Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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PiraatPiraat

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,086 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,086
Reviews: 972
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 84
Gots: 174 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 2,086 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of hdofu
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears like gold champagne with a beer head. Smell is like nutmeg and pear. The taste is similar to an apple or pear with a definite nutmeg taste, a big sip is yeasty with a mild malt finish, moreso then any other IPA I have ever drank. Mouthfeel is definitely bubbly and champagne feel. I could easily throwback one of these, very drinkable. This beer is a marriage of characteristics of an ipa and Belgian triple

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

Such a violent uncorking; I almost lost my left hand. Mild amount of yeast sediment on the bottom.

Nose kicks off with a sulfuric kick reminiscent of some of my favorite mass-produced, green-bottle European lagers - not at all what I expected out of a top-shelf Belgian. It dies down pretty quickly to reveal characteristically spicy and phenolic Belgian yeast, a crisp dry-sensation that suggests a highly attenuated sugar fermentation, light creamy malt, and just a splash of hops.

Pours a warm golden color with good clarity and a nice, big head with moderate-plus retention.

Glass One: High level of carbonation attacks my tongue, leaving in its wake sweet and tart flavors. I find myself in the midst of a medium body brew with a funky sour, earthy, or maybe more bittersweet flavor focus. It's unlike anything I've had before. Kind of spicy like peppermint one moment, and then it's sweeter and maltier with a creamy savory vibe. It leaves a rubbery-feeling coating in my mouth. For a split second I swear it tasted just a like a pizza, but then maybe not. The alcohol has been awakened as if it were a dragon; I'm getting hot flashes. And yes, a few of those alcohol hot flavor spikes did remind me a lot of pizza, or at least some tomato-and-cheese-based Italian dish. How odd. Now it's very earthy with influences of damp cardboard, barnyard, and mushroom-like. Medicinal plastic feelings and flavors pop in for a quick sip or two before stealing away.

Glass Two: There's the head I was looking for, rocky white and simply enormous. Tastes slightly metallic, but leaves some mean lace all up in my glass. Back to the races in the flavor department; somebody better tie it down so I can taste it - it's all over the place. Exotic fruit (mango, or something), cherry, a little green apple/under-ripe tree fruit, slight kiwi/pineapple citric tendancies, and a bit of musky melon or very ripe cantaloupe. Alcohol is more pronounced and more prominent (on average) in each sip. Tad grassy, especially in aftertaste. Finishes dry (of both hop bitterness and lack of sugar) with light mouth coating.

Conclusion: My initial sips left me with lukewarm feelings for this beer, but after deep scrutiny I have concluded that this beer just rocks! Every sip the flavor is slightly different. Every 5 sips the flavor is completely different. It never looped or repeated, it's just been a journey from first sip to last. In this way Piraat is like a movie where many other beers are more like a tv show or sitcom. Maybe it's more like a free-form jazz odyssey and less like a 4 minute repetitious radio song. Regardless, I love it and the $15 (or so, post-tax) is totally worth it given that you have the time to tear each little sensation apart at and analyze each one on a clean palate. Otherwise you might as well be buying a museum ticket to view a Van Gogh without your glasses on, only to see a bunch of pretty colors.

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

A- Nice honey view. Great action with a excellent foamy white head. Should be on a postcard.

S- Mild hoppiness. Tropical banana blend. Some spices as it sits.

T- Sweet spiciness. Rich bitterness that hangs abit. The ABV here. Trails of warm bread.

M- Feel the warm spices. Mid-body. The ABV remains for awhile. Bitterness hangs abit to long.

D- One of the better Belgies, but not the best. Would have another if you offered.

Photo of glid02
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Green's in Atlanta.

Bottle is different than in the picture, it's more like the Belgian Strong Pale, but this beer is 10.5% and tastes more like a Belgian IPA.

Pours a light copper color with a one-finger white head, semi-cloudy. Head sticks around for a good while, eventually receding into a medium sized layer of bubbles on top with a thicker ring around the glass. Lacing is good, and there's a steady stream of bubbles coming from the bottom of the tulip.

Smells pretty good. Lots of light fruit aromas - mostly banana. Sweet malts and a touch of bitter smell round it out.

