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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,158 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,158
Reviews: 993
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
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: 2,158 | Reviews: 993
Photo of jlb307
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay goblet from the tap.

A: Attractive light golden orange color. Hardly any head present, but what was there left decent lacing on the glass.

S: Fruity aroma, the best I could classify it as would be very faint strawberry-banana. Some spice.

T: Sweet and spicy with only the slightest taste of hops. Finished very clean for a full bodied beer. The alcohol content could hardly be tasted, which considering 10.5% is impressive.

M: A little too "tingly" for my tastes. Could feel it on my gums long after I drank it. Could use a little bit better balance with the carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink beer, which makes that 10.5% pretty dangerous but oh so good. Supposed to be known as popular among cigar lovers which is probably why I like it.

Photo of Patrick999
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this before, but was unable to review for whatever reason. Picked up a stubby as a part of this brewery's mix pack. Odd, quirky brewery - this brewery definitely has some range.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip. Golden body, not quite clear, but not quite murky either. Thick, persistent head.

S - Smells fairly innocuous - a little sweetbread, a little citric hop, a little musty yeast.

T - This Belgian packs a significant flavor punch. Sipped cold, it is very alcoholic - definitely let this one warm a bit. Big cinnamon-sugar graham cracker backbone stands up to the big hops and then some. Hoppy for a Belgian, but not as hoppy as Houblon Chouffe. Not quite dry, not quite sweet. Still a little alcoholic, not surprising at this significant strength, but it doesn't detract - it only serves to remind you to take it easy. And let's face it, a beer named "Piraat" *should* be a bad-ass, shouldn't it?

F - Not as pillow-soft as many other Belgians, this has some bite to it, some astringency.

D - It's never going to be one you'll pound, but it isn't anywhere near as difficult to drink as it probably should be. An excellent choice when you want a big Belgian blonde with a bit of a hop problem. Arrr!

Photo of eewhiz
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured down the center of the glass, and had a fair amount of carbonation. Took several minutes for the froth to die down to take a sip. Color was a golden orange color and cloudy. The website mentioned that it was a "living beer" and that in-bottle fermentation was still ongoing. I poured the whole bottle in my glass.

The taste was slight "alcohol-heavy" but not too much for my taste. The flavor was strong banana and honey with a slight amount of malts. I thought the mouthfeel was very nice, and was overall impressed with this ale. This is my first from this brewer and will definitely have more. Highly recommended.

Photo of spointon
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I'm just not getting around to reviewing this! I poured this one from a stubby 11.2oz brown bottle into my Piraat snifter.

A= This ale poured a very faintly cloudy gold color with slight amber highlights. The head rose a full inch and then settled to a thin creamy cap. Nice lace down the glass.

S= This one had a hugely estery/fruity aroma with sweet malts, medicinal herbs, and yeast funk.

T= Very malty and fruity up front with a real earthy/grassy character in the middle. Hops were present but didn't take center stage. The finish was very dry and alcohol "hot" but still lead to a pleasant aftertaste.

MF= Medium bodied with an effervescent and crisp mouthfeel.

D= This is one of my favorites and one of the beers that got me into Belgian ales. Not exactly sessionable, but I could certainly drink 2 or 3 if I wanted to.

Photo of jdubjacket
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of this at Green's on Buford Highway in Atlanta. Poured into my Boulevard chalice. Poured an orange color with minimal head. Good amount of lacing along the side of the glass. Smell is belgian yeast and orange peel. Tastes slightly citrusy with the Belgian yeast acting as the most prevalent taste. Ends slightly bitter. Good mouthfeel as there is a solid amount of carbonation. Overall, a good beer. Glad I finally got around to trying this one.

Photo of cdizinno
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 330ml bottle.

A: golden orange color with little to no head. Very clear and more head has formed from the effervescence than the pour.

S: The first whiff smelled like a cheap American Ale, however, it changed a bit after sipping. Spicy citrus overtones are predominent.

T&M: Very dry, medium bodied beer that tastes great. Very light carbonation leaves a tangy aftertaste and it is very refreshing.

Notes: I have had Augustijn on tap previously by this brewer, brouwerij Van Steenberge. Loved it and this is as good or better. Bought an interesting 6 pack sampler and look forward to the other 5!!!

