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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,004 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,004
Hads: 2,284
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 18.56%
Wants: 114
Gots: 299 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.
View: Beers (92) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Piraat Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,004 | Hads: 2,284
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single finger thick head with a little lace and excellent retention on a hazy golden amber head. Nice candy, spice and fig aroma which isn't as strong as some others in the genre but still nice. Flavor is strong with a sour dark fruit, mostly cherry note dominating with a nice yeasty and spicey note as well. Very high carbonation a n medium bodied. This is a decent tripel. Not the best I have had. The carbonation was way too much for me.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
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

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.31/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  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.

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Photo of oline73
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The head is a towering, two and a half fingers of bone white foam. The body is deep golden colored and perfectly clear. The carbonation supports the head well, but it eventually settles down and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - Spicy hops with pine and citrus notes, backed by peppery yeast and rich malt.

T - Some citrus hop notes up front that are quickly overwhelmed by phenolic yeast. Pepper, cloves, anise, and a hint of vanilla. Sweet malt comes out briefly in the finish and is more than balanced by smooth hop bitterness. Lingering flavors of tropical fruit.

M - Medium body, very high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - A strong golden belgian with a distinctly spicy yeast profile. Pretty drinkable for what it is, and it hides its high alcohol content well. There is a nice hop character, but the yeast dominates, and I wouldn't put it in the same category as other Belgian IPAs that I have had.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
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!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enthusiastic head with streaming bubbles in the Saint-Martin goblet. Clear darkish amber color. This is both sweet and yeasty with the dry finish. Tingly and highly carbonated.

This seems like the textbook example of a strong Belgian ale. Flavors of sweet malt and grain. Bread and cookie dough, and is that a vanilla taste? Deeply fruity with lemon competing with the apricot and pear. Some tannic and woody taste. All of this seems to intensify as you sip and the hot alcohol tackles the tongue.

This is a big and bruising beer, but it is a cornucopia of flavors and sensation. From the beautiful printed on glass 750 ml bottle purchased in San Diego.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big light tan head slowly settles into a nice bisquity lacing above a clear copper honey colored beer.

Aroma is very laden with fruits both dark and citrus and light pepper like spices.

Spices, light and of a darker cooking variety, mixed with dark fruit aspects like apricots on a light grain malt taste. The taste also brings with it an aspect of light alcohol.

A dry aftertaste that has with it some of the darker fruits on this medium well bodied beer.

This is a very good example of how to make a beer with a lot of different tastes but none of them really sticking out and smothering the other tastes with the beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Brass Rail deli, poured chilled in a tulip

The color is hazed amber with thick three finger head with off white shade and fine bead. The lace clings in a film. The smell is both floral and phenolic with light spice and an herbal hop odor with slight malt and alcohol adding to the aroma with slight fruity ester from the yeast. The feel is great, feels full with moderately high carbonation giving a prickly tip of the tongue sensation with some light sweetness and mild bitterness with dry and alcohol influenced finish.

The taste is very good -lots of yeast providing a sort of fruity tangy element which leads to a more hop driven spice and herbal mix. The taste of candy sugar is there but it is not obtrusive, more complimentary to the yeast and supplements the bitterness of the hops in a tasty way. There is a good amount alcohol to bolster the hops in the flavor- more of a strong pale than Belgian IPA to my taste, but who knows what this is like fresh in Belgium?-Not me. I like this but it seems stronger than most of its strength. I like the taste and would definitely buy this again considering its complexity.

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Photo of Jason
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 330ml odd sized fatty brown bottle with a picture of a pirate and a Viking ship!?

Appearance: A powdery, white, creamy head that does not want to go away covers a lightly hazy-amber liquid. Decent lacing effect.

Smell: Horsey, grassy, peppery and funky. You have to love Belgian yeast as this one is quite lively.

Taste: Explosive in its profile! A smooth, crisp, honey-like malt flavour turns grassy, peppery with strong alcohol lining and intermingled hop bitterness. A tad thick in the medicinal phenol department. Juicy fruit in the middle with hints of ripe papaya and pineapple. The aftertaste holds more grass flavours that settle into an almost minty note.

Notes: This is a wonderful Belgian Strong Pale Ale, goat cheese and roasted red pepper on slices of a toasted baguette is a quick and perfect pairing.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,004 ratings.