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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,966 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,966
Reviews: 962
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 78
Gots: 124 | 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: 1,966 | Reviews: 962 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the great beers that I can never get sick of... ever!! It is light in color, a dry finish, with a huge alcohol presence. It is listed as 10.5%, but after talking to Jef Versale of Van Steenberge, it ranges between 9% to 14%. So it is always a surprise where it might take you. Plus, after a Piraat, everything gets better...PRAAT!

OWSLEY069, May 28, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a cloudy golden color with a huge head – and nice lacing. The smell is sweet and hoppy with a touch of sourness. The taste is fruity and spicy mixed with hops and sourness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. While drinking at a warmer temperature helps, the flavors do not seem to blend well and therefore, does not make this a highly drinkable beer.

barefootbrewer, May 10, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my Piraat tulip.

A: Pours a golden and slightly orangish color with a great thick white head. The head slowly recedes leaving quite a bit of lacing.

S: Slightly sweet malts with some faint spices.

T: A delicious taste, a little bit syrupy with a sweet honey taste up front. This is followed by some light citrus. I know that it's hard to hide 10.5% but the alcohol is very prevalent and warming. There is also some faint spice and hop flavors as well.

M: Slightly syrupy with light carbonation and the hot taste of alcohol.

D: This isn't the most drinkable beer because of all the alcohol. It's definitely a sipping beer, I think it would be a nice after dinner sipper. I really did enjoy this beer though, it was a pleasure to drink.

willjschmidt, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of vancurly
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thought I was drinking calvados... alcohol & apples....

Pours clear first, then hazy as the yeast is disturbed. Golden. Nice heavy white head.

Aromas of apples.... skin, flesh, stems, seeds.... the lot. Some fleshy yeast, sweet malt, and subtle caraway seed.

Metallic & flinty hops, caramel & honeycomb. Alcohol...apples.

Chewy and warming. This beer would be ideal with pork knuckle... enough spirit & fruit to cut through the fat, and hold it's own.

vancurly, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good and drinkable. Aroma has strong fruity overtones, making it smell almost like a cider rather than an ale. Taste is strongly fruity, as well as malty with quite a bite of bitter. I had a rather small bottle, but it was all I needed to sample this brew and rate it. A nice jazzy ale that is a pleasure to drink.

Cyberkedi, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of grub
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle marked 04/05/08.

pours deep golden yellow with a half inch of dense white head. head drops fairly quickly but leaves lots of lace.

aroma is nice. bit of alcohol. spice - clove and a bit of black pepper. crackery malt. touch of funk.

taste is nice. light honey sweetness. med-low bitterness. bit of clove. alcohol. cracker malt. bit of light orange citrus.

mouthfeel is good. above average carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is good. a touch sweet, but that balances the alcohol fairly well. fairly simple and straightforward, but enjoyable. don't really get any "ipa" out of this, so it loses taste/aroma points for that.

grub, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of paleoplant
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a small bottle the pour was a nice creamy golden color. There was a slight foam on top, more than I am used to in Belgian beers. This is the first Belgian IPA that I have tried and enjoyed it. It seemed very similar to a Belgian strong pale ale with extra something (hops?). It has a crisp strong taste that was flavorful. It was enjoyable, but the strong bite never calmed down so it may become overwhelming if I had too much.

paleoplant, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a straw-orange color with a thick foamy white head. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Not a spectacular smell, but an ok one. Some spices (including pepper), yeast, and a bit of malts.

Taste: The flavor is almost overwhelming. Some herbs, spices, and a bit of metallic flavor. A bit of midly bitter citrus is present, along with some yeast. Alcohol is also relatively noticable in the taste, as well as some additional bitterness that I can't identify.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, semi-smooth, and with a moderate amount of relatively soft carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a bit too much for me; not alcohol-wise, but just flavor-wise.