Photo of BMoney575
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 2-15-09

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with lots of fizz. The head settles quickly, and leaves thick rings of lacing.

Smell is slightly skunky hops, backed up by sweet and fruity almost roasted quality. Different and enjoyable.

Taste is very dry and bitter, tons of hops with a lack of the typical Belgian flavor. Not as complex as I was expecting, but still good in a subtle way.

Mouthfeel is good, very fizzy but with a thicker, slick feel.

Drinkability is good, the alcohol is there, but well handled.

Overall, a good beer that I'm glad I tried.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, bronze-hued body with a large, last, white head. Gobs of splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Sugary, spicy, delicately grainy malts served up alongside a tray of juicy, fresh-cut fruits and a single shot of clean alcohol.

Taste: Initially, you're greeted with a sugar sweetened, clove-spiced doughy malt character. Next up is a blitz of fruit flavors: peach, pineapple, and banana. Additional taste of bitter orange zest with a medium-low bitterness. Peppery alcohol character remains for the warming, dwindlingly fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high, finely-textured carbonation.

Drinkability: Paired well with "Lazy Confessions" by the Moldy Peaches. Though the alcohol is noticeable it's not glaring or, as a wise man once said, "It drink pretty good, don't it?" However, when the plummeting US economy drives me to a pirate-based livelihood, I'll probably stick to dark rum instead of Piraat. That's just me though!

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours just deliciously - a brilliant golden orange with a thick and solid head of lightly-toasted marshmallow. Body is clear, I left the yeast sediment in situ. Fair amount of very fine carbonation racing from the etchings of the tulip. Lacing is excellent. Looks great.

Spicy vinous characters on the nose, with a hint of pepper and overripe bananas. Light biscuity grain notes as well, but just wafting around, not particularly solid. There is a tickle in the sinuses that indicates the touch of alcohol. Otherwise, just spicy and sweet. Very pleasant.

Initial brandy warmth on the palate, tingling across the tongue. Once the flavours arrive, there's a sharp acetone character that dips to a deeper, fruitier base, with a lingering alcohol and hop bitterness. The 10.5% is definitely there - it's just not hidden by the other big flavours of fruit sweetness and that big hop character; surprising for a Belgian. An interesting beer, and (I'll say it again) a big one.

It's quite smooth, but it's a heady brew, and the alcohol edge is just a little too raw for me.

Photo of choyhosoi
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass. Very nice appearance with a golden color to compliment a fluffy white head that slowly drizzles as you drink.

Aroma isnt too impressive here just a sweet alcohol scent.The taste and mouthfeel is just were it needs to be. This is a good blonde with very little imperfections to it so far. If you come across this brand try one and judge for yourself I think its a good beer.

Photo of Yesac
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear, golden orangy color. Thin puffy white head. Nice even lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet bubblegum yeasty notes with sweetness dominates the aroma.

T - Very sweet over all.. sugary like honey. Mild malt finish.

M - High carbonation, thick bodied nothing special.

D - Different style so you've got to be open to that. Easy drinking over all. ABV was no where to be tasted so that made things smoother.

Photo of Magpie14
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: this beer had a mind of its own. I poured cautiously and yet a massive head evolved with big chunky rocks of foam. It reminded me of whipped marshmallow topping, the kind you can get in a jar. Color was not totally white but rather close. A factory of bubbles amongst soft tangerine and yellow colored body. It gets a 5 just for the head...never seen anything like it

S: seems to pull in traditional Belgian features with spicy (cinnamon and cloves) notes, sweet candy, with sour and tart apples and apple peels

T: first and foremost a solid golden maltiness with sweeter tones maintaining a restless position. Hops have some say, and although rather laid-back, make things a little more rounded. Maybe a lemon and grapefruit or two that kicks up hops. Surprisingly, I found the flavors producing an initial pop of flavor and then lingering off into the distance, rather quickly. Then I am left with sour spiced apple notes. In some regards it leaves me saying "hhmm?" Another note, alcohol is quiet

M: body earns good marks as it is fairly smooth and slides down easy. Carbonation, although it looked strong, was not a huge factor in the feel department. Body is a good hearty mild.

