Pauwel Kwak | Brouwerij Bosteels

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85
very good
696 Reviews
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Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels
Belgium | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
696
Ratings:
1,682
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
20.8%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
337
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 696 | Ratings: 1,682
Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.87/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +16%
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?

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Photo of MasterSki
3.96/5  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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ouncer without freshness indication. Pours a nice rich and glowing mahogony auburn. Clear, with a short lived off white head and leaving delicate and fine, splotchy lacing. Nose I get is nutty, alcohol and a bit of barnyard funkyness. Notes of more nuts, alcohol, steady stream of maltyness and quite dry late. So so Belgian, this one doesnt do much for me, there are alot of more interesting Belgians out there.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 cork and cage into a snifter, the beer is a vibrant, slightly hazed, copper caramel coloring, with a filmy, sparse surface coating of off-white head. Solid flow of carbonation throughout the body, too. Nose of tangy caramel and an old world fruit blend of apple, date, and fig. Flavors are rich and sweet forward, heavily roasted on a caramel backbone. Solid notes of apple, fig, and hints of vanilla. Very rich and sweet, with earthy highlights to rough up the edges a bit. The body is bold, slick, and smooth, with a fruity and sweet aftertaste. The finish is smooth, slick, and surprisingly clean, with only a slight cloying linger. Solid beer.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Apricot amber color. Off-white head settles into ½ inch of cream.

S - Relatively mellow. Warm malt. Touch of honey.

T - Soft malt. Mildly bitter pine hops. Mellow med-dark honey. The flavors are smooth, well balanced, and well defined.

M - Soft and smooth with a pleasant carbonation.

O - Keep the gimmicky glassware, just give me the beer :)

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a very strange shaped glass that was a cross between a tulip and a weisse glass that came in a similarly strange branded wooden holder.

A - Medium amber with two fingers of off white head.

S - Sweet caramel, brown sugar and some Belgian yeast and clove aromas. Very sweet nose.

T - Caramel, brown sugar, candy sugar, Belgian yeast, clove. Very sweet overall with a slightly noticeable warming ABV. Very one dimensional with not much character.

M - Light body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Carefully decanted into my wine glass, it was a clear red with a tan head.

I've always heard this was an interesting brew and it didn't disappoint. It immediately reminded me of an oak-aged beer for the mellow, earthy spice. There are also notes of caramel and molasses with dried berries in the background. It's not the most complex Belgian, but at 8% abv its very drinkable and worth a try for something different.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in Kwak's own glass, an hour-glass shaped vessel.
Bright amber, a bit brown with sparse suspended particles. Good fluffy head, dense and a touch rocky.
Corriander, orange and cloves come through in the aroma, with some sweetness to it.
Crisp taste, a bit of malt towards the end. Spice and yeast dominate with citrus blended in. Nice carbonation as well. Malty finish.
A nice brew.

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

Pours a clear, amber color. 2 inch head of an off-white color. There is also a lot of suspended sediment. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, yeast, hint of pale malt, slight sugar, hint of dough, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, slight yeast, slight sugar, hint of hop, slight pale malt, slight alcohol, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and feel.

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Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  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.

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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 liamt07
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 330ml into a tulip.

Reddish brown, with a couple fingers of eggshell head. Moderate lace and retention. Malty nose, caramel but juggles by some by some pear, red delicious apple and a light herbal and spicy character to the hops. Taste has yeast and a lunch of spice upfront, sweeter malts, a touch of copper, and spicy hop character. Medium feel, drying yea, medium high carbonation. Adequate Belgian strong ale, but there are better choices out there.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured ontap into a chalice. Pours a ruby reddish in color, a bit cloudy and a short livid white head. This doesn't appear to be to style, as the beer is not a rich gold in color by any stretch.

Smell: Aroma is pleasing. Soft tannins and fruity esters make up the nose.

Taste: Nice and fruity with no real hop bite or edge. Fruit borders on sherbert, alcohol well masked behind the esters and malt. Brown sugar. The finish has a more-ish sweetness to it. The flavor profile is much closer to an abbey style double than strong pale ale, but to hell with guidelines this tastes great.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewey malt body.

Drinkability: A very tasty beer but a bit of an oddity as it really doesn't fit the style as listed. Still a beer I would reccommend to fans of Abbey style beer and barleywines. This beer also seems to be much better on tap and fresh.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kwak's distinctive presentation - an elegantly branded, round-bottomed, hour-glass shaped yard glass that is held upright in a wooden stand - does a great deal for this otherwise ordinary looking beer. In a normal glass, there's nothing catchy about its amber appearance, save maybe the ruby highlights. And without that oddball device rigging things and making pouring so awkward, don't expect much head to form.

The uninitiated might find this aroma to be a little bizarre; indeed, Belgian beer comes standard with some notably different features than those of commercial lager beers. For starters, there's the fruity esters and peppery phenols of the yeast. This one also adds a faint musty quality. Alas the malts are much more robust, tinged with caramel and toast.

The taste offers little else but conventional, unembellished malt and yeast flavours - and there's nothing wrong with that. Its almost nutty-sweet, cookie-like malts and yeast, which is suggestive of over-ripened fruits and a light rash of phenolic spice, don't leave me licking my lips or rubbing my belly in satiation, but they're more than palatable.

Besides, it has a pleasant sweetness that leaves you tempted to go right back in for another sip. Do take heed, however - this ale may be easy-drinking but it is over 8% alcohol! (I feel it's my responsibility to tell you because otherwise you might not sense it.) Although Belgian ales tend to age better than most, this is one best enjoyed fresh.

Kwak is sort of the anatomical skeleton of Belgian ales; its conventional, unvarnished qualities provide a plain, paradigmatic taste of the style and a quintessential, agreeable learning experience for young reviewers, curious drinkers or aficionados alike. Despite being an ale stripped-down to its bare essentials, it's still an enjoyable, social and perfectly acceptable beer worth drinking (or at least trying to pour properly) at least once.

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Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Finley's, Huntington.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet cereal grain with some yeast esters.

The taste consisted of a sweet cereal type malt with undertones of caramel and toffee. There was an understated yeast ester and light earthy hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the heavier side of the style.

Overall a tasty but uneventful experience.

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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
85 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.
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