1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,161 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,161
Reviews: 996
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 86
Gots: 214 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.
View: Beers (86) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,161 | Reviews: 996
Photo of aubuc1
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a hazy orange with a thick white head.

Smell is a sweet, yeasty with a apply finish.

Taste starts of nice and hoppy with a big belgian yeasty with a light warming at the end. Alcohol is not nearly what I expected.

mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is surprisingly good.

I am not sure of the age of this, and wonder if this is not as fresh as possible.

Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
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

Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt copper color with an enormous light tan head. Head falls very slow leaving big, sticky lace.

Nice yeast aroma with a bit of funk. Peppery and earthy too.

Tastes awesome. Nice Belgian yeast and a lemon-pepper quality. Alcohol is nice and warming. Just a wonderful beer.

Medium bodied in the mouth an has a pleasant bite.

Just an awesome beer. I always enjoy this one.

Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep orange color with a nice tall head on it.

Smells of malty sweet deliciousness. Caramel and candied sugar with that Belgian yeast aroma that is so intoxicating. For a Belgian IPA the hops are really faint. Smells more like a tripel than BIPA.

Great fruity taste to it with a nice level of tartness to combat the sweetness. So many layers of flavor in this beer from the candied sugar and caramel maltiness to the fruits like apple and banana to the spicy flavor from the yeast. There is some warmth from the alcohol but @ 10.5% that isn't really a shocker. This is a beer that makes me pause and reflect on why I love beer so much and dedicate so much time and money to beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of techfed87
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a well defined head. Color is light amber, almost yellow.

Smells somewhat citrus like, kind of a wild yeast sort of sour.

First sip is perky, flavorful, and definitely got a kick to it. It's a bit sweeter than what I thought it would be, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, it probably makes for one of the best Belgian beers I've had in a long time.

A very nice beer, try it sometime!

Photo of Sigmund
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There is both a 10.5% and a 9% version of this beer. 330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 9%. Extremely pale yellow colour, huge white head. Strong sweetish aroma with notes of Belgian yeast, ripe fruits (incl. bananas) and spices (incl. cloves). The flavour is moderately spicy and relatively dry, notes of Belgian yeast again, very light bodied and refreshing for its strength (which means that the alcohol is well hidden). Nice, but I've had more complex Belgians than this one, though.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At Eulogy Tavern in Philadelphia. Poured cloudy golden with one finger of bright white head, which collapsed fairly quickly, and laced modestly. Lots of candi sugar, yeast, coriander, orange peel, and some other citrus in the nose. The flavor yield copious amounts of apricot in addition to what was detected in the aroma..admittedly a robust and tasty mix..but the finish revealed a sharp alcohol bite and after-burn. The body was smooth, medium and pleasant (aside from the after-burn), with only a modest amount of carbonation. A pleasant albeit harsh-finish beer to drink; beware the alcohol.

Photo of clegolfski
3.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note: I checked out the style guidelines while evaluating this beer and decided to dock it in the taste category because it really is far more Belgian than IPA. It is a really tasty brew but tough to categorize. Wow, I really am putting way too much thought into this. Maybe it should be classified as a Belgian Pale rather than a Belgian IPA?

A = Deep orange color, opens with a strong head and settles into a nice topcoat.

S = Belgian IPA? smells like sweet carmelly candy more than anything else. The yeastiness is there for sure with a slight alcohol smell.

T = Again a Belgian IPA? Im not super familiar with Piraat but wonder if this is not a old bottle. Well on ultra careful examination there are bittey hop notes in the finish but it really is tough to call this an IPA.

M = Smooth and rich with a nice warming finish. Again my style guidelines may be off but it really seems to far more Belgian than IPA.

D = Delicious but heavy and hot enough to be quite pleased with one and done.

Photo of cudmud
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange color with medium head and lace combined with very little carbonation.

Smell: Fresh cut grass and citrus. Wonderful yeast esters and malt aromas.

Taste: Very complex mix of malt, yeast, and hops. Nice bitter aftertaste that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and bread-like.

Drinkability: Awesome beer. Give it a try; You'll like it.

Photo of thain709
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a bright, golden body...the head was big and white but it fell quickly...decent lacing

S - Where are the hops?...I was surprised when this beer smelled more like a tripel...sweet, candied sugar, some yeast, and fruit

T - The taste starts off leading with the tripel flavors...sweet up front with those candied sugars and caramel malt...the middle is a giant blast of fruit...apple, orange, peach, pineapple...very nice...finally in the finish you can detect some faint hops...they aren't as strong as I expected but they are there...alcohol is hot

M - Medium bodied...great fruit flavor...some lingering hops...too much alcohol

D - I did not realize this clocked in at 10% and it's pretty evident...the tripel (Belgian) flavors were real nice but the IPA characteristics were put towards the back

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

A: orange with a small head that goes away fast lace is decent

S: smells like a triple but where are the hops?

