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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,950 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,950
Reviews: 962
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 77
Gots: 119 | 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: 1,950 | Reviews: 962 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kernalklink
4.6/5  rDev +13%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of zuggy9
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

The is a reasonably good Belgian ale. It pours a bit mily bronze with a nice fluffy head that thins to some nice lacing and a crown. Good carbonation too. The smell is sweet and betrays to potent 10.5% ABV. The taste is sweet, with a nice balacne of hops and malts, with some definite fruit esters. A well balanced, and it bites on the swallow. The mouthfell is clean and crips, but one is usually my limit.

zuggy9, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of eberkman
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

From the van Steenburge pack...

Pours a hazy, translucent copper gold into a chalice. Produces a billowing, bubbly white head that dissipates into a nice thin crown in just a few minutes. Lots of carbonation bubbles racing to the surface.

Smell is sweet caramel malts with an alcohoic bite.

Taste is also sweet caramel maltiness balanced out by a soft hoppy bitterness at the start and the finish. Other flavors detected: molasses, candied pears, tart green grapes and tart berries. Good mix of sweet, sour and bitterness. Serious alcoholic warming on the way down, like its butt-kicking cousin, Gulden Draak.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a real carbonated crispness. Very nice. Drinkability is what you woudl expect from something 10.5% ABV -- one will make you relaxed and happy, two will probably get you pretty loopy. You're not exactly going to be pounding these, but I certainly wanted another one after I finished this one.

The IPA may be a misnomer in terms of characterization (the Houblon Chouffe strikes me as closer to an IPA, but even that's a stretch). But it is damn enjoyable.

Thank you, Flanders.

eberkman, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Served in a Piraat snifter style glass at Paters Vaetje in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, dark golden, with a white head that fades to a thin film, leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Caramel and toffee maltiness, light fruitiness, a bit vinuous with evident alcohol.

Taste: Sweet upfront, with berry fruitiness. The finish is peppery with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, and very strong alcoholic warming.

Drinkability: The alcohol is pretty strong in this one.

EPICAC, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of funkengruven
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

The first of the 6 from the Belgian beer pack available at the LCBO this season. And likely this is the first of this style of beer I've had, so needless to say I'm a little intrigued.

This poured a slightly cloudy orange with a beautiful puffy head that stayed on the glass for a very long time. Smell is interesting, malts reminiscent of Abbey Ales permeating the nose with some alcohol as well. This however is a nice flavorful ale with a bold malt presence and some hops in there as well. Surprisingly smooth, and although the alcohol presence in this one is definitely obvious, it's not as overbearing as it could be, making this one quite drinkable actually.

I like this beer, I'm looking forward to trying the other five in this package.

funkengruven, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of dherling
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Poured out a light golden color, opaque, with a strong, fluffy off white head. The nose is full of citrus, then malt, followed by ginger and honey. The taste offers lemon zest, malt, fruity esters, sharp bitterness and finally alcohol. The mouthfeel is creamy, with decent carbonation. The alcohol is a bit much if you're planning on making a night out of one beer.

dherling, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of demcorhip
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Thanks to trevorwideman for this big treat.

Finally got the 33cl bottle into my 60cl tulip. Needless to say theres a huge solid white capped head here. As impressive as a Duvel in this respect (although it may not have quite Duvel's staying power). A pale amber coloured ale with very vigouros carbonation, and thick lacings that ring the glass.

A hint of clove with a good dash of banana. Lots of floral and fruity tones, and a touch of earthy, peppery spiciness. Only hints of bready malts and caramel malts. Also a sweet, sugary aroma.

Dominated by floral hops, fruity and spicy yeast (sweet banana with a dash of clove), and a hint of lemon. Slight corniness and faint hints of bready and caramel malts.

A big bodied spritzy ale. Lacking malt backbone with enough substance to balance the sugary sweetness and floral, fruity nature of this brew.

Fairly drinkable, especially considering the huge alcohol content. Alcohol is well concealed, and mostly reveals itself as a slight warming sensation. Could be sessionable, but i suspect the hangover after a night of Piraats would be nasty. While im glad to have tried it that was probably enough for me

demcorhip, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of VelvetMonkey
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured from a bottle into goblet-shaped glass.

A-- Yellowish and slightly copper with a giganitc foamy head that sticks around forever.

S-- Smells slightly malty; orange an lemmon fruity citrus and ginger spiciness.

T-- Again, citrusy, slightly sweet with a mildly bitter finish. Extremely tasty--it was a delicious compliment to spicy BBQ ribs.

M-- A little carbonation sizzle, which I like.

D-- Too good for a beer with this ABV. Sweet.

VelvetMonkey, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%

Bottle: Poured a deep yellow color ale with a huge poured white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of alcohol is a bit too intense for my liking with some good malt backbone and lots of sugar. Taste is very sweet with a subtle burning sensation from the alcohol. Body is slightly below average with too much filtration and alcohol is too intense. Yeast is quite discreet and sweet too present. This one is definitely not to my liking.

