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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,133 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,133
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 83
Gots: 197 | 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: 2,133 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rayek
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy gold with swirling carbonation. Soapy and rocky white head has excellent retention and leaves gobs of lace. So far so good.

S: Sourdough bread, grass, lemon and orange aromas interplay nicely.

T: Quite complex and well balanced. Sweetness is a combination of orange, lemon and green grape flavors. Bitterness comes on somewhat strong with a pepper and clove spiciness. A slight sourdough flavor lingers through the experience. Finishes with a nice alcohol warmth going down.

M: Medium heavy body is creamy and slick. Carbonation level is just right.

D: A nice beer I'm glad to have had the opportunity to consume. Doesn't come across as being as strong as it is. Good thing I only had one bottle available.

Photo of billybob
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

rich golden opaque color with about a one finger white head that holds well and some lacing. aroma actually gets better as the beer sits with fruity sweet candy notes and hints of spice. nicely spiced big flavors with cinnamon and pepper and a sweet fruity taste then the warmth hits for a great finish. only had the one 11.2 oz stubby bottle but at 10.5 alcohol its not session beer but i sure wish i had another.

Photo of Fnord
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Cloudy yellow, medium effervescence, large head that forms itself into mountains and valleys on the surface. The foam leaves ridges on the glass as the beer level goes down.

Smell - Belgian yeast and hops, and alcohol. Smells like a tripel.

Taste - A very sharp flavor from the hops. Not hugely bitter, but enough to counter the alcohol. A lot of yeast and spicy esters, some sweet malts. The alcohol comes to the front in the finish, leaving you wanting more.

Unfortunately, as the beer warms up the alcohol flavor comes out less pleasantly.

Mouthfeel - Quite a bit of carbonation. Very tripel-like mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Good, I'm thoroughly enjoying this bottle, though I wouldn't want to drink this all night.

Notes - Wow, what a unique beer! Maybe it's because this is my first Belgian IPA. It relies on elements I'm not normally fond of, namely carbonation and alcohol, and yet I'm enjoying this beer tremendously. That's either great craftsmanship or good hype. Either way, I'll gladly have this one again.

Photo of WalrusJockey
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle, into Duvel tulip. It looks *exactly* like the picture here (http://beeradvocate.com/im/beers/21691.jpg) but it says 10.5%, so I guess it is this one.

Appearance- rich, amber color, with a nearly-white head...but where is the head!? The second glass I poured straight down the middle, into a Duvel tulip, and still nearly no head. And the little bit there was, faded very quickly. Within a minute almost no head was on top of the beer *at all.* The color is nice, but I have seen coffee with more head on it.

Smell- Yeast, hops and malt, in that order. Nice, but very average. As it warms, more smell comes out, mainly the smell of sour grapes. To be honest, it isn't a great smelling beer, though it also isn't offensive.

Taste- oranges and fruit, into a decent amount of hops and malt, together. Swallow is yeasty into a mild, spiced malt and hop aftertaste. As it warms, a hint of alcohol makes its way into the aftertaste, but nothing compared to what might be expected, given the ABV.

Mouthfeel- thick in a juicy way. Well weighted, not too heavy as to bog down the palate, or too light as to be thin.

Drinkability- pretty high. Infact, with this beer clocking in at 10.5%, dangerously high, because I could easily drink a few.

Notes- if this beer had a full, rich head in my tulip, like it does in the tulip on the label, it would probably be an A- instead of a B-. The appearance in the glass, combined with the smell, are sending the exact wrong message. Ignoring them, though, the beer is very enjoyable.

Photo of kevd193213
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle in a Belgian sample pack I received for Christmas. Golden, slightly cloudy pour into a trappist glass. Large white fizzy, frothy head. Aroma of bananas, yeast and some spices. Nice dry taste of slight hops with Belgian yeast and a nice full mouthfeel. Lasting somewhat sharp finish.

