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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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

1,369 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,369
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 123 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,369 | Reviews: 646 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vandemonian
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pauwel Kwak has an amber/red colour and an excellent 2 cm head that lasts. This is a great looking beer, although not exactly pale. The smell is yeasty and a little sour with hints of apple. This beer is lovely and malty with some caramel notes. The alcohol is pretty noticeable. There are some notes of apple toward the end. This beer is thick and foamy in the mouth and really delicious.

vandemonian, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Aiptasia
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one with a friend on tap in the authentic Pauwel Kwak mini-yard glass with wooden holder stand at Kickbacks gastropub in Jacksonville, FL. The wooden stand is shaped like a C clamp with the mini yard bulb slipping into it, which became progressively harder and harder to fit into the holder as the alcohol hit us.

The holder and the yard glass does draw attention, as we were asked about it several times by other patrons in the pub. People must have thought we were drinking some kind of hopsanomic science experiment with the number of questions and comments from random strangers we got.

A: A ruby ocre color. No real noticeable head and only traces of a halo lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Smell was decent, caramel and dried fruit notes so similar to other Belgian darks.

T: Taste was well balanced. Even amounts of fruit hops with mild dry citrus. Not overly sweet with a dry finish.

M: Medium bodied. Drinkable. Micro-carbonation with a very dry finish. Not sweet.

D: High alcohol content means drink it with care. As it isn't as sweet as some Big Belgians, i'd consider it slightly more drinkable.

Aiptasia, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of argock
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.99.

A: Inviting soft brown with short 1/2-finger cap of light beige sticky head with nice foaminess and ample lacing.

S: Mostly phenols and brown sugar/caramel and mild herbal hoppiness

T: Kind of a cross between a dubbel and a BSPA for me with all of the clove-phenol that comes through the middle. Initially a lot of malt sweetness with rum raisin and pears comes through followed by a wave of fruity alcohol and a finish of heavy phenols and pepper with some herbal hoppiness. Sweetness lingers in the aftertaste with more nougat and caramel.

M: Good medium body with brisk carbonation and smooth overall feel.

D: A good one to try, but many other Belgians provide more complexity and interesting qualities. Still glad I tried it and may come back to it every once in awhile.

argock, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of boss302
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A orange clear not much head 4

S Lots of fruit and berries, Belgian typical. 4.5 

T Some sweetness. Rich and flavorful.  Apricot, plums. Clean finish. 4.5 

M thick and creamy very smooth mouthfeel. 4.5

D A fine beer, I will be purchasing more of this. 4.5

boss302, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of Noctilucus
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, rather deep orange-amber with a solid slightly beige head.
Definite a nose of hops and somehow spices (even if there aren't any spices used to brew it) and this aroma is also reflected in the taste, though a tiny bit sweeter than the smell led me to expect.
Definitely some alcohol in the mix, not surprising for an 8.4% ABV beer. At a slightly higher temperature than the recommended 5-6°C (41-43°F) it's easier to enjoy the aftertaste that's nicely malty though not overdone.
Quite a strong taste and definitely a brew to try, though over the years this one has sunk in my list from a personal favourite to just a solid, good beer as I now tend more towards dubbels and quads.

Noctilucus, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Kwak Stirrup/Yard glass. 8.4% ABV, Best Before AC/1BB 3.19 06:56.

A - There's no real way to measure the head with how tall and skinny the glass is, so let's suffice it to say there's a lot of it. Watching the turbulent foam battle itself in the slender glass trying to go both up and down is interesting. Great retention, super-thick and clingy lace, and beautiful clear golden amber in color. One hell of a sexy beer in it's original glass.

S - It starts disappointing with a rustic, almost musty American Amber Ale aroma. Toasted, almost roasted amber malts with Willamet-like earthy hops. Notes of dry leaves and buttery popcorn come through. Mineral hints and a pinch of yeast. Not Belgian-like in the least bit.

T - Strong mineral flavor and notes of metal with very earthy hops presenting dry leaves and slight tobacco. Toasted amber malts are a bit bread-like and it's got a dark candi-sugar-like sweetness with hints of yeast. Undertones of caramel and toffee come through. Suggestions of butter on the finish, this gets a little more enjoyable with each sip, but that's not saying much, especially for a Belgian beer.

M - Smooth entry into a medium body, Pauwel has a little carbonation tickle a bit into it and a slightly dry sweetness to the finish. Warming alcohol hides in the background.

