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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,159 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,159
Reviews: 994
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 86
Gots: 211 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,159 | Reviews: 994
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a short, frothy white head that persists and retains well, laying down thick lace as it falls. Color is a light amber-yellow that's particularly pale. I recall the draft version having a richer color and much larger and stickier head.

S: Alcohol soaked dark fruits, granny smith sour apples, rich spice, and alcohol. Less fruity, more boozy than the draft version.

T&M: Highly complex and flavorful, though in a bit different way than on draft. Less bursting fruit, but more emergent spice and hoppiness here. Certainly notes of brandy soaked apricot, pear, and apple are present, but they're met with some spice, alcohol, and citrus. Finish is lightly dry with a lingering fruitiness and hoppy spice. Body is medium to full with a zesty Belgian carbonation that tingles the mouth nicely.

D: Still rather drinkable for such a large beer, though this bottle is inferior to the draft version I had a week or so ago.

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

Served out of a bottle into a goblet. Golden in color, relatively clear, moderate head. Smell was lighter than expected, but still present and pleasant. Mouth feel was full bodied and easy to drink. I haven't had this beer in a while, and it was my fourth of the night. It was as good as I remembered and I am thrilled to recommend this beer to those Belgian fans out there, of which there are millions.

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

A - light amber, clear, fluffy white head, good retention, leaves some gobs of lace behind

S - candied/brandy fruit, apricots, low spice

T - lots more spice in the taste, but still has that big fruitiness, big alcohol throughout helps to dry things up, aftertaste has a lingering herbal bitterness. Actually reminds me a lot of a strong mead, with the big burst of honey sweetness upfront, which gets washed away by alcohol heat.

M - very light and fluffy, well carbonated, light body, quite boozy, yet not harsh, it really dries out the fruity malt

D - interesting stuff for sure, and it is tasty, but I'm not bonkers about it.

Tastes like a really strong, belgian-ized braggot. It is unique and quite good, but it is not my favourite belgian. And I really don't get the whole "IPA" thing this beer supposedly has.

Photo of Vancer
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The little stubby 33cl bottle pours a very clear amber yellow pour into the Corsendonk tulip. No head, no mess, no lace action - well, maybe just a touch of some Brussels island lace.

Light fruits in the aroma, but the quaff is a different bird for a IPA for sure - Belgian IPA all the way. Just a bit of the Belgian yeast, but with a sturdy dose of spicy hops in the finish - black pepper seems to lead the way.

The 10+ booze in this one does not even make a statement. Crisp, light bodied, easy drinking triple makes this a must on your try list

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

Light amber color with a foam head that is an "off-white" and about 1 or 2 cm in thickness, but I am at a bar and don't exactly have a ruler. The nose is faint, but is malty and has some touches of grain that promise some turns in the flavor other than from whatever hops is hidden in there. There is a sweet and fruity sensation to the attack. The flavor is candy like in its sweetness. A little bit boozy and some grain notes at the finish. This warms in the belly as you finish it. The mouthfeel appears to thicken during the flavor and then finishes hot.

Photo of tegelaar
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33ml bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Nice golden color with minimal head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S: I smell malt and bread. Perhaps a hint of caramel too.. probably from the sweetness.

T: Sweet and exteremely well balanced. No flavor overpowers the other. Just a great blend of citrusy sweetness and caramel malt.

M: A little thick but the carbonation makes up for it. The bubbles bite the back of your throat a bit as it goes down.

D: Goes down easy for being so strong.

A great tripel and IMO a beer a lot of people forget or don't know about. It deserves the high marks it gets when reviewed.

Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best Belgium tripels available! Liquid gold!

It is a bit thick, sweet, and spicy with a great aftertaste. Dangerously strong abv. You don't taste the alcohol, you feel it 5 minutes later.

One bottle will do you right. Buy two, if you can afford it, and share with a bud.

Photo of TheSarge
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Piraat pours well with a two finger thick head, into my 3 Monts Tulip glass. The body is gold in color and has a slight chill haze to it.

The aroma is a little perfumy and fruity. There seems to be hints of orange rind and maybe a little candied sugar too.

The taste is a little tart and medicine like. There is a slight unripe grape and orange rind taste that turns into the burning alcohol flavor, which makes this have a little bit of the medicine taste.

Mouthfeel wise it's a refreshing and fruity beer up front, but gives into the warmness of the alcohol. This makes me believe I'd enjoy this beer a bit more if it were late fall/winter timeframe.

