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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,451 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,451
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 32
Gots: 165 | 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: 1,451 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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
2.1/5  rDev -44.3%
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.

Photo of rhollman
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - deep amber/copper

Smell - Fruity, yeasty, some spice

Taste - Fruity, yeasty and some spice

Mouth Feel - Slightly creamy

Drinkability - This is a great sipping beer. After my evening meal, I am not looking for anything complex or a beer to wake up my mouth. This beer gives a nice initial burst of flavor then fades in the middle and finish. Perfect for a late evening, slow sipping night cap - enjoy!

Photo of taigor
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful dark brown going ruby color, slightly cloudy. Massive head that retains well and laces.

S - Great smell, heavy malt, fruit with light chocolate aromatics.

T - Sweet fruitiness of oranges. Clear alcohol taste, slightly overpowering. Also, a mild spiciness in the aftertaste. Good complexity.

M - Medium to full body with excellent carbonation.

D - A very well balanced beer with good taste and mouthfeel.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours coppery amber with a large, creamy persistent head, fed by lively carbonation.
Doughy yeast, candi sugar and spicy cloves on the nose along with a hint of noble hops and a soft hint of the alcohol coming through. Nice!
Flavours don't quite follow through: some pleasantly sweet candi sugar and caramel malt, but then gives way to harsh alcohol notes and a sharp bitterness.
Mouthfeel is good with a moderately strong carbonation.
Alcohol needs to be tamed, more depth in the flavours is necessary, but otherwise, not too bad!

Photo of Soneast
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Malt House in Madison.

Served in a Pauwel Kwak glass with wooden stand. Quite unique glassware, I must say. Pours a semi-cloudy, orange/brown color with a thick creamy head, that showcases some great retention and lacing.

Quite a lot of fruity character on the nose, with a subtle malt backbone and a touch of spicy hop aroma.

The flavor seems more malt forward, with some sweetness and caramel, but some light fruity character does carry over into the flavor, predominately of apples. The back end has an earthy, slightly spicy hoppiness, that finishes wonderfully.

Medium body, maybe leaning more towards light, with a nice creamy texture with a more than adequate amount of carbonation. I really enjoyed this beer, I have had it before and remember not being that impressed. I dunno if it was the glassware, the fact it was on-tap, my mood and/or the environment, or a mixture of all variables, but I thoroughly enjoyed this beer this time around.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Clear amber w/creamy off-white head and bits of tracing.

S-Bold fruit esters, toasty malt, yellow raisin, sour cherry, bits of clove.

T-Medicinal and plastic phenols that I couldn't pick up in the aroma, sweet malt and clove, and a finish that is at first dry, and then a bit phenolic and spicy w/a metallic touch. The aftertaste is of spicy Belgian yeast w/a hanging sweetness. Served colder, the phenols in this brew that dominate are medicinal and plastic. As its temperature rises, clove takes over and the unpleasant flavors recede.

M-Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation. Balance is a little off with the sweetness.

D-This one is starting to grow on me, and is much better warm (warmer than they recommend at 5-6 degrees C), but I have to stand by my original perceptions. At 8.4% abv one is perfect. Any more just screams hangover.

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

Appearance: Pours a reddish copper color with a large tan head. It is very murky and lots of carbonation can be seen streaming up from the bottom.

Smell: Sweet and sour at the same time. I get grapes, sour apple, and honey.

Taste: Much like the smell it is sweet and sour with apples bringing the sour flavors and the grapes providing the sweetness. The alcohol really comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. The only disappointment is the aftertaste really falls flat.

Photo of endovelico
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into dimpled stein. Taken from notes. Reviewed under medium low artificial light. Reviewed on the 09-10-09.

Appearance: This brew pours as a copper, not entirely clear liquid without any perceivable effervescence. Forms a minute white head which is probably the reason this should be served in a yard glass. Does not present much lacing or head retention.

Aroma: The aroma is of decent strength with notes of sweet chocolate, caramel, an assertive herbal hop character, and a whiff of yeast. Reminds me of pudding flan. Some slight metallic off taste.

Taste: Strong strength with notes of Rum, sweet chocolate and spices. Can't really make out what kind of spices so you know its well made in that regard. Develops into a rummy, coca cola like taste.

Palate: Low Bitterness. Heavy on the palate with medium to medium full body and low carbonation. Finishes swet and is very balanced.

Drinkability: Good Price quality ratio. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Its a decent Belgian beer although i stuggle to label it. Its definetely not a Belgian Pale Ale though, if anything it trades closer to a Dubbel.

Photo of WoogityBoogity
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper body with haze and random floaties. White head of cream fades quickly.

S - Strong, biscuty malt aroma. Floral character with low hop presence. Some random spice phenols are detected, but not pronounced.

T - Moderate spice phenols on a smooth malt palate. Medium hop character and medium peppery spice phenols help balance. Some bitter on a dry finish.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Low warming from alcohol.

D - Taste of the palate characters wasn't blended well, but synergy progresses with consumption.


Not a terrible Belgian Pale Ale if you're into that style.

Photo of Kristing
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is amber with a red ruby tone. The head is tan, quite thick and retains well.

The aroma is malty and fresh with a hint of citrus. When first starting to drink the beer the taste is rich with a definitive malt flavour and a light bitter aftertaste. As you continue to drink the flavour becomes more complex and much more bitter, along with a small fruit tone. However, at the end the flavour is much more fruity with a tone of banana.

