Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

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Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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664 Reviews

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Reviews: 664
Hads: 1,539
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 40
Gots: 234 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 664 | Hads: 1,539
Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.15/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Being a belgian beer i made sure to quit pouring it when i saw floating particles try and enter my glass. Poured with a very thin head which dissipated quickly. Color was a deep amber but not to the point of redness. Aroma was a sweetness punctuated by a few esters but not very much. Taste was very thin with sweetness and a slight hoppiness and again few esters. Carmelly yet dry due to esters but with a bitter hoppiness with a very clean finish. Overall i would rather try a different Belgian beer instead so i can find a brand more indicitave of the style. (561 characters)

Photo of LarryKemp
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This Belgian ale poured a cloudy, brown with a poor head for style. I could best say that everything about this ale was okay. The aroma was malty and a little fruity. The taste was subdued but did contain caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel was light and bubbly. For the price, I would select another Belgian unless you are trying to introduce someone to a Belgian. (362 characters)

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is a deep, rich amber with a thin head that fades quickly. Light alcohol aroma in the nose, not much else. Taste is rich, roasty, slightly malted, complex and spicy. Possibly cinnamon, caramel, syrupy sweet with a hint of alcohol but no florals at all.

Not bad, but there are better Belgian ales out there. (316 characters)

Photo of aaronh
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color that almost shows a reddish hue from certain angles. Topped by a rather thin off white head that maintains a thin collar around the glass. Sweet roasted notes accented by noticeable alcohol in the aroma. Has the distinct 'belgian dubbel' sort of smell. The taste is interesting and sort of complex. Immediately a very earthy malt flavor comes through, then some woodiness. Theres a bit of chocolate in this one as well. Then the alcohol sweetness hits you. There's a touch of bittering on the finish, and perhaps even a slight astringency to the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is rather light, but yet smooth. Carbonation is there, but barely noticeable as it meshes well with the mouthfeel. This is not what I expected, as something more like a Leffe Blonde was in my mind. I seem to remember being more surprised (and enamored) by the aroma and the sweetness of the Leffe, but I enjoyed this as well. Hopefully the rating reflects that. This is a decent beer, and it's even better that I picked up for a song at a wine shop in Ohio. If the alcohol were more subtle, I'd like it much more. (1,110 characters)

Photo of ipogios
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber colour topped by a creamy head. This beer looks beautifull... especially the glass adds to the appearance. Aroma consists of sweet malts & fruits. Taste is VERY SWEET. Pauwel Kwak has a sweetness like no other beer i've ever tasted. If you don't like sweet beers then don't even bother trying this one. On the other hand, if you are into sweet beers then you wouldn't mind drinking Kwak all day long. Just have in mind the ABV. Don't let the sweetness of this beer fool you. It's a very strong beer. An excellent beer in my humble opinion. MY FAVOURITE. (568 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sweet/floral/fruit smell upon first wiff. Very carbonated pink look with a slight white lace. No real lasting head to speak of. Sweet yeasty taste with some dry fruit (green grapes) on the back of the tongue. There is also a touch of hop bitterness. Upfront the taste is sweet but that weakens as you swallow. Nice soft mouth. A little too sweet and light tasting on the back end. This weak lilt hurt its drinkability for me... (427 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), about a week in my fridge, reviewed 45F-65F.

There's a surprisingly small head that's creamy and dense. It leaves thin but sticky lacing. The beer is a deep, clear amber.

The smell is faint. It's sweet, nutty, creamy. The front is spicy and sweet. The middle is malty, a little fruity with some toffee creeping in for a deep toffee finish. Alcohol is a little obvious on the finish. What an interesting beer. It's very malty... almost a British Belgian. I like it! (519 characters)

