1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,844 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,844
Reviews: 953
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 69
Gots: 91 | FT: 0
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)
View: Beers (76) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Piraat Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,844 | Reviews: 953 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beeristhefuture


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is astonishing. The mildly honey-like texture, mixed with a spicy, flowery taste and a glowing golden color should please anyone. The high weight is very well blended, too, as one can taste the alcohol but it's just an aspect of the many flavors washing through the nose and over the tongue. The beer is a little too gassy, but this distinction gives me something to think about, which is great.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2008 17:58:26 | More by beeristhefuture
Photo of 1fastz28


4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

looks great, has a ruby red color to it with a big foamy head.

smell is nice, a yeasty, effervescence probably helps with it as well

taste is great, a strong ale with a a nice malty flavor

mouthfeel is great, the carbonation is nice

good beer, what else can i say

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 04:16:36 | More by 1fastz28
Photo of david131


3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A nice, slightly hazy gold color with a beautiful white head that leaves great lacing.

S- Very aromatic with lots of candy smell, some plastic smelling hops (not in a bad way...), and some alcohol. Kind of reminds me of a 120 Minute IPA.

T- Pretty sweet and candy like. The alcohol definitely makes its presence known on the tail end with a nice warming effect. Tastes different than the nose would lead you to believe, except for the aftertaste that is. I expected much more of a burn based upon the smell. Pretty unique.

M- A good amount of carbonation, but the alcohol makes this is a tad hot and drying on the tail end.

D- A very unique and interesting beer. I have passed this by on numerous occasions, but this is definitely worth a try. For 10.5% ABV, this doesn't really drink like it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 04:19:04 | More by david131
Photo of meday

New Hampshire

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Smuttynose Big Beer Series Tulip Chalice

What an amazing beer beer.
Opened with a bit of explosion like some of my overprimed homebrews, but poured a beautiful white head and pale straw color into the glass. The head remained for a minute or two and settled beautifully carbonated.

The only smell I could get was a sweet yeast with a hint of orange.

The first taste was a bit cidery, but it could have been my dry mouth. Later tastes were beautifully balanced, but with slightly sweet taste. I notice a hint of orange.

The mouthfeel is what floors me. I don't notice the taste or bite of alcohol whatsoever. It finishes completely clean, and leaves the mouth warm and wanting for more.

Very balanced and drinkable. I could drink these until the cows come home.

I would pair this with soft cheeses, especially a brie or camembert. Bread, cheese, grapes, and crackers would pair wonderfully.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 01:06:39 | More by meday
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
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
Photo of PBBC

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden/orange with a huge lacy head

Spicy, sour nose, hops were not incredibly dominant next to the ester profile.

Taste is of tropical fruit... warming spiciness- almost gingery? Hop bitterness is there... but not overwhelming. Nice rich honey tones, but also light, tart, peppery... all finishing nicely with a high carbonation level.

Would buy this again... interesting, very complex.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 03:43:47 | More by PBBC
Photo of magictrokini


2.2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Awful. Pours clear gold with a fizzy white head. Orange peel, spice, and malt in the aroma. Taste was a metallic straw flavor with some malt and spice. A dirt-like finish. Judging by the other ratings, I may have got a bad one. But the one I got does not make me want to find out for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 21:46:37 | More by magictrokini
Photo of HalfFull


3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This concludes my visit to the 'living beers' of Van Steenberge. An interesting journey I must say, yet I finish with the most familiar, and the most potent, of the brews found in the sampler pack.

The Piraat weighs in at a hefty 10.5%, this is really two beers in one. What's next? The Belgian Octuple? Pours a hazy golden orange in color with a thin head into a tulip glass . I inadvertantly let some yeast slip through and it now is settling slowly into the abyss.

Smell is rather compelling. Nice and fruity, yet rich and malty. Otherwise typical of Belgian esters of sorts. Taste is slightly sweet yet appropriate for the style and offers some spicy notes on the close. A bit like barleywine on the tongue as the carbonation was lower than implied by many other reviews.

Bottom line: A nice Belgian Ale worth trying...

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 06:10:17 | More by HalfFull
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A stubbly little bottle with a goofy 1950's cartoon pirate graphic on the lable.

I didnt have high expectations, sure. But this one really went well above those.

A bright golden yellow with a pillowy white head.

Aroma is assertive, with big belgian yeast, some wit/hefe spicing, and a bit of funk. A real nice sniffer. Some alcohol warmnig in there too.