T: no hops in smell or taste did i get a bad batch I don't know but all the beers in this 4 pack are the same

M: med mouth with high carbonation

D: drinkable but does not conform to BIPA style

overall: little or no hops in this BIPA very malty and a decent triple but does not conform to style

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ive had this beer on tap a long time ago I believe. Its one you see around but you dont pay any attention. You are distracted by other, flashier beers. But when I saw that one of my area Giant Eagles expanded their beer selection and this was on the shelf I was surprised and excited to bring this one home. Big slender magnum cork and caged, popped and poured into a Unibroue tulip.

A- Nearly insane amount of head. Its manageable though. It actually lets you pour your glass. Its big, billowy and sticky. It fades down to a one finger high pile of foam that crawls up the sides and sits there like that for ever. The beer its self is clear and quite pale/gold.

S- Distinctly Belgian. Lots of fruity esters from the unique yeasts. Banana is very strong. As are some fruits you wouldnt expect like kiwi and strawberry. And oddly a little bit of paraffin wax/candle wick. It smells exactly like a fruit cocktail and I like it.

T- Very different from American attempts at this style, but I expected that. The yeasts are showcased over the hops. Belgians dont have the insatiable crave for hops like Americans do. More yogurty fruits. Banana, kiwi, strawberry and some orchard fruits like sweet apples and a touch of lemon towards the end. You can get some dusky malts every once in a while

M- Persistent carbonation leaves a dry finish. The body is getting close to full like a few American IIPAs. Not bitterness lingers. Alcohol isnt totally masked.

D- Like I just said, alcohol isnt totally masked. This isnt really a summer time BBQ session beer which is what the letters IPA have so quickly become synonymous with. Instead its a complex and alcoholic golden Belgian ale.

Quite nice and heavily Belgian despite the Americanized style.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Billowing rocky foam head highlights this straw colored brew. Copious amounts of active carbonation give great retention.

The smell is big malty and sweet, accompanied by orchard fruits, clove and peppery spice with honey. There is also some grassy hops in the mix.

The flavor is huge! very spicy and peppery with some tart apple and a good deal of yeast. Very dry, the hops are leafy, grassy and earthy. Alcohol heat on finish.

Spritzer/champagne-like carbonation, very easy drinking and medium light body with a crisp texture.

IMHO this is a very under appericiated style, and one of my favorites. This beer sets the bar. Hop-tacular and very refreshing. I highly recommend this especially on a hot day such as this.

Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color with a large white head with great retention. The aroma has lemon, funk, grass, pepper, and spice. Very much like the aroma of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

The taste is sweet, with all the flavors present that I listed for the aroma. The alcohol is well hidden for 10.5%. Medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth. A nice Belgian IPA which reminds me a lot of a BSPA.

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

I was very amped to try this beer, I had been saving it for a week or 2, and I finally decided to crack it after I took a long exam as a gift to myself for getting through it for the Celtics game tonight.

Looks really good, excellent pour, huge foam, pours golden brown/yellow.

I'd describe this as light and fluffy, very highly carbonated, the bottle is huge, I may have to take this down in 2 servings. It is almost juice like to me, reminds me of champagne in a way more than beer. Very different to me, never had a Belgian IPA but not quite what I was expecting. Very bready, get a good yeast flavor here, fruity as well. ABV is hidden well. I really can't believe this has much alcohol at all....guess I'll find that out now.

I am not sure how much of this I could drink, a bit too sweet for my taste, I am not big on the sweet beers but maybe I will develop a taste for it but it tastes too much like juice. If you like the sweet beer, this is for you. And if you like the Belgian yeast, this is also for you. You could bake some serious bread with this beer.

I think this is a good quality beer, I just don
t think it's my bag because its so sweet. Still good and I will enjoy drinking it.

I dont think this is a bad beer, just not what I expected.

**Update-- the ABV is legit. I only had one glass and I am feeling it.

Photo of mempath
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a hazy golden orange with fat head that settles slowly into a big bubbly venner of pancake batter...also, eventually clarifies into a transparent golden orange.

deep ripe fruit and candied/brandied alcohol...almost tropical. like thor heyerdahl in tahiti...bananas dipped in yeast. excellent.

sweet sweet (and bitter), much like the dogfish head 90...but quite different as well. less body thickness, but very smooth with a near perfect mouthfeel. abv is really not 'present' but can be sensed...be careful. this is delicious. very much worth the ticket price to this show. glad to see this style mapping itself beyond...actually, the hops are much more sedate as expected, but i wouldn't want this any other way. i WOULD like to see a drier, hoppier version of this...or maybe do a half and half with this and, say, Smuttynose's ipa...that would be tremendous

a MUST have brew after any cyclocross race this fall. heck, after any bike ride. put a couple in the creek...make sure they're hidden!

Photo of akenethon
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: nice dark blonde color with orange tint. persistent foam. cloudy. a beautiful blonde!
S: malty smell, not so intense
T: a surprisingly light taste, somewhat malty but well balanced. hint of honey. Beers of this acohol content tend to be over-sweet, this beer is not, which is a plus. nice aftertaste which is very slightly bittersweet. in general I would have liked it to be more aromatic and tense, but still good
M: full feeling in mouth despite light aroma
D: very very drinkable, because it is light but tasty, very well balanced

I am very surprised how a 10,5% alcohol beer can be so light tasting. It tastes as light as a German pilsener. You can get drunk with this very quickly, so better drink slowly.

