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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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

1,394 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,394
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 131 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,394 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdagnew
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle from The Vineyard, Belfast - drunk from Kwak glass...

Poured an amber / reddish orabge colour. Quite a thick head with fine beading - slightly off white in colour. Nice thin layer stayed until the end...

Aroma of smoked wood, caramel, brown sugar. Slight hint of banana and toffee.

Taste – very malty, quite sweet. Slight vanilla taste mixed with banana. Caramel hints..

Feel - very smooth and creamy. Very drinkable..

Overall - an excellent and original brew. Not much else tastes like this... I've drunk this from a proper Kwak glass and from and ordinary glass - the Kwak glass seems to emphasise the flavours and smells quite noticeably...

mdagnew, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of Franchise
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious, Served in a black 25 oz bottle. This belgian brew pours a dark amber, the head is a thin lace of tan that sticks to the glass. The smell is orange peels, vanilla, and honey. As I let this beer warm up a little from the fridge more flavors and aromas began to come out. The taste of this beer is smoothe and creamy. It tastes of honey, fruit (banana and grapes), it is sweet but not overwhelming. I definatly recommend this beer. It would pair well with a grilled steak to contrast some of the fruity flavors, as well as a bananas foster to help bring out some of the banana and caramel flavors in the beer.

Franchise, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of hefevice
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (330ml). I don't know why, but it has taken 3 goes for me to finally review this one. For some reason I could not bring myself to comment after the first two. This is no doubt a very competent brew. Beautiful hazy (I poured the yeast in) deep reddish gold with a few protein floaties marring the overall effect this time (I think I left it too long in a very cold fridge, the other two had no floaties), nice dense white head with plenty of lacing. Toasty, yeasty, subtly funky aroma, but with a slight latex finish which marked it down a little. Quick sweet caramel and honey malty start with a sudden but lingering dry middle and a warm alcohol finish with subtle but pleasant and balancing bitterness. Reasonably uncomplicated and well balanced overall. Very nice fine and full palate, accentuating the overall experience of the beer. Easy beer to like.

hefevice, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

sampled as 750ml bottle. Poured a cloudy amber color with much chunky flocculate. Smell was typical of a begian ale. Taste was average. Mouth feel was fairly bad with the multiple chunks floating around. Not very drinkable. Perhaps I tried a bottle that had exceeded its drinkability point.

tgbljb, May 30, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark yellow appearance, lace in glass. Yeast with spice aroma, sour dry, with sugar texture. Some spice and orange and lemon fruit, medium mouthfeel. Alcohol disguised by the sweetness from carmel and honey and sugar. Doesn't all work out. On tap at Eulogy. Had a bottle 1.5 years later, same rating.

Sammy, May 14, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Malty, sweet, perhaps a bit flat; reminds me of a decent, though not stellar doppelbock.
This definately does not strike me as a pale ale... I think of it as more of a pale dark ale.
Not a bad beer though I doubt I'd go looking for it again.
Poured from a 750mL bottle into a chalice.

ommegangpbr, May 10, 2005
Photo of WetCoaster
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not very pale, is it? A clear medium amber with a large, but not huge, dense white head. Pretty good retention, and leaves a thin curtain of lace around the glass wall.

Smell: Meyer lemon and and honeyed pale malt. Not much spice, although there's some.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow, that's good. Malty sweet spiced cake with a slightly boozy alcohol burn. Finishes peppery and a bit dry. Mouthfeel is smooth and rich, a bit chewy, a bit chalky.

Drinkability: Another genre-crusher. Not what I would expect from a pale, not a dark -- a twilight strong perhaps? Never had one like it, but it's very good. Too pricey to drink on a regular basis, but I would if I could.

WetCoaster, May 07, 2005
Photo of walleye
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

finally brought this one out of the cellar after a 11/2 years from the 750 corked bottle, poured a hazy copper with a light tan head. aroma. sweet fruits ,honey, malts, caramel some bread a nice mild yeast , and a hint of raisins, had a hard time taking my nose away from this one. flavor apples, orange, honey, citrus, caramels.

walleye, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of EPseja
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served a recommended temperature in a 1-foot "yard" type Kwak-branded glass.

A - Rusty orange to gold color; apple cidery. Huge, pillowy head that hangs out throughout the entire brew; tiny bubbles on top, larger ones on the bottom.

