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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,955 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,955
Reviews: 962
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 77
Gots: 121 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,955 | Reviews: 962 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

charlzm, Nov 21, 2008
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.

zeff80, Nov 17, 2008
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.

Pamola, Nov 16, 2008
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!

bigkahunas4, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of craytonic
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.

craytonic, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
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.

DmanGTR, Nov 09, 2008
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.

jneiswender, Nov 06, 2008
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.

dnichols, Nov 01, 2008
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.

PerzentRizen, Oct 27, 2008
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.

roadhouse, Oct 25, 2008
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...

stumac, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of Beernoisseur
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. Intense. Complex. Strong! I think that pouring a Piraat into a properly chilled goblet is one of the most beautiful things a beer drinker can experience. It pours a rich, golden amber, with two to three fingers of head. Nice lacing. It's sweeter than some people care for, but once I get used to the intensity of the flavor, I love it. Truly one of the best beers I've ever had.

Beernoisseur, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of roblowther
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged. Don't know what to expect. Amber triple IPA? I thought that was three different styles :) Color is pale, almost luminous gold with active carbonation & a thin white head. Smell is very pronounced & apparent the moment you pop the cork. Lemons, pepper, grassy and a hint of sugar. Very intriguing & a definite hop presence. The taste is wonderful! A touch medicinal, taste of hay, a smooth caramel back, pepper finish. Very complex but surprisingly light. There's vanilla in there too somewhere. Mouthfeel is chewy and very, very nicely carbonated. Again, a balancing act that the beer pulls off very well. This one is very drinkable, with the malt making you want more, the hops making it seem light enough to let you drink a lot, and a pleasant alcohol warmth that just makes my toes tingle. Good on ya, Brouwerij Van Steenberge!

roblowther, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of BeenJammin
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice golden color with a huge head. Had really good retention and good lacing.
S - Had a pleasing spicy aroma
T - Very complex with a lot of fruits and spices. Has a good bitter quality to it as well.
M - Highly carbonated with a light, crisp feel.
D - Strong spices and high percent make it not so drinkable for me. Definitely worth a try though.

BeenJammin, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this as part a mixed Belgian sixer

Pours gold with 3+ fingers of parfait-like cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Lemons, apples, pears& honey as this warms

T: Lemony & grapefruitty hops, pears & apple- tinged booze up front. Apples, grapefruitty hops, & a touch of honey as this warms. Finishes with breadfruit, other tastes of the tropics & grainyness

MF: Syruppy, but some carbonation bites at the edges

Drinks pretty, good this is more of a nightcap or dessert type offering

russpowell, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Another Van Steenberge standby from my Sharp Edge days that I've had a LOT, but never before from a bottle. Poured into my Piraat snifter, Piraat is pale amber gold with a large, fluffy white head that is dense and slow settling, leaving heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is caramel and grassy hops, some bubblegum, a touch of vinegar or something that is a bit off, but subdued enough not to overwhelm. As it warms, the boozy vapors really dominate.

Taste is a little malty, but cut by the strong, drying alcohol and bitterness of the hops. As far as Belgian IPA, there might be more bittering hops, but there's really nothing hoppy about the flavor, only a little more then usual on the nose.

Mouthfeel is pretty lush and creamy, with a pretty high level of digestibility.

Drinkability is ok, but it's too boozy, and not enough hop flavor or aroma - or the one's they used are too grassy. A easy way to get drunk, but not one to savor.

ccrida, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of JRed
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange hue with nice clingy head that sticks around. Tart smell tries to masks the alcohol but can't cover up the lethal dose. Light bodied in feel that evolves from sour orange to beautiful tart sweetness and finishes with a alcoholic kick that warms the palate. A gorgeous, bold Triple that can play the role of a late nightcap or an afternoon break away from the sun but the alcohol could leave you half in the bag pretty early.

JRed, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a clear but not brilliant gold body color with cumulus white head of tiny bubbles, like what you'd see atop a Duvel (sticky and lasts forever). Aroma is of champagne, bread yeast, and candied fruit. Flavor is sweet and fruity, again champagne-like, but I felt it lacked structure or backbone...it's all melody and no harmony if you will. I felt like it needed more malt to balance out the other flavors that are present. Mouthfeel is light like cotton candy. Hides its 10.5% scarily well in both flavor and mouthfeel. I liked it, but it hardly blew my socks off.

