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Piraat Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Piraat AlePiraat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,874 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,874
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 69
Gots: 99 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,874 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neonbrown82


3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first Belgian beers I ever tasted... Straight from the bottle. When I was 17... Oh, the wonder years.

I thought it was the greatest thing ever back in those days. A beer with actual taste with an ABV over 10%? If only it were cheaper it would have been a wino's dream. Anyways, now that I view beers in a more contemplative light than simply as something to get fucked up off of, I think this beer is fairly average for a Belgian Strong Pale.

The appearance is quite attractive, but nothing out of the ordinary. It pours to a glowing golden orange color with a thin and wispy white head and no carbonation. Looks quite typical. No sediment poured in, though I remember in my youth I used to describe this as the "strong pirate ale with the floaty shit in it." My friends thought it was disgusting that I drank such wholesome brew, but they all agreed it tasted fine if you could tune out the chunks of sediment.

Smells very sweet and fruity, like belgian candi sugar and hints of grapes and berries. Has a bit of a spiciness if studied carefully. The taste reflects the smell quite faithfully. It conducts an Operation Shock & Awe on your tastebuds, making this a very difficult brew to actually DRINK as opposed to sipping. Has a moderately dry finish to it.

Recommended for the sweet-loving Belgian heads out there, but for some people, such as myself, who love the well-roundedness of beers such as St. Bernardus or the trappist brewers, this can be a bit too much.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2005 04:05:04 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of maxpower


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle pours a bright cloudy golden with a decent off white head of large bubbles that leaves some lacing in my glass. Bready, fruity citrus and spice aromas, fruity pear, apple, lemon and spicy flavors. Full bodied with a mildly carbonated, smooth mouthfeel, sweet finish with alcohol present, very drinkable for the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2005 20:06:24 | More by maxpower
Photo of NordikWolf

New York

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's practice our Pirate alphaber. Aaye, Aye, Arrr.
Arright matey, shiver me timbers and let's rate dis bloke.

Dere be a billowy head like the sails on me mizzen mast that stands steadfast against the sides 'o me tankard. The color is like the golden sun and clear as the Carribean waters.

We got fruit here matey and lots of it. Spices from the islands abound. Arr but dere be the sweetness of honey to please me heart.

Aftertaste gives me a lasting spicy warming like the tradewinds of St Maarten..

We got a winner here mates, I lift me tankard to this one and will drink it with all the bravado a swarthy pirate of the Carribean can muster.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 02:25:59 | More by NordikWolf
Photo of ypsifly


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz with no dates into a chalice.

Medium amber with a tall white head that clings nicely to the glass. Lots of active carbonation.

Yeast, green apples, green grapes coated with sugar, spices and just a little dry hop make up the nose.

Has a lot of bite upfront. Briefly tart with a slightly puckering finish. The alcohol is present, but in a way that adds complexity to the taste. Its also noticable by the lingering warmth.

I found the mouthfeel to be a bit course. Possibly from the abv and carbonation. I might have another after this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 04:00:03 | More by ypsifly
Photo of ken3c


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big rocky head stays diminishes only slightly throughout the beer. I struggled to fit the whole 12oz bottle with head into my pint glass. Very clear to the point that I can read big words through the glass. Golden color.

There's a decent whiff of noble hops. Nothing special, but wait...there's a hint of honey and melon.

Sweet honey like flavor. Spicy hops come next and then a crisp finish. The aftertaste subtly melds the honey and spice.

Looks light but it feels medium-bodied. medium carbonation really adds to the experience.

I think I like it a little more than duvel but it's close.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 05:19:34 | More by ken3c
Photo of OatherS


3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Short stuby bottle with pirate on front.

Smell: Strong, interesting, difficult to pin point and describe.

Appearance: Pours golden translucent. Short lived head..

Taste: Strong alcoholy flavor. No decernable aftertaste. Does not really have a distinct flavor. Somewhat sweet.

