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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,745 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1745
Reviews: 946
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.56%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001)
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Ratings: 1,745 | Reviews: 946 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of baos


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz into Falstaff goblet.

I had this one in 1996 in Amsterdam, this is the first time I've had it since. I remember it being ultra potent on top of my buzziness.

A: Light golden amber with a bit of haze with a two finger head that goes down to a half finger that sticks around. Very good looking on a beer thats this boozy.

S: Clove, candy sugar, and yes pink bubble gum again, and honey liqueur.

T: I'll go out on a limb here and say this tastes like pumpkin pie liqueur. You got your clove and your sugar and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and then you have that honey liqueur. I guess its not as dark as pumpkin pie. How about light pumpkin pie liqueur?! Yes.

D: As this mama warms she gets good good good. I improved the marks above a couple of times, because of this. Very strong yes but like I've said before men drink strong brews and men would be just fine with a jar of this in front of all of ye night. Definitely wear this! It fits so nicely. She will fit you like two latex mittens. YES!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2008 04:21:55 | More by baos
Photo of Revvy


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Piraat Ale (billed on the website as an amber triple IPA, 10.5% ABV)

Appearance - Another huge thick head poured from this bottle, this time getting three quarters into the glass before the head reached the lip of the snifter. Meringue like it seemed to be made up of a mixture of large and small bubbles.

The beer itself is a hazy gold in color resembling golden apricots.

There is a hint of lacing left on the glass after the foam falls (took over 5 minute) and a nice, small, creamy head on the surface.

Aroma - Cold the beer has the barest hint of apple as did the previous two brouwerij Van Seenberge Beers. There is also a hint of apricot.

Upon warming slightly, the nose picks up a trace of alcohol.

No hop aroma in evidence, cold or warm/

Mouthfeel - This is another one of those effervescence balance with silky mouth and tongue coating beers, though this time it leans to towards silky, like a hot toddy made with honey, whiskey and warm water.

There is also a noticeable alcohol "bite" on the tip of the tongue, as well as a bit of a burn as it goes down the throat, similar to any number of liguors, such as brandy, especially as it warmed significantly.

Taste - There is absolutely none of the "hints of sourness" as with the previous 2 beers. The flavor is apricot, apple, and honey, with a ginger "burn" which may simply be from the alcohol and not the spice.

It is noticeably sweeter than the previous too, but not cloyingly so.

As it warms, more of the apple tartness comes through. At it's warmist there is a strong alcohol bite on the tongue and lips as well as a highly pronounce hoppiness, although the hop is not identifiable to me.

Overall - This is exquisite. This is one of the best commercial beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, let alone the best of the 3 sampled. I have not had too many versions of the Triple style....I believe I have had 2-3 other commercial versions, one amazing one from a local microbrewery and an excellent one from one of my brew bodies. And except perhaps for the one from the microbrewery (Dragonmeade) this surpasses them all.

But is this a Triple or is it an IPA/Triple hybrid? Perhaps it shouldn't be judged in comparison to those that are truer to style.

The history of this beer is that it is very similar to that brewed to keep on the long voyage as a food suplement for the Flemish freebooters on long voyages.

Letting it warm to it's fullest lifts it fully out of the category of "mere" beer and places it squarely alongside brandy as an after dinner aperitif, along side a good cigar...This could go head to head against any of the 4 Calvado's types, even the 6 year old Hors d'Age...I wonder how this would cellar.

This is what you bring out to seduce a lovely stranger over a game of chess in front of a roaring fire.

Grade A+

I have been considering brewing a triple for some time now...but after tasting this I think I would love to brew a clone of this, if soley to have this on hand. (and hopefully for much cheaper than 2 cases of this would cost, considering that at where I bought this set, a single 330 ml bottle retails for close to 4 dollars.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 01:41:28 | More by Revvy
Photo of tjwarren


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife and daughter surprised me with the gift pack of 6 bottles and a glass. After I scolded them for spending that much money I set about trying one.

Appearance - brownish red with a huge fluffy head when poured into the Piraat tulip glass. Almost too nice to drink.

