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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,337 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,337
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 118 | 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: 1,337 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of henrysunset
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

huge billowing puffy white head over a gauzy amber beer.

scent is citrus zest, sourness, sweet caramel, malt.

t: Sweetness, dark sugar flavor, caramel, malts

amy doesn't care for the sweetness and I think it is too sweet as well.

reasonably drinkable in smaller doses, too sweet for my preference, although thankfully the aftertaste is really nice.

henrysunset, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like drinking this out of the tall glass with wood base in Belgium, but it's still a pleasure anytime...

Thick light-tan head made of tight bubbles sits atop a remarkably well-filtered, glowing golden brown. A zillion bubbles feed a head that seems like it'll never diminish, but it eventually does minimize to a mere skim. Lots of lace.

Fruity and yeasty esters fill the nose first, with a brown sugar, dessert-like maltiness eventually dominating the aroma. A little alcohol shows through as it warms, which is when this beer really opens up.

The flavor is something unique. You definitely won't find another Belgian like it (I haven't yet, at least). Malt dominates, bringing a tangy sweetness in that reminds of fine caramel/chocolate hard candies, brown sugar, root beer schnapps, dark fruits, and honey. The finish keeps a thick honey flavor on top of the palate.

Mouthfeel has a slightly syrupy feel, which matches the flavors well, and the ever-active bubbles inject a constant effervesence which never intrudes, even when the beer warms and seems to get thicker in the mouth with ever sip. Kwak is way better when it warms...drinking it too cold mutes everything great about it.

Very dessert-y, it amazingly never becomes overly sweet. At just the right temperature, there's hardly anything finer.

Metalmonk, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: amber color with sediment chunks, decent carbonation, thick brown head settling to thin layer, some lacing
s: very sweet malts, almost like honey with hints of spice
t. consistent with the smell, but the honey flavor isn't overpowering at all--nice sweet malts, light honey flavor, spices and a crisp but lingering finish
m: medium body, lots of carbonation, enjoyable
d: a very nice belgian which i plan to enjoy plenty in the future

belgbeerdrinker, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BeerSpy to come for Teresa's Next Door in Wayne PA. Found on tap 7/7/07.

Kwak served appropriately at TND in a Kwak glass =) Well done.

Appearance: Served a gold color that borders maybe on apricot with some deeper hues in there. It is mostly transparent through the body of the beer and it leaves a light lace coating on the walls of the glass.

Smell: Very malty and fruity Belgian yeasty aroma with melon and malts, honey, apples and sugar and spices and all around pleasantness. The alcohol is noticeable but works with the spices so it doesn't stand out.

Taste: Sweet tropical fruits with caramel honey, pears and candy sugar flavors. Belgian yeast and spices, make this a complex and yet light refreshing beer. There is a lot here but it is quite easy to accept and even easier to keep drinking. You would never imagine this Pale Ale is 8% while quaffing it down; until you try to walk away.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: It has a malty and smooth feel across the tongue. The warmness may come from the spices or the alcohol or both but it doesn't detract me from dinking. Maybe I was thirsty this afternoon but the beer disappeared before I finished my notes. (damn I hate when that happens ... sort of! ;-)

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
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

russpowell, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of jettjon
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I guess I’ve become jaded enough to where I can rate a “premium” Belgian ale only “pretty good”….From the 750ml caged cork bottle dated 28/04/07 (best by?), decants with a slight pop. Into the tulip, I’m disturbed to see small chunks of precipitate. The bottle was stored upright at about 50 degrees for only a couple weeks, and was not agitated before opening, so I’m not sure what happened here. I’ll have to try another. Other than the nasty-looking (but otherwise undetectable) precipitate, it’s a good looking brew, a transparent mahogany color capped by a heavy head of off-white foam. Slow fade leaves a heavy ring and plenty of scattered sheets of lace. Nose is dominated by malt and a bit of sour lace. Suggestions of a lambic in the nose. But the flavor is not so much sour as it is sweetly malty; the malt really runs the show here. There are a bit of hops as well to balance things, but they are relegated to the background. 8% ABV asserts itself firmly here, almost boozy at first, then mellowing out after several swallows to a nice, omnipresent warmth. Finish is a bit messy, however, kind of a muddled off-bitter flavor. Mouth is pleasingly viscous and softly carbonated; it’s smooth and easy going down. Drinkability is good but not great, the off-flavored finish and constant alcohol reminder detract.