The 10.5% is hidden very well. I could swear it was in the 7-8 range. Some good strong peppery spice and then I am awash in the belgian yeast and funk. It's a real great complex brew. As it warms, it jsut brings out more nuances. Got some pear, honey, and breadiness. Mouthfeel is nice and full, deceptive for the color.

If I had any complaints, it is that this is a bit aggresive, but then again...so are pirates...I guess?

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 01:01:06 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of Dirty1


4.93/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had this beer in awile and was happy to find it. I had forgotten how good this beer was and enjoyed it with a smile. I poured this from a 750ml into a Piraat tulip glass.

A- Nice deep golden color with a slighty red tinge. Slightly cloudy with a nice thick white head that came to the top of the glass. Head fell back rather quickly and had nice lacing around the glass.

S- Pleasently strong sweet smell with hints of candy and yeast also slight hints of bananas and honey.

T- A very full flavored beer with hints of candy sugar and yeast. Very balanced dispite the high % with some mild alcohol taste. Nice mild hoppyness on the back end despite the IPA name. It tends to taste a lot more complex as it warms slightly with hints of clove, raisons, bananas, citrus, and a more pronunced bitterness.

M- Nice rich mouthfeel! It has a nice amount of carbanation that gives it a nice head. Very similar to most triple style ales.

D- This is a very drinkable beer to me. It warms you very nicely! High % will sneak up on you if not carefull! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 02:14:56 | More by Dirty1
Photo of bluejacket74


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle. Served in an oversized wine glass, the Piraat pours a golden/orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. The aroma is sweet and fruity, it smells like pears, apples, candy sugar, Belgian yeast, honey, peppery spice and cloves. Taste is the same as the aroma (but stronger), it's fruity, sweet and spicy. It's strong and intense tasting. Mouthfeel is medium, with good lively carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy to drink and the 10.5% ABV isn't noticable at all in the taste, but you can feel it after a while. Overall I think this is a pretty good beer, I'd definitely buy this again and recommend it to others.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 01:30:14 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of MisterClean


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 aged a year from Bevmo

A - Pours golden-orange, 4 fingered dishwater white head, which dissipates moderately. Leaves a nice lacing.

S - Candi belgian sugars, golden raisins, honey, and sliight aroma of saaz hops.

T - Candi Belgian sugars, pepper, golden raisins, honey, and slight alcohol.

M - Very carbonated, peppery, sweet and cloying, with light alcohol.

D - Very good and representative of the Belgian ale style. Also, good since only slightly warming.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 00:01:23 | More by MisterClean
Photo of germanbeer1


3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is definitely a good looking beer with a golden/amber color and a nice foamy white head that has good lace throughout consumption. There is some fruitiness to the taste, but overall it's not very strong. It has some bitter taste too. Not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 23:01:58 | More by germanbeer1
Photo of tgncc

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beer overall. The nose is VERY fruity, grapes, plums, lemons, etc. The appearance is golden/orange in color, and clear. Thin white head. The flavor is dry, but fruity, a mix of sweet grapes, and citrusy fruits. The finish has a strong hop bittering not previously detected, and has a citrus quality as well. The mouthfeel is a medium thickness. Good beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:33:18 | More by tgncc
Photo of charlzm


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 11/16/08.

Pours a deep lemony yellow with a merengue style white head that puffs up very high and takes forever to die down. Eventually, though, it does become a thin skin of white foam that provides good lacing. Lots of effervescence.

Aroma is sweet and fruity: golden apples, pear, a hint of banana. A soft spice I can't quite place blends into the background: clove, maybe?

Flavor is hop forward and bitter on the finish. Bitterness is not colored by pine or citrus; it's just plain bitter. Soft flavors as in the nose: apples, banana, clove, pear, maybe cinnamon, even?

Somewhat astringent, leading to an agreeable, dry finish.

It drinks much smaller than a 10.5% ABV beer, so be very careful with this one!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 21:36:00 | More by charlzm
Photo of zeff80


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Pamola


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper with a nice thick and clingy head.

S: In retrospect, fairly subdued for the taste to come. There's definitely alcohol in the nose.

T: It's a quarter second of a mildly acidic nothing. Then comes an explosion of flora and fruit (and a lot of alcohol).

M: Might be the best part about this brew. Try it.

D: It's pretty darn good, but it would destroy my palate after a couple.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 00:10:01 | More by Pamola
Photo of bigkahunas4


4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a very nice straw, golden body, with a white walloping head. Nice retention and great lacing point to one well made brew.

Smell: Big Belgian yeasts with some grassy hop notes.

