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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Piraat AlePiraat Ale

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,741 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1741
Reviews: 945
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.56%


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

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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An attractive color and tasty beer. Alcohol is high but not overpowering. Masked by fruit but then you can drink too much.
Can sub for champagne or popular preference for bubby whites at dinner party. Would have again anytime. You can smell and taste the malt and yeast.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2003 03:24:15 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of malt, grain, fruit, honey, and citrus zest. There is an alcohol kick and a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty damn strong.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2012 02:56:12 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tangerine peel with buttered rum edges and a moderate dusting of small particulates. The pale gold-tinted ivory crown is four fingers to start and is exceptionally tight-bubbled and firm. It also looks to be fairly sticky, as evidenced by its semi-rocky upper surface and the respectable amount of lace that has appeared on the glass in a 'painting spatters' pattern.

There's no mistaking the nose as belonging to a BSPA. Piraat fits within the style boundaries with ease, although I wish it was more powerful and more distinctive. On second thought, it's distinctive, but not necessarily in a good way. The beer smells like sour apples dipped in butter and sprinkled sparingly with ground clove. The sourness and phenols bring it down a notch in my eyes.

The flavor is a carbon copy of the aroma. I experience a brief burst of optimism each time beer enters mouth, but the initial flavors don't really expand and intensify, they just soak the taste buds and then begin to slowly fade away. That isn't to say this is bad beer, just that it's far from special when judged against the world's best.

Piraat is big and golden malty with a fair amount of underlying sweetness. Hops answer the bell and match every sweet malty jab with a bitter-hoppy right cross. I'm not sure what hop variety/varieties are in use, but I'm not that impressed with their flavor delivery, either in terms of amount or character. This is one case where malt and hops seem to cancel one another out rather than build on one another in a constructive manner.

Alcohol is noticeable, but is easily handled. The 10.5% ABV tastes and drinks not one whit higher than 8.0%. The mouthfeel is closer to full than to medium and is, unquestionably, the highlight of this experience. Rich and silky smooth, it's a finely-tuned sports car in dire need of an accomplished driver. The word 'luxurious' comes to mind.

Piraat is better than the average BSPA, but has a long, long way to go to be mentioned in the same breath with the greats of the style. It lacks that *certain something* that puts a twinkle in my eye and a spring in my step, but I still had a good time with the bottle. Watch out for that ABV. It'll plunder your booty if you aren't careful.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 22:51:01 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a massive head; lots of splashy lace

Smell: Yeasty and hoppy aromas, with chalk, lemon pith and herbacious, floral bitterness; some alcohol on the nose

Taste: Yeasty, with tropical fruit undertones for just a split second, but the herbal bitterness, the pith and the alcohol overwhelm the palate from then on, leaving a very harsh aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately high carbonation; rather boozy and warm after the swallow

Drinkability: More like a hoppy BSPA than a Belgian IPA, but I would not argue with the classification - this beer was just not to my liking as I didn't care for the boozy bitterness

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 00:07:45 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep yellow color ale with a huge poured white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of alcohol is a bit too intense for my liking with some good malt backbone and lots of sugar. Taste is very sweet with a subtle burning sensation from the alcohol. Body is slightly below average with too much filtration and alcohol is too intense. Yeast is quite discreet and sweet too present. This one is definitely not to my liking.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2006 18:50:49 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After resisting for quite some time because I thought the bottle version was way too alcoholic, hot, and spicy, I decided to order the tap version. Though very similar to the bottled version with it's fruity, spicy, and Belgian-y characters, the fruits seem riper and fresher in flavor. The alcohols seem to hide behind better creaminess, fuller body, and a rounder malt flavor. Don't get me wrong, the beer is very hot and spicy, but alcohols are not all I taste when on tap. A good alternative to Duvel and Tremens.

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2006 01:43:42 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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

A: Bright white head sits atop a hazy dark gold brew.

S: Lots of funk here. Also, plenty of hops and Belgian yeast. Fantastic.

T: Lots going on here. Good funk from the yeast, and plenty of hops to go along. Hints of different fruits as well.

M: Good taste throughout, sits in the mouth well. Medium body.

D: A little overpowering to go through more than one of, but this is a very fine brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 05:46:25 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a slightly hazy golden amber color into a snifter glass with a thick, white head that slowly dissipated into lacy patterns. The level of carbonation is moderate.
S: The aroma smells like apple cider, hops, and malt.
T: Hops are noticeable but do not dominate the overall flavor, which is well-balanced with tastes of tropical fruits such as pineapple, citrus and banana. There are also notes of spices in the finish, which is slightly on the sweet side.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate, and the aftertaste is a little dry.
D: It's relatively easy to drink and the taste of alcohol is well-hidden, but I can't see having more than one of these in a sitting given its high alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 02:39:55 | More by metter98
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, bronze-hued body with a large, last, white head. Gobs of splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Sugary, spicy, delicately grainy malts served up alongside a tray of juicy, fresh-cut fruits and a single shot of clean alcohol.