D - I had this on one other occasion and enjoyed it much, much more than this. This one is like a bad American attempt at a Belgian amber ale. A lacking of almost all the classic characteristics that make Belgian beer what it is. It's drinkable for the alcohol percent but towards the bottom of the glass, drinker be ware of the air bubble that shoots more than a mouthful your way.

BeerFMAndy, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of Daredevil
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very interesting brew ... right after serving it (chilled) there was some taste of medecine and especially sage (a taste I particularly dislike) ... but once it 'warmed' up to around 12°C or 54F the spicy tastes become more integrated, making the beer rather pleasant .... as it is full bodied with strong taste it would make a great food compagnion .... Shanghai and Peking cuisine would be suited particularly by it .... funny enough it's reputation comes from wagoners ....

Daredevil, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a hazy red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, alcohol, and a nutty note. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew, but was not awe-inspiring in any way. I know that some people swear by this beer, but I just don't see it. Sure it is an okay brew, but there really isn't any complexity or depth to it in my opinion. I would probably buy this just to get the Kwak glass, but that is about it.

thagr81us, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of NightINgale
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a tulip glass...

A - The body is cloudy and has a nice ruby colour to it. The head is of a light caramel kind of colour. Pretty good head retention and lacing.

S - The aroma is quite robust, dominated by fruit notes and hints of caramel. Yeasty and bready. Not the most intense smell in the world but still good.

T - Starts out very fruity, with hints of red grape, apple, plum, and even strawberry. This beer is very sweet (perhaps even pushing the sweetness limit a little). The sweetness is enhanced by a caramel-like maltiness, which lingers for quite some time. Some bitter hoppiness is also present. The finish is sweet and bready, with hints of butterscotch. Very tasty, though a bit too sweet! Definitely different from an average Belgian Strong ale.

M - Medium-bodied, a little syrupy. At first there is a pretty high level of carbonation, which then decreases and allows the beer to be a little smoother. The alcohol content gives out a warming sensation but does not get in the way of taste all that much.

D - The drinkability is not that high, even for a Belgian ale. The alcohol hints and the intense sweetness make this beer a sipper at max.

NightINgale, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of AaronRed
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was recommended to me by the waiter at Waterzooi.. with my mussels. He picked this one our for me given what I was eating and though it would go well, which it undoubtedly did. It was served in small yard style glass in a wooden holder. Very crisp, almost grassy aromas- reminiscent of hayfields or being out somewhere on a meadow. Taste was fresh and somewhat bitter, with some subtle tartness in the back of the sip. The beer has strength, but you can't really tell when eating. Goes great with food, especially with mussels in a creamy bacon sauce. I have to say the experience was great and this beer added to it.

AaronRed, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of TheBrewo
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We pour an entirely translucent brew of deep orange. It creates a head of thick tan foam that recedes at a medium speed. No lace appears throughout the sitting. Carbonation looks to be standard, and no sediment or haze is present. The aroma is naturally malty, with inclusions from sweet browned apples, bubblegum esters, and a fine metallic twinge. There is also a bit of spicy nutmeg high up on the nose, riding alongside a splash of booze. As we sip, the metallic aspects from the aroma hit the tongue at its tip. Fruity esters envelope the remainder of the mouth, but they are light enough to let the alcohol shine through, right from the start, with a bitter pepperiness. There is also a bitterness of yeast observed here. The flavoring calms down significantly through the middle, with sweetened malts washing the palate clean. The beer comes full circle in the end, with sweet and fruity esters and malts, and a generous boozing, to be the last things to leave the mouth. The aftertaste breathes with light malts, simple sweetness, and ethanol. The body is medium, as is the carbonation, fizzing out on the tongue. The mouth is left more satiated than dried, and there is a reasonable frothiness to each sip. The abv is within range, but due to the highly alcoholic flavoring, the beer sips a bit more slowly.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how much flavor was up front. Stronger brews can tend to save all of their punch for the very last drop, with an explosion of flavoring and alcohol at the back. Here, however, everything robust about it is laid out in the start of the sip, which is certainly interesting. Although we were not able to enjoy this brew out of its traditional glass, it provided a fine tasting, but was a bit cumbersome.

