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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,453 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,453
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 32
Gots: 167 | 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: 1,453 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came with a thin off white head that faded fairly quickly back into the beer. There was little lacing after the beer was consumed. The beer itself was a distinctive orange/amber color. The beer was slightly hazy with no real visible carbonation.

Aroma was fruity with some spice notes. I also got the sense of some yeast in the aroma.

Taste was pretty good. The flavor seemed to follow the aroma quite consistently. There were a bunch of fruit notes, including some dried fruits and apples. I also got a slightly burnt caramel flavor from the malt. Was interesting.

Mouth feel was medium/light in body and the beer was pretty drinkable. Perhaps this is thought of as a gateway Belgian. Pretty nice, but not as complex and deep as some others.

Glad I tried it, but, I'm not sure I'd run for another.

Photo of dino213aa
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, light amber appearance. Orangish brown in the center moving to a golden yellow on the edges. Minimal head that dissipates quickly. Slight uneven and spotty lacing. High carbo.

S: Acidic. Notes of honey, orange peel and coriander.

T&M: Taste on this one is somewhat mediocre. Not a whole lot going on.. some mild malt and honey flavors. Maybe some of that coriander I smelled. To me this brew seems a bit watered down for being a "strong" ale. The high carbo on this one tickles my palette.

D: Overall it would be pretty easy to knock back several of these- but in the same way light beer goes down easy. Not necessarily very gratifying, especially for the cost. I will say that drinking this from the official mini-yard as I am now helps. Last bottle of this seemed incredibly sweet, now not so much.

There are much more interesting brews to drop $$ on than this.

Photo of abfraser
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml caged & corked

A: Burnt orange; pours with a massive white frothy head, but little lacing

S: Tropical fruit, sugary, caramel malt

T/M: Spice, caramel. Very thin tasting with a distinct bready malt aftertaste that doesn't quite go with the smell. Nothing special here.

D: An okay drinking beer, nothing major against it or for it.

This one's fairly mediocre, easily bested by some of the more well-known Belgian strong ales out there

Photo of Goliath
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber/copper color with a one inch light tan head. Good retention, no lacing.

The nose is decent. Kind of fruity and spicey. Apples, plums, and sugar.

The taste is ok. Certainly some fruit, apple, plum, and banana with a bit of yeast. A bit of spice as well. Starting to get a bit of the phenolic thing going on too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated with gentle bubbles.

Drinkability is moderate. Decent flavor and mouthfeel make for pretty easy consumption.

Photo of brantadid
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber color with a 2 inch white head. Looks like it is very carbonated. A fairly good amount of lacing is left behind. Moderate head retention at best.

Smelled sweet up front. A slightly funky aroma is also there in the back ground. A bright lemon aroma mixes with the sweetness.

Taste is really interesting. Sweetness/maltiness on the front palate. Some acidity that cuts through the sweetness. Almost a funky/earthy quality to this beer.

Mouthfeel is light. the carbonation makes it that way. In the absence of carbonation this would be on viscous beer. Alcohol presents on the far palate.

Photo of czfreeman
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just got the glass as a gift from my mom, so I had to review it properly!
Pours a rich, malty hued golden brown color. Very active carbonation,bubbling under a light, foamy tan head.
Smells of rich caramel maltiness, yeasts, light roasted woods,cherries, Belgian Funk!,citric orange-grapefruits. Caramelized malts, light mustiness from the yeast,
Taste is a spicier version of the nose. Delicious sweet-tart cherries, yeasts up front, long lingering finish. A warming effect is felt in the throat. A bit peppery esthers not unlike fresh cracked pepper. Somewhat apricoty in the mix. There is almost a Lambic like fruitiness to the beer that contributes to the enjoyment of this beer. Think Flanders Red meets Abbey ale. The ABV is well-masked and drinkability is quite easy. As I drink, the malty sweetness remains somewhat dominant, yet the alcoholic spiciness does offer balance.
A duck pairing would do this beer well, or maybe the duck would be "kwaking" in a Kwak apricot reduction. I love the history behind this brew, and its fun to drink. Thanks Mum!

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

Pours a murky amber with a thin creme head. Malty and sugary sweet nose. Minor caramel. Sweetness bites on the flavor. It's heavy; the sugar that is. Thick malted tones are there too. Robust and deeper. Feel has a full carbonation and a smooth liquid feel. Nice to drink, though a bit distinct with it's firm flavor profile.

Photo of adamette
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Kwak-branded mini-yard with wooden handle, stand at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland, Ohio last night. It was recommended by our server since the beer that I had ordered (Ommegang Rare Vos) was no longer available.

A In addition to the very cool glass and wooden stand (both with Kwak branding), the beer itself was a very pleasing golden amber with a one finger head.

S Malty, alcohol, grainy, already very interesting, complex.

T Just great. A great balance of malt and hops, very active taste, sweet but also bitter in places. Really a great tasting beer.

