Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,424 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,424
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 30
Gots: 146 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,424 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

Photo of rarbring
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is clear, amber, an off-white thick head with lots of lacing.

Smell has sweetness, syrup and sherry, some malty molasses and yeast as well.

The taste is rather sweet, fruits like apricot and banana, some sweet newly baked white bread, the alcohol is noticed.

There is not much carbonation, the fluid is rather soft and smooth.

The beer is solid and good, very sweet, probably best after food, with a ripe cheese.

Photo of Dixonian
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this at my favorite local pub a few months ago and was poured into a Kwak glass complete with wooden holding aparatus. I'm very clumsy and of course I spilled it after only a few drinks so I picked up a single bottle to give it another go. Poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Excellent head-at least two fingers. Maintained nicely settling down but still across the entire top. Hazy amber color. Nice medium carbonation.
Graham cracker and biscuity aromas fill my nose. Strong banana and clove flavors on first taste which only got stronger as it warmed. More complex than other belgian pales I've had.

I would buy this again-not sure if I missed much not tasting it in it's official glass. All in all very enjoyable.

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

Served in a kwak glass. Brown and clear, carbonation moderate to low. Head white with small bubbles. Not much lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mostly sweet with a hint of caramel and alcohol.

Pretty sweet, medium to light body carbonation low in mouth. Good finish with a slight grainy bitterness at the end. Drinkability high. Some alcohol in the mouth, overall really good.

Photo of gfreed
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, if you don't like the yard glass, don't *drink it* from the yard glass. Ask for a tulip. Or, better yet, bring a bottle home and drink it there from your favorite glass. I'm beginning to think that beer in a bar never tastes as good as it does at home, anyhow. But that's another story.

Now that that's out of the way...

Comes in a bottle that's heavy enough to kill when swung properly, and corked tighter than anything I've ever encountered. Had to struggle mightily with this one. Cloudy iced-tea in color with a manilla-folder-colored head which disappeared quickly. Aroma was rather weak, but I could still find some pears and apricots hiding in there, plus a strong belt of honey and some graham crackers (plain, not cinnamon, and not that cheap crap from Trader Joe's, either). Very smooth body with just a little thickness to provide some resistance; low carbonation as expected. Quite balanced in the taste: pumpernickel bread, cherries and apricots, more honey and a fistful of carmel malt. Nothing was terribly overpowering, yet I could taste everything distinctly. Low hop content and relatively high ABV makes this a nice thing to sip slowly while watching a Bogart movie, which is what my wife and I did. Well worth the expense and the uncorking effort.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cage-corked 750 mL bottle into a tumbler.

A: Poured a cloudy, reddish amber color with a thin, creamy head of white foam which left some nice lacing.

S: Smells slightly fruity and spicy, with a lot of citrus and effervescent, assertive clove and ginger aromas.

T: Flavor holds that very traditional Belgian candied yeast taste and combines a fairly sweet and floral, fruity malt profile with a slightly drying, spicy hop flavor. White pepper and fusel alcohol notes nip at the palate as well. A little bit of fruity banana and gummy esters make their way into the mix which finishes a little sticky with some caramel sweetness.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a sticky feel and astringent alcohol pulls at other times.

D: This 8% ABV Belgian pale is not quite what I expected, but as far as they go, it's a decent strong ale. Flavoring and color seem a bit off to me, but the overall product is a pretty balanced, fruity Belgian ale. It's alright.

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of gloriousglo2
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Underrated in my opinion; I wonder if the gimicky glass P.O.s some folks so they ding the beer. Had a bottle of this at our local Belgian beer joint, in that gimicky glass. It tastes no different in a tulip glass, frankly. I followed this up with a still legal Duvel here in PA, and, heretically, the Kwak was better, just seemed to have more body and flavor. The EtOH is a little noticable, but not overbearing...Or maybe it WAS the glass...

Photo of mwa423
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pour had a finger of head which stuck to the glass nicely. The color is a hazy orange color.

S - Very bready malt aroma with some dried fruit and zing that reminds me of white wine.

T - Lots of dried fruit, very good Belgian yeasty flavor. There is a bit of rich alcohol flavor but it mixes with the fruit well.