S - Much more malty than I would have expected - a sweet, light caramel type malt. Slight apricot sweetness behind the malty wall. Very faint spicy hoppiness with alcohol and bready, yeasty notes.

T - Sweet maltiness and honey right up front, followed shortly thereafter by the alcohol. Tart, dry finish with warming alcohol. Very punchy in its different taste aspects - not as rounded as it could be.

M - Rolling, smooth. Round and slightly expanding. Excellent.

D - Good, but would be better if the taste was more rounded and the alcohol bite more suppressed.

EPseja, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of TheJudge
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty dark amber color beer, served in an appropriate bulb-glass in a wooden holder. A nice looking offwhite head that holds and laces well. The smell is notably alcohol, and that dominates the sweet malt underlying.

You do not taste the alcohol as much as you smelled it. This is Malty, sweet at first, with a sour aftertaste that is not unpleasant, but does not add to it. It feels good in the mouth, bubbly but not overdone. The malt does not coat. This is a little strong to drink all day, but good enough to have a couple.

TheJudge, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of MediocreatBest
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

amber orange in colr with tiny bubbles constantly rising to the surface and infultrating the constant khaki head. the head fluffs up when pours but never completly disaptes. smells of alcohol, grass, tobaccos, and amtly sweatness. burns a bit on the back of the throat, not in a abd way, jsut noticable, very grassy with herbal hop profile. somewhat smokey, and that great odd sweat flavor that comes with a good beligian that i jsut cant place. Odd thick chunky bits, i would assume it is yeast but it is omnipresent from begining to end. a bit hard to deal with and very creapy at first. i got used to it though. but it does loose mouthfeel points for it. good, not great, not anything out fo this world new, or style changing, but solid, and sturdy.

MediocreatBest, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bighuge head with very nice lacing. Hazy copper color with heavy sediment levels noted.
S: Very nice fruity smells with a bit of raisin and some spiciness noted. Fairly strong alcohol levels in the nose carry the aromas very nicely. Low hop/malt profile.
T: Sweet, almost wine like in character. Very complex tastes. Low levels of bitterness.
M: Very very smooth going down. Good level of CO2. Alcohol is very warming, 8% abv indeed. Very easy to drink.
D&N: Very nice offering here, the only drawback is the price. Good beer to try.

JackTheRipper, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of rajendra82
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was poured out of a 330 ml. bottle into a tulip keeping the yeast out for now. The body was deep copper in color with a smallish head. The color was lot darker than I anticipated for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. The aroma was bready and sweet with some spices like ginger and cinnamon also showing up.

The taste was initially sweet and alcoholic. Dried dark skinned fruits like cherries, dates, and raisins came together here along with cookie dough, but the alcohol was too prominent to allow a through melding of the elements. The initial sweetness abated significantly as the rum like alcohol took over mid palette.

The aftertaste was grainy, spicy, and long drawn out. The beer felt thick and sticky on the tongue and coated the throat as it went down. Alcohol was not hidden too much, but the sweetness went together well with it.

A bit more difficult to drink than other examples of the style, but worth sampling occasionally.

rajendra82, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of Toddv29424
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark gold color. Presented at a Czech bar in a flute glass with a large bulb at the end. There is a medium head that dissipates pretty slowly. It has a malty flavor and aroma and there is a taste of raisins and brandy in the aftertaste. You can taste that sugar has been added to make it very sweet and this counteracts the taste of the alcohol. The carbonation in the middle of the sip tastes a lot like 7up.

Toddv29424, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of GreatLeo
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Came in a 33cl bottle with best before date 06/2006 poured into its traditional kwak half yard glass. It gave a dark amber colored appearance more darker than a normal pale ale with a medium lace given. Definately a top notch Belgian ale maybe to some isnt as great as the others that hail from the beer country of Belgium which I agree with but still not a slouch beer to say the least it holds its ground and tradition pretty darn good I think.
Fairly easy to drink a little more bitter than some other strong belgian pale ales I've had with slight fruity hints and a touch of sweetness added in the mix. I've tried both a fresh bottle and an aged bottle of this beer and found that the aged one is more rounded and much more satisfying to drink than the fresh one and the alcohol present is more masked aswell. So once again aging has brought more life to this belgian classic.
Still not the most complex or creative of beers but still pretty unique in its own way.

