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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

677 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 1,589
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 20.27%
Wants: 43
Gots: 268 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-30-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
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Reviews: 677 | Hads: 1,589
Photo of Sammy
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark yellow appearance, lace in glass. Yeast with spice aroma, sour dry, with sugar texture. Some spice and orange and lemon fruit, medium mouthfeel. Alcohol disguised by the sweetness from carmel and honey and sugar. Doesn't all work out. On tap at Eulogy. Had a bottle 1.5 years later, same rating.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some slightly fruity aromas. Taste is very much the same with a mild bitterness with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice sweet and malty flavor that I am enjoying.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a clear orangey brown. White head.

Smells of sugar, yeasty goodness, malt, and a touch of alcohol.

Flavor is of yeast, caramel, and again a touch of booze. Sweet aftertaste.

Med/thin body, drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured amber into a snifter glass with a huge, foamy head that took a long time to settle down. Very well carbonated.
S: Nice sweet aroma of malt and sugars.
T: Sweet malty sugars and caramel tastes stand out. There's a tad bit of sourness in the aftertaste.
M: Well balanced with a sweet, medium bodied taste.
D: It goes down pretty easy but it's better to sip this one and enjoy it.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was poured into it's signature glass. It has a good head to start off that settles into a white ring around the top. The color is a very nice amber color. The taste is a little spicy and had a great caramel flavor to it. The mouthfeel is pretty light but had enough body to be flavorful and pleasing. Overall this beer has some elements of a Belgian Quad. I really enjoy the flavor and the look of the brew. Very cool brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the glass

Smell: Sweet and doughy with candy sugar, herbal and tropical fruit aromas

Taste: Starts with a refreshing sweet and fruity (banana) caramel taste, somewhat herbacious (clove and sage); mid-palate, the balancing bitterness kicks in to keep matters on an even keel; a touch of warming alcohol on the finish seals the deal

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with decent carbonation

Drinkability: I see this beer has its proponents and detractors but I have sided with those who enjoy it's light but sophisticated array of flavors

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With the employment of kettle caramelization, Pauwel Kwak's confidence in this "grand cru" of a beer earns the beer the name of the brewmaster. ...and one sip will show you why!

As the dark amber decants, a rusty haze gives a glimpse into its rustic roots. Once tipped, aromas of soft nuts, caramel, bread crust and fresh baking bread entice the nose while a balance of cinnamon and nutmeg balance upon the initial taste.

Once the beer develops over the middle, its bready and toasty middle gives slight bready texture that's lifted with rose-type wine. Its acidity enlivens the malt and gives its terse caramel sweetness life with red grape, red apple and dried dates. Its nutmeg flavor garners esteem just ahead of the beer's finish.

That's when the high effervescence lifts the taste and refreshes the palate with ease- its steely caramel flavor dissolves easily, carrying with it any malty weight and bready texture- nearly preferring wine like zestiness in charming warmth as the taste closes.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very little head when pourred into glass, almost no bubble coming from the bottom. the alcohol is way too evident and takes too much place leaving little for the spice taste to come throught. A little bit disapointed, I was hoping more from this belgian ale which is usually highly rated by beer drinkers...

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Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle with no freshness date.

Caramel colored, clear for the first pour, hazier toward the second half of the bottle. The head is large and billowing before slowly settling to a collar.

The nose is heavy on caramelized malt and dried fruit. Red apple and pineapple are prominent.

Fruitiness is strong on the tongue; red apple, dried apricot and pineapple. There's a caramelized malt backbone along with a light spiciness. The body is medium, though the beer feels overly sweet halfway through the glass. The finish is semi-dry, bready, a bit peppery.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember getting this for a work function a few years ago, and the last bottle sat in the office fridge for a long time afterward, until I gave it a good home...now, a fresher 330ml bottle, best before date Aug 2011.

This beer pours a clear, bronzed amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and yet slightly fizzy pale beige head, which leaves some fuzzy sea cavern lace around the glass as it evenly sinks out of sight.

It smells of toasted bready caramel malt, yeast, vinous dark fruit (chiefly strawberries, browned apples, and plums), musty molasses, muddled savoury spices, and a further warming alcohol. The taste is more semi-sweet toffee-inflected caramel malt, brown sugar, fleshy, though indistinct tropical fruit, estery yeast, banana chips, a hint of wet ashes, and a soft drying alcohol astringency.

The carbonation is on the soft side, just a trilling frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, a certain sugary alcohol essence picking away at it. It finishes clean, and quite off-dry, a mesh of fruity malt and scandalously muted alcohol.