Overall: Not the best Belgian strong pale I’ve had by a long shot. The precipitate blows my mind but my experience with the brew seems to be in the same vein as other reviewers. Still, I’d give this one another try just in case. Another person compared this to a Chimay (blue) and that’s a reasonable match. To me, this is a commercialized Belgian that is worth a try, but not worth pursuing.

jettjon, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of Shadman
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cross between copper and amber colored, quite clear as well.. Loads of fine carbonation helped keep the thick, tan head alive for several minutes. Terrific lacing.

Aroma was somewhat floral, but also caught a wiff of rich caramel raisin as well.

Flavours are subtle, caramel, butterscotch raisin, maybe a hint of hop. Alcohol is present in the background and really doesn't impede the taste. Overly sweet perhaps.

Smooth, almost slick mouthfeel...a touch of alcohol burn on the tongue when the aftertaste kicks in..but over all not unpleasing.

Great look, killer aroma...so-so taste...

Shadman, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of Boto
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle: This one pours a clear, amber color. There was a bit of an off-white head on it, and it lingers awhile. There is a constant fizzing coming from the bottom of the glass. The aroma isn’t overly strong, yet it is very pleasant. I get some caramel, spices, fruits and a touch of breadiness. The taste is some caramel , toffee, fruits, some of the yeastiness, and a touch spicy. The flavors don’t stand out, but blend nicely for a fine brew.

Boto, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of RDAdams
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For years I have thought Chimay Grande Reserve and Duval were the finest beers on the planet. I now prefer Kwak to both!

Appearance: Dark amber to copper with a large cream head. This beer has beautiful legs.

Aroma: Complex, fruity aroma with sweet smelling esters and phenols balanced with the malt.

Taste. If it's in the aroma, it's in the taste. And the effervescent carbonation enhances the tastes of the esters and the phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and warm without an alcohol taste. The high carbonation is very pleasant.

Drinkability:Awesomely smooth This is a World Class Beer.

RDAdams, May 29, 2007
Photo of Hammarby
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber with a two finger white head.
S: Phenols, sweetness, malt, yeast, sour freshness, red berries. winelike.
T: Bitterness, licorice, alcoholic sting (not as bad as the 8 % would suggest), malt, hint of figs. Aftertaste of raisins, bitterness and honey.
M: Medium body, good carboration.

Tried this one a long time ago. Didn't like it. At all. Wich kept me from trying it again, which - I realize now - is a pity. Really a drinkable beer, although it might be a good idea to keep count of the number of glasses, since those 8% ABV could sneak up on you and give you a rather unpleasant headache just a you finish that last glass.

Hammarby, May 28, 2007
Photo of Derek
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Smokeless Joe's in the new Kwak glass (flat bottom, no holder).

A: Golden-bronze with an off-white head; some retention; although the glass produces more head with every swig, there's very little lace.

S: Slightly fruity & spicey, with hints of earthyness from the Belgian yeast. Some brown sugar & light caramel in the background.

T: It's good, but I expected a little more. The flavours are all fairly subtle & well-rounded. Probably a good introduction to the style. The Belgian yeast seems fairly tame, with a light fruityness (apple & pear) & spice, with slight hints of phenols. Bitterness is mild, allowing some sweet malt flavour to come through. Somehow the alcohol is fairly well-hidden.

M: Moderate body; well-carbonated; some residual sugar but a relatively dry finish.

D: Flavours are subtle, nothing is overpowering, great drinker for its strength.

Derek, May 26, 2007
Photo of muddyriverduck
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Puchased a 75cl corked-bottle from the Wine Afficiando in Perrysburg, Oh.

Poured an amber color into my goblet with a single finger head that quickly dissapated leaving slight lacing on my glass. Moderate carbonation.

Smelled of carmallized apples and alcohol. Nothing extraordinary.

I enjoyed the taste. Sugary malts and carmel, followed by a slight alcohol warmth and pleasant aftertaste.

Had a nice texture, not too heavy or thin. Carbonation was well balanced.