Smell - probably the best part. Banana, pear, even a whiff of the alchohol.

Taste - surreal. Funny it actually has a slight beer taste to it but the fruits come close to overwhelming it but blend in at the last minute. Hops are there but very gentle. So balanced.

Mouthfeel - also great. Some Belgians are a little too fizzy for me but this one was just right.

Overall - can't imagine anything wrong with the beer. The alchohol warmth might be the best thing. I don't generally like boozy beers but this one is all that and a bag of chips. Can't wait for a snowy afternoon to sip one watching the snow fall and drift off for a glorious beer nap. Maybe my favorite Belgian so far.

Thanks for reading.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 01:53:35 | More by tjwarren
Photo of Braheem


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is perfect. Three finger head, a light honey brown color along with solid carbonation providing a enjoyable mouthfeel. At the end of the day I like to relax with one brew or two. If that beer happens to be a Piraat then I'm a happy camper.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 04:16:20 | More by Braheem
Photo of Dirty1


4.93/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had this beer in awile and was happy to find it. I had forgotten how good this beer was and enjoyed it with a smile. I poured this from a 750ml into a Piraat tulip glass.

A- Nice deep golden color with a slighty red tinge. Slightly cloudy with a nice thick white head that came to the top of the glass. Head fell back rather quickly and had nice lacing around the glass.

S- Pleasently strong sweet smell with hints of candy and yeast also slight hints of bananas and honey.

T- A very full flavored beer with hints of candy sugar and yeast. Very balanced dispite the high % with some mild alcohol taste. Nice mild hoppyness on the back end despite the IPA name. It tends to taste a lot more complex as it warms slightly with hints of clove, raisons, bananas, citrus, and a more pronunced bitterness.

M- Nice rich mouthfeel! It has a nice amount of carbanation that gives it a nice head. Very similar to most triple style ales.

D- This is a very drinkable beer to me. It warms you very nicely! High % will sneak up on you if not carefull! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 02:14:56 | More by Dirty1
Photo of BeerDocT


4.93/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the beer from a bottle into a wide-mouthed glass that I chilled by first pouring ice water into it (obviously poured it out before sampling the beer!). Label calls it a "tripel IPA."

-Appearance 4.5: Beautiful deep amber color. No head whatsoever, just a few wisps of bubbles on top. No visible carbonation bubbles on the side. Some unfiltered material floating around.

-Smell 5.0: Wow. This is one of those beers that, when you sniff it after pouring it into a glass, makes you think, "THIS is a beer." Big, sweet, grain smell with a touch of citrus and a sweet caramel hint. Is that a raisin smell in there, too?

-Taste 5.0: Very smooth, slightly sweet with a smooth taste of hops. I can't explain it; some beers use a lot of hops and the brew is sharp tasting or metallic as a result. Not this baby. Lots of hints of caramel balanced by a slightly sour taste, probably the result of its nature as a tripel. Lingering tastes of alkaline hops and barley after swallowing. Delicious. Just amazing.

-Mouthfeel 4.5: Slight hint of carbonation, but it is definitely there; obviously bottle conditioned. The ale actually feels thick in the mouth, almost syrupy. Very smooth, but you know you are drinking a tripel when you get a gulp of this. Awesome.

-Overall 5.0: One of the best beers you will ever drink. Complex, compelling and delicious. There is a lot of history in the beer and every drop is telling you a story. Worth the hefty price tag ($12.99 for four). The jewel in the crown of the Steenberge brewery.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 04:39:12 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of jcivetz


4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

so bomb so bomb so bomb so bomb!!! this beer is by far one of the best beers I've ever had. so bomb! it's sipping material, though can easily be drunk in a gulp with its bomb tastes sizzlin your tastebuds. if I had one a day i'd live to see 92. give thanks and praise for this bomb did i say bomb? CHRONIC belgian brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 05:09:51 | More by jcivetz
Photo of ledemie

New York

4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at 55 in my trusty tulip glass. 33 cL bottle.

A: Cloudy dark golden liquid with a small white head..

S: smell of pepper, and complexity, raisin, biscuit .