A big, and hefty-seeming version of the style, especially for the pale variety, and an uncomplicated boozy fruit bomb at times, the California Cabernet of Belgian strong ales, one sans overt skin extraction. Anyways, a tasty, somewhat off-kilter brew, where I can't help but be reminded of having just watched the Three Sheets episode where Zane expounds on the virtue of the marriage of alcohol and sugar.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, orange/copper color with a small, tan, bubbly head. It left behind a soapy sheet of lace.

S - It smelled of spices and a good deal of yeast.

T - Great spicy/yeasty flavor blended with a smooth, sweet caramel malt backbone. Also, some dried fruit flavors.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice tasting brew. Flavors are complex and unique.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rustic orange-bronze. As I peered through the bottle neck while pouring, after the first few clear ounces, I could see a fair amount of junk exiting. Once in the glass, the liquid looks clear. The beer must still be relatively fresh and hasn't yet reached the stage where the proteins coagulate and give that 'classic' Kwak look that I've heard so much about.

The wonderful looking cap of orange-accented ecru filled the majority of the glass initially and has now deflated to a more reasonable two fingers. It's more firm and rugged than soft and creamy and has laid down a jagged collar of lace with several dozen spots and dots higher up the glass.

The nose, while decent for the style, doesn't compare to my favorites. It's musty fruity and not very Belgian yeasty. On a good note, very little of the 8.0% ABV is appreciated. The best BSPAs smell strong and complex. This one is neither.

Kwak is better on the palate, but I'm still far from dazzled. There's plenty of malt, with a little sweet caramel to go along with the macerated-in-fruit-brandy flavor. Apples and pears are dominant, followed by white pepper, clove and a dash of musky cardamom.

This beer is simple and solid more than multi-faceted and nuanced. It does, however, have the right mix of fruit and spice, sweet and bitter, unruliness and civility. While it's obvious that one is drinking a higher ABV ale, the brewers have done a fabulous job of integrating alcohol into the flavor profile. With warming, faint caramel and light brown sugar notes come to the fore.

The body/mouthfeel is neither too light nor too heavy. It's full enough, slightly chewy and modestly mouthcoating. It's probably undercarbonated compared with many Belgians, but is perfectly carbonated as far as I'm concerned.

Pauwel Kwak isn't as good as Tripel Karmeliet... but then what is? As noted above, it's a solid version of the style that would probably taste better if imbibed from the traditional Kwak glass in the land of its birth. Drunk from a nonic pint glass in the American Midwest, it's still a damn fine ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/copper color with meium head that leaves some great lacing,the aroma is almost non existant with a slight powdered sugar smell.The tast is pretty complex malty sweet with a tast of candied sugar as the backbone alcihol is prevalent in the finish wich is nice and warming.A real nice malty beer,very impressed.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Barleys on my birthday. I had not scene it on the wall before so that was good enough for me. Served cold and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 06/11/2009.

The pour was nice. Light amber in color and very cloudy. Nice little touch of white on the top as well that reached a heightof around an inch before settling back down. Light grain aroma with hints of spice and light fruits was welcoming, albeit a touch light for me. Smooth, mellow, and a bit bland on the taste. Lots fo pepper like taste tried to cover up a lack of depth and an otherwise slightly bland overall vibe. Still decent feel and a very smooth, easy drinkability.

Overall not bad, but forgettable. Dont know if I would pay for this one again, just does not seem worth it to me.

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Photo of oline73
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy reddish amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. The head fades to a layer and leaves very mild lacing.

Smell: Sweet with some Belgian spice and fruity notes. I'm picking up a hint of bubble gum.

Taste: Sweet malt with some mild Belgian spice. The fruity notes from the smell are there, as is the bubble gum. A slightly warm alcohol note shows up in the finish along with some herbal notes to go with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Just on the thick side of medium body with very strong carbonation. The finish is slick and a bit chalky.

Overall: This is a very solid Belgian ale. I enjoyed the blend of flavors, but wasn't blown away.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours amber in color with a big off-white head sitting on top.

S: Lots of yeast and bread notes up front. Plenty of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness with a pleasant fruitiness to it as well. Raisins and bananas are the most prominent fruits and there is a mild spiciness to it, too.

T: A similar array of flavors are present. A touch of alcohol warms things up and the dominant malt sweetness is really present throughout. Toffee and caramel work quite nicely with the banana, pear, and raisin flavors.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Really nice smooth feeling on the tongue with nice flavors and aromas.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Before Before... L22DJ?! It's been some years since I've had it at the Brick Store Pub, though I remember coming to the unyielding conclusion that the experience with the glass was far better than the beer contained within. Let's see if that notion has changed for me! Hopefully, a Duvel glass will do the trick.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, dark amber body with a head that starts full but quickly peters out into a thin, whitish layer of bubbles.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, toasty caramel and toast with pleasant notes of peppery spices and fruits and a touch of wafting alcohol (but only a touch, mind you).

