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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,455 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,455
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 32
Gots: 169 | FT: 1
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,455 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, a small fruitiness and a sweet malt. In the taste, fruity, a sweeter malt and a small roast. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, fruity aftertaste. Nice small fruitiness and easy to drink.

Photo of codewarrior
2.72/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330mL Singleton, poured into a Chalice. Unfortunately do not have the Kwak glass.

A: Dark amber, red and couldy.

S: Sweet, caramely.

T: Flat and one dimensional, but tasty. Caramel sweetness but not much depth of finish. Still, the taste of kwak ain't terrible, an old stand-by.

F: Light and bubbly.

D: Good all-around introductory belgian. More complexity in flavor than your typical American beer, but just doesn't stand up to other Belgians (and Belgian-style Domestic/Foreign beers).

I recall this beer being much, much better on tap, but that may just be the ceremony of the pouring, and the ridiculitude of the kwak glass.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle served in its own (exotic) glass.

A: Pours a clear absolutely copper amber color forming a big beige and fluffy aired head. Good retention and some lacings left in the glass

S: Strong on sweet grains malts. Candy sugar, caramel, caramel malts. Very fruity with strong notes of grapes and raisins. Bready Belgium yeasts. Smells like an Irish Red Ale but with stronger sweet notes. Flowery hops and a little bit of alcohol in the very end

T: Follows the nose. Quite sweet upfront. Strong notes of candy sugar, caramel malts and dark fruits. Mainly grapes and raisins. Earthy and bready Belgian yeasts. Light hops bitterness in the end

M: Medium and molasses body. Medium carbonation. Grainy bittersweet aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Very Belgian Ale. Recommended

Photo of vincicle
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was the first time I have found this beer perched on the shelf of my local beer purveyor and I jumped at the chance to try it. The reason for my excitement is that I had received the strange looking glass and its necessary holder (a true oddity of a beer glass) as a gift over a year ago and still had not tried its namesake brew.
I purchased this beer as a 750ml corked bottle and it cost $12. The color was golden amber and the carbonation medium. FYI, the small neck of this glass makes it impossible to pour without foam up. Initial taste is sweet with hints of caramel and honey, the mouthfeel is very smooth and the high alchohol content is masked nicely.
My particular bottle was too cold initially and the real character only appeared after it had settled for about 10 minutes.
This beer is worth a try but is far from the best Belgium around.

Photo of benfons
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33 cl Bottle, 8.4% ABV

A: Clear copper colour, Big head which dissapears rapidly, and leaves hardly any lacing.

S: Caramel, , a hint of fuits (strawberries), which makes it fairly sweet, farely simple but ok

T: sweet-bitter, gingerbread and apple up front, spices and malts in the back

M/D: abit thin, carbonation too thin for my taste, alcohol is noticeable but i didn't bother me too much.

Overall not bad, but nothing more

Photo of StJamesGate
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber red with pink highlights capped by a loose cream head that fades to patches quickly. Caramel, strawberry/red currant and tart cider on the nose, with a bit of brandy. Candy apple and rhubarb compote malts, yeasty funk in the middle and cloved orange to finish. Candy sugar sweetness comes through on the finish. Prickly linger. Medium, sticky, creamy feel, some burn.

Sweet! The most desert-like beer I've tasted outside of a cream stout. But even with a year+ on this particular bottle, still too hot to be truly enjoyable.

Note: This bottle listed at 8.4% ABV.

Photo of Radome
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a goblet.

A - Beer is a medium amber color and is cloudy but not opaque. It had sediment indicating bottle conditioning. The head is off white, thin but creamy and long lasting with serious Belgian lace.

S - The aroma is very malty with rich Belgian yeast notes of dark fruits. There is also caramel sweetness in the finish. No hops and no alcohol in the nose, but there is still plenty of complexity.

T - The taste is very intense malt. This is followed by caramel sweetness and an almost imperceptible vinegar bite that rounds out the experience.

M - The body is surprisingly light, making this more drinkable than you might expect from the intense malt flavor and aroma. However, the sweetness at the end of the swallow coats the mouth in a slightly cloying way. The carbonation seems lower than many Belgian Special ales, and it does not lighten the mouthfeel.

D - This is a very nice beer that is interesting and complex, but still low enough on alcohol and body that you could drink several.

Photo of Long813
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated: 29/04/2012

A: Dark hazy copper body with one finger of white head. Retention is very poor and leaves good lacing. Is this really a pale ale? It looks nothing like one.

S: Dark fruits, sweet malts with faint notes of alcohol.

T: Light notes of caramel, sugars, figs and other dark fruits. Decent, but nothing special.

M: Light bodied and high carbonation. Water like texture and leaves a sweet but dry finish. Alcohol comes through as the beer warms up.

D: Not bad, but nothing extremely special.

Photo of WhiteOak
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy copper appearance with a thick, creamy white head. Lots of sticky lace.

