Kwak | Brouwerij Bosteels

Write a Review

Average: 3.81 | pDev: 13.12%

Reviews: 739 | Ratings: 1,838

Ranked #138 Belgian Strong Pale Ale and #21,946 overall.

ABV: 8.40% | Availability: Year-round

Wants   Gots 

Brouwerij Bosteels

Notes: Belgian Specialty Ale
Very Good
View: Beers | Events
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 739 | Ratings: 1,838
Photo of RDAdams
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For years I have thought Chimay Grande Reserve and Duval were the finest beers on the planet. I now prefer Kwak to both!

Appearance: Dark amber to copper with a large cream head. This beer has beautiful legs.

Aroma: Complex, fruity aroma with sweet smelling esters and phenols balanced with the malt.

Taste. If it's in the aroma, it's in the taste. And the effervescent carbonation enhances the tastes of the esters and the phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and warm without an alcohol taste. The high carbonation is very pleasant.

Drinkability:Awesomely smooth This is a World Class Beer.

 592 characters

Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.91/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Chimay chalice, The body is a cloudy dark red/burnt orange hue, with a finger white head. Aromas consist of spices, bread, and liqueur soaked cherries. Flavors are the same. The feel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

 238 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.91/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look : One finger white head, dark caramel body.

Smell : Big bubblegum and clove esters, and some plum.

Taste : Same as above, but with some caramel as well.

Feel : High carbonation, medium body. Balanced dry/sweetness, alcohol shows a bit.

 243 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.87/5  rDev +27.8%
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.

 875 characters

Photo of atlason
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Goose Island chalice. Enjoyed with a Belgian beef stew, made with Kwak.

A: Deep amber brown, half finger of thick, stable head. Lacing is thick and uniform.

S: Spicy yeast and liquorice.

T: Dubbel-like maltiness, caramelly with rich spicy character and prominent liquorice. Very grassy but mild hops. Aftertaste is medium long and very consistent with the main taste.

M: Perfect chewiness but a little bit tiring on the palate due to sweetness.

Overall one of my favorite Belgian beers, perhaps my favorite after Orval.

 550 characters

Photo of DevAJ
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is by far my favorite Belgian (and possibly overall) beer at the moment. I'm not even really sure how to describe it. It's distinctly Belgian, but it's also very easy to drink. I originally got the very last 222 year gift pack (the one with the glass) of it at a local liquor store a while ago. It's actually pretty easy to find around here as there is one store that always has it, but it's by far one of the priciest beers around ($5.99 for a single 11.2 ounce bottle). Worth a try even if you don't think you like the Belgian styles. Having the official Kwak glass is pretty cool too.

 598 characters

Photo of xylophonica
4.74/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Dark copper colour. Colour verges on orange when held up to the light. Finger or more of head. Head looks particularly creamy with a dark chocolate tint but fades quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Chocolate and banana. Little bit of toffee and sweetness in there as well. Alcohol kicker! Bit of bubblegum as well.

T - Sweet and strong. Alcohol content is there but not unpleasant. Lots of malt and sweet fruit.. nuff said! Of the fruit flavours banana is most obvious with some definite caramel overtones for good measure. Aftertaste suggests bubblegum.

M - Smooth at first but with a bitter aftertaste. Probably the worst feature of this beer.

D - Love this one. Could drink all day.

In terms of appearance it starts off well but a lack of lacing prevents it from earning any further points. Smell is great as is the taste. Highly recommended - don't worry about the gimicky glass, it's still a damn good beer!

 964 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.71/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pulled from the kegerator at work into a compostable plastic cup made in the good ol' U.S. of A. I love my job. Paired with some whole wheat crackers from the microkitchen.

Look: This beer was like 90% head when I poured it. It slowly settled down to reveal a deep reddish amber color underneath a thick foamy head. A little hazy with a few chunky particles floating around. Not sure if that's intended.

Smell: Sweet biscuity malt backbone, with a nice fruity yeast complement. Classic Belgian ale notes. Smells really great.

Taste: Unexpected taste of dark fruit, maybe plum or cherry. A bit of holiday spices. Incredibly drinkable for the ABV. I would have guessed this is more like 5% ABV. I could guzzle this. Just the right balance of maltiness, sweetness, and a touch of hoppy bitterness.

Feel: Goes down really smooth, just the right thickness. Low to medium carbonation, which is surprising given how big the head was.

Overall: Seriously delicious. An outstanding and underrated Belgian ale, in my opinion.

 1,019 characters

Photo of rosebud
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was not impressed with this beer when I had my first sip after it was poured. But things definitely got better as it started to warm up. As it warmed up the malt and hops became more apparent. Nice little hop taste on the beginning of the tongue, followed by nice malt and toffee taste at the back of the tongue, warming itself as it travels down your throat. This is a beer to be sipped over a long period of time after it has warmed to enjoy all its character.

