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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,452 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,452
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: 1,452 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of medic25
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the traditional Kwak glass. Color is a reddish-amber, with a big white head that leaves a persistent lace. Sweet, malty aroma. Taste is outstanding; acomplex blend of peppery and sweet, candy sugar flavor, with a faint hoppy aftertaste. Incredibly drinkable; with the alcohol well masked. This has become one of my new favorites, rivaling La Fin du Monde.

Photo of atigerlife
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Kwak glass [yeah, the one with the wooden holder].

Pours a light amber w/reddish highlights. Huge light brown head with decent lasting power. Good lacing. Lots of carbonation can be seen rising. The most curious thing is the amount of yeast floating around in the bottle--a LOT of this stuff. The yeast is rather distracting.

Aroma is nice with sweetness dominating. Some fruit in the background.

Taste is rather light with some sweetness throughout, slightly winey and malts being dominant.

Mouthfeel is rather placid considering the carbonation that is rising. Some tingly cleansing ability. Rather light body.

Overall, this is drinkable but not too exciting. Suprisingly placid considering the ABV. Maybe a decent "beginner" Belgian beer but not something I will be seeking.

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

750 mL bottle used as an apertif at a dinner party with some friends. Enjoyed by all.

Beautiful glowing orange with a solid whitish head and lots of yeast floating. Sweet and sourish odor. Good, sweet malt body. Creamy and slightly syrupy. Easy and enjoyable to drink.

Not my favorite Belgian Pale, but a very solid offering. Easy and tasty to drink.

Photo of Viggo
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, approximately 3 years old. Interesting to see how this one ages.

Pours a hazy copper orange, some red, lots of chunks, off white head forms, settles down after a while, some lace sticking to the glass. Smell is sweet, apples/pears, caramel, some yeast. Taste is reallly nice, toffee is insane, citrus, orange peel and spice through the middle, more caramel and chocolate in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Nice and smooth, this definately is nice after aging.

Photo of Conrad
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this one before reading the other reviews so as not to influence my opinion. I was surprised to find I do not rate it as highly as most of the others. But that's the idea, isn't it?
Here goes:
A: Nice deep cleer copper/amber. But no head, and little lacing. I like my beers, especially Belgians with at least some head.
S: Sour alcohol and malt upfront. Then some sharp fruit odours, like over-ripe plums. The first hit of aroma was not all that pleasant.
T: Nice big roasted, but not burnt malt. The alcohol was warming, and quite pleasing. Some good balance between the sweet malt and the hops bitterness.
M: Sour hits on the finish that did not last long. Medium body, a bit slick or oily.
D: It's okay. That's all. I would have another if you are buying.

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
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
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
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
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
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
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
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
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
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
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
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
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
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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
3.96/5  rDev +5%
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
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
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
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
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
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
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
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,452 ratings.