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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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671 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 671
Hads: 1,567
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 20.32%
Wants: 42
Gots: 253 | FT: 0
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.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
Reviews: 671 | Hads: 1,567
Photo of TangTKE402
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Poured crystal clear and ruddy brown from a wine bottle. Traditional Belgian Special Ale on the label, and about 1-finger's worth of white head in the chalice. Minimal lacing.

Aromas of spice, specifically cloves, plus orange peel, cinnamon, and a bit of black peppercorn. Definitely some banana bread thrown in there for good measure.

Flavors are a bit flat and predictable: sweet cream up-front with spice and bananas in the middle finished with a coppery aftertaste. Other notes of bread yeast, some dried cranberry, and a splash of orange juice.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, not quite the bubbly effervescence I was expecting. It's light-bodied for a fuller-flavored beer, almost verging on watery. There is a bit of heat emanating from the alcohol esters, but nothing overpowering.

Overall, it's right down the middle bordering on "meh." It's a Blegian, to be sure, just not one I'd buy again due to the superiority of other similar beers for the same price out there.

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Photo of MaximalC
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky, muddy bronze color with a minimal off-white head that soon vanishes. Mild aroma smells of bready malt and Saaz-like hops with a dash of coriander or similar spices.

Delicate flavor profile features bready malt, honey, caramel, apple peel, white grapes, and zesty yeast. Some grassy hop bitterness sneaks through in the finish. Whatever spices may be present are mild. Rumours of tart cherry and bubblegum begin to emerge on the back end as the beer warms. Just-right carbonation delivers a superbly complementary mouthfeel. The 8.4% ABV is almost nonexistent.

Overall, this is a phenomenal Belgian ale that does nothing wrong. The flavor profile is complex and perfectly balanced, giving the drinker plenty to explore and savor during the experience. Neither the yeast nor the carbonation are overbearing, giving the deft malt character the opportunity to shine. For all its nuance and complexity, Kwak remains supremely drinkable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3/5  rDev -19.8%

A - Pours a clear amber color with a generous amount of active carbonation and a very thin,
even, creamy white head across the top.

S - Spice, clove, bready, sweet toffee/caramel malt aroma.

T - Cloves, spice, toasted biscuity caramel malt, cardboard, some alcohol presence, and ever so slight citrus
on the back end that's quickly crushed with more mounds of toasted caramel malt and spice.
The malt and alcohol tends to take more front and center with the spices following.

M - Full body to medium heavy body, slight alcohol warming on the way down, creamy mouth

O - Nothing eventful, I wouldn't spend $12 on another 750 ml bottle of this stuff. It's been quite
awhile since I last had this beer and now I remember why.

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Photo of titvs
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18E). AROMA: sweet malty aromas, reminiscent of caramel. no hop aromas. spicy alcohol notes. APPEARANCE: deep amber color and translucent. average tanned head with good retention. pronunced lacing. TASTE: sweet malty flavour with notes of caramel. very low bitterness with a sweet finish. PALATE: medium-light body with medium carbonation. some alcohol warmth. OVERALL: a belgian ale that is less complex than its competition.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

On tap at Cafe Kwak in Irkutsk, Siberia, of all places.

A: Dark amber. Fantastic lacing.
S: Loads of rhubarb and custard and a general confectionary smell.
T: Yup, massive confectionary flavour, like strawberry chews or rhubarb and custard boils, and has a lovely treacle-like sweetness. Quite a bitter finish but mellows slightly as it warms.
M: Fantastic. Velvety but sprigtly.
O: A lovely Belgian beer.

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Photo of Nightwing
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Poured from a bottle. Aromas of caramel with hints of apple. Pours a clear amber that looks great. A light sweet taste. Between medium and full bodied, with creamy texture, and slightly bitter finish. A really great Belgian Ale, rich and smooth.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Appearance – Full amber colour slightly cloudy with decent off white head that forms a lace
Smell – This top fermentation beer has an odd smell a little like rubbing alcohol with some mild fruit aromas.
Taste – The taste is also odd but the good type of odd. Holds some mild spiciness with a touch of hops in the back. Light cider taste in the alcoholic. Also some light caramel notes.
Mouthfeel – Smooth and crisp with full-ish body. Very heavy boozy feel especially in the belly.
Overall – Fairly strong at 8.4% it does taste of alcohol on the tongue but has a lot more warmth to it when it hits in the belly, which is similar to whiskey. Like a lot of Belgium beers this one has a slight sweetness on the pallet but leaves an after taste like Amstel.

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Photo of DubbelTrubbel
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Served in Kwak glass (what else), poured at around 55 degrees. 750 ml bottle

A- Amber to deep red, depending on the point in the glass! Rich almost khaki foam, plenty of bubbles. Cautious pour, but could use a more voluminous head to start.

S- Belgian yeast, spice, then a fruity, festive smell

T- Some toasty malt, some candy sugar, spices, plenty of balancing hop bitterness. A hint of pilsner malt. Hop bitterness lingers on the finish. Very rich overall, without being heavy

M- Nice carbonation, better than in the 33 cl bottles. Very easy-going. Noticeable stickiness

O- This is a nice middle ground between session and refresher beers, and strong, knock you out beers. It's good at the end of a busy day- without ending your day.

