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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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

1,335 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,335
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 32
Gots: 117 | 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
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Ratings: 1,335 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meatmallet
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish copper color with a large tan head. It is very murky and lots of carbonation can be seen streaming up from the bottom.

Smell: Sweet and sour at the same time. I get grapes, sour apple, and honey.

Taste: Much like the smell it is sweet and sour with apples bringing the sour flavors and the grapes providing the sweetness. The alcohol really comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. The only disappointment is the aftertaste really falls flat.

meatmallet, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of endovelico
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into dimpled stein. Taken from notes. Reviewed under medium low artificial light. Reviewed on the 09-10-09.

Appearance: This brew pours as a copper, not entirely clear liquid without any perceivable effervescence. Forms a minute white head which is probably the reason this should be served in a yard glass. Does not present much lacing or head retention.

Aroma: The aroma is of decent strength with notes of sweet chocolate, caramel, an assertive herbal hop character, and a whiff of yeast. Reminds me of pudding flan. Some slight metallic off taste.

Taste: Strong strength with notes of Rum, sweet chocolate and spices. Can't really make out what kind of spices so you know its well made in that regard. Develops into a rummy, coca cola like taste.

Palate: Low Bitterness. Heavy on the palate with medium to medium full body and low carbonation. Finishes swet and is very balanced.

Drinkability: Good Price quality ratio. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Its a decent Belgian beer although i stuggle to label it. Its definetely not a Belgian Pale Ale though, if anything it trades closer to a Dubbel.

endovelico, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of WoogityBoogity
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper body with haze and random floaties. White head of cream fades quickly.

S - Strong, biscuty malt aroma. Floral character with low hop presence. Some random spice phenols are detected, but not pronounced.

T - Moderate spice phenols on a smooth malt palate. Medium hop character and medium peppery spice phenols help balance. Some bitter on a dry finish.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Low warming from alcohol.

D - Taste of the palate characters wasn't blended well, but synergy progresses with consumption.


Not a terrible Belgian Pale Ale if you're into that style.

WoogityBoogity, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of Kristing
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is amber with a red ruby tone. The head is tan, quite thick and retains well.

The aroma is malty and fresh with a hint of citrus. When first starting to drink the beer the taste is rich with a definitive malt flavour and a light bitter aftertaste. As you continue to drink the flavour becomes more complex and much more bitter, along with a small fruit tone. However, at the end the flavour is much more fruity with a tone of banana.

The carbonation is low and the mouthfeel is define by the malty flavour, along with a reasonable bitterness. Due to the complexity of the brew, the drinkability is not that high. It is in some ways reminiscient of a trappist beer, although not as good.

Kristing, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Asgeirr
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pauwel Kwak pours a beautiful tone of mahogany along with an airy crown of a tone comparable to that of buffed leather. Alas, the monarchy is not of any longevity since the crown is reduced to the level of commoners in but a matter of seconds. Noble looks aside, plenty of rather big bubbles tend to fizzle like a soda pop on steroids whilst the entropy takes place in aforementioned crown.

Smell: A deep, sweet tone of cognac is the primary sensory input here, just the way I like 'em. Continually, we also get honey interacting with grape juice, some traces of butterscotch and leather may be scented as well.

Taste: First and foremost a cane sugar-like sweetness with burnt undertones comes forth along with a bitterness of distinct, and yet discrete character, perplexing and persistent to the bitter (get it, bitter? Oh never mind, dry humour has no place in today's world of obscene-extreme, fontanelle-fucking schematic-smegmatics...) end. Finally, and to a lesser extent, some sarsaparilla -- or root beer for that matter -- and hints of pear occasionally makes a visit on the palate.

Mouthfeel: A wee bit thin (light-to-medium full), creamy almost oily in its consistency. The beer in question leaves the mouth with a considerably dry feeling afterwards and despite of having a rather high level of alcohol it does a pretty good job keeping itself clandestine and only, once in a while, make itself heard as a warming aftertaste. Additionally, the oh so lively carbonation in appearance faded rather quickly leaving it -- hypothetically -- just like a soda pop, or anything for that matter, on steroids: all show no go...

