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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,055 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,055
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 80
Gots: 159 | FT: 1
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:
A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,055 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Jspriest, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Durge
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden amber color, clear with a ginormous white mountain of white that gradually deflates to a thin cover with gobs of chunky lacing. The nose detects intense citrus clove and brandy-like alcohol that ends up bringing a super glue idea that is a bit stronger than I would like. A bit scary! The flavor is a nice flowery hop over intensely sweet grains and muted clove. This is medium-plus bodied with a near syrupy feel and just a tingle of carbonation that keeps this fairly drinkable. This brew is classic and satisfying, and mellows so nicely as you work through the pint.

Durge, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber/orange colour, 1.5 finger white dense head, decent lace left behind. Smell is yeasty with citrus and spice, sweet candy notes, grassy, light alcohol, good hop profile overall. Taste is spicy followed by mild alcohol, lightly sweet at points, fairly hoppy, yeasty toward the finish with some citrusy sweetness, bubble gum notes come and go, well balanced. Med-carbonation, full body, good weight, alcohol makes this syrupy at points. Pretty drinkable, ABV pretty well hidden, pretty solid stuff.

peensteen, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of jrenihan
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before 03/05/13.

Beer is amber in colour. A fairly slow pour leaves a small white head. Fades fairly quickly though not immediately. Some lacing.

The hops are immediately noticeable in the nose, imparting a bit of a citrus scent. Other fruit scents are present as well- pear stands out. Belgian yeast and some bready malt is there as well. Strikes me as a fairly typical Belgian IPA scent, which is nice - but not a standout.

Taste follows the nose pretty closely - no surprises here. Bready malt, some spice flavours, pear and some other light fruit flavours, and a hoppy flavour that is a bit soapy. Mildly bitter finish, with a bit of a woodsy flavour. Booze is pretty well hidden for 10.5%, but it is present.

Full-bodied, quite chewy. Moderate to high carbonation, but not overdone.

Overall, a pretty solid Belgian IPA. Can't compare to the best of them, but a nice beer all the same.

jrenihan, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1" off-white soapy head that left a nice lacing over amber liquid.

S: Alcohol esters, pear and apple.

T: To me, it tasted a lot like semi-sweet white wine. Pears and apple up front with a slightly dry finish with some alcohol. I could not detect the presence of hops as all these flavours were much more powerful.

M: Medium viscosity and a very high level of carbonation.

O: A very enjoyable Belgian IPA that doesn't hide the ABV as well as some others do, but to me it works. It actually seemed more like a Belgian strong pale ale.

DaftCaskBC, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Served at 60F. No decipherable freshness date. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.99.

A; Bright golden-amber hue with 1/2 finger of off-white head with decent retention and spotty lace down the glass.

S: Malty aroma with caramel, toffee, and some dark fruit fig. Hops are earthy and herbal. There is not much of a yeast contribution here.

T: Malty much greater than hoppy in my opinion with plenty of sweet caramel, toffee, nougat, and date/fig flavors. The alcohol is extraordinarily well-disguised. The hoppiness is very earthy with just a pinch of citrus and floral character. The yeast doesn't figure in much at all unfortunately. I would definitely not put this in the Belgian IPA style by aroma or flavor -- more of a BSPA/BSDA hybrid.

M: The body is medium-full with fine carbonation which has a pleasantly scrubbing quality on the palate, allowing you to reload prior to the next sample.

O: I liked this beer but it is not distinctive in any one area. Pleasant, but too expensive for the end result.

argock, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of vincicle
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

vincicle, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of mooseo
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Hazy amber brown with a large, creamy white head.

S - Citrus and malt immediately stand out. Has a strong Belgian yeast element. Overall the aroma is earthy and grassy.

T - Sweet citrus fruit hits first, followed by a rich maltiness which is balanced out by bitter hops and peppery spices. A slight hint of alcohol creeps in towards the end and finishes with a biscuit like flavor that tends to linger on the tongue.

M - This full bodied Belgian IPA is well carbonated, has a creamy texture, and a dry finish.