S- Alluring aroma of malt, dark fruits, brown sugar, yeast and a faint note of floral hops.

T- Sweet caramel malt, toffee, dark fruit, grains, yeasty bread, and green apple. Nice, inviting sweet flavor which successfully combines maltiness and freshness.

M, D- A nice, sweet, creamy mouthfeel with a long pleasant finish. Well balanced.

Quite enjoyable on-tap from a fresh keg, but I can't comment on the bottled offering.

Photo of johnwarne
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer haiku for you:

"Belgian strong pale ale;
Represents the country well.
Bottoms up: one more!"

Not sure why so many other 'advocates' diss this beer: actually, having had this both stateside and at its birthplace it doesn't fail to impress. Perhaps not the standard of the art, but sure knocks over most pretenders to the Belgian throne.


3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From tasting notes:
A bottle poured into a mini - yard glass, (man this thing is soo cool.)
A: A deep amber body. A foamy head that retreats quick.
S: A subtle amber aroma.
T/M: A slightly bitter brew, and a mainly malty, caramel notes. A medium bodied mouthfeel. A bit warm on the finish.
D: All good flavors, would seek this out to try in the cool Belgium glass. But a very good overall brew

Photo of SFLpunk
2.61/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Proprietary best-by date. Don't love that.

Pours a clear amber with some off-white head that fades quickly. Aromas of oxidizing caramel malt and orange blossoms. Palate is wide open with some light bitterness on the finish. Lots of floral quality, like honey. Caramel malt is fading. Creamy finish.

Not a great beer and I don't know why people fawn for it. Must be the stupid proprietary glass.

Photo of EvilGnome6
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel glass.

A: Pours a murky amber with a half finger of off-white head that slowly fades.

S: Sweet molasses and dark fruit. A bit of a rum raisin note.

T: A bit difficult to describe. The roasted malts definitely contribute a lot and contrast nicely with a dark cherry flavor.

M: Smooth and round with a very clean finish. There's just a touch of alcohol warmth but far less than its 8.4% ABV would suggest. Just a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste which is very pleasant.

D: Excellent. It would definitely be very easy to knock back several of these and it wouldn't be a problem until you try to stand up. I would definitely drink this again.

Photo of grittybrews
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper-ruby into a pint glass. Several fingers of slow-receding fluffy white head. Aroma of vanilla, banana, and spice.

Drank several months following the "best after" date, which might have contributed to the slightly low carbonation and thin mouthfeel (though aging should have been fine, given the higher ABV). Mildly sweet malt profile with a hint of caramel, cinnamon, and banana. Not too much presence on the finish. Drinkable, but not especially memorable.

Photo of philbertk
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bosteels Brouwerij--Pauwel Kwak Belgian Ale--1999 11.2 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) Trippel? Clear thin amber color. Semi big white head. Light Belgian front backed by rich sweet malty body. Belgian Barleywine. Belgian yeast ester detracts from otherwise rich tasty brew. Clean rich finish. Sampled 12/21/1999.

Bosteels Family Brouwerij, Buggenhout, Belgium--Pauwel Kwak--Traditional Belgian Special Ale--2008 25.4 oz. Bottle. 8.0% ABV. 10 IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Belgian Ale. Thin fizzy mild lace head. No sediment. Hazy bright rich amber orange color. Floral malt fruit ester mild Belgian yeast ester mild hop front. Mellow sweet rich malty crisp caramel fruit ripe apple smooth body. Zesty fresh mild hop citrus clean smooth end. Easy. Sampled 8/17/2008. 1 @ $10.99.

Photo of FickleBeast
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a mini Yard glass that came with it. Thanks to the WHALES homebrew club - won this at their charity auction. My bottle says 8.4 ABV vice 8.1 listed here.

Bubbles out of the bottle after I pop the cork. Fill half the yard glass with foam as I pour, settles pretty quickly. Amber in color with flecks of yeast floating throughout. Yeast in the foam as well - this one looks like it was sprinkled with cinnamon.

Aroma is phenolic, yeasty, and spicy. First sip is uneventful, no flavors really sweep me off my feet. Surprisingly sweet, but overall the flavor is pretty bland. For as much as this beer foamed, there is only a slow trickle of bubbles coming to the surface now. The biggest flavor I am picking up is a crystal malt type sweetness.

Actually pretty drinkable, but mostly because there are no strong flavors to offend the palate. The sweetness does start to get to you as you get on with the bottle... getting harder to drink. Overall, this is not something I would seek out - but it is pretty decent. I'm not a big fan of Belgian yeast flavors, so the lack thereof is a bit of a plus for me.

