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Beer Review:
Pauwel Kwak
Buggenhout, Belgium
By: George Zhen

December 21, 2005

(Interlaken, Switzerland) - Scouring the beer rack here at my local Whole Foods for something Belgian that I hadn't had, I came across a nondescript black bottle called Kwak. Seeing that the price was about 25% less than the regular Belgian fair, I figured it was worth the risk.

Pauwel Kwak is brewed in Buggenhout, Belgium, by Brouwerij Bosteels. The aforementioned bottle is slick and black and contains a strong Belgian pale ale. It pours an adequate head that has no special characteristics about it. Lacing is there, but not substantive nor long-lasting. The color is dark and reddish when held to the light. Not bad to look at, but not the rich pouring or color complexities that its Belgian brethren wield.

Smells are a mix of malts and fruits, again not seriously complex, but more than some. There is a bit more of dark fruit spike when sipped that doesn't quite mask the alcohol as pleasantly as it should. As the sips continue, it becomes a more drinkable experience, dissolving into a pleasant beer that is really enjoyable.

With Belgian brews in big bottles, one kind of gets used to the 9% ABV standard that most of these brews carry. Kwak is a bit less at 8%, but that doesn't mean it can't get the job done. One bottle of some Belgians can be split - Kwak can't. Keep that in mind when attracted to the lower price point.

Kwak is like the nice girl whose friends are all supermodels. If found amongst other company, Kwak might stand out, but on that shelf of big, bold Belgian superbrews, it's kind of homely in comparison. That's not to say I would kick it out of bed, though...

Beer Tasting Scorecard
Pauwel Kwak
Attribute Score
Head 3
Color 3
Taste 4
Flavor 3
Effect 4
Overall Score 3.4

For more information on Pauwel Kwak, visit their website at

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