Pauwel Kwak | Brouwerij Bosteels

very good
711 Reviews
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Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-30-2001

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Reviews: 711 | Ratings: 1,732
Photo of HardTarget
1.4/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Reviewed 08-25-04
12 oz. bottle, no date, 8% abv listed. Damn thing gushed on me right here at my computer desk.
Aroma 4.5: Nice Belgian nose; smells more like a Strong Dark, ripe grapes and pears, mild spices.
Appearance 3: A rosy amber body with a very thin cover and a collar of off white. The lace was impressive given the tiny head. No clumps noted.
Flavor 3.5: Vinous, very wine like with grape flavors in the forefront. It has some mild vanilla and clove, presumably from the yeast. Overall rather sweet, I can’t pick out any hop flavors.
Mouthfeel 4: Medium body with a strong alcohol prickle. Smooth with a nice carbonation level.
Overall Impression 2: Enjoyable. My socks are still on, but the alcohol hasn’t really kicked in yet. Still mad about the gushing, I treated it well, had sat in my fridge for over a week. Drinkability? Well, I’m enjoying this glass, but I can’t see doing another given the alcohol level. I’m also not seeing myself crave this to the point of getting another any time soon. Glad I came, but, been here, drank that, have the stain in my carpet to show for it.

Re-reviewed 02-14-06
750 ml bottle, best by 01-01-07.
Aroma 2: Smells like wet cork, and not in a good way
Appearance 1: Large corn flake white protein chunks filled the glass after a gentle pour and careful handling
Flavor 2: Lifeless wood and sweet wort
Mouthfeel 1: Chunky style
Overall Impression 1: I may have gotten a bad bottle, but a quick survey on the main beer page shows that this is far too common to just let go.

I spent good money on this beer only to drain pour it.
Kwak, you're dead to me.

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Photo of RyanPB
1.6/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the most effort I've ever put into finishing a beer that wasn't something from the Budwiser/Genny macrobrew family. Ouch. The color and the nose will fool you. It smells passable and appears as it should, compared to the genre. At taste, it is painfully sweet, an utter lack of balance. there's noting here but malt and sugar. I tried to pass this on to my sugar-addicted girlfriend and she was repulsed by it. It is a recent bottling according to the label.

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Photo of onid678
1.83/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

i got this in the boxset with the mini yard and wood handle.

A- honey color but there are chuncks of sediment. off colour head

S- aromatic,

T- not much bitterness, velvety

m- Feels okay, bit of carbonation, higher alcohol

d- Starts out okay, but the fruity taste is a bit over powering, so im definitely not going to drink more than one at a time. and probably wont by it again.

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Photo of BeerKnower
1.97/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I like real beer. Drinks made with cereal grains, and/or sugars not totally derived from barely deserve their own categories, like mead, wine coolers, hard cider. Accepting this as beer is like letting Lance Amstrong go unchallenged. I just had this beer, and I would otherwise give it a good rating as having nice malty flavor, sweet and noticably boosted alcohol, if there were a sugary drink category for it.

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Photo of Brabander
2.12/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Drank the beer in the original glass. The Kwak has a nice amberlike colour with a nice and firm head. Smelling strong caramel. It's not my kind of beer but what the he..! There is not much more to say about this beer. Though the appearance is good the rest is waste of time.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.15/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Being a belgian beer i made sure to quit pouring it when i saw floating particles try and enter my glass. Poured with a very thin head which dissipated quickly. Color was a deep amber but not to the point of redness. Aroma was a sweetness punctuated by a few esters but not very much. Taste was very thin with sweetness and a slight hoppiness and again few esters. Carmelly yet dry due to esters but with a bitter hoppiness with a very clean finish. Overall i would rather try a different Belgian beer instead so i can find a brand more indicitave of the style.

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Photo of nickhiller
2.23/5  rDev -40.5%
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.

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Photo of jjanega08
2.25/5  rDev -40%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A= pours a caramelly brownish color similar to coca cola looking. The head is a nice two fingers and appears to be a just off white color. Nice retention and lacing on this one as well.

S= Strangly this smells like regular beer to me. Smells a lot like a macro lager. There is a slight caramelly malt sweetness coming through but other than that it's just macro beer smell to it. If you dig real deep you can smell some belgian spicyness to the yeast.

T= Luckily much more different than the smell. Really tastes sweet. Has a sugar water property to it I think. I do taste the macro lager aspect that I smelled but then it tastes like sugar water was added to that. Little Belgian spicyness from the yeast is noticable but it is there and there is a certain warming aspect from the alcohol in it. Mostly just really sugary sweet.

M= Low carbonation and sweet sticky cloyingness to it.

D= I expected a lot more from this beer. To me it tastes like sugar water. I don't understand this one at all. Not recommended to anyone unless you like macro lagers with sugar.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.28/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: brown red body, opaque, with little head but a stupifying amount of floaties. I have never seen floaties like this. Not even in the Fantome products.
Aroma: Malt and dried fruit.
Taste: dull malt flavor with dull dried mango.
Mouthfeel: Medium body a dull fizzyness.
D - Though I drank it 5 months before the expiration date, this was a flabby pathetic beer. Nothing like the tastey brew I have known this to be.

