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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,465 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,465
Reviews: 659
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 34
Gots: 179 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,465 | Reviews: 659 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
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
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
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 me...it 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 like....in 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
2.74/5  rDev -27.3%
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
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
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
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
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
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of Vancer
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a chance to try this classic Belgian from the 750ml bottle from Friar Tucks for $10. Not to impressed.

The amber pour with a small white head was standard, but after that it was all middle of the road.

Aroma and taste were both subdued light fruit (apple and pear), but not an exciting load of either. Any Belgian yeast character is missing, along with sweet sugar cane. Small dose of hops in the finish tries to help out, but a medicine kick further diminshes this brew.

In the end - I'd pass on popping hard earned money on this. Stay local and stay fresh.

Photo of meeekyh
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter, the beer displays a modest head which is medium-tan and leaves nice lacing. The beer is a red -brown and the significant yeast floats around in the glass looking kinda nasty. It settles and I suppose the next time i will decant the beer a bit more gently.

The nose is slightly alcoholic and caramel with no perceptible citrus. The flavor is also sweet and warm bread.

The feel is smooth and the finish is lingering toffee. The carbonation is light but adequate.

Drinkability is good and I must say that I would lean toward putting this one in the Belgian strong DARK category as the flavor profile seems to lean that way, even if the color is not quite to that standard.

Photo of wordemupg
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into Corsendonk glass dec5 2009

A clear amber with lots of carbonation and a fairly fast falling fingers worth of head that left no lace

S lots of yeast with some pear and apple

T not far from the smell with a little caramel but it's a little sour and pretty average for the style

M a little thin and bitter and I'm not sure where all the visible carbonation went cause it's a little flat in the mouth

D not bad but nothing special either, for what this beer costs your money is better spent else where

perhaps if I had a Kwak glass to drink out of it would have been a little more fun, but this beer didn't do a whole lot for me, I'm not saying its offensive I was just expecting a little more

Photo of JVEyck309
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz bomber corked and caged poured into duvel tulip glass
pours a somewhat cloudy dark ruby red with one finger head which dissipates to a thin lacing which sticks pretty well to the glass as I drink. Smell was surprising, wasn't expecting chocolatey malt notes.. also smells of spiced/cloved/peppery as if a wheat beer, also a bit of vanilla, perhaps? hmm.. Taste isn't as interesting as the smell. It's a great tasty one note or two note brew. Not a whole lot going on but very tasty nonetheless. It's fairly sweet, bready toffee malt notes, not noticing much in the hops, maybe a slight citrus.. Alcohol is warming, somewhat unwelcomed. Drinkability, well this is a tasty one noter, I think it'd be much more appropriate if it were $5-6 for a bottle rather than $10-12.. Not really worth the money.. not exactly a bad beer though, not at all.. Just.. not what I expected to be indulging in.
Doubtful I'll buy one again.. unless the price is cut in half. Decent brew though. Cheers!

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

I'd say this one is above average but with its price tag I might think twice about ever having any quantity laying around.
A- Ruby copper with a cloudy almost thick appearance

S- Sweet aroma with fruity esters throughout, finish almost has a citrus/vanilla appeal

T- Fruity, prominent yeast, almost can taste some belgian candy sugar. I would be interested to know if this has any in it.

M- Goes down easy with small cider like bubbles, has a bit of a lingering aftertaste, not unpleasant, but it does stay with you

D- If my wallet would allow I would probably love another couple, but I did enjoy this one on its own... I'll take what I can get

Photo of ultrasupergenius
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, served in a Kwak carriage glass and wooden dowel stand.

Appearance: Pours a lovely brown amber, totally clear. Lively head of small bubbles which dissipate over a medium amount of time... which can seem like too long if you are not careful pouring into the glass and get a full frothing head that you have to wait to diminish before completing the poor.

Has a lovely aroma, complex but sweet.

Flavor is somewhat simple, and yet quite enjoyable. Residual sugars leave a bit of sweetness. Just a fun tasting beer. A lighter sweeter ale without the hops.

Quite drinkable, even given the sweetness of it.

More than most other beers, I have to say that Kwak's specific glass plays a major role in the enjoyment of the beer. Not a gimmick, but a centuries old method of ensuring that carriage drivers do not spill too much of their beer. Brilliant.

This is a beer that I enjoy. I don't think it is world class, but it is an easy drinker and will always have a place in my glass collection and in my beer collection.

Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
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....

Photo of CHADMC3
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a honey-like amber with orange hues with a thin off white head dissipating to very little lacing.

Aroma consists of sweet malt, candied sugar, hints of floral or pine hops, as well as spices such as clove.

Flavor is slightly different; again featuring candied sugar and sweet malt, much fruitier, darker fruits, possibly cherries, but also banana and only hints of spice and yeast.

Medium to light in body with noticeable carbonation, slightly drying, and just a hint of abv presence. I consumed this as it neared room temperature.

This has been a pleasantly consistent beer for me. Never anything aggressive or overwhelming, but always enjoyable, clean, and possessing a nice balance of character.

Photo of Brabander
2.12/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Drank the beer in the original glass. The Kwak has a nice amberlike colour with a nice and firm head. Smelling strong caramel. It's not my kind of beer but what the he..! There is not much more to say about this beer. Though the appearance is good the rest is waste of time.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,465 ratings.