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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,080 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,080
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 84
Gots: 165 | 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:
A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,080 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timmyfury
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of psinderson
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of calinative68
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

Photo of fisherman34
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of wjimson
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour this one slowly into a pint glass, resulting in little head. Small mold like colonies within the beer, reminescent of Delerium Tremens.

Taste is wonderful. It has a cask like fruity spice aroma with a clean taste. Has a dry finish with a bold alcohol taste. Better than usual fare of La fin du Monde. Its a bit different from Duvel because the head isn't there, and that Duvel is more clear. I give the mouthfeel a 4 because it is thin, making one think this beer is drinkable. Yes it is drinkable despite this beer giving me a good buzz.

Interestingly, one side of the bottle says 9% alcohol, the front side says 10.5%. I rather believe in the later. This is a great beer.

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

Sort of musty looking amber caramel color. Smells of apple, citrus, pilsner malt, alcohol, spice and a tinge of hops. Dangerously carbonated, the head was so hard to control on this one. Huge fluffy head that slowly dissipates, lingers on the edges and leaves minor lacing. Taste is fluffy on the tongue hints of coriander, malt, a little fruit and a tiny tinge of bitterness. This is nice, makes me think of fall. The alcohol warmth is nice, but only allows for a few. Unfortunately because of the availability and price it might be a while before I have this again, but it is a very nice BSPA.

Photo of Pounddog
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a 750mL bottle and served in a snifter. Poured with a thick and frothy head. The thick head died down very quickly to a thin white foam head that stayed for the entire glass. The color is an opaque honey. The smell was peppery and very alcoholic. The taste is peppery as well, with a note of pineapple. The aftertaste was decently hoppy, but not overly bitter or dry. I was surprised that the taste wasn't very alcoholic considering the 10.5% abv and the smell. Has a nice frothy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. Its very drinkable, but maybe not more than one in a row. It sits pretty heavy in the stomach due to the carbonation. Overall, a very tasty beer. I would definitely buy it again. Wondering where to find it in smaller bottles cause the 750mL seems a lot for one sitting. Plus, its got a pirate on the bottle. Pirates are totally better than ninjas!

Photo of EvilKeith
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one is very foamy on the pour, treat it like you would champagne. Pour very carefully.

This one pours into the glass a lightly hazed, warm golden color with two fingers of meringue-like ivory colored foam. Continuous streams of tiny bubbles work their way to the surface as incredibly thick and sticky lace clings to the glass.

The smell is funky wet Belgian yeast, ripe fruit, citrus, spicy, with faint buttery toffee and peppery alcohol. As it warms the sweet malts become more noticable.

The taste is a bit tart, citrus, yeasty dough, and spicy. The alcohol warms the back of the throat. A yeasty and alcoholic aftertaste.

Flavorful and complex. This is something for special occasions for me. It is highly drinkable, but I would not last too long trying to session with this kind of ABV.

Photo of Regenpak
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many years ago, when I was meddling with illegal pirate radio transmitters, this was my beer of choice. And I loved it! At the time ABV was a whopping 11.5%, which was unusual as it was very drinkable with the heavy alcohol way in the background, almost not present at all. Then ABV was brought down to 10.5%. This did not change the character of Piraat much. It was still a very enjoyable, nice sweetly tripel. Maybe this was the best version they made, and which I enjoyed on a brewery trip about ten years ago. Currently ABV is only a paltry 9.0%, a reduction that the beer did not survive. While still not a bad tripel it is now average, the taste having acquired a watery blandness that was not present with the previous versions. I now only purchase it if nothing else is available.

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

Smells sweet, yeasty and hoppy. Murky yellow body with very thick off-white head. One thing I do like about this one as opposed to some Belgians is how the head does not overflow quite as easily as many. Tons of lacing, typical of a Belgian... Sweet - citrus and pine definitely present. Alcohol noticeable but not overpowering like some beers of this high an abv or even lower. Very good. Flavorful, but smooth and mild. Pretty good. Similar to La Fin Du Monde, but less earthy and less overwealming. Not sure I’d pay 11$ per bottle all the time, but not bad, definitely worth the try.

Photo of geographie
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A :: Strong, fluffy head. Lightly creamy in appearance. Light golden coloured beer, not too strongly opaque, but not clean and clear either.

S :: Citrus! Then aromas of malt, followed by notes of ginger and honey.