Taste: full, malty,full body. Very interesting.

M: full bodied with alcoholic warming. The taste of booze is masked, though.

D: does not taste hoppy like IPa ( good), I love this beer I could drink this everyday.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 17:18:03 | More by ledemie
Photo of twilight


4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm going to try not to gush about this beer because it is one of the nummiest things I've had in a long time. I like hoppy beers, so I though this was going to be a bitter bomb like DFH90, but it was more of a welcome treat. Kind of like when you buy a lemon drop in a candy store and it turns out to be even better than when you were salivating over it behind the counter.

I've been wanting to try this beer since I heard about it a few months ago. I finally saw a 750 at Bierkraft but circumstances prevented me from carrying the bottle around. I later picked up a stubby 33cL bottle from New Beer fresh out of the newly-opened box.

It pours a clear golden orange with a fluffy head leaving beautiful lacing all around. The nose is of the typical belgian spiciness and pear sweetness reminiscen of a Tripel. The alcohol is present in the aroma, so I wasn't shocked at the first sip.

Whoa mama! It's a malty overrun with belgian candy sweetness with a hint of earthiness. It finishes with alcohol, leaving it spicy due to the yeast. It's really almost like a tripel, but lighter, almost heavenly.

Mouthfeel is smooth, beautifully lolling on the tongue save for the alcohol bite. Drinkability? Well, suffice to say that it's so good that I really could have like two or three before I passed out and I wouldn't care. Hear that?!?! I could drink this all night even though the night would probably be cut short when I passed out with a blissful smile.

I'm adding this to my staple beers, crazy as that may sound... Arrr, mateys, thar I come.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2004 04:31:14 | More by twilight
Photo of roblowther


4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged. Don't know what to expect. Amber triple IPA? I thought that was three different styles :) Color is pale, almost luminous gold with active carbonation & a thin white head. Smell is very pronounced & apparent the moment you pop the cork. Lemons, pepper, grassy and a hint of sugar. Very intriguing & a definite hop presence. The taste is wonderful! A touch medicinal, taste of hay, a smooth caramel back, pepper finish. Very complex but surprisingly light. There's vanilla in there too somewhere. Mouthfeel is chewy and very, very nicely carbonated. Again, a balancing act that the beer pulls off very well. This one is very drinkable, with the malt making you want more, the hops making it seem light enough to let you drink a lot, and a pleasant alcohol warmth that just makes my toes tingle. Good on ya, Brouwerij Van Steenberge!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 00:22:09 | More by roblowther
Photo of yonnie


4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into chalice. Orange gold in color with 2 fingers off offwhite head. Quite a bit of lacing.

S - Slight banana and green apple, various fruits, bread, sweet malt, yeast.

T - Sweet malts, sour green apple, slightly bitter hops, typical Belgian yeasty flavors. Alcohol well hidden.

M - Moderate to full bodied. Well carbonated.

O - One of the best Belgian IPAs I've ever had. Easy to drink and great taste even at its high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 23:58:39 | More by yonnie
Photo of Ryan_Graham


4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great pour. Three finger head that sustains. Good lacing. Dark amber color. Smells great. I love the bottle cap artwork. Very very good beer. The taste is outstanding. Does not taste like a 10.5% beer. It goes down very smooth followed by a malty and thin but strong aftertaste.A great after dinner beer. Outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 02:19:30 | More by Ryan_Graham
Photo of dbell23


4.81/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Duvel tulip from a magnum. Burnt orange/dark golden color with a huge head that never completely disappears. Good lacing. Nice looking beer.

Smell is lemony citrus with Belgian yeasty goodness maybe a little grassy. Nice. The aroma is somewhat understated but really nice. The hops don't hit you like an American ipa.

Taste is sublime. Crisp lemony start with a slight citrus hop finish that is super clean. As with most Belgian ipas the hoppiness is very understated. Coming from a hophead who loves super hoppy American ipas, it surprising I like this beer as well as i do but its a Belgian ipa not an American imperial ipa. The taste is in the same ballpark as Duvel, which is the highest compliment I can give it.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect. Great carbonation with a smooth finish. Really nice.