Tastes really good. Very sweet and fruity up front, with a tiny bit of citrus and bitterness at the end. Could only be better if it weren't as sweet. Alcohol is barely noticeable after it warms up, but for an ABV this high it's remarkably well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is good. It goes down really smoothly; the carbonation is just enough to bring out the flavors.

This is a very drinkable beer for the ABV. I can't find that much wrong with it.

Overall this is a very good beer. Pick one up if you can.

Photo of Herrbrokt
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into tulip.

Cloudy golden amber. With huge fluffy white head that never leaves.

Musky sweet smell. yeasty bread

Wow. real complex taste. nice malt in the mix. Fruity Grassy musky flavor that some how doesn't turn me off. Big alcohol warmth. Little spicy in the end.

Slams the palate. ends with a bright but sticky texture.

Couldn't pack on this one. The ABV and the yeast will keep me at one for now.

Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice mid-copper color with fantastic head and lacing. It has a very nice floral hoppy scent, though it's hard to get much through all of the foam. Very nice taste, it starts off with a nice hoppy/bitter taste, followed by a very nice Belgian spiciness, and finishes with a great smooth mixture of both. A very nice beer, although the carbonation and the alcohol content make it slightly rough.

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

12oz bottle as part of gift pack from LCBO for Christmas 2007. Best before of May 2009. Pours a murky light brown with a fluffy head that recedes quickly to a normal film. Allowed to warm for about a half hour. Strong aroma, but it's too sweet. First taste is sweet, with a hint of spice as it warmly goes down the throat. Full bodied. The sweetness continues but is reasonably kept in check. Pretty nice, strong stuff.

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

750ml bottle and as always I love the 'pop' of the Belgian corked brews.

A - Clear Golden in color (some chill haze) with very lively carbonation. The 2 finger head fades slowly in clumps leaving thick patches on the glass. BEAuitful.

S - Very clean/crisp with a fruity/apple scent with some biscuits on the back. Methinks this gonna be good...

T - My mouth watering at this point, I take a big sip. Wow, Duvel X 2... Very clean and masks the high ABV with apple, apricot and molasses sweetness balanced with a nice malty bread.

M - Near perfect with the carbonation that wont quit and perfect body.

D - Let's get ready to rumble!! I'm getting more this week for sure.

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

From notes 8-13-08

Eye: Hazy copper/amber in color when light passes through it from behind, otherwise it is just a cloudy looking dirty yellow/light brown. Head is very nice looking, large pillowy and with good retention. Lacing isn't quite there, perhaps its just the glass though, this Duvel glass has only had good lacing with select brews, one of them being Duvel.

Nose: A large part of the aroma comes from the yeast, very Belgian, it makes the mouth water. Smells quite dry....woody/oaken notes here. Somewhat akin the unique smell of an oud bruin-just in the sense that there is some tartness....(edit again the fruity aroma of apples). Malt aroma is very sweet, reminds me of candy corn. Not really any hop aroma, kinda disappointed with that.

Tongue: Immediate bitterness right of the bat, like nothing I've ever tasted in any Belgian ale before. Hop bitterness and flavor is very clean, alcohol is noticeable. Finish is dry. Hop flavor is floral and spicy. Candy malt flavors are also here, just as in the nose they are in the flavor as well. The beer goes into the mouth and first you get the bitterness and some of the alcohol, then malt back to alcohol and then to hops and alcohol. The beer is actually balanced quite well. There is an insane amount of malt sweetness that would be cloying were it not for the hops and alcohol. Overall malt flavor is sweet and candy-like, almost like a Belgian Strong Pale would taste, something along those lines, but not quite. Pretty unique in any case.

Edit: after reading some other reviews (while still with glass in hand) Sour apple or just apple in general is something that I am definitely picking up.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium bodied with low carbonation and a dry finish. Slight apple taste after the finish. This is one I'd drink again, though I'm definitely going to check out the others in the style first, got a Chouffe IPA in my fridge right now.

Photo of jeffmonarch
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle in a Tulip glass.

A - Cloudy golden yellow with a really thick white head.

S - Sweet malty smell with a obvious alcohol smell.

