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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,043 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,043
Reviews: 968
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
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Ratings: 2,043 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Beerzebub
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As soon as the cage is loosened, the cork blows off with a very loud pop and hits the ceiling very hard. The same happened the last time I had this beer!

Orangish golden color. First glass is crystal clear, the rest translucent. First glass, two inch very loosely knit white head that quickly falls to half an inch. Swirling brings it back, and denser. Head and lace get denser with each glass, the last glass has blobs of sticky head and lace like froghopper froth.

Smells of grassy hops, sweet honeyish malt, mushy brown apple, dried tropical fruit, leafy vegetables, and sharp, spicy, vaguely bacterial earthy yeast. Unusual.

Tastes of sweet honey and alcohol, backed up by moderate grassy hop flavor but fairly little bitterness. Very assertive, somewhat funky yeast character. Brown apple - not an oxidized taste, more like slightly rotten, but not unpleasant. Dried papaya, dirt, something medicinal, a hint of smoke. Something vegetal like kale or seaweed, I can't tell if it's from the hops or not. Maybe even decomposing kelp, but that's probably the brown apple caught up with the vegetal element. Long finish: grassy hops, odd yeasty funk, minty alcohol and honey.

Decent mouthfeel, but it can seem sugary. Pretty drinkable in a way, but there's no way around the sweetness and alcohol.

This beer is an odd one, and certainly worth a try. The smell and taste of this beer remind me of playing in apple orchards in Sebastopol CA when i was a kid, plenty of brown apples on the ground.

Beerzebub, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of yelterdow
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A two year cellared 750ml bottle served at between fridge and cellar temperature in a Duvel tulip. A small hunk of Chimay Met Biere cheese will accompany this tasting.

Appearance- With a resounding *pop*, the cork disengages. On a generous pour, this beer is pale gold and supports a nice, soapy three-finger head that crackles softly but never goes away. Small chunks of sediment hover and swim around in the glass, suspended in space and time. Very appetizing and quite big.

Smell- Aromas of grass and hay dominate the nose, while the more substantial malts and alcohol fill the nostrils with anticipation. As the beer slowly comes to temperature, a candy-like sweet character begins its approach.

Taste- The instant this beer hits the tongue, there is a most delicate tartness that fades away completely in seconds... followed by a full-bodied, exceptionally well rounded example of a strong Belgian IPA. It's hard to describe, but Piraat is terrifically balanced... it seems that two years in the basement may have really done this beer well.

Sweet, hoppy, and malty in exactly the right degrees... a fabulously enjoyable treat that defies the appropriate words.

<note>... only half way through this delightful bottle, I must proclaim this realization: Great beer is waiting for you to realize its greatness... it can happen at any time, even without notice or preparation... just like this event here tonight.

Mouthfeel- Initially soft and prickly, the beer swells and fills the mouth... creating a self-imposed meal in its own right. The texture thins during the swallow and finishes easily.

Drinkabilty- i am hammmered.

yelterdow, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of Sixpoint
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe all the sleepers on this beer. Can you deny the complex musty funky yeast ZAP with every sip?

To me, that is the standout feature of this beer. It tempers the high alcohol warming sensation with every sip. The Brett character subdues the otherwise aggressive phenol and spice and warmth from the high gravity.

What you are charmed with is a the barnyard musty character of a slight Brett character, and just enough spice from the hops and yeast to round out the profile.

Served in my Westmalle glass while I watch the Brewers come back and defeat the Braves, I'd have to say life is pretty good.

Sixpoint, May 30, 2007
Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,043 ratings.