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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,996 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,996
Reviews: 964
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 79
Gots: 135 | 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: 1,996 | Reviews: 964 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dwilkins
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This darker than most Belgian blondes and certainly less hazy. The head is large, but not huge. Once it subsides it seems to replenish and remains throughout the glass. Nice lace too.

S - Again not quite as one-sided as most blondes. A good mix of dried (apircotty) aroma along with something like fresh citrus, but I'm not sure what.

T - Much further back on the tongue than I'm used to with this style - no sour regions were tickled, almost all in the bitter region, but not a hoppy taste (?) It was a godd thing.

M - Medium bodied, not a "disolve into foam" feeling - very nice.

D - Extraordinary. I like it a whole lot. However, it seems a little darker and more bitter than the Belgian blonde style should be.
The carbonation is incredible - not overdone, persistent and yet not overpowering.

dwilkins, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of 2wheeledpirate
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a Hazy orange with not much head. Nose is very subtle, but still present. No big surprise on taste, it's a very typical belgian. Light carbonation seems appropriate. The biggest thing I noticed about this beer is the alcohol. It is very easy to find in the flavor of each drink and at 10.5% it finds you quickly too. Personally I wish the alcohol was a little more "hidden" in theother flavors of the beer. Still an excellent choice when looking for something to relax with and sip on.

2wheeledpirate, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The head on this thing is monstrous! The creamy beige foam is currently at five fingers plus with only a few ounces in the snifter. This has been in my beer fridge for over a month, I didn't knock it around before I poured, and I poured relatively gently! The beast takes it's sweet time shrinking to a luscious two fingers, and forms a mashed potato mesa in the middle of the glass ("This means something.") Lots of dry white lace sticks to the glass, and the brew beneath the beast is a cloudy tangerine orange hue. I can see chunky sea monkeys of lace floating around in there too.

S - Creamy yeast is the first thing I smell, with loads of sour-cream freshness and an abundance of fresh summer fruits. Mango, melon, kiwi, tangerine, apricots (both fresh and dried), and some banana. The alcohol is remarkably well hidden, but I can feel it in my nose if I stick my nose in the glass and snort like a coke-head. I don't really catch any major hop notes like I though I would...it's smells more like Orval or a Westmalle tripel than an IPA or even an American pale ale.

T - Sweet, luscious and fresh with loads of fruit (just like the nose), and chock-full of sweet bready bakery malt flavors. Honeydew melon, and dried apricots drizzled in honey. I'm reminded of honeycomb cereal also....maybe even with honey on top. The hops here are a little more prevalent than in the nose, but they aren't any more powerful than any other pale Belgian style. This is actually a malt-focused beer IMO. In fact, I've had hoppier tripels...it still tastes excellent, but I was expecting something unique from a "Belgian IPA."

M - Honey-thick and viscous in the mouth with lively champagne carbonation that helps keep the full oily body from being too heavy. Sugar coats the palate after swallowing, and the nice alcohol astringency and herbal bitterness reminds me of gin.

D - This is IMO nothing other than a good BSPA. Why is it listed as a Belgian IPA and called an "Amber Triple IPA" under the title? This is a damn fine beer that reminds me of the interesting Atomium that I had a few weeks ago in that it's main flavor component seems to be honey and sweet summer fruits. Although it doesn't stand out in any way, it's a really nice and boozy (but still fresh and breezy) Belgian.

pmcadamis, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of bitterthebetter
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden brown in color, fruity (citrus and floral) and yeasty on the nose, with corresponding flavors, subtle hops on the finish. Hops develops over time with reminants of typical Belgian yeast. Not a trace of the alcohol, well brewed. Great Belgian for beginners to try, and beer drinkers will enjoy its nuances and lasting flavor

bitterthebetter, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of biking4beer
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into my Yeti Goblet

This beer pours a nice hazy golden color with a big froth head that leaves nice lacing. It has a nice glow to it.

The first thing I smell is a solid nose of Belgian yeast followed up by a sweet spicyness. Grassy and a little bit of corriander. A solid alcohol smell.

Taste is pretty boozy. Belgian yeast, honey, candy.

Moderate body with a high level of carbonation that works for this style.

It's a decent beer. It's definitely worth a try, but it's just a bit too boozy and it doesn't really fit well with the other flavors. I'm glad I had a friend to share this bottle with.

biking4beer, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of Thanby
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive (about four finger), creamy white head that actually made it difficult to pour. Clear, slightly amber honey with lots of carbonation. Head leaves a soapy lacing around the glass.

