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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Piraat AlePiraat Ale

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1,741 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1741
Reviews: 945
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: 1,741 | Reviews: 945 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

great Belgian strong here, but a shade below the hype. its blonder than expected, with a robust inch of thick white foam. lemon lime color, simple, but elegant. the nose is bitter indeed, but not fully from hops, some funny malting strategy here perhaps is to blame, or maybe it is hops, hard to tell from smell alone. I don't get the other hop essentials, so im confused. rich flavor, creamy feel, vanilla before the bitter taste comes in. rich grain bill, oats maybe here, like a tripel, but not sweet at all, minus the candy sugar. interesting, but the alcohol is strong. its almost too strong. the taste finishes with a burn, and its moderately unflattering, but still unique to this brew alone with all that strange bitter. well carbonated and smooth, aside from the booze burn. less drinkable than many, but a complex and well refined glass of ale. ill be back.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2013 02:55:37 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Michael_DuBois


4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I tried this at Croxley's on Long Island, NY in the Farmingdale area, neighborhood...I don't know what they call suburbs on LI. Anyhow, I was more than a few glasses deep before the bartender admired my outstanding tab amount and the gratuity he stood to make and offered to buy me a glass of the Piraat. I wasn't driving so I took him up on the offer.

I take a sip. Wow! Now keep in mind I had been drinking a lot of stouts and porters but this pour woke up my senses immediately. It was golden, murkey, marginally heady and after my first sip, I instantly went back in for another....and another...and another.

I then pull it up on BA to see what the concesus on it was, where it came from, ABV, etc., etc. I slurred over my few attempts to pronounce Brouwerij Van Steenberge which prompted the meathead at the end of the bar to ask if I was some sort of a retard. It sounded really funny at the moment in his thick Long Island accent, but the guy looked like he could rip off my arm and beat me with the wet end so I quickly did my best to clear the air and explain my inability to speak words without sounding all mongo-ish.

Back to the beer. Excellent flavor of citrus and light wheat. It almost reminded me of Danny-Mac, which I sampled at Furkin Fest in St. Paul, MN earlier that spring. I wouldn't have been offended if this beer was served at breakfast in lieu of OJ, alongside pancakes, eggs and a few strips of bacon. Danny-Mac or Piraat for that matter. There was no BOOZY-ness to the beer which I appreciated considering its ABV.

I enjoyed it so much in fact that before I left for the evening I grabbed a growler and shared it with my colleagues the following evening at a dinner event. All but one person found the beer to be exceptional. The nay-sayer is admittedly only fond of Coors Light and Michelob Golden Draft Light so I wasnt' surprised in the least that he would poo-poo this dilectable beverage. To each their own though. I personally don't enjoy lima beans....there...I said it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2013 21:18:14 | More by Michael_DuBois
Photo of Blindpigbiz


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Smell: honey and hops with herbs (I'm not a chef so all I know is that they smell like the 'green' kind)

Taste: honey with tart sweetness, smooth hops with a slight bite, herbs, and a slight effervescent mouthfeel; sweet black tea and rose pedals are prevalent

This is one of my favorite beers and I highly recommend purchasing this in a 750ml bottle and age it for a couple of months; it'll blow your mind away.

Pair this beer with aged sharp cheddar, black grapes, and peppered triscuits; this beer is also fantastic with an everything or meat pizza

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2013 08:50:11 | More by Blindpigbiz
Photo of BostonHops


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at sunset grill and tap, allston, MA. served in a tulip.
(review from notes)

pours a golden-light amber tone while yielding about a finger of frothy off-white head. decent retention and lacing. nose offers some belgian yeast, spice, and fruit (apple, some citric characters). secondary notes of earthy/floral hops. nice aroma, though falls short of spectacular.

flavor mostly follows the nose with big fruity/spice notes up front, fairly sweet, then joined by a more subtle presence of hops. alcohol is a player but it's not overwhelming by any means. medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

overall i enjoyed this one. very tasty and flavorful, though nothing transcendent. will buy again. next time though will pick up a bottle to take my time with at home where i can give it my full attention.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2012 22:41:52 | More by BostonHops
Photo of Tschnab

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- the pour is typical for any Belgian golden type ale. Good amount of foam and lace on the glass.

