Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,087 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,087
Reviews: 972
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 84
Gots: 174 | 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: 2,087 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bashiba
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice golden orange with a small amount of white head.

Smell was very sweet and fruity with hints of citrus and banana.

Taste on the other hand was nearly as fruity as the smell would have suggested. Had a bit of fruit but also tastes of wheat, yeast, and a bit of nice grassy hops to even things out.

Mouthfeel was warm and fizzy.

Overall and enjoyable and drinkable brew. High ABV not even really noticeable until it was gone and I had to try and type.

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

* 750 ml

What is up with this brewery and inventing styles? A dark triple, now an amber triple IPA? This, I gotta see...

Appearance: Gold. A slightly darker-than-macro fairly clear gold. The head is quite good, pure white, dense, frothy, with very good retention and thick lacing. Moderately carbonated.

Smell: Dense and boozy, sweet - this could easily be a honey beer -- and fruity, elements of citrus and pineapple. Heavy, a bit solvent, but still nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Again, dense and sweet. Citrus rind, pineapple, and flat-out sugar. A bit cloying and boozy; not my glass of BSPA. The mouthfeel is quite nice, chewy and smooth.

Drinkability: While not the best BSPA you're likely to run across, reasonably priced, tasty and quite potent -- you could do worse.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from one of those 330ml stubby Belgian bottles that I love into my tulip an apple-juice gold, lazily murky with lots of tiny dotting of suspended yeast and quickly rising bubbles of carbonation - a two-finger head rises with a careful pour and fades somewhat quickly to an eggshell ring. I wasn't sure what to expect on the pour; Anything more aggressive would likely have come up with a large head indeed. It leaves minimal lacing, which is forgiven for a strong golden ale like this'n.

Sour, acidic notes on the nose, fermenting apples and plums, some honey and bread that lighten things; Gently tart and gently hinting at mean.

WHOA! Alcohol! I might regret drinking this. The first sip punches me in the face. There's a quick, super tight swirl of firm carbonation, a crabapple sourness, and then my mouth is set aflame with astringent alcohol. It's swept away almost at once in a new sweep of creamy tastes and dissappears almost completely in the time it's taken me to write this. What the heck? Another, more thoughtful sip... Yum! On second thought, no regrets at all! There is indeed a lot of alcohol present in this, but it's got a lot of character backing it up. There's a serious flavor of oranges in this beer - not orange peel, mind you, but pure oranges - very sweet and citrusy - and behind it, there's a slightly yeasty nibble of esters. Wow! I really like this! It's kind of hard to describe, but this beer has a really refreshing flavor. I think the first punch of liquor knocked out my taste buds, because I no longer taste that astringency - only pure, delicious flavor.

Super good mouthfeel, now that I come to think of it. This does indeed have a somewhat champagne-like carbonation, fat bubbles that bounce like a wave of tiny basketballs over your tongue - the flavor is so much like oranges, in that medium-citrus way (not too sweet like lemons, not too sour like grapefruit) that the carbonation works really well with it. The finish is pretty crisp, which also works well for this beer's flavor - it's got a lot of alcohol present, and as soon as you swallow, it clears away completely, making you forget it was ever there.

This is a beast of a beer. My cheeks are burning, my mouth is watering, and I wish I'd bought more. Yum!

Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Brownish-gold, a little murky, pours a little white head. Although there's minimal retention, it does cling to the glass.

S: Bready, a little fruity, slight hint of caramel & clean, fresh, noble hops. Good, but nothing special.

T: Good bittersweet balance, a little sweet in the aftertaste. Cidery, caramelized sugar and a some fruit (pineapple, apple, pear). Alcohol is fairly assertive. As it warms to room temperature, the alcohol finish becomes a little harsh. (really between a 3.5 and 4)

M: Exceptionally light for its strength (moderate body), fairly high carbonation.

D: Good. Approachable, but the alcohol taste begins to turn me off.