Smells distinctly of lemon, honey and butter, with a hint of grains in the background. A simple combination that produces a wonderfully enticing scent.

Honey, butter, hops, finishes off with a slightly sour citrus and hops. Burns a little from the huge ABV, but isn't estery at all. There are also overtones of smooth Belgian yeast that permeate the whole experience.

Very warming, and surprisingly smooth for being so hoppy and having such a high ABV. You only notice after you swallow. Very light, not syrupy at all. Simply a pleasure to drink. I've (previously) gone through an entire 750 of this in one night and it made me feel really warm and cozy. Overall a great experience.

I personally prefer to drink it just below room temp, but honestly it tastes good no matter what.

If you see a bottle of this around somewhere it's a must-try, at least once. They also make a nifty tulip glass for it that has the Piraat logo screened on the side.

Thanby, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of BucBasil
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass from the bottle. Pure white head was 2 fingers thick after a relatively hard pour. Brew is a clear dark gold to orange color. Soapy lacing is not very strong.

Smell: Citrus with a touch of honey. Sweet, fresh light fruits are evident as well. Has a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Citric as first glance, but not sweet citrus. Sourish, but in a good way, like grapefruit. Nice creamy honey in the middle along with a bit of an alcohol burn. Finishes dry with a yeasty, hoppy character and a clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Champagne mouthfeel and heavy carbonation dies out after a few seconds, leaving a light and creamy pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: Even at 10.5% I’ve downed 4 of these in a sitting before during a Bucs game. Not the best decision in the world, and I was feeling it at the end, but boy did it make losing the game easier to bear.

BucBasil, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Eulogy in Philly.

I don't know about the IPA part, but it was still a good strong pale Belgian. There was a rich, bread dough and fruit malt flavor, similar to a paler barleywine or DIPA. he malt was followed up by some yeasty sweetness and funky yet tropical? hops. It's tasty and different - gotta love that.

tempest, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of dogger6253
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick, white head. Carbonation bubbles. Orange-golden color, hazy. Decent lacing left behind.

Cloves and banana jump out of the aroma coupled with hops, lemon and oak. There is also an overall wheaty or bready scent.

I wasn't surprised to find banana and clove in the taste, I didn't really expect to find grapes, dates and apricots though, that was a pleasant surprise. A little bit of alcohol comes in, wheat, a little hops and spice. The taste is great.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth and highly drinkable. Very tasty too, such a good beer.

dogger6253, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of DIPAbrewer
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light golden ale poured out of a champagne style bottle. It has a nice thick head which stays with the ale till the end.

S: The aroma was surprisingly unhoppy but still pleasant. Belgian yeast aromas dominate the light malt notes.

T: Very dry and a little spicy. Quite different than the bittersweet flavor of an average American IPA. Well balanced light malt notes and Belgian yeast flavors make this a beer that you need to try at least once.

M: Quite boozy mouth feel but not unpleasant.

D: Considering the strength its very drinkable.

Overall I recommend the beer and would try it again, maybe after some cellaring. My only criticism was that I would liked more hops, which is true of almost every beer that crosses my lips.

DIPAbrewer, Aug 27, 2007
Photo of ericj551
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm really intrigued by this style, I think its a great match. Piraat pours a slightly hazy light gold with a beautiful creamy, frothy head that lingers down the glass. The aroma is dry slightly funky yeast, I could mistake this for a hoppy saison. There is a nice subtley fragrant piney aroma like chinook hops but soft, not rough at all. The flavor is mostly like a triple. It's sweet upfront with a slightly chalky dry yeast flavor. It is slightly bitter in the aftertaste with some hop flavor, but toned done compared to the aroma. The beer is very smooth, and the alcohol is barely apparent, even after it warms. I will have to look into more beers of this style, because although this one is delicious, it's fairly expensive.

ericj551, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of rugbyfan13
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a brand new (bought the same day of the beer) Piraat snifter.

Appearance: Poured a thick pillowy, white as snow head that never goes away. Color is gold as gold can be. Heavy lacing.

Smell: Subdued, light banana, some malt, very nice.

Taste: Wonderful. Banana malty (I'm trying to described spliced banana and malt, meaning the taste was one flavor not two), clove, spice, some alcohol at the end. Some btreadiness in there too. Definitely some Belgian candy sugar up front with some slight hints of apple as the beer finishes. A very lingering flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy, heavy, good.

Drinkability: I loved drinking this. One would not be able to drink too many because of the alcohol and because its a slight challenge to finish it. Not, Storm King challenging, but a challenge never the less.

Will most assuredly be drinking this beer more in the future.

rugbyfan13, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Eulogy. Served in a Piraat tulip.