T - Sweet start with a nice slightly bitter finish. Good malt flavor and the alcohol is as obvious as it was with the smell.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. I really like this beer a lot.

Photo of burnstar
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty clear gold with a small to medium head. Nice lacing on the surface. Aroma is sweet with a note of alcohol. There are some herbal hops and some light yeastiness as well. Taste is quite sweet. Plenty of herbal hops provide balance. Lots of alcohol warm but not so much that it becomes annoying or abrasive. Some phenolic and yeasty notes also. Intense but also fairly balanced and very good. Medium to full bodied and well carbonated. Definitely a sipper. Overall a dangerous and excellent beer. Great name as well.

Photo of Revvy
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Piraat Ale (billed on the website as an amber triple IPA, 10.5% ABV)

Appearance - Another huge thick head poured from this bottle, this time getting three quarters into the glass before the head reached the lip of the snifter. Meringue like it seemed to be made up of a mixture of large and small bubbles.

The beer itself is a hazy gold in color resembling golden apricots.

There is a hint of lacing left on the glass after the foam falls (took over 5 minute) and a nice, small, creamy head on the surface.

Aroma - Cold the beer has the barest hint of apple as did the previous two brouwerij Van Seenberge Beers. There is also a hint of apricot.

Upon warming slightly, the nose picks up a trace of alcohol.

No hop aroma in evidence, cold or warm/

Mouthfeel - This is another one of those effervescence balance with silky mouth and tongue coating beers, though this time it leans to towards silky, like a hot toddy made with honey, whiskey and warm water.

There is also a noticeable alcohol "bite" on the tip of the tongue, as well as a bit of a burn as it goes down the throat, similar to any number of liguors, such as brandy, especially as it warmed significantly.

Taste - There is absolutely none of the "hints of sourness" as with the previous 2 beers. The flavor is apricot, apple, and honey, with a ginger "burn" which may simply be from the alcohol and not the spice.

It is noticeably sweeter than the previous too, but not cloyingly so.

As it warms, more of the apple tartness comes through. At it's warmist there is a strong alcohol bite on the tongue and lips as well as a highly pronounce hoppiness, although the hop is not identifiable to me.

Overall - This is exquisite. This is one of the best commercial beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, let alone the best of the 3 sampled. I have not had too many versions of the Triple style....I believe I have had 2-3 other commercial versions, one amazing one from a local microbrewery and an excellent one from one of my brew bodies. And except perhaps for the one from the microbrewery (Dragonmeade) this surpasses them all.

But is this a Triple or is it an IPA/Triple hybrid? Perhaps it shouldn't be judged in comparison to those that are truer to style.

The history of this beer is that it is very similar to that brewed to keep on the long voyage as a food suplement for the Flemish freebooters on long voyages.

Letting it warm to it's fullest lifts it fully out of the category of "mere" beer and places it squarely alongside brandy as an after dinner aperitif, along side a good cigar...This could go head to head against any of the 4 Calvado's types, even the 6 year old Hors d'Age...I wonder how this would cellar.

This is what you bring out to seduce a lovely stranger over a game of chess in front of a roaring fire.

Grade A+

I have been considering brewing a triple for some time now...but after tasting this I think I would love to brew a clone of this, if soley to have this on hand. (and hopefully for much cheaper than 2 cases of this would cost, considering that at where I bought this set, a single 330 ml bottle retails for close to 4 dollars.

Photo of daythree16
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Dark golden in color with the big billowy head associated with the strong golden style. Looks pretty nice.

Smell is sweet and spicy, with notes of clove and some kind of exotic fruit that I can't place. The tastes is spicy up front (clove and a little pepper coming through). A bit of an astringent quality follows the spicy esters. Also, a hint of grape is just noticeable.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky, and the carbonation is making me burp a lot. I don't know that I could drink a lot of this one, but I would certainly like to try. It's a very complex beer that reminds me more of a tripel than an IPA. It's unique, and in my opinion, definitely worth the price.

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

Piraat's appearance was wonderful, a bright blonde ale, which smell is towards the sweet side. The taste is very strong similar to most tripels. It leaves a very sweet after taste. It is very drinkable, it goes great with a nice piece of steak. It is a very smooth beer.

