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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,313 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,313
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 104 | 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: 1,313 | Reviews: 636 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickss


4.2/5  rDev +11.4%

Poured into appropriate glassware at Henri Belga Sororzo in Budapest.
Hint of orange and ruby permeate this brew. Light apparent carbonation with a 2" tan head.

The aroma is filled with dark fruit and berries with some significant spice, which certainly adds a bit of a kick.

Big, rich flavours of caramel with a bit of chocolate. Alcohol shines through as the brew warms.

Nice, subtle carbonation. With it was a bit thicker, but nicely done.

Very drinkable brew. Finished it entirely too quicky.

05-27-2006 23:34:16 | More by nickss
Photo of Orrshow

Alberta (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -17.8%

Appearance – Pours deep brownish amber with a ton of off white frothy head which leaves lots of lacing. There are some floaties in there as well.

Smell – I get some apple, sugar, caramel, pepper spice, and yeast. It smells somewhat enticing.

Taste – The taste is a little boring. Similar aspects as the smell but weaker and less complex. There is a bit of caramel with a slight alcohol bite. A slight tartness comes about after with an extremely dry feeling. There is not a lot of spiciness here, but just enough to notice. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is pretty coarse. Beer is slightly thin as well. Plus there is a very dry feeling is not very pleasurable.

Drinkability – Not bad. The mouthfeel didn’t make me want to drink more of it. The taste was boring.

I don’t plan to buy this beer again. It wasn’t good for enjoying and I would never want to session it. Quite average.

05-21-2006 01:37:53 | More by Orrshow
Photo of arizcards


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Picked up a 330ml bottle in February at AJ's on Central for $3.79. Beer poured a dark amber with a very nice long lasting head. Nose was a hint of fruit, perhaps apple. Taste is a wonderful medley of the fruit, Belgian yeast, with a nice moderate hop finish. Mouthfeel was very good as there is creamy-smooth feeling left after each sip. Drinkability is good. Initial sip presented an alcohol warming but that quickly went away. Very nice beer that is worth a try.

05-20-2006 01:17:25 | More by arizcards
Photo of RBorsato


4.58/5  rDev +21.5%

Tasted on-tap on 03/09/06 at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA. (unfortunately, not in a Kwak glass...)

Amber-ish to tawny brown in color with a nice off-white head and moderate carbonation. A very malty (raisin and licorice qualities) Belgian in both aroma and flavor. Fairly fruity overall with some light yeasty character. Medium bodied, refreshing and dangerously drinkable; looking forward to tasting the bottled version.

Per BB: 8% ABV.

05-18-2006 20:09:12 | More by RBorsato
Photo of DuqTroops


4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

Drank through the official Kwak glass; which looks a lot like a mini yard of beer with a wooden stand.

Appearance - dark orange in color with a good amount of head atop the beer.

Smell - yeast and malt fills the scents with a bit of cinammon.

Taste - hops lower the bitterness to the malty flavor and makes it a good drink.

Drinkabilty - higher abv and will try this one again.

05-14-2006 19:15:17 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of Hautacam


3.05/5  rDev -19.1%

Clear amber...pour-head reduces to "gone".
Smells of sweet vanilla.
Taste is very sweet vanilla...very malty...hops barely there at all. Not too complex....way too sweet. Alcohol becomes very evident as it warms up.
Carbonation is low...mouthfeel is medium....slightly syrupy.
Not very drinkable...even in a small dose ( 10 oz.pour) this is just too sweet and one dimensional.

04-22-2006 00:34:42 | More by Hautacam
Photo of guitarninja

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -5%

appearance = I tried this beer from a bottle in its traditional glass, which is pretty cool. I heard it was designed more for functionality (to fit "cup holders" in the olden days) than to enhance the characteristics of the beer. Anyway, it poured an amber brownish color with a fluffy head that kept being fed by ample carbonation. The beer left nice lacing all down the glass.

smell = not a lot of strong smells (my biggest complaint about the beer) but you can definitely smell malt, and was that a hint of nut?

taste = first a nutty taste, then a hint of caramel and honey. On the finish the malt domonates, and the alcohol becomes a little more evident - especially toward the bottom of the glass.

mouthfeel = the beer is pretty smooth, and goes down "easy" (as they say).

drinkability = I found that I could drink a lot of this beer. It was truly refreshing and I'd definitely have another.

Overall, not the most complex belgian ale around; but the glass was cool, the beer was refreshing, and I enjoyed my experience drinking Kwak.