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Photo of sergeantstogie
2.29/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a nice clear light brown with 1/2 inch of head into my Duvel tulip. The head dissipated almost immediately.

The smell was inviting. Lots of spice and caramelly boozyness.

I let the beer warm up to near room temp but the whole time I was bothered by how watery it finished. Even at room temp, the most it got was some water followed by some faint malty caramel booze taste and finished water.

I simply can't recommend this beer to anyone. There are many better beers out there especially Belgians.

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Photo of crnipeter
2.37/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours clear deep reddish-coppery to amber body capped by beige head that quickly dissipates. When compared to other representatives of the style known for characteristic thick persistent head, Kwak presents very poorly. The nose is apple and banana esters, caramel sweetness, bready malt and quite noticeable alcohol. The beer tastes like oxidized apple slices powdered with sugar, with mild spiciness and evident alcohol that helps to counterbalance the sweetness. There's a minor amount of bitterness that seems phenolic rather than
hop-derived and which in synergy with carbonation lends surprisingly (considering the overall sweetness) dry finish.

In short: overly sweet mediocre brew with emphasis on esters and alcohol. (BB 13. March 2013, 750 ml, into tulip)

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Photo of TheClassical
2.39/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was visiting Hong Kong after a long couple of months on the Mainland, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some real beer. I found a great little shop in SoHo, right off the escalator, called "Euro Treat." They seemed to have more American stuff than European (Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Sierra Nevada PAs, etc.), but I saw a 75cl bottle of Kawk's standing alone alongside a shelf full of Duvel, and figured, what the hell.

Wish I had gone with Duvel.

When you begin your pour, it all begins very promisingly: a cloudy amber-brown, a steady stream of carbonation with a lasting head and some minor lacing. It looks really great, warm, and inviting. But things tend to go downhill from there.

The smell was sugary, unremarkable, and dull. Some fruit that was there at first but disappeared in the dull overpowering sugar-stench. I wanted to like it, I wanted something to kick my nose in the ass after months of Tsing Tao and San Miguel ... alas, this failed to deliver.

The taste was a blunt upfront sweetness, overwhelming and just too candied in the mouth. You can't enjoy the spicy lingering because things are just too sugary, the bite is lost or at least subdued. A little alcohol on the finish just as you get a taste for a citrus suggestion, but again the false sugary bombast wafts up and ruins it. This beer is just too sweet, for me at least.

As for drinkability? No thanks. It was a struggle to get through this 75cl bottle.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.41/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

got the gift box mostly due to the sweet-ass coachman's glass/stand that this is drunk out of. this is a hazy deep brown amber with a tan head. most of the sediment was left in the bottle but some large floaties escaped. aromas of nuts, rum, and fruit along with roasty, spicy, and musty/barnyard notes. taste was mostly sourish with a bit of dark sweet malts. a bit of husky graininess as well. minimal hop bitterness. prominent alcohol presence which is not my thing. mouthfeel was light to medium and kinda flat/watery on the back end despite the high level of carbonation in this. drinkability suffers due to the high abv and my struggle to finish it in order to move on to a two hearted ale.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.41/5  rDev -35.7%
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.52/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ok, wierd experience. This brew kinda scares me. As I'm pouring it out, I get this distinct clump of gooey stuff, and now the beer looks like a snow globe with bits of what looks like coagulated egg flittering around. Is this egg drop beer, or did someone cum in it? Ugh. Find peace young padawan. Hazy dark caramel with orange accents forms a meringue-like beige head with very good retention and solid sheets of lace. Aroma is good enough...mouth watering sour green apples, apple skin, must, dusty basement, an interesting toasty malt note unusual for the style...uh oh...earthy green vegetable notes. I haven't smelled that in a beer before. I wonder if this is going to be okay? Mouthfeel....agh. Something is wrong here. Clumps! Clumps of what? It's either solid clumps of coagulated starch or mold. I am able to retrieve clumps of goo from the brew and it appears to be starch. I let this warm up to room temp and the gobs are still there. I decide to brave it.

Taste of sweet caramel, cloves, candi sugar, orange, alcohol, cider, spices, sour green apples, rotting leaves. Mouthfeel sucks. There is no excuse for clumpy beer. Medium body. Bitterness is mild and soft. Finish is sweet, toasty, and spicy.

I may revisit this one in the future, but what I have here is completely unacceptable. Seems as though cokes has noticed the same thing in his bottle.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.53/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Staring at the wall of Belgian beers with no capacity to deciper French or Belgian should be a scary proposition. Except for the fact that my blind stabs are *always* damned tasty. I started to think they didn't make bad beers in Belgium.

Well, was I wrong.

This beer sits rather pretty in its proper glassware...on a poster in my house. I had to use a regular chalice for my presentation. Still, an attactive if non-flashy brew.

The smell from cold to warm, as well as the taste, was overwhelming sock funk.