Photo of chaz410
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this bottle at the Flying Saucer
Pours a lite amber body with a progressive white head that quickly disappears.
Smells of straw, wheat, light crystal malt and funky belgian yeast. There's some sweet fruit like figs dancing around the yeast smell.
Taste similar to taste. it has a dry finish and a tart back mouth. It is sweet and tart at the same time, it has similarities to red delicious apples and a little caramel thrown in as well.
Good, creamy mouthfeel for this beer with not as dry finish as it's taste suggests.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This one gets a five for presentation as much as anything. Poured into the distinctive Kwak glass (Google it) and placed in its wooden holder, it's an impressive sight. The colour is a translucent reddish brown reminiscent of an amber ale. Some lacing on the side.

S: Malty sweet with an undertone of fruit. Pleasant.

T: At first it tastes promising, but the initial flavours of sweet fruit lose themselves in a vaguely malty/beery/grainy mishmash I find unappealing. Middle flavour is watery and tastes like a sweetish generic American macrobrew. Aftertaste is sparse and not dry. Tastes like beer.

M: Meh. Not much going on here. Carbonation isn't entirely unpleasant, but the rest of the mouthfeel is average and nondescript.

D: The beer is drinkable enough I suppose. It'll definitely make you look like a badass while you're drinking it. It's worth it once, if only for the presentation. Not bad, just not great.

Photo of diamondc
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Hazy amber color. Some scattered lacing leftover from the huge head.

S: Smells so sugary, a lot of fruit especially cantaloupe.

T: Tropical fruit punch up front, caramel & light chocolate flavors. Finishes with a dry bitterness.

M/D: So sweet that I initally gagged on the first sips, but becomes more drinkable when warming up.

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a goblet

Appearance: orange/brown in color, cloudy, minimal head

Smell: funk and hay

Taste: sour apple, funk, hay, and caramel

Mouthfeel: tart/sour with bitterness, light body with medium carbonation, dry

Drinkability: Kwak is ok for the style. It is very dry. I could not finish more than one glass in a sitting. Worth a try, but I think there are better in the style.

Photo of Daniell
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: hot, malty colour. Highly carbonated. Lacing rather average. 3

S: apple juice. Bit of malty sweetness, some candi sugar. Later there's some nice caramel sweetness coming through. 3

T: apple juice mixed with some cinnamon. Tastes like a fairly standard strong ale. I'd say it's about as good as coopers extra strong vintage ale. 3

M: Undercarbonated, underwhelming (it's still within the use by date by exactly one year to the day). 2.5

D: alright. 3

Disappointing. On second thoughts it's substantially worse than coopers vintage, especially for the price.

Photo of Stunner97
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- pours a nice brown with good tan foamy head, very nice thick and lively look

Smell- good amount of hops and malts blend in on the nose with a bit of that signature belgian yeast,

Taste- pleasantly surprised by this beer in a couple aspects overall quite a nice flavor profile which was liked by all people trying it, it has a good amount of malt up front and sweetness but its kept very nicely in check by a firm bitter hop presence which lingers nicely after the finish, more hopped for sure then i ever would of guess quiet reminiscent in some ways of an American strong ale with Belgian twist

Mouthfeel- very smooth and perfectly carbonated, a very good mouthfeel

Drinkability- this beer to me had a very high drinkability it excelled at having a great balance of hops and malts and would actually reach and hit well for a lot of people who enjoy more hoppy american style strong ales then the typical belgian beer, a beer I could easily see my self downing a few of in a night, a nice beer even though a surprise

Photo of dgv0
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

P: I purchased a bottle slightly different from the image here. Tall 75cL brown bottle.

A: Pours dark orange/amber with a relatively average-sized off-white head.

S: SUGAR. Very sweet, fruity smell.

T: Even sweeter than it smells, but doesn't do well to hide the alcohol. Not bad, mind you, but certainly nothing special.

M: Low carbonation, thick and creamy mouthfeel.

D: Doesn't hide enough of the alcohol for me, and overcompensates with sweetness. 75cL is probably more than I will ever need of this one.

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

A: fiery red in color and crystal clear, Kwak sits in my goblet with a vigorous lacing emanating from the etching at its base. Personally, I've never been a fan of this brewery's gaudy glassware (the yard and the pimp chalice).

S: prunes and apricots throughout. The nose is not overbearing, but delicate and refreshing.

T: prunes, apricots, bananas, and rum round out the malty sweet body of this brew.

M: light and well-attenuated. Not too thick, but not watery.

D: a great Belgian brew that is much classier than their gimmicky glasswear. Definitely worth a shot.

Photo of GreenThumb
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in pint at The Yardhouse, Houston, Tx.

A: A light copper / dark gold. Little head retention.

S: Bready and fruity with no noticeable alcohol. Bready smell seemed to intensify as the beer warmed.

T: Caramel, bread, dark fruits like plum, hardly any bubble gum.

M: Exactly what I expect from a triple. The mouthfeel was thin due to the high ABV and did not complicate the beer. Mouthfeel like this allows you to enjoy the other parts of the flavor profile.

D: Good drinkability but they definitely catch up to you quickly.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,455 ratings.