The carbonation is low and the mouthfeel is define by the malty flavour, along with a reasonable bitterness. Due to the complexity of the brew, the drinkability is not that high. It is in some ways reminiscient of a trappist beer, although not as good.

Photo of Asgeirr
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pauwel Kwak pours a beautiful tone of mahogany along with an airy crown of a tone comparable to that of buffed leather. Alas, the monarchy is not of any longevity since the crown is reduced to the level of commoners in but a matter of seconds. Noble looks aside, plenty of rather big bubbles tend to fizzle like a soda pop on steroids whilst the entropy takes place in aforementioned crown.

Smell: A deep, sweet tone of cognac is the primary sensory input here, just the way I like 'em. Continually, we also get honey interacting with grape juice, some traces of butterscotch and leather may be scented as well.

Taste: First and foremost a cane sugar-like sweetness with burnt undertones comes forth along with a bitterness of distinct, and yet discrete character, perplexing and persistent to the bitter (get it, bitter? Oh never mind, dry humour has no place in today's world of obscene-extreme, fontanelle-fucking schematic-smegmatics...) end. Finally, and to a lesser extent, some sarsaparilla -- or root beer for that matter -- and hints of pear occasionally makes a visit on the palate.

Mouthfeel: A wee bit thin (light-to-medium full), creamy almost oily in its consistency. The beer in question leaves the mouth with a considerably dry feeling afterwards and despite of having a rather high level of alcohol it does a pretty good job keeping itself clandestine and only, once in a while, make itself heard as a warming aftertaste. Additionally, the oh so lively carbonation in appearance faded rather quickly leaving it -- hypothetically -- just like a soda pop, or anything for that matter, on steroids: all show no go...

Drinkability: Sure, nice and complex with a lot of pretty unique traits but a lot of small factors are missing to those traits, which all together simply end up leaving this one standing at the finish line of the "Superb brew Marathon". To clarify: there is absolutely nothing wrong with this "Belgian strong pale ale", it is in fact pretty good, its just that it exists a whole bunch of better ones out there so why necessarily choose this one in nine times out of ten?

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

Cloudy amber with a floral malty aroma. No head, with a nice carbonation. It was dryer then expected, but still good. There was a hint of bitterness, and the alcohol content was hidden well in the lightly burnt malty floral taste.

As the beer got warmer, the flavors where enhanced, and much more enjoyable. Definitely one for sipping and enjoying.

I'd recommend trying it.

Photo of crossovert
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

For my 50th review I figured I'd do something special. Already one of my more well-liked brews, I'm deciding to have it this time in its on glass which I found cheap at the local store. I'm pouring from a 750ml glass and unfortuneately not the 11.2 ouncer.

Pours almost all foam into the special glass, let's see how I do in the end when the head dissipates. About 5 seconds after the pour the head level rises and goes for about a minute, looks like I was a few centimeters off on the pour, oh well, it is a one of a kind glass and I'm not looking for the perfect pour on this one.

The beer itself is a nice crystal clear bright amber with a foamy off-white head that takes a good while (Over 5 min) to dissipate. By this time the beer is at optimal temperature.

Sent is fruity, spicy, sweetish, slightly tropical, with a large whiff of alcohol. Fruits come out in banana and acidic pineapple. The spice is of coriander. Smells like a nice elixir.

The nice, smooth, and creamy mouthfeel in this one leads to an alcoholic fruity sweetness that leads to a beautiful biscuity malt taste that melds with some cream/vanilla flavor. The fruit is caramelized bananas fried and macerated in brandy with hints of apple in the finish. It is really creamy and really gives the impression of the bananas and cream. Sweetness is very high but not cloying or too over the top. Alcohol permeates the taste as it did in the scent and works well with the fruit'n'cream flavors already mentioned.

This is a dessert in a bottle for sure, a strong Belgian ale meant for slow sippin to cap the night off with a bang.

Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be very good, highly drinkable with some complexity and elements nicely integrated, if a bit on the sweet side.

Red-gold amber, a tad bit hazy, it has a huge, off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin, foamy top and leaving only a little very weak lace.

The aroma is toasted bread, caramelly buttered toast, fruit, leaves, plums, and hint of prune. It has a slight similarity to a stronger English ESB.

The taste is light spice cake, buttery tpast, grain, fruit, malty and caramelly with light earthy notes, all well integrated and balanced aside from the fact that it is clearly quite sweet, with light spice and only a hint of bitterness. Alcohol is barely noticeable, aside form ading to the lightly spicey-warm character and feel. It does not taste as strong as it is.

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

Poured on tap into the awesome Pauwel Kwak glass, complete with the wooden support.

Appearance: A deep amber hue, slightly brown with a small, fizzling white head.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, ripe dark fruit, and a soft aroma of alcohol.

Taste: Semi-strong caramel malt up front, with hints of vanilla and some spicy notes. Maybe even some white grape skin lingering in the background. The alcohol is present up front as well, fading as the spicy notes take over. In spite of all of the flavor up front, the taste fades out midway through, with not much hop presence. What hops are there are soft and slightly earthy. Sweet at both the start and finish.

Mouthfeel: The alcohol and sweetness create quite a stir in my mouth, with a medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability: Even with the awesome glassware, this is a little bit sweet and lacks complexity to really warrant repeat consumption. Does not compare favorably with their other beers.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,451 ratings.