Photo of JohnW
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to confess that this is one of my all time favourite beers, so whatever I write is biased! First aquaintence with this beer was in the Staminee le Garre bar in Bruge Belgium in 2004, as their 'house beer' and can only describe it as amazing. Medium dark gold colour, clear, reasonable thick head, fairly dense, and rich heavy fruity aroma, that makes the alcohol content obvious. Some spicy overtones, but sweetness dominates the smell. Very rich flavour, almost too much at first (especially after having some lager or pilsner type beer!) which is both sweet, fruity and heavy with the alcohol content. It has dark overtones, as if the colour ought to be darker than it is, and sultanas, spices and a hint of bitterness as it goes down the throat that gives it a little bite. I love the taste of this, but it is not an easy beer to drink because of its richness and alcohol content. You sure would not want to drink more than three! Tasting from the bottle is similar, though maybe its slightly sweeter, but that could be just a trick of my memory. Have downrated the 'drinkability' simply because of its high alcohol content and richness, it is a beer to savour and enjoy like a fine wine, not a beer to have down the pub in 3 or 4 pint quantities!

John W
Bham UK Jan 2006

Photo of NEhophead
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large, dense, bright white head that lingers until the last sip. A clean, yet full golden in color with noticeable carbonation. Patches of condensed lacing around the glass.

Light citrus aromas over a light, yet distinct wheat presence. Lemongrass, orange peel, and a touch of pepper. Some notes of warming alcohol.

A nice pineapple, orange, and lemon citrus-like flavor combination. A husk of wheat and lemongrass with a touch of candied sweetness. Light mustiness with a bit of spice. Only very light alcohol hints that round out a smooth yet dry finish.

Almost medium bodied; smooth and bright on the palate.

The alcohol presence is extremely understated and very well hidden. This could be a very dangerous session Belgian at 10.5%abv.

Photo of LPorter33
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle from the sampler.

Appearance = Ridiculous amount of head - like 5 to 6 inches of thick milky white froth and foam. I've never seen a beer with this much head and I tried to pour it carefully. Extreme carbonation with a foggy golden brown/amber color. Looks pretty darn good; I just need this one to settle.

15 minutes later.

Smell = Sour, fruit smell with bananna and spices. Pretty typical smell of Belgians. Not bad though.

Taste = Nice strong, full flavor. You can definitely taste the alcohol although it doesn't seem quite as high as 10.5%. Pleasant sweet flavor that compliments the alcohol well. This is a fine tasting Belgian. The mouthfeel is a little flat and thin which surprised me given the huge head and carbonation.

Overall = A decent Belgian pale ale. I recommend it for fans of the style.

Photo of findlayfan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle - same size and shape as Duvel.

Pours with fluffy 3/4" head, some of which lingers quite a while. Nice gold body, hazy with good carbonation.

Sweet/sour nose, with a variety of fruit and a touch of citrus.

Rather "typical" trippel Belgian taste - very similar to Duvel, but alcohol more noticible (quite understandable given the +2% ABV).

Significant lacing in the glass - starts out as a white coating but eventually turns to lace.

Easy to drink, but certainly not a session beer, so I only give it a 3.5 in drinkability.

Very good example of the type - I look forward to doing some one-on-one comparisons between Piraat and Duvel.

Photo of pjwilson
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a deep orange into a tulip glass. Dark for a tripel, but still in the ballpark for style. small head forms with a little lacing.

smell: the old pears and plums. lots of that estery goodness, but very refined. a deep inhale reveals some of the alcohol.

taste: complex. the flavor of the yeast, mingles with the caramel flavored malts. this is quite a dry beer. there is very little alcohol in the taste... only felt in the belly. pears. Very good for a tripel, however it is just a bit more abrasive than other more smoother examples of the style.

note: second half of the bottle was much smoother and creamier from the yeast. I liked this half more.

mouthfeel: the end of the taste is characterized by the dryness. Drinking a beer like this makes you more thirsty.

drinkability: good for a 11.2 once bottle, but a 750 could be a touch much.

all in all, a unique take on the tripel style. The higher alcohol is a bit much here, as it worked better in gulden draake. certainly a great beer to have time and again.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tangerine peel with buttered rum edges and a moderate dusting of small particulates. The pale gold-tinted ivory crown is four fingers to start and is exceptionally tight-bubbled and firm. It also looks to be fairly sticky, as evidenced by its semi-rocky upper surface and the respectable amount of lace that has appeared on the glass in a 'painting spatters' pattern.

