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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,251 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,251
Reviews: 633
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 30
Gots: 78 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,251 | Reviews: 633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bifrostguard


3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy apricot color with a tall off white head that leaves no lacing.

S - Dark fruit with esters and some spicey tropical undertones.

T - Very sweet. Alcohol is noticeable and welcome. Kind of reminds me of hard cider. Esters, raisins, dates, spice are all very apparent in the flavor.

M - Sticky with a medium body.

D - Despite the sweetness this is still a very drinkable beer. Nothing spectacular but good enough.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 02:04:35 | More by bifrostguard
Photo of nokes

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on recommendation of the waiter at BierMarkt in Toronto.

Very interesting pour into what I assume is the traditional Pauwel Kwak glass...sort of a dumbbell-shaped affair, all rounded curves. Glass upended onto bottle, then flipped over and the bottle pulled out after filling 3/4 of the way up the glass. Effect was similar to a stout pour...lots of bubbles dying down to a two-finger head. The similarities ended there, I think.

Are we *sure* this is a "Belgian Strong Pale Ale"? Doesn't act like the others I've tried.

Some sediment readily obvious, cloudy medium reddish brown. Nice colour, actually...I like the warm tones.

Very fruity aroma, sweet but with some depth to it...maybe figs and bananas?

Taste was surprising, actually. Very little carbonation, and figs were predominant. Odd, somehow...like a fancy spiked punch. Alcohol was well-covered, but detectable.

It felt a little bland in my mouth, actually...I actually prefer a little bit more carbonation than this, but if I had it, I fear I might just think someone put ginger ale in the punch.

Definitely quaffable...you could down this stuff like punch at a party.

Overall, very interesting. Yummy, but not something that would keep me coming back. Glad I tried it. Likely won't drink it much in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 18:25:42 | More by nokes
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from morel's in beijing.

330ml bottle. importer's label of april 2008, with "best by" of2 years later. poured into tulip.

brownish, orangey dull amber. clear. decent head slowly fades to wispy layer and ring. some nice lacing.

aroma has caramel and apple with hints of spice. trace of phenols. overall not offensive, and almost pleasant, but still a bit simple and on the faint side.

flavor is richer, with stronger tones of candy caramel sweetness from the malt and fruity pear-like esters from the yeast. gentle phenols with hint of alcohol. hop presence is mainly just a mild bitterness.

smooth but almost watery feel. finishes with hint of astringency. moderate, prickly carbonation gives a relatively neutral impression.

ah, ok... i guess i now know the frame of reference for allagash and southampton grand cru. the BA classification of "belgian [strong] pale" can range from duvel, to orval and even other brett/wilds like de proef flemish primitive, to this. hmm...

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 18:09:02 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of thekanna


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous hazlenut amber with minimal head.

Smell: Slight yeast with warm, wholesome fruits: apples, pears, cherries. Hints of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. Alcohol is there, but not strongly detectable.

Taste: Tingling spice and carbonation as it hits the mouth. Slight cheese taste, citrus fruits, Bready middle with almost a wafer-like taste. Finishes off with spice and a whiff of alcohol and bitterness.

Overall: a good sipping beer, warming; like drinking mulled cider or wine.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 04:59:58 | More by thekanna
Photo of dontblake


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle - calibration beer at the 2008 Foam on the Range homebrew competition judging.

Grainy malt aromas dominate - some caramel present. Light herby hop aroma in the background. Very light ester, little/no phenols.

Medium Amber, slight haze. Off-white ring of bubbles with light/moderate retention.

Medium malty carmelly sweetness up front w/a hop bitterness that comes soon after. Lingering sweet finish. Little/no hop flavor.

Mouth-filling carbonation, slightly prickly. Medium body, no astringency, slight warmth in the finish.