S/t- a Belgian golden ale on steroids basically. Hoppy and yeasty with grapefruit and banana/clove. The yeast also gives the classic bubblegum flavor but with a bit of mango as well from the hops.

O- I really love this beer and it might be my favorite readily available golden ale from Belgium.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2012 22:48:55 | More by Tschnab
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a deep yellow-orange with a one and a half finger off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, fruit, spice, and spicy hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, fruit, fruit hop, spice, and alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. The fruit presence on both the aroma and flavor were the dominant factor going on here and covered up what could have been quite a few subtle notes that got lost. I really hope this was not the case as this one had the potential to be a really nicely done brew for the style, but just lacked the complexity I love from some of the brews of this style. Glad this one is easy to find as I might keep a few in my fridge for future tastings/guests to enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2012 11:34:22 | More by thagr81us
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap and served in a tulip, the beer is a dark, vibrant, honey-copper coloring with a foamy, frothy, small bubbled white head that has a great cling along the glass. Nose is subtle, with some light spicing atop the boozey and rich, malty backbone. Smells solid and strong. Flavors are more heavily spiced, with a strong clove and grains of paradise character along the rich fruit and boozey backbone. Fruits range from pineapple to pear, and grapefruit to apple. Slightly cloying, resiny sweet aftertaste with a mild hopping. The finish is rich and slick, with an oily mid-linger. Great lacing left behind as you drink, and the spices leave a pleasant, cleansed feeling on the palate. The increased ABV is blended well into the beer, making it very easy to drink. Solid brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2012 18:00:05 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Philousa


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imbibed on tap at The Rose & Crown in Palo Alto on 2/10/2012.

Served with good clarity, rich golden in color with a big foamy head in a Piraat tulip. Didn't see the guy pull it, so the big head may be due to his enthusiasm. Great bold Belgian yeast with some pepper and a good amount of lemony citrus in the nose. This is a great showcase of this yeast strain. The malt tastes like it was made for the yeast, which fades tart and then goes into full on Belgian spicy mode. Good bitterness that is lasting but not overwhelming. Good complexity in this beer's flavor, not so much in the nose. Which is fine, since it's done well. Clean=well. medium MF with a dry finish. Makes me want to move to Belgium, since this is readily available there. Can you imagine if this was our Budweiser?

This is a damn good Hoppy Belgian that showcases its yeast. It's clear and hoppy at the same time. very good showcase of what a Belgian IPA should be. I've had several Belgian IPA's from the US, but this is the real deal. Use this as a benchmark against which to judge others.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 06:16:42 | More by Philousa
Photo of thecheapies


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber body with a dense soapy head. World-class lace.

Honey-glazed biscuit aroma with a fleshy orange and apple fruit toward. Delicate estery yeast in the nose. Benevolent in aroma. Alcohol very well hidden.

Rich honeyed sweetness following the nose. Chewy, raw bread crumb, some ripe banana/clove, candied orange peel, and aged hop oils. The booze is right here, too, but complements the flavor profile nicely.

Medium body, a little sticky. Nice bubble burst.

World-class for the style. A Belgian on-tap 'must'.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2012 23:12:54 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Rifugium


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

I've had this many times over the years, but I'm finally just getting around to reviewing it. Pours a slightly hazy bronze color with a firm white head, varying in size, but usually displaying decent retention and lacing. Aroma is grainy, with notes of Belgian sugar and yeast, moderately hoppy. Biscuity malts in the taste, yeasty, candi sugar and light spice, with an indistinct dark fruit sensation, and a lingering herbal bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable for the style. Good beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2012 03:34:58 | More by Rifugium
Photo of GilGarp


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold on tap at Cheeky Monk in a properly branded tulip glass.

Appearance is golden amber in color with thick towering head. It settles slowly with nice spotty lacing left behind.

Aroma is more Belgian yeast than big hops. I still get a little citrus but it's more banana and spice.

Flavor is very intense with big hop bitterness. It doesn't completely overwhelm the malts and yeast but it's close. Then again, at over 10%, it needs to have big hops just to give it balance.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Alcohol is noticeable after a few small sips. No doubt this is a strong seductive beer.