T :: Yum. The tartness of lemon zest, combined with malt tingles the palate in a battle for attention. Then fruity esters peek through and permeate your taste buds, refusing to leave - all the while the low-dosage, yet sharply defined bitterness attacks the back of the mouth. Its a warzone in your mouth, but inevitably the fruit wins and remains long after the sip.. Alcohol is cool and refreshing, but intermittenly present.

M :: Creamy carbonation, nothing overdone. Carries flavours well and texture is quite enjoyable.

D :: Pretty good. A very special drink. I'd only want one or two in a sitting.

Photo of dgallina
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fluid ounce stubby brown bottle without freshness dating.

Pours into the tulip extremely clear golden yellow, with 2 inches of foamy thin head and fine lace. Smells of strong spicy alcohol, yeast, sweet malts, black pepper, tropical fruits (banana, pineapple). Tastes of somewhat sour medicinal alcohol at the front, becomes gently rounded with pineapple fruit in the center and finish. Medium body with fairly big carbonation. A mediocre strong ale in my opinion.

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

11.2oz brown bottle

Piraat ale was a hazy golden amber color with a large white rocky head. The head had good retention a left lots of lace. The aroma was yeasty and sort of peppery with some light malt mixed in. The taste was somewhat spicy with the alcohol evident and a warming finish. This beer has a medium body and high carbonation level. This is a highly drinkable beer, but the alcohol keeps you from having more than a couple. An excellent beer, I will definately purchace again.

Photo of dblinkhorn
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a glass chalice.

Appearance - Pours an orange, honey color that is very slightly hazy with moderate carbonation activity. The head is moderate, about two and half fingers from the start. It quickly dissipates to a patchy cap of smooth, foamy, white head. This remains for the entire drink.

Smell - Sweet fruit aromas make the foundation of the smell. The malt is semi-sweet smelling, and somewhat bready. The hops are more than I expected, and give a very nice bitter edge to the smell. They smell clean, crisp, and quite citrusy. Clove seems to be the only spice I can pick up on in this brew, and it is of moderate potency. Lastly, there is a pretty well-hidden alcohol scent that hides underneath the rest of the aromas.

Taste - The 10.5% alcohol is actually the first flavor I pick up on, paired with a nice sweet, dark fruit taste. The latter quickly increases in power as the former decreases as you taste. Coming in after this is the medium richness of the malt, that is (again) somewhat bready and very much the foundation which the rest of the flavors rest on. Also in the middle of the taste is a slight touch of some tropical fruit flavors. This also comes in strongly for the finish, along with a nice touch of clove. The aftertaste consists almost entirely of bready malt flavor and a bit of lingering hop bitterness. The alcohol burn, which is strong at first, slowly and steadily decreases as the taste progresses.

Mouthfeel - A very nice level of carbonation along with a higher-end light-bodied brew, make this brew a pleasure in the mouth. It's not quite as smooth as others of its style, but still quite pleasant.

Drinkability - The alcohol is deceiving, as you can't really smell it but boy can you ever taste it. From the first part of the taste it rears its head in a big way. This is the only thing that makes this brew a definite sipper and therefore lowers its overall drinkability.

Photo of Osiris9588
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. I poured it from a 750ml bottle, corked and caged. It has a golden color with a slight amber tint. The head was thick and frothy, stiffly ascending above the lip of my tulip glass with substantial retention. The bouquet is full of a blend of spice and fruit, most notably cinnamon and orange, along with subtle warm not of yeast. The taste is similar to the boquet, again with a strong citrus presence, acidic on the front, a slight but pleasant burst of alchohol on the back. The beer is wonderfully carbonated, full yet vibrant simultaneously. It is exceedingly drinkable--a party in my mouth.

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

Dull gold murky appearance – nice head however the head does not last long– nose is sour milk and raw dough, flowers, and caramel – medium body – initial taste is sweet then turns acidic, and dried apricotish - aftertaste is medium with a creamy, acidic and alcohol Dull gold murky appearance – nice head however the head does not last long– nose is sour milk and raw dough, flowers, and caramel – medium body – initial taste is sweet then turns acidic, and dried apricotish - aftertaste is medium with a creamy, acidic and alcohol

Photo of BlackAngus
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Color is a light amber, pure white rocky head with great retention.

S - Malt, some hops, smell of sugar, some citrus, definite alcohol aroma.

