1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Pauwel Kwak - Brouwerij Bosteels

Not Rated.
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,451 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,451
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 32
Gots: 167 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels visit their website
Belgium

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pauwel Kwak Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,451 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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 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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap in a Kwak coachman's glass at Beelow's.

It's been far too long since first I tried this beer, and I just couldn't keep away from that snazzy glass. It pours a clear amber-russet topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises candied orange peel, Belgian yeast, clove, light dry caramel, light grass, and a bit of vague breadiness. The taste brings in more of the same, the Belgian yeast really driving through some fruity and spicy notes to balance out the caramel-laden biscuit residing throughout the background. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid BSPA, one that has earned its place as one of the constant Belgian offerings at nearby watering holes.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, deep orangish-red-amber with a creamy white head that holds fairly well and leaves some good lace. The aroma is sweet, with a light caramel maltiness, and shows some alcohol. The body is medium with a soft carbonation that makes it very smooth in the mouth. The flavor is rich, with a lightly fruity & candyish character that has caramel & toffee undertones as well as a light spiciness. Again, the alcohol is somewhat noticeable but not distracting. It may in fact, help to thin the sweetness. There's a touch of bitterness in the finish, but that's the extent of it. Kwak's flavor isn't complex, but it is quite luxurious. A really enjoyable beer that should be lingered over. Highly recommended.

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, spices, honey, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops along with a little bit of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, spices, honey and dark fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely better options in the style especially when you consider the price of this beer.

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

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender euro style brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Cloudy orange amber with a more than decent off white lace that seems to retain quite well.

Smell: Tropical fruit, raw sugar cane and slight medicinal aromas flow from a alcohol perfume.

Taste: Smooth and crisp mouth feel that hold a full-ish body. Very noticeable alcohol, warming and very fruity with a tropical character. The tingling sensation from the alcohol lingers in its spiciness. Touch of hops with a faint flavour in the finish. Light cider like twang surround the alcoholic esters then fades into a rum raisin flavour. Light steely caramel and husk flavour in the end.

Notes: It is definitely a strong ale being that its alcoholic prowess flexes its muscles right away. A decent strong ale though seems to be a bit over the top for its own self, lacks complexity and depth and a bit too much on the esters(too warm of a fermentation?) though makes up with its drinkability.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.88/5  rDev +29.4%
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.

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

Pours a murky amber with a thin creme head. Malty and sugary sweet nose. Minor caramel. Sweetness bites on the flavor. It's heavy; the sugar that is. Thick malted tones are there too. Robust and deeper. Feel has a full carbonation and a smooth liquid feel. Nice to drink, though a bit distinct with it's firm flavor profile.

Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

thanks to Erik Ney for sharing this growler with tenderbranso69 (Tim) and me, enjoyed in a goblet chilled on Christmas Day '13.

The color is amber with moderately hazed look with small head with fine bead head collapses to a ring and spots of lace cling. The smell is very good, lots of tropical aroma of yeast with banana dominant and light spice ester. The feel is smooth and mostly malty with slight yeast tanginess and medium carbonation with subtle spice and alcohol with a mostly dry finish.

The taste is great, lots of malt with a mild yeast fruitiness and and a gentle spice quality with mild hop flavor which adds to the caramel element from the malt with an almost candy-like flavor with a semi-dry finish. Overall this is a pretty decent Belgian ale, I had this a few times before and was glad to revisit this as it was easy on the palate considering the strength. Thanks again, Erik Cheers!

Photo of oline73
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy reddish amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. The head fades to a layer and leaves very mild lacing.

Smell: Sweet with some Belgian spice and fruity notes. I'm picking up a hint of bubble gum.

Taste: Sweet malt with some mild Belgian spice. The fruity notes from the smell are there, as is the bubble gum. A slightly warm alcohol note shows up in the finish along with some herbal notes to go with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Just on the thick side of medium body with very strong carbonation. The finish is slick and a bit chalky.

Overall: This is a very solid Belgian ale. I enjoyed the blend of flavors, but wasn't blown away.

Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber/caramel into my la chouffe glass (couldn't find my kwak goblet with wooden handle, still packed away) with 3 fingers of tan head. Great noise coming of the head! Above average lacing & head retention

S: Apple skins & that's it

T: Caramel & apple-skins with a little warming booze up front. Fruittyness (apricots) & breadyness, along with some leafy hops follow as this warms. Finishes with more leafy hops & fruit (lemons & dates)

MF: Medium-bodied, slick with low carbonation

Drinks a little slow, I remember this having more hops profile in the past. Worth a try, but not if over say, 8$ for a 750 ml bottle IMO. BBD of 17/05/2008, not sure aging will help this much

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

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

Got this as part of a Belgian beer Xmas package from some friends. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip (as I don't the official Kwak glass kicking around).

A - Great lookin' brew. Three to four fingers of creamy light beige foam that has solid retention and a bit of spotty lacing. The brew is an attractive semi-transparent red-orange brown color with a nice glow to it, with lots of tiny bubbles rushing to the top.

S - Very sweet, but with a medicinal quality to it. Caramel, spices, bread, yeast, and maybe a bit of tropical fruit (pineapple and banana). It gets pretty big and significantly more boozy as it warms up and there is I mildly dislike in the yeast-alcohol combo.

T - There's more apple and banana in the taste, but with some nice caramel and toffee notes. There's a bready malt backbone that is pretty neutral (not yeasty). There's a hint of alcohol as it warms.

M - On the lighter side of medium, with moderate carbonation tingle, and tons of residual stickiness. Very creamy and soft on the palate. It's really style appropriate and quite satisfying.

D - The higher ABV would limit this to maybe two bottles, but the taste is just right in terms of sweetness (not cloying at all) and the mouthfeel makes it go down easy. I wish it smelt better, as that would help me get the glass to my lips more often.

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

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Pretty good. Pours into that funky glass with the wood frame, a orange-amber color with a fluffy white head that retains well. Bready aroma loaded with Belgian yeast. Some light sugar and banana as well. Bready taste, light sugar, bananas and apricots, toasted malts, and a dry bitter hop finish. Medium mouthfeel and quite drinkable.

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

Served in a kwak glass. Brown and clear, carbonation moderate to low. Head white with small bubbles. Not much lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mostly sweet with a hint of caramel and alcohol.

Pretty sweet, medium to light body carbonation low in mouth. Good finish with a slight grainy bitterness at the end. Drinkability high. Some alcohol in the mouth, overall really good.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the beaker glass, and the stirrup holder, expertly poured by that consummate professional feloniousmonk at the Blue Nile. Thanks, Al! Cheerio, muchacho!

Appearance: a hazed amber hue, under a milky layer of foam, rather slight, but sure, and leaving a lasting ring.

Aroma: Sweetness, fruit (apples, melons, cherry), malt, hop....a rosy nose, with a slice of spice. Glimmer of smokey character as well. (Note: when this keg was first tapped, my first impression was smoked peppers, and the smoke comment came from others as well. Odd, in that I never got a hint of it in a bottle, but here it was, very evident from the tap. Toward the end of the keg, it's smaller, but still there.)

(Additional note: the importer of Kwak told me this may be a result of the brewery's new equipment, and our kegs were from the first batch brewed in it. He also sampled some himself and remarked on the smokey flavor, something he'd never tasted before. So, Smokey Kwak, only at the Blue Nile while supplies last!)

Taste: smoked peppers, smoked anything comes largest, and after that, a unique mix of fruit and spice, more from malt than from hops. This never wavers throughout the tasting.

Medium bodied, supple mouthfeel, unremitting tastiness, quenching, and utterly drinkable, at the very least. A bit more grain becomes clearer toward the end, herbal, but never coming close to the dominance of the fruit, the malt, and the smokey spice.

"Unique" is a word that just keeps coming up when it comes to this one. Not just from me, but from all over, and, you know, I like that.

Here's to Pauwel, his kooky beer, and his wacky glass. Towards the end I have to chug-a-lug a bit more to get it out from the bottom of the bulb. Gurgle, gurgle, goes the smokey sweet beer.
Ah...
Ain't life grand?

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked cage bottle:

Pours a beautiful orange/amber with a thick off-white head that descends a bit and stays around. Creamy lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of toffee, cotton candy/bubblegum. Gently spiced with earthy and peppery tones.

The taste is malty - sweet toffee. Candy-like sweetness with tropical fruitiness - orange, lemon, some banana with a hint of lime. Earthy, slightly nutty undertones. Cedar and warming alcohol in the finish.

