1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,044 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,044
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 80
Gots: 153 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Piraat Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,044 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwoods
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz. stubby 'Duvel' style brown bottle. Purchased at Party Source, poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a nice glowing blood orange color with plenty of haze. Maybe 1 finger of white head forms and falls to a thick skim within a minute or 2. Some decent lacing.

S: Smells like a Barleywine and Old Ale combo. Strong, prefumy hops with a heavy alcohol line. Rich, thick malts. Super sweet and rummy. Dark fruits.

T/M: A good dose of bitterness with plenty of yeasty esters mixed in and lingering carbonation on the tongue. Just a touch of citrus in the form of lime. Alcohol seems just a bit out of control. Thick, syrupy malts, dark fruits, very Old Ale malt side.

D: Not terrible but it took me a bit to finish it. Alcohol holds this back quite a bit.

pwoods, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of hyland24
2.33/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass with a patch on me eye and a dead parrot on me shoulder. Poured a slightly hazy gold with a ridiculous 4 inch thick head that me dead parrot was actually able to sit on. After 20 minutes of starin at that head with me one good eye I decided she wasnt goin nowhere so I better get to drinkin. The taste was dry and way too sweet almost like drinking a wine. Warm alcohol finish with a sticky sweet mouthcoat. Way too sweet for a beer. I'd rather walk the plank than drink this swill again. Shiver me timbers this shit sucked.

hyland24, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of MoJoe
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml/11.2 fl.oz bottle.

A-Poured a golden slightly ogange color with a big frothy bone white head that kept on going till the last drop. Lots of lace.

S- Very fruity nose with some spice and plenty of malt. Tropical fruits were discernible (especially bannana) along with anise and clove.

T- Sweet malt up front lightly bittered. Kind of an herbal hop profile, mead like flavors - finishes dry with a biscuit and honey aftertaste.

M- Full bodied medium-high carbonation.

D- Definitely heavy on the drinkability. Could use a few more of these, RIGHT NOW.

MoJoe, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of csmiley
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a vibrant gold hue that has a slight amount of haze. Head was impressive and topped out at an inch and a half. Retention was good. Lacing was excellent.

S - Some fruitiness is strong in the nose. Mostly comprised of green apple. Other strong notes include yeast and grain. The background aromas are pale malt and just a hint of fruity hops on the end.

T - Starts out sweet with honey and malt. Sweetness fades quick and sour fruit starts to attack the palate. Some yeast and warm alcohol flavors start to show up too. The tail end of the flavor does have some fruity hops that show up. The hops taste like they were thought out and really stand behind and support all the other flavors in the beer. Flavors are very well balanced overall.

M - Medium bodied with excellent carbonation. Finish is dry and does not stick around for long.

D - Drinkability is good. The high abv is hidden well and makes this one go down that much easier. I was expecting more hops in this beer but was pleasantly surprised in the way the hops were balanced with other flavors. Definitely a recommeded beer.

csmiley, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of jcivetz
4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

so bomb so bomb so bomb so bomb!!! this beer is by far one of the best beers I've ever had. so bomb! it's sipping material, though can easily be drunk in a gulp with its bomb tastes sizzlin your tastebuds. if I had one a day i'd live to see 92. give thanks and praise for this bomb did i say bomb? CHRONIC belgian brew.

jcivetz, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange, brownish around the edge. Mildly hazy, white head leaps up a ton despite a very relaxed pour. Lots of pitting, good lacing.

A bit weak on the nose; having recently had some world class BSPAs this one suffers from lack of uniqueness. Fermented fruit, mild clove and phenolic yeastiness. A tiny bit of sour/lactic aroma which seems out of place.

Strong hopping done here, good bitterness which responds to the high viscosity golden malt bill nicely. Slightly sour again here, a little cloying in the alcohol department I feel, as it warms to room, syrupy, temperature.

Full mouthfeel, certainly, quite heavy and with the good carbonation, quite smooth. I wish I enjoyed the actual flavors in the mouth as well as the body.

Okay brew, I was hoping for more.

BretSikkink, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of HugoGrim
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Eulogy in Philly in a large chalice.

Transparent and slightly cloudy. Thin head, minimal lace. Loads of carbonation.

Aroma of light hops, citrus, banana, and Belgian spices.

