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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

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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Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a low head with large bubbles. Chunks of sediment were floating in the drink. Decent carbonation. The aroma was a combination of alcohol, yeast, hay, grass, and sweet malt.

The flavor was full of sweet malts and yeast. Serious bitterness arrived on the tongue as soon as you swallowed. Some fruitiness and sourness were other sensations detected. The aftertaste lasted for quite a while.

Drinkability is scored as average as the heavy body and very noticeable alcohol makes this as a one or two beer session.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2003 23:32:43 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Extremely cloudy, straw blonde in color. Relatively thin head with only a touch of slippery lace.

Creamy alcohol aromas similar to an apertif--fairly sweet. Very low hop aroma.

Very high alcohol warmth...to the point of distraction. The swallow burns from the alcohol. The malt flavors are rich with just a touch of hops to provide some balance.

Really, this is too much of a good thing. The powerful punch of alcohol is not really balanced by strong flavors or smells. This is like a beer flavored after dinner drink. One 11.2 oz bottle is enough for me--tasty in an expiremental way.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2005 01:51:15 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


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

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours golden orange with an extremely long lasting rocky white head with nice Belgian lace.

S: Peaches, candied orange, booze.

T: Ale fruit, orange, peach, Bosc pear, some medicinal alcohol in as well. Earthy hops to finish. Very tripel like.

M: Smooth and remarkably light and easy on the palate for its size. Elegant alcohol character.

D: A sipper for sure, would make a nice warming after dinner brew. One of the first Belgians I ever tried, I'm glad I revisited it.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 04:15:54 | More by Halcyondays
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 tempest


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

On-tap at Eulogy in Philly.

I don't know about the IPA part, but it was still a good strong pale Belgian. There was a rich, bread dough and fruit malt flavor, similar to a paler barleywine or DIPA. he malt was followed up by some yeasty sweetness and funky yet tropical? hops. It's tasty and different - gotta love that.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2007 23:02:53 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak


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

Served on-tap at the Brass Rail on 29-Apr-10.

A: The Belgian IPA is a golden straw color, a fuller yellow color that is several shades lighter than an egg yolk (although it is nearly opaque like an egg yolk). A small ring of head, no more than a band, circles the rim of the snifter. [Yeah, I said circle the rim.]

S: The nose is far more tripel than IPA, with a sweet candi sugar scent that barely hides its fusel strength. The more I search for hops, the more I come up empty. A solid tripel nose though!

T: Again, a fusel alcohol presence is immediately evident. Behind the strength, plenty of tripel flavors, candi sugars and pepper and distinctive yeast, linger around. There is a more assertive hop presence in the taste but it isn't nearly strong enough to punch through the tripel. The strength of the beer would be more manageable if the hops were more forward.

M: The mouthfeel is dominated by the delicate strength of the tripel, sweet and heavy. That sweetness is dangerous, making me want to sip it faster. Bold hops would help quell that urge.

D: One snifter for me, thanks. The ale is too boozy and needs to add a little more hop oomph.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2010 14:13:46 | More by akorsak
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 Billolick

New York

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

Fresh from its delivery to American beer in Brooklyn, I picked up this 11.2 oz. stubby bottle.
Pours orangy golden with a tiny bubble puffy head, dissolving to a sheen and of course leaves some nice lacing. Nose is strong medicinal, phenolic, alcohol, yeah baby, I love this style! first taste is pure bliss. Strong alcohol, melon, lots of pepper, more medicinal notes. As it warms, malty flavors and character come foward, This is 10%, but all the flavors and body conceal the alcohol well. Complex, tasty, strong, full of character and interest. Glad I went for this one, seek it out and enjoy. Sante...

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2004 02:56:37 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a golden orange clear body with a flurry of tiny bubbles. On top sits a thick off-white heat that turns rocky that last and last.

S- The light fruit perfume aroma has a sweetness with alight toasted malt note and finishes with a faint green hops note.

T- The smooth tangy light candy sugar flavor has a faint smooth pale malt note before the spicy hop finish. The light caramel flavor balances the alcohol bite that comes through as it warms.

M- This beer has a light smooth mouthfeel with an alcohol warmth that lightly hangs on the finish.

D- This beer is smooth that starts sweet with a nice alcohol finish. This would be a great desert beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2006 04:19:45 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours just deliciously - a brilliant golden orange with a thick and solid head of lightly-toasted marshmallow. Body is clear, I left the yeast sediment in situ. Fair amount of very fine carbonation racing from the etchings of the tulip. Lacing is excellent. Looks great.

Spicy vinous characters on the nose, with a hint of pepper and overripe bananas. Light biscuity grain notes as well, but just wafting around, not particularly solid. There is a tickle in the sinuses that indicates the touch of alcohol. Otherwise, just spicy and sweet. Very pleasant.