There's no mistaking the nose as belonging to a BSPA. Piraat fits within the style boundaries with ease, although I wish it was more powerful and more distinctive. On second thought, it's distinctive, but not necessarily in a good way. The beer smells like sour apples dipped in butter and sprinkled sparingly with ground clove. The sourness and phenols bring it down a notch in my eyes.

The flavor is a carbon copy of the aroma. I experience a brief burst of optimism each time beer enters mouth, but the initial flavors don't really expand and intensify, they just soak the taste buds and then begin to slowly fade away. That isn't to say this is bad beer, just that it's far from special when judged against the world's best.

Piraat is big and golden malty with a fair amount of underlying sweetness. Hops answer the bell and match every sweet malty jab with a bitter-hoppy right cross. I'm not sure what hop variety/varieties are in use, but I'm not that impressed with their flavor delivery, either in terms of amount or character. This is one case where malt and hops seem to cancel one another out rather than build on one another in a constructive manner.

Alcohol is noticeable, but is easily handled. The 10.5% ABV tastes and drinks not one whit higher than 8.0%. The mouthfeel is closer to full than to medium and is, unquestionably, the highlight of this experience. Rich and silky smooth, it's a finely-tuned sports car in dire need of an accomplished driver. The word 'luxurious' comes to mind.

Piraat is better than the average BSPA, but has a long, long way to go to be mentioned in the same breath with the greats of the style. It lacks that *certain something* that puts a twinkle in my eye and a spring in my step, but I still had a good time with the bottle. Watch out for that ABV. It'll plunder your booty if you aren't careful.

Photo of beerphilosopher
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide mouth tulip type goblet from a squatty bottle ... 11.? oz.

A - Slightly cloudy golden color with a thick, rich white head. Good retention and persistent lacing.

S - Mmmm ... smells Belgian. Yeasty and citrusy with sweet notes of exotic fruit and warm bread. Not a lot of distinctive spicy noted in this one though.

T - Ah yes. This one doesn't disappoint. Yeast upfront with sweet honey, citrus, and spice behind. A well balanced pale Belgian ale. Alcohol is really quite hidden initially, then asserts itself at the finish.

M - Relatively thich and complex. Good hop balance to the sweet malt doninance. Really quite rich and smooth in it's mouthfeel. A quality Belgian ale.

D - I had been wanting to try this one for some time and finally picked up a single from a store while on vacation. This one was everything I expected it to be, although maybe ever so slightly sweeter than I thought. A good representation of the pale Belgian style ... I recommend and will have it again.

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

Pours cloudy gold with a thick head. Plenty of lacing.

Smell is lemony citrus with fruity sweet malt and spices.

Taste is strong with the lemon, honey, fruit and yeast flavors. The malts and spices really shine in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth.

This is an impressive brew. Although it is a little more aggressive than the standard. Very enjoyable.

Photo of MCDuhamel
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nicely into a Leffe chalice, with a thick, white head having a consistency almost of eggwhites. Presents a dark golden, light orange but opaque appearance, appropriate for the style, exhibiting high carbonation. The aroma is surprisingly muted, with malt and some phenolic notes, and a whiff of honey. The flavor and mouthfeel is where this beer really shines. The beer starts with a sweet, honey-like note tempered by prickly carbonation that gives way to some earthy spiciness and ends with alcoholic warmth. There is a slight astringency that contrasts with the almost bubblegum sweetness. The beer coats the tongue, having a full mouthfeel that belies its pale appearance.