Flavor of tropical fruit, heavy spices, and rich bitterness. White pepper. As it warms the spices become stronger and the overall flavor becomes more bitter.

HugoGrim, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of dhd1491
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the squat 11.2 oz bottle.

Slightly cloudy, golden yellow-amber. Medium body. Frothy, creamy head dies down in a minute. Strong sweet malty aroma. Rich malty, hoppy IPA flavor. Creamy. Smoky. Slightly-bitter, slightly-sour caramel introduction quickly leaving pleasant sweetness, alcohol warmth. Cloves lingering, faint berries. Potent; 5-minutes and all is right in the world.

Visions of being a Pirate steeling one's courage with this strong ale can't help but leap to mind whilst partaking of this brew.

dhd1491, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of jenbys2001
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I absolutely love this beer, it's one of the most unique and complex beers I've had the pleasure of trying. It pours golden and creamy with a gorgeous head. The taste is nearly indescribable and packs a serious punch. It has a strong yeasty flavor with earthy, spicy notes as well as creamy fruit tones. It has a strong phenol character, which normally I don't care for, but it lends a bold sharpness to this beer which I found very alluring. This beer has a lot of warmth to it which I'm sure is related to the high ABV. While drinking too many glasses could be dangerous, I really enjoyed this flavorful beer.

jenbys2001, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of ROMER79
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour on this beer was a gold color with a white one finger head. Citrus and honey were the only apparent aromas that I could pick up on. The taste was pretty much the same with some hops in the mix. It was an easy big beer for me to drink. It was refreshing with a little carbonated bite.

ROMER79, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.53/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden hue before the yeast pour, with a massive snow-white head that leaps out of the glass- just to let you know its Belgian. The typical stubborn head that comes with the style is here- one that forces you to wait; and admire the rocky billows of foam that slowly sink to reveal magnificent spiderweb lacing and active carbonation. The high carbonation releases effervescent aromas of candy-sugar, slightly buiscuity pils malt, and mild Saaz hops. The nose seems much more subdued than appropriate, and pales in comparison to the appearance or taste. First sip is light beet sugar and sharp pils. Some faint toasted notes and Trappist phenols similiar to Tripel become more obvious in the aftertaste, but the character is almost entirely devoted to bitterness. There is little to no hop flavor aside from a background spicy saaz and mabye a hint of floral Hallertau- but even the bitterness is lacking to balance the syrupy sweet malt and sugar. Of course this style is open to interpretation but Piraat is more sweet than bitter and has very litle hop presence(and yes- I am drinking the IPA Piraat). The medium body is made ultra light due to the knife-like carbonation that also whisks away some of the residual sweetness but further masks the timid noble hop character. Finishes sweet with mellow yet tart phenols, a bland and flat bitterness, and rosey alcohol notes as it warms. The phenols are interesting but other than that this seems to be a fairly simple beer and poor example of the style. This would score better as a hoppy BSGA.

PBRstreetgang, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of slitherySOB
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured an almost champagne like colour into a chalice. Very little head to speak of, but plenty of carbonation. Noticed plenty of yeast chunks got through. Will have to learn to decant better. Very tropical floral smell. Lots of citrus, bananas, and dry grass and earth. Sweet and spicy taste. Lots of fruits and malts, with some pepper, cardamon, warming alcohol and I swear I tasted paprika. Mouthfeel was a bit harsh. Overly carbonated, almost burning sensation. A decent beer that needs improvement.

slitherySOB, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of jph424
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my new Duvel tulip (I also have a Magic Chouffe Tulip but it could never accomodate the head of many of the Belgians).

A - Copper with a creamy thick eggshell head that leaves a nice lace.

S - Peppery with some strong tropical fruits and a little alcohol.

T - Peppery, cloves, malty sweetness, fruit, caramel, and at the end there is citrusy hops and warming alcohol. This beer is easier than most I have tried to distinguish taste characteristics. Quite tasty.

M - Great creamy mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

D - A sipper no doubt but highly enjoyable.

jph424, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of baos
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz into Falstaff goblet.

I had this one in 1996 in Amsterdam, this is the first time I've had it since. I remember it being ultra potent on top of my buzziness.

A: Light golden amber with a bit of haze with a two finger head that goes down to a half finger that sticks around. Very good looking on a beer thats this boozy.