M Really good but not the most remarkable aspect of this beer.

D Great. I had the one mini yard and I could have had many others had I not been in the mood to sample several types of beer tonight. The high alcohol content kept me from giving it a 5 in this category.

Notes: Another incredible beer on tap at the Bier Markt. If you are close to Cleveland then you should check that place out.

Photo of MillRat
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A 330 ml bottle poured into a Kwak-branded mini-yard. Old-gold color with a solid rocky head that lingers due to the higher level or carbonation. Fruity, estery aroma with a mild malt nose, no hop aroma I could detect. Comes with that a sweet taste that would quickly become cloying without the astringency from the higher ABV. A full bodied belgian that is kept within tolerable range by the ABV and a mild hop bitterness. The degree of sweetness makes 330 ml enough for a sitting.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml cork-in-cage Champagne-style bottle opens with a wimpy pfft! I pour the drink into a large weizen glass because I don't own the whole proper Kwak mini-yardglass-with- wooden-kickstand deal, yielding a hazy glowing amber body with a dark cherry heart and a huge thick cap of ecru foam that diminishes to a ring leaving wispy freckles of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is rich and fruity, with a bit of banana and tart citrus atop a toasty pale malty undercurrent.

The taste is malty and sweet up front, but a toasty bit of caramel is quickly drowned in a plethora of fruit and some zippy spice. Ripe banana, tart apple, white peppercorns and crisp pears all make a juicy, savory smoothie-style appearance, and the first notes of alcohol wait until the drink has warmed a bit before announcing their presence, but they do so with a little pop. The pale malty caramel returns to dominance late in the drink, accompanied by a touch of musty banana.

The drink is medium-bodied and very tasty, but I probably would rather share a 750 or try the drink in smaller bottles.

Photo of morimech
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden with a small off-white head. Retention was just average. Large amounts of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

I smell candied sugar with a mild aroma of cloves. No alcohol is detected.

The flavor consists mostly of the sugar. It lacks the vinous qualities of other great Belgian beers. Alcohol is well hidden. Lacks a depth of flavor and finishes dry.

Medium to full bodied with abundant carbonation. I would rate drinkability as merely average. High cost, ABV and an average taste being the factors.

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

Poured a golden orange and had a small head to it. It had a kind of sour yeast smell to it. Tasted decent although nothing outstanding, I detected a fruity flavor to it up front and had a hoppy sour almost mouth puckering ending. Other than the cool glass this is sometimes served in I didn't find this one too impressive. It's not a bad by any means, just not something I would have enough interest to try again.

Photo of stephens101
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark honey color with a rolling light tan two-finger head that fades somewhat slowly leaving a thin lacing all around the glass. Some yeast sediment floats around. Smells big and yeasty up front with an essence of sweet bread in the middle as well as plums and other dark fruits. Tastes bready, estery and sweet with some subtle medicinal qualities lurking in the background along with a nice touch of alcohol heat and hop bitterness. This is a medium-bodied, well-carbonated and tasty brew that should satisfy your Belgian fix.

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

Appearance is a hazy-copper color with a rocky off-white head that settles around the perimeter of the glass. Aroma has awesome smells of Belgian malt that suggest fig and burnt sugar, but oh my, there is a bit of oxidation in the background. That's OK because the taste makes up for any errors. Flavor is bursting with Belgian malts and again fruits like fig and black cherry. A flowery hop aroma and flavor dress up this beer nicely but bitterness could be ramped up a bit to balance the sweetness. Nice touch of alcohol warmth in the finish of this medium full-bodied beer. A nicely sophisticated beer.

Photo of evanackerman
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a medium amber color with a big frothy head, poured into a Duvel Glass, head dissipates after a while with no lacing (possibly my glass is not as clean as it should be), looks like a glass of Cognac. very appealing

aroma is bready and decidedly different than most Belgian beers I have tasted, although there is still a tinge of that ubiquitous candy sugar aroma.

taste is caramel, bread and just a hint of candy sugar to remind you this is a Belgian brew. very tasty, hop presence is not in the forefront.

mouthfeel is thin but not unpleasant.

overall, a very enjoyable beer, kind of tastes like a hybrid between a Belgian Tripel and a vienna Lager or Irish Red style. very good overall. I would definitely buy again.

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

The next step on our crash course in Belgian beer appreciation. Wanted something to go with bratwurst and mustard and the Belgian is the match. The pour is a nice orange amber, much less carbonation than the Duvel for example, and very little head remains after a few minutes. Aroma has that phenolic aromatic component and some orchard fruit. On the palate some sweet malty components, raisiny and apple, hop bitterness emerges in the finish. Nothing particularly complex or intense, but quite decent - in the second tier of Belgians we have tried.

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Kwak who has looked at me for many years wanting me to buy his wares poured a clear amber with a 2 finger foam head with some intermittent lacing.