Overall this is a spectacular beer. The high abv is not noticible in the taste but its definitely there. It sneaks up on you. This is a super beer. This is one of my favorite styles.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 22:45:55 | More by dbell23
Photo of Dmann


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A outstanding beer from top to bottom. This one poured a very nice golden color with a huge pillowy white head that stuck to my glass till the last drop. The smell was good with a touch of grass, a hint of pepper and a bit of bready yeast. The taste was exceptional with a nice sweet, not overly thick maltiness to start out with, followed by a very nice peppery flavor mixed slight hops and finnished with a great fruity aftertaste that was made up of a great pinnapple flavor. At 10.5% this is one to sip and savor for sure. Very highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 09:03:06 | More by Dmann
Photo of jenbys2001


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I absolutely love this beer, it's one of the most unique and complex beers I've had the pleasure of trying. It pours golden and creamy with a gorgeous head. The taste is nearly indescribable and packs a serious punch. It has a strong yeasty flavor with earthy, spicy notes as well as creamy fruit tones. It has a strong phenol character, which normally I don't care for, but it lends a bold sharpness to this beer which I found very alluring. This beer has a lot of warmth to it which I'm sure is related to the high ABV. While drinking too many glasses could be dangerous, I really enjoyed this flavorful beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2008 15:34:31 | More by jenbys2001
Photo of billybob


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

rich golden opaque color with about a one finger white head that holds well and some lacing. aroma actually gets better as the beer sits with fruity sweet candy notes and hints of spice. nicely spiced big flavors with cinnamon and pepper and a sweet fruity taste then the warmth hits for a great finish. only had the one 11.2 oz stubby bottle but at 10.5 alcohol its not session beer but i sure wish i had another.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 19:40:28 | More by billybob
Photo of jimiv73


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is good belgium ipa that i reccomend to everybody anyone who enjoys beer should like this style of ale even my wife dug it!! and it kicks ass weighing in at 10.5% mmm try some if you getthe chance a lil pricey but worth the money xxx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 00:20:00 | More by jimiv73
Photo of mempath


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a hazy golden orange with fat head that settles slowly into a big bubbly venner of pancake batter...also, eventually clarifies into a transparent golden orange.

deep ripe fruit and candied/brandied alcohol...almost tropical. like thor heyerdahl in tahiti...bananas dipped in yeast. excellent.

sweet sweet (and bitter), much like the dogfish head 90...but quite different as well. less body thickness, but very smooth with a near perfect mouthfeel. abv is really not 'present' but can be sensed...be careful. this is delicious. very much worth the ticket price to this show. glad to see this style mapping itself beyond...actually, the hops are much more sedate as expected, but i wouldn't want this any other way. i WOULD like to see a drier, hoppier version of this...or maybe do a half and half with this and, say, Smuttynose's ipa...that would be tremendous

a MUST have brew after any cyclocross race this fall. heck, after any bike ride. put a couple in the creek...make sure they're hidden!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 17:48:28 | More by mempath
Photo of Cascadia


4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this is a great belgian strong pale ale, but I like this style so I'm a sucker. This gives Duvel a run for the money, a little more carmel flavor than Duvel and a little less head. Don't let the funky label scare you, this is world class beer all the way. I haven't been able to find this one in a larger bottle, but if I could I'd love to see if a little time in the cellar changes the flavor profile at all.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 01:43:57 | More by Cascadia
Photo of ahommell


4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into Chimay Chalice.

A: Foam is exceptional. Sticks around the whole way. It is a mix of tiny and medium sized bubbles. Sticky. The color is a deep amber to orange. Hazy in spots.

S: Candi sugar. Bready, Belgian yeast. Toasty carmel at moments. Slightly hoppy.

T: WOW. Malty. Warm alcohol. Carmel. Candi Sugar is very obvious and pronounced. Hops are there... but overpowered in some respects. Each sip takes me to a different taste in the profile. Bready yeast present as should be. 5/5.

M: FULL bodied. Lots of carbonation. Expanding bouquet.