Photo of Morris729
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a rusty amber color with a creamy off-white colored head that leaves heavy sheets of lace on the sides of the glass as you drink. Nose is very faint to start but starts to come out as the beer warms a bit with aromas of sweet malt, fruity yeasts, and raw sugar. Medium to full in body and smooth and slightly sticky in texture. Taste is dominated by an overall sweetness with notes of candied sugar and tropical fruits up front followed by rum-soaked sweetened raisins and a bit of ice wine. An enjoyable beer but seems somewhat out of balance. Still, I’d gladly drink this again as it does serve as a fine nightcap. (637 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.87/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not poured in the official glassware however, this beer is still a must try for any Belgium beer lover like myself anyway you can get it. This beer appears a slighlty ruby with a hint of brown amber shade to it and pours with a massive off white cream colored head. The aroma is a deep buttery malty treat that spreads joy throughout the world, and puts an instant smile on my face. The taste has a deep warming effect going on through out my palate and through my chest as I take each sip of this nectar of the gods. With hints of candied sugar that it was primed with those deep butter flavors are complemented with a smooth nutty malt flavor. The last trickle of flavor provides just a hint of some fruit tones that are amazing to me. Mouthfeel is sticky and the carbonation tickles and soothes the back of the throat at the same time. Drinkability in one word Incredible. (875 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was presented to me in its proper coachmans glass at the St. Alexandre Pub in Quebec City, Quebec. This beer poured a nice light reddish colour with a quite massive head. The aromas were of Belgian yeast, candy sugar, licorice and spices. The taste was more of the same. A yeasty, spicy, Belgian treat! The mouthfeel was thick and the drinkability was very good.
A classic Belgian ale!
-F (409 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark copper color with minimal head and minimal lacing. The aroma contains strong scents of fruits, like most Belgian ales with a slight undertone of alcohol. The taste is very sweet and the fruity taste is very apparent, but it is oddly somewhat sour. Not too sour, but just enough to be different. They do a good job of masking the alcohol in the taste. The mouthfeel is very pleasing as the fruits and sweetness is very clear. Drinkability is not so good on this one because it is so sweet and sour that I can't see myself enjoying more than one. Overall, a very good Belgian beer that I enjoyed profusely. (627 characters)

Photo of TXHops
4.59/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML silk screened brown bottle.
-ABV: 8.0%
-ABW: 6.4%
-Malts: three malts, including wheat, with some candi sugar in the kettle

Kwak is probably my favorite Belgian Ale. It’s one of the few that doesn’t just taste “Belgian”—all fluffy and estery with massive amounts of phenolics and esters. Kwak has more to it and it comes out different than 99% of its brethren. The result is a beer that I absolutely love, and it’s one of the few Belgians that I find to be unique.

As for the beer itself, Kwak is an orangey-tea color with a thick, cream-colored head. The aroma is pretty subdued in the beginning, but as the beer warms, the estery nature of the Belgian yeast becomes more and more evident, smelling very similar to a Bavarian hefeweizen: cloves and bananas. However, there’s a maltiness in the aroma that I’ve never gotten out of any other Belgian—it doesn’t smell like alcohol and candi sugar. Instead, it actually smells like malt. However, there’s a crisp tartness in the nose as well—quite appealing. The flavor is very banana-like as well, and the full body with the high carbonation virtually slides down the gullet. There is a slightly acidic finish, reminiscent of tropical blender drinks. In fact, the whole nature of Kwak is oddly tropical, with flavors of passion fruit, and pomegranate to go with the bananas. Unlike most Belgian Ales, this one isn’t fluffy. Kwak actually has body that doesn’t scream candi sugar. It’s one of the only Belgians I’ve ever had that actually felt substantial in my mouth. With that substance and lack of foaminess comes less of the normal Belgian yeast twang, which combined with the high ABV and airy body, typically imparts a lingering sourness in my mouth. Kwak leaves a sticky, tropical sweetness, though there’s enough spritziness to avoid the cloying problem that you’d assume would manifest itself after the above description. It’s almost like this beer were brewed with a standard Belgian high ester yeast and then allowed to bottle condition with a British ale yeast—it’s so much more nuanced and subtle than I'd expect.