Phyl21ca, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of Byeast
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Appearance: deep , slightly hazy golden/amber , with a massive foamy/frothy white head with good retention , and a fair amount of lacing left.

Smell: fairly strong phenolic esters , fruity aromas , belgian yeast , hint of grassy hop, and bit of alcohol.

Taste: BiG flavors in this brew! Lots of medicinal/ phenolic qualities showing throughout , sweetish malt profile morphs into some yellow fruity flavors , pear , papaya , starfruit, warming and slightly peppery alcohol presence , with just a bit of bitter hop flavor.

Mouthfeel : carbonated and creamy.

Drinkability: A really tasty and fairly strong Belgian Strong Pale Ale. If you want to know what phenolic esters taste like , try this one on for size. But seriously , this is a great beer - try it.

Byeast, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of alysmith4
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Bought this as part of a six-pack sampler from the brewer. This is the first one I tried, as I enjoy this style a lot and wanted to start from some common ground.

Poured a clean, golden color, with a decent head. Was carfeul not to pour too quickly, as the carbonation was a bit aggressive in my glass. Smell was of sugar and bananas. Tasted like a cross between a Duvel and a La Fin du Monde. My palate isn't that refined to know the subtle differences.

Flavor intensified as the beer warmed, and more components came through. A bit of an earthy pine oil surfaced, with toasted nuts and more sugar. I could definitely taste the phenols too by the end. One that I would have again.

alysmith4, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev -1%

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a golden orange clear body with a flurry of tiny bubbles. On top sits a thick off-white heat that turns rocky that last and last.

S- The light fruit perfume aroma has a sweetness with alight toasted malt note and finishes with a faint green hops note.

T- The smooth tangy light candy sugar flavor has a faint smooth pale malt note before the spicy hop finish. The light caramel flavor balances the alcohol bite that comes through as it warms.

M- This beer has a light smooth mouthfeel with an alcohol warmth that lightly hangs on the finish.

D- This beer is smooth that starts sweet with a nice alcohol finish. This would be a great desert beer.

rhoadsrage, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of timmyfury
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

I was looking for something spicey and rich. I found it. The bottle and the label are unique and fun. I love anything pirates anyway. The name of the beer is well chosen. It was served in a Piraat snifter.

It's a reddish-orange with a bit of cloudiness. Nice head. The bottle is 11.2oz and the head brings it right to the top of the snifter. A very appealing package.

I smelled a bit of citrus, maybe banana and pineapple too. Very appropriate for the theme of the drink.

The taste is a bit fruity but pleasant. More pleasant after the beer warmed up a little bit. Though it weighs in at 10.5%, I could taste the alcohol but it wasn't overpowering.

Smooth and thick.

I liked this one a lot. It was a good drink while sitting around with friends after work. One of few beers that I consider not having another, not because I didn't like it, but because one may have been enough. It's strong, but I had another anyway.

timmyfury, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -14%

A - Hazy orange with a decent head and some lace.

S - Pineapples come to mind, but with a soft, moderating floral touch. Notes of lemon as well.

T - Fruity, again pineapples, some lemon and some banana as well. Assertive bitterness hits early on as well. Hints of grapefruit and pepperyness are noted later on. A little bit boozy.

M - Medium bodied, but way overcarbonated.

D - I dunno. Not my favorite. Certainly it's flavourful with lots of nuances, but the carbonation and bitterness are like sledgehammers. Lacks balance.

allergictomacros, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of psinderson
3.58/5  rDev -12%

On-tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse. Served in Piraat goblet-type glassware.

Appearance: Clear, golden yellow with a bright white head. Little bits of head lasted till the end.

Smell: A definite fruitiness with some alcohol notes.

Taste: Very malty with a slight hoppy background. It finished with a noticeable alcohol warming sensation.

Mouthfeel: Good body with perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable. Not too sweet or malty. Even with the noticeable alcohol, it still goes down well.

psinderson, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of calinative68
4.03/5  rDev -1%

Had this the other night, just trying something new as I have never had this and I'm trying to broaden my belgian style horizons.
Upon pouring, I notice the light bronze color and substantial carbonation.
Sweet aromas of caramel, fruit (apple and apricot), malt, and alcohol..
First drink you get the fruit and alcohol, very warm
I think the prominent alcohol makes this come across as not as complex as I like in a belgain.
At 10.5% ABV I would think this would be enjoyed best by sipping.You would only need a couple!
I would recommend it and try it again!

calinative68, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of fisherman34
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%

Light bronze in colour with strong carbonation. Aromas are of light caramel malts, banana, corn sugar, and alcohol. Warming and boozy, with flavors of tropical fruits, herbal hops, gala apple, and a bit more banana. The carbonation and high attenuation keeps this beer from getting too cloying, but it lacks a certain amount of complexity to make it anything more than an average strong Belgian ale.

fisherman34, Oct 04, 2006
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,950 ratings.