 468 characters

Photo of TXHops
4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML silk screened brown bottle.
-ABV: 8.0%
-ABW: 6.4%
-Malts: three malts, including wheat, with some candi sugar in the kettle

Kwak is probably my favorite Belgian Ale. It’s one of the few that doesn’t just taste “Belgian”—all fluffy and estery with massive amounts of phenolics and esters. Kwak has more to it and it comes out different than 99% of its brethren. The result is a beer that I absolutely love, and it’s one of the few Belgians that I find to be unique.

As for the beer itself, Kwak is an orangey-tea color with a thick, cream-colored head. The aroma is pretty subdued in the beginning, but as the beer warms, the estery nature of the Belgian yeast becomes more and more evident, smelling very similar to a Bavarian hefeweizen: cloves and bananas. However, there’s a maltiness in the aroma that I’ve never gotten out of any other Belgian—it doesn’t smell like alcohol and candi sugar. Instead, it actually smells like malt. However, there’s a crisp tartness in the nose as well—quite appealing. The flavor is very banana-like as well, and the full body with the high carbonation virtually slides down the gullet. There is a slightly acidic finish, reminiscent of tropical blender drinks. In fact, the whole nature of Kwak is oddly tropical, with flavors of passion fruit, and pomegranate to go with the bananas. Unlike most Belgian Ales, this one isn’t fluffy. Kwak actually has body that doesn’t scream candi sugar. It’s one of the only Belgians I’ve ever had that actually felt substantial in my mouth. With that substance and lack of foaminess comes less of the normal Belgian yeast twang, which combined with the high ABV and airy body, typically imparts a lingering sourness in my mouth. Kwak leaves a sticky, tropical sweetness, though there’s enough spritziness to avoid the cloying problem that you’d assume would manifest itself after the above description. It’s almost like this beer were brewed with a standard Belgian high ester yeast and then allowed to bottle condition with a British ale yeast—it’s so much more nuanced and subtle than I'd expect.

One of the most unique beers I’ve tried, even by Belgian standards. This is definitely my favorite beer from a country that I believe produces too many beers with an overwhelmingly similar flavor profile. Cheers to Bosteels for doing something different.

 2,370 characters

Photo of FoamInnovation
4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a traditional Kwak coachmen bulb.
A-Ruddy, almost a red-brown, off-white head, approx. 1-1/2", slowly breaking down to minimal lacing.
S-European hops, bubble gum, over ripe banana are balanced with a slightly sweet malted tone of spun sugar
T-Jesus-Candy-Coated-Christ is this fantastic. Warm banana tones with medium bodied rich malt, some white grapes and brulee. Gorgeous.
M-Medium bodied, mouth filling without being cloying, good carbonation balance and nice finish of banana and touch of bitterness.
O-Absolutely wonderful. Happiness in a glass. Extremely well balanced.

 596 characters

Photo of tonton
4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the standard 33cl bottle into a Burgundy wine glass. This glass is great for tasting and for nose but limits the head.

Darker than I thought it would be, caramel color.

The smell hit me immediately - wow! I love it. Strong caramel with a bit of Scotch whiskey, especially when I really breathe it in. Excellent. The best smelling beer I've tried.

Tastes like a good Belgian, with a nice strong caramel finish.

Carbonation is moderate to strong.

I've decided I'm going to buy the gift set with the quarter yard to try this as it was meant to be tasted.

Now my current favorite Belgian.

 602 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pauwel Kwak has a thick, creamy, light beige head, lots of streaming bubbles, some lacing rings, and a clear, brilliant, copper appearance. The aroma is subtle, but one can detect some molasses, brown bread, and sugar. Taste is of the same, with indistinguishable fruit and a little-to-no hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light, watery, and prickly (from the carbonation), and Pauwel Kwak finishes clean, dry, and delicious. The alcohol only shows up when one inhales after a sip, not in the flavor or aroma. This is a most excellent beer!


 541 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on-tap on 03/09/06 at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA. (unfortunately, not in a Kwak glass...)

Amber-ish to tawny brown in color with a nice off-white head and moderate carbonation. A very malty (raisin and licorice qualities) Belgian in both aroma and flavor. Fairly fruity overall with some light yeasty character. Medium bodied, refreshing and dangerously drinkable; looking forward to tasting the bottled version.

Per BB: 8% ABV.

 446 characters

Photo of pubscout
4.56/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Classic...especially in its original holster. I’ll admit it tasted a tad better at Bosteel’s in Belgium, but probably only because it was super-fresh and poured by Jack Antwerpen himself. But just as good as the bottle I had at The Belgian Consulate in NYC as a guest of Michael Jackson. Sweetish, bready, smooth and boozy enough to be interesting, this beer should be experienced by anyone claiming “Beer nut” status. One of The PubScout’s faves...have one in the Cafe Vlissinghe in Bruges for a bucket list memory you’ll take to your grave. ( And the lasagna there is FABULOUS! )

 595 characters

Photo of NYC_dave
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A Definite go to beer in the winter. Was introduced by my cousin several years back. Need to invest in their specialty glassware (still haven't done so). Goes down smoothly. Another Belgian classic.