TheBrewo, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of DoktorZee
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Lager glass (not quite the traditional shape, but close)

A - brown-red and highly carbonated, fluffy head that resolves after a few minutes with little lacing

S - very yeasty, bready with no other notes

T - very sweet; surprisningly so. Lots of bread and yeast, with a bit of caramel

M - less carbonation that the appearance, slight warming booziness and still quite light

D - goes down very easy, but actually lacks a little character

Decent drink, but the sweetness is pretty unusual. Probably wouldn't drink it again.

DoktorZee, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of bventure
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ornage/brown, very slightly hazy, pale head dissipates quickly, never entirely disappears.
Smell; Lots of caramel, candied fruits, toffee apple.
Taste: Lots of caramel, russett apples, some alcohol. Maybe rather too sweet, more noticable towards the bottom of the glass.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth, low carbonation
Drinkability: Enjoyable if drunk fairly quickly, gets a bit sweet and stodgy if left in glass too long.

Not one I'd drink all the time, but very nice when in the mood for alcoholic caramel.

bventure, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of PorterLambic
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours somewhat hazy with a big, light tan head. That head dissipates rather quickly for a 2" high pile of foam and not quietly either. No lace.
Smell is malty with notes of cardboard and light spice.
Taste is malty and spicy with citrus and hops notes. Alcohol present but not heavy. Grape note present as well.
Slightly warming with a somewhat sharp effervescence bite at the front. Mellows nicely, leaving a malty, spicy grape aftertaste. Medium/full body. A decent brew but not great.

PorterLambic, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of fourplayed
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mild hazy orange and golden color with 1 finger off white head.

Smells of sweet pears, peaches, apricots and some funky belgian yeasts.

Tastes, at first a pretty big alcohol presense with some apples coming through. a mild bitter hop bite, yeasts and bread/grains come thru in the finish for a nice complexity.

Lite to Med body with big fizzy carbonation, big alcohol warmth, a little bitter and dry in the finish.

Very nice blend of Fruits, malts, yeasts, some hops and a big alcohol kick kept this brew interesting and enjoyable.

fourplayed, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of Ochsenblut
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a mini-yard at a local pub in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

A- Reddish-brown and opaque with a finger of fine off-white head that faded to very sticky lacing.

S- My recent cold prevented me from getting everything out of it, but I smell sweet candy and something floral I couldn't place my finger on.

T- This beer hit me, even closed up and sick as I am with a medicinal and licorice taste. The alcohol is not very well hidden and there is no real hops presence to speak of.

M- Medium to heavy mouthfeel with a small amount of carbonation.

D- This beer lacks complexity. But if you like black licorice and an alcoholic sting in the back of your throat whilst a cold is on, Kwak does the job nicely.

Ochsenblut, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into my duvel tulip. i wish i had the crazy looking bottle and wooden thing for this one, but i didnt want to drop $30 on it. oh well.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a hazy looking amber colored body with a full finger of fluffy bright white head on top. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind large globs of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice in the nose is belgian yeast. after that i get some bready malts and sweet candi sugar. there are some fruity notes here which add to the sweetness. some apple, grape, and pear.

T- the taste starts out with bready malts and belgian yeast. there is a little bit of toffee in here as well. after that i get sweet belgian candi sugar and some light summer fruits (pear, grape, apple, and a hint of cherry). a little bit of alcohol sneaks through at the end along with some grassy hops.

M- this beer is light bodied and highly carbonated. not much warming from the alcohol.

D- this was an average beer at best for the style. i dont think ill be picking this one up again anytime soon. i wouldnt mind having it again in the special glass though.

jwinship83, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of yaegerje
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ the Bull-Dog in Uptown, Minneapolis MN.

Came in its 'traditional' serving glass with wooden holster/handle.

A - In a dark bar it looked like a hazy orangeish copper

S - mostly sweet fruity notes, a bit of malt

T - A really pleasingtaste, nice and malty with just a little taste of hops coming through? I really enjoyed the taste, mellow carbonation and fruitiness too

M - nice and smooth, no complaints

D - I'd order again, I think it was only 6 during happy hour so it was worth it to me

yaegerje, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle with no freshness date.

Caramel colored, clear for the first pour, hazier toward the second half of the bottle. The head is large and billowing before slowly settling to a collar.

The nose is heavy on caramelized malt and dried fruit. Red apple and pineapple are prominent.