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

11.2 oz bottle

Pours a cloudy/hazy yellow color with a large white head, some sticking. Nose of bitter hops, coriander, all spice and thick bready yeast. Lots of the same characteristics going on in its flavor, sweet and sturdy pale malts support the body, lots of bitter dry hops and classic Belgian yeast and fruity, spicy esters. Medium/full body, bright with carbonation. Easy enough to drink but i'd be satisfied with just one or 2.

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

Picked up a single in Steamboat CO from a gas station, not sure on the price, but right around $10?

A: Cloudy orange gold color, rocky off white head about an inch thick, giant chunks of lacing, great head retention.

S: Strong yeast smells, a few off scents, I can really smell a latex based paint? signature spicy, bubblegum, banana, spicy hops, paint smell fades after a few minutes, must have just been the initial pour, really strong on the Belgian yest spectrum.

T: Initial honey sweetness, followed by a big hit of spiciness, cloves, and a pretty strong hop bitterness, somewhat earthy, slight lemon flavor too, a few hidden alcohol notes in there as well. Big time malt sweetness though, and spicy yeasty characteristics dominate this beer. Interesting apple characteristic, almost a red delicious to be exact. Very very tasty.

M: Thick, with a fair carbonation bite, dry finish, somewhat sticky around the lips.

D: This one is sneaky, very easy drinking, one that goes down well all night, without any distinct alcohol taste. Excellent high alcohol beer as far as drinkability goes.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the tap.

Pours a deep hazy golden-orange, like a dark honey.

Smells a tad citrusy, with orange peel and maybe coriander as the predominant aromas, but it DOESN'T smell like a white beer.

Taste is citrusy too, but more lemony than orange. There's a hint of hops in there. The alcohol is present in both the smell and the taste. It warms on the way down.

The mouthfeel is tingly from the carbonation. It accompanies the taste well.

Overall, a great beer. Not nearly as hoppy as your traditional pale ales and as a Belgian it stands up well with comparable beers. Its hard to find a bad beer from the Van Steenberge lineup.

Photo of MAB
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a nice change from the regular Belgian ales. This one looks lovely- copper/ orange with a thin white head.
It smells really nice- there is a hop presence but not a really bitter nose.
It tastes very smooth. Most Belgians, in my opinion, are rather sharp. My wife commented, and I could see where she was coming from, that this one was "soapy". That has more to do with the mouthfeel, but it was also a product of the minerals in the water, I think.

Very unique, and very drinkable.

Photo of scootny
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle. A hazy amber with a three finger head in my Corsendonk glass. Retention is excellent and scads of lace cling to the glass. Rocky islands float on top as the carbonation activity keeps things going.

Smell is Belgian funk and malted grains. A gentle amount of floral hops wafts in from time to time. More prominent is the yeast based esters and bread notes.

Taste is just short of perfect, maybe it is and I am just being a hardass. I love this stuff. Triple like malt backbone with honey, light tropical fruit and powdery yeast. Belgian candy sugar and light caramel. Fusel alcohol hides in the pronounced hop presence. Slightly piney and pleasingly bitter they bring the finish in and lead to a slightly toasted multigrain bread on the palate. Light alcohol dries the mouth.

Mouthfeel is light medium and lightly bubbly. Just a touch more quenching than a typical DIPA as the overall body is like a tripel.

Way too easy to drink too many of these. While you wont go through a 750 ml bottle by yourself on purpose, you could by accident.

A superb beer and a reason to buy the Belgian sampler sixpack that I got this one from. The beautifully crafted hop component mandates freshness to enjoy this beer at it's fullest.

Photo of mangledorf
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Among the easier Belgian IPA to track down in the US, this is a delightful treat on tap. Smells and tastes of a perfect proportion of hops and spices, notably cloves. The alcohol content is present in the taste but beneficial and certainly not overwhelming. And in spite of such a strong flavor and high ABV this beer is easy to drink and good choice for an introductory beer, where others might be too intense.