One of the most unique beers I’ve tried, even by Belgian standards. This is definitely my favorite beer from a country that I believe produces too many beers with an overwhelmingly similar flavor profile. Cheers to Bosteels for doing something different. (2,370 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.46/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle - Color is of golden dark honey and the head is super tall, mega froth from the pour, 11.2 seemed more like 16, the head is frothy foam of off-white color but deeper in color at the bottm of a two finger high head. Head is smooth like whipped cream with some large divets. Smell is mostly malt like caramel and toffee with a light alcohol warmth hint and citrus fruits.Taste is smooth and yummy, amazingly sweet and malty with some toffee and rum-like capabilties in warmth, slight spicy citrus. Feel is all sweet and smooth with incredible silkyness and a warming from the alcohol thats like a brandy or rum. Surprising kick for 8%, pleasantly smooth character. (676 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml corked bottle (yahoo! a brown champagne bottle! No skunked beer!!!)...

Appearance: brilliant clarity, golden-copper, tannish head that depletes quickly, absolutely beautiful, looks like a sparkling brandy

Aroma: big nose of caramel and malt, cotton candy, some fruitiness

Flavor: toasty maltiness up front, subtley sweet, some rum-raisiny flavors and a very slight bitterness in the sweet/then dry finish, a little cork flavor

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, lots of alcohol warmth, slight astringency/minerally, brandy-like sensation, almost need to drink this from a snifter

Note: I've tried both the 33cl bottle and the 75cl. The 33cl is not bottle-conditioned, so it tastes a bit tamer and the carbonation is quite vapid. The 75 can be a real treat, though! (780 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is pretty clear. It has a glowing presence about it. And is very orange in color. Maybe some scarlet hues in the mix as well. Aroma is sweet (like candy), musty, a little fruity (pears) and woody. The subtelty of this beer knocks me on my ass (if that makes sense). It always poses somewhat of a problem for me as picking out the flavors and complexities in a subtle beer is always more difficult. I get some definite pear flavors. Apple cider as well. Seems fairly high in acidity. Fruity esters and bubblegum esters dance about way in the background here and there. Dry finish is perceived. Nice little beverage here. Not as good as their Tripel Karmeliet however. (676 characters)

Photo of Viking
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear and beautiful amber colored body. A few lonely CO2 bubbles rise to the surface of the brew. Initially pours to a thick, bubbly head. Head retention is moderate, leaving trails of running lace. Spicy, malty aroma with a bit of a yeast smell. Malty flavor, slightly sweet, and balanced exceptionally well with spicy hop flavor. Also a rather grainy flavor. Slight aftertaste of green apples. Moderate bodied brew, feels fairly rough due to carbonation and alcohol, while slightly oily due to hops. (506 characters)

Photo of Sigmund
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep amber colour, just slightly hazy. Great head. INTENSE aroma of spiced alcohol (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, aniseed), hints of ammonium chloride too. Flavour is malty and spicy, but not as intense as you'd expect from the aroma. Sweetness seems just right. Aftertaste is good, but a bit short. An interesting beer, like so many Belgians. (349 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a cloudy light brown with a little bit of red to it. The head is limited to a thin white lace. Sweet fruits jump out of the glass. I picked up fields of cherriess and raspberries. Unfortunately, I did not dind any berries around my house.

Sweet malts at the start. They dry out as you would expect. Then the brew is a bit roasty. The aftertaste is fruity, and the alcohol becomes confident that I am safe with the gas. I am sure glad that this place is not set to sell as soon as someone shows interested in the product (532 characters)

Photo of MJR
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a reddish-garnet color with good clarity. A light tan head starts off decent, despite my aggressive pour. It eventually shrinks down to a small cap that leaves lace here and there.

Smell: The aroma is a combination of caramel, slighty spicy fruit which comes across as citrus, a firm breadiness, and a slight nuttiness.