I choose this one for my after-dinner sipper and was not dissapointed. Can't foresee wanting to do more than a bottle of it, but for my purposes tonight, it's just what the doctor ordered.

Tigers - 7
Angels - 3
Top 8th

muddyriverduck, May 24, 2007
Photo of meadhead
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Primarily sweetened caramel
with phenolic yeastish bite
slight peach while
malts dominate
little hops in sight

pours a hazy tan brown
has a nice carbonation
tastes rich
sweet as

drinks without aggravation

a nice after dinner drink
or aperitif situation

meadhead, May 20, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I had this on-tap at Nomad in Milwaukee, served in the goofy kwak glassware. The glassware was something special (and impractical!), but I didn't find the beer to be all that exceptional. It is a rather fruity ale with a lot of alcohol phenol flavor that I didn't find all that pleasant.

The beer looks great; it is a sparkling amber color with a very fine billowy head. Aroma was alcohol phenols with some faint sweet caramel notes. Flavor was somewhat grapey and fruity with lots of alcohol phenols. Mouthfeel was fine and very smooth. I didn't find this beer to be very drinkable.

BeerBelcher, May 11, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A little haze in an amber orange dark ale, good amount of light tan head that retains okay. Lacing is underwhelming.

Light citric fruits, prominent raw sugar sweetness and some dextrin clove medicinal aroma.

Prominent alcohol, big warming character. Spicy dark ale, good hop balance and more estery fruits in the flavor. Malt profile is sweet and caramel.

Smooth mouthfeel, medium full body. Lots of alcohol present, but not bad drinkability anyway. This is an okay beer, plenty of better Belgians for the money.

BretSikkink, May 07, 2007
Photo of TheClassical
2.4/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was visiting Hong Kong after a long couple of months on the Mainland, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some real beer. I found a great little shop in SoHo, right off the escalator, called "Euro Treat." They seemed to have more American stuff than European (Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Sierra Nevada PAs, etc.), but I saw a 75cl bottle of Kawk's standing alone alongside a shelf full of Duvel, and figured, what the hell.

Wish I had gone with Duvel.

When you begin your pour, it all begins very promisingly: a cloudy amber-brown, a steady stream of carbonation with a lasting head and some minor lacing. It looks really great, warm, and inviting. But things tend to go downhill from there.

The smell was sugary, unremarkable, and dull. Some fruit that was there at first but disappeared in the dull overpowering sugar-stench. I wanted to like it, I wanted something to kick my nose in the ass after months of Tsing Tao and San Miguel ... alas, this failed to deliver.

The taste was a blunt upfront sweetness, overwhelming and just too candied in the mouth. You can't enjoy the spicy lingering because things are just too sugary, the bite is lost or at least subdued. A little alcohol on the finish just as you get a taste for a citrus suggestion, but again the false sugary bombast wafts up and ruins it. This beer is just too sweet, for me at least.

As for drinkability? No thanks. It was a struggle to get through this 75cl bottle.

TheClassical, May 03, 2007
Photo of phisig137
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich orange color, with a two finger head. Moderate retention gives way to a thin layer of foam over the glass.

Aroma is malt forward, and backed by some heavy solvent alcohol. Burnt sugar, and light caramels, mix with raw grain and mash like aromas.

Flavor is much the same. Malt flavors and simple sugar compounds dominate the flavor, backed by strong flavors of light fruit from Bosteel's distinct house yeast. Finish is relatively dry and lingering. Mouthfeel is creamy up front, but scrubbed away by heavy and lively carbonation. Drinkability is quite good.

Nice overall, and a good value at only $7.29. This is another questionable categorization. It's to light and not yeasty enough to be a good tripel. On the other hand, it's too sweet and not hoppy enough to be a good belgian strong pale ale. But at the end, regardless of what you want to call it, I call it tasty. Definitely worth a try, and could make for a good "conversion" beer for the uninitiated.

phisig137, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a frothy white head that quickly disappears. Little lacing. The aroma is quite light and all typical Belgian yeast smells of clove, banana, and light fruit. The taste is slightly winey and sweet with a pronounced banana finish. Fairly one dimensional and a little too sweet. Mouthfeelis solid with just the right heft and crispness to support the beer. Not the most intriguing Belgian strong pale, but not bad.