GreatLeo, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of trancefishy
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After removing the cork from this bottle (which has sat undisturbed in the cellear for quite some time), it started spewing out everywhere. luckily, not much beer was lost.

appearance (once in the glass) is nice, a good sized head and it has a medium-brown-amber colour to it.

aroma is whole bunch of sweet caramel malts, with just a touch of belgian yeast smell.

taste: a good alcohol bite at first, subsiding a little to let some really sweet malts shine. lip smacking taste. there are some flavours of honey, wheat, apple, and pear, and caramel chew. very tasty despite the alcohol flavour predominance, which took it from 4.5 to a 4 for taste.

mouthfeel is very good, just the right carbonation and a good thick thewy body to compliment the flavours. drinkability for a brew that is tasty like this is obviously going to be high.

I do really like this beer.

trancefishy, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of cypressbob
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml brown bottle

Pours with a reddish amber body, not very hazy so i'm assuming its been filtered... Off white creamy head with fairly good retention

Smell, whiff of yeast and alcohol, some hint of almonds, slightly grassy

Taste, big powerful alcohol, quite malty, very little bitterness. Some nuts and woody flavours. Warming alcohol on the finish

This isnt bad, its just not particularly good when compared with all the other belgian pale ales and tripels out there. Paired this with a sharp red leicester and wensleydale

cypressbob, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of rkhaze
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice looking reddish amber with a creamy beige head and some visible carbonation bubbles that were severely out numbered by a plethora of floating yeasties. OMG, were talking chunks! Don't know whether to ding it or not because it was quite intriguing.
Smells of pale malt, brown sugar, brandy, wood, tropical fruit, spice and nice, lemony belgian yeast.
Big sweet malt flavor. Caramel, brandy, apricot and peach. The wood nuance was a lot more evident. The tart yeast balanced the richness a bit and it finished strangely bitter and musty(yeast floaties?) with noticeable alcohol. Interesting.
Medium bodied with a light, yet chunky mouthfeel and lots of bubbles.
Rich, filling and a real belly warmer. Now if those chunks would disappear...

rkhaze, Mar 20, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

03/18/05- Given to me as a gift for my 33rd birthday in October.

Presentation- 24oz bottle caged and corked. No drink by date suggested. Extracted into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Dark amber coloring, Head starts of at 2 inches and calms down to a 1/2-1/4 inch range. Nice UFO circle in the center....but here is where the table turns....CHUNKS! We are not just talking little bits of random yeast here. We are talking about the equivelent of the entire population of China in yeast chunks! Gobs by gobs of them. They looked like little fat globules. Some of them even looked like those infected scabs that I believe it was Venom that mentioned. Quite appaling, yet interesting.

Smell- Very sweet, spicy and medicinal. Maybe a touch of banana and clove.

Taste- This one got better as it warmed up. I shared this bad boy with BA Spinlock and we started it out in the low 40's. By the time we were each half through with our 12 oz each, it was right around proper drinking temperature and it seemed much sweeter. Lots of malt background with a good amount of spices thrown in..corriander? The caramel kicks in after it warms.

Mouthfeel- The carbonation was a tad high in this one, and drinking it became a chore, even though it tasted good, because you were literally straining chunks through your teeth the closer you got to the bottom of the glass. We almost put our beer through a strainer about the midway point. So, a chunky mouthfeel is not the way you want your beer to feel. Pauwel Kwak...The chunkiest tasting beer EVER!

Drinkability- This beer would have gotten a pretty high mark if it weren't for the dreaded scabs. Very pleasant tasting brew. It looks like I may just have gotten a bad bottle. I'm pretty sure I had Kwak in the special glass last year at the Toronado, but I didn't have this experience.

GClarkage, Mar 18, 2005
Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma presents with a real interesting/unusual roasty quality. Pretty straight with not much complexity, but pleasing nonetheless.
Little to no head, but maintains a ring throughout. Dark amber of brown-orange. Somewhat clear.
Unique taste of roasty, yeasty quality. Has a mild sweetness. Closes with a bitterness. Slight fruit taste (orange). As warms phenols present. Nutty. Fruity.
Real thick and heavy feel, with an almost chewy fullness. Slick quality.
Interesting complexity, but not all elements are equally pleasing. Unique, like its name.
Thanks to Mark at 3 Corners for the sample.

garymuchow, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of GreenWBush
2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Staring at the wall of Belgian beers with no capacity to deciper French or Belgian should be a scary proposition. Except for the fact that my blind stabs are *always* damned tasty. I started to think they didn't make bad beers in Belgium.