04-13-2006 01:33:13 | More by guitarninja
Photo of geexploitation


3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

This stuff is pretty sweet on tap, but it loses something in the bottle. Pours a clear amber leaning toward red, with a decent sized white head that leaves some lace. The smell is pretty mild; it's a pretty clean aroma, dominated by caramel malts and a touch of something metallic. The flavor of the beer is quite malt-intensive, although there are some bittering hops tha crop up midway through tasting. The initial taste is creamy and buttery, then the alcohol comes through with a strong burn. Throughout, the mouthfeel is well-rounded and quite smooth, with a strong carbonated snap.

Pauwel Kwak is a good beer, but not a great one, at least in the bottle. It's ncie and smooth, though, and perhaps could be thought of as the Belgian equivalent of an English session beer.

04-08-2006 23:25:05 | More by geexploitation
Photo of goochpunch


3.48/5  rDev -7.7%

Pours a dark amber with very active carbonation, a creamy, off-white head, and nice lacing. Seems a bit hazy. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be, or if I just did a shitty pour. The aroma is all malt; nutty and bready with a healthy dose of caramel. The 8% abv let's itself be known. The flavors echo the aromas, but the nuttiness is more pronounced. The alcohol becomes a bit too apparant as it warms, sadly. Some fruity apple flavors mixed in as well. Mouthfeel is not heavy, but is a bit gritty.

Overall this is solid, but nothing special. There are more interesting beers to choose from, but I'm a sucker for the malt profile exhibited here.

04-02-2006 04:34:08 | More by goochpunch
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.58/5  rDev -5%

11.2 ouncer without freshness indication. Pours a nice rich and glowing mahogony auburn. Clear, with a short lived off white head and leaving delicate and fine, splotchy lacing. Nose I get is nutty, alcohol and a bit of barnyard funkyness. Notes of more nuts, alcohol, steady stream of maltyness and quite dry late. So so Belgian, this one doesnt do much for me, there are alot of more interesting Belgians out there.

03-28-2006 03:43:47 | More by Billolick
Photo of Crosling


3.2/5  rDev -15.1%

Suspended globs upon pouring. Red brick in color, large and lasting foam. Stale, musty yeast in the nose, with hints of barnyard, caramel, spice and red fruits. Flavor is dry and funky, sprucey and thin, with stale malts and boozy fruits, Really sweet and thin. I surely prefer the Tripel.

03-24-2006 02:35:01 | More by Crosling
Photo of therica


3.58/5  rDev -5%

Pours a nice amber color, head quickly fading. Nose is interesting-- not quite sure what to make of it. The belch is about the same. The taste is somewhat unique, with burnt caramel overtones and some hints of possibly clove that are subtle. There's a slightly sweet taste and aftertaste. There's also an aftertaste that reminds me of burned leaves at a campfire in autumn-- odd and interesting, almost smoky.

At 8 percent alcohol, it doesn't have the liquor-alcohol taste that a lot of the 8+ beers have. It's very drinkable if you're looking for a higher-kick beer.

I had this on-tap in Brugge Belgium. It's traditionally served in a tall beaker-style stein-glass which is held in a wood-handled frame. When drinking, the air "burps" and makes a quacking sound, thus the Kwak name.

Try this stuff, it's definitely one that should be on any beer-questor's list.

03-19-2006 03:03:38 | More by therica
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.47/5  rDev +18.6%

I tried this at Pelgrom cafe in Antwerp. It was served in its unique glassware with the wooden base.

It looked like an amber ale or alt, but smelled sort of like a weizen. I'm pretty sure it's got some wheat in the recipe based on aroma and taste.

The flavor was really good and it would have been easy to drink another if I didn't have Kulminator to go to for beers that are harder to find. The glass was a novelty, but I prefer regular glassware. I could easily make a mess if I drink this without paying attention to the base.

03-18-2006 23:16:26 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of bennetj17


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Nice thick head over an inch. Decent retention. The color is a mostly clear deep copper and there appears to be a lot of floating chunks (yeast?).

S: Aroma is faint, mostly the smell of caramel malt and belgian yeast.

T: Caramel is the primary flavor, its subtly hoppy, and in the finish the alcohol is a little strong and burns the throat a bit. Mildly spicy/herbal.

MF: Slightly thin, with a few chunks of yeast that are noticible toward the end of the glass. Carbonation is nice.

D: Decent Belgian offering, but not all that unique or complex. The alcohol could have been less noticible if there were better/stronger flavors to begin with...

02-17-2006 02:34:03 | More by bennetj17
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.9/5  rDev +3.4%

Rustic orange-bronze. As I peered through the bottle neck while pouring, after the first few clear ounces, I could see a fair amount of junk exiting. Once in the glass, the liquid looks clear. The beer must still be relatively fresh and hasn't yet reached the stage where the proteins coagulate and give that 'classic' Kwak look that I've heard so much about.