Initial brandy warmth on the palate, tingling across the tongue. Once the flavours arrive, there's a sharp acetone character that dips to a deeper, fruitier base, with a lingering alcohol and hop bitterness. The 10.5% is definitely there - it's just not hidden by the other big flavours of fruit sweetness and that big hop character; surprising for a Belgian. An interesting beer, and (I'll say it again) a big one.

It's quite smooth, but it's a heady brew, and the alcohol edge is just a little too raw for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 06:12:30 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fluffy, thick, white, three-fingered head, fades very slowly and leaves gobs of lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Color is a light golden. Nose is malty and has raisin overtones. Starts and finishes fruity with some sweetness and just a hint of bitterness. Pricey, $3.79 for a 330ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 00:49:31 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 21:32:25 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro


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

Pours a mildly cloudy gold color.

Smells fruity and tart with a bit of spice. Reminds me of the hard apple cider I brewed up in High school.

Tastes sweet and fruity with spice. Lots of alcohol, very warming slightly tart. Reminds me a lot of mulled apple cider, with a slight bitter bite. Also has a slight prune flavor.

Honey smell and flavor real comes out after this warms up a bit.

Mouthfeel is OK.

More of a specialty beer than a drinking beer. Bet this would be great hot with a cinnamon stick. It tastes a LOT like spiced mead!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2004 23:24:54 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


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

This was my first above 6% beer, WOW excellent. It poured a golden yellow with a huge head. Not sure if this is right, but that's what happend. Waited a little while for head to dissipate. Taste was kind of sweet, alcohol was definitely present, but not overwhelming. The aftertaste was very nice, kind of gave me a warm feeling. For a brew with a high abv, it was very drinkable. Will buy more in the very near future.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2005 15:06:05 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras


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

11.2oz bottle from a Belgian sampler pack purchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Head is short-lived, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is a bit of a sour funk with some belgian malt sweetness. Taste is slightly spicy Belgian malts, with a bit of a tang. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, very approachable for a Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2005 20:50:19 | More by ppoitras
Photo of stakem


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden orange color with a faintly yellowish stained creamy head. It doesn't retain it's fluffy finger plus head appearance long but quickly fades back to just a thin film across the top of the beer with a monsterous amount of lace all over the glass. Nose is slightly spicy from the hops and filled with a mixture of cloves and a bit of malt sweetness. Taste is a little bitter and has clove character in the front but it blends out to a complex mixture of grain, yeast, malt and alcohol. Slightly bitter dry finish with a lingering taste of hops left on the palate. Finish is also a bit warming which is the only indicator of the higher than usual alcohol. Light feel and carb. 10.5 alcohol makes this beer dangerous because of how easily drinkable and enjoyable it is. I will certainly be seeking this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 03:53:09 | More by stakem
Photo of DoubleJ


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

We wind down to the final beer of the Stubby Belgain invite, and my final beer as a 22-year old. Let's go out with a bang on this one for two causes, so on to the beer:

Not as much of a head as one might expect to top this golden blonde beer, and one with poor retnetion. Aroma is sweet and medicinal; it smells good and I want to drink it now.

Sweeter than I was expecting in taste. There is what American hopheads would call "a kick of hops" to this tripel, and it's the best way to describe the hop level in this beer. Sugary candied fruits dominant in this brew, medicinal levels low, with low carbonation and a syrupy palate. Don't drink too fast or you might get a sugar rush.

The Stubby Belgian invite end with Piraat, and with no more competitors, it's time to reveal the winner. And the winner is...

Gulden Draak!

$14.99 can get you all these Stubby Belgian tasted beers at the Wine Exchange, and gives you a starter kit to make a Stubby Belgian Invite of your own (oversized wine glass and snifter not included). Form your own opinion though, don't copy mine! Part of the reason for this invite was to serve as a countdown to my birthday, so send me good wishes. Good night everyone!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 06:05:48 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 330ml brown short bottle, BB 21/06/2013, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak’s tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours an amber-ish golden hue, with very good clarity, mild and constant carbonation, plus a thick and frothy off-white head to last.
S: salty-sweet orangey+banana+green-mango-ish estery fruit perfume comes with amber malts’ aroma and caramely hints, underlined by a soft layer of spiciness, candy sugar, sultanas, with alcoholic warmth scattered around in the background. Intense, aromatically fruity, yet still approachable.
T: rather potent/intense in flavour and alc. does lend a vivid impact from very early on, the flavour is spicy and dry-ish fruity at the same time, featuring orangey-citrusness, apples, overripe tropical fruits (or -flavoured bubble gum!), peppery esters, and dried Chinese hawthorn fruits, while hop bitterness catches up almost spontaneously with the alcoholic kickback… allowing a flow of white prune-ish spicy-sweetness to linger in the very end.
M&D: rather moderate on carbonation, this full-bodied amber strong ale is very well hopped and features a delicious fruity malt theme as well. In fact, despite the unmistakable presence of alc., somehow my palate finds the nectar surprisingly easy to quaff, partially thanks to the rather low profile of candy-sugary elements. All in all, I think this is a well-balanced hoppy brew that definitely stands out as one of Van Steenberge’s premium ales.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 19:50:57 | More by wl0307
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beaming golden sunflower basting in radiant, summer sun rays. Its tone is well tanned enough to prevent full transparency despite a very clean complexion. Tiny spots dally about. Its head is extremely fluffy with a milk white purity. It becomes gummed to the sides of my glass. The lacing perfectly marks the chronology of each sip taken just like the growth rings of a tree. This is a dreamy, absolutely glorious looking beer.