M/D - Mouthfeel is full and rich, there is a thickness of alcohol that doesn't burn, but the mouthfeel is boozy. This is quite drinkable for the style, I won't feel odd about ordering a "Kwak" again.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured ontap into a chalice. Pours a ruby reddish in color, a bit cloudy and a short livid white head. This doesn't appear to be to style, as the beer is not a rich gold in color by any stretch.

Smell: Aroma is pleasing. Soft tannins and fruity esters make up the nose.

Taste: Nice and fruity with no real hop bite or edge. Fruit borders on sherbert, alcohol well masked behind the esters and malt. Brown sugar. The finish has a more-ish sweetness to it. The flavor profile is much closer to an abbey style double than strong pale ale, but to hell with guidelines this tastes great.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewey malt body.

Drinkability: A very tasty beer but a bit of an oddity as it really doesn't fit the style as listed. Still a beer I would reccommend to fans of Abbey style beer and barleywines. This beer also seems to be much better on tap and fresh.

Photo of July2Nov
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a golden honey amber color, into their mini-yard glass. Nice foamy head that was at once a good two inches, but went to a respectable one inch head. Lots of lacing around the glass on this one.

Smell: Slightly sweet with a bit of hops thrown in for good measure.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Man that 8.10 % abv really come through and opens the nostrils and tickles the back of the throat! The sweetness comes through. But that alcohol taste is all that this beer really says to is pretty much one-note. Ends with what can best be described as a stale bubblegum flavor.

Drinkability: Truth be known, I just bought this set for the glass, plus it's Belgian, so how could i go wrong? Well this beer is not the best example of what the Belgians have to offer. Try something different and then come around to this one, to see if it's something you fact take the three remaining bottles off of my hand....I wouldn't mind one bit, but the cool mini-yard glass and stand stays with me!

Photo of dudecandle
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark color for a Belgian, a kind of amber, really. Modest head.

S/T: Banana stands out, along with some other fruit and some caramel. Also some alcohol burn. Nice, but nothing too impressive.

M: Medium body, no complaints.

D: Wholly uneventful, but still quite pleasant. I wouldn't shell out for another, but I didn't mind getting this as a gift.

Photo of jjanega08
2.25/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A= pours a caramelly brownish color similar to coca cola looking. The head is a nice two fingers and appears to be a just off white color. Nice retention and lacing on this one as well.

S= Strangly this smells like regular beer to me. Smells a lot like a macro lager. There is a slight caramelly malt sweetness coming through but other than that it's just macro beer smell to it. If you dig real deep you can smell some belgian spicyness to the yeast.

T= Luckily much more different than the smell. Really tastes sweet. Has a sugar water property to it I think. I do taste the macro lager aspect that I smelled but then it tastes like sugar water was added to that. Little Belgian spicyness from the yeast is noticable but it is there and there is a certain warming aspect from the alcohol in it. Mostly just really sugary sweet.

M= Low carbonation and sweet sticky cloyingness to it.

D= I expected a lot more from this beer. To me it tastes like sugar water. I don't understand this one at all. Not recommended to anyone unless you like macro lagers with sugar.

Photo of hoplover82
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was not impressive at all

it poured with tons of sediment and very hazy with little to no head and no lacing

smells and tastes of apple cider and that pretty much it

not impressive mouthfeel. dry and astringent

i'm glad I didn't buy it and wont have it again. worst belgium beer ever had thus far

Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 2 inch head of an off-white color. There is also a lot of suspended sediment. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, yeast, hint of pale malt, slight sugar, hint of dough, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, slight yeast, slight sugar, hint of hop, slight pale malt, slight alcohol, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and feel.

Photo of benclimbs
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours brown with a small head and a slight bit of lacing, nothing special as far as look

smell is good, yeasty bready and carmelly but isnt dominant enough to recieve a very good mark

taste is yeasty sweet bread with bananas, a bit of clovey stuff etc. pretty solid but too heavy in the alcohol for 8%

mouthfeel is very nice, classic belgian

overall a solid brew but nothing special, good but a bit sweet and way too heavy on the booze.

Photo of saccro
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Gold. Hazy. Fine bubblly head that lasts

S - Banana vanilla. Sweet and fruity.

T - Very malty. Sweet, yet grainy. Lots of banana and vanilla flavors. Has alcohol burn.

M - Thick body. Coating.

D - Takes some getting used to. Not like other belgians. A little too sweet for me.