The wonderful looking cap of orange-accented ecru filled the majority of the glass initially and has now deflated to a more reasonable two fingers. It's more firm and rugged than soft and creamy and has laid down a jagged collar of lace with several dozen spots and dots higher up the glass.

The nose, while decent for the style, doesn't compare to my favorites. It's musty fruity and not very Belgian yeasty. On a good note, very little of the 8.0% ABV is appreciated. The best BSPAs smell strong and complex. This one is neither.

Kwak is better on the palate, but I'm still far from dazzled. There's plenty of malt, with a little sweet caramel to go along with the macerated-in-fruit-brandy flavor. Apples and pears are dominant, followed by white pepper, clove and a dash of musky cardamom.

This beer is simple and solid more than multi-faceted and nuanced. It does, however, have the right mix of fruit and spice, sweet and bitter, unruliness and civility. While it's obvious that one is drinking a higher ABV ale, the brewers have done a fabulous job of integrating alcohol into the flavor profile. With warming, faint caramel and light brown sugar notes come to the fore.

The body/mouthfeel is neither too light nor too heavy. It's full enough, slightly chewy and modestly mouthcoating. It's probably undercarbonated compared with many Belgians, but is perfectly carbonated as far as I'm concerned.

Pauwel Kwak isn't as good as Tripel Karmeliet... but then what is? As noted above, it's a solid version of the style that would probably taste better if imbibed from the traditional Kwak glass in the land of its birth. Drunk from a nonic pint glass in the American Midwest, it's still a damn fine ale.

02-15-2006 16:56:12 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.05/5  rDev +7.4%

A dark 750ml bottle shaped almost like a wine glass.

Pours a beautiful head with a lace that's just wonderful and stays in place. The head falls a little, but stays pillowy and good looking. The flowery hops are very mellow and the base of the smell for the ale. The smell is very good and has a strawberry undertone that is coupled with other fruity flavors.

The taste is slightly watery, but fruitful with a flowery boquet. It has a spiciness to it, it's met with a sweet candy flavor.

02-07-2006 18:50:46 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of badbeer


4.35/5  rDev +15.4%

Radiant copper color with an excellant head which left a pleasant lacing. I picked up aromas of strawberry, plum, bready yeastiness, and other various fruits. Fruity flavors, hints of clove and spices, banana, and perhaps a tiny bit of floralness of hops, but just a twinge. I really enjoyed the taste, it was simply a pleasure to drink. Medium bodied with little carbonation in the mouthfeel, pretty smooth going down. Almost seemed sessionable, however, at 8% you wouldn't last long.

02-06-2006 11:42:38 | More by badbeer


3.33/5  rDev -11.7%

I had a tough time getting past the candy sugar element with this one. There was more sugar than necessary, more fermentation needed to eat some of it up, and more malt bill desired. Major taste components were sugar, a plum to prune fade, and nod in the direction of caramel.
I noted a superb head and nice brown hue. Then I noted a semblance of sea monkeys. I don't mind sediment. I like it, and prefer my beers unfiltered. But folks, this drank like the pulpiest glass of OJ, and I was easy on the pour. I felt chunks of stuff between my lips, on my teeth, and all over. I enjoyed parts of this, and there were some redeeming moments. But the mouthfeel...I hope that wasn't duckshit.

02-04-2006 20:20:10 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.58/5  rDev -5%

First time at Waterzooi in Garden City.

Waiter recommended the bottle over the tap, brought me out both to compare, was a big difference.

Served in a crazy special Kwak glass that required its own wooden stand because the glass had a huge bulb on the bottom. I felt it interfered with the overall drinking because the smell was totally constricted after the first third was done. Pours light cloudy amber with a thick short foamy head. Nose has some nice malts, a good blend of fruitiness, and the alcohol is peeking through. Smells like an 8 at least, many have masked it better though. Taste follows with similar attributes. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering. Balance is rather good. Sweet, malty, fruity, slightly syrupy, but refreshing. Smoothness is quite good. Overall, a good (but not great imho) brew.

01-15-2006 01:23:05 | More by aquatonex
Photo of skizziks


4.45/5  rDev +18%

Corked 750ml bottle. The cork pops like champagne, flying across the room indicating quite a bit of carbonation. A gentle pour into a Duvel tulip gives about 2.5 inches of dense light tan foam that takes a couple minutes to recede. Lacing quickly slides down the glass. Color is a deep ruby copper, very clear. The second pour is sloppy and I get some large chunks of yeast, but it doesn't hurt the beer any.