I hope the aroma wasn't meant to blow my socks off because they're still well affixed to my feet and don't appear to be loosing up after letting it warm a little either. Belgian yeasts are synonymous for having citric, fruity, zesty, spicy, complex characteristics - this one smells only like stale bread. It's fairly malodorous actually and with frequently showing signs of its alcohol content becomes a little nauseating after awhile.

I hoped the flavour would steer my thoughts away from the cleaning products that sit under my kitchen sink, but it didn't. That's not to say it's not without some redeeming qualities, a pleasant effervescence and candy-sweet note of bubble gum among them. Problem is the alcohol is just too strong a character, it turns the soft, ripening orchard fruits into moldy byproduct of a rotten fermentation.

Not all is lost to the alcohol. What seems to have survived is a nice peppery clove like spice, botanical notes of flower petals and even a tiny sprinkling of hop bitterness. Luckily, all that is enough to rescind the stale bread character. And although I still feel it shows too much of its 10% there seems to be enough in the mouthfeel to keep my palate and throat from noticing the booze as much as my taste buds do.

This wouldn't be my first, second, or even fourth choice for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I've had the Piraat on too many occasions now to count and by the end always found a way to enjoy it. That affection never comes quick however, and isn't automatic the next time around either. The Van Steenberge lineup can be hit or miss and the same could be said of this offering. Myself personally, I don't care to take another shot but you feel free to.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 03:14:03 | More by biegaman
Photo of weeare138


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

On tap @ Ortino's Northside...
Appears a semi-transparent golden orange with a fluffy, 2 finger cap of foam. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of candy sugar, vanilla cream, yeasty dough, citrus, tropical fruit, spices, light bubblegum.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. There was a mild herbal quality from the hops that didn't seem overwhelming but rather welcomed.
Mouthfeel is sugary, sweet up front, moderately smooth, along with a dose of pepper and coriander with a bitterness that touches the back of the tongue on the swallow.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2007 21:22:30 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day. Such an excelletn triple/IPA

The beer pours an impressive, solid gold color with pretty good lacing and head retention. There isn't a huge amount of foam, but what there is, lasts and lasts. The beer has a sweet honey aroma on the nose, but with some underlying spice and white pepper. Very intriguing. The beer is just excellent on the palate; with flavors of honey, butter and white pepper. The beer is not the least bit heavy and has a crispness I really appreciate it. It finishes just a bit dry/bitter from the hops, and is quite refreshing. Although you know the abv. is up there, this beer is surprising easy to drink. Really, one would never guess the abv. is 10.5%. Just an altogether excellent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2007 17:33:54 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of plaid75

New York

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

On draft at Waterzooi, Garden City, New York.

Poured a light copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an ocean air aroma with some fruit and esters.

The taste was upfront herbal with a grassy hop and earthy malt. A nice ester present as well.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a residual spice.

Overall a tasty user friendly ale.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2010 22:32:54 | More by plaid75
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ugh, pours a dank yellow, lots of little bubbles, minimal head.

Smell, alcohol blast, some fruity essence.

Taste, no hop character, alcohol dominates, probably some typical apple, pear flavors, tastes like someone dropped some diluted pucker into some vodka. Thin, yet strong.

Mouthfeel, alcohol dominates again, throughout. Not very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 21:17:12 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge


2.4/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is clear golden. Streams of CO2 surface at a nice clip. The head is fluffy and airy and eggshell colored. Retention is very good. Aroma is of must, lime peel, dough and yeast. Mouthfeel is too gaseous. Makes me burp too much. And it's hard to swallow. The flavors really do not do much for me. Harsh citric tones of lime and lemon. Very little yeast or dough contributions. And there's a husky astringency to it as well. Not a beer I'd buy again.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 05:50:28 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, sunset orange with a huge 3 finger soft, billowy bone white head that settled to a whispy layering leaving a spotchy lacing. The sides of the head were composed of macro-bubbles and was sudsy in appearance.

S: light with a lemony tartness, and bananas. Not much else detected and was pretty subdued and average especially per style.

T: The initial flavor had a tart, sour funkiness, was yeasty with bananas, light bread and sour fruit (pineapple, pears) standing out the most. Sour orange and citrus flavor that was pretty basic and textbook and lacked complexity or excitement.

M: spritzy from the carbonation, sour, yeasty and light in body.

D: Overall drinkability was only slightly better then average at best. Much better examples per style as this one comes off pretty bland and ordinary. This was my third time sampling and havent grown to like it yet.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 23:51:19 | More by beerthulhu
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,741 ratings.