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

I poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. It pours a pale yellow with an atractive white head. The aroma is very spicy. The spicy triple taste is obvious, via the belgian yeast. I really do not notice the hoppy characteristics, it taste like a standard triple to me. The beer is medium bodied and smooth. Piraat is deceptively drinkable given its high ABV. Not my favorite style, I would rather have an IPA or a triple. That being said not a bad beer, just not my fave.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a big billowing head. Apple peel, yeast, clove aromas with some orange, lemon and spicy hops. Carbonated and light on the palate. The flavors are bready malt, orange and citrus. The beer has a sourish palate presence. A yeasty dry finish. This is an OK beer, but others in the genre are better.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a pillow like white foamy head. The beer was a very bright gold color with excellent clarity. There were tiny bubbles of carbonation making their way to the top... The head showed some decent retention and there was an insane amount of lacing.

The aroma was very strong and fruity. Some apples, green grapes, peaches.

Flavor was initially more bitter than I had expected. After the initial punch of bitterness the fruit flavors opened up quite nicely. Also some spices come to play at this point. You get a sense of the Belgian yeast... I get a sense of honey and white pepper. A touch of mint perhaps. Very complex. There is a touch of the alcohol hiding behind the hop finish. It works though. The more you think about it the more you detect the malt tones and the nice cracker flavors. Very light.

The mouth feel is light and bright. Tight sparkle due to the pinpoint carbonation.

Very drinkable.

Photo of beeristhefuture
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is astonishing. The mildly honey-like texture, mixed with a spicy, flowery taste and a glowing golden color should please anyone. The high weight is very well blended, too, as one can taste the alcohol but it's just an aspect of the many flavors washing through the nose and over the tongue. The beer is a little too gassy, but this distinction gives me something to think about, which is great.

Photo of 1fastz28
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

looks great, has a ruby red color to it with a big foamy head.

smell is nice, a yeasty, effervescence probably helps with it as well

taste is great, a strong ale with a a nice malty flavor

mouthfeel is great, the carbonation is nice

good beer, what else can i say

Photo of david131
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A nice, slightly hazy gold color with a beautiful white head that leaves great lacing.

S- Very aromatic with lots of candy smell, some plastic smelling hops (not in a bad way...), and some alcohol. Kind of reminds me of a 120 Minute IPA.

T- Pretty sweet and candy like. The alcohol definitely makes its presence known on the tail end with a nice warming effect. Tastes different than the nose would lead you to believe, except for the aftertaste that is. I expected much more of a burn based upon the smell. Pretty unique.

M- A good amount of carbonation, but the alcohol makes this is a tad hot and drying on the tail end.

D- A very unique and interesting beer. I have passed this by on numerous occasions, but this is definitely worth a try. For 10.5% ABV, this doesn't really drink like it.

Photo of meday
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Smuttynose Big Beer Series Tulip Chalice

What an amazing beer beer.
Opened with a bit of explosion like some of my overprimed homebrews, but poured a beautiful white head and pale straw color into the glass. The head remained for a minute or two and settled beautifully carbonated.

The only smell I could get was a sweet yeast with a hint of orange.

The first taste was a bit cidery, but it could have been my dry mouth. Later tastes were beautifully balanced, but with slightly sweet taste. I notice a hint of orange.

The mouthfeel is what floors me. I don't notice the taste or bite of alcohol whatsoever. It finishes completely clean, and leaves the mouth warm and wanting for more.

Very balanced and drinkable. I could drink these until the cows come home.

I would pair this with soft cheeses, especially a brie or camembert. Bread, cheese, grapes, and crackers would pair wonderfully.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, sunset orange with a huge 3 finger soft, billowy bone white head that settled to a whispy layering leaving a spotchy lacing. The sides of the head were composed of macro-bubbles and was sudsy in appearance.

S: light with a lemony tartness, and bananas. Not much else detected and was pretty subdued and average especially per style.

T: The initial flavor had a tart, sour funkiness, was yeasty with bananas, light bread and sour fruit (pineapple, pears) standing out the most. Sour orange and citrus flavor that was pretty basic and textbook and lacked complexity or excitement.