Bottomline: a little lacking in the nose, but otherwise a very nice Belgian strong pale ale. Perhaps I served it a little too cool to allow the aroma to develop properly.

Photo of shbobdb
2.55/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Meh. I had high hopes for this beer, I really did. However, what I found was a product that could have been produced by Avery. That's no knock 'ta' Avery, they make mighty-fine alco-bombs but . . . I expected more from this brew.
How did it look? Fantastic! Truly one of the best looking beers I have even seen! A nice, light amber colour with tiny, delicate little bubbles flowing into a rock-like head. The head! Now there was something to behold! That was worth the price of entry, solid, dynamic, beautiful. Niiice.
But then we get onto the smell. This was a victory beer for me, so I drank it in a stall after a final. Not the best arena to guage the smell of a beer, so I gave it an 'average;
The taste . . . soak a good piece of nice, german bread in some good vodka, carbonate, and there you have it. Sure, there is a noticable hop nose that affects the flavour, but, not enough. Bready, yeasty, and above all else, boozy. Not pleasant, the booze dominates.
The mouthfeel is pleasantly bubbly, with just enough body to make one quite happy. The head helps here as well.

Overall: Not a beer I'd repeat. Totally disappointing, 100% forgettable to everything except my pocketbook. If I want a booze bomb, well, I suppose its all-right, but, that's what distilled alcohol is for . .

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer came a slightly cloudy yet glowing golden yellow with a meringue like head that was perfectly flat with no discernable bubbles. There were a swarm of tiny bubbles lazily making their way to the top of the tulip glass. Smelled of marshmallows with lots of bubble gum, banana and oranges and a touch of black pepper. Tasted creamy with an intense powdered sugar sweetness, coupled with a green grape sourness and a touch of celery. There is a lovely spicy yeast finish on the roof of my mouth in the finish. Also, I can’t detect a lick of alcohol. The mouth feel is very dense and viscous that is entirely too syrupy. This really detracts from the drinkability as it makes one think of green grape concentrate. A little too thick to be enjoyed, but if you can separate the mouth feel from the flavor, you’re in for a treat.

Photo of revdrjbob
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled this second beer from the Piraat range with Tease typing and not in the bath!!

Poured into Leffe goblets a clear golden straw colour with a 1 cm white foam head, that dropped back to a thin white layer of foam. Pleanty of carbonation, with many tiny bubbles working their way upwards.

Huge arromas of alcohol first hit the nose, with wiffs of yeast and a sweet spiceness. More aromas of candied fruits and honey and marmalade.

The taste of Piraat is sadly a let down, compaired to the aroma. The first thing I get is hot alcohol over the tongue quickly followed by a sweet malty wash. After this a slightly tart yeast flavour similar to Duvel but lacking in the complexity.
Teaser reckons that it gets yucky as it heats up, and I agree that the alcohol becomes a little too much. Sadly not a beer as good as its cousin the Boucanier but still ok.

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A near perfect brew, totally in league with Duvel and other great Belgians. Poured out to a rich golden color with a pillow of white cloud like foam that was well lived. Nice lacing. High level of carbonation. Aromas of rich, sweet malts, yeast, grass and grain. Very fresh and lively smelling. Taste was quite good; flavors of malts, grain, dough, and yeast meet the palate in good balance, along with pineapple flavors and sweet citrus. Smooth aftertaste. Good mouthfeel, light and medium bodied, yet slightly chewy toward the finish. Very good level of drinkability. This will be in my fridge again soon. Highly Recommended Belgian.

Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Extremely cloudy, straw blonde in color. Relatively thin head with only a touch of slippery lace.

Creamy alcohol aromas similar to an apertif--fairly sweet. Very low hop aroma.

Very high alcohol warmth...to the point of distraction. The swallow burns from the alcohol. The malt flavors are rich with just a touch of hops to provide some balance.

