1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,369 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,369
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 123 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website
Belgium

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 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
Photo of DogFood11
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz brown bottle. Classy looking label. Poured into a tulip it formed a milky off white head that leaves some ring lacing. Shiney copper body.

A touch of musk up front followed by a brew that leans on spices. There is a light and fruity underbelly that is more subdued than most in this style that I've sampled. It kind of comes across like carbonated fruit juice and then the spices kick in to round it out. I'm not talking about being too sweet or fruity as it works out in the end. Charcoal in the nose doesn't translate to the taste. Alcohol is strong and played a big role in making this similar to a tropical mixed drink. Not for me.

Notes: I went back and forth on this brew. There is a lack of depth in this beer but it turns out decent.

DogFood11, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena for Belgain Beer Fest.

Was a reddish-purple with only soap sud-resembling head. The smell was alcohol and grapes, like a weak wine. The taste was of grapes and volatile alcohol... very similar to a wine.... carbonatioin was on the lower end. Not really to my tastes, and if it is really a belgian pale ale, it IMO doesn't measure up anywhere close to a say, Duvel.

MiScusi, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of rec
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a head to appreciate and lace to accompany that.

Sweet caramel malt and yeast come through strongest in the aroma.

The aroma is represented well, with some light fruits and some very mild spice additional in the taste. Kwak finishes sharp, dry and with noticably high yet suitable carbonation.

It really is a great brew, and in my opinion should be rated higher than what it has been.

rec, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Dubbercody
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet and malty, thick, very lightly perfume-like.

I've had this on tap in the past and I appreciated that more, but as always most brews on tap are better than the bottle...

When I got down to the yeasty goodness, I was really interestingly pleased with the flavor. Good big ass beer to drink while watching Kevin Smith Strikes Back!

Dubbercody, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of jmz62565
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear rusty red/orange with a giant white foamy head. The head doesn't last too long and there is little lacing. The smell is not very pungent,but a real "bisquity" aroma is prevelant along with a mix of spices and alcohol. The taste is a mix of alcohol, lemon, candy sugar, coriander, cherries and other fruits. A good tasting beer with some minor flaws. The m/f is light with flavors mixing well. For a high alcohol beer,this is very drinkable and enjoyable.

jmz62565, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of deBeers
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet with a biting tartness that blossoms into a bouquet of flavors. Hard for me to describe. Flowery esters and spicy clove (phenols?) notes coming through. Smooth on the palette but very complex. Caramel malts, a blend of apricot/banana/breadiness that somehow is creamy yet has a bite too it.

Alcohol presence is noticeable thoughout the whole drink. Almost a sweetness working its way out as beer warms. Sorry for the mess of a review this was from sparse notes about six months ago at Delaney's in New Haven. Beer is served in it's own miniscule yard glass with holder. Very elegant and recommened trying at least once on tap!

deBeers, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of theformula
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice lookin brew. Pours a burnt orange, bright copper body. Has a decent tan head with minimal retention.

It smells great, but the alcahol strength is a little obvious IMO. Sweet, fruity (cherries, blood orange?), vanilla and honey. A mineral note hangs around and yeast it bready and delicious.

Medium body and a soft feel in the mouth. Little carbonation.
A sweet, fruity ale. The alcahol is strong right up front, followed by a malty, cherry-like sweetness/tartness. Notes of honey, minerals, light hops and a dtry, decent finish in which the dry, mineral character holds on. Nice orange and a little clove in the background.

Not too bad. It's a heavy gravity ale just by the scent and it doesn't feel ashamed of it. Not much of a finish though. I'd drink another, but wouldn't kill for it (Duvel on the other hand...).

Alcahol is just to dominate and flaunting.

theformula, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of Shovelbum
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger head of creamy off-white foam over a glowing amber body. A few rather large chunks of yeast made it into my glass and drift aimlessly around in the currents of rising carbonation. Head falls to a thin layer that is concentrated around the edge. Aromas cherries and oranges mix with Belgian yeast. Flavor is quite soft, with a light caramel upfront, notes of pepper, a prevailing pear character throughout and a hint of lemon at the finish. The sweetness is a major force, but the body is still lean. Carbonation is medium to low for the style. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Apart from the chunks of yeast milling about in the glass this was an all around great ale drinking experience. The ale was refrigerated for a week prior to drinking and didn’t ‘abuse’ the bottle prior to the pour, so I am led to believe that this may be a bit over yeasted, or the strain is so flocculent that it can’t help itself from forming big natty chunks. I didn’t really mind them except on the last swallow.

Upon further inspection of the BA classification of this ale it is yet another example of a Belgian Ale defying style categories--- or the need for a Belgian amber ale category. Pale this ale ain’t. But it shouldn’t have to be.

Shovelbum, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of andjusticeforale
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a nice big bottle; poured into a tulip; really nice copper color, foamy head as promised, and smell of iron, geramn styler euro hops for a second, blood, oddly enough, and swirly alcohol.