Drinkability: Sure, nice and complex with a lot of pretty unique traits but a lot of small factors are missing to those traits, which all together simply end up leaving this one standing at the finish line of the "Superb brew Marathon". To clarify: there is absolutely nothing wrong with this "Belgian strong pale ale", it is in fact pretty good, its just that it exists a whole bunch of better ones out there so why necessarily choose this one in nine times out of ten?

Asgeirr, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of IRONRakkasan
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber with a floral malty aroma. No head, with a nice carbonation. It was dryer then expected, but still good. There was a hint of bitterness, and the alcohol content was hidden well in the lightly burnt malty floral taste.

As the beer got warmer, the flavors where enhanced, and much more enjoyable. Definitely one for sipping and enjoying.

I'd recommend trying it.

IRONRakkasan, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of crossovert
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

For my 50th review I figured I'd do something special. Already one of my more well-liked brews, I'm deciding to have it this time in its on glass which I found cheap at the local store. I'm pouring from a 750ml glass and unfortuneately not the 11.2 ouncer.

Pours almost all foam into the special glass, let's see how I do in the end when the head dissipates. About 5 seconds after the pour the head level rises and goes for about a minute, looks like I was a few centimeters off on the pour, oh well, it is a one of a kind glass and I'm not looking for the perfect pour on this one.

The beer itself is a nice crystal clear bright amber with a foamy off-white head that takes a good while (Over 5 min) to dissipate. By this time the beer is at optimal temperature.

Sent is fruity, spicy, sweetish, slightly tropical, with a large whiff of alcohol. Fruits come out in banana and acidic pineapple. The spice is of coriander. Smells like a nice elixir.

The nice, smooth, and creamy mouthfeel in this one leads to an alcoholic fruity sweetness that leads to a beautiful biscuity malt taste that melds with some cream/vanilla flavor. The fruit is caramelized bananas fried and macerated in brandy with hints of apple in the finish. It is really creamy and really gives the impression of the bananas and cream. Sweetness is very high but not cloying or too over the top. Alcohol permeates the taste as it did in the scent and works well with the fruit'n'cream flavors already mentioned.

This is a dessert in a bottle for sure, a strong Belgian ale meant for slow sippin to cap the night off with a bang.

crossovert, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be very good, highly drinkable with some complexity and elements nicely integrated, if a bit on the sweet side.

Red-gold amber, a tad bit hazy, it has a huge, off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin, foamy top and leaving only a little very weak lace.

The aroma is toasted bread, caramelly buttered toast, fruit, leaves, plums, and hint of prune. It has a slight similarity to a stronger English ESB.

The taste is light spice cake, buttery tpast, grain, fruit, malty and caramelly with light earthy notes, all well integrated and balanced aside from the fact that it is clearly quite sweet, with light spice and only a hint of bitterness. Alcohol is barely noticeable, aside form ading to the lightly spicey-warm character and feel. It does not taste as strong as it is.

Offa, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into the awesome Pauwel Kwak glass, complete with the wooden support.

Appearance: A deep amber hue, slightly brown with a small, fizzling white head.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, ripe dark fruit, and a soft aroma of alcohol.

Taste: Semi-strong caramel malt up front, with hints of vanilla and some spicy notes. Maybe even some white grape skin lingering in the background. The alcohol is present up front as well, fading as the spicy notes take over. In spite of all of the flavor up front, the taste fades out midway through, with not much hop presence. What hops are there are soft and slightly earthy. Sweet at both the start and finish.

Mouthfeel: The alcohol and sweetness create quite a stir in my mouth, with a medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability: Even with the awesome glassware, this is a little bit sweet and lacks complexity to really warrant repeat consumption. Does not compare favorably with their other beers.

KickInTheChalice, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pure honey pour, minimal head and lace. Clear.

S - Malty sweet hint of bitter. Very subtle smell.

T - Center of malt, spicy in center, bittered at finish.

M - Medium body, good carb, ok balance.

D - If it was the only 6 pack, I would not complain.

srandycarter, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of Evocatus
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a beautiful deep red-orange color like a deep amber. Head was a bubble beige that dissipated rather quickly; although a thin head did linger. Armoa was pretty yeasty with a bit of malt, and the taste had a mix of a bready and fruity taste. The alcohol slightly makes itself apparent as it warms up. Slightly creamy and bubbly when drinking. Overall another good Belgian ale.