S: Clove, candy sugar, and yes pink bubble gum again, and honey liqueur.

T: I'll go out on a limb here and say this tastes like pumpkin pie liqueur. You got your clove and your sugar and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and then you have that honey liqueur. I guess its not as dark as pumpkin pie. How about light pumpkin pie liqueur?! Yes.

D: As this mama warms she gets good good good. I improved the marks above a couple of times, because of this. Very strong yes but like I've said before men drink strong brews and men would be just fine with a jar of this in front of all of ye night. Definitely wear this! It fits so nicely. She will fit you like two latex mittens. YES!

baos, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of Atch
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: slightly cloudy, golden. little carbonation and minimal head.

Smell: Sweet and spicey, little citrusy.

Taste: For me, it tastes very sweet, I would like it more dry.

Mouthfeel: Feels very chewey and a little rough.

Drinkability: Not my favorite Belgian. But it was alright.

Atch, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of KiltedCulinarian
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank at a house warming party, no glasses to pour it in yet. Rather rich and warm in flavour. Nice mixture of carbonation and hops up front, but not overpowering. A little sweet, but once again a good balance and not overpowering. No distinct alcohol flavour, despite its high percentage. As it got warm the quality decreased.

KiltedCulinarian, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single bottle at my local store.

This beer reads 10.5% abv. I have a feeling this was sitting on the shelf for quite some time as there was dust all over it. No freshness date anywhere.

A- Massive foamy white head. A bright golden color with really deep orange hues and bright spots. Nice amount of spiderweblike lacing around my entire glass.

S- Smell was quite floral, perfumey, earthy, and hoppy.

T- The taste was very strong with alcohol, banana, pepper, spice, maybe some cardamon. Overall it was very peppery with some fruity undertones and a huge alcohol presence.

M- Mouthfeel was as warm as can be, almost burning all over my throat.

D- This is rated lower due to the really big ABV. Drank one and realized I probably would not be able to have another.

DavidSeanNJ, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of bacabuck
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked open a bottle while watching the "Three Sheets" Beligum episode for the billionth time. Poured into a traditional Belgian glass it had a terrific 1 inch creamy white head that stayed throughout. Nice lacing on the glass as I slowly drank. The beer is a deep amber in color. Beer syrup comes to mind during the first few sips. Almost sticky sweet with banana and molasses. Finishes slightly bitter.

After letting the beer warm up a bit and getting past the 10.5% alcohol taste, it really starts to open up. Deep flavors of malt. Light dancing of carbonation. A really fine drink.

bacabuck, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of larsee01
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz stubby brown glass bottle poured into glass goblet.

Deep gold, hazy beer with a small white head that lingers respectably. Strong bubbly carbonation.

Not a really strong scent, but fruity, citrusy. A hint of yeasty sourness. Not a powerful smell to this one.

Phenols and some non-floral hoppy bitterness up front. 10.5% ABV is pronounced in this one! Sweet graininess emerges after first impression. tropical fruit here... Lingering alcohol and mild bitterness prominient throughout. Pleasant & sweet peppery finish.

Bubbly mouthfeel. Alcohol clings to the mouth.

If I were a pirate, I assume this would be my beer. Tropical, and boozy enough to cure the pain in my peg-leg. I haven't had too many forays into the 10.5 range yet. AL-CO-HOL! I'm not knocking this beer at all--it's good--it just reminds me of the malt-liquor kick experienced as an 18-year-old. I'm feeling pleasant and warm after one of these. If 10.5 can be drinkable, I guess this has good drinkability. Proceed with caution!

larsee01, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of Slynger
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright, pale gold, slight haze, big rocky white head.

Bold and malty sweet nose. Fruity with spicy alcohol as well.

Heavy golden maltiness that is fairly creamy and smooth, but not overly sweet. A small amount of fermented honey sweetness comes through along with lemons and apples peeking in along the edges. Fairly heavy spiciness and alcohol slowly fade away after this one goes down.

Now this was to be my first of the style which I thought a Belgian IPA, not a BSPA. Maybe it is mislabeled. As a BSPA it is unspectacular. It isn't overly complex, but is heavy, malty, spicy, and alcoholic; which probably ranks it as one of the best pirate grog's available. yargh.