D: man, this one was a bit of a letdown. Seems very well respected amongst the world community and I can see some reasons why. Otherwise, I am not totally sure about this one being a world class brew. No doubt it is good...

Photo of farrago
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a light white head, pools into bubble islands over the surface, attractive lacing clings for a moderate period. Light orange to yellow color, gauzy and unconcentrated hue allows for flickering hues and slight visibility of the bubble beads. Wet hay, clay and dried orange peels set the stage for the nose, the coriander, clove spice is very restrained and classy, golden apple, banana, pear fruit with a light glaze of honey, on the whole the alcohol is masked quite nicely. Full-bodied yet smooth and easygoing, this in turn without sacrificing the kind of stickiness required to ensure flavor intensity. The carbonation is too aggressive through the mouth entry but does fall into line thereafter. The white grapefruit and lemon citrus on the lighter side here, however, sparked by fruit flavors of pineapple, green apple, papaya and apricot. Some banana but plays, err, second banana. The grass, straw, tobacco ash and stone notes come out stronger as it warms. Gives you a pleasing bitter twist at the end for contrast.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow with flashes of orange developing to a frothy white head, leaving faint lacing throughout.

Sweet alcohol presence, citrus fruit, mixed spices and cloves.

Similar to the aroma, most pronounced flavors are sweet citrus fruit, spice and coriander.

The mouthfeel is much thicker than I anticipated, on the fuller bodied side with medium carbonation.

Excellent & refreshing brew, great palate, and high drinkability.

Photo of droomyster
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, almost glowing golden hue with minimal white white. Very subdued aromas suggesting sweet, fruity malts, which indeed feature prominently on the palate but are balanced by light, citrusy hops. Finish is warm, sweet, and yeasty. Medium body is finely carbonated, perfectly weighted to maximize enjoyment of the rich flavors. Drinks beautifully all on its own. Fantastic beer to have on hand during the winter.

Photo of kaseydad
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to try this brew as I have seen it many times but never ventured to try it...until now.

Beautiful apple juice color with a nice foamy head. Nice acarbonation which bubbles throughout the session.

Smells of fruit with a touch of maple?

Major pear taste in this one. Very good. I am also tasting a little banana.

Easy drinking even with the high alcohol content.

Very nice Belgie!

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a Delirium Tremens glass. Pours a crystal clear, bubbly blond with a white, foamy head.

S - The aroma is sugary, white bready, wheaty. Good.

T - Sweet, much like the aroma it is bready, little bit of pineapple and subdued spices.

M - Bubbly, frothy, medium bodied, good carbonation bobbing around the tongue.

Notes - I can't tell you how presently surprised I am at this beer, I would put it right up there with Tremens.

Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a yellow-brown color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a big head and excellent lacing.

S: Had a big smell of fruit (many varieties, it seems) and some yeast.

T: A very tart taste of Belgian yeast, pineapple, citrus and a lot of alcohol. Also fairly well-spiced. It might be a little too tart.

M: High level of carbonation and a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a decently well-made beer, though not my favorite among Belgians. Still, a solid effort.

Photo of elricorico
2.23/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A deep orange gold in colour, quite clear, with just a thin off white head. Seems a bit lifeless to the eye.

Funky aroma that comes of as a mix of liquor, butter and flowers to my nose. Really isn't making me excited to drink.

There is a sugary, honey sweetness to the front of the tongue followed by a dry flowery, liquor touched finish. I'd like to be more descriptive here, but it just isn't to my liking.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and it doesn't seem to have the carbonation I expect from a belgian brew.

Perhaps this was an off bottle? This really disappointed, I had a tough time finishing.

Photo of mntlover
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden yellow with a big fluffy 2 fingered head that falls slowly and laces great.

Aroma is nice fruity pears, granny smith apples lemon notes all on top of nice underlying sweet malts. Hops are grassy, spicy notes mingled in with the grass and hay notes. Nice pleasant aroma.

Taste is sweet malts fruity at first then grassy hops and spice show up, some light sourness for a sec. Finish is peppery spice, grassy hops with hints of alcohol, that belong.

Mouthfeel is good nice medium with carbonation that is nice and smooth.