Certainly an interesting beer worth trying for the Belgian ale aficionado, but I probably won't have this again unless a friend wants to try it too. The flavors are a bit too intense, slightly unbalanced, and not entirely to my liking. For me it's merely a novelty.

mithrascruor, Mar 20, 2007
Photo of haz77
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Pours a bright, clear amber with a huge white head. Masses of streamers keep this in place for quite some time. As the head slowly falls some nice clumps of lacing a left behind.

S – Plasticy phenols, banana, peach, clove, honey.

T – Biting carbonation, which only softens slightly through the length of the drink, leads to light fruitiness. Phenols come through in the middle along with the clove. Bone dry finish that has a background tobacco flavour.

M – Very lively carbonation and a smooth, but crisp, medium body.

D – Very drinkable and little trace of the 10.5% ABV in the taste. Recommended.

haz77, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of KingG
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this before but it was served too cold to enjoy.

Served chilled and poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance is very good. A huge off-white head forms as the beer is poured. As it settles down it leaves a ton of spiderweb-like lacing in the glass with a crater of foam. The beer's color is dirty yellow/straw.

Smell is good. Aromas of Belgian yeast, roasted peanuts and hops. Not a very strong smell but still good.

Taste is above-average. Much like the smell but with a slight alcohol flavor. Hops are apparent yet don't make a strong statement in the taste.

Mouthfeel is above-average. Thankfully not over-carbonated. Nice creamy texture but still could use more body because the beer finishes a little bit thin. Uneven.

Drinkability is good. I could drink a few of these during a session no problem.

Overall: A good 'Belgian IPA' but i'd rather have a Hoblen Chouffe Triple IPA instead which is a better example of the style, imo.

KingG, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Steve188821
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a golden colour with a large fluffy head. the smell is of spiced yeast and fresh fruit. Alcohol is dominant in the taste, esters are also present as well as a hint of grass. The mouthfeel is too aggresive for me, far too gassy making this beer undrinkable for me.

Steve188821, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of hunteraw
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very nice looking beer. Pours with a huge, white, rocky head with very good retention and nice lacing. Color is golden straw, not perfectly clear. Unfortunately this was the best part of the beer.

Smell: Typical Belgian yeast aroma, plus some funk, some spice, and some floral hops character. Not nearly as much hops in the aroma from a beer that says "IPA" on the bottle, and not nearly as much as the last Belgian IPA I had...

Taste: Hugely cidery - in fact, the dominant flavor here is apple cider. Crisp, and slightly acidic. Alcohol is noticeable. Some spice. Bitterness is decent.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Slightly disappointing, unfortunately. I was surprised by the relative lack of hops character and the overwhelming cidery-ness. Alcohol too high and flavor not enjoyable enough to drink much at a time.

hunteraw, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of kelticblood
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really gentle pour didnt yield much head. Spotty lacing that isnt much to write about. The color is a hazy straw yellow. First sip is extreme being over 10 ABV. Damn, it hits you but isn't that bad after a few more. The aroma is very different not just for an IPA but for any beer i've ever smelt. It has a candy-like banana smell like a wheat beer. Hops are tasted on the finish for just a second. It leaves a short-lived bitterness. Very good Belgian IPA, but I cannot see myself drinking more than one of these at any given sitting. This would be good after a nice dinner with a cigar. Nicely carbonated with balanced body. The high ABV makes swallowing difficult. Very different from the IPA's I drink.

kelticblood, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Ortino's Northside...
Appears a semi-transparent golden orange with a fluffy, 2 finger cap of foam. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of candy sugar, vanilla cream, yeasty dough, citrus, tropical fruit, spices, light bubblegum.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. There was a mild herbal quality from the hops that didn't seem overwhelming but rather welcomed.
Mouthfeel is sugary, sweet up front, moderately smooth, along with a dose of pepper and coriander with a bitterness that touches the back of the tongue on the swallow.

weeare138, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a nice white head that dissipated into a small cap that left some nice lacing. The smell is Belgian. Candi sugar, spice, a bit of pepper and corriander. There is quite a bit going on in the taste department. Starts off sweet and spicy, followed by alcohol, and ending with dry hops. The feel is tightly carbonated, moderate body, a bit bitter/dry. A very unique brew, it has some boldness to it but balances in the end. The noticable alcohol feel would limit me to a few.

