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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,875 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,875
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 69
Gots: 99 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,875 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear golden with an off-white and moussy head which rose tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy with a farmhouse character and a light spice as the head remained tall. As the head fell some malt character was present, coupled with alcohol.

The flavor was nicely done with an earthy presence and a good hop balance and flavor. A very light sweetness met the palate but was quickly trumped by a light spice and good bittering. The hops were lightly grassy and definitely earthy.

The finish was dry with a lasting hop and very, very light spice impression into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a fairly high carbonation which caused a creamy mouthfeel. The warming after consumption was over the top, burning more than warming, tread lightly.

750 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2006 22:53:40 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

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

Served on-tap at Sunset Bar & Grill with my lunch on June 10, 2006.

Poured golden clear with no head. Nice and shiny. Nose was a slight bit of everything. Some spices, cherries and apples. Flavor was ctrong in dried apples and candied cherries. Malts give the beer a solid sweet backbone. Bit of heat from alcohol. Tingles the tongue a bit from the heat. Just a tad too syrupy though. Nice and drinkable with a hit from the alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2006 14:15:41 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of

1.78/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured a dark gold/copper color with quite a bit of haze. Head settled quickly. Smell was at first malt, then rubbing alcohol. Taste was about the same, some sweetness on the front, followed by a blast of alcohol. As I struggled through the glass, I seemed to also get a grassy aftertaste. My final thought was that the beer left me feeling like I had gargled with alcohol. It seemed to improve a little bit as it warmed (taste mellowed), but it's also possible that my tastebuds were just pummeled into senselessness. Mouthfeel was OK (I think). Drinkability - well I didn't pour it out, but I am not happy that I have a second one. Are you beginning to get the idea I didn't like this beer? Looking at the other reviews, I may have gotten a skunked beer. Since I have a second, I will, as a service to beerkind, try it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 13:32:07 | More by
Photo of JayTheFinn


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cloudy yellowy straw-like look in the glass, with a strong white lasting head. Sweet smell of grapes, which makes the wine flavoring make sense. I'm also tasting a very strong liquorice and alcohol flavor. The high ABV is quite noticeable. This one is more sip-able than drinkable. The alcohol is too pronounced in the flavor for me, and while the sweetness helps to balance it a bit, in the end I have to give the drinkability just a 3.0 rating.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 03:10:25 | More by JayTheFinn
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10.5oz bottle

Pours a hazy blonde color with a creamy white head that maintains. Thick lacing on the glass.

Very aromatic. Strong bready and yeasty smells with a tart fruitiness.

Sweet and malty upfront with lost of bready and yeasty flavors. A slight hop bitterness in the middle followed by a bit of alcohol. Finishes sweet.

Rich body, creamy texture. Nice carbonation.

This is a meal of a brew. I am enjoying this bottle, but one will be enough.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 00:45:07 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of kmo1030


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hazed juicy looking gold color with a thick white head that laces well.
the aroma is filled with white pepper and hay horse blanket funk along with alcohol and some some cut grass, dried pineapple, and other non peppery spicy qualities. a candy-like smell that hints at bubblegum comes out as it warms.
the taste has a lot of alcohol in it, but really without heat. there is a lot of candy sugar type sweetness with pepper and some citrusy pineapple. some grainyness. it doesn't end up as complex as the smell lets on.
lighter body than expected which is good in this case.
pretty good drinkability, just a little too sweet maybe. good though.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 19:20:39 | More by kmo1030
Photo of Absumaster


3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the 'çlone' brews of Duvel, not exactly a 1 on 1 copy, but ít should come a long way.
Appearance is pretty much the same, a bright golden beer with lots of carbonation and a firm, lasting head.
Smell was different, not the DMS or veggie smell of Duvel, but a peachy fruity smell and some esters.
Taste was bitter and dry/ crisp, yet sticky and syrupy. Again some fruit like peaches and apricots, sizzling of the high carbonation. It lacks some complexity. Highly drinkable for the 9% ABV. Difference with Duvel is its full body and stickiness, which the original does not have.

After reviewing this beer, I have to say that this is a beer on it's own and deserves an unbiased review. Pretty good stuff, but not as good as a Duvel!

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 18:15:31 | More by Absumaster
Photo of 0tt0


3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 11.2 oz. brown bottle pours an alluring peach color. A solid two fingers of head appears that is extremely sticky, though it loses some volume and reduces moderately during consumption. Label looks like something I doodled on my notebook in fifth grade, which adds a playful bit of anticipation to the whole endeavor.

