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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,112 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,112
Reviews: 980
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 83
Gots: 187 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,112 | Reviews: 980 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottoale
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stubby little 330ml. brown glass bottle pours out a beautiful honey-gold, slightly hazy ale with atomic carbonation. A super thick frothy 2inch white head forms and soon turns rocky. Tons of thick lacing to boot! Stuff looks awesome and delicious.

Sweet, fruity, big malt nose with trailings of yeast and alcohol, lurking in the depths of this Belgian beauty.Time to indulge!

Ahhh, big round palate filling malt, nice fruity sweetness that gets carried away gently by the perfect hop ending. Flavor is bold and balanced with the high ABV extra warming and very pleasant.

Plenty of body with a slick, creamy mouthfeel and almost too easy to drink make this a dangerously delicious offering from where else...Belgium, go figure!.

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

This belgian brew pours from the bottle a cloudy golden color. The head is a monstrosity. Good golly it is the largest head ever! After 10 minutes I was finally able to get the glass full. The smell is hoppy, malty, and citrus (with slight alcohol undertones). The carbonation carries up inot the nose. The taste certainly conveys the alcohol content of this beer, but in a plesant manner. The mouthfeel is smooth on the palate and a bit sticky on the tongue with a slight lingering of alcohol. This is a descent brew worthy of your attention. Give it a go, but beware the moderately high ABV.

Photo of jabocu
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden slightly hazy honey color. Thick white cap that fell into deep taverns, and settled to a 1/4 inch cap. Aroma was sweet esters of ripe banana, apple, and citrus. Root beer, cloves, and yeast were in the nose lightly. A little alcohol was apparant in nose as well. Flavor was fruity sweet with banana and apple at first with a little grapefuit citrusy background. Some pepper and spice filled the palate as it became more grapefruit and the alcohol came out in taste. Good blend of sweet and bitter with a hanging bitterness at back of tounge. Mouthfeel was crisp and refreshing during drink, and finishes dry and warm.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head falls thin, but doesn't break. The lacing sticks a little, but not much, and the color is a bright gold throughout.

The smell is clovey, fruity, and crisp.

The taste is a little fruity with burnt sugar, and as I it warms flavors of orange and apple.

The mouthfeel is crisp, but not harsh.

Drinkability is great, the beer is crisp, refreshing and fruity, but still soft.

Photo of tgbljb
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a lovely golden color with massive chunky white head. Head lasted throughout and nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is truly enjoyable with nice notes of summer fruits, bananas, bubble-gum, and yeast. Taste is also very pleasant with strong banana and other light fruit flavors. Nice and creamy in the mouth with an almost syrup like feeling being left behind. Some alcohol detected, but not what you would think for a 10.5% beer. Way too easy to drink. Very enjoyable beer.

Photo of scoobybrew
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Upon pouring, this beer presents a beautiful forthy head that has excellent retention, even until the very end. It's highly carbonated with a light golden color. The aroma is yeasty with a sweet malt smell and a hint of alcohol. Upon tasting, the creamy mouthfeel is characterised by the sweet, complex malt is spiced with yeast phenolics that are noticed immediately. Later, as the temperature gets closer to room temperature (you cannot drink this fast, too enjoyable, but also very potent), the alcohol content is more perceptable (without diminishing the experience).

Overall, I'm really in love with this beer. It is one of my favorite commerical choices. So much so that I sprung for the expense to have it served for all to enjoy at my wedding. A must for Belgian beer lovers and a necessary experience for all beer fans.

10/14/06 - revised review and scoring based on recent tasting: I still love this beer very much after not having one for nearly 6 months!

Photo of KyleVick4
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So to begin with, this is the first Belgians I have reviewed, so not much to compare with but here goes...

A: A hazy pale golden color, resembles honey but with lots of bubbles going up the sides. Nice head when poured, head has lasting potential but left little or no lace.

S: Smell a lot of unfamiliar smells, wheat is I think the main smell. With a hint of alcohol in the background.

T: Has a tart taste that took a little getting used to, but then I really began to enjoy it. Has a sweetness at first, but then develops its slight mouth pucker. Really not bad at all.

M: Very bubbly. Light and mildly syrupy. Again I am having trouble describing it because the taste and beer type is so unfamiliar

D: Not bad, the 10 abv can be tasted, but only mildly. Very refreshing brew. But I could see myself getting tired with the beer after this one bottle.

Overall i was pretty impressed with the beer. I think it is way different that what Im used to (Double IPAs, Imperial Stouts, Barleywine etc.) but could see myself getting attached to it if I had the money!