Drinkability is good enjoyable pleasant not as hoppy as i was hoping for but still very enjoyable. Would recommend and would enjoy again.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed 5/25/2006 (Tap @ Brouwer's Café, Seattle, WA):

Amber/Red color, big head-white, frothy. Aroma of hops, sour apples, slight alcohol. Fruity, flowery, apples, smooth, watery, subdued flavor compared to the aroma. Different than any other beer I've had.

Photo of Raligitano
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was granted a pair of bottles for free at Bossanova, courtesy of Alton's patron saint of bars, Mr. Fast Eddie. The bar has enough class to serve the Piraat in a snifter, and it pours into the glass with a strong, puffy head. The foam fades and I'm left staring at lacing that slips into a golden, cloudy brew that looks like an orange slice.

Es de putamadre! My first whiff reminds me the savory odor coming out of a Mexican taqueria down on Cherokee Steet. The best words I could use: cumin ground beef and corn tortillas. On the other hand, a quick swirl of the glass knocks down some tropical fruits: banana bread, coriander, and pinapple.

Ouch. Pineapple Princess smacks me in the mouth...the sour, fruit pucker taste on this hurts. Too much. Fortunately, the raging spicy Mexican flavor comes fighting back to balance it out. It finishes with a hint of mint. After a few sips it becomes light and fresh. The mouthfeel is bubbly and frothy like a storm-tossed sea.

Hard to imagine a Belgium ale sending me down to the steamy equator, but that's where the pirates play. And I shall drink these like a pirate.

Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle while watching football this past Sunday at Common Ground. Poured into a smallish stemmed tulip glass. Extremely golden color. Very clear. Fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation. Can really smell the hops, and the alcohol too. Didn't taste overly hoppy though. The hop bite was there, but the wonderful doughy flavor kept the flavor moving. A great IPA, but the high alcohol content makes this one to savor, and not drink quickly. An old-school Belgian favorite. Wish I could drink this more often.

Photo of biegaman
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beaming golden sunflower basting in radiant, summer sun rays. Its tone is well tanned enough to prevent full transparency despite a very clean complexion. Tiny spots dally about. Its head is extremely fluffy with a milk white purity. It becomes gummed to the sides of my glass. The lacing perfectly marks the chronology of each sip taken just like the growth rings of a tree. This is a dreamy, absolutely glorious looking beer.

I hope the aroma wasn't meant to blow my socks off because they're still well affixed to my feet and don't appear to be loosing up after letting it warm a little either. Belgian yeasts are synonymous for having citric, fruity, zesty, spicy, complex characteristics - this one smells only like stale bread. It's fairly malodorous actually and with frequently showing signs of its alcohol content becomes a little nauseating after awhile.

I hoped the flavour would steer my thoughts away from the cleaning products that sit under my kitchen sink, but it didn't. That's not to say it's not without some redeeming qualities, a pleasant effervescence and candy-sweet note of bubble gum among them. Problem is the alcohol is just too strong a character, it turns the soft, ripening orchard fruits into moldy byproduct of a rotten fermentation.

Not all is lost to the alcohol. What seems to have survived is a nice peppery clove like spice, botanical notes of flower petals and even a tiny sprinkling of hop bitterness. Luckily, all that is enough to rescind the stale bread character. And although I still feel it shows too much of its 10% there seems to be enough in the mouthfeel to keep my palate and throat from noticing the booze as much as my taste buds do.

This wouldn't be my first, second, or even fourth choice for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I've had the Piraat on too many occasions now to count and by the end always found a way to enjoy it. That affection never comes quick however, and isn't automatic the next time around either. The Van Steenberge lineup can be hit or miss and the same could be said of this offering. Myself personally, I don't care to take another shot but you feel free to.

Photo of deliriumfest
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 10/1/08

Served from a 33cl bottle. Poured a cloudy dark orange color with a medium white head. Had a very malty and yeasty fruit aroma that almost overpowered the nose. Taste was that of bubble gum, honey, spice, yeast, and alcohol. Felt highly carbonated and smooth in the mouth with a finish that was dry and alcoholic on the palate. Nothing like a strong belgian ale that hides it's alcohol well; ensures a good time for all!

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,158 ratings.