Taste: Initially, you're greeted with a sugar sweetened, clove-spiced doughy malt character. Next up is a blitz of fruit flavors: peach, pineapple, and banana. Additional taste of bitter orange zest with a medium-low bitterness. Peppery alcohol character remains for the warming, dwindlingly fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high, finely-textured carbonation.

Drinkability: Paired well with "Lazy Confessions" by the Moldy Peaches. Though the alcohol is noticeable it's not glaring or, as a wise man once said, "It drink pretty good, don't it?" However, when the plummeting US economy drives me to a pirate-based livelihood, I'll probably stick to dark rum instead of Piraat. That's just me though!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 03:23:50 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had heard many things about this beer mainly good so had to try it on tap last night.Pours a gold/orange color with a big fluffy head,the aroma has big hop presence very herbal and grassy.Taste is very citriusy and tart with some late hop coming thru,very grassy and herbal aftertaste.A pretty nice beer but not a top notch Belgian in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2004 13:52:55 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Still rackin' my brain tryin' to figure out what this beer's name means... Stupid foreign names! Anyway, it pours a clear golden amber topped by a stoic bit of white froth that eventually succumbs to the deleterious effects of gravity, leaving only bubbly rubble in its once proud place. The nose comprises hoppy florals, orange peel, and a touch o' that lovely Belgian spicy quality. The taste ups the spice ante a bit, focusing on pepper and cardamom, while still maintaining a firm presence of hoppy citrus bitters and a Belgian farmhouse-like yeastiness. The body is a very light medium, with a light-active carbonation and a finish that really wants to be crisp and dry-ish. Overall, a steady, solid Belgian offering. 'Nuff said.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 06:24:04 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first had this beer compared with Duvel, Lucifer and a few of the other more balanced strong golden Belgian's, I found it to be aggressive and rough - with a bold sweetness, an apparent alcohol, and a rough edge of bitterness and acidity. I've since changed my opinion on that in so far as those qualities give it a bold, unique, character. There are times when you want something that will reach out and grab you! This is it! Beautiful deep gold with a bright white rocky head that holds. Nice, creamy mouthfeel that caresses and tingles. The aroma is huge, complex, fruity, spicy and sweetly malty. The flavor starts with a bright sweet malt, revealing some spice (coriander?) and light acidity, followed by a brash bitterness. Plenty of alcohol here. A very strong, highly flavored ale that tours your mouth and takes no prisoners.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2002 09:45:08 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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

330ml bottle. First Belgian IPA, yeah! I mean, très bien!

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber hue, with a tower of puffy, densely foamy dirty white head, which leaves some nice chunky, fuzzy honeycombed lace around the glass as it lazily recedes. Looks like a big IPA, that's for sure.

It smells rather lightly of grainy pale malt, and soft spices - coriander, cloves, a hint of white pepper - a bit of earthy yeastiness, musty orchard fruit, and a very subtle metallic alcohol edge. The taste is much more fruity than the nose let on (it doesn't always know, apparently), with strong apple, white raisin, and peach liqueur notes, a part of the mildly caramelized malt very much in the forefront, muted citrus rind, edgy honey, and some tame candi sugar notes. The big alcohol is very withdrawn, imparting only a sparing dry metallic edge over the whole.

The carbonation is mild, but still duly supportive, the body a decently solid medium weight, and smooth, in that 'did I just do a vodka shot' sort of way. It finishes fairly dry, the caramel and alcohol maybe making a weak case for their side, but the hops, yeast, and flipside to the booze saying otherwise, and thus taking this round.

This does indeed taste like a so-so Yankee IPA merged with a big Belgian pale ale or Tripel, and further with some rather unassuming malt liquor. The Belgian side does seem to win out, given the fruity, yeasty (and alcoholic) notes herein. Any American-style IPA hopping is barely perceptible here, which is fine, but the denomination leaves something to be desired, and is a bit misleading, but that aside, this is a very well made, more hoppy than usual, strong Belgian pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 23:06:01 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's try this one again...

11.2 oz bottle, buccaneer on the label, poured into an authentic Piraat tulip glass.

Bright golden hue, highly hazed, under neath a large, booming, puffy white head.
Nice.

Aroma: citrus and sour greets the nose first. Funky and fierce. Wowzers. Straw, lemon, honey, and pepper. Spicy.

A blast in the mouth, flush with fruit and dazzling spice. Big, juicy sweetness. Getting bigger, sweeter and hotter as we go in. Bodies a bit too thin to support all this, though...I could really go for some malt.

Looking at my 4 1/2 year old review, I have to wonder what was up with that bottle...or me...
This is nice stuff, but a bit out of wack. And it gets warmer and warmer, the flavor calming down, honey and lemon meets big, fat booze andbitter hops . Wish I could taste a few more things here, though...like malt and yeast.

Drink up, ye mateys! Arrr! Shiver me timbers! Avast! hoist the mizzen mast!