 200 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malty aroma has an overtone of sweet apple and a hint of caramel. It pours a clear coppery brown with a fairly thick, if not persistent, pale tan head that leaves some respectable lacing. Scrumptious flavor has firm notes of malt, caramel and apple and just a hint of cloves. It is slightly sweet and slightly bitter, and these two components nicely balance each other. Smooth, full-bodied texture has a firm fizz and leaves a subtle tingle and a malty, fruity finish.

 468 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like drinking this out of the tall glass with wood base in Belgium, but it's still a pleasure anytime...

Thick light-tan head made of tight bubbles sits atop a remarkably well-filtered, glowing golden brown. A zillion bubbles feed a head that seems like it'll never diminish, but it eventually does minimize to a mere skim. Lots of lace.

Fruity and yeasty esters fill the nose first, with a brown sugar, dessert-like maltiness eventually dominating the aroma. A little alcohol shows through as it warms, which is when this beer really opens up.

The flavor is something unique. You definitely won't find another Belgian like it (I haven't yet, at least). Malt dominates, bringing a tangy sweetness in that reminds of fine caramel/chocolate hard candies, brown sugar, root beer schnapps, dark fruits, and honey. The finish keeps a thick honey flavor on top of the palate.

Mouthfeel has a slightly syrupy feel, which matches the flavors well, and the ever-active bubbles inject a constant effervesence which never intrudes, even when the beer warms and seems to get thicker in the mouth with ever sip. Kwak is way better when it warms...drinking it too cold mutes everything great about it.

Very dessert-y, it amazingly never becomes overly sweet. At just the right temperature, there's hardly anything finer.

 1,330 characters

Photo of Nightwing
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Poured from a bottle. Aromas of caramel with hints of apple. Pours a clear amber that looks great. A light sweet taste. Between medium and full bodied, with creamy texture, and slightly bitter finish. A really great Belgian Ale, rich and smooth.

 245 characters

Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For some reason this beer has always been a favorite of mine. On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slight hazy amber orange color with very god head retention and lacing. The is terrific, showing off butter, brown sugar, toffe, sugar daddy candy caramel, and a boatload of spice. Flavors generally replicate the nose, on a fairly sweet frame. Mouthfeel is full (yet light) and fairly long, with a soft, lush finish. Alcohol is very well disguised, leading one to foolishly believe they could down a number of these (bad idea, no matter how delicious this beer is).

What else can I say. Yummm....

 601 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.49/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After an evening of mediocre beer, this one hits the spot! Beautifully executed Belgian ale, excellent tastes of roast grains, caramel, toffee prunes, drief fruit....Immensely satisfying!

 187 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
4.49/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into thistle. Beige head that fizzes down to nothing. A little patch of lace. Murky ruby brown.

Sweet nose w/ mild anise and dark fruit. Taste follows, with a milk chocolate creaminess and toffee & banana notes. Mouth is light, though carbonated.

Great Belgian beer. Kwak has its own glassware, but I found that a similar thistle glass works.

 352 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a hotel rocks glass. Room temperature.

Nice amber colored and clear, tan head fades rather quickly. Just a great bready malt aroma, spicy hops mix well with an earthy yeast character to create very pleasant and enticing aroma. One of those beers you just have to smell before each sip.

Taste is sweet and bready. I'm thinking hot cross buns here, with a nice little spiciness and how about that alcohol warmth? Very nice beer to sip, warming the cheeks a little at a time. Finishes with a minor alcohol burn that does leave the mouth tingly, but there is an underling sweetness that lasts.

Medium bodied and smooth, with some carbonation tingling. Nice easy sipper here. This one is recommended for sure.

 719 characters

Photo of roblowther
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a medium density, rocky tan head fed by a zillion little champagne bubbles up the side of the glass. The smell is caramel & roasted malt with something cherry-like in the background. The taste is caramel but has almost a burnt note in it somewhere. The finish is dry, offsetting the initial sweetness. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, silky and oily. The drinkability is very good, certainly helped by the mouthfeel. Not too much alcohol in the forefront on this one, given its strength. Definitely one you could sip (note "sip") all evening. The beer, overall, makes me think of sitting in an exposed timber and plaster pub somewhere, drinking at a long wooden table as old as, well, beer, meeting new friends and listening to the world go by outside. For whatever that literary detour is worth.

 823 characters

Photo of tapman
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a mini-yard complete with a wooden stand that could be used to drink the beer even more fancy-like.

Looks a little hazy, but must have been filtered a little bit since it is somewhat transparent.The glass was thick in ssome parts, where we found a deep orange color, and in the skinny parts the beer appears to be a light orange. 1 finger head with light lacing.

Banana, passion fruit, passion fruit, and very small pickled spicy jalepeno in the nose.

Taste is banana, delicate Belgium yeast. Light malts are a cross between a elgium ale and an American Belgium style ale, that is to say a little less bright and more savory. Hops are sweet and floral.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. Thicker, more interesting texture than any Chimay that I've ever had. Still, very refreshing as is a credit to the style.

I thought this brew was excellent. Its not very delicate as other Belgium-like examples of the style, but way more drinkable than most. Very good.

 967 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1838 ratings