D - Wow, this is a great beer. It has a nice complexity and an extremely pleasant flavor. I found the high alcohol to be well masked, lending nicely to it's drinkability. I'm digging the label too.

mooseo, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Golden amber. Foamy, frothy, white head. Leaves much lacing. Fairly pure liquid.

S-Not overly hoppy, but does have some nice citrusy and fruity notes to it. Alcohol is blatant in the nose (and I expect the same in the flavor). Yeasty. A slight funk. Pale fruits such as apples and pears.

T-Fruity and grassy. Super dry from the alcohol. Boozy but I enjoy the alcoholic prowess here. Yeasty. Lots of pale fruit. I really think this one tastes a lot like biting into a pear. Definitely lively. Lots going on. Powerful and dare I say enjoyable.

M-One of the knocks on this beer. The carbonation is too abrasive. I usually let a beer sit on my tongue so i can soak up all the flavors. The carbonation mutes the flavor and is mildly uncomfortable. Medium to heavy body. Light to moderate bitterness. Quite dry.

O/D-Worth a try. Not my favorite. Definitely a cheek-warmer. At $3.99 a tiny bottle, the price is do-able. Wouldn't buy this again but was happy to try it.

VelvetExtract, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Appearance – Clear dark amber colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, raisins, bananas

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste hops, malts, and some raisins. There are also notes of banana and caramel mixed with either lemon or tangerine. I can also taste some yeast and the alcohol a little bit. It ends with a malty slightly tart fruity aftertaste.

Overall – A great beer with a well balanced taste. It makes a great sipper and I'd definitely buy it again.

spinrsx, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Foamy off-white head tops an amber colored ale. Perfect clarity, but appealing density.

A - A hop aroma lifts off the beer, but it's subdued. Not the florals of Syrian Goldings or spice of Saaz I had been expecting. I'd like to think the beer, unfortunately, a bit past it's prime, or at least impaired due to bottling. A definite Belgian yeast character, wholesome malt and a little bit of heat round out the aroma. It's nothing to salivate over, but it's an unrefusable invitation to take a sip.

T - Strikingly of mead. The taste of honey and plenty of warm heat engulfing it. The yeast is all sorts of Belgian kinky, ending with buttery esters. Lots of hop oils, but they're more the backbone flavor. As it drinks and the beer warms the heat takes over and the otherwise wild flavors become played out.

M - Such a strong beer, it never becomes the liquid cement so many other strong beers do. In typical Belgian fashion it remains manageble and finishes dry. It lacks the effervescence of Duvel.

O - I don't wanna hate on this beer. I enjoy it, and I believed it'd be even more enjoyable on draught. Regardless, whether or not I'm indulging in a prime example, this beer has a few qualities that just aren't for me. The heat is too pronounced, the hop varietals not right for a BIG IPA flavor, and the Belgian yeast becomes too much of a challenge to overcome.

It fits a niche, and deserves respect for it's avant garde approach, but it's not an exemplary ale by today's standards.

MONKandTUCK, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of 3nlightenedfool
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I paid $13 U.S. (Oct. 2011) for this. I got it based on it's rating on this website. This was a weird beer. At first I told myself that I would like this beer no matter what because "I am a beer connoisseur and I can appreciate anything truly unique and interesting"....I was wrong.

This beer was uncomfortable. It was way too carbonated, which was the strangest part of it. It fizzled in my mouth and this made it hard to swallow. If I tried to just get it down it made me gassy before the next sip and I just couldn't bring myself to keep going. As for the taste, I found it obnoxious. It wasn't an IPA and it wasn't a double anything. The malts were just weird and the hops took a vacation to visit better breweries.

To give a point of reference...Chimay Blue/Grand Reserve. If Chimay was a perfect 5 (which is close to the truth) this beer would define the bottom end of the style...1/5. But since this beer exists in a world with Bud Light, it obviously deserves more than a ZERO score.

The truth/bottom line....I didn't finish my bomber...I tried, but it went down the sink.

3nlightenedfool, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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

gatornation, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold beer with a decent head, lots of retention. Nice aroma of booze, bready malt, yeast, and citrus/sour fruits.