Gmann, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of theopholis
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Caution- I know very little about Belgian ales!!!

Appearance- Pours a clear, amber color. Looks a lot like apple juice. Has a good, creamy head that has some decent staying power. Leaves a little lace, but that also falls with time. all head chunky sticky white unrelentless... slight haze in the golden yellow color lace is glued to the glass.

Aroma- Initially smells of primarily citrus. As it warms, you get a more complex character, including hints of grass, bread, some honey-suckle, some very light hops, just a tinge of lemon drop.

Taste- Wow....the taste is nothing like the aroma. You're expecting this delicate, mostly sweet, taste without any oooomph. Instead, you get a sweet, malty taste that is also very leathery. Lots of candy-sugar sweetness with a dusty bitter dryness on the back of the toungue. Very earthy and musty. Failry complex.

Mouthfeel-The best word for it is effervescent. This beer dances over your toungue. The high level of carbonation really accentuates the taste of the ale.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. It's a very interesting experiance. I find I'm starting to like Belgian ales a lot!!!

theopholis, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of kernalklink
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow- love the pairing of belgian yeast and IPA style. Sweet spicy yeast character works wonders on the slightly resinous and piney hop profile. The brew works on so many levels- just when you think its a fruity belgian, it comes back with the slick and powerful IPA hops and malt. Alcohol is apparent, but doesnt take away from the flavor factor. Ends sticky fruity with great hops- perfect with a plate of frittes and spicy mayo.

kernalklink, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of Stimack
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

After seeing this brew for years I thought I would give it a try. I am not sure if it was the bottle that I had or what but I think that this was a very tough drink, just did not set right with me for some reason. It was poured to a somewhat hazy colored yellow with a smallish white hard that broke down quite quickly bur did leave a trace of lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma’s seemed to be complex, which really intrigued me, had fruit like lemon, spices, and a sweet property. So with the aroma, I was really thinking that this was going to be one of my great beers but the taste seemed to hold something that was very tough to take in. Upfront the taste was good with a sweet property and some spices piping through but then at the tail end I got this rough taste that I would imagine would be a mix hop and alcohol that was tough to finish. From the way it looks I am in the minority here but I felt that this brew was extremely tough to drink, and overall not very good. Again, it I am in the minority here so take this review with a grain of salt. Will I try it again, yeah will do that because this review is based on a single experience. Will update the review if I have a different perspective.

Stimack, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of unclederby
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had many an occassion to drink this beer when i was in Ohio, with it and Two Hearted being the best things on tap at Surly Girl's. So, i'm finally getting around to reviewing it...

From a stubby bottle the pour yields a hazy, honey-colored ale with a three-finger, sudsy top. Tiny, streaming bubbles of carbonation are present. The smell is super bready/yeasty-sort of like the smell you get when cutting into a fresh loaf of sourdough, with a hint of honeysuckle and malty sweetness. Taste is also yeasty, with some estery qualities and a bit boozy too. Finishes on the dry side with a tinge of bitterness and detectable alcohol. Mouthfeel is grainy with good carbonation and a fuller body. Piraat is always easy to drink and perhaps too easy because the abv will catch up to you and before you know it you're three sheets gone. Make sure you're safe at home if you plan on putting a few of these down.

unclederby, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of kenito799
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz stubby brown bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

Poures a crystal clear glden-amber color with a good 2 inches of white head, recedes slowly leaving a film of bubbles, nice lacing sticks, despite the high ABV.

Lovely sour horse blanket notes in the nose, with floral hoppiness apparent, and some fruity Belgian yeast scents in the mix. Good complex aroma. Lots of carbonation on the tongue.

