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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

677 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 1,587
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 20.27%
Wants: 43
Gots: 267 | 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: 677 | Hads: 1,587
Photo of babaracas
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear reddish orange with two fingers of fluffy cream colored foam, settles to a thin ring, splotchy sheet of lace for the first few inches. Smell: raisin bread, sugary, overripe stone fruit note, lightly medicinal and spicy. Mildly alcoholic and a little underpowered. Taste: candy sugar, raisin, dried apricot, overripe plum; clove, grass and pepper notes. Medium-full bodied, lightly syrupy with low but quite creamy carbonation. A bit on the sweet end and not super exciting, but a nice strong Belgian ale. 6/14 label date.

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Photo of Kampfar
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

[From tap served in special glassware] Delicious strong amber coloured beer. Rich mouthtaste with a medium after taste. Strong malty taste with some hops making it a tasteful beer.

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Photo of LordofthePings
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into kwak glass with stand.

A: Dark amber, clear. No yeast in the bottle. Nice head retention, love the unusual glass.
S: Pale malt and minimal hops. Not as fragrant as others in this class.
T: Better as it nears room temp. A bit thin, almost watery, but I like the soft mellow blend of flavor that is this beer. Some esters, yeasty, low traditional hop flavor. Alcohol comes through the flavors a bit.
M: Standard, goes down easily. Maybe a touch too much carbonation.
O: I like this beer and the weird glass. Would buy again but probably not on a regular basis. Nice belgian quality but lower esters and less complex than I prefer. (personal note)-Reminds me of sharp edge draft yeasty flavor.

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to an awesome bartender at Liberty Tap Room in Mount Pleasant, SC, I was able to take home one of their iconic Kwak wood-handled beer glasses. It might be a gimmick, but it absolutely adds to the experience. I'm hoping the bottled variety is as delicious as I remember from that trip to the tap room. The cloudy, tarnished copper liquid pours with a tremendous amount of foam. Maybe part of it is the shape of the glass (with the spherical bottom) but either way, that's a lot of foam! As it settles down there's splotchy, soapy lacing on the glass. The aroma bears a strange metallic scent, like a handful of pennies, with traces of banana. A little buttery toffee in the nose too. The flavor is sweet and malty with a hint of clove bitterness. It's a tad cidery, imparting a tangy flash of flavor. There's a buttery, honey sweet bread-like taste that reminds me a little of sticky buns. A little funky Belgian yeast and fruity banana esters in the finish. The alcohol here is thinly veiled, lending a boozy solvent-like layer. The mouthfeel is pretty standard, with medium body and carbonation that may be a touch too lively. In total, this is a tasty Belgian strong ale that lacks some of the finesse and character of its contemporaries. Not quite as refined as some of the others I've tried, but delicious nonetheless. Perhaps if they put as much work in to the beer as the glass, it would be world-class.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quality beer, although not in the same class as its contemporaries. In Belgium, this is considered sub-par. In Canada, this would beat most of the local beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap in a Kwak coachman's glass at Beelow's.

It's been far too long since first I tried this beer, and I just couldn't keep away from that snazzy glass. It pours a clear amber-russet topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises candied orange peel, Belgian yeast, clove, light dry caramel, light grass, and a bit of vague breadiness. The taste brings in more of the same, the Belgian yeast really driving through some fruity and spicy notes to balance out the caramel-laden biscuit residing throughout the background. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid BSPA, one that has earned its place as one of the constant Belgian offerings at nearby watering holes.

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Photo of TangTKE402
3/5  rDev -20%

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 +10.4%
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 -20%

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 -13.3%

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 +13.3%

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%

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 -6.7%

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%

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%

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 -13.3%

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 -9.6%
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 +8.3%
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 +13.3%
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 -3.5%
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 +22.4%
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 -7.2%
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 -14.4%
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 +1.1%
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 +8.3%
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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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.