Evocatus, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of ClevoPiwo
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, this beer is a nice color: deep amber or mahogany with hints of copper or caramel color. Decent head reaches about 1/2 finger lengths and dissipates into a light ring around the edge leaving a slight lacing.

Smell is malty and sweet with hints of dark ripe fruit, raisin, and caramel. Not a whole lot else going on with the smell apart from the malt and fruit sweetness.

Taste is creamy up front with malt presence and a sweet raisin taste. While the initial taste is nice, there isn't much middle or finish to speak of. The alcohol is present and warms on the way down but that is the really the only lingering taste that I get.

Overall a decent beer. Finishes quick and doesn't have quite the complexity of other Belgians, but nonetheless enjoyable.

ClevoPiwo, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of Kemmerlin
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: dark orange red color with thin head and lacing. Has a light hazed look.
s: the aromas are extremely light with yeast and banana.
T: has a strong banana taste in the front and a dank yeast in the back and aftertaste but very tasty to me.
M/d: the feel is smooth but heavy and slightly syrupy. The drinkability is easy an good for containing a decent amount of alcohol.

Kemmerlin, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of Grunewald
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a deep ruddy-orange color. The beer has a decent head that dies down to a ring.

S - licorice, pomegranate, maraschino cherry

T - sweet, candy like malt with hints of fruit. A subtle alcohol taste similar to desert wines lingers in the mouth.

M - medium carbonation, very smooth body and a slightly chalky finish

D - excellent taste and mouthfeel. This is a great sipping beer.

Grunewald, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of trevorwideman
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep caramel-red colour with about a finger of creamy head that disappears to a thin, wet lace very quickly. Carbonation is minimal. Aroma is of damp leaves and heavy with sweet candi sugar and malt. There's a light backbone of spice as well.

Taste is musty off the bat with with herbal notes and a fairly pronounced fruity sweetness. Ripe apples and bready yeast with a hint of buttery mellowness. Not particularly complex, and maybe leaning on the side of sweet, yet not cloying. Mouthfeel is zippy but not overly carbonated, as I find some Belgians to be. Soft and smooth, slides down easily. This is a decent Belgian pale, but far from the best.

trevorwideman, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Significant departure from the bros. on this one. This is a really smooth, fine, creamy Belgian Strong ale, well worth seeking out. It pours a nice amber color, lots of carbonation, lots of creamy off white head, decent retention, just a touch of lace. The nose is a bit boozy, floral, yeasty, and there is a bit of clove and over ripe fruitiness to the beer.

The taste is very Belgianesque, very sweet from the candied sugars, very floral, lots of clove, some pineapple, some rind flavors. There is a definite booziness to the beer, especially prevalent on the back end and beyond. The 8% ABV comes out as the beer settles. There is a touch of some sweet caramel in there too. This is a nice Belgian, pretty characteristic for the style, flavorful, and full palated. A nice seeker outer.

albern, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of drtth
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Piraat snifter. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer as served is a lightly hazed reddish amber with a ½" off-white head. The head recedes gradually but eventually leaves a ring of foam. Sipping (slowly) leaves some nice lacing patterns with legs and speckles for about the first third of the beer before the lacing is gone. Some small to medium sized floaties in the glass become visible near the bottom.

Smell: The aroma is faint but sweet malt and yeasty with faint spices and no real traces of hops or alcohol.

Taste: The taste is pretty simple and almost candy-like in its sweetness. There is also yeast and a bit of spice in here with the light caramel maltiness and the alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied and feels smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. The finish medium long and is mostly sweet from the malt but ends with a mildly bitter touch.

Drinkability: This is not a complex beer but I did enjoy it for most of the beer. (But I must confess I was almost ready for it to end before it did.) I would not want more than one of these at a sitting and give a choice there are others I'll choose over it. I also find it hard to think of this as being the same style as Duvel and Delerium Tremens.

drtth, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Eulogy. Went for a smaller pour into a gobblet rather than the official Kwak tube.

A - Sunburst, red/orange brown. Decne froth but little lacing.

S - Very bland smell. Very light hints of sweet fruit hidden by a yeasty, musty, bread nose.