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

Serving: 330 mL bottle into an extra large wine glass

Appearance: This beer pours darker than most belgian golden ales. It is a deep golden clear color with a moderate pale white head.

Smell: It has a strong sweet aroma with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: It is a rich sweet flavor with some spices in it, it compliments this with a hoppy finish. Hard to describe, but its very rich without being over the top like some others of this style.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is balanced. It turns into a nice creamy flavor in the mouth once the carbonation is gone. Goes down well despite the 10 percent alcohol.

Drinkability: The only problem with this beer is its cost and its become harder to find. It is my favorite beer, its a bit strong, but best and rich enough to enjoy anyway.

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

Purchased 33cl bottle, no mark of age anyhwere. Comes in a capped brown bottle with a pirate and a Viking ship on the label - I'll violate my normal rule of drinking something with pirates on the bottle to drink this. But the brewer should take note - the label is classless. Actual /beer/ pours easy into my chalice, with high carbonation, thick head. Amber colour, a bit hazy, just enough to make it opaque.

Smells of honey, grain, fruity odour, not much yeast. No ethanol smell. Odour is rich and thick. Very intense. Lots of spices, and something I can't quite identify.

Taste the honey, with a crisp flavour, bit of a carbonation bite, and an aftertaste that lingers. Is thick in the mouth, but not at all smooth (The carbonation brings with it a heavy bite). Head remains for a long period as I clear my pallet with some water, and then jet away to attend to an errand. Impressive retention, in fact. This has to stem from the carbonation - I belched twice while drinking it, despite taking my time. Drinkability good, depsite high ABV.

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

On-tap 7/17/08 at Pitcher's Pub, in Cumberland, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with strong flavors of Belgian yeast and floral hops. There's a pretty significant alcohol sting and a heart malt character. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice high-octane beer to drink for a long time or at least until the ABV catches up with you.

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

Enjoyed by me on-tap awhile ago. Reviewed from notes. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a clear, medium gold color with an amber hue. Head was about 1/3-1/2 inch thick when served to me. Decent lacing. Had a sweet, sort of toasty malty aroma with a bit of spice such as cinnamon, ginger, and coriander, Belgian candy, and a trace of hop presence. The taste is pretty much the same. Lightly toasted sweet malt with sweet Belgian candy and the aforementioned spices. Rounded out with a slight bit of hop bitterness, but the sweetness and spice certainly dominate here. Has a very crisp medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Nice and easy to drink in the way all great Belgian beers are.

Eric

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

One of six bottles in a Belgian mixed six pack recently purchased from Cable Beverage in Bardonia, NY. Served from a stumpy 33cl bottle into a Chimay chalice at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Carefully reserving the residual yeast for incorporation later, this beer pours a straight, bright gold color with an active off-white head that starts off with promise, but shrinks quite rapidly to an unevenly bubbled mat. Lots of action in the glass from points outside the etching as well. Lacing is patchy and uneven, but there.

S - Tasty sweet candy sugar and lightly toasted malts -- big notes of dried grains. The alcohol presence is noticeable, but not sharp or offputting. Light and crisp hop presence buried in the background. Some honeyed spiciness and pipe tobacco also become apparent as it warms.

T - Sweet but semi-dry up front, becoming very grainy in the middle with yeasty tartness. Alcohol becomes very forward and warm towards the back where the hops lend some bitterness as a counterbalance, but unfortunately seem to fight with the alcohol for dominance. Finish is slightly astringent as I find is the case with many beers of this style. (The rating given reflects the improved taste with the yeast swirled in).

M - Active and tingly on the way in, puffing up to the point just before it gets too foamy. Swallow is frothy and slightly gassy. Big belly warmth.

D - A delicious beer without a doubt, however it's alcohol power overshadows some of the more subtle nuances and keeps it from being refreshing. A nice one-off for a summer evening.

AFTERTHOUGHT: As expected, when the yeast is swirled in, the alcohol bite gets it's sharp corners shaved off, and the mouthfeel becomes decidedly creamier. Also noticeable is a more "baked" character to the malts and a more tart finish that works well with the hops.

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,086 ratings.