Photo of Travlr
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: An ounce of appearance is worth a pound of performance. The glass is everything.
S: Aroma of caramel malts.
T: Flavor of malt with some hops toward the end.
M: Light bodied.
D: Try it once for the glass, but don't expect more than an average amber.

Photo of ThaCreep
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a slightly sweet nose and sweet maltiness that inevitably recalls the nougat, beer tastes quite light. And although the supply of malt flavors of caramel pleasant, the body is still quite flat. The finish is slightly spicy and alcoholic, and even a bit earthy. Good beer, far from being exceptional, but whose reputation is almost mythical drink based solely on the container, that is to say the glass bracket extremely charismatic hosts Kwak, much more than beer in it itself.

Photo of juju7
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hadn't had this for a while and I thought the reviews on here seemed a little harsh. But unfortunately I'm finding myself agreeing with most of them. A little lacking in depth compared to other Belgian Strong ALes. Very malt and alcohol heavy with nothing too remarkable to intice you to come back for more. Decent, but I won't be hurrying back.

Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a Kwak carriage glass.

Pours a dark golden amber/caramel orange color with some golden orange hues when held to a light source and a three finger frothy, pillowy light beige head. Excellent retention, pretty much only settling a slight bit into a thick lasting cap that coats the glass chunks of soapy lacing.

Sweet caramel malt aroma with a nice earthy, grassy hops. Smells surprisingly hoppy for a Belgian beer with subtle estery dark fruit notes.

Surprisingly hop forward with some subtle earthy hoppy bitterness which is nicely balanced by a sweet caramel malt backbone with hints of toffee and, caramel, slight nut character and subtle dark fruit notes. Possibly some raisin and fig notes. Very well balanced and the bitterness up front actually lingers throughout into a slightly dry sweet finish. ABV decently masked making Kwak pretty quaffable.

Photo of haddon
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- caramel brown with a mocha brown frothy head. quite a bit of sediment

S- typical: candy sugars, raisins, floral, with bready malts

T- starts pretty normal: sweet with banana & biscuity notes...but then, it goes bitter hops and sour apple on the finish

M- light body with very little carbonation

D- the bitter sour finish is a little off-putting for me. probably wouldn't buy again.

Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper hue with a thick head of foam into my fluted tulip. Pretty decent so far.

Aroma is full of faint hops, raisin and candi sugar in the nose. Very "fruity" and yet maintains the profile of the style.

Taste is full of grassy hops and sweet, bready malt. Very nice contrast here. Easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is just right. For something that is 8.4%, it is way too deceptive. You could drink it and it would feel like a much weaker beer. Very appealing.

I like this beer. It's easy to drink and if you're looking to try it, go for the 330ml bottle. Also, take it easy with this one. Deceptively drinkable.

Photo of zoso493
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice that still has a few drops of water in it from an earlier washing.

Appearance: Pours a deep honey amber that's more on the amber side. Has a thin, foamy, one-finger head that dies down quickly. Head eventually dissipates into a ring around the glass and leaves no lacing whatsoever.

Smell: This has a really nice sweet-sour smell to it that, for me, is pretty unique. There is a lot of green apple sourness that you would expect to find in a geuze and in a beer that's a far different color than this. There's always some sweeter fruit in it, as well, along with some trademark Belgian yeast.

Taste: That green apple tendency comes out big time in the taste .There's also a good deal of spiciness to be tasted, as well. This is a really complex and bold brew. Finishes with some dark fruit, plum perhaps, and a stinging taste of Belgian yeast. There is also a pretty significant presence of alcohol in the taste.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of things because of the higher carbonation, but it still retains an acceptable amount of body.

Drinkability: This is one of the few beers that I bought without looking at the ABV (mainly because it was only a buck) and I had assumed that it had a lower ABV than 8.4%. After drinking it, however, I thought it drank a lot higher than that. It's not too undrinkable, but it makes no qualms about displaying the alcohol.

Overall, this is a really unique and complex beer. I didn't really know what to expect before drinking it, but this was a pleasant surprise. There's a lot of character and complexity in this brew and I would definitely recommend trying it.

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

I got this after I tried Bosteels' tripel Karmeliet, which was delicious.

Comes in a tall 26ozer.

Deep gold color, pours thick tall head which reaches half of a pilsener glass, dissipates mildly. Sweet taste, mild oranges, light raisons and sugar. Slight alcohol flavor but still smooth and warming

Bottom line...not as good as the Tripel, but still try it.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,424 ratings.