system." Pairs well with salty Pommes Frites and dipping mayo.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2010 16:53:36 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of nickhiller


2.2/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: amber colored, a little head and lacing.

S: juicy juice, malt, a little bit of bubble gum and fruit.

T: weird tastes, phenols, strong taste of alcohol, sweet bubble gummy Belgian yeast flavor. Alcohol too strong and overpowering.

M: thick and burning. Mild carbonation.

D: maybe one of the worst Belgians I've ever had, too much alcohol, too little taste.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2010 03:48:00 | More by nickhiller
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 1,167 ratings.