Taste: My first impression is that of caramel and breadiness. There's a faint hop bitterness that keeps the caramel from becoming too sweet and cloying. I pick up on a faint fruitiness, but it's in the background. The same slight nuttiness that showed up in the aroma is here as well. Perhaps a bit of a phenolic flavor is in there too. On the tail end, there's a touch of a roasted character, but it plays only a minor role here. The caramel rules this flavor profile, leaning the overall balance towards sweet and rounded. Oddly enough, the flavor seems a bit muted, and I deducted for that.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a smooth, rounded mouthfeel. Finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability: Pretty good for an 8%abv brew. While the flavor overall is a bit too bland for my tastes, it certainly goes down easy enough. Still, I like to be challenged with assertive brews, and this isn't one I'll go out of my way for again. (1,267 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark copper hue, covered by a thick, creamy, rutted ivory white head. Belgian lace is left. The aroma is an enticing melange of bright, acidic ripe citrus, and pronounced brittle like nuttiness. Mellow buttery caramel and mildly spicy hops add additional complexity aromawise. As the beer breathes, caramelized malt becomes progressively stronger in aroma and fruitiness diminishes. Flavorwise, this brew has caramel malt character far exceeding any Belgian style I've experienced thus far. Rounded, caramel and molasses tinged sweetness hits the palate at first, then is ceded by mildly herbal phenol and an understated, but perceptibly grassy, chlorophyll tinged hop flavor. Quite light on fermentation byproducts, and other than the mellow clove, a hint of banana esters rides parallel with caramel malt. Hop bitterness is paltry, leaving the overall balance well skewed towards sweetness. Impressions of carob and oak emerge mid palate and complement malt character. Full bodied, with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Finishes long with hints of chalk and fleeting biscuit and banana. Kwak is a delicious and highly drinkable brew. It's most akin to a dubbel in overall character, but with a uniquely assertive caramel malt presence. Kwak gains complexity and depth as it warms and breathes. Smooth, sweet, and somewhat dangerous. (1,336 characters)

Photo of Popsinc
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark orange colour. light and refreshing look. the first sip had a noticeable alcohol kick. good maltiness that helped give this beer some body. spicey and hints of citrus make this beer pleasurable but not outstanding by any stretch. maybe sampling this beer in it's original "yard" glass would have enhanced the experience. nontheless, i liked it quite a bit. (361 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orangish/amber in color with a tan head. The aroma is of sweet candi sugar, malty, and somewhat fruity. Alcohol is present in the nose as well. The flavor is sweet, bready, and malty. It is a medium bodied brew, and easily drinkable. I enjoyed this brew. (254 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden orange color with lots of suspended yeast, moderate off-white head, nice broken lace. Carbonation is slight, just a few fat and slow-rising bubbles. Rather spicy aroma of cloves, bananas, and fruit as well as a strong note of alcohol. Taste begins with bready malt flavors and a surge of soft carbonation. This is followed by lots of mild spices, and fruit flavors and a strong alcohol presence. Finishes with a honey-like sweetness and some subdued hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and very pleasant.

I am generally not a fan of Belgian-style beers, but I liked this one very much. As an aside, my fiancee, who is German and loves the great beers of that country, proclaimed this beer with its abundant suspended yeast to be "gross". (755 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This seems to be an interesting brew. Citrusy nose along with some yeast, clove and spice aromas as well pour forth from this amber/brown brew. No head atop, but I am fine with that considering the wonderful aroma and taste of this fine Belgian.

Mouthfeel is smooth as butter with very very little carbonation. Fruity flavors blend sweetly with a touch of mild hops and warming alcohol towards the end. This is a fine ale to be enjoyed by all, and certainly can compete with the best. (489 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you’re going to "KWAK", you must use a "KWAK" glass. A bit of glass history:

The distinctive glass originated from coachmen needing a way to enjoy beer since Napoleonic Code forbade them sharing a drink with the passengers. Kwak developed this glass so the coachmen could remain seated yet hang the glass on the coach and enjoy the rich beer too.

These glasses also make a "Kwak" sound when drinking. The beer pours a limpid golden amber color, the head is gigantesque, frothy, and the lace is in fine sealing sheets. Mostly malt in the nose, fresh and clean maybe a light touch of yeast, pleasant at any rate. Very sweet at the start, the top skimpy in feel, the finish is purposeful in its acidity, the hops delectable, dry and long lasting aftertaste, and some alcohol bitterness.

If you’re interested, here's a site where you can see a "Kwak" glass: (905 characters)

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
84 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.