Fruitiness is strong on the tongue; red apple, dried apricot and pineapple. There's a caramelized malt backbone along with a light spiciness. The body is medium, though the beer feels overly sweet halfway through the glass. The finish is semi-dry, bready, a bit peppery.

largadeer, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of harrymel
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes of 6.5.10:

This beer is a 750ml cork and cage, bottled 6.20.08, two years cellared.

Poured from bottle to New Belgium tulip.

A: Deep amber, almost ruby with mahogany texture. Ongoing ribbons ascend to join sheet of fine linen colored sheet of head.

S: Deep apple nose. Granny smith with a hint of red deliscious skins. Pie cherries as well.

T: Initially light and malty. Then as warms in mouth, yeasty tartness emerging over palate.

M: medium body, low carbonation. You really get to enjoy the beer nuances around 60F. Leaves mouth slick and satisfied for several minutes between sips.

D: I don't really care for Kwak, but I picked these up on discount and wondered what would happen. Now I know. I have a few more bottles and will drink when I want something special, but not too heavy.

harrymel, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of marty21
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy deep amber/copper colour. A very big white foamy head that settles to a solid white ring. Leaves a few spots of lacing.

S: Very sweet aroma of tropical fruits. Also malty and some faint floral hops. Spices finish off the aroma.

T: I get a tropical fruit/candy taste as well as some spices. Leaves me with a spice/peppery aftertaste. Can detect some alcohol but it's very well hidden.

M: Has a medium body with medium carbonation.

D: This beer is a lot different then anything I've ever had. It's not a bad beer but I couldn't have more than one in one sitting. It's not because of the high Abv I enjoyed that. The taste is just too sweet. It's almost a chore to finish the last couple sips.

marty21, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of jonb5
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle, poured into leffe goblet, less than 1 finger head, brownish ruby colour,hazy. Sweet corky, hoppy smell. Tastes of sweet wheat, not much carbonation, reminds me of Fullers ESB, abv is more apparent as you drink more. Could have 2 but not more, uncomplex but decent, glad I've tried this but would not seek it out.

jonb5, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish orange with a big fluffy cream-colored head. Light lacing. Great color and decent head retention. Pretty beer.

Really dug for aromas at all stages in the glass. Some alcohol, cherry, and tropical fruit, and woody aromas, but not as strong as I would like.

First sip is alcohol, some cherry and wood, sugary candied notes. This clears to tropical fruit, toasted malt, more alcohol and a fruit flavor (flavor, not sweetness) mingled with a husk bitterness that is long. There is some light mouth-draw right at the end. Very smooth. As the beer warms, the candied elements disappear. The funny thing about this one is that even though you know there's alcohol here (and at 8% it is an ass-kicker), you don't really take note of it that much. The other part of this is that even though the flavors are there, they lack intensity. Not watery, but needs more strength.

Medium body, appropriate carbonation.

One that changes in the glass a bit, and has great elements to it. Decent balance, hidden alcohol levels, but one you can't go too fast or too slow through. Anytime you can put big sips down of an 8% brew, it is obvious that it is well made. It lacks some refinement and in the end you finish it because it is in your glass and not because you want it.

OtherShoe2, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy amber-brown color. Film-like off-white head is mostly a film.

Smell: Hardly any identifiable aromas, but it is pretty earthy. I think there's a bit of apple in there, though.

Taste: It has a fairly mild taste of apple and pear. There's some mild earthy and yeast flavors in there too. Just a slight bit of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and generally smooth, although there is a bit of (pleasant) grain to it.

Drinkability: No taste of alcohol, and pretty easy to drink.

Rather different from what I expected. Tasty but not particularly inspiring - but there is a certain rustic-ness that is growing on me.

mithrascruor, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of woemad
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $4.99. "Best before: BC/AB/CABB 322 15:04." Hmmm...

Poured a russet color that takes on a reddish hue when held up to light. Two inches or so of off-white foam that dropped quickly, leaving a foam collar. Lots of lace.

Fruity and sugary in the nose. Elements of candy, cherries and apples vie for attention.

The apple flavor is the first thing that hits the tastebuds, and is the strongest element of the beer's flavor. There's also the flavor of cherries and caramel candies, but compared to the apples they're rather transitory. A slight warming alcohol sensation makes itself known at the swallow.

Somewhat lightbodied, with a coating mouthfeel.

A good, not great beer. There's better examples of the style out there, but it's hitting the spot after dinner. I'd drink it again for the right price.

woemad, Nov 09, 2010
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,369 ratings.