Pauwel Kwak | Brouwerij Bosteels

BA SCORE
85
very good
712 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay
Read the review
Pauwel KwakPauwel Kwak
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels
Belgium
bestbelgianspecialbeers.be

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:
712
Ratings:
1,738
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
13.33%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
371
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 712 | Ratings: 1,738
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours amber in color with a big off-white head sitting on top.

S: Lots of yeast and bread notes up front. Plenty of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness with a pleasant fruitiness to it as well. Raisins and bananas are the most prominent fruits and there is a mild spiciness to it, too.

T: A similar array of flavors are present. A touch of alcohol warms things up and the dominant malt sweetness is really present throughout. Toffee and caramel work quite nicely with the banana, pear, and raisin flavors.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Really nice smooth feeling on the tongue with nice flavors and aromas.

 656 characters

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 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 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.

 875 characters

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 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 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?

 1,803 characters

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 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.

 1,319 characters

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.

 543 characters

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 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 stevoj
4.49/5  rDev +19.7%
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!

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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.

 461 characters

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.

 477 characters

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 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 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 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 dar482
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a clear amber color.

The beer offers sugary and almost caramel sweetness up front, some breadiness, sweet banana, lots of crushed pepper, clove, lively carbonation. Spice drives this beer, while still drying it out on the finish. Phenolic notes come through with hints of plastic and nail polish.

 315 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a frothy white head that quickly disappears. Little lacing. The aroma is quite light and all typical Belgian yeast smells of clove, banana, and light fruit. The taste is slightly winey and sweet with a pronounced banana finish. Fairly one dimensional and a little too sweet. Mouthfeelis solid with just the right heft and crispness to support the beer. Not the most intriguing Belgian strong pale, but not bad.

 436 characters

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.

 451 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Poured from corked & caged 750mL bottle into a tulip. Almost can't believe I haven't tried this yet!

Appearance: medium amber hue with no haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy ivory foam with a moderate retention. A bit dark for a pale but not bad.

Smell: an alcoholic fruitiness with a bit of a floral character. It's also quite sweet. I think I would have preferred more actual malt character here.

Taste: much like the aroma, there's not a ton of maltiness here, just kind of a sweet fruitiness. There's bitterness as well, but it does not play well with this beer's other flavors. I must say I'm not a big fan.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a great mouthfeel. Easily this beer's most redeeming characteristic.

Overall: not as drinkable as most other BSPAs. It's not terrible, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way, flavor-wise. I won't be going after the Kwak again.

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Pauwel Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels
3.75 out of 5 based on 1,738 ratings.
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