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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,422 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,422
Reviews: 652
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 31
Gots: 143 | 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: 1,422 | Reviews: 652 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnniemarg
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Beautiful crystal clear amber color with a two finger white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly. Tornado of tiny bubbles rising in the middle of the glass. There is very little lacing left on the glass.

Smell is primarily fruity plum and candy sugar that smells of cotton candy. There is also an alcohol astringent smell. No noticable hop aroma to my nose.

The flavor is very closely in line with the smell. The fruity plum-flavored malt is promptly followed by the cotton candy and the finish is all warm alcohol.

This is on the light side of medium-bodied. It has a slick, oily texture, a perfect amount of carbonation and is warming in the mouth from the alcohol content.

I'm surprised I haven't had this before. Some Belgians turn me off. This one, while not hugely complex by any means, is a supremely drinkable and pleasant brew. This will be a go-to-beer for me from now on. I love this stuff.

Photo of supercolter
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is average. The high points are the caramelly reddish orange color a bit of lacing. The low points are the large amount of sediment and minimal head retention.
Smell is glorious. Very caramelly, a bit of dried fruit, and some dry malt nose.
Taste is a bit above average. It tastes like caramel and some berry fruit to start and finishes with a bit of alcohol taste.
Mouthfeel is good. Some carbonation and good feel on the tounge other than the sediment.
Drinkability is not bad for the style.

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

Poured in 0.4 L rastal New Belgium sniffer @ 56°F ( not like the distinctive hourglass round bottom glass of Pauwel Kwak - shown in Jackson's " Great Beer Guide" - modeled after the stirrup cup served to coach drivers.

Brewed with three types of malt and sweetened with candi sugar. The yeast has formed particles that are suspended by beading. A fine lace and dense head make this rich clear copper colored Belgian (with a healthy bunch of yeast floaties) makes this a very showy brew. Has a rich malt body which hides the 8% abv with its sweet caramel malts. Faint 4-VG adds a little finish to the sweet malty Ale. Amazingly little alcohol in aroma, taste or finish although it aides in the drying. Pepper, clove and other esters are well restrained let the malts dominate.

Like no other Belgian Strong Ale.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kwak Kwak. Pours a nice crimson color, with a literal blizzard of sediment swirling from top to bottom. My only complaint with its appearance is its head retention which, looks uneven and practically non-existent. Smell was an improvement with overly ripe dark fruit, strong alcoohol, candy sugar and maple syrup.In the taste department was honey, strawberry, more syrup. Not too hoppy in the end, almost seems to be a bit one dimensional with the thickness dominating. One or two would not be a problem. This beer is interesting, but also seems a bit over-done and strong for the sake of being strong. Still worth a try

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an initially cloudy burnt orange color with a 1/4" head of tan bubbles. There are quite a few bubbles rising, but the head doesn’t maintain all that well and is a small ring within a minute or so.

Aroma: Sweet caramel malts along with a hint of roast are the most noticeable from the cold beer. As you get deeper into the aroma, there is a subtle hint of floral that I am not sure is coming from hops or residual sweetness from fermentation. It is still rather pleasant.

Taste: Sweet and rich malt driven flavor. The beer starts out with a bit of syrupy sweetness and then the carbonation makes an impressive showing during the swish. After the carbonation starts to let up, you get a brief blast of floral to lead you into a long dry finish with some sweetness and a tad of warming to show up on the back of the throat.

Opinion: This is a pretty tasty beer. It is clean and has a good flavor profile the entire time. I can't really speak of anything that this beer lacks or anything that it excels in. It is a pretty neutral Belgian Ale and would probably be a good one for someone to try that was new to the Belgian beer scene. It is a good beer, but I will likely stick to the more exotic styles.

Photo of Absumaster
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours an dark-amber, brown colour with minimal lacing.

Smell was pretty good, grapes and raisins, with candy sugar and some caramel. Somewhere in the back some cork.

Taste was candy sugar and raisins with a slight burned touch. I could also taste some hard candy sweets. Bitterness was low. Bdoy was low to medium. All together, taste was a bit boring.
Once I tasted the above flavors, there were no other tastes to be explored. Not bad, but for sure a bit bland.

Photo of hunteraw
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I literally had to give up my left shoe to taste this beer. Sampled at Den Anker Belgian restaurant on the waterfront in Cape Town, the restaurant serves these in a Kwak mini-yard glass on a wooden stand. Because the glasses cost so much, they require you to forfeit your left shoe until you finish, which is hoisted above the bar in a basket. Makes for a good story, but not a real good air freshener.

Appearance: Pours a transparent red-orange, with a big head that looks like egg whites that have been beaten until they form stiff peaks - how is it so dense? Nice lacing as you get down the glass. A beautiful beer.

Smell: A touch of spicy fresh hops aroma here, which picqued my interest, but some candi sweetness too that I'm not a fan of.

Taste: sweet, as expected, but with a nice toastiness as well. Alcohol is definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel is syruppy, and gets old quick. The label indicates otherwise, but it's hard to believe there's not some sugar in here. Drinkability suffers from being overly sweet. Unfortunately, the appearance was the best part of this one, and I think it may have set my expectations too high.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Transparent reddish-orange. Extremely assertive carbonation. Large tan head. Not long lasting but easily reinvigorated.

N: Alcohol, spices, caramel, toffee, pinch of the tropics.

T: Fruity malts with plenty of booze and sugar cane. Caramel, toffee, and rum. Specifically rum flavored with the addition of fermented tropical fruits.

MF: Thick and malty. Pleasant but with a slight alcohol burn.

D: Somewhat lacking in smoothness and the ABV isn’t well covered limiting drinkability. Also lacking in complexity.

Photo of wl0307
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coming in a 750ml champange bottle, corked and caged. BB 14/12/2007, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: pours a clear and bright chestnut brown or copperish hue; semi-thick, beige-hued beer head dissipates very slowly, leaving moderate layers of lacing along the way; the gentle carbonation is much milder than most Belgian ales. Looking elegant~~
S: sweet, caramely Munich malts, slightly syrupy with a spicy hint like ginger on top of a profound sweet fruit-preserve: cherries, orange, coconuts, sticky plums, and slightly banana-ish yeasty at the back. Not terribly complex, but quite pleasant all the same.
T: semi-thick textured, dark candy-sugary malts pour onto the palate, followed by slightly spicy yet rather cloying flavour of ginger-syrup + orange-cordial + over-ripened melon, before the palate hits a semi-dryish and lively aftertaste mixing (Saaz?) hops and more residual caramely maltiness... A surprisingly dryish-sweet aftertaste lingers at the back of the palate, resulting in a (next-to-)healthy balance b/w bitterness and maltiness overall.
M&D: softly-carbonated and medium-bodied for its high alc. content, this beer is quite robust yet unbelie...vably easy to drink. Compared with my previous note of the same beer on tap, it seems the bottled version is indeed sweeter, but in an ideal glassware--a bulb wine glass, rather than the stupid (sorry!) "chemical experiment" like glass-tube--the beer is truly nice and more pleasant.

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

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.

Photo of Orrshow
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RBorsato
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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

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.

Photo of Hautacam
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of guitarninja
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of geexploitation
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of goochpunch
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Crosling
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of therica
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of bennetj17
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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...

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

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,422 ratings.