Taste: Sweet caramel and a half handful of dark honey and sugar-dosed bread crusts. Hits a resilient stride of fruitiness, with tastes of tart pears, white peaches, and crisp apple. Then, a supple spiciness joins the fray. Some herbal, earthy touches precede a medium bitterness and healthy dose of yeast. Some warm alcoholic hints interrupt in the back half. Finishes semi-dry, warming, with some final hints of toasted candy and fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Better than remember, though, and I hate to admit this, I have gotten sweeter with age. All in all, it's sweet, warming, and generally agreeable, but I recommend serving it up in the proper Kwak glass.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap in a Kwak coachman's glass at Beelow's.

It's been far too long since first I tried this beer, and I just couldn't keep away from that snazzy glass. It pours a clear amber-russet topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises candied orange peel, Belgian yeast, clove, light dry caramel, light grass, and a bit of vague breadiness. The taste brings in more of the same, the Belgian yeast really driving through some fruity and spicy notes to balance out the caramel-laden biscuit residing throughout the background. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid BSPA, one that has earned its place as one of the constant Belgian offerings at nearby watering holes.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, deep orangish-red-amber with a creamy white head that holds fairly well and leaves some good lace. The aroma is sweet, with a light caramel maltiness, and shows some alcohol. The body is medium with a soft carbonation that makes it very smooth in the mouth. The flavor is rich, with a lightly fruity & candyish character that has caramel & toffee undertones as well as a light spiciness. Again, the alcohol is somewhat noticeable but not distracting. It may in fact, help to thin the sweetness. There's a touch of bitterness in the finish, but that's the extent of it. Kwak's flavor isn't complex, but it is quite luxurious. A really enjoyable beer that should be lingered over. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, spices, honey, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops along with a little bit of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, spices, honey and dark fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely better options in the style especially when you consider the price of this beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

thanks to Erik Ney for sharing this growler with tenderbranso69 (Tim) and me, enjoyed in a goblet chilled on Christmas Day '13.

The color is amber with moderately hazed look with small head with fine bead head collapses to a ring and spots of lace cling. The smell is very good, lots of tropical aroma of yeast with banana dominant and light spice ester. The feel is smooth and mostly malty with slight yeast tanginess and medium carbonation with subtle spice and alcohol with a mostly dry finish.

The taste is great, lots of malt with a mild yeast fruitiness and and a gentle spice quality with mild hop flavor which adds to the caramel element from the malt with an almost candy-like flavor with a semi-dry finish. Overall this is a pretty decent Belgian ale, I had this a few times before and was glad to revisit this as it was easy on the palate considering the strength. Thanks again, Erik Cheers!

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Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender euro style brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Cloudy orange amber with a more than decent off white lace that seems to retain quite well.

Smell: Tropical fruit, raw sugar cane and slight medicinal aromas flow from a alcohol perfume.

Taste: Smooth and crisp mouth feel that hold a full-ish body. Very noticeable alcohol, warming and very fruity with a tropical character. The tingling sensation from the alcohol lingers in its spiciness. Touch of hops with a faint flavour in the finish. Light cider like twang surround the alcoholic esters then fades into a rum raisin flavour. Light steely caramel and husk flavour in the end.

Notes: It is definitely a strong ale being that its alcoholic prowess flexes its muscles right away. A decent strong ale though seems to be a bit over the top for its own self, lacks complexity and depth and a bit too much on the esters(too warm of a fermentation?) though makes up with its drinkability.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Pretty good. Pours into that funky glass with the wood frame, a orange-amber color with a fluffy white head that retains well. Bready aroma loaded with Belgian yeast. Some light sugar and banana as well. Bready taste, light sugar, bananas and apricots, toasted malts, and a dry bitter hop finish. Medium mouthfeel and quite drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber/caramel into my la chouffe glass (couldn't find my kwak goblet with wooden handle, still packed away) with 3 fingers of tan head. Great noise coming of the head! Above average lacing & head retention

S: Apple skins & that's it

T: Caramel & apple-skins with a little warming booze up front. Fruittyness (apricots) & breadyness, along with some leafy hops follow as this warms. Finishes with more leafy hops & fruit (lemons & dates)

MF: Medium-bodied, slick with low carbonation

Drinks a little slow, I remember this having more hops profile in the past. Worth a try, but not if over say, 8$ for a 750 ml bottle IMO. BBD of 17/05/2008, not sure aging will help this much

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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.