All in all this is an interestingly complex beer, and deserves another stab in the cooler season time.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. First Belgian IPA, yeah! I mean, très bien!

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber hue, with a tower of puffy, densely foamy dirty white head, which leaves some nice chunky, fuzzy honeycombed lace around the glass as it lazily recedes. Looks like a big IPA, that's for sure.

It smells rather lightly of grainy pale malt, and soft spices - coriander, cloves, a hint of white pepper - a bit of earthy yeastiness, musty orchard fruit, and a very subtle metallic alcohol edge. The taste is much more fruity than the nose let on (it doesn't always know, apparently), with strong apple, white raisin, and peach liqueur notes, a part of the mildly caramelized malt very much in the forefront, muted citrus rind, edgy honey, and some tame candi sugar notes. The big alcohol is very withdrawn, imparting only a sparing dry metallic edge over the whole.

The carbonation is mild, but still duly supportive, the body a decently solid medium weight, and smooth, in that 'did I just do a vodka shot' sort of way. It finishes fairly dry, the caramel and alcohol maybe making a weak case for their side, but the hops, yeast, and flipside to the booze saying otherwise, and thus taking this round.

This does indeed taste like a so-so Yankee IPA merged with a big Belgian pale ale or Tripel, and further with some rather unassuming malt liquor. The Belgian side does seem to win out, given the fruity, yeasty (and alcoholic) notes herein. Any American-style IPA hopping is barely perceptible here, which is fine, but the denomination leaves something to be desired, and is a bit misleading, but that aside, this is a very well made, more hoppy than usual, strong Belgian pale ale.

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Medium amber-orange color with a bright white head.

S: Malty sweetness along with a spice mix of clove and coriander. Some whiffs of lemon zest, as well as an underlying yeasty bread character.

T: Very nice Belgian character. Quite sweet and flavored with the aforementioned spices. Has an interesting citrus base that is hard to describe. The higher alcohol seems to meld the flavors quite well.

M: Medium-bodied and robust. Bursting with character and plenty of carbonation. Finishes clean with a sweet aftertaste and slight alcohol warming.

D: The 10.5% ABV may be too harsh for some, but not me. Still, slow is the way to go.

All in all, a very solid, very delicious strong Belgian ale. The "Belgian IPA" classification seems a bit of a misnomer to me, as the hop character was quite subdued. Nevertheless, this is a very good beer and is well-constructed. 'Tis good to see some more pirates in the beer realm!

Photo of erz316
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 floz bottle into duvel tulip

A - a hazy orange body with a light orange head. pours well and has a modest amount of head, one full fingers worth. the colour is just amazing. dead settles down soon enough leaving a good layer round the edges and on top.

S - a bit citrusy with a noticeable backing from the alcohol, even when right out of the fridge. a little bit of clove comes along with the alcohol.

T - initial taste is a bit plain, mild hop and citrus bitterness. the finish is a bit elusive but the alcohol is the most noticeable,; sweetness turns into bitterness, honeyed malts into mild hop bitterness and regular bitterness of fruit rind. aftertaste is, coming off of the finish, light tropical fruits. alcohol and some sweet malts help bring the flavour profile to a head and the trailing off flavour is light sweet malts and grapefruit rind bitterness. a great warming sense then overcomes me and I begin to feel lethargic. though i have never had a belgian ipa, I know belgian yeast and I know what an ipa should taste like so it is in my best judgment to say this is just an outstanding beer, and I wish I had gotten the bigger bottle!

MF&D - the body is perfectly viscous, not too much but not watery; just enough body that ones doesnt notice either a lack or a excess. carbonation is perfectly balanced with the medium-light body, a strong crisp carbonation to help offset some of the booze's power. I would easily session this beer if on tap.

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

Always saw this one in the stores so thought I grab it. Finally getting around to knowing my belgians better.

Pours a royale with cheese golden with ring around the collar. It may have forgot to add the fabric softener.

Smells kinda good. Candied, alcohol. Kinda like Cotton Candy that someone from delta house spiked.

Tastes real good too. Crisp, lemony, candied alcohol. Like someone from tri lambdas spiked the cotton candy.

Sweeter than Betty Childs and more biting than liminent in jock straps. Beware, there be good beer here.

I was going to do a Rod Stewart themed review, next time, next time.

Photo of jwheeler85
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured a nice orange - amber with little head

S- A lot of maltiness and some dark fruits

T- This one was a little frustrating. It had a very balanced and blended flavor profile. There was a lot of complexity going on in such a short time span (flavors dissipated quickly after each sip). There was definitely a malty start, leading into a quick bitter zap, and finishing with a very belgian tripel-ish taste. It was very difficult isolate all the different flavors going on here. A great excuse for some further investigation... possibly with a larger bottle.