I personally am not bowled over by the beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 02:15:19 | More by OatherS
Photo of GreatLeo

British Columbia (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 33cl stubby brown bottle with best before date 07/2006. The appearance is a deep cloudy golden color with a real thick head poured into its traditional glass. Not nearly as complex as its similar counterpart Duvel and the alcohol content isnt as well masked either. Still it gave a warm pleasant feel to the stomach afterwards so its worth a try if you are bold enough to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 22:16:53 | More by GreatLeo
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with a light amber body, foggy, hazy body, creamy off white head, good retention

Smell, sweet, hints of maple syrup, almonds, full of strong yeasty odours

Taste, sweet, nutty satay. Some almonds again, alcoholic warmth but not overpowering considering the abv. Crisp boozy tinged fruity hops, almost white winesque character. Spicy alcohol on the finish

A fantastic belgian pale ale, nice crisp hops really pick everything up. A very tasty beer

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 15:53:33 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Naerhu


2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

How is this an amber triple ipa?
Ingredients on label read: malt, hops, sugar, and orange peel.

Appearance: Pure while sticky head. Semi-hazy yellow body with carbonation apparent.
Aroma: Huge yeasty aroma fills the room (very small room) upon opening. An abundance of soft malt on the nose.
Taste: An explosion of weird flavors. Sweet and bitter. Yeasty and malty. Floral hops and huge alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Syrupy alcoholy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Far to sweet to be an IPA and far too weird to be pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2005 11:27:14 | More by Naerhu
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

looks like Duvel and drinks like Duvel but shiver my timbers it is not Duvel. Piraat is a decent take on the Blonde genre and suffers a little bit from the intial alcohol taste that hits the palate too early. The beer mellows more the further you drain the glass. A decent beer but alas lacks the complexity and grace that Duvel provides.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2005 03:32:40 | More by canucklehead
Photo of redmosquito


4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I'm almost sure this is the right beer Piraat on the label, Brouwerij Van Steenberge, 10.5% alcohol...but amber triple IPA? I think that is a misprint. The beer I have is a straw yellow color with a slight yeast cloud and a solid whit head. It has a great spicey yeast aroma, peppery with perhaps a little corriander, balanced with mild floral hop and sweet malt. The flavor is well balanced, slightly bitter with a good amount of sweet malt, with a wheat malt and yeast finish. The body is good, and it seems to hide the 10.5% well, this is a smooth beer. This beer seems like the textbook definition of a trippel, and based on that I think it is a good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2005 16:50:03 | More by redmosquito
Photo of Andreji


3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another decent brew from my Steenberge christmas pack. The pour is amberish, more orange and quite bright, translucid mostly with the same opacity as say an SNPA. Extreme carbonation, the beer spilled over after a minute or so, despite quite a good pour. imressive, so was the head, a long-retaining bright white head, medium density that for the first five minutes grew more than it faded.

The smell was characteristic of american IPAs I've tried, malty, with a sort of fruity sweetness and a blend of alcohol within. decieving, because the flavour wasn't quite as much: I'd say the basic american IPA comparison point wouldn't be the first part in the tasting (a sweet, fruity and bread like sweetness, even possibly a tripel or a belgian pale), but rather the harsh (in a good way) bitterness coming right behind it. The only beef I have is that it overwhelms the rest of the beer's properties and makes it less drinkable. All in all, though, a good purchase.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 02:08:29 | More by Andreji
Photo of Stubbie1


4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This triple pours a nice amber gold. A thick never ending white head meet the top of this beer and give way to a nice thick lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. The aroma is sweet malt and with a grassy musty feel to it. The taste is sweet with a honey like quality with some fruit like sweet green grapes mixed in, quite impressive at the least. You can taste the alcohol ever so slightly with this beer and there is a hint of hops in the finish. It is very smooth, creamy and sticky in the mouth and a very easy beer to drink. You can sum up this brew in one word….WOW!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2005 01:05:08 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of ppoitras


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle from a Belgian sampler pack purchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Head is short-lived, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is a bit of a sour funk with some belgian malt sweetness. Taste is slightly spicy Belgian malts, with a bit of a tang. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, very approachable for a Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2005 20:50:19 | More by ppoitras
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

is this really a tripel ipa? hmm..


the beer is a brilliant gold with hypnotic carbonation and a steady thin head. aromas are malt, sugar, slight hops and slight medicinal. nothing strong or offensive, and nothing too exciting.

taste is very smooth. butterscotch and candy sugar with licorice and a mild alcohol bite on the finish. not bad though considering the alcohol content.. 10.5%? if i had to place it, i'd say a 9% tripel.