The aroma was pleasant with apples and brown sugar. The malt backbone came through really sweet with some biscuit flavor. It was semi dry in the mouth and not very carbonated. Overall it was pretty average and I probably won't buy it again.

Photo of stumac
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i got a few buddies hooked on this beer.

pours up a rusty apricot color (i eat rusty apricots a lot). a big, thick, white bubbly head. the nose has red apples up front. also some yeast and brown sugar. the taste is the same as the nose but also includes tiny bit of honey in the finish. also some caramel. this brew really masks the 8% alcohol really well! medium bodied, medium to low carbo (due to this bottle not being the most fresh). sweet finish that just hangs out in your mouth all day.

definately a great easy drinker

Photo of GJ40
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 750 ml bottle in a chalice.

A - Copper colored with good clarity and a thick tan head.

S - Sweet (like candy) and syrupy.

T - My first impression was that it was very sweet and malty. But as I made my way through the bottle, I found the flavor to be much more complex. It starts sweet but it changes as it passes the tongue. It ends with a faint bitterness and tartness (and more that I can't quite pin down). The 8% alcohol is very well hidden.

M - Thick and chewy with a nice low to moderate carbonation.

D - A little sweeter and maltier than I expected but very enjoyable.

Photo of Lexluthor33
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours Amber brown with a decent head that settles to a nice tight lace. The aroma is of yeast,fruits,honey and alcohol.
The taste is pretty simple. Fruits(apples),caramel and honey tones with some spice. There is a touch of hops, but nothing grand.
The overall feel is that this a low carbonation,high alcohol yet sweet drink.

Notes:It is from Belgium so it is held to a higher standard and because of this I believe it falls short of expectations. Despite all the negatives, this brew is not nearly close to bad. The feel is really smooth and while not complex it was not the worst experience. Maybe some malt?,maybe some more carbo? I really could not say. I do feel that the alcohol is not well masked and that I did not like. I suppose I was disappointed.

Photo of firkinhophead
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery reddish brown with a fizzy head that dissapates to almost nothing. Slow, sparkly strings of bubbles hint at the big body.

Armoa is a bit weak because of the lack of head. Candied apples, some grassy hops, alcohol, Belgian yeast (banana and fruity esters)

Taste is bold fruit--overripe strawberries, apricots, apple, candied sugar, caramel, honey, some herbal, medicinal hops in the finish, moderate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full-bodied, tongue-coating, tingly alcohol, dryness, in the finish is quite enough to keep it from a heavy finish. Needs more carbonation, more hops or both.

Overall, a bit too heavy and sweet. Not a lot of complexity and the alcohol is a bit too prominent. Closer to a strong dark, but without the bready, spicy component.

Photo of avalon07
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When poured from a bottle to a tulip glass, had a deep amber color and a somewhat thin consistency. There was initially a big head, but it went away very quickly.

S: Aroma consisted of yeast, malt, apples and a small amount of spices.

T: I thought the taste was a little thin for a Belgian strong pale ale. Malt, apples and yeast, but this wasn't complex enough.

M: While the carbonation level was alright, it could've used a bit more kick. The finish was decently smooth.

D: On the whole this isn't a bad beer, but not a great one either. If you hadn't ever had an excellent Belgian strong pale ale, then this might suffice.

Photo of TheLiterati
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful coloring when poured - a bright, crisp, orange- amber color, with a finger-high off white head. Richly hued for a pale ale.

Nice aroma - spicy, with a subtle citrusy backbone, with hints of caramel sweetness. Mildly sweet but not at all cloying.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety - nice body without being too heavy.

The taste is that of a solid, well-brewed Belgian Ale...one that I've been meaning to try for years, and am quite happy that I finally did.

Definitely drinkable!

Photo of Traquairlover
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz poured into a snifter.

A = Copper color, relatively clear, very slight cloudy haze from sediment that come out in the pour, small off white head which dissipated pretty quickly with light lacing on glass and medium cover of foam on a bout half the surface.

S = Yeasty esters, phenolic smells, alcohol shows through a bit, also some warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, not bad but I expected more for this style.

T = Light sweet malt flavors like maple syrup with a medium strong yeast imprint of pepper and plasticine. Not really all that complex. As with the smell, not bad but pretty standard for the style.

M = Medium-heavy body, carbonation stings a bit too much, maybe helped out by the alcohol on that score. Good mouthcoating.

D = Not a bad drink, but I doubt I'll search this one out often given the other possibilities. Still definitely wouldn't run it down either.

Photo of pinotboy007
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle at Brasserie Beck in downtown, DC. (Nifty glass that sits in its own wooden cradle.) Great stuff -- a tad sweet however -- with the aroma of dates and candied Belgian goodness. Superb, frothy, dense head and great lacing, silky mouthfeel. Turned more complex as it warmed and then my notes became unreadable.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,453 ratings.