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Photo of PaulietheBrit
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Looks great , a little darker than I would have expected from a pale ale, but beautiful amber with slight haze.
Smells a little boozy and strong fruit, almost no malts, like a Christmas sherry, some spicy notes.
Taste is following the aroma, with a fruity sweet spicy tang.
A good ale with, for me, a bit too much fruity, and not enough malty.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Murky mahogany brown in color with a minuscule trace of head covering half of the top of the beer. Aroma is strongly centered around dark malt with a bit of candy sugar. The taste is exactly as the aroma advertised. Light Brussels lacing. The mouth is fairly smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Poured from corked & caged 750mL bottle into a tulip. Almost can't believe I haven't tried this yet!

Appearance: medium amber hue with no haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy ivory foam with a moderate retention. A bit dark for a pale but not bad.

Smell: an alcoholic fruitiness with a bit of a floral character. It's also quite sweet. I think I would have preferred more actual malt character here.

Taste: much like the aroma, there's not a ton of maltiness here, just kind of a sweet fruitiness. There's bitterness as well, but it does not play well with this beer's other flavors. I must say I'm not a big fan.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a great mouthfeel. Easily this beer's most redeeming characteristic.

Overall: not as drinkable as most other BSPAs. It's not terrible, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way, flavor-wise. I won't be going after the Kwak again.

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Photo of generallee
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 8.4% abv.

Appearance: This is a very hazy beer with a brownish tan color and a quick fading off white head. A quick swirl is needed to keep some foam on top. Lacing is minimal and very slick.

Smell: Right up front there is a big raisin like fruity sweetness. This is backed up by bready yeast and malt notes.

Taste / Palate: Now on the tongue the bready Belgian yeast notes hop out first. Dark fruit, raisins, plums and apples move in with sweet maltiness. In the middle there is an attempt by the hops to come out and play but the yeast notes and malt notes and now some sweet boozy notes hold out and finish strong. The body feels smooth with lots of fine carbonation. Just right for a big Belgian Ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With the employment of kettle caramelization, Pauwel Kwak's confidence in this "grand cru" of a beer earns the beer the name of the brewmaster. ...and one sip will show you why!

As the dark amber decants, a rusty haze gives a glimpse into its rustic roots. Once tipped, aromas of soft nuts, caramel, bread crust and fresh baking bread entice the nose while a balance of cinnamon and nutmeg balance upon the initial taste.

Once the beer develops over the middle, its bready and toasty middle gives slight bready texture that's lifted with rose-type wine. Its acidity enlivens the malt and gives its terse caramel sweetness life with red grape, red apple and dried dates. Its nutmeg flavor garners esteem just ahead of the beer's finish.

That's when the high effervescence lifts the taste and refreshes the palate with ease- its steely caramel flavor dissolves easily, carrying with it any malty weight and bready texture- nearly preferring wine like zestiness in charming warmth as the taste closes.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap in the iconic glass at 1400 Bier Haus here in Calgary. Darker colored than the style descriptor would suggest, a copper red with rather minimal beige head. Aroma is instantly boozy, a little grainy, with some raisin and nutty/spicy Belgian yeast notes apparent. On the palate, delivers some toffee, banana peel, dried plum/fruit roll up, cherry, and shortbread cookie flavors although everything is rather subtle, with some coarse alcohol overshowing the proceedings more than I would like. Medicinal clove and cinnamon oil flavors build over time and I get some minty wintergreen or something in the dryish boozy finish. Well-attenuated body and drinkable in this regard, on the fizzy side. Does not reach the lofty heights of some of its countrymen but worth sampling on tap. Do not be entirely dissuaded by the gimmicky glass. Does feature the expected estery/phenolic Belgian yeast profile and not super sweet.

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Photo of FoamInnovation
4.59/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a traditional Kwak coachmen bulb.
A-Ruddy, almost a red-brown, off-white head, approx. 1-1/2", slowly breaking down to minimal lacing.
S-European hops, bubble gum, over ripe banana are balanced with a slightly sweet malted tone of spun sugar
T-Jesus-Candy-Coated-Christ is this fantastic. Warm banana tones with medium bodied rich malt, some white grapes and brulee. Gorgeous.
M-Medium bodied, mouth filling without being cloying, good carbonation balance and nice finish of banana and touch of bitterness.
O-Absolutely wonderful. Happiness in a glass. Extremely well balanced.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of April 2014, so it's just out of date. Purchased ages ago from a supermarket while on a trip to Belgium, and subsequently stashed in my garage. I quite like the glass that is associated with this beer, though I don't possess one.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A deep chestnut-amber hue with some floating sediment and good carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of caramel/toffee, raisins, dried fruit, sherry, mild brown sugar, yeast esters, faint banana and subtle stewed leaves. A warming whiff of booze in the background, and perhaps a touch of oxidation. Not bad.

Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with a lingering finish. Notes of raisins, dried fruit, caramel/toffee, sherry, mild brown sugar, yeast esters, banana, faint spice and stewed leaves. Some alcoholic heat in the background along with a twinge of cardboard. Sweet, with a prolonged yeasty character upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Slightly oily on the palate. Mildly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of sweet, fruity malt, caramel, sugar and yeast esters.

Alright but not outstanding. Looks OK, with a satisfyingly complex aroma of dried fruit, caramel and yeast. The flavour is similar yet somehow lacklustre - difficult to pinpoint but perhaps too sweet and cloying. Faint harsh undertones don't help. Body is acceptable. Doesn't stand out from the crowd; no need to seek it out.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap a couple of times. Pours a deep orangeish, almost a brown tone. Fruits of the pear/apple variety, along with a touch of white grapes and a slight hint of must, but not really much else going on. None of the classic Belgian yeast/bready aromas. Flavor is about the same, nothing great, nothing bad. The alcohol is barely noticed, which is a good thing. A rather lackluster beer with not too much going on. Fairly standard, nothing to wet your pants about.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear, red-brown with a generous sized tan head that soon reduces to a thin and irregular coat. Nonetheless, the glass is nicely sheeted when tipped.

Aroma: dark fruits with a trace of very ripe banana. Lightly spicy.

Flavor: dark fruits with a trace of very ripe bananas and cherries. Faintly spicy.

Feel: A strong point. Medium+ but soft carbonation. Medium-full body. Dry and light at mid-taste.

O: a good Belgian ale but bettered by a good number of competitors. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of hardy008
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a one finger light tan head, with decent retention and spotty lacing. the aroma has apples, pears, Belgian yeast, caramel, brown sugar, bananas, and cloves.

The taste is sweet, but the sweetness is not cloying. There is caramel malt, apples, pears, pepper, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, bananas, cloves, dark fruit, and phenols.

Medium bodied with below average carbonation. Easy to drink. Worth trying, and buying again in my opinion.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark orange/red color, with a white head.

S: A lot of fruit, strawberries and cherries in particular in the nose, just a hint of plum.

T: A slight taste of alcohol, some citrus flavors, a bit of strawberry.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

O: Not the best beer they make, but it's still a tasty Belgian ale.

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Photo of chogm54
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

sounded interesting at the bottleshop-although truth be told the name does not inspire confidence. here goes...

a - deep red/copper - looks great in the tulip glass, white head, 2mm or so, than leaves a thin white lacing,

s - roasted malts, sweet white wine, there is also the hint of alcohol giving away its strength

t - malty, slightly burnt caramel and yeast. Sweet lingering finish with alcohol coming in. Alcohol not as overpowering as the smell suggests.

M - medium carbonation which goes down well, medium body, a lot more crisp than other belgian ales.

Glad to say this tastes better than I thought it would - the smell lets it down a bit, but then beer is meant to be drunk, not smelt.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: a solid, embossed 330mL brown bottle with a traditional Euro label, well presented. Nice package.

Appearance: just like a Belgian Strong should be. Really deep amber tending toward brown with a tinge of ruby. Fantastic head - nice and thick two fingers, creamy also. Decent lacing.

Aroma: lovely smell of heavy fruits, sherry, caramel and toffee malts and light spices.

Taste: a very smooth caramel flavour with those spices again. Some liquorice accompanies also. Not so much as a hint of harsh alcohol, which is well-disguised.

Aftertaste: flavours linger for quite a time, particularly the toffee and caramels. Very smooth.

Mouth feel: medium in body with low- to- moderate carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Overall: I had this beer around a year or so ago as I was cutting my teeth on styles of beer other than lager. This was an awesome entrance into the world of international ales, and still hovers near the top of my list of beers. A great, easy-drinking higher ABV ale which is silky smooth without the harshness that can sometimes accompany such high ABV.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with enjoy by date of 4/1/2014
Appearance - dark copper crimson color with tan head

Smell - the smell is one note, but it is a pleasant aroma of honey, bit of apple in there as well

Taste - honey, clove, apple, Belgian yeast

Mouthfeel - medium body, lower level of carbonation, nice flavor with honey sweetness upfront, flavors linger properly, not as crisp as other entrants in the style

Overall - good beer that was darker in appearance than I was expecting. Would have like to have seen a higher level of carbonation on this, but otherwise, Worth a shot if you see it

Price Point - $10.99/750 ML BOTTLE

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lounging around in Venice after New Year's, thought I'd give the Italian wine a rest and have some Belgian beer (Italy is a lot closer to Belgium anyway).
Poured brown-copper color with large white head and a lot of lacing.
Nose was musty with fruit cake like aroma.
Taste was malty with some of the same fruit cake flavors coming through.
For this size beer (in ABV), it was a bit lacking in mouthfeel.
Overall, enjoyable, but there are other Belgian Strong's that are better choices.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Kwak pours a bronze color with small lacing head. There is a sweet aroma with a strong yeast flavor; lots of Belgian candies. The taste is similar, sweet taste with a lot of Belgian candy flavors, and strong hints of yeast. Full flavor, good body; sweet. Overall a nice sweet beer.

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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
84 out of 100 based on 671 ratings.