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Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

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very good

1,453 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,453
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 32
Gots: 167 | FT: 1
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,453 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of yaegerje
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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

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.

Photo of harrymel
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of marty21
3.19/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of woemad
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of Agold
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with minimal head which dissipates pretty quickly. The color is good copper. This beer smells of bananas, caramel, and a bit of vanilla. The beer is sweet with the same banana caramel and vanilla and a little bit of booze in the aftertaste. It really does have a good mouthfeel and average drinkability.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap @ Cafe Hollander on Downer and presented in a distinctive mini-yard glass with wooden holder. Heck, the glassware alone is worth the price of admission.

Pours a rich copper color with a billowy white head that fades to a rimming of foam. Sweet malty aroma with a hint of red wine vinegar.

Opens with a malty wallop and flavors of carmelized banana and coriander. Sweet but never cloying. Subtle notes of licorice surface with faint suggestions of juicy fruit gum. Mild hop bitterness emerges, followed by the burn of alcohol. Spicy and rough on the palate.

A complex and powerful ale, with a pronounced and artfully balanced malt character. A bit too heavy for session drinking. Worth imbibing to experience the authentic glassware "system." Pairs well with salty Pommes Frites and dipping mayo.

Photo of herman77
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*Review from notes on 10/23*

A: Very murky muddy deep amber. Pretty much the color of ice tea. Can't even see through it, its that cloudy. Fluffy head that leaves a little bit of lacing.

S: Apple, slightly toasted carmel malt, peppery spices, a hint of bubblegum and some alcohol. Lots to decipher in the nose.

T: Carmel and fruity (bananas and pears) sweetness along with clove and herb spices. Some earthy bitter undertones near the finish to balance it out a bit and then the alcoholic kick comes in. Drier finish. Surprised how boozy this tastes. Again, complex overall, but not my thing.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Feels a little smooth and slick.

D: Not my favorite. A little raw and complex. Easy to get your fill after a few ounces, after that you get sick of it pretty quick

Photo of kjyost
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle BB 05-06-2011 poured into a tall tulip shaped glass.

A: Pale & light yellowish. Nice lacing
S: Caramel and a bit of belgian esters
T: Sweet malt, bread, little belgian esters, cloying
M: Thick, low carbonation
D: Cloying sweetness kills the beer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember getting this for a work function a few years ago, and the last bottle sat in the office fridge for a long time afterward, until I gave it a good home...now, a fresher 330ml bottle, best before date Aug 2011.

This beer pours a clear, bronzed amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and yet slightly fizzy pale beige head, which leaves some fuzzy sea cavern lace around the glass as it evenly sinks out of sight.

It smells of toasted bready caramel malt, yeast, vinous dark fruit (chiefly strawberries, browned apples, and plums), musty molasses, muddled savoury spices, and a further warming alcohol. The taste is more semi-sweet toffee-inflected caramel malt, brown sugar, fleshy, though indistinct tropical fruit, estery yeast, banana chips, a hint of wet ashes, and a soft drying alcohol astringency.

The carbonation is on the soft side, just a trilling frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, a certain sugary alcohol essence picking away at it. It finishes clean, and quite off-dry, a mesh of fruity malt and scandalously muted alcohol.

A big, and hefty-seeming version of the style, especially for the pale variety, and an uncomplicated boozy fruit bomb at times, the California Cabernet of Belgian strong ales, one sans overt skin extraction. Anyways, a tasty, somewhat off-kilter brew, where I can't help but be reminded of having just watched the Three Sheets episode where Zane expounds on the virtue of the marriage of alcohol and sugar.

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a huge head and looked quite attractive with sort of a peach tea appearance. Taste was very mild and a little sweet with creamy malt. Mouthfeel was above average. Personally I thought this was decent in most categories but with the sole exception that it just didn't have as much flavor as I was expecting. Still, a quality brew.

Photo of nickhiller
2.23/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: amber colored, a little head and lacing.

S: juicy juice, malt, a little bit of bubble gum and fruit.

T: weird tastes, phenols, strong taste of alcohol, sweet bubble gummy Belgian yeast flavor. Alcohol too strong and overpowering.

M: thick and burning. Mild carbonation.

D: maybe one of the worst Belgians I've ever had, too much alcohol, too little taste.

Photo of dasenebler
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

33cl, Netherlands.

Pours a nice, clear medium amber. Tight, thick head laces and retains well.

The aroma is nice, with an almost bourbon-vanilla warmth to it, along with some phenolic fruity notes.

Sweet. Flavor falls a bit flat, but is by no means bad. This is a malty, dextrinous beer, though mainly in weight and mouthfeel. There is some caramel and toasty malt, but not enough depth for a bigger beer. Unfortunately, the flavor is dominated by the alcohol. I like stronger beers, but with the Kwak I actually felt the burn. I've had 12 percenters that have been smoother than this. The mouthfeel was good, with fluffy medium carbonation.

This is not a bad beer, it just doesn't hold a candle to other Belgians in terms of flavor. And what's with the bizarro glass? Dare I say marketing ploy?

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Not exactly pale. more orangy copper. big ol' head on the pour that recedes pretty quickly.
smell: Very nice. Oaky malt sweetness with bright citrus.
taste: As the nose projects. There's also a sour dryness. Very tasty but a slight letdown after the impressive nose.
mouthfeel: medium bodied with mild carbonation profile.
drinkability: A little too intense and not quite balanced enough to rate high in drinkability.

Photo of BierFan
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle. Unfortunately no Kwak glass.

Appearance: Very light tan fizzy head. I should have poured more carefully, tons of sediment. Dark amber/brown body.

Smell: Sweet tropical fruits and caramelized sugar.

Taste: Bit of alcohol. Unidentifiable fruitiness and sugar. A much more simple beer than I was expecting.

Photo of impending
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a coppery gold, looks very nice.

Aroma of tropical light fruits and spices, primarily coriander.

Taste is sweet with obvious phenols. The fruits are light. Improves as it warms.
I wanted to like this more, nice but there are better choices.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to categorize this beer. Kwak is a most unique ale and I can definitely see it being very hit or miss with most folks.

To find this on tap was a special treat for me. Quite a strange yet curious look - tall, fairly compact, creamy, off-white head...but not off-white leaning toward tan, as I often see, but instead a yellowish-pink. Hmm. Bright salmony orange-pink color - again different - impenetrably cloudy thick. So, I knew this wouldn't be drinking clean and crisp.

Banana nectar and fresh cut oak bust out in the aroma riding a wave of cakey yeast. These characteristics carry over well into the taste, taking full bloom. The banana hits first, immediately followed by some almond, then the yeast, smooth, silky, very lightly musty yet not spicy pushes it all through, with the subtle afterburn of warm alcohol in its wake. A fruity - peach or maybe pear - nectary flavor and feel throughout as well. Rather full-bodied feel, similar to a barleywine.

Not really sessionable I feel due to it's weight - in alcohol and overall feel. A once-in-a-while treat - after a meal or perhaps before. One of a kind.

Photo of Zimbo
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There was a time when I really revered this beer. It was one of the first Belgian beers I cut my teeth on and at the time I had never tasted anything so unique.

Today, surrounded by such a wide range of well made Belgian and Belgian inspired beers, Pauwel Kwak tends to get lost in the crowd. A shame because while perhaps not a world classic it is still a rewarding beer.

Orangy brown with medicinal taste and aroma it is relatively full bodied and smooth and bordering on sappiness it is also on the dry side. Oxygenating temporarily creates a big handsome loose fluffy head and releases some prickly white pepper aromas.

Pauwel Kwak wasn't created to compete with a modern hyper hopped craft beer so it shouldn't be judged against them. I'm still fond of it to a degree and it is still much better than just 'decent'.

Photo of Hex92
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangy amber. Thin head. Smells malty sweet. Tiny bubbles that are making me belch a lot...odd . Anyway this was the first time drinking kwak in a very long time. The flavor isn't as big as many other Belgian ales. Maybe you could consider a 'starter' Belgian.

The wife took one sip and said 'ick tastes buttery'. I don't know what that was all about. I don't taste any buttery flavors.

I like it. But for the price I think there are better beers out there. So definitely good, but I only need one every 5 years or so to remind me that I like beers that are bigger on flavor.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, a small fruitiness and a sweet malt. In the taste, fruity, a sweeter malt and a small roast. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, fruity aftertaste. Nice small fruitiness and easy to drink.

Photo of codewarrior
2.72/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330mL Singleton, poured into a Chalice. Unfortunately do not have the Kwak glass.

A: Dark amber, red and couldy.

S: Sweet, caramely.

T: Flat and one dimensional, but tasty. Caramel sweetness but not much depth of finish. Still, the taste of kwak ain't terrible, an old stand-by.

F: Light and bubbly.

D: Good all-around introductory belgian. More complexity in flavor than your typical American beer, but just doesn't stand up to other Belgians (and Belgian-style Domestic/Foreign beers).

I recall this beer being much, much better on tap, but that may just be the ceremony of the pouring, and the ridiculitude of the kwak glass.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,453 ratings.