Taste is somewhat sweet and malty, definitely boozy, tangy fruit, yeasty spice. Not a ton of hops, bitterness is pretty restrained. Powerful flavor though.

Somewhat thick and full mouthfeel, lively carbonation. Dry enough in the finish...booze lingers a bit. Not very drinkable cause it's big and strong at 10.5 ABV.

The idea of a Belgian IPA is a bit odd to me, particularly when made by Americans. This one seems to me between a tripel and quad, I guess. Not a ton of hoppiness or bitterness as expected in anything called IPA. The heavy flavor of spicy yeast and alcohol dominate. Cool beer if you're looking for something different, with a real wallop behind it. Can't see drinking more than 1 of even the small bottles.

tobelerone, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Heatwave33
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poursed from a 11.2 oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: A pale orange with a nice white head.

Smell: A delicious bitter sweet aroma

Taste: Bitter when you first take a sip the a sweet finish. The smell is almost as good as the taste.

Mouthfeel: Slighly coarsed and dry leaving the palate wanting more of the goodness.

Overall: Piraat ale is very different from any IPA's I have had. It has the best of both worlds. Bitter and sweet. I love the bitterness at first sip then the sweet from every taste. Piraat ale is definitely among the top ranks of IPA's in my book. Cheers.

Heatwave33, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of evlu1441
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter:

It pours a slightly hazy reddish orange colour with a large foamy off-white head. There is lots of carbonation rising to the top!

The aroma is fruity and spicy. Citrus noted come alongside softer elements like pear. Some faint spicy hops come through in the background.

This is a phenomenal tasting beer! Slight citrus to start that slowly develops into some sweet fruity notes that fill the mouth. Slightly sweet towards the end, it finished with a lovely flourish of hop aroma and faint bitterness. A rollercoaster of flavours! The alcohol is very well hidden, and only slightly apparent in the warming effect.

Overall, this is a great beer! It really surprised me how much is going on in here, and how it maintained balance. I'll be picking it up again

evlu1441, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of LAMAGS
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy copper-orange color with a thin but substantial head that leaves nice even lacing
The nose is quite hoppy with herbal notes, citrus yeast candy sugar and a boozey warmth. Malt, yeast hops and some lemon citrus, alcohol persists throughout. Has a medium body with high carbonation, very warm especially on the finish. Good beer, not great has original character just nothing fantastic about it, well worth a try.

LAMAGS, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of ThaCreep
2.65/5  rDev -34.9%
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.

ThaCreep, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of derbierTeufel
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brouwerij Van Steenberge is one of my fave breweries so I HAD to have this one. I poured it in a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

A: It was a very clear golden amberish color with a 1cm head which stayed for pretty much the whold time. I'm gonna get attacked for this but I didn`t find the appearance all that special. Too clear to be Belgian in my opinion and it didn`t look too much different from a high quality lager. I would have liked a little more cloudiness like Westmalle Tripel or something like that.

S: Here it goes, bready, yeasty and cooked sour apples hit my nose at the same time. I got a boozy note at the end.

T: A little sweet maltiness with a modest bitter hop kick at the end. Fruity, sugary and spicy. Less tart than the nose suggests. You get booze at the end with a hint of Marzipan almond flavor. Moderate carbonation. I detect some likenesses in taste to it`s cousin Gulden Draak.

M: Mighty! I judged a book by it's cover. No way could a blond beer be as heavy as this. That's what I thought. I actually found this to be even thicker than the Gulden Draak. Pretty hefty for a beer of it's color. I can understand how the pirates were able to survive on this. It fills you up good.

O: Well, delicious. I'm not a big fan of IPA`s to begin with but this was quite nice. Not one of my favorite but I think I'd like to have this from time to time. Pirates enjoyed, so did I. Van Steenberge, thank you.

derbierTeufel, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml unusually heavy brown bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange-amber with a 2 finger, creamy, off-white head that has good retention and leaves thick lacing. A large amount of exceptionally fine carbonation can be seen rising in the glass.

Aroma: sweet and sour fruits, yeast, light malt, hops, and surprisingly subtle hints of the high ABV.