T - Malt, alcohol. Kind of disappointing. Smooth, though.

M - A little thin for style, lightly carbed.

D - Not bad. I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it.

Photo of Boozie132
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance looks great the head is thick and looms for a little while.
Smell is alright not that great. a little citrus flavor, also smell the malt with the strong alcohol.
Taste you definately get the alcohol taste on this one
Mouthfeel is alright
Drinkability ABV does hit you and its not suttle

Photo of supercolter
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is excellent...a 4 finger head that lurks around for a while... nice lacing
Smell is good...but not great, strong malt and slight citrus taste, combined with an overpowering alcohol smell about half way through
Taste is nothing but alcohol and sweet malt, thats all I get
Mouthfeel is good, creamy and full of life.
Drinkability is inhibited strongly by the ABV not hidden very well

Photo of silver0rlead
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow with a massive, merengue like white head that retains impeccably...absolutely perfect. The aroma has some tropical fruits upfront, along with biscuity malt, curacao, floral hops, candy sugar and a touch of alcohol. The flavor has some tropical fruit notes upfront, as well as some spices (corriander and curacao), candy sugar, some floral hops, alcohol and some metallic notes. The mouthfeel is slightly thicker than expected and carbonation is low; drinkability is ok. An interesting BSPA, the alcohol is concealed well enough but the complexity just isnt there.

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

330ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazey coppery orange colour with a generous head and pretty lacing. Smell is intense and I'm glad I have the snifter for this one. Lots of spice. A slight sweetness but there's a lovely pepperiness there too. Some summery fruit, peaches, nectarines. Noble hops give this a grassy/earthy character. This one is begging for a taste.

This beer nearly overcame my tastebuds. Absolutely packed with flavour. Sweet but not cloying, like a fine chocolate. The sweetness starts off fruity but reveals a more nutty and chocolately layer. Spiciness as well, perhaps a little clove. There's a little bit of apple/pear flavour in here too. Earthy hops try to balance out the sweetness, but the scales tip on the side of the more sweet and spicy notes. As I said before, not cloying in the least though. A lovely malty/yeastiness comes to light as the beer warms and it becomes more comforting. There's a lot of alcohol in this one, but it really serves to enhance all the flavours inherent here. Mouthfeel is near-perfect. Bites the tongue a bit but the flavours sparkle all over the tongue. A bit thick and so intense. So drinkable, a truly great sipping beer, and a classic Belgian. This would make a perfect after-dinner drink or nightcap.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After resisting for quite some time because I thought the bottle version was way too alcoholic, hot, and spicy, I decided to order the tap version. Though very similar to the bottled version with it's fruity, spicy, and Belgian-y characters, the fruits seem riper and fresher in flavor. The alcohols seem to hide behind better creaminess, fuller body, and a rounder malt flavor. Don't get me wrong, the beer is very hot and spicy, but alcohols are not all I taste when on tap. A good alternative to Duvel and Tremens.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Perfect light golden amber with a massive 4 finger white head that melts to very thick sticky lacing.
Aroma is definately alcohol with begium yeasts and honey undertones.
Taste is fresh citrus fruit, belgium yeasts, alcohol...only a touch medicinal, however this beer is a lot about the alcohol. I can't help but wonder how it would mellow with a couple of years in the cellar.
Aftertaste cleans up nicely with slight drying but alcohol burning presence remains. Still it is missing some balance due to the high alcohol presence. I marked down both taste and mouthfeel because of this. Time should fix this.
This is a sipping beer to get drunk with....it's good and very complex and tasty, but each taste brings just a little more feel of alcohol buzz.

Photo of unclecrappy
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a big-ass wine glass. The appearance is a slightly cloudy amber, with a thick, white two-finger head that held on very well.

Aroma is killer: Big fruit and spice, with a little mustiness. Complex and compelling.

With a taste, Piraat keeps its promise of complexity. Musty, fruity sweetness balances a lightly toasted malt flavor. Actually finishes a little tart, which I thought was a nice surprise. And yeah, you really can taste the alcohol, although it doesn't overwhelm.

It feels pretty rich in your mouth. High carbonation levels without feeling fizzy.

I had tried this months ago, when I was just starting to figure out Belgian beer, and I remember being more overwhelmed than appreciative. This time, it blew me away. A new addition to my regulars.

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,080 ratings.