A malty pale ale with nice hop bitterness. Lacking any notable "Belgian" character, but no significant flaws. Drinkable, but the carbonation gets in the way a bit.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 18:25:38 | More by dontblake
Photo of peabody


3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out really weak ice tea with one finger of white suds. No lacing.
Smell is weak banana and some wheat. A little malt and just a tad of caramel sugar.
Taste is watery plain at first then the dry spices take over. The malt and caramel leave the mouth feeling dirty and thick.
Drinkability is low here. Not thinking too much of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 21:28:20 | More by peabody
Photo of bigkahunas4


2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Kwak yard glass - which was interesting as hell. I had never seen one, and was a bit miffed when they brought out this Mardi Gras beaker.

Body was a honey brown, with zero head (due in part I think to the glass). Some nice minimal lacing. Nose was very cidery, lots of fruits.

The upfront flavor is not surprisingly quite fruity, moving towards its cider foundation, and then settling in some alcohol finish. The aftertaste on this I thought was quite foul, very stale. The mouthfeel on this also was quite odd, as it felt like jelly up front. Certainly wasn't appealing to me.

I wasn't excited by this at all. Seems fairly gimmicky.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 13:58:08 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of sevopie


4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Caramel/amber in color with a HUGE head (likely from the unique glass.)

Smell - Fruity and sugary with hints of malt.

Taste - Sugars fade a bit and the fruit comes forward a bit. Figs and pears are most noticable.

Mouthfeel - Actually relatively mildly carbonated for a Belgian, with a coating mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Very smooth and goes down easy. Gift pack was a bit pricey, but I'd look into the possibility of buying single bottles again.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 01:55:04 | More by sevopie
Photo of positiverpr


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a:chill-haze that never cleared. pomegranite juice color. poured too cold but still less than 1/2 inch head that was beige and short lasting. unimpressive lacing. amost high carbonation.

a:light fruit that is either candied or covered in carmelized marshmallow is the first note i get. some other sweer note that is hard to pin down but reminds me of artificial fruit flavor in candy. no hop aroma.

t:pear first with maybe apple. the flavor then morphs into the lingering, savory carmelized flavor that could be special malt addition but i suspect is kettle caramelization. hint of yeast spice. warming alcohol present throughout but not harsh. i get only a hint of floral hop taste, if that. just a touch of oxidation.

m:medium body. the carbonation and alcohol anesthetize the center of my tongue briefly on each taste. this goes away with loss of carbonation. still a dry finish on the tongue despite the sweetness which again too me suggests wort darkening.

o:dryness helps with drinkability and alcohol hinders slightly. i question the care that was taken with my bottle so i may be skewed. a good beer and the caramelazation is enjoyable but the yeast profile and malt complexity are limited. not a beer that i would have often.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 03:52:00 | More by positiverpr
Photo of allboutbierge


2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was a bit disappointed here. Nothing special going on here and a few aspects are negative.

+ nice appearance, fair sized head, nice retention and lacing...scotch like color.

+/- nothing repugnant about the smell, but nothing tantalizing either. A bit sweet malt and a bit alcohol...not complex.

- alcohol comes much too strong through. tangy. starts a bit on the sweet side, finishes a bit alcohol sour.

- fairly thin body.

+/- yea, i could drink another one if i had one, but I wouldn't buy another one when faced with another option in the genre.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 23:02:58 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of Squelch

United Kingdom (England)

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy, Amber beer with a slight diminishing head.

Smell: No hop aroma. Smells like a double or triple. Very nice aroma

Taste: Sweet, cidery, smooth. Run of the mill double.

mouthfeel: medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall a nice beer. Not the best Belgium beer I've had but wouldn't pass it up if offered

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 03:29:23 | More by Squelch
Photo of AlexLMS


3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in the beautiful Kwak glass, the beer poured with a clear, very appealing orange-bronze colour, presenting a good amount of floating sediments. The head was very large, off-white, moussy and dense that lasted till I finished the beer.

The nose was a mixture of spices, yeast, with an alcoholic vinous mark and raw sugar cane notes.

The taste was quite complex, very spiced with a tangy ciderish bitter and alcoholic vinous flavour.