O: Wonderful. May have found a new favorite. I had this listed as a 4.5/5 in my tasting book... but now getting to review, this may go higher. The burning alcohol in the throat lasts a while. I don't know if that helps or hurts this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 22:24:47 | More by ahommell
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled this on tap at the map room before and thought I'd try it in bottle form. 750mL bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a clear and bright copper with a rocky white head that just looks super sticky (leaves a nice bit of lacing down the sides of the chalice) nice and active carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the chalice.

S: Initally yeasty but citrus notes come in a bit later

T/MF: Not quite the same as on tap but that very familiar pineapple and honey combination is unmistakeable. There is also a remarkably pleasing heat to this beer that I normally would find offputting in beers, but it compliments the end spices of this beer quite nicely. The hops coupled with a vigourous carbonation impart a remarkable mouthfeel to this beer, that at first feels a bit watery but expands broadly across the pallate.

D: I love this beer, in this style this beer is excelent and one of the best I've had in recent memory, a very nice beer for a very nice time of year, truely magnificent.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 03:00:25 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of nwshull


4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving: 330 mL bottle into an extra large wine glass

Appearance: This beer pours darker than most belgian golden ales. It is a deep golden clear color with a moderate pale white head.

Smell: It has a strong sweet aroma with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: It is a rich sweet flavor with some spices in it, it compliments this with a hoppy finish. Hard to describe, but its very rich without being over the top like some others of this style.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is balanced. It turns into a nice creamy flavor in the mouth once the carbonation is gone. Goes down well despite the 10 percent alcohol.

Drinkability: The only problem with this beer is its cost and its become harder to find. It is my favorite beer, its a bit strong, but best and rich enough to enjoy anyway.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2008 21:40:04 | More by nwshull
Photo of bigkahunas4


4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a very nice straw, golden body, with a white walloping head. Nice retention and great lacing point to one well made brew.

Smell: Big Belgian yeasts with some grassy hop notes.

Taste: Big candied malt on this guy, blends nicely with a pilsy malt profile as well. Sweet notes of pineapple and defined grassy hops really make this a balanced brew - and incredibly tasty at that. Lots of alcohol in here end the experience with a warm smile.

Mouthfeel: Full and sticky

Why yes sir, I'll have another!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 01:49:20 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of TexIndy


4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330ml fat stubby bottle into a Duvel tulip. No dating info. It was a hazy golden honey color. Large carb stream from the laser etching. Good lacing. It had an average sized white head that settled into a thick collar and foam from the carb.

The aroma was interesting for a Belgian IPA. It almost had more of a wild ale or saison aroma with good does of barnyard funk, pepper, yeast and sweet malt. It seemed kinda stuck between styles - the funk and spices battled it out but they mixed oddly. I would have preferred one on the other to be more dominant. Not bad but could have been better. The taste however was much better and excellent. The spices clearly won out. Again reminded me more of a saison than an IPA. Starts out with the sweet malt then the spices kick in a couple seconds later than fade right at the end for a sweet finish. This one is dangerously drinkable considering the 10.5% ABV. Really enjoyed the flavor on this one and it comes in a smaller size so you can enjoy and not get f'd up on it.

Oveall, an excellent beer. I highly recommend. Rotation: this will be a player. It's too strong and pricey to be in the heavy but this could easily be every couple months (which considering that I mainly drink new beers lately is hard to do).


Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 23:32:10 | More by TexIndy
Photo of fourplayed


4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Golden hony color with 3 finger foamy head that leaves nice lacing.

Nice smells of orchard fruits, mild sweet esters, yeasts and spices, some citrus and alcohol.

Taste is pleasing, fruits, apples, pears, peach with yeasts, citrus, hops and spices. A nice mild sweetness. Some alcohol which is well hidden.

Very zesty carbonation, medium body, more than medium alcohol warmth, decent hop bite and dry finish.

Very glad to have tried this Ale. Felt more like a tripel in many respects. An excellent Ale choice that I will revisit again & again!

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 21:44:33 | More by fourplayed
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Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,745 ratings.