The taste was medium bodied, spicy, sweet, strong solid malt backbone without a ton of complexity. Really solid, sip after sip, balanced, never too sweet, never too bitter, the finish and drinkability excellent. I would pair this with food, perhaps a nice light marinated chicken sandwich or a chefs salad with gorgonzola.

This is better than average, its not super, but its really servicable.

andjusticeforale, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into an (improper) stout glass. Aroma of toasted bread and roasting chestnuts with a strong coppery head. Docked points on appearance due to the large (20 or more per glass) of floaties in the glass, even after a very careful pour. But the flavor and mouthfeel are so much more than the standard belgian golden ales that I don't even care. Strong roast nuts, toasted almonds, caramel and hints of apricot and cherry pull together to give a beer that is a little different with each sip as the palate becomes accustomed.

GooberMcNutly, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of JanM
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a chestnut color and two fingers of foam. It sounds strange but I thought it smelled of milk and sweet fruits. The taste was sweet and yeasty with notes of apricots and peaches, and some smoke. The liquid almost had a syrup feel to it. This beer rates pretty high in BA but I was not so impressed.

JanM, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of GbVDave
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, dark amber. Largish 3 finger head that leaves a lot of lace.

S: Notes of sweet malt, belgian yeast, pepper, and alcohol.

T: Take the above and add some mildly sweet fruit flavors and lightly bitter hops. Sweet and dry at the same time.

M: Sort of thin, sharp, and carbonated.

D: If they were to dial back the abv 1-1.5% this would be so much more enjoyable. It's quite drinkable as it is now, but, could be even better. I've had much better and I've had a lot worse.

GbVDave, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of brushpig
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a 4pack with kwak glass at Sam's wines and liquors.

Deep amber beer with orange and red tones good head with decent lacing.

Fruity tropical and earthy aromas, with a light spicyness.

Smooth mouth feel yet a hearty brew, taste of fruit, spices, and figs. Quite warming alcohol sensation. Not as flavorful as some of the other Belgium strong pale ales, but a good experience. Drink it out out the mini yard glass with holder.

brushpig, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of Foxman
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a quite clear and carbonated deep amber. Three fingers of sculptable beige head settle sooner as opposed to later. Toile lacing patterns the inside of the glass.

In the aroma a lightly sweet malt presence is rather vague and is tamped further by a musty earthiness. Yeast yields a mild clove ester as well as an unfortunate muddled staleness. The alcohol lurks airily in the background.

Upon tasting, the malt is a bit more distinctive here, with muted caramel sweetness that quickly cedes to a feather of clove and citrus esters. The alcohol has a fair bite, and the finish is green apple crisp and dry. The flavor shows a couple positives, but it seems dumbed-down and shallow overall.

Light to medium bodied, the spice effect leaves the chief palatal impression.

It's got a name, but the rep falls short. I mean, it's not a drain-pour, but it's just too thin and shallow to stand up to the rest of Belgium's best. The ABV is big enough to render its drinkability somewhat questionable. So the name on the bottle is why I bought it, but what's in the bottle is why I won't buy it again.

Foxman, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pauwel Kwak pours a reddish orange color with a white head from a brown 11.2 ounce bottle. The aroma is sweet malt, alcohol is also noticeable. Taste is pleasant, heavily on the malty side, quite sweet with alcohol being noticeable. An enjoyable quaff.

Drew966, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. First pour out of the bottle was a clear amber color, though I am sure it will cloud up by the time I get to the end of the bottle. Nice large off-white head, however it left no lacing. Smell is of sweet caramel, almost buttery, a bit of dark fruit. Taste is caramel malt, the malt stays through to the end, buttery, too buttery for my liking. Creamy, nice carbonation. I was a bit disappointed in this ale, had a nice complexity but too buttery.

Gmann, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of SuperSpy
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper with a big rocky head. Very clear and excellent lacing. Just beautiful.

S - Sweet malt, caramel, raisins.

T - Delicious toffee, a bit of molasses or perhaps brown sugar and spiciness. A nice sweet beginning with a dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with a creamy carbonation and very dry finish.

D - Absolutely delicious and easy to drink.

SuperSpy, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An 11.2oz./33cl bottle poured into the bulbous coachman's glass/stand, typical of the Kwak. Our first pour in this type of glass since sharing one at Paters Vaetje in Antwerp; since then we bought our own on ebay.

A: Amber/copper with a gigantic off-white frothy head. Presentation gets even higher marks for being in the 'proper' glassware. Clear consistency and with an excellent, even lace.

S: Smells of sweet malts, caramel and sugars.

T: Big butterscotch flavor, followed with brown sugar, hints of mint (?) and a spiced yeast finish. Almost no hops or bitterness.

M: A little flat and a bit oily. Buttery & like a very thin syrup. A very thin trace of bittering hops rounds off the finish, leaving a slight dryness in the mouth.

D: Almost an 'everyday' drinker, definitely an enjoyable and very easy to drink strong pale. Pleasant flavors, sweet and caramel-laden with good balance, though it leans toward the sugary malts; this is one I could have many times. Also a favorite for my wife.

msubulldog25, Dec 11, 2006
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,369 ratings.