Yarr!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 07:04:25 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

On-tap 7/17/08 at Pitcher's Pub, in Cumberland, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with strong flavors of Belgian yeast and floral hops. There's a pretty significant alcohol sting and a heart malt character. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice high-octane beer to drink for a long time or at least until the ABV catches up with you.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2008 18:37:42 | More by TheManiacalOne
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russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Got this as part a mixed Belgian sixer

Pours gold with 3+ fingers of parfait-like cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Lemons, apples, pears& honey as this warms

T: Lemony & grapefruitty hops, pears & apple- tinged booze up front. Apples, grapefruitty hops, & a touch of honey as this warms. Finishes with breadfruit, other tastes of the tropics & grainyness

MF: Syruppy, but some carbonation bites at the edges

Drinks pretty, good this is more of a nightcap or dessert type offering

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 04:33:29 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that wants to overflow the glass. The aroma is good. It has a light, yet malty scent which brags of Belgian pale malts and a fruity Belgian yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a pale malt flavor that is very intense and warms on the finish. It has a dry, yet fruity yeast flavor that is pleasant. It goes down easy for having such a high abv. . The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good Belgian ale, but I think that it's a little too over-hyped.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2004 00:53:01 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

Served out of a bottle into a goblet. Golden in color, relatively clear, moderate head. Smell was lighter than expected, but still present and pleasant. Mouth feel was full bodied and easy to drink. I haven't had this beer in a while, and it was my fourth of the night. It was as good as I remembered and I am thrilled to recommend this beer to those Belgian fans out there, of which there are millions.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 17:36:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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

A - Poured out a clear, straw-yellow color with a light, fluffy, bubbly, off-white head. It left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of citrus, yeast, lemon and some caramel malt. Some floral notes and hints of grasses.

T - It tasted very grassy and citrus. Light touches of pine, too. It had a nice sweet caramel flavor providing a strong backbone. Also, some hints of alcohol flavor.

M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good Belgian IPA. Nicely balanced and surprisingly easy-drinking despite the high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 01:19:23 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ever so lightly hazy deep gold color, and is topped by an off white head that is medium sized. The aroma is dry, grassy, herbal, and has a spiciness that is a bit akin to coriander. The taste is lightly sweet up front, with a grassy finish that lingers. This beer is quite interesting in its herbal-grassy character. This beer has some bright fruitiness to it as well, evoking notes of pear, apple, white grapes, and yellow raisins. Again this is pretty good beer, if not a bit sweet.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 19:37:53 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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

This beer pours out as a nice hazy golden yellow color. The head is bit a fluffy. The lacing it leaves behind isn't too bad. The smell of the beer has a good amount of hoppy aromas coming off of it. The other aromas are a little spicy and has some floral qualities. The taste of the beer brings all those qualities together in a very spicy flavored IPA. The aftertaste has some nice bread flavors also. The mouthfeel is a sharp and tingly. Overall it's a pretty good Belgian IPA. I still prefer the Valier Extra over this but this is still a worthy try.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 14:57:31 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours golden amber with a thin, slowly disappearing head.

The smell is grassy/grainy with candy sweetness. Slight herbal/peppery notes follow through.

The taste is grassy/grainy with balancing candy sweetness. Some citric fruitiness in the back. Plenty of warming alcohol gives it a touch of pepper (and a kick). Spiced sweet, long finish. Well-balanced.

The body is light to medium with lingering spiciness, though smooth.

A nice, well-balanced, spicy sweet, tasty Belgian IPA here. Quite drinkable for abv level, though glad I shared it with someone.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2007 14:57:29 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

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

Cork and caged 0.75cl bottle, posh golden sailing boat on the new front label.

This beer was opened during a raclette evening and it went well with all the food on offer.

Alcohol content is prominent, but not overpowering. Evident in the aroma and taste, it however sits well within the hop and malt balance and adds that extra dimension, raising the beer from an also ran to a top runner.

An easy to drink strong ale, lovely.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 21:25:40 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold with just a touch of cloud to it. Slight sweet hop on the nose. Flavor is smooth with a touch of sweet and a citrus tone. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but definitely nowhere near overpowering. Carbonation is high with a lot of bubble on the mouth. Very drinkable, but not an overly unique brew. Smooth and steady. Probably one of the best of the many (7 so far) I have tried from Steenberge.

Pour the sediment in and you get a darker, cloudier brew that is slightly sweeter.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 08:01:51 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden slightly hazed nice creamy vibrant white head lacing Belgian webbing fine lacing. Aroma: Aroma is rich sharp sweetness clean candy-like tone blended with alcohol just the way I like it, the hops actually exist in this sweet rich alcoholic beverage. Taste: Syrupy layers of malt profile nice bitterness Euopean hoppin going on, hey I'm a fan of this one flavorful as all hell, with zesty citric tones thrown in there and a warming tone of the alcohol of this 10.5% wow. Mouthfeel: Relatively light bodied syrupy texture makes it rich and warming, the secret of the Belgian strong ale make it lighter bodied and excessively good so everybody will always have a buzz even if they don't want to. Drinkability: Way to easy to sip and consume chalice after chalice, Piraat can serve up one hell of an unwarranted buzz quicker than you would expect.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2003 17:30:51 | More by WVbeergeek
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Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,741 ratings.