Nose: Bready, with notes of lemon, cloves, and slight caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium, but deceptively so. Feels watery on the tongue immediately, but somehow seems more dense as it goes down. Nice.

Taste: No hiding the alcohol here. Bubbly, effervescent, and champagne-like. Citrus notes up front are short-lived, giving way to a rich, malty finish that really hangs around. Grows more sugary as it warms. Likewise, my belly begins to warm up as it goes.

Overall: at 10.5% ABV, you're certainly not going to overlook the alcohol. Bubbly carbontation and champagne-like texture are the obvious pluses of this one, but the growing candy flavors overtake it eventually, which is a disappointment. Bought as part of a Belgium sample pack, I wouldn't hesitate to try it again. After this undertaking, though, I'm not terribly impressed. Lot of foreplay with little stamina...

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2006 02:11:11 | More by 0tt0
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed dull golden pour with initially high and mighty head of loosely whipped white froth that disappears too quickly for my liking, eventually settling out to nothing more than a thin collar.

Aroma is strikingly sweeter that I remember it. Overripe tropical fruit, powdery citrus drink mix, banana and clove phenols, white pepper and a touch of dry, powdery crushed rock.

Flavor is plush and sweet, overflowing with mushy mango and pinapple-mint, lemon curd, and buttery biscuits drizzled with orange blossom honey. It dries out towads the end with chalky minerality and white pepper/coriander spice. The finish has peppery hops with floral touches and a touch of cotton csandy sweetness.

Body is medium but feels bigger. Fluffy, expansive mouthfeel with airy fluffed merangue texture. Great mouthfeel, although as it warms, the estery alcoholic heat detracts a bit. Need a few years to dry out.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 21:47:22 | More by AlexJ
Photo of oelergud


4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Semitransparent reddish straw colored body with moderate carbonation. The head dissipates to a thin float leaving little lace.
Strong caramel, honey and suryp scent with a good spicy hop charater.
The taste is caramel and spiced honey maltiness up front with the hops following close behind. The aftertaste is a mild sensation of balanced hops and malts.
Medium body, somewhat slick and spiked.
Pleasant and interesting to drink and the high ABV is not noticable in the smell or taste but watch out!


Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 18:07:32 | More by oelergud
Photo of DaggerEyes

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle Caged and Corked
poured into an oversized wine glass

pours a very slightly hazy golden yellow, with bead of carbonation and a HUGE fluffy head that gives way to lovely lacing. Sticky as hell to the sides of the glass..

Scents of green apple, bubble gum, honey, some grain, on the nose the alcohol is extremely well masked and is only slightly noticable in the background of the scent. Some earthy notes also

Sugary malts with some flavors of grape skin and bubble gum laced with honey. Balanced out by a slightly spicy flavor.

nice carbonation, round and medium body, very smooth a bit prickly on the tip of the tounge.

a very drinkable brew, a true pleasure and would get a 5 in the drinkability department if it weren't for the high ABV

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 00:35:47 | More by DaggerEyes
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy yellow-gold with a torrent of carbonation in the center and a large, suprisingly creamy looking pure white head. Good retention as a milky cap and leaves decent patchy lacing. Aroma is citrus esters, spicy yeast, phenols and a light sweet creaminess. A swirl of the glass brings out some spicy alcohol. Sweet ripe fruit flavor with peppery phenols. Definately warming as it heads to the stomach. Lingering earthy tartness. Very soft and fluffy in the mouth - a little tart but rather plush overall. Its strength detracts from its drinkability.

Very distinctive stuff. I never found the alcohol overwhelming, though there is always the impression of its strength. I'd say this would make for a fine dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2006 23:24:13 | More by wedge
Photo of fingolfin72

North Carolina

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

Enjoyed at Tyler's in Durham in a Piraat tulip glass.

Appearance- Clear, 24k gold with a fine, white head. Lovely in the evening light at our patio table.

Aroma- Bubble gum, croissants and alcohol.

Palate- Rich, balanced and alcoholic. Bubble gum, banana, hops, mineral, a hint of butterscotch. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy. The alcohol was evident, but not unpleasant. A very dangerous beer.