There was a rather tasty beer in there somewhere. But even the finest steak would be unpleasant if you're plate is made from gym-abused tube socks.

I will not get this again.

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Photo of Todd
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I thought this to be a mediocre brew when I had it in Belgium, and so did the locals. Most who drank it, did so because it's served in mini-yard glass with a wooden holder. More of a fad brew.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.61/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Proprietary best-by date. Don't love that.

Pours a clear amber with some off-white head that fades quickly. Aromas of oxidizing caramel malt and orange blossoms. Palate is wide open with some light bitterness on the finish. Lots of floral quality, like honey. Caramel malt is fading. Creamy finish.

Not a great beer and I don't know why people fawn for it. Must be the stupid proprietary glass.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.65/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I have seen this bottle time and time again, but have no idea what it tastes like. I have always been hesitant to buy this because of the price and the size of the bottle. For $4.99, this better be good! But it's not the beer that I remember, it's the glass. Glassware is SO important when it comes to enjoying craft beer, but they admit their glass is all about marketing. We don't have a lot of different glasses here, but I always like to use one with a wide mouth. I like sticking my nose deep in the glass and letting the beer breathe a little.

I like Belgian beers, so I am excited to experience Kwak. (Duck?) Ha!

In the Glass: The beer is a little darker than most pale ales, but this is a Belgian pale. Just think of what a Belgian IPA tastes like… nothing like an American IPA. I honestly can't recall the last Belgian pale I had… but I just keep going back to the name. The label on this bottle is pretty cool, too. Maybe I should start discussing the label (or bottle) for every beer we drink. I already do what the bottle says… I will think on that.

Nose: Just like with a Belgian IPA, there are no hops on the nose. I mean, NOTHING. The aroma is somewhat sweet, with a nice fluffy and yeasty aroma. More yeast than expected, that's for sure. It is cold, so maybe the aroma will develop as the beer heats up. But it smells fun… if that makes sense. Let's drink Kwak!

Flavor: The flavor, at first, is boring. There is nothing on the front of the palate. Then the bubbles kick in, some subtle sweetness picks up toward the back of the palate, and the finish is quick. How is this beer popular? This beer is boring! It is too carbonated for my liking. As I swish this around to get more from the flavor, and to heat the beer up a little, some additional flavors come out. The bubbles are overwhelming when I do this, but some typical Belgian characteristics begin to become obvious. Still, even when swishing it around, I am not impressed with the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel: The first thing you experience are bubbles. Then you get some sweetness going on, leading to a horrible finish. Only when I toss this around in my mouth is there a lasting aftertaste, but by lasting I mean here and gone again in a matter of seconds. Just drinking this, you might as well be drinking Bud Light. Yeah, I said it! I wouldn't order a Bud Light, but I also wouldn't pay $4.99 for a bottle of this again.

Aftertaste: What aftertaste? There really isn't one. What does linger is a subtle dryness… almost tastes like cardboard. I am sure this would be a good beer to pair with food, maybe some old stinky cheeses, but this is not something I am going to order when hanging out with friends.

Kwak, I am sad you aren't better than this. Maybe it's because I didn't drink from the traditional Kwak glass. I will post a photo of the Kwak glass on Facebook and Twitter if you want to see what that looks like. Oh well… can't enjoy them all! By the way, if Brouwerij Bosteels wants to reimburse me, that would be fine.

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Photo of MoohMooh
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an extremely pretty orange-red (a sunset in your glass!), with a small head and little lacing, very clear, very clean. The smell isn't terribly interesting: mostly malts, with something like wet hay, but mostly alcohol. Taste is even worse, with the alcohol covering pretty much everything. I managed to taste some yeast, and some hidden hops, but that's it. Mouthfeel is okayish; if you don't mind the overpowering alcohol taste, it's a pretty drinkable beer. Not very carbonated though.

Okay, can you see what I'm getting at here? It's too boozy. Take the alcohol out and what have you got left? The few other beers sporting a comparable ABV I've had were much more capable at hiding their alcohol content, and in turn felt complex and interesting (although I didn't necessarily like them that much...). I may try this again if I ever have the opportunity to drink it in its typical glass (which I'll gladly admit is cool beans), but otherwise I'll do just fine without.

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Photo of kjyost
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

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Photo of allboutbierge
2.69/5  rDev -28.3%
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.

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Photo of MiScusi
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena for Belgain Beer Fest.

Was a reddish-purple with only soap sud-resembling head. The smell was alcohol and grapes, like a weak wine. The taste was of grapes and volatile alcohol... very similar to a wine.... carbonatioin was on the lower end. Not really to my tastes, and if it is really a belgian pale ale, it IMO doesn't measure up anywhere close to a say, Duvel.

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Photo of codewarrior
2.72/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

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Photo of hoplover82
2.74/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was not impressive at all

it poured with tons of sediment and very hazy with little to no head and no lacing

smells and tastes of apple cider and that pretty much it

not impressive mouthfeel. dry and astringent

i'm glad I didn't buy it and wont have it again. worst belgium beer ever had thus far

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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
3.75 out of 5 based on 1,732 ratings.
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