Photo of digitalbullet
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep golden in color. Light thin head. trace amount of lacing.
Smell: Great deep citrus with some big malts present. Good amount of yeast in and alcohol in the nose.
Taste: Very malty. Citrus with hop bitterness. Bready notes as well.
Mouthfeel. clean and crisp. nuff said.
Drinkability: The 10% abv is dangerously hidden. Damn good brew. So easy to drink.

Photo of steelerguy
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden yellow, huge white head, tons of carbonation, very clear.

S - Cloves, phenolic, spicy hops, Belgian yeast.

T - Much like the aroma with plenty of clove, pepper/spice, with that Belgian yeast tang. This is backed up with a nice hop bitterness very different than most Belgian ales. The alcohol really stands out at the end.

M - Highly attenuated, lots of warmth of the carbonation and alcohol. Wish it actually had a little more body to stand up to the hops.

D - Enjoyable but I think some more malt flavors and/or body would help. The hops are not harsh, but almost stand out too much and don't seem quite balanced with the rest of the beer. Still very good.

Photo of NahpunGnome
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into Chimay goblet.

A - A clear copper with a nice head that has fine bubbles.

S - Citrus, faint yeast, and malts.

T - Citrus fruits with balanced sweet and bitterness. A slight alcohol aftertaste.

M - Feels nice going down, not too thick.

D - This one's very easy to drink, so be careful. I only really noticed the alcohol as my stomach started to warm up.

Summary - Piraat to me is Mr. Tripel having a child with Mrs. IPA. The balance of flavors is great in this beer. The 330ml bottle doesn't taste as good as the bigger 750ml or on tap though. Overall, this is one of my favorites.

Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Abita balloon glass.
The beer poured a deep golden color with a very minimal head. I was expecting more out of this beer. Very little lacing seen.
The aroma is distinctly Belgian. Blindfolded, you could tell the pedigree of this beer. I was anticipating more of a hop aroma, but I wasn't displeased. On the nose, I get pepper, tropical fruit, malt, spicy phenols from the yeast, a touch of horsey notes, and a mild hop presence. As the beer warmed, vinous notes started to show and became more pronounced.
The taste of the beer was not what I had imagined, but I was not disappointed by what I drank. Flavors of sweet malt, honey, pepper and clove co-mingle with a touch of funk, a hot middle, and tropical fruits (mango and pineapple). The finish of the beer was almost tart, and had a nice bitterness to it. As with the nose, as the beer warmed, it took on a vinous quality to it, with the taste of grape and grape skins. Wonderfully complex.
The beer was thick, but had a good level of carbonation. It coated the tongue. This is a good sipper of a beer.
I'll definitely buy this one again.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours translucent, ruddy orange with billowing head. Don't typically describe lacing as 'mountainous,' but it's accurate in this case.

Smell -- clove oil, bready malt, honey, grassy hops, grapeskin, funky yeastiness, white pepper, booze.

Taste -- Honey, biscuit, and tropical fruit sweetness, then a hit of sharp spiciness and hop bittering. Finish is a little malty, VERY spicy.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, quite boozy.

Drinkability -- A lot of great malty flavors with enough hoppiness and spice to keep it balanced and drinkable. The booze bites on this one, which I don't typically like, but it really compliments the spiciness - or is it the other way around?

Photo of Haybeerman
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear, straw gold color. Poured a coarse one finger head with fair retention. Decanted continually. Lacing sheeted down the glass.

S: Light-colored fruits, candi sugar; more like a tripel than an IPA. Some bitter hops and alcohol.

T: Alcohol right up front. Lots of light-colored fruits and sweet candi sugar. Yeast flavors linger through peppery bitter finish. An interesting beer.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Sweetness lingers in the finish; this beer is need of more hops for better balance.

D: An interesting beer. The sweetness make me want to drink faster, but the ABV, which is not disguised well, makes it a bit boozy.

Photo of Manoftyr
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into chalice

Appearance-Pours a hazy golden color with a big white billowy head that recedes very slowly leaving very thick lacing all along the sides of the glass that remains as I sip. I would guess it's the combination of the Belgian yeast and the hops that give this such a magnificent head and head retention.

Aroma-Belgian candy-sugar upfront followed by fruity and estery notes and Belgian yeast, the hops linger around the edges but certainly make their presence known.

Taste-This is where the hops come through lending a floral, spicy bitterness to contrast against the heavy Triple-like sweetness of malt and sugar. Flavors of sweet honey and alcohol mingle towards the middle rounding the whole thing together in a way that I find rather delicious. The alcohol is definitely detectable on the palette but it doesn't detract from the flavor, if anything it adds to it.

Mouthfeel-Big, lush and pillowy with a fine, crisp carbonation; personally, I find this beer to leave a superb feeling in one's mouth.

Drinkability-I shared this bottle but I'd have had no problem finishing it off by myself, I could have had another to be honest; it's damn drinkable.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,161 ratings.