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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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

1,421 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,421
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,421 | Reviews: 652 | Display Reviews Only:
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of skizziks
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Naerhu
2.25/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

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

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.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of merlin48
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

What first alarmed me was that this 330 ml bottle was not bottle conditioned. I had a large corked bottle of this earlier this year, and it was conditioned, so I was a bit disappointed from the get go. Poured into a chalice, this was burnt red, orange and gold from the middle to the outside with only a little head. Smells of mandarin oranges, pine and red liquorish. Tastes of wheat and oats with a molasses sweetness. The flavor transitions nicely into a dry finish with a nice warming. Mouth feel is light bodied with little carbonation.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the beaker glass, and the stirrup holder, expertly poured by that consummate professional feloniousmonk at the Blue Nile. Thanks, Al! Cheerio, muchacho!

Appearance: a hazed amber hue, under a milky layer of foam, rather slight, but sure, and leaving a lasting ring.

Aroma: Sweetness, fruit (apples, melons, cherry), malt, hop....a rosy nose, with a slice of spice. Glimmer of smokey character as well. (Note: when this keg was first tapped, my first impression was smoked peppers, and the smoke comment came from others as well. Odd, in that I never got a hint of it in a bottle, but here it was, very evident from the tap. Toward the end of the keg, it's smaller, but still there.)

(Additional note: the importer of Kwak told me this may be a result of the brewery's new equipment, and our kegs were from the first batch brewed in it. He also sampled some himself and remarked on the smokey flavor, something he'd never tasted before. So, Smokey Kwak, only at the Blue Nile while supplies last!)

Taste: smoked peppers, smoked anything comes largest, and after that, a unique mix of fruit and spice, more from malt than from hops. This never wavers throughout the tasting.

Medium bodied, supple mouthfeel, unremitting tastiness, quenching, and utterly drinkable, at the very least. A bit more grain becomes clearer toward the end, herbal, but never coming close to the dominance of the fruit, the malt, and the smokey spice.

"Unique" is a word that just keeps coming up when it comes to this one. Not just from me, but from all over, and, you know, I like that.

Here's to Pauwel, his kooky beer, and his wacky glass. Towards the end I have to chug-a-lug a bit more to get it out from the bottom of the bulb. Gurgle, gurgle, goes the smokey sweet beer.
Ain't life grand?

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

Pours a chestnut orange with a big foamy whitish head that leaves some lace around the edges.

Yeasty spiced aroma.

Lots of bread and a little fruit upfront, mild bitterness and a floral hop or alcohol presence. Some very mild spices come in as well. Finishes sweet with some warming alcohol. Alcohol is unobtrusive and this beer is balanced.

Medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

Not a bad Belgian strong pale, seems a bit reserved though.

Photo of revdrjbob
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a straight pint glass, I know this isn't the appropriate glassware, but I broke my fancy mini-yard glass. The yeast got mixed in in the pour, which made it all cloudy-like. It was an orange/amber hue, with an off white head that clung to the glass. Amazingly the beer is still in date!

Aromas of yeast, malt, spices, phenolics, slightly peppery. Little to no hop aroma, more crystal and caramel malt.

Tasted great, sweet malt, caramel, crystal malt, spices and a huge malty sweetness. Yeasty charachteristics, bitterness and evident alcohol. Finishes dry and sweet, with lingering yeast flavours.

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the glass

Smell: Sweet and doughy with candy sugar, herbal and tropical fruit aromas

Taste: Starts with a refreshing sweet and fruity (banana) caramel taste, somewhat herbacious (clove and sage); mid-palate, the balancing bitterness kicks in to keep matters on an even keel; a touch of warming alcohol on the finish seals the deal

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with decent carbonation

Drinkability: I see this beer has its proponents and detractors but I have sided with those who enjoy it's light but sophisticated array of flavors

Photo of sopor
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A creamy off-shite head of about a finger over deep amber with gold highlights. Lots of flaky sediment(like corn flakes in suspension) under the even film left, with some abstract lacing.

Sweet white vinous notes and a hint of yeast and alcohol. A touch of german malts. Becomes phenolic as the beer opens up.

Caramel and syrup with hints of german malt fade into a candy sweetness. Just a hint of tangy fruit esthers, sweet rum and honey. Alcohol is well hidden. Syrupy sweetness grows as it warms.

Liquid silk, smooth and slightl thick with delicate carbonation.

Not highly quaffabl, and won't be common drink, but not bad!

Photo of horndecker
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from the large 25 oz. bottle.

It's a muddy orange brown, with only a middling tan head for a strong pale ale. The nose is celery, orange peel, fresh and clean, rather inviting.

The taste delivers substantial fruit, butterscotch and oranges and little else. Very simple. Middling malt holds it together, but doesn't contribute much to the picture. Tealike aftertaste, not much length.

The mouthfeel is nice though. It's probably the best thing about this brew. Plenty of carbonation, it's got fizz and substance.

Without the funny glass I guess it's just an also-ran. Drinkable and pleasant, but not destination.

Photo of sabrills70
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium orange amber with a huge head, good longevity and very good lace. Initial aroma of a caramel raisin like malt followed by a very nice hop floralness. Taste of a nicely roasted caramel malt with some raisin, and plum flavors. A nicely balanced hop spicyness follows but leaves no real bitterness on the tounge. Somewhat tart even and a bit creamy. alcohol is present but it is very drinkable for an 8%. A very good beer.

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

Corked, caged and silkscreened 750 that is unfortunately undated, poured into a tulip.

Slightly hazed amber with an inch plus of foamy off white that leaves good lace and has adequate retention.