Aroma is very powerful. I smell a lot of fruit from more than 2 feet away. Up close, I sense white grape, yellow apple, and other fruit I can't pick out. Wife says berries but not what kind. Taste has a lot of dark sugar with some mild raisin, some malt. Very complex. Little hop in aroma or flavor. Balance is sweet with some numbing alcohol on the finish. Everything about this beer is beautiful. I love it, my wife (drinking wine and starting to regret it) loves it. The sweetness is not out of control and the medium to light body makes this a pretty easy drinker. The only thing slowing me down is the fantastic aroma that hits me so hard every time I raise the glass, I have to give myself a second to recover before I can sip. I'm sure the tulip helps this, getting my nose right down in it, but it is powerful stuff.

Wonderful beer, wish I had a case of it. Very "belgian". Any belgian lover should love this. Excellent.

01-08-2006 18:27:45 | More by skizziks
Photo of Naerhu


2.25/5  rDev -40.3%

Appearance: brown red body, opaque, with little head but a stupifying amount of floaties. I have never seen floaties like this. Not even in the Fantome products.
Aroma: Malt and dried fruit.
Taste: dull malt flavor with dull dried mango.
Mouthfeel: Medium body a dull fizzyness.
D - Though I drank it 5 months before the expiration date, this was a flabby pathetic beer. Nothing like the tastey brew I have known this to be.

01-08-2006 14:24:37 | More by Naerhu
Photo of nlmartin


4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

Served in its own coachmens glass. Thanks to my wife.

Appearance: The beer pours a very nice amber with floating particles of yeast. The head was thick fluffy and a creamy of white color. Leaves solid streams of lace down the glass.

Smell: The beer smells malty sweet with a sort of pleasing funkyness.

Taste: The bottle says it is slightly sweet; however, I think the beer is almost syrupy sweet. Nice malty biscuity taste. There is a yeasty funkyness that plays well with the taste.

Mouthfeel: The beer is light bodied and very foamy.

Drinkability: This has always been an easy beer to drink for me. A very sweet to drink treat. The beer hides its alcohol content well.

12-30-2005 15:53:09 | More by nlmartin
Photo of RedDiamond


3.35/5  rDev -11.1%

One word: candi sugar. Okay, that’s two words. Good observation. But those words seem to sum it up pretty well for this ale. I drank the big dark silk-screened 750 ml bottle – a very pretty looking thing. But I am the only person on this planet that just doesn’t relate to candi sugar? Am I the only person who gets a headache and mild digestive discomfort from Belgian pale ales that load up on sucrose? I am? Okay, nevermind.

Seriously, it may be traditional, but candi sugar is a funky adjunct if you ask me. It burns the taste of a good beer by obscuring the malt bill and delivering alcohol with no congenial esters and the like. I admit, I did warm up to Kwak after awhile, especially after it approached room temperature. But those sugar alcohols are searing and left a lot to overcome.

This beer is muddied by a storm of flocs in its otherwise clear golden body. I noted a soft carpet of cream colored suds and a penetrating sour aroma defined by yeasts and/or other friendly microorganisms. The aroma eventually grew zesty like lemon rinds, warm bread, and exotic spice. Given the chance to mellow for a bit, the peppery taste becomes approachable but I’m still not keen on drinking something that gives me a headache. Still, it’s pretty cool to name a beer after the sound that a duck makes.

12-19-2005 04:51:59 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of qcitydarkstar

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +6.1%

Appearance -- In the light, this beer pours a light cranberry red that is translucent with trace white foam instead of a proper head.

Smell -- Apple, Maple, White Grape

Taste -- Citric acidity, smooth malts, cider, strong alcohol in the aftertaste. This beer gains a consistency like cider when it warms and for all practical purposes drinks like a session beer. Overall a good Belgian Pale, not outstanding, but certainly quaffable.

12-18-2005 21:48:40 | More by qcitydarkstar
Photo of merlin48


4.18/5  rDev +10.9%

Large bottle, corked and caged, and label is embossed. Pours into a goblet a clear golden, copper/amber body with active carbonation. Creamy head is beige, settling at one finger in height. Gorgeous, sheet lacing is very attractive.

Aroma is malty, with caramel and bubblegum leading off. Very fruity, with tropical mango, mashed ripe bananas, and melon notes. Yeast is quite prominent, and some floral hops add to the complexity.

Mouthfeel is silky, with effervescent carbonation and a medium body.

Taste is yummy juicy fruits. Overripe bananas fold into some darker fruits, enlivened by a soft spiciness of white pepper and coriander. Yeasty and bready character most of the way through, with some wool yarn aspects. Floral hops add a pleasant note of rosewater. Musty yeastiness comes through at the finish. Lots of complexity here.

Very nicely done. A myriad of flavors in the taste and aroma make for a delightfully complex Belgian Pale Ale. I will be looking for this one again, soon.

12-08-2005 11:30:26 | More by merlin48
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,313 ratings.