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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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

1,369 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,369
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 124 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,369 | Reviews: 646 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of YonderWanderer
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper amber with a solid head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Malty, sweet, hints of fruit, a touch of hops.

T: The malt hits you up front, with a nice sweetness to it. Caramel and fruit come through nicely. The alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. A hint of hops are in there too.

M: Crisp and full, with a nice dry finish.

D: Kwak is a very drinkable beer if you ask me. It's got a good flavor and aftertaste, and the glass you drink it out of gets you plenty of "what the hell is that?" looks. Great conversation starter.

YonderWanderer, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of boblog
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Odd as it is brown. Fairly big head, good lacing and retention.
Smell:Champagne like bitterness. Moderate malt sweetness, fair amount of hop smell.
Taste: Champagne yeasty flavors. Sweet malt arounds out the flavor, ends on dry hop note.
Mouthfeel: Bubble and medium bodied. Really enjoyable mouthfeel.
Drinkability: I could drink a gallon of this, but I would regrett it due to price and high abv.
Overall a very good Strong pale ale, I love this beer.

boblog, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of OKCNittany
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into a goblet

A: 1/2" white head that dissolved quickly to a ring with a light cloud in the middle. Left almost no lacing. Dark copper almost brown body with bits of sediment.

S: Sweet caramel malt dominates the nose.

T: Caramel, brown sugar, ripe fruit - sweet, but a bit too sweet. Plus, the yeast & spices don't really compliment it - they seem to be an unwelcome addition.

M: Medium to full body. Light carbonation. Smooth. But a funky sweet aftertaste messes up an otherwise good mouthfeel.

D: A bit too sweet to drink a bunch of them, but it goes down ok and hides the alcohol pretty well.

OKCNittany, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of drseamus
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this at Delirium Café for a single reason…the glass it is served in is really cool. It is like a small yard glass with a bulbous part at the bottom and a bell mouth at the top connected by a long shaft but attached to a crazy wooden handle that you use to place it on the table and grab it for drinking. It had a light amber body with a thick foamy white head. The aroma was sweet and malty with a bunch of fruity yeasty esters. The flavor is equally sweet and malty, but with a flatness only broken by a bit of wheatiness at the back of the palate. It has a light to medium body and pretty good drinkability, but the glass is cooler than the beer.

drseamus, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of Cs1987
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Red/amber in colour, fairly opaque with quite a lot of floating chunks. This was quite unexpected in a pale ale, but an interesting touch that separates it from most other beers. The small head disappeared very quickly.

Smell - I detected very little smell, but it was evidently sweet and fruity.

Taste - I found it surprisingly similar to a sweet red wine, except less fruity and more alcohol in the taste. Still, it is a good tasting beer overall.

Mouthfeel - Has the texture of water with small chunks, and the aftertaste is average, mostly due to the fact that the alcohol dominates the taste.

Drinkability - Too alcoholic and not quite interesting enough to be highly drinkable.

Overall - This isn't really worth the amount it costs here in Australia. I believe most pale ales are better than this. This is quite a good beer, but it is very poor value.

Cs1987, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of gauchebag
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle, pours a beautiful deep copper, amber color with a surprisingly small head of less than 1 finger. Doesn't leave much lacing as the beer disappears but the lacing it does leave is quite nice. This smells really good...I can't describe exactly what it's like as it's a pretty vague sweet fruity smell but it's a pretty strong smell. Other people in the room even commented on the odor, which doesn't usually happen when I open a beer.

The taste is pleasant, if a little too sweet. As it gets warmer I'm enjoying it less and less so by the time I'm on to the second glass, I add a couple of ice cubes (yeah, I know.) It tastes good, but not great. There's nothing extraordinary about it. Like the smell, it's fruity in a vague way but the thing that is overriding everything else is the sweetness. I love the mouthfeel though...it's very smooth and light for how it tastes. As far as drinkability, I'm hovering in between 3.5 and 4 but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. When sufficiently cold it's defintely a 4.

I don't think I'll be buying this again but I definitely enjoyed it.

gauchebag, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of LittleCreature
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a surprisingly small head that is a very pale, yellowish beige. The colour is beautiful, a deep copper, rosy around the edges.

Smell - 3.5
Pleasant, but rather lacking in power. The alcohol is the predominant smell, alongside a vague fruitiness and sweetness.

Taste - 3.5
Like a belgian pale ale with a shot of sherry poured in! There is a generally fruitiness with nothing in particular standing out. Slightly spicy with a little hops. On the downside, the alcohol character is a little more than is desirable, and it is also a little too sweet.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Low in carbonation, rather creamy and full-bodied at first, then becomes a little too flat for it's own good. Best drink it before it warms up.

Drinkability - 4.0
I could actually see myself drinking a second in one session. The more you have, the easier it is to drink.

OVERALL - 3.65
The more I drank of this, the more I liked it. It has a nice warming feel to it, and becomes easier to drink the more you have of it. Unfortunately, it is also quite expensive, so that rules it out as a regular purchase. A decent Belgian pale ale, but more hops and less sugar would be an improvement.

LittleCreature, Jul 17, 2007
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
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,369 ratings.