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.91/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light yellow amber with a thin off white head. Carbonation is light. Smells of cereal, light caramel, a hint of citrus and booze. Taste/MF are slightly acidic, well hopped, very dry, and strongly alcoholic. Mild corn flavors are also present. I find the citric acid to be a bit much in this beer because it isn’t balanced by any strongly pleasant citrus flavors. Finishes sweet and thick. Body is full. Drinkability is low.

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

As an experienced beer drinker with little knowledge of Belgian Ales, I finally decided to begin my journey into uncharted waters. Not knowing where to start, I chose Piraat upon the recommendation of a dear friend from Croatia.

Anyway, I poured the chilled beer into a tulip glass. It made a well-formed, thick, lacey head that was impressive. The beer is a light golden brown, with a bit of haze. From start to finish there were little bubbles crawling up through the beer to the top of the glass.

The smell was delicious. A combination of fruity, wheaty, tropical aroma tempered by a prominent (but pleasant) alcohol finish. It is hard for me to describe the taste because it is so new and unique to me, but I would say the flavor is full-bodied, balanced, and citrusy. To sum it up, delicious, alcoholic honey. It is quite strong, though, as one beer consumed in about 25 minutes went straight to the dome. The mouthfeel is cider-like. On drinkability, I found it to go down easy, but not a beer that one can drink repeatedly in succession.

Photo of sabrills70
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle with no visible freshness date. Pours a deep gold/ hazy almost amber with a huge head, good lonvity and very nice lace. Grassy and earthy aromas mixed with a sweet honey like malt. A bit citrusy and apple. Big yeast flavors mixed with sugar, citrus and apple. Hos are present, but not predominate. Alcoholic and warming. A truly tasty beer but not one for a 75 degree day in March. A definate winter beer. Very good none the less.

Photo of Rezzin
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - thick and creamy white head with medium sized bubbles visible from the sides of the glass. Golden stray colored with lots of floaties - it's clear with the exception of the floaties. Was this bottle conditioned? I poured the whole thing into my glass.

S - Fruity with a little bit of malt. I'm not sure what it's hopped with but I smell a little hoppiness to it. Smells wonderful. Somewhat spicy.

T - First sip is a blast of grapes, sweetness with a slight hoppy bitterness. Almost candy like Banana. I've had a few belgians in the past but this one is the best yet. Maybe a little much on the alcohol for my taste but it's great regardless.

M - Lots and lots of bubbles. Clean and crisp while I swallow and it leaves a sweet coating on the back of my throat.

D - Although I'm not a big fan of Belgians as a whole - either drinking them more often has helped me acquire the taste for them or I drink better Belgians as time goes on. Fortunately I bought the 11.2oz bottle so I'll be able to go back to work later tonight.

Photo of crwills
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK so I'm confused. This was certainly a strong pale ale and not an IPA. The front of the stubby bottle says 10.5% ABV, but the back says 9.0%, and there are two different 'Piraat' beers on this site, one with each ABV. Who knows. Regardless, this was a pretty good Belgian ale and I wish I had more.

I got this in a sampler for Christmas along with a bunch of other stuff from the same brewery. This one was poured from a stubby bottle into a large red wine glass. Pleasant, shining golden colour with a huge fluffy 2"+ head. Some dark yeasty bits in the bottom -- I shouldn't have emptied the bottle. My bad. The head fades quickly and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell is a bit heavy on the alcohol, which I don't like much. Behind that is fruity and spicy, with prominent pepper and pineapple notes.

Taste is a lot like Duvel. Spicy with bananas and pineapple, and a lot more carbonation than expected. Thick, coating mouthfeel and almost no aftertaste, which is a nice change. Quite a well balanced beer, although it didn't really stand out as something unique for me.

Photo of WaffleSauce
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jpm30 for the trade on this one. Cork hit the ceiling upon opening. Pours (in to my trusty Stone pint glass) a very hazy yellow, a hint of orange, and slightly cloudy. GARGANTUAN white head, and many, many, many bubbles. Head is ridiculously persistent, and lacing factor is off the scale.

Nose is very malty with a hint of citrus, more lemony than organge.

Very malty and lemony upfront, slightly metallic but not at all abrasively so. Moves in to a noticeable reminder of the 10.5% ABV factor, but not in a bad way. Finishes with a tangy bitter, but not the typical hop bitter that I’m accustomed to.

Being a fan of huge American style IPAs, this was one of my first steps out of my comfort zone of mind-numbingly hopped IPAs. I don’t think I’d drink it on a regular basis, but it is fairly drinkable despite its massive alcohol.