van steenberge is a brewery to watch with lots of interesting offerings. people criticize this beer for lacking complexity and i agree. steenberge makes plenty of complex beers (bornem double, gulden draak). this one is crisp, refreshing, and delicious in its own simple way. don't hate the player, hate the game.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 13:45:21 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of tomthumbsblues


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this 11.2 oz. bottle as part of a Christmas present. Appearance was an opaque dark orange or honey color and produced a 2-finger head. Stream of carbonation came from the bottom. Smell was malt and citrus, particularly lemon. Taste was banana, cloves, apple and slightly bitter towards the end. Alcohol was a bit upfront in the taste and smell. Mouthfeel was moderate, but warm and bready towards the end. This beer has a great flavor, but I got knocked out after drinking it.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 21:47:33 | More by tomthumbsblues
Photo of merlin48


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz stubby bottle with the ridiculous pirate on the label. Pours into a tulip glass a slightly hazed, canary yellow/orange body with a plump, vanilla hued head that lasts forever. Enormous carbonation is appparent in the glass, and some sheets of lace are left on the glass.
Tropical fruits front the aroma, with mango, orange, and pineapple. Also, a note of lemon, and some spicy clove and coriander. A whiff of fusel alcohol is impossible to ignore.
Good mouthfeel is typical for style, with explosive carbonation and a medium body.
Taste begins with sweet banana and mango, clove, and some white pepper. Danky, dry yeastiness and hops creep up in the middle, as does some raw alcohol bite. Finish is even between the tropical fruit sweetness and hop and yeast bitterness, but the high alcohol presence distracts.
This is a pretty good strong pale ale, but the alcohol could have been tucked away a bit more cleverly.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 20:29:21 | More by merlin48
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. looks like honey in the glass...light carbonation...small frothy head that lasts as a cap. Aroma of musty fruit. Mouth is a pleasant surprise...medium body...even a bit smooth...noted hint of the alcohol in this beer. Nice balance of hops and malt...very pleasing beer feel to this drink..only hint of alcohol is the warm finish and the peach-banana phenols one whiffs just prior to the swallow. Big beer with little complexity...a let down

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2005 00:26:30 | More by pootz
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew

New Mexico

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a moderate creamy white head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing at all. A nice beautiful golden honey color.

Aroma is full of yeast and some wet hay, very earthy, and just a hint of apple.

Tons of flavors here, peppery, sweet with a dry finish, crisp apple undertones with some pineapple in there too. has a warm alcohol finish, great on this wintery night.

Mouthfeel is slightly overcarbonated but a full bodied ale.

I liked this belgian and my wife really loved it. She's coming around.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2004 02:15:52 | More by Wolfsdenbrew
Photo of Southernbrew


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden-orange with a smallish head.

Potent alcohol aroma combines with a peppery spiciness and an aroma I would describe as "horsey."

Big time flavors here. Medium bodied with some prickly carbonation. Noticable alcohol flavor with some bitter hoppiness as well as honey flavors and possible pineapple and caramel flavors. Near the finish I detect a flavor I would describe as musty red wine-like. Strange.

Very fine Belgian pale ale. I found the alcohol flavor a bit strong, but great nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2004 23:01:15 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of chunkylover53

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avast ye, mateys! This be a fine brew and at 10.5% is sure to 'ave ye lookin' to board a neighbourin' vessel afore too long.

She be 'avin' a big ol' 'ead, but no shoulders, so there's no worryin' about accidentally drinkin' a parrot. And the smell... well she be strong, but I could nae place of exactly what.

As for the taste... Shiver me timbers, but I do detect enough alcohol in 'ere to scrape the barnacles off yer bottom. With just a wee bit o' nuttiness.

And the aftertaste slowly warms ye up and sticks around for a while. Which is good company for those long, lonely nights in the crows nest. Provided you don't need to come down anytime soon 'cause after a few o' these, even the heartiest o' seafarers will find himself a bit wobbly-legged.

