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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: 1,589
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 20.27%
Wants: 43
Gots: 268 | 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: 1,589
Photo of dmarch
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange copper in appearance with a large white head. Very spicy aroma with a bit of malt sweetness. Taste is quite fruity with a lot of spices as well. I enjoyed this much more than what the other reviews have indicated. No, it's not the best that Belgium has to offer, but it's still a treat to try this.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.83/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – Gorgeous, cloudy orange body full of sediment with a decent head.

Smell – Nice, fruity Belgian nose filled with apricots, banana, some spices (maybe coriander, cinnamon, and allspice), and a good malt/yeast combo.

Taste – Ouch! What a shock. The heavy spice took over the flavor. This didn’t taste at all like what I expected. The alcohol came on too strong as well.

Mouthfeel – This was a pucker-upper to be sure. Not what I was looking for when I bought the bottle.

Drinkability – Sorry, but I won’t buy this again. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but this went down painfully slow.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A sweet, lightly fruity aroma with hints of mandarin orange, yeast, and sugar. The beer pours light amber in color, with a thin head. Taste is quite sweet, with a raw-sugar maltiness yielding to flavors of tropical fruit and a lightly spicy hop finish. Smooth mouthfeel, and fairly drinkable – seems to go down better the more of it you drink! I only wish it’d been served in the special glass.

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Photo of freed
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had this beer while waiting for a bench at Belgo in London. It was my first Belgian Meal with my first Belgian Beer. I was surprised and very pleased. Now I'm happy to try it again.

Rich rosey amber color with a substantial head. Bubbles form uneavenly, and foam laces the glass. Smell is arousing, earthen and malty. Taste is equally malty, sweet, filling, and warm. Finish is clean, hints of white grape. Now I'm ready for dinner.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.02/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite styles of beer! A small tan creamy sized head with fine-medium sized bubbles that quickly diminished.The body was carbonated with a dense appearance.The hue was amber and the nose consisted of alcohol, sweet and fruity.There was not much lacing with this beer.The flavor was definitely that of alcohol and it was somewhat bitter tasting.The mouthfeel was tingly on my tongue, fairly smooth and medium bodied.This one was a bit difficult to get down due to the alcohol taste.

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Photo of importguy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice golden colour and a small head. Intial smelling of sweet and malt flavour.

The taste gave away to that sweet malty flavour with a hnit of spicy flavour. The alco level is definately apparent on this beer and gives the beer a real warming feeling as you drink it. I think it would be a good fall/winter beer. Hard to drink more than one of these beers when it's the middle of summer and 30 degrees (86 F) outside.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 11.2 oz. bottle. The color was a dark amber, with a good head. Smell was a sweet malt. The taste was fairly sweet......hints of licorice and spicing amongst the alcohol sweetness. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth. Drinkability-wise, a few more before the sweetness became overwhelming.

After hearing about the uniqueness of Kwak, I decided to give it a try, and I enjoyed it. Although this seems like it was more of a wintery beer than a summer one, I still liked it nonetheless, and maybe I'll have another this holiday season.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely presentation in the hourglass shaped glassware held in a wooden stand. Comes out dark reddish gold under a firm tan head that leaves lovely lace. The nose is mild but distinctly hoppy, with flowery undertones. The mouth is lightly carbonated and well balanced. The initial taste has a touch of malt, but is dominated by the hops. This leads to a nice flowery hoppy finish and an excellent smooth bitter aftertaste. I liked it!

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Photo of oberon
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/copper color with meium head that leaves some great lacing,the aroma is almost non existant with a slight powdered sugar smell.The tast is pretty complex malty sweet with a tast of candied sugar as the backbone alcihol is prevalent in the finish wich is nice and warming.A real nice malty beer,very impressed.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always enjoyed Kwak, and while some speak of it being overrated, I would argue the opposite. A very tasty, malty ale. Creamier than most other Belgian ales. Pours a large, foamy head, with very sticky and prominent lacing. Brownish hue. Definitely balanced towards the malts, and quite sweet. Despite this, a very easy to drink and enjoyable ale (and the ABV is well hidden). Not up there with the absolute greats, but certainly on a par with Corsendonk, Chimay (red), Maudite, and several other excellent Belgian and Belgian-styled brown ales and dubbels.

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

This is a good Belgian ale. Not great. Good. I have always believed that you use excellence as a guidepost and look at it always. Looking at it while I drink Kwak makes me wonder what they could have done a little differently to make this beer better. I'll get to that in a moment.

Kwak poured a pale brown color with a frothy head. I have ead other reviews that mention a very small head, however, mine nearly overran the glass. Surprising. The beer looks nice.

Kwak's aroma is quite subdued, which is surprising for a Belgian ale. I detect a hint of caramel and sugary fruit. Otherwise, the nose is pretty spare.

At first taste, the Kwak is purely sweet. It is a malty version of a Belgian pale ale wannabe, not unlike a Corsendonk Agnus (which is far more balanced than this). The sweetness overwhelms this beer. As for what could have been done to make it better, I would think some hops...which are very difficult to find here. The sweetness, which is tasty but not expected, actually makes this a drinkable beer.

All in all, a good beer. However, for the style it is mediocre. I usually don't drink mediocre beers more than once but I can see another Kwak in my future. However, given the choice of Kwak versus any number of other Belgians, Kwak will probably lose out.

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Photo of bierman2000
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smooth rich dark brown with caramel, malty overtones.. Alcohol welll noted throughout this bottle with a malty blance that is rich and full bodied and not too sweet.. More like an abbey dubbel in alcohol and color, fruity, delicious and worth every penny. Highly drinkable but dangerous.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very little head when pourred into glass, almost no bubble coming from the bottom. the alcohol is way too evident and takes too much place leaving little for the spice taste to come throught. A little bit disapointed, I was hoping more from this belgian ale which is usually highly rated by beer drinkers...

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.15/5  rDev -42.7%
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.

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Photo of LarryKemp
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of aaronh
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of ipogios
5/5  rDev +33.3%
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.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
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...

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Photo of kbub6f
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
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!

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Photo of Morris729
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.87/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

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Photo of clvand0
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of TXHops
4.59/5  rDev +22.4%
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.

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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.