Slynger, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of malty
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber liquid, which is a little cloudy due to swirling up the yeast and dumping it in (I never decant yeast, only when its ultra clumpy). The billowing head erupts to basically 4"+ in my Duvel glass. The loose blossoming head is as white as snow. Good fluffy patchy lace throughout the glass.

Once I clear some of the head away, I swirl the glass to smell sweet malts and funky yeasty esters. The sweet and sour smell is perfectly balanced and quite inviting.

The sweetness in the nose translates to the taste quite appropriately. Although the tart funk I detected in the nose is nowhere to be found in the taste - I'm a little (OK, a lot) bummed. The powdered sugar taste bumps-up against a little white pepper. The flavors are pretty much that, kinda one dimensional - but very good. Although I can feel the alcohol in the back of my mouth just a little, there's no alcohol burn whatsoever, and I cannot dectect it in the taste at all, which is a great feat to accomplish this!

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with much less felt carbonation than what I expected from witnessing the pour. The carbonation is fine and moderate. The dry, spicy/sweet quick finish is good.

Drinkability is good. Although I tease people by saying this is my 'session' beer, I really can drink only one due to its sweetness.

Overall a nice example of a Belgian strong golden ale. My bottle says 10.5% ABV, my cheeks are already feeling warm. I always like to try a bottle or two a year, just to get reacquainted to an old friend I've enjoyed for many years (I even have the T-shirt!).

malty, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of Pointman
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok - here's the deal. Drank it out of a snifter...was really looking forward to it, and was bummed out. Smelled like URINE. What a turn off. Got past that, and enjoyed it, but the smell was terrible.

Very creamy finish. It does mask the high ABV nicely. I just must have had a bad bottle or this stuff just smells...

Pointman, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of PhageLab
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sifter. Interesting bottle art.

A - Slightly hazy golden orange brew which produced a nice big layer of froth. Lacing as well as overall presentation was simply immaculate.

S - Fruits and yeast notes for the most part. A bit pungent and slightly acrid initially. After a few more breaths, it does become rather enticing.

T - I must admit I was completely blown away once I read the bottle and discovered it's 10.5% abv, it masks it completely. Big yeast and citrus notes, making it both mildly bitter and sweet. This is one to take in and think about.

M - Smooth medium body, mildly carbonated, and the palate suffers a slight burn, probably from the high alcohol content.

D - Abv definitely causes a hit here, this certainly is not an anytime brew, however, it is a wonderfully complex yet balanced sipper. Given it's name, I never would have expected something so refined. Find this one and try it, you will not be disappointed!

PhageLab, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of LittleCreature
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.5
Brilliant appearance, poured two and a half fingers of foamy off-white head that had great retention. Body colour is a brilliant cloudy amber.

Smell - 4.5
Completely delicious aroma, fruity, malty and sweet with floral hops. I can smell biscuity malt, pineapple, vanilla and some light spice.

Taste - 4.0
A very interesting flavour that is very Belgian, yet somewhat like a good American pale ale. Starts with biscuity malt, caramel and apricot. Moderate bitterness from the floral hops and a warming, dry finish.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Moderate weight in the mouth coupled with creamy carbonation make the beer go down smoothly.

Drinkability - 4.5
Insanely drinkable for a beer with a 10.5%ABV.

If anything I have been harsh with this beer as I was close to giving it a 4.5 for taste. Quite delicious, evilly drinkable with no off flavours. Not one I had heard of before, but still one of the best beers I have tried however pricy ($11.50 per 330mL bottle). Recommended for sure!

LittleCreature, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of JayQue
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Belgian, accessible for newbies and complex enough to satisfy everybody else. Pours a fairly clear dark gold with thousands of tiny bubbles. Huge white head that fades to a covering of the glass. Strong aroma, astringent, floral and spicy. Taste is really good. Signature Belgian flavors, astringent, banana, spices but with a nice balancing bitterness (I guess this is what makes it an IPA).

Mouthfeel is rich. I didn't notice any alcohol burn, but I definitely felt the warmth. Drinkability is very good. None of the tastes are so strong as to become annoying over a long haul. The long haul here is two...based on the abv, but I would enjoy every sip of those two!!! A nice beer.

JayQue, Jan 20, 2008
Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,044 ratings.