Photo of audiojon
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2nd review-

I'm under the impression my first bottle had something wrong with it. The second time around, this beer is much easier to drink and looks a whole lot better to boot! My last bottle had very large yeast flakes floating around- way too many, it seemed, for a little 11.2oz bottle. My presumption has proved correct, as this bottle had only mild yeast floaties, and tasted a hell of a lot better. Very refreshing for 10.5% abv, an excellent example of a Belgian strong pale. I can't say the brew is very complex, but it tastes wonderful for what it is. I'd like to try this on tap, as I recently had the Boucanier on tap and it was much tastier than it's bottled brother.

Photo of CNeilP09
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Personally, this is my favorite beer of all time. Strand me on an island, with an unlimited reserve of this beer, and I'll die a happy man.

Serving type: 330ml bottle poured respectfully into a wide-mouthed tulip goblet, of the classic belgian style. Slightly chilled, with 55 minutes in a refrigerated envrionment set at 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The "flash-chilling" I do for most Belgian beers works well for me, possibly not others.

Appearance: This Belgian has a wonderful cottonish head, thick and cloud-like. The head is rooted by a copper-yellow ale, magnificent in its own right.

Smell: Fruity, Spicy, hints of maple, a touch or two of caramel, a backbone of prevailing alcohol(10.5% is hardly unrecognized) and a bit of anise.

Taste: Astonishing. Much like the nose, this beer delivers. Warm on the end, and complex at the beginning. It's almost the "Willy Wonka" of beer, think of a flavor and you'll taste it.

Mouthfeel: Robust, sligthly chewy, a touch of graininess overridden by the thorough components of what makes this beer what it is.

Drinkability: Again, strand me on a desert island, this is the one i'd want with me. But due to its hefty alcohol volume, it's one of those beers that is meant to be savoured, not swilled. One or two in a sitting is all one would need. Great Beer. Bottom Line.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/04/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip. No freshness info to be found.

Appearance- Golden-orange coloration. Full inch + head at pour. Light rim sticks throughout. Light lacing along the edges.

Smell- Sweetness for sure. Brown sugar and candy-like scents. Maybe some cotton candy. Slight fusel alcohol smell as well. Maybe cutting through the sweetness you can find a bit of bitter hop smell.

Taste- Sugary, which turns to a quick flash of tartness which turns to a nice light bitter hop profile. Some peppery aspects as well as maybe a touch of corriander also.

Mouthfeel- Slightly drying effect in the aftertaste as well as a mild bitter aftertaste. Moderate to higher carbonation.

Drinkability- One of the sweeter beers I have had from this style. Very warming as it should be at almost 11%. Tangy and tasty. A sipper and not one to be slammed down. Allow this one to warm and take your time. Goes well with Inidan food....chicken korma in particular.

Photo of asabreed
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What's this noise about an Amber Triple IPA? Is this a misprint? Well, either way, 33 cl bottle into my Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance: Love the bubbles caterwauling toward the top, always recharging, and naturally to boot, the head of the brew. Nice semi-hazy golden yellow color as far as the body goes. Also, the head was consistently graceful when I poured, but nothing toward overflow, which somehow usually happens with me and the stronger Belgians. And though it doesn't look like ice cream, it's been staying at it's 3/4 to 1" level the whole time, with a good variation of spotty and clumpy lacing circling the top of the glass. And damn the bubbles are nice to watch, along with their patterns and variations.

Smell: Belgian yeast with some phenolic qualities: feeling a bit of medicinal and band-aid and slight leather. I never thought such aromas and intricacies would be appealing to me. Coupled with that is major candi sugar, banana, huge amounts of citrus zest, and some pear and cherry. Also some hops in there, but nothing to the point where I'm deeming it a factor of importance unless it's relating to the balance with the heavy malts, which certainly could be the case.

Taste: Clean, Belgian, balanced, and a long finish. It's hard to differentiate from many others of the style (those that really do what they're supposed to do, I should say), but this is very nice. Lots of yeast, malt, and candi sugar, with underlying banana and zest as the fruit that dominates. Finish is a pretty harmonious initial balance of malt and hops, which later fades into ripe cherry, pear, and banana. If this were somehow... I don't know, more singular maybe, this could be close to a perfect score. And I'm giving it a 4 because there are so many great Belgians out there, and I'm deeming this as one of them, but anything higher warrants much brought to the table, to me, that exhibits some qualities that others don't have. Hints of that here, but not the whole deal.

Mouthfeel: A pretty good balance between the carbonation and thickness with the malt and sugars. It never becomes cloying in the least.

Drinkability: Not feeling the 10.5% at all. I suppose the better stronger beers end up hiding it well, though. I paid around $4 for the bottle, which I think is now well worth it. Lots of balance, flavor, and clean sipping. Very enjoyable. Beyond impressed with this overall.