Overall really well done Belgian IPA. If there was such a category, I'd say it's really a double.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2011 20:39:10 | More by GilGarp
Photo of vincicle


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer on tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver from the appropriate glassware. A wonderful dark cherry color that is excellently clarified to provide a stark contrast to the bright white head that provides almost an impermeable cap to the beer. The foamy head actually hinders any aromas at first, but once the beer warms and the head mellows, you are left with a sweet cherry woodiness with almost no alcholic character. The flavor is also very smooth and compliments the nose with a rich cherry flavor with a dark maltiness that is more oaky then chocolatey. An all around excellent experience.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 15:37:10 | More by vincicle
Photo of gatornation


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ the bulldog

A-poured a slight hazed golden color with a 1 finger white head

S- was citrus hops yeast,fruit and spice

T was spicy hops with some slight banana and clove a touch of apple and spice

M- nice carbonation with an alcohol presence it was tart sweet and crisp with a nice hop kick offset slightly by some fruit

O- this is a great BIPA very tasty easy to drink but youy will feel this one later

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 21:33:42 | More by gatornation
Photo of ThaCreep


2.65/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fresh aromas and bitter Saaz hops. The mouth is very powerful and contrary to what one thinks, this is not the hop that brings that strength but alcohol, which is not really a good thing. The hop feel, of course, a slightly spicy, but it is overwhelmed by an alcohol too pervasive, mixed grain hereby makes the beer a little too heavy. Little aftertaste of almonds and finishing a warm mouth, almost suffocating. Damage to the power hop, that is, it must be said, almost absent.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2011 18:10:30 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of perrymarcus


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at sunset grill and tap, allston, MA. served in a tulip.
(review from notes)

pours a golden-light amber tone while yielding about a finger of frothy off-white head. decent retention and lacing.

nose offers some belgian yeast, spice, and fruit (apple, some citric characters). secondary notes of earthy/floral hops. nice aroma, though falls short of spectacular.

flavor mostly follows the nose with big fruity/spice notes up front, fairly sweet, then joined by a more subtle presence of hops. alcohol is a player but it's not overwhelming by any means. medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

overall i enjoyed this one. very tasty and flavorful, though nothing transcendent. will buy again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2011 01:46:15 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of jmvecchio1


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out golden yellow in color with a sticky head which later gives way to some nice light lacing. The color is light but appetizing and it cleverly hides the high ABV. The aroma is what truly showcases the Belgian roots of the ale. You get wine-like fruity esters which are ever so slightly sour. The taste is yeasty, light hints of tropical fruits and cider, with a slightly hopped finish. This is an extremely drinkable beer and could really start one hell of a raucous night with its high ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 19:47:38 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of sturner26


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Al's of Hamden into a tulip.

A: pours an orange/yellow color with a little fizz. Head is large, foamy, and thick,

S: A good representation of a Belgian Strong Ale with complex, sweet dark candied and dark fruit aromas; however, there is a hint of dry, hoppy citrus and bitterness just underneath the heavy sweetness; definite booze smell as the beer warms

T: the first flavor is alcohol, but not in a sharp, unpleasant way. Not nearly as much hop or citris as I expected. Great maltiness however as well as sweetness ranges from tropical fruit flavors to bits of caramel, vanilla, cloves and banana;

M: Smooth and heavy up front; warm, tingly on the tongue; finishes with a surprising and welcomed touch of dryness that finishes in a refreshing and crisp way; Amazing!

D: Very smooth and enjoyable. I would drink several if not for the 10.5 abv. Not at all what I expected, but very good none the less.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2011 16:40:28 | More by sturner26
Photo of oline73


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at the Frisco Grille poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with less than a finger of white head.

Smell: There is a lot of banana in the smell of this one. I'm also picking up sweet malt and some very mild hops.

Taste: Initially I pick up a sweet Belgian spice and a lot of banana. In the background I'm tasting brown sugar and alcohol in the finish. The hops are there, but the sweetness seemed to dominate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very fine champagne like carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: I think this one is a bit too sweet for the style but good. I don't know if I'll look for more.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2011 01:02:56 | More by oline73
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice pour in a proper glass at Cheeky Monk--Westminster.
Apricot golden pour, nice half-soapy, half-sticky 2 finger head

So a Belgian IPA I'm not quite getting. The aroma is spicy and sharp with an underlying malty sweetness. Less bready than expected.