M: spritzy from the carbonation, sour, yeasty and light in body.

D: Overall drinkability was only slightly better then average at best. Much better examples per style as this one comes off pretty bland and ordinary. This was my third time sampling and havent grown to like it yet.

Photo of PBBC
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden/orange with a huge lacy head

Spicy, sour nose, hops were not incredibly dominant next to the ester profile.

Taste is of tropical fruit... warming spiciness- almost gingery? Hop bitterness is there... but not overwhelming. Nice rich honey tones, but also light, tart, peppery... all finishing nicely with a high carbonation level.

Would buy this again... interesting, very complex.

Photo of magictrokini
2.22/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Awful. Pours clear gold with a fizzy white head. Orange peel, spice, and malt in the aroma. Taste was a metallic straw flavor with some malt and spice. A dirt-like finish. Judging by the other ratings, I may have got a bad one. But the one I got does not make me want to find out for sure.

Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This concludes my visit to the 'living beers' of Van Steenberge. An interesting journey I must say, yet I finish with the most familiar, and the most potent, of the brews found in the sampler pack.

The Piraat weighs in at a hefty 10.5%, this is really two beers in one. What's next? The Belgian Octuple? Pours a hazy golden orange in color with a thin head into a tulip glass . I inadvertantly let some yeast slip through and it now is settling slowly into the abyss.

Smell is rather compelling. Nice and fruity, yet rich and malty. Otherwise typical of Belgian esters of sorts. Taste is slightly sweet yet appropriate for the style and offers some spicy notes on the close. A bit like barleywine on the tongue as the carbonation was lower than implied by many other reviews.

Bottom line: A nice Belgian Ale worth trying...

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A stubbly little bottle with a goofy 1950's cartoon pirate graphic on the lable.

I didnt have high expectations, sure. But this one really went well above those.

A bright golden yellow with a pillowy white head.

Aroma is assertive, with big belgian yeast, some wit/hefe spicing, and a bit of funk. A real nice sniffer. Some alcohol warmnig in there too.

The 10.5% is hidden very well. I could swear it was in the 7-8 range. Some good strong peppery spice and then I am awash in the belgian yeast and funk. It's a real great complex brew. As it warms, it jsut brings out more nuances. Got some pear, honey, and breadiness. Mouthfeel is nice and full, deceptive for the color.

If I had any complaints, it is that this is a bit aggresive, but then again...so are pirates...I guess?

Photo of Dirty1
4.92/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had this beer in awile and was happy to find it. I had forgotten how good this beer was and enjoyed it with a smile. I poured this from a 750ml into a Piraat tulip glass.

A- Nice deep golden color with a slighty red tinge. Slightly cloudy with a nice thick white head that came to the top of the glass. Head fell back rather quickly and had nice lacing around the glass.

S- Pleasently strong sweet smell with hints of candy and yeast also slight hints of bananas and honey.

T- A very full flavored beer with hints of candy sugar and yeast. Very balanced dispite the high % with some mild alcohol taste. Nice mild hoppyness on the back end despite the IPA name. It tends to taste a lot more complex as it warms slightly with hints of clove, raisons, bananas, citrus, and a more pronunced bitterness.

M- Nice rich mouthfeel! It has a nice amount of carbanation that gives it a nice head. Very similar to most triple style ales.

D- This is a very drinkable beer to me. It warms you very nicely! High % will sneak up on you if not carefull! Cheers!

Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle. Served in an oversized wine glass, the Piraat pours a golden/orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. The aroma is sweet and fruity, it smells like pears, apples, candy sugar, Belgian yeast, honey, peppery spice and cloves. Taste is the same as the aroma (but stronger), it's fruity, sweet and spicy. It's strong and intense tasting. Mouthfeel is medium, with good lively carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy to drink and the 10.5% ABV isn't noticable at all in the taste, but you can feel it after a while. Overall I think this is a pretty good beer, I'd definitely buy this again and recommend it to others.

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,133 ratings.