Pours a golden amber color with a solid off-white head that leaves some nice lacing behind.

The aroma starts off sweet before turning to a spicy, peppery smell. There is a hint of the yeast in the background, also. The aroma piqued my interest right from the start. I wasn't sure what to expect.

The flavor is multi faceted with some banana, apple, honey, pepper, clove, pears, and yeast all playing well together. It's a spicy brew to say the least.

The mouthfeel is prickly hot and yet airy. Active carbonation keeps it feeling crisp and light. The abv and the somewhat hot feel to it kept me from having another on this day. I would have it again, but probably only one at a time.

Imstillthegman, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of bort11
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit, I got this one purely on the name and the label art. ARRGH!

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Very little head and only a thin white ring around the edge. Color is a hazy orange-y peach. Just a bit of carbonation activity.
Smell is pretty sweet, candy sugars and a fruity apricot aroma. Taste is still on the sweet side but the Belgian yeast balances it out and keeps it from being too sweet. That balance also does a good job of masking an alcohol flavor. There are additional husky grain flavors in the background.
Mouthfeel is thin and a bit fizzy. I would have given a higher drinkability, but I woke up the next day with a killer headache. I walked the plank on this one.

bort11, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours golden amber with a thin, slowly disappearing head.

The smell is grassy/grainy with candy sweetness. Slight herbal/peppery notes follow through.

The taste is grassy/grainy with balancing candy sweetness. Some citric fruitiness in the back. Plenty of warming alcohol gives it a touch of pepper (and a kick). Spiced sweet, long finish. Well-balanced.

The body is light to medium with lingering spiciness, though smooth.

A nice, well-balanced, spicy sweet, tasty Belgian IPA here. Quite drinkable for abv level, though glad I shared it with someone.

jwc215, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of joe1510
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz Stubby
Sam's Downers Grove

Piraat pours a hazed amber (partially from me letting some yeast escape). Perfectly straight streams of carbonation rise to the two finger loose bubbly head. The carbonation just keeps the head strong. Leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma begins with a big dose of sugary malt. A sprinkling of white pepper and clove show up in the middle. I believe the clove is from the yeast used. I seem to pick up mango every now and then as well. Solid fumes of alcohol add a welcomed spiciness.

Toasted sugary malts lay the background for this big brew. Pear, some tropical fruits and the sugary sweetness come around mid palate. Mildly grassy hop presence on the swallow that seems to balance things out. This beer really opens up as it warms. The hops shine through and the tropical flavors and aromas intensify.

Good mouthfeel. As soon as this beer hits the tongue it becomes completely airy. Vivid carbonation keeps the tongue feeling alive.

The drinkability is good for a 10%+ brew but one is enough for me. Good flavor but I can see the sweetness becoming cloying after more than one glass.

A unique beer that I will probably pick up again. Interesting flavors mix with big alcohol that adds more interesting flavors. Another quality Belgian brew.

joe1510, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Lovely clouded orange colour with a huge fluffy head that seems to be it's own entity. Very nice looking, the only improvement woudl be better lacing. other than that beautiful.

S-Very complex aroma, I get anise on first whiff then a bananas foster type burnt sugar alcohol banana smell. A faint floral hop bitterness lingers in the background. Wow is all i can say.

T-Bananas and cloves and licorice oh my!. This is a unique treat with hints of pepper and a slow warming sensation from the alcohol but not harsh at all. the yeast plays a wonderful role in amping everything up from the bread to the hops and the spices it creates. You get those wonderful spices but in the end there is an unerlying bitterness from the hops. i am not sure when the hops were added to this brew but it is strong in the bittering variety and not so much in the aroma. Complex and nothing like I have had before.

M-Fluffy, highly carbonated with the tingling bubbles.

D-now this is one dangerous brew that I wish I got in a larger size than this stubby. This is basically a tripel with a huge dose of bittering hops. The almost honey like sweetness plays so well off of the bitter hop background and then at the end you get this dose of spice, magnificent. I will go out of my way for this.

sleazo, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very thick head that takes a long time to settle to a thin skim. Color is peachy gold with a slight haze, and plenty of bubbles feeding that greedy head. Lots of styrofoamy lace as the head drops.

This aroma brings funk the is wrapped around lively fruits and peppery spices. A big, sweet, musty smell, I can't help but award it the highest marks.

Flavor is a mixture of apple, black pepper, banana, must, honey and what has to be one of the finest yeast strains in the world. Finish is a sour/sweet/spice character that leaves you dying for the next sip. Alcohol is very well-hidden. A mild, pleasant heat lurks in the background, but for 10.5% you can't beat it.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Airy yet substantial, bouncy, creamy, just bubbly enough but not too demanding.