T - The flavor, like the aroma, is most notably fruity, but both malt and hops are evident. No hiding all 10.5% ABV, but the alcohol-related flavors are partially hidden and integrate well with the fruity flavor. Some hints of banana, of course, but hints of pineapple, apricots, pear, apple cider and dark fruits (including dates) in here too. Flavor starts sweet and changes to a mild bitter finish, with some tartness throughout.

M - bonus points for the creamy smooth feel, but a not unexpected deduction for the mild alcohol burn.

O - a fine, powerful, bold, complex fruity Belgian ale; near 4.25 overall.

{revisited in Nov. 2013}

chinchill, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of Vixie
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper color with a bit of red thrown in. Forms about a half inch white foamy head. Quite a bit of bubbles as well.

Not a lot going on in the smell to me. It is a bit sour, but also does remind me a bit of apple cider.

Spicy is the first word that comes to mind. It reminds me a bit of a spiced cider, there is pepper, cinnamon, cloves. I can also detect a bit of a Belgian candy sugar underneath the spice. Finishes dry with a bit of an alcohol warming, and a touch of hop bitterness.

Pretty good feel, its nice and solid.

I liked this better than I expected, as I am not a fan of anything with IPA as a style. Not near as hopped up as the American IPAs I have tried, has more spice than bitterness. Not my favorite Belgian, but still not bad. The strength would keep me from drinking a lot of this, but glad I tried it.

Vixie, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of TheHammer
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Boasts a deep but not too deep orange color, as I'm able to see ample carbonation. The finger and a half of head retained exceptionally well and produced some lacing. A bit more lacing and it would pull the five.

Smell: Oddly absent, I'm getting a little bit of yeast and some grapefruit, which I'm not sure if the yeast or the hops are causing it. All in all, what's there is nice but it's just not strong enough, even with warming.

Taste: The kind of nice and fruity that I would expect from a high alcohol Belgian beer. That also being said there is room for improvement. Starts with mild grain caramel malt that explodes into kick of mix peach, orange, spice, and honey that ends with a kick of grapefruit that is underscored by a casuistic alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: It comes across and unbalanced to me, as the start is so mild and the end is so strong. The alcohol taste near the end leaves a boozy aftertaste that I would typically reserve for whiskey. That being said, the carbonation is exceptionally well done and it does build up to a crescendo nicely. I just wish it didn't have to wait through so much silence.

Drinkability: Too much of an alcohol hamstrings it as a casual drinker and it's not quite up there to be a high class Belgian in my eyes. It went down nicely enough and I wouldn't say I was disappointed. It just doesn't quite do it for me.

Final Thoughts: Obviously warming is a must on this one, but this beer wearies me on Belgian beer, specifically high alcohol Belgian beer. I really wish this was a 7-8% beer, because it's the wine like level of alcohol that is ruining this one, and many other Belgian's for me. It's just strikes me as one of those things that great when you do it right, but has just a small margin of error that many come in as just above average in my eyes. Oh well, give it a shot, you could certainly do worse.

TheHammer, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Bucknutty24
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Has a real nice deep orange color with a thick white head

S: hops, citrus, and alcohol

T: This did have a little bit of fruity flavor but real big alcohol taste over all with the 10%.

M: good medium body

O: It was definatley something different. Not my usual style but well worth the try.

Bucknutty24, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of BeerDocT
4.93/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

BeerDocT, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of IronLover
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bottle with no freshness date. Soft copper orange in color with a yellowish hue. Poured with a brief, dense white head that reduced to a wispy cap. A plethora of aromas: banana, dark fruit, dark sugar, dark citrus. Different aromas seemed to pop up every time I lifted the glass. On the lighter side of medium bodied with a slightly resinous feel. Citrus hop flavors, banana and belgian spice compete for flavor dominance. A solid sugary, fruit-like sweetness provides a solid back bone from beginning to end. Alcoholic heat shows through in the middle and intensifies toward the finish. Finishes with sweet but pine bitter hoppiness that doesn't linger for very long. Lots of aromas and flavors make this very enjoyable.

IronLover, Aug 19, 2011
Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,055 ratings.