A fine, fine grog she be.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2004 04:46:03 | More by chunkylover53
Photo of PorterLambic


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish-orange color, opaque with a small tight head that drops to a film and leaves some sparse lace.
Smell is malty, sweet, orange, green apple,raisin, pepper and yeast.
Taste is malty, orange, pepper, hops, alcohol, raisin and yeast. Great complexity and flavor!
Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, warms all the way down.
Drinkability is quite high. The alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms. Perhaps that is a warning, 10.5% ABV should not be taken lightly no matter how good it is.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2004 01:18:57 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of UnionMade


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

10oz take-home sample off the in house tap, courtesy of the fine folks at Half Time.
The beer pours a rich, chill-hazed orange, something similar to the color of autumn leaves. A short, finely bubbled head caps the brew, leaving aptly named belgian lace all over the place. The head thins to a weak collar, but I'm not complaining, with the alcohol and whatnot.
The aroma is intriguing, for a belgian. Familiar malty, candied sweetness, but tempered by a strong floral hop presence. I'm guessing hallertau or tettnang. Plenty of fusel alcohol mingles with scooped melon and a veritable basket of estery fruitiness. There's a lot going on here. A sweetened undertow of creamy malt rounds everything out.
The first sip reveals a moody malt sweetness, almost entirely pinned beneath fusel booze and hops, hops, hops. Rock candy right up front, sprinkled with sugared bits of watermelon, peach and pear. A soft caramel wash throughout, tinting the hops with an orange haze. Plenty of floral, metallic bitterness rushing into the finish, swallowing remarkably dry for the suggested sweetness. Phenolic cinnamon and clove notes. Booze attacks the inside of the throat with a lingering heat, better fitted of a good scottish whisky. A lingering fruity, hoppy, boozey bite on the back of the tongue, with traces of rock candy melting away from the heat like ice on a hot sidewalk. Impeccably fine bubbled, sturdy carbonation briskly carries a creamy, thick mouthfeel. Strong stuff, be sure to wear galoshes.
What a beer. As big as it is, it feels balanced. The hops stand out, which is impressive in the style (whatever this one is). If I were to taste this blind, I'd peg it as american brewed, with it's hybridized feel. I don't think I could make a habit of this stuff, but it would certainly appeal to those that like a strong cocktail. Sticky sweet with a boozey prickle. I certainly wouldn't pass up another taste, provided I'm not driving home.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2004 01:57:54 | More by UnionMade
Photo of tatterdash

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pale golden colour with a thick foamy white head that never completely goes away, and laced well. Smells almost like peanut butter, and a bit of citrus. Taste is amazing, smooth and malty, with a dry hoppy finish. Very warming from the high ABV, but the alcohol is hardly noticeable when drinking it. This is a very flavourful Strong Pale, and I want another. :)

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2004 01:39:19 | More by tatterdash
Photo of hero27


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa.. The awesome tapper with the pirate on it had me entrigued. The bartender informed me that it was a Triple IPA and I absolutely had to try it..as I love IPA's in general.

Appearance: Poured into the tall Weizen glass with a humongous head. As I didn't pour it, I don't know if it this is usual for this beer, but it left a huge, pillowy head when he set it down on the bar. Not to mention, it looks like I could pour this before bed and there'd still be some head left in the morning..doesn't dissapate at all. The color is surprisingly yellow in color. I expected a more hazy/gold appearance but it is a distinct clear, straw-yellow.

Smell: Grains & grass overhelm the aroma. Smells sweet, fruity, and spicy as well. I am not a fan of too much cloves or spices so I was wary about it at this point..

Taste: mmm, surprisngly malty. Caught me off-guard with a very pleasant, fruity & sweet taste. You can definitely taste the alcohol but if I didn't know any better, I'd guess it was around an 8-9%..not 10.5. Ends dry with some grassy bitterness. Fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Well-balanced and defiantly smooth for such a strong beer. Warm, pleasant mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I only had one of these, but I can imagine it to be quite drinkable for such a strong alcohol beer. Definitely a belly-warmer if there ever was one, and by your 2nd or 3rd glass, you'd be one happy guy. Even though I savored this one by drinking it fairly slow, it'd be quite possible to drink a few of these bad boys in succession. It's smooth mouthfeel covers up the heavy-body and high ABV.

Overall, a solid Belgian IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2004 21:09:06 | More by hero27
Piraat Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 1,874 ratings.