M- Medium level of carbonation that was quick to escape on the tongue. Followed up with a nice alcohol burn.

D- Average drinkability for the style... very belgian-esque. I think the IPA designation is a bit misleading. Very good beer though, it was a close tie between this and Gulden Draak for which one I was going to try to clone.

Photo of NewGeneric
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this the other night at home out of a Chimay glass. Poured a bronze/copper color with creamy white head and plenty of lacing. Smelled very fruity and yeasty with a hint of hops and spice. Tasted of yeast, raisins and spice with a mild sweetness. Mouthfeel was very smooth, but slightly oily. This was definitely a sipping beer, no more than 2.

Photo of eljefe21
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Sizzles a bit as it pours to a finely bubbled one finger head. Fine lacing throughout. Dark golden in color.

S: Spicy, dry yeast smell. Makes you water at the mouth in anticipation.

T: Spicy yeast flavors that cling to you tongue. Delicious and satisfying.

M: Decent carbonation on the front and sides. Warming, dry sensation clings to your tongue and down your throat.

D: Excellent beer that would work in warm weather because of the dryness and in cold weather because of the warming alcohol. The only drawback is that it's a bit too big too drink too many.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

stubby 11.2 oz bottle picked up for me by Brenda at the COOP.. the label isn't the same, instead it looks exactly like (Piraat 9% Blonde).. but the ABV is 10.5%.. So I am pretty sure this is the correct entry... Poured into my New Belgium goblet... listening to a Danny Tenaglia mix on the iPod.

2 finger Meringue like head sticks around forever and is pretty rocky as it drops.. great lace.. The brew is almost perfectly clear honey gold.

The nose is expected funky Belgian yeast with quite a bit of yeasty spiciness.. I know there are hops in there, but they are pretty much drowned out by the abundant Belgian esters.. honestly, it has a great complexity.

BA may say Belgian IPA, but this is a definite BSPA with a descent hoppy bite.. Some fruity esters come across as pears and lite orange.. again some spicy esters... and a nice mix of spicy hoppiness.. the bitterness is really restrained.. a pale malty component is present from front to back, but sorta gets hammered by the Belgian qualities mid palate.. the finish is a phenolic spiciness, but even that surprisingly dies off quickly..

The body is a solid medium, but the carbonation is fairly high and I love it.. Wow .. It's been more than a few years since I've given Piraat a chance... and I am very much appreciative that Matt and the COOP took the chance to get this brew back in... I will definitely buy it again on a regular basis... I like it and could easily see enjoying it in any weather.. after mowing the lawn in the Boise heat... or after a long day at work in the middle of winter...

This is a Classy brew that I am very happy to have it back in my stable.


Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle.

This one has a clear, golden amber glow, slightly frosty with bubbly and thick whote head, wonderful retention and plenty of small clumps of lacing stick to the glass with ease.

Amazing aroma of musty corn husks and wheat fields in the mid summer from the complex and heady yeast used. White pepper and tyme is balanced with a malty sweetness. a grainy heat tingles the nose as the aroma only gets better and better.

Oh, lucious complexity!! the yeast is one the most complex and yummy I've ever had. It really pops! dry wheat, corn on the cobb, spicey herbs from the garden...it's all in there. clean and crisp feel with a gentle smooth finish just the way it should be. The subtle malt sweetness provides the perfect balance withgentle caramel notes. The leafy, herbal hops add a dry bitterness to the finish which rides in with a grain alcohol effect right at the end. No burn from the 10.5% abv. This is the real deal.

This is what it's all about for me! complex yeast, great balance of flavor's, refreshing and yet a sipper. i've found my hidden treasure. ARRRrrr.

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

this is a great belgian strong pale ale, but I like this style so I'm a sucker. This gives Duvel a run for the money, a little more carmel flavor than Duvel and a little less head. Don't let the funky label scare you, this is world class beer all the way. I haven't been able to find this one in a larger bottle, but if I could I'd love to see if a little time in the cellar changes the flavor profile at all.

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

Pours a golden amber with a small but creamy head.

The aroma is cidery and spicy with notes of banana peel, apple, and pear. A moderately vinous quality is present, traces of alcohol leaping from the glass.

Enters the mouth sharply, cider and fruit immediately noticeable. Banana peel and apple. Big sugary malts are present. Sticky, syrupy mouthfeel with a delicious bitterness that sneaks in like a ghost on the finish.