The nose is sweet with some chalky yeast and peppery alcohol. Spicy. As it warms, the yeast aromas become more apparent and take on some bubblegum aromas.

The taste starts off sweet from the malts but quickly turns tart with the peppery alcohol coming in behind. Dry and warming finish.

Good mouth that is full and has enough carbonation to give it depth. Solid drinkability for the abv. I could see this pairing well with venison or wild duck.

Photo of arguemaniac
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the first beers that I considered to be a favorite. I liked it some much that I eventually tracked down and got my hands on the unique glass that is made for this beer. It’s kinda like a yard glass that’s made for a twelve-ounce serving. Anyway, while I can’t say it’s my absolute favorite these days, I still like it a lot. Here’s my review:

The beer pours a nice amber-orange with a super thick and long-lasting white head, which has a slight orange hue. The head never even really turns to lace, the whole time I was drinking it there was at least a thin, but still very creamy head. Fruit and a strong whiff of alcohol in the aroma. The sweetness of this beer stands out the most in it’s flavor. Cane sugar and fruity sweetness come through the most. Just a touch of caramel, too. Overall just a very rich flavor. My only complaint is that the hop flavor is almost completely eclipsed by the overwhelmingly malty sweetness of this beer. The body is a little thicker than medium-bodied and the carbonation is pretty subtle.

Man, what a great beer: the aroma is rich and complex, the mouthfeel is smooth, and the flavor is all of the above. Still one of the best I’ve had and I’ll probably continue to enjoy it for years to come. Highly recommended.

Photo of tesguino
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A caramel malt flavor, rich in hops, roasted malt; i try this beer a couple of years ago; is one of the my favorite beers, i try onli like appetizer, but can be combined with cheese, german cuisine and mexican haute cuisine; in general this beer it surpasses my expectations, 95% recommended.

Photo of BeerNutta
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pauwel Kwak. Thought I was going to be in for a treat.

A = Straw coloured with a thin foam head.

S = Sweet smelling. Smelt of sugar and hops.

T = Sweet and sugary with a slight alcohol finish. Maybe a little too sweet.

M = Little carbonation so easy to drink.

D = Expensive and average means that its drinkability takes a battering.

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

Pours a bit dark for a strong pale, fruity nose. smooth mouthfeel. Malty sweet and spicy flavor with some hop presence for balance. Very drinkable for 8.5%, dangerously so. Hope to get this in NC now that we can buy beers like this. this beer reminds me of quadrupels I've had, but not so over the top. I like this beer a lot. although Duvel and Fin du Monde are more indicative of the style I might pick this, given the choice.

Photo of EStreet20
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Gorgeous, deep red color poured into my Duvel tulip. Nice thick off white head that appears to have some staying power.

S - Sweet aroma, little bit of vanilla I think. Very pleasant.

T - Strange malty taste. Apple/vanilla hints. Overall a nice taste, a little sweeter than I usually like but good nonetheless. Some nice warming at the end.

M - A little short on carbonation for a Belgian, also the sweetness gives it a thick, syrupy feel. Not bad at all but not as lively as some of my favorites in its category.

D - Obviously not a session beer but even for a strong pale ale its drinkability falters a little again due to the sweetness.

Notes: DEspite its shortcomings compared to my favorite Belgian Strong pales I'm glad I tried it. The appearence is especially pleasing as well as the smell. A good buy and a good beer but not up there with the Chimay/ duvel/ Fin Du Mondes in its style.

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

Presentation: 25.4 oz. corked bottle poured into a kwak glass.

Appearance: Deep auburn color, mildly cloudy. Head poured thick and creamy, then slowly faded to a thin layer that retained nicely.

Aroma: Sweet, caramely overtones mixed in with the alcohol. A little too strong.

Taste: Very sweet and malty up front, then a hint of hops with some spiciness. The alcohol flavor lingered in the finish, along with the spice.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Carbonation is good.

Overall: I really like this beer. The smoothness balances out nicely with the strong alcohol tones. I've had it twice, both times in the kwak glass, so I'm not sure how good it would do in another vessel. If you've never had a strong Belgian beer before this would be a good one to start with.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark yet crystal clear amber sunset orange hued pour with a mountainous impressive spumescent cake like craggy headcap that rests 2” high above the bubbly brew.

Cake like sweet sugary malty aromas. Cookie scents of Tastykake krimpets and vanilla ice cream topped with gooey caramel coating.

First swigs: Nutty creamy malts. Quite the weaving brew. Some cookie dough detection. Marshmallow flavors. Quite sweet. Yeasty hints buried under the caramelized sugar and ginger. When initially fridge fresh, hidden ABV until the warmed finish that kicks into awk-kee-hawl high gear met with rye notes. Sticky pecan extract aftertaste.

Cushy soft gentle carbonation and a medium body.

Last swigs: Ginger snap and a dash of spiced rum. From the brewery that brings us DeuS, Karmeliet tripel. $7.35 for a 75 cL magnum 8% ABV monster that leveled to a 2nd prize ribbon winner. Something just didn’t rev my engine on this one. Good, yes. Not great. Not forgettable, not regrettable. Kwak went flat in the end.

Beer is good. Happy beering. 138/3.77

Photo of Stubbie1
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep red in color with a off white head. The head develops but fades to lace then a thin island in the center of the glass. Aroma is dark fruity and sweet. Tone of alcohol is noted. Taste is smooth and sticky. There is a fruity flavor up front and a spice zing. Alcohol is noted with a slightly dry finish that is mixed in with the dark fruit notes.

A good brew but I thought it was missing something. All the flavors and aroma were on the launching pad but never really seemed to develop.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,421 ratings.