It was slightly dry with a high carbonation level and high alcohol presence. Full body but surprisingly crisp refreshing feel. The finish was very long with spices and bitterness dominating it.

Overall, Kwak is a very nice and complex beer. It is quite different from the majority of Belgium ales and definitely a must try.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 16:09:08 | More by AlexLMS
Photo of krunchie


3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Served in a high glass at the recommended temperature (as stated on the label)

A: Clear amber, highly carbonated(!), almost like ice tea. Poor head retention, starts off light and foamy but quickly dissapears like the CO2 foam up of pouring up a coke.

S: Sweet and fruity. Quite malty nose with hints of pears or apples. Maybe even some banana (almost wheaty smell like Hoegaarden, perhaps it's even made with wheat?)

T: Quite sweet fruity initial taste, followed by a quite unpleasant bitterness at the end. Not very strong, but unpleasant. Usually I like the bitterness of IPAs and similar styles, but I didn't like the bitterness of this one, unfortunately. Again, some pear and apple.

M: Covers the entire mouth with a highly carbonated body and bitterness. Quite light and thin body.

D: Almost like soda or ice tea. Easily drinkable, but the bitterness keeps it from getting an A.

I'm a bit dissapointed to be honest, but if you're into different brews, this might be interesting.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 12:56:00 | More by krunchie
Photo of tr4nc3d


3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color with a two finger head, nice lacing on the sides of the glass with a foamy head that stays for a while. Looks like an interesting beer waiting for me to take a sip.

Smells of pears, citrusy fruits, yeast with some spicyness added in there.

Decent amount of carbonation, hint of sweetness, dried fruits

Nice amount of carbonation, crisp.

Ok brew with decent drinkability, but nothing to interesting to pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 03:42:29 | More by tr4nc3d
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is malty, sour, yeasty, and fruity. Apple, notes of butterscotch, and some crisp, bright hop and/or yeast spicy/floral notes. Slight cider/vinegar notes.

Pours a dark apricot dirty blond color - dark on the Pale Ale scale. Not at all clear, but not hazy. Mild head wasted little time dissipating. I like the color, but I'd like to see some head retention.

First sip shows a nice body with mild flavor - mostly centered around sticky malt and sour yeastiness. Thick malt with moderate levels of unfermented sugars. Lemongrass and flowery notes. Faint hint of alcohol. Moderate tartness. Mild bitterness. So far, it's not very exciting. Mild medicinal flavors swirl through the finish as it warms. Slightly spicy; and kind of minty cool. Crisp, dry honey-like sweetness. Notes of pine and smoky burnt roasted flavors. Finishes just slightly medicinally dry; mostly clean.

Kwak is okay, but it never wowed me with any sort of pizzazz. Tastes good, but it's kind of light. It didn't come at all close to delivering a good, solid sole-shaking balance. Nothing about it is bad, it just isn't interesting. With so many great BSPAs out there, why bother with Pauwel Kwak? To be fair, everything deserves a second chance; I'll give Kwak another shot after my palate has expanded.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 02:42:24 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of zeff80


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, orange/copper color with a small, tan, bubbly head. It left behind a soapy sheet of lace.

S - It smelled of spices and a good deal of yeast.

T - Great spicy/yeasty flavor blended with a smooth, sweet caramel malt backbone. Also, some dried fruit flavors.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice tasting brew. Flavors are complex and unique.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 03:07:13 | More by zeff80
Photo of SirChugsAlot


4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark copper color with about 2 fingers of off white head that lasts for quite some time. Very little lacing spirals around the glass.

Aroma is sweet with caramel, malts and brown sugar
Taste just like it smells at 8% i'd expect a hint of alcohol but not on this one.
lightly carbonated which leads to a light / medium body which goes down smooth.
I wish i bought more then 1 bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 02:12:26 | More by SirChugsAlot
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Finley's, Huntington.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet cereal grain with some yeast esters.

The taste consisted of a sweet cereal type malt with undertones of caramel and toffee. There was an understated yeast ester and light earthy hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the heavier side of the style.