T - Malts with a hint of apple. Missing that Belgian yeast flavor ive come to expect. Not much going on, but decent none the less.

M - Light/Medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy yet Sugary sticky

D - average taste at 8% would lead me to something a bit more flavorful in that ABV range.

rfgetz, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of PartyBear
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750ml wine-style bottle into a trademark Pauwel Kwak Yard glass with stand (Probably the best glass ever!)

A - Deep golden, almost orange in colour. Quite active carbonation. Big creamy head, with very persistent lacing.

S - Sugary sweet, and ever so slightly smoky.

T - Sweet fruitiness, maybe oranges. Clear alcohol taste, slightly overpowering, which is detrimental to the other flavours. Also, a mild spiciness in the aftertaste.

M - Quite sticky, with a warming presence.

D - There are some great Strong Belgian Ales out there that manage to deliver flavour that is not negatively effected by the high ABV. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that this struggles to get the mix right. Don't get me wrong, it's is an enjoyable drink but I can't help feeling that the flavours could be stronger.

PartyBear, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of atsprings
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Saucer served in a Kwak Coachman's glass complete with the wood stand that I get to keep! Served a crisp light ruby with a decent head that slowly diminished to a thin layer. Aroma was slight sweet fruits with hints of gelatin. The taste is a decent amount of sweet fruits, candi sugar and slight dried fruit and spice, interesting blend. The beer is medium bodied with slight alcohol presence. This is a unique beer to say the least, but not something I'd seek out regularly.

atsprings, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of dstc
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, somewhat cloudy burnt orange color with a foamy off-white head. Nice retention.

Nice malt nose with spices coming through.

Full flavor, malty, sweet finish. Slight alcohol as it warms.

Full and smooth in the mouth with a slight bite.

Big malty goodness. I like this one.

dstc, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Pours with a tight two finger head, then settles to thin lacing on the top and side of the glass. Transparent. Visible carbonation. Amber in color.
S) Malty sweetness. Notes of alcohol. Grainy and wheaty notes as well.
T) Malty sweet nose. Caramel. Butter. Alcohol effervescence. Some spiciness presses through in the middle. Some hop bite in the back end.
M) Fizzy on the tongue. Medium body. Just a hint of a syrupy feel.
D) A good brew. Well crafted Belgian.

u2carew, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours golden with an amber tone. The head that is creamy white is large, and lingers for quite some time.

S: This smells at first sweet (I guess it's sweetness from the malt). Then there is red apples, but also an yeasty and spicy tone.

T: Heavy malty taste, with a nice sweetness. A complex beer with some fruit. You can also taste some alkohol.

M: Creamy and a little dry, you can also feel some fizz on your tounge.

D: This is a nice introduction to the belgian world of beers. It's not the most complex belgian beer, but it's a nice start before you try the dubbel and tripel Trappistbeers. This is a beer you should try at least once.

Evil_Pidde, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
2.38/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On-tap at the YardHouse, on to the beer:

Semi-hazy dark apricot color is the best way to describe the color of this beer, so I little darker than your average blonde. Some mushy bananas and clove emerge from the aroma, but so does some odd-flavored husky malt. It holds true even in the taste. There are some traditional Belgian characteristics, such as candi sugar and banana, but that stale, husky grain is turning me off. Add in husky, bland pilsner malt to the equation, and now my palate is filing for a divorce. I do like the creamy mouthfeel this beer has, but by now, it is too late. There are so many better options out there.

DoubleJ, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Barleys on my birthday. I had not scene it on the wall before so that was good enough for me. Served cold and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 06/11/2009.

The pour was nice. Light amber in color and very cloudy. Nice little touch of white on the top as well that reached a heightof around an inch before settling back down. Light grain aroma with hints of spice and light fruits was welcoming, albeit a touch light for me. Smooth, mellow, and a bit bland on the taste. Lots fo pepper like taste tried to cover up a lack of depth and an otherwise slightly bland overall vibe. Still decent feel and a very smooth, easy drinkability.

Overall not bad, but forgettable. Dont know if I would pay for this one again, just does not seem worth it to me.

mikesgroove, Jun 13, 2009
Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,335 ratings.