BeerBelcher, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of johnymac2
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Listed as one of the top 5 beers in the world, so I had to give it a try.
$16 for a 4 pack, a bit on the pricey side.

A great beer all around.
Crisp, clean taste.
Good color, not a lot of particulates.
Not much of a smell, nothing that really stands out, but not a bad nose to it.
Lingers for a few moments in the mouth, fades fast. Citrus notes.

I'm glad I still have 3 more to go.

johnymac2, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of allengarvin
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, poured into a New Belgium chalice. This has a nice bright amber-gold color with a lot of fine streaming bubbles and a small but persistent head. Nose is sweet, almost sticky, with a fruity overtone. Fortunately, the sweetness is balanced on taste by a rather high bitterness. There's little hop flavor, but lots of fruitiness, and some yeasty spiciness. Alcohol is apparent by the close. Body is big, maybe a little thick.

Good, but by no means one of the 5 best in the world. The Piraat blond is better.

allengarvin, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden blonde color with a thick and foamy head that fades, leaving a bit of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is bready with a bit of spice and a bit of hop bitterness as well.

Taste is nice and bitter upfront with a mixture of spice and breadiness. Mildly sweet. Strong alcohol burn conceals much of the hop bitterness here.

Carbonation is quite strong but otherwise, the mouthfeel consists of breadiness, spice and a little hop bitterness. Alcohol burn is still present.

Hard for me to nail this style as I'm still new to it. However, this beer does seem drinkable to an extent. The carbonation is strong and ditto for the alcohol. With some aging, this beer will be magnificent. Otherwise, it's a good take at a relatively new style.

Brad007, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of brantadid
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an amber color with a 2 finger white head. Tons of sticky lacing. Really a good looking beer.

Smell is surprising. Lots of dark fruit. Raisins or dates. Hints of citrus and pear. Really a complex nose.

Talk about an intense flavor. Rich and malty with tons of flavor. Hints of pear or apple. Back dried fruit comes through. Alcohol definitely presents in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is rich and all coating. The higher carbonation cuts through the richness of this beer.

Definitely a beer I will purchase again.

brantadid, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2-ounce stubby poured into my Duvel glass yields a bright clear golden body with a huge firm white head. The foam reduces slowly to a thick and creamy sheet that leaves soft rings of lacing at the sip lines.

The smell is fruity, with nuances of lime, grapefruit, syrupy canned peach and a bit of green grass.

The taste is sweetly fruity and mellow with mild toasty malts and a little light caramel syrup. Notes of juicy melon, peaches, and pears dominate, with a bit of green grass lurking underneath. A very light bitterness keeps the sweetness from going over the top, even as sweet fruity notes of spiced apple juice emerge in the warming drink.

Piraat is superb all around. The drink has a beefy medium body and damned-near perfect carbonation to lighten it to quaffability, and all without any real indication of the whopping 10.5% ABV.

cvstrickland, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of adamette
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a clear tulip glass at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland, Ohio a few hours ago.

A Straw yellow body with thick, generous head made up of small bubbles. I am getting used to this appearance from Belgians (much like Duvel imo).

S Interesting smell of some spices, malty, complex.

T Excellent. Interesting, complex, wide range of tastes entertain the pallate. I enjoyed every ounce of this beer.

M Thin to moderate mouthfeel but very active on the tongue.

D Tremendous due to the interesting complexity of this beer.

Notes: What a pleasure it was to drink this beer from tap tonight. I highly recommend it.

adamette, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Piraat was eager to get out of the glass and I couldn't pour it fast enough. It had a crazy 3-4 finger foam head that was bubbly and sudsy like detergent being agitated. The color was a straw and clear. The aroma was subdued initially then came grassy and peppery.

The taste was a funky yeast taste I am used to tasting with a Belgian. This is my first IPA of the country. The malt was fairly in the background with the hoppiness taking most of the drink. I found the Piraat to be a delicious soft version a normal IPA. I wish I could of had the large size instead of the 11.2 oz bottle.

cswhitehorse, Sep 01, 2008
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,955 ratings.