Overall a tasty but uneventful experience.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2008 23:04:32 | More by plaid75
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL corked bottle of the Kwak. Beer has a nice profile: dark amber colored liquid beneath a frothy head. The aroma is slightly sweet hovering over a Belgian background of yeast and earthiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slippery. A caramel sweetness meets the taste buds up front and gives way to a slightly acidic, spicy husky malt combination with a twist of funk. The alcohol is noticeable at the end. A decent beer. Different in the flavor profile that it presents and reasonable drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 22:51:45 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of Bananaman


4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it in a profile glassware @ Bishop's Arms, Karlstad. Nice beer, I did think it was better the first time though.

Nice dark amber color with a big beige head that lasts until the beer is finished.

Smells nice of citrus fruits, yeast and some nice caramel notes. And some pecuilar aroma I can't really put my finger on, something sweet anyway.

Tastes great! Even better than the smell. Very fruity beer with a touch of cirtus fruit, a bit like a unmatured orange or something. The beer in general is dominated by a very special sweet maltiness balanced by a light hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 08:05:11 | More by Bananaman
Photo of tempest


3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Carefully decanted into my wine glass, it was a clear red with a tan head.

I've always heard this was an interesting brew and it didn't disappoint. It immediately reminded me of an oak-aged beer for the mellow, earthy spice. There are also notes of caramel and molasses with dried berries in the background. It's not the most complex Belgian, but at 8% abv its very drinkable and worth a try for something different.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 03:19:05 | More by tempest
Photo of sholland119


3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into the classic Kwak glass. The process of getting the glass back into the holder is, I believe, a fair test of sobriety and fine motor skills. Glad I had mine early in the evening.

A-Pours a clear copper color with a solid tan head and a bit of lacing.

S-Caramelly sweet with notes of brown sugar.

T-Is that all there is? Caramel and honey sweetness and not much else. Nice enough but quite one note.

M-Good carbonation, just a little rich.

D-Not so interested in having another really. Love the glass though.


Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 19:24:02 | More by sholland119
Photo of brdc


4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle poured into a tulip.

Nice glowing orange, but the off-white head shows little to no retention, and very little lacing.
Sweetish and fruity aroma, mostly pears, some caramel and spices.
A bit thin, same sweetish taste, fruity with caramel, not very noticeable alcohol, spiced at the end.
Not very complex and a bit thin, but still very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 02:07:11 | More by brdc
Photo of Reagan1984


3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came with a thin off white head that faded fairly quickly back into the beer. There was little lacing after the beer was consumed. The beer itself was a distinctive orange/amber color. The beer was slightly hazy with no real visible carbonation.

Aroma was fruity with some spice notes. I also got the sense of some yeast in the aroma.

Taste was pretty good. The flavor seemed to follow the aroma quite consistently. There were a bunch of fruit notes, including some dried fruits and apples. I also got a slightly burnt caramel flavor from the malt. Was interesting.

Mouth feel was medium/light in body and the beer was pretty drinkable. Perhaps this is thought of as a gateway Belgian. Pretty nice, but not as complex and deep as some others.

Glad I tried it, but, I'm not sure I'd run for another.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2008 21:23:11 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of dino213aa


3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, light amber appearance. Orangish brown in the center moving to a golden yellow on the edges. Minimal head that dissipates quickly. Slight uneven and spotty lacing. High carbo.

S: Acidic. Notes of honey, orange peel and coriander.

T&M: Taste on this one is somewhat mediocre. Not a whole lot going on.. some mild malt and honey flavors. Maybe some of that coriander I smelled. To me this brew seems a bit watered down for being a "strong" ale. The high carbo on this one tickles my palette.

D: Overall it would be pretty easy to knock back several of these- but in the same way light beer goes down easy. Not necessarily very gratifying, especially for the cost. I will say that drinking this from the official mini-yard as I am now helps. Last bottle of this seemed incredibly sweet, now not so much.

There are much more interesting brews to drop $$ on than this.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2008 19:41:51 | More by dino213aa
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,251 ratings.