Georgiabeer, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of BenSelf
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty beer, but lacking in any real depth. It immediately presents with strong caramel and there are pleasant notes of light citrus in there. It leaves what I can only describe as a brief hint of smoky oak on the tongue. Not at all dry.

The beer is obviously made with quality ingredients, because it tastes good; but I don't think the brewer put much thought into it. It's very one-dimensional. There is little to no hop character to balance out the overwhelming malt.

That being said, you do need to try this beer. It is pleasing to the palette and very drinkable. It will help you decide what you do and don't like about the genre since it doesn't have too much going on.

BenSelf, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of Braudog
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I uncorked this monster 75cl bottle with a glimmer in my eye. This oured dark copper with an airy and big (but airy) head. Brown sugar and sweet alcohol are the primary characteristics of the aroma. The flavor, on the other hand, is heavily titled to the caramel ... very sweet, almost candied. (#2766, 3/31/2007)

Braudog, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of gunnerman
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint glass, pours an amazing orange amber haze with a seriouls head that leaves some thick sticky lace on the glass, simply impressive to look at. Smell has some nice fruit notes banana and cloves come to mind, this reminds me of a hefe, only the smell that is. Taste is not the greatest thing going for this beer, its a bit mild with a bit of fruit taste again I can taste the banana flavor with hints of mild pepper after finish, I cannot detect any hops in this batch and it has a bit of a alchol burn. Not a bad offering but not the best.

gunnerman, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of BrewMonkey
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper/amber color, light head, light retention.

Aroma reminds me of grist, smells like our cooler mash ton. Slight herbal notes, caramel, malt.

Tastes of heavy malt, slight bitterness and an ethanol finish. Slight sweetness, mild licorice.

Personally I don't find this to be very drinkable. An interesting experience, but not one I would seek out to repeat.

BrewMonkey, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of roblowther
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a medium density, rocky tan head fed by a zillion little champagne bubbles up the side of the glass. The smell is caramel & roasted malt with something cherry-like in the background. The taste is caramel but has almost a burnt note in it somewhere. The finish is dry, offsetting the initial sweetness. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, silky and oily. The drinkability is very good, certainly helped by the mouthfeel. Not too much alcohol in the forefront on this one, given its strength. Definitely one you could sip (note "sip") all evening. The beer, overall, makes me think of sitting in an exposed timber and plaster pub somewhere, drinking at a long wooden table as old as, well, beer, meeting new friends and listening to the world go by outside. For whatever that literary detour is worth.

roblowther, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of tatterdash
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I waited 2 monthes for my Kwak glass to arrive, I finally get to enjoy it, thanks Viggo! Pours a clear amber burnt orange with a creamy off-white head that laces very well. Smell was a earthy citrusy hop and malty grassy crystal malt and a bit of alcohol. Taste was very unique and unexpected, almost like an American Barleywine. Sweet syrupy front with solvent alcohol, but not over-powering or unpleasant. tropical fruits creep in, and the finish is dry with some maltiness sticking around. Mouthfeel was thin but warming, and this is a very pleasant and unique Belgian.

tatterdash, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of MCDuhamel
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Leffe chalice (I don't have a stirrup glass).

A: Very dark orange/medium amber with very active carbonation. Quite bright and clear. The head developed quickly into a nice 2 inch cap, and slowly melted into a solid quarter inch over the surface. Decent laceing, but nothing extraordinary.

S: Strong toffee and light sugar notes, with a hint of spice. The aroma is immediate and quite pronounced without being in any way off balance. Absolutely outstanding.

T: The flavor rushes in with a delightful toffee/caramel character, which gives way to a somewhat minerally and out-of-place citrus-like finish. There are notes of honey and vanilla in the middle. The citrus notes on the finish are, unfortunately, a bit distracting, and after the world-class nose one feels a bit deceived.

M: Medium bodied, slight coating sensation but lifted by the carbonation.

D: Above average drinkability, but lacks the deceptive quaffability of the best tripels.

Overall: This is a very good beer, well worthy of its reputation, which I certainly enjoy drinking. However, poured from tap into a stirrup glass at a bar that knows how to handle Belgian ales properly it is at its best; the bottled version seems slightly harsher and less refined.

MCDuhamel, Mar 04, 2007
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,337 ratings.