Really, this is too much of a good thing. The powerful punch of alcohol is not really balanced by strong flavors or smells. This is like a beer flavored after dinner drink. One 11.2 oz bottle is enough for me--tasty in an expiremental way.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a single at Steve's (Mineral Pt) here in Madison some time ago, finally cracking it open.

Pours a bright ruddy orange with a fluffy snow-white head that fades to a coating. Nose is vibrant belgian yeasts, some wheat and sugary tropical fruits. Taste starts off with the grainy yeast, quickly leading into supersweet pineapple, pear, and citrus. Mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly, body is medium. This is damn tasty BSPA. Definitely on the sweet side, but I enjoy a sweet, fruity Belgian over a tart one. Refreshing and dangerously drinkable for 10.5%, I could definitely feel it a hakf hour later. X marks the spot for this Piraat.

Sigh...I'll let myself out.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A thick monsterous head that will not dissipate rests over this opaque brew. It is a ruddy copper color. Argueably, the nicest rings of lacing I have ever seen form down the side.

S - Strong floral notes - lilies. Dates, figs, a bit of elderberries and coriander underneath, as well as a harsh pine hop odor. Very good.

T - A slight caramel malt flavor. But the dominant taste is bitter -bittersweet more accurately. The intensely bitter hops mesh with the subtle sweeter flavors to form something very pleasant. The aftertaste is bitter and lingers long.

M - Medium viscosity, not frothy, not drying, but not refreshing. Could be improved with a creamier feel.

D - I really like this one. It is an intense ride for sure, but well worth it. Worth the price tag? That is a tough call. If the option presents itself, then I will definitely have this again, but I don't think it will for a very long time.

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

The contents 330 ml brown bottle were poured into a snifter. Color is deep hazy orange, nearly opaque even when held to light. Light contoured white head with good lacing. Earthy citrus nose. This is a big beer, not nearly as sweet as many Belgian strong ales; starts with some grainy malts, middle opens into liquorices root, finishes with aniseed and a return to the crisp citrus detected in the smell. Warm and fuzzy, Piraat triple is quite drinkable for its alcohol content and style.

Photo of Citadel82
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce brown bottle. Bought at Half-Time in Poughkeepsie.

Pours a hazy amber with an abundant, long lasting head that lasts and left sheets and pillows of whitelace down the sides of the glass.

Strong Aroma of alcohol, some fruit, some sweet malt, some floral notes some cloves. A rather intriging bouquet.

Taste was brett yeast, some rasins and cloves some sweet pale malt and some floral hops. A strong alcohol background throughout. Long dry finish.

Medium to heavy mouth feel. Left tasty slick coating on tongue and roof of mouth.

Drinkable, but strong. Make this your night cap.

Photo of Fish113d
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pouring from a chilled 11.2oz bottle into a tulip, it pours a pale gold color with some haze and a 1cm white dense surface layer which dissipates after a minute or 2.

Aroma is citrussy...orange peels, cloves, & maybe some coriander...I also get the hint of grapes as well. Nice.

Taste is sweet citrus flavors (orange/lemons) along with some slight grapes passing through and some spices. The alcohol is very apparant (sp) here as well, which kills some of the flavor on the back end.

Very prickly up front with lots of carbonation...lots of alcohol burn on the swallow. Fizzy feeling. maybe too much alcohol or not masked enough. Takes away from the taste and feel a bit IMO.

Overall, i love Belgians, but this is not one of them. Good but a little too much alcohol in your face.

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

first belgian pale ale i've ever tasted. my girl brought this home tonight, said she liked the picture on the bottle, but knew it would be good. i saw ipa, saw product of belgium, thought i knew what was up.
read on the back, "Triple by strength, IPA by nature & History."
pours up a shiny gold and cloudy color, tons of head, a thin layer stays with the beer till the end. thick lace in chunks down the glass