Taste follows up the promise of the smell...some soft fruity sweetness up front, with solid hoppy bitterness from start to finish. Lingering floral tangy bitterness hangs on for a while. Really quite well done. Improves and balances out with some time warming in the glass--the first swallows while cold were a bit harsh, sour, and too bitter...give it time and the components meld well. A somewhat challenging brew yet continually interesting, you keep wanting to drink more to see what the next sip will taste like. The high ABV integrates well, the strong hops hide the alcohol. Be careful!

kenito799, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of Estarrio
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured clear, orange-gold hue with a full, creamy, white head. The head and ensuing, sticky lacings took on a life of their own with impressive retention and interesting contours.

The aroma consists of a gentle, sweet malt body with white pepper, clove, floral hops, orange rind, funky yeast and candy-like sweetness.

The mouthfeel is simply a piece of heaven on the lips. The cloud-like, creamy softness in this delightful brew is indescribably pleasant. The visible carbonation led me to believe that this may be too carbonated but it is much lighter than I would have imagined.

This is a smooth drinking beer. It is subtle, balanced and yet complex at the same time. Sweet malt, candied sugar, orange esters, funky yeast, clove, pepper, cardamom, spicy alcohol with bitter and tea-like hops. The flavors seem to finish dry but then are absorbed by the creamy palate of this wonderful brew.

The idea of a Belgian IPA is like a dream come true for me. After trying Offshore's divine Hop Goddess and many bottles of Chouffe's IPA tripel, I had to give this one a shot. Each of these gems represent a unique take on a neophyte hybrid style and all should be highly sought after.

Estarrio, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of gmfessen
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a cloudy light yellow color with an immense sparkling white very dense head. Smell is not too intense, but is of Belgian sugars, and slightly of hops. Taste is similar to the nose; taste is initially sweet with Belgian sugars, transitions to a light hoppy taste with a slightly alcoholic, dry finish. I have to say though I would never guess that there is 10.5% present, well covered. Beer is medium-full bodied with tons of tongue stinging carbonation. This beer is very drinkable and with the ABV, watch out! Definitely a must try.

gmfessen, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of ChillMike
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal ckear gold color with a huge bright white champaign like head that recedes quite quickly although does leave a bit of lacing towards the bottom. Smells of sugary malts, a hint of citrus, coriander, and a nice smell of hops that seems to hold all the scents together. Wow lots of flavors going on in this one, starts off with a sugary bubblegum malt flavor that quickly leads way to a surprisingly bitter hop taste that balances out the sweetness quite nicely and finishes with a nice warm buttery malt flavor that lets the alcohol give it's kick. Sips nicely as it's carbonated a bit high but it seems just right for this beer and isn't overly watery or oily. Overall I'm diggin it and glad I picked it up, a good beer to sit back on a weekend night and relax with!

ChillMike, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of SilentSabre
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a fairly large purchase of Belgians I made this morning. $3,99 at Michael's Beer and Wine in Marietta, Ga.
This really surprised me. It poured a moderatley cloudy yellow-orange colour with a white head that faded away in a few seconds leaving spotty lacing stuck to the sides of the glass. Smell was fantastic. It reminded me of oats and sugar. Cheeri-Os, quite honestly. I thought it smelled wonderful! Taste was sugary sweetness, alcohol, the Cheeri-O / toasted oats flavour, and then a mild and quite pleasant bitterness at the very end.
Mouthfeel was very solid and certainly full-bodied. I was pleased, overall, with this one. I could possibly buy this again.

SilentSabre, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of ghscash
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased in the van Steenburge sampler box along with Gulden Draak and four other brews. Apart from the creative label, which strangely juxtaposes a 17th-18th-century Caribbean pirate with a classic Viking longboat, this was a disappointing brew. It pours a nice cloudy amber and has a mildly hoppy flavor. You can also sense the power of the high alcoholic content, which most Belgian Ambers do not posses. Still, it does not overwhelmingly surpass other Belgian Ambers or IPAs in my opinion to warrant the costly price. A good beer nonetheless, but nothing I would buy again unless I was watching a pirate/Viking marathon on the History Channel.

ghscash, Dec 24, 2006
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,966 ratings.