A quintessential example of a fine Belgian ales. Sometimes Piraat tastes more funky to me, other bottles some fruitier. But it's always wonderful. Van Steenberge forever has my highest respect for creating two world-class beers: this and the phenomenal Gulden Draak.

Metalmonk, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day. Such an excelletn triple/IPA

The beer pours an impressive, solid gold color with pretty good lacing and head retention. There isn't a huge amount of foam, but what there is, lasts and lasts. The beer has a sweet honey aroma on the nose, but with some underlying spice and white pepper. Very intriguing. The beer is just excellent on the palate; with flavors of honey, butter and white pepper. The beer is not the least bit heavy and has a crispness I really appreciate it. It finishes just a bit dry/bitter from the hops, and is quite refreshing. Although you know the abv. is up there, this beer is surprising easy to drink. Really, one would never guess the abv. is 10.5%. Just an altogether excellent beer.

John_M, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of rodrot
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a corked 750 ml bottle, this beer poured a medium gold color with a massive head that threatened to spill all over the floor. This is one lively brew. Aroma was very fruity and floral with some spicy hops in the nose. Taste was incredibly sweet and syrupy with some notes of citrus and peppery spices to go along with it. Alcohol was quite evident up front and in the finish, but I didn't mind too much after half the bottle was gone. Mouthfeel was medium to full in the palate. The very high level of sweetness paired with the strong alcoholic notes hurt the drinkability for me. Overall, this is a pretty good Belgian IPA that would benefit from some time in the cellar.

rodrot, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- clear champagne colored body with bubbles rising to the top. Thin white ehad that quickly fades and some lacing remains in the glass.

S- Complex smell with an interesting mix of hops, wheat, citrus, sugar, and spices.

T- Citrus and spices up front with a light hop overtone and decent wheat backbone. Followed by a mix of mild hops and a sweet sugary taste. Finish is bittersweet with a mix of sweet bread and refreshing hops. The alcohol is easily detectible but not cloying. Taste is pleasantly complex and unexpected.

M- Smooth and creamy with yeasty body and medium carbonation.

D- This is very drinkable and quite complex.

PittBeerGirl, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of Nesued
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured from a 11.2 fl oz bottle. Poured with a huge white fluffy head. I had to slow pour this one, otherwise I would have been cleaning up the mess for a while. Ample lacing formed after the pour and remained. The head resolved into a half-finger head that was fed by an ample carbonation. Clear golden in coloring.

Smell - The aroma is a bit alcoholic with some fruity overtones. The overall presentation is one of a grassy, hoppy nose.

Taste - Tangy bite at the onset the fades into a honey/sweet taste on the tongue. There is a hoppy finish, but not as much as I would have expected from this IPA. Others have said a peppery presence as well. I can see that but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - The travels of the beer around my mouth was very much assisted by the lively carbonation. There is a good bit of density to this beer and one that assists in making it something to be remembered.

Drinkability - I have heard a lot about this beer and tried to have that not effect my review. I can see the attraction for this offering and it does represent the Belgian IPA style very well. However, my leanings are toward the Chouffe or Ranke offerings.

Nesued, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of Hibernator
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piraat Ale
11.2 oz brown bottle
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a hazy golden yellow. A massive fluffy head forms instantaneously. Incredible trails of sticky lacings cling to the glass.

Interesting aroma with wiffs of spice, tropical fruit and Belgian funk.

Each sip is quite complex with hints of black pepper, pineapple and distinctive Belgian yeast flair.


Hibernator, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a big, off-white, foamy head of two fingers in depth, and it has very good retention, as well as very good lacing. Body is an orange tinted gold.

Smell - cloves, some horseblanket, biscuity malt, some spicy hops, and a slight hint of spicy alcohol.

Taste - exactly as promised by the nose - cloves, horseblanket, some spicy hops, and some spicy, but mostly well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, slightly semi-dry.

Drinkability - high abv holds down sessionability, but even if it did not, I find this to be only a decent beer, not one that I would seek out often.

ultralarry2006, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Piraat tulip. Pours a rich golden orange with a white, super frothy rocky head that sits there for a long time. The aroma is of Belgian yeast, sugar, and fruit. That taste mimics it, not a lot of hops detected but some earthiness, mostly sweetwess in the form of sugar and fruit. Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied. A very nice strong Belgian pale ale.

MiScusi, Jun 17, 2007
Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,996 ratings.