The alcohol was really the only drawback. I didn't mind it very much, but it gives the beer a bit of a nail polish remover bouquet. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2006 19:48:11 | More by fingolfin72
Photo of scottoale


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stubby little 330ml. brown glass bottle pours out a beautiful honey-gold, slightly hazy ale with atomic carbonation. A super thick frothy 2inch white head forms and soon turns rocky. Tons of thick lacing to boot! Stuff looks awesome and delicious.

Sweet, fruity, big malt nose with trailings of yeast and alcohol, lurking in the depths of this Belgian beauty.Time to indulge!

Ahhh, big round palate filling malt, nice fruity sweetness that gets carried away gently by the perfect hop ending. Flavor is bold and balanced with the high ABV extra warming and very pleasant.

Plenty of body with a slick, creamy mouthfeel and almost too easy to drink make this a dangerously delicious offering from where else...Belgium, go figure!.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 07:46:59 | More by scottoale
Photo of BadBadger

New York

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

This belgian brew pours from the bottle a cloudy golden color. The head is a monstrosity. Good golly it is the largest head ever! After 10 minutes I was finally able to get the glass full. The smell is hoppy, malty, and citrus (with slight alcohol undertones). The carbonation carries up inot the nose. The taste certainly conveys the alcohol content of this beer, but in a plesant manner. The mouthfeel is smooth on the palate and a bit sticky on the tongue with a slight lingering of alcohol. This is a descent brew worthy of your attention. Give it a go, but beware the moderately high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2006 00:52:39 | More by BadBadger
Photo of jabocu


3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden slightly hazy honey color. Thick white cap that fell into deep taverns, and settled to a 1/4 inch cap. Aroma was sweet esters of ripe banana, apple, and citrus. Root beer, cloves, and yeast were in the nose lightly. A little alcohol was apparant in nose as well. Flavor was fruity sweet with banana and apple at first with a little grapefuit citrusy background. Some pepper and spice filled the palate as it became more grapefruit and the alcohol came out in taste. Good blend of sweet and bitter with a hanging bitterness at back of tounge. Mouthfeel was crisp and refreshing during drink, and finishes dry and warm.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2006 14:08:42 | More by jabocu
Photo of Erdinger2003


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

The head falls thin, but doesn't break. The lacing sticks a little, but not much, and the color is a bright gold throughout.

The smell is clovey, fruity, and crisp.

The taste is a little fruity with burnt sugar, and as I it warms flavors of orange and apple.

The mouthfeel is crisp, but not harsh.

Drinkability is great, the beer is crisp, refreshing and fruity, but still soft.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 04:38:00 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of tgbljb


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

Poured a lovely golden color with massive chunky white head. Head lasted throughout and nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is truly enjoyable with nice notes of summer fruits, bananas, bubble-gum, and yeast. Taste is also very pleasant with strong banana and other light fruit flavors. Nice and creamy in the mouth with an almost syrup like feeling being left behind. Some alcohol detected, but not what you would think for a 10.5% beer. Way too easy to drink. Very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2006 16:44:16 | More by tgbljb
Photo of scoobybrew


4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Upon pouring, this beer presents a beautiful forthy head that has excellent retention, even until the very end. It's highly carbonated with a light golden color. The aroma is yeasty with a sweet malt smell and a hint of alcohol. Upon tasting, the creamy mouthfeel is characterised by the sweet, complex malt is spiced with yeast phenolics that are noticed immediately. Later, as the temperature gets closer to room temperature (you cannot drink this fast, too enjoyable, but also very potent), the alcohol content is more perceptable (without diminishing the experience).

Overall, I'm really in love with this beer. It is one of my favorite commerical choices. So much so that I sprung for the expense to have it served for all to enjoy at my wedding. A must for Belgian beer lovers and a necessary experience for all beer fans.

10/14/06 - revised review and scoring based on recent tasting: I still love this beer very much after not having one for nearly 6 months!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 15:19:20 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of KyleVick4


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So to begin with, this is the first Belgians I have reviewed, so not much to compare with but here goes...

A: A hazy pale golden color, resembles honey but with lots of bubbles going up the sides. Nice head when poured, head has lasting potential but left little or no lace.

S: Smell a lot of unfamiliar smells, wheat is I think the main smell. With a hint of alcohol in the background.

T: Has a tart taste that took a little getting used to, but then I really began to enjoy it. Has a sweetness at first, but then develops its slight mouth pucker. Really not bad at all.