Well, was I wrong.

This beer sits rather pretty in its proper glassware...on a poster in my house. I had to use a regular chalice for my presentation. Still, an attactive if non-flashy brew.

The smell from cold to warm, as well as the taste, was overwhelming sock funk.

There was a rather tasty beer in there somewhere. But even the finest steak would be unpleasant if you're plate is made from gym-abused tube socks.

I will not get this again.

GreenWBush, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presented in an 11.2oz bottle with no freshness date noted.
Appearance: dark rusty reddish brown color, modest carbonation and a wispy off-white head that simply never got out of the gate. No lace, either. Doesn't look much like any other Belgian strong pale ales I've had. Not very attractive. Not a good sign.
Smell: fruity with lots of toffee notes. Nice toasted malt aroma, too. Spicy aroma is missing, another departure from the style.
Taste: toasty, caramel-drenched malt flavor. Some moderate apples-and-pears flavor and a slight yeasty mustiness. The spicy taste is, once again, nowhere to be found.
Feel: medium-bodied, smooth, a bit watery.
Overall, this beer didn't strike me as anything like what it's listed as. Kwak was too one-dimensional. Almost seemed more like a doppelbock. Maybe an old bottle? I can't tell. However, I was seriously unimpressed and won't be picking up another one for a long time, if ever.

Boilermaker88, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked and Caged 750 Ml bottle. Pours a clear brown color, with bubbles roiling the body, making circular, vertical currents in the beer. Head is gigantic, a full 2" in my Sam Smith Tulip. Taste is strong with alcohol, and earthy woody flavors, but I will have to agree with other reviewers saying that there isn't enough other flavor to ballnce this beer. Alcohol is too present, but this beer is still pleaant to drink. Mouthfeel is very odd, weird carbonation when taking a sip, maybe it builds up under the thick, creamy head and enters the mouth in bursts. Maybe there is yeast in the bottle, I can't really tell. FOr the same price you can get a 750 of La Fin du Monde, or Don de Dieu, both of which I would recommend over this stuff.

TastyTaste, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orangey brown with a thin, nearly non-existent head. Smells fruity, lightly bitter with just a hint of sourness.

Taste surprisingly has a lot of alcohol up front, followed quickly by the big fruity flavors, plum and berry and sour apple. Lightly nutty and plenty malty. Again, lightly sour. Medium bodied brew and lightly sticky finish. Lots going on here and something just didn't quite work for me. Not very drinkable IMO. the alcohol flavor was a bit offputting and it just seemed a bit haphazard. Maybe better in Belgium?

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of Cwrw
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wish I had the distinctive glass for kwak, but a chalice will have to do. I love the story behind the kwak glass: invented to allow coach drivers to drink while in the coach. A cider-red beer, some ruby and rosewood, almost rose with dark amber. Clear, topped with a creamy dull white head, at first a perfect size, but then receding to a thin layer. Lace that does not seem to go away, sticking tenaciously to the sides of the glass. An attractive beer, glassware notwithstanding. Curious, the very first time I had Kwak, I smelt salmon on the initial smell. I still do: there is a salty fish aroma up front, equally appetising as not, but very unique. I definitely get a great deal of salinity in this beer however, perhaps more than any other I have tried. Baking bread, vanilla, ham, bacon, and a general meat presence to the whole nose. There is some malt, well roasted, a whiff of yeasty musk, and little or no hop. Spicy, like seasoning salt, along with some metallic iron notes. Tasting, again I get the fish, finishing with a nice red-malt sweetness, bready and medium-dry. The middle gives perfume, the alcohol, butter, tomato. Hops make their appearance in the finish, with a slighly oily grass taste, adding just enough dryness. Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied; almost too creamy for the beer, as it turns to foam immediately in the mouth. At 8%, highly quaffable. Quite a unique tasting beer, even by Belgian standards.

Cwrw, Jan 10, 2005
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,394 ratings.