Not bad, but not something I'd drink again. Too much alcohol on the nose and it feels like syrup in the mouth. While I do appreciate the kick of bitterness on the end, it's not enough to keep me coming back.

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

Chilled 33cl bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A very handsome golden honey amber with a mild cloud like tinting without making it seem thick and/or creamy.

Pours with a reasonable amount of creamy head however you would need to pour it hard to generate anything more than 2 fingers. Lacing is good and sticky.

The aroma is packed full with a summer fruits from apple and pear to bananas. Those sweet notes however are held at bay by a very elegant roasting wheat.

Taste is dominated by a great combination of sticky yeast and alcohol esters. The fruits are there but they don't dominate the taste any where near the effect it had on the aroma.

Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Tastes massive upfront and mellows down with soft alcohol. Overall its creamy and smooth, it is to the mouth what silk and soft angora are to the fingers haha.

Oh and also, the ABV is quite high even though doesn't really translate into the fluid

Photo of BigJim5021
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear gold with a big-ass white head. The ring that it settles into leaves gobs of lacing.

The aroma is sweet and bready. There's a faint whiff of ripe fruit in there too.

The flavor is apple-y and boozy. The sweet malt on the finish is wicked pleasant. Hop bitterness is pretty much non-existent, which is surprising given the style.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, as the beer tends to just coat your palate. Carbonation is good without being aggressive.

Drinkability is really high despite the abv and the price. I could see myself picking up a bottle from time to time. I would really like to put it up against Houblon Chouffe in a side-by-side tasting just to highlight the differences between the two.

Photo of HeroJH
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to see it's score as I've always liked this beer. I used to get it on tap regularly at a BJ's where I used to live. It's as good as I remember it in the bottle.

A - Clear Gold. Huge head with some lacing.
S - Fruity and Bread. I swear it almost smells like strawberry lip-gloss. Brought back memories of 2nd grade.
T - Malty sweet tangy, slight apple end but not too tart as many I don't like. This is full flavored but really easy.
M - good, flavor doesn't linger too long.
D - 10.5%, sheesh. And it's soooo easy to drink! Easy boy!

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. back label has 16IH 12:20

tasted in early april 2009. poured into tulip.

pale golden light amber. gem clear. 1.5-finger, foamy off-white head, recedes to wispy layer. decent lacing, especially later on.

aroma: somewhat unexpectedly fruity - white grape, pears, hint of peach, into toasted bready malts, with spicy notes and grassy euro hop backbone, with herbal and parsley tones. almost caramel in the back, with gentle phenols.

taste: bready malts get pushed aside slightly by the strong fruity esters. phenols aren't too bold, but do help to accentuate this fruitiness. mildly grassy, spicy hops, almost floral with all that fruit background, and giving moderate bitterness, nicely lingering into the aftertaste. coriander? phenols, touch of acidity in the finish.

smooth, light to medium body, acidity and resins in the finish. moderate carbonation for more body and lift

fruitier than i'm looking for in a belgian IPA and not enough hops. maybe this was a sub-par bottle?

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 05.23.09 from a squat 330ml Belgian squatter...

A: A thick monstrous head that will not dissipate rests over this opaque brew. It is a ruddy copper color.

S: Strong floral notes - lilies. Dates, fig and a bit of elderberries and coriander underneath, as well as a harsh pine hop odor. Real good.

T: A slight caramel malt flavor. But the dominant taste is bittersweet more accurately. The intensely bitter hops mesh with the subtle sweeter flavors to form something very pleasant. The aftertaste; bitter, lingers long.

M: Medium viscosity, not frothy, not drying; perfect.

D: I really like this one. It is an intense ride for sure, but well worth it.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Tulip Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Very nice, slightly dark tinted, golden orange color. Almost three-finger head of fluffy white foam sits on top. Retention is very good. Lacing is spotty but quite sticky.

Very nicely yeasty smell. Orchard fruits. Apples, pears and peaches, mostly. Light hint of cloves. Hint of banana bread.

Big yeastiness is still out in front. Orchard fruits are joined by tropical fruits, now. Pineapple, papaya and passion fruit, among others. A thick flavor of honey. Just when it seems that the sweetness will overpower your palate, you get a nice pepperey hops kick that takes you to the finish.

Not quite full-bodied, but a strong medium body. Nice level of creaminess. Could stand to be just a little bit smoother, though.

A nice, drinkable belgian blond. Personally, I'd probably reach for something else, though. Glad to have tried it.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,159 ratings.