M: Very bubbly. Light and mildly syrupy. Again I am having trouble describing it because the taste and beer type is so unfamiliar

D: Not bad, the 10 abv can be tasted, but only mildly. Very refreshing brew. But I could see myself getting tired with the beer after this one bottle.

Overall i was pretty impressed with the beer. I think it is way different that what Im used to (Double IPAs, Imperial Stouts, Barleywine etc.) but could see myself getting attached to it if I had the money!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2006 04:20:40 | More by KyleVick4
Photo of DaPeculierDane


2.9/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light yellow amber with a thin off white head. Carbonation is light. Smells of cereal, light caramel, a hint of citrus and booze. Taste/MF are slightly acidic, well hopped, very dry, and strongly alcoholic. Mild corn flavors are also present. I find the citric acid to be a bit much in this beer because it isn’t balanced by any strongly pleasant citrus flavors. Finishes sweet and thick. Body is full. Drinkability is low.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2006 21:08:50 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of thepitch


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

As an experienced beer drinker with little knowledge of Belgian Ales, I finally decided to begin my journey into uncharted waters. Not knowing where to start, I chose Piraat upon the recommendation of a dear friend from Croatia.

Anyway, I poured the chilled beer into a tulip glass. It made a well-formed, thick, lacey head that was impressive. The beer is a light golden brown, with a bit of haze. From start to finish there were little bubbles crawling up through the beer to the top of the glass.

The smell was delicious. A combination of fruity, wheaty, tropical aroma tempered by a prominent (but pleasant) alcohol finish. It is hard for me to describe the taste because it is so new and unique to me, but I would say the flavor is full-bodied, balanced, and citrusy. To sum it up, delicious, alcoholic honey. It is quite strong, though, as one beer consumed in about 25 minutes went straight to the dome. The mouthfeel is cider-like. On drinkability, I found it to go down easy, but not a beer that one can drink repeatedly in succession.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 08:20:00 | More by thepitch
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle with no visible freshness date. Pours a deep gold/ hazy almost amber with a huge head, good lonvity and very nice lace. Grassy and earthy aromas mixed with a sweet honey like malt. A bit citrusy and apple. Big yeast flavors mixed with sugar, citrus and apple. Hos are present, but not predominate. Alcoholic and warming. A truly tasty beer but not one for a 75 degree day in March. A definate winter beer. Very good none the less.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2006 01:30:38 | More by sabrills70
Photo of Rezzin


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

A - thick and creamy white head with medium sized bubbles visible from the sides of the glass. Golden stray colored with lots of floaties - it's clear with the exception of the floaties. Was this bottle conditioned? I poured the whole thing into my glass.

S - Fruity with a little bit of malt. I'm not sure what it's hopped with but I smell a little hoppiness to it. Smells wonderful. Somewhat spicy.

T - First sip is a blast of grapes, sweetness with a slight hoppy bitterness. Almost candy like Banana. I've had a few belgians in the past but this one is the best yet. Maybe a little much on the alcohol for my taste but it's great regardless.

M - Lots and lots of bubbles. Clean and crisp while I swallow and it leaves a sweet coating on the back of my throat.

D - Although I'm not a big fan of Belgians as a whole - either drinking them more often has helped me acquire the taste for them or I drink better Belgians as time goes on. Fortunately I bought the 11.2oz bottle so I'll be able to go back to work later tonight.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2006 04:27:02 | More by Rezzin
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK so I'm confused. This was certainly a strong pale ale and not an IPA. The front of the stubby bottle says 10.5% ABV, but the back says 9.0%, and there are two different 'Piraat' beers on this site, one with each ABV. Who knows. Regardless, this was a pretty good Belgian ale and I wish I had more.

I got this in a sampler for Christmas along with a bunch of other stuff from the same brewery. This one was poured from a stubby bottle into a large red wine glass. Pleasant, shining golden colour with a huge fluffy 2"+ head. Some dark yeasty bits in the bottom -- I shouldn't have emptied the bottle. My bad. The head fades quickly and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell is a bit heavy on the alcohol, which I don't like much. Behind that is fruity and spicy, with prominent pepper and pineapple notes.

Taste is a lot like Duvel. Spicy with bananas and pineapple, and a lot more carbonation than expected. Thick, coating mouthfeel and almost no aftertaste, which is a nice change. Quite a well balanced beer, although it didn't really stand out as something unique for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2006 02:23:26 | More by crwills
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,875 ratings.