Flavors pop forward on first sip. flowery spice, faint clove, lemon/orange zest, light honeysuck and unripe red plum. Hops don't add much, that I can detect, to the flavors, but they do deliver a dryness. Moreso, though, the hops just extend and highlight the alcohol. Flavors fade toward the finish and don't leave me saying, "damn, I need another sip".
Still, a solid beer that I will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 17:32:40 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of richkrull


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one today at Brasserie V in Madison just because the tap handle looked cool.

Poured a nice golden yellow color with quite a bit of head. Very good smelling beer, not a real memorable flavor on the nose though. Good tasting with a bitter finish. Bit of an alcohol taste, but nothing like a malt liquor or anything. Good feel. I don't think I'd drink a ton of these beers, but I wouldn't mind having a couple in an evening.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2011 21:29:28 | More by richkrull
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Iron Horse in DC, but usually pours out from bottle to a dimple glass or snifter glass. Pours rich, golden yellow, and cheddary, with a nice head and beautiful lattice work. Aroma is a hint of sweet sage, followed by bread and citrus. Flavor is a sweet grapefruit a touch of bubblegum and perhaps bread. Palate is thick and chewy. Great Belgian that I order often at bars when available.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2011 20:28:11 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of megahurts4


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. Piraat
on tap at The Avenue Pub, New Orleans, LA

Appearance: Orange, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: Yeast, malts, slight wheat, and slight banana.

Taste: Banana, malts, and subtle wheat.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Balanced, smooth, and nicely flavored. You can't go wrong.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2010 04:39:57 | More by megahurts4
Photo of EgadBananas


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep honey, with a bright white head. Lace is ok.

Smell is spicy. Not hot, but spice-like. Kind of a hop spice. Some malts on the latter.

Taste is nice, with some up-fronts malts, spice and hop bitterness. Some tropical fruits make their way in mid-way. There's some heat there, well masked though.

Feel is pushing medium in body, with pleasant carbonation.

I could see this as a Belgian IPA, but a hopped pale does seem more fitting. Fairly easy drinker, 1 was plenty. Having seen this around stores often, I was pleasantly surprised, and I may pick some bottles up.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2010 14:31:13 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a tulip.

Appearance: Mostly a translucent golden tangerine color, with a slight hazy that prevents me from seeing all the way through. A fluffy white head gently rests on top, retaining well and leaving graceful lacing down the glass.

Smell: My nose is greated with a candy-like sweetness and Belgian yeast. Delving in further, the sugary malt sweetness is accompanied by soft Belgian funk, represented through cloves, pepper, and some general grassiness.

Taste: As I would expect for a beer of this style, the flavors really mimic the aroma quite well. It starts with a slightly grainy but quite sweet golden malt flavor, with nuanced clove and pepper spiciness reminding me how Belgian this beer is. The grassy hops are present, but much lighter than would normally be in a Belgian IPA. Finishes smooth. Just a touch of alcohol is noticeable - quite impressive considering the 10.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is the strongest aspect of this beer. The above average carbonation is balanced nicely by a smooth creaminess. Very soft grainy feel, and there is a little bit of a grassy residue at the end.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel is great, but the flavor profile never really pops. The flavors just seem to melt together as opposed to forming a strong identity. This also does not have quite the hop presence for me to consider this a real Belgian IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2010 18:14:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of MKEHophead


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in a tulip glass at Cafe Centraal in Milwaukee. Poured a nice golden color with large creamy head. Citrus Fruit/Coriander aromas abound. This beer tastes nothing like an IPA even though it is labeled as one. It's more representative of a Belgian Trippel. When I think of a Belgian IPA I think of LeChouffe as a prime example. This beer should be classified as a Trippel. Very high alcohol content which can be tasted, but the fruit aromas and fresh spices balance it out. Definitely has a sweet syrupy/bready aftertaste on the mouthfeel that lingers for awhile. This is a very drinkable beer with lots of nice spicy/fruit flavors. The alcohol is there, but you would never guess that it is 10.5% ABV. Even on a hot summer day when most pepole reach for a fresh Weiss Beer or Pilsner this beer was enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2010 20:31:25 | More by MKEHophead
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Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,741 ratings.