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light gold with a faint haze and bright white head. It poured with huge, fluffy foam that showed good retention and lacing. Aromas of pear and lemon to start. These lead into bready yeast and alcohol that's a little bit forward, but balanced well. Significant sweetness in the flavour with pepperiness throughout. Low bitterness initially, but it becomes stronger towards the finish. Light fruitiness. Alcohol appears at the end. Medium bodied, generous carbonation, off-dry with a hint of slickness. The alcohol could be hidden better, but there's a lot of it to hide. Still, pretty solid.

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

Presentation: 330ml fat bottle poured unhurriedly into a tulip glass. I think I found the botting date on the back label. (05DE, Dec. 05?)

Appearance: Poured a hazy dark gold color, almost amber. Head was a white-tan shade, formed thick with very small bubbles and took up the top half of the glass easily. It is fading very slowly as the bubbles grow larger. the carbonation bubbles rising through the glass look great.

Aroma: Peppery, some hints of spice are detectable.

Taste: Wow, this one really packs a punch. Very sweet malt flavors enter with a touch of honey as well. Midway it switches gears and becomes more peppery from the alcohol. The finish is kind of grassy.

Mouthfeel: A little creamy for my taste, but still smooth. Carbonation is in good balance.

Overall: I'm glad I bought the smaller bottle as I'm not sure I'd be able to stand on my own had I needed to polish off a 750ml by myself. If you're a fan of Belgians, though, this one is worth a try.

Photo of gmcfarre
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330ml bottle in Samuel Smith curvy pint glass.

A- slightly cloudy gold, nice n billowy 1in. white foam head

S- citrus, apple, banana and yeast, alcohol is well hidden with just a touch of spiciness

T- very similar to smell with alot of sweetness. perhaps a drop of honey to combine with the citrus and others from above

M- nice tingle, otherwise pretty smooth, not heavy enough to be creamy, no bitterness and not biting at all

D- alcohol pretty well hidden, but it does hit you after a bit. Overall its not as complex as I want out of a belgian. Reminiscent of a good wheat beer.

Photo of stcules
1.91/5  rDev -53%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Golden color, almost amber. White foam, compact, not bad.
The smell: not bad in itself, with flowers and fresh fruitiness, but the problem is the alcohol, a lot. Absolutely too strong. Honey, perhaps? Anyway, unbalanced.
In the taste too, again fruity (pear), the alcohol is too strong. Absolutely unbalanced. 10.5 ABV. All perceptible.
Scarce drinkability, too much alcohol.

Photo of geexploitation
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 11-oz. bottle size. This tasty tripel pours cloudy and dark gold. A nice, fluffy head forms and then fades to just cover the beer. Nose is heavy with burnt sugar, alcohol, and baking spices. Very active on the tongue, with an almost cloying sweetness giving way to hops tasted in the middle/back of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth. Effervescent carbonation. Not terribly complex -- these are big flavors with relatively few nuances, but they are also GOOD big flavors, so that's not a put-down.

Overall, a very nice tripel and recommended to try. There are better ones out there, and there are worse.

By the way, have pirates EVER drunk tripel?

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

Wow! I can barely refrain from giving this beer a five in appearance. It is simply golden in color, the inch of head leaves a nice ring of lace. The bubbles are rising up the middle of my engrave tulip, they're going up the sides too. They are everywhere. Smells of sweet boozy banana bready malt.

Taste is more alcoholic than I remembered from the draft version, but this has subsided now that I have finished over half of the 750 ml. The flavor contains banana, is bready, and is definitely sweet. Mouthfeel is nice, mildly carbonated with big bubbles. Watch out for this one. Finished this in less than an hour. I remember the days when this was my fallback beer at Chalkies. Well, it was this or Gulden Draak, both on tap at all times. Those were the days.

Photo of BillyB
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very good beer but I think it's in the wrong style category. It doesn't really taste like a big IPA. Not much hop flavor let alone HUGE hops.
Pours a nice golden color with a nice 2 inch white head.
Aroma is fruity and a bit yeasty. Smells like sweet candy sugar.
Taste is again, fruity, yeasty and sweet.
Very drinkable. Not much hop presence.

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

Had on tap at the Winking Lizard in Columbus. Looked like a pilsner, clear golden color with thin 1-finger white froth.

I'm not sure what's up with calling it a Triple IPA in the name on BA, this is definitely a Belgian strong pale ale, veering towards a tripel. Sweet and alcoholic, with some fruity flavors.

Very good, not as sweet as I prefer but not bad.

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,112 ratings.