Taste: Big candied malt on this guy, blends nicely with a pilsy malt profile as well. Sweet notes of pineapple and defined grassy hops really make this a balanced brew - and incredibly tasty at that. Lots of alcohol in here end the experience with a warm smile.

Mouthfeel: Full and sticky

Why yes sir, I'll have another!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 01:49:20 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Stubby fat bottle. Big creamy head, nice lacing. A little cloudy, a straw-yellow-sunshine. Nice lacing.

Smell: Grass, pepper, funky yeast, citrus, honey, maybe a little banana.

Taste: Grassy pepperiness, with some hoppy bitterness. Some light-colored fruits like papaya and ripe banana. Nice balance of hops.

Mouthfeel: Full, very nice

Drinkability: Great, slightly astringent bitter finish leaves you wanting another sip. Would drink it again. Reminds me of Duvel, but a rougher cousin - which makes it all the better.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 15:37:09 | More by craytonic
Photo of DmanGTR

New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Eulogy Belgian Tavern

A - poured clear amber with a short-lived white 1" head that diminished to a cap with decent lacing in a chalice.

S - Fruity, apples, coriander, and orange peels are most apparent in the bouquet, followed by light yeastiness and alcohols. Hints of hops throughout.

T - Citrusy with a peppery alcoholic finish. Slight bubblegum notes and sweet caramel malts. Light hoppy ending.

M - Very smooth and light bodied with light carbonation.

D - Incredibly smooth and drinkable for a high abv beer.

Overall - An excellent Belgian beer, reminds me a Tripel style ale. Could use a little bit more hops for an IPA, otherwise a great beer. Definitely an "introduction to Belgians" type of beer. Will buy this again when the mood arises.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2008 20:35:40 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of jneiswender


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Sunset Grill in Brighton Ma.

A-great thick and creamy white head. Cloudy lemon-lime body
S-nice yeasty clove smell
T-bread yeast front, fruity clove middle
D-great beer to introduce someone to belgian beer. very friendly and tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2008 03:29:56 | More by jneiswender
Photo of dnichols


3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It was poured from a 330 ml capped stubby bottle into a tulip.
Pouring from a chilled 11.2oz bottle into a tulip.

A: It poured a pale gold body that was only slightly hazy and supported a one finger thin bubbled white head that dissipated before my second sip. The lacing was temporary and thin.

S: It had a sweet citrusy aroma that was accented by white spices and lots of lemons and white grapes.

T: It had a sweet lemony base that was complemented by tangy and young white grapes, coriander and white pepper.

M: It had a very light and highly carbonated body with a strong alcohol presence and a spicy clean back side.

D: It was light and packed a punch. Very nice representation of the style but a tad over carbonated and it needed a touch more sweetness to balance the citrus and spices. Nice beer that could support a long summer session.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 02:52:18 | More by dnichols
Photo of PerzentRizen


4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1.5 Liter Piraat bottle to Piraat tulip glass. Luckily I had two friends to share this bohemoth. I would place piraat in the class of I enjoyed it, but not to the point that I would seek it out again.

This beer has intense carmel malt, sweet fruit, and high acid that was throughly reduced due to aging for 6 months. The belgian IPA style is definately one I will seek out again (if not this very one).

The smell was exactly like the flavor. I could pick out what seemed like three fruit undertones behind the bread like bouquet.

The mouthfeel was a bit light and spritzy for my liking. I think if it had a little less attenuation (I could give up 1 - 2% of that alcohol in exchange for more body).

This beer went down easy despite the high abv. I would not say it is highly drinkable because of the fact that too many of these and you would be absolutely wasted and poor. Despite these facts I give Piraat a 4.0 for this mark. Enjoy this beer carefully.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 22:51:33 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of roadhouse


3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears golden orange in color, with a half inch off-white head. Sinks to a thin skim and doesn't leave much lacing behind.

Aroma is spicy with the usual Belgian yeastiness, candi sugar, with an added dose of earthy hops.

Taste mirrors the aroma profile. A bit of sweetness from the start followed by yeastiness and spice and a bit of earthy hop flavor that never really gets bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, it seems to be lacking that effervescent carbonation that is typical of many Belgians.

This stuff's pretty tasty but the mouthfeel really bummed me out. I thought it might be a bit better.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2008 19:40:04 | More by roadhouse
Photo of stumac


3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours up a golden color with a big frothy off white head. great lacing... the nose is grains, honey, pale malts and sweet malts... the taste is floral hops, honey, sweet malts, grains... a very sweet brew... medium body, medium carbo, sweet finish...

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 04:41:54 | More by stumac
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,844 ratings.