Fuller side of light-bodied, the aggressive alcohol sticks to the tongue.

This is a nice one, though something raw about it makes this an especially slow sipper and too much after awhile. Still in all, a complex, tasty Belgian classic!

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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

Except for some large floaties, this beer pours a clear amber color with a full tan head. The aroma is redolent of caramelized malt, and alcohol in the finish. The beer is sweet and malty, with a creamy, pleasing mouthfeel. This is a fairly clean beer, malt is certainly the showcase here. This beer is fairly one-dimensional, but it is also pretty enjoyable.

Photo of GClarkage
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

03/18/05- Given to me as a gift for my 33rd birthday in October.

Presentation- 24oz bottle caged and corked. No drink by date suggested. Extracted into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Dark amber coloring, Head starts of at 2 inches and calms down to a 1/2-1/4 inch range. Nice UFO circle in the center....but here is where the table turns....CHUNKS! We are not just talking little bits of random yeast here. We are talking about the equivelent of the entire population of China in yeast chunks! Gobs by gobs of them. They looked like little fat globules. Some of them even looked like those infected scabs that I believe it was Venom that mentioned. Quite appaling, yet interesting.

Smell- Very sweet, spicy and medicinal. Maybe a touch of banana and clove.

Taste- This one got better as it warmed up. I shared this bad boy with BA Spinlock and we started it out in the low 40's. By the time we were each half through with our 12 oz each, it was right around proper drinking temperature and it seemed much sweeter. Lots of malt background with a good amount of spices thrown in..corriander? The caramel kicks in after it warms.

Mouthfeel- The carbonation was a tad high in this one, and drinking it became a chore, even though it tasted good, because you were literally straining chunks through your teeth the closer you got to the bottom of the glass. We almost put our beer through a strainer about the midway point. So, a chunky mouthfeel is not the way you want your beer to feel. Pauwel Kwak...The chunkiest tasting beer EVER!

Drinkability- This beer would have gotten a pretty high mark if it weren't for the dreaded scabs. Very pleasant tasting brew. It looks like I may just have gotten a bad bottle. I'm pretty sure I had Kwak in the special glass last year at the Toronado, but I didn't have this experience.

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

Copper in color with a thick head that produced some light lacing. The aroma was mild as sweetness and fruitiness were detected. The flavor was sweeter than expected. Caramel comes to mind but there were some citrus tones that developed at the end. Then during the swallow a light non-offending sourness was detected.

The mouthfeel smooth and this was medium bodied. Carbonation levels were good. Decent, but there are more drinkable Belgian ales out there.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours amber with a full 2-finger head, good lace.

S: Great smell, heavy malt, fruit - apricot, raisin, apple.

T: Fruity esters immediately and a dark, almost molasses flavour. Great treacle, cake batter sweetness at the end. Good complexity.

M: Smooth, very light solvent and phenol, soft carbonation.

D: A very tasty Belgian ale for sure. A bit pricey, but worth it IMO. Kind of a hybrid of the BSPA and BSDA.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is another of those beers you assume you've reviewed because you've had so many, but haven't actually registered the tasting. So here goes, this brown 33cl bottle, best before 23 April 2011 was reviewed and consummed at home on 27 April 2010 and poured into the correct bulbous bottomed glass.

I managed to pour it slowly and kept the sediment in the bottle, that might sound easy, but sometimes the bottles can be a bit 'lively' to say the least, this one behaved.

The body colour is a true amber, darker than some amber, but never-the-less, amber. The full head is an off-white foaming blanket of small bubbles, in it's proper glass the beer looks wonderful (if a bit touristy when in a bar).

The aroma is very sweet, toffee, molasses and almost candy floss as the beer warms in the glass.

The flavours within the taste are sweet and malty, no hint of hop bitterness. I've liked this beer for years, it doesn't need the fancy glass really, it can stand alone as a good beer without the glass. Having said that I've got used to drinking from it now, so prefer it served from the wooden stand and glass.

The 8.4% ABV sneeks up on you, the sweetness and lightness of the body lull you into a false sence of security, and just as you finish the beer to ask for another you realise the room isn't in focus as much as it was before you started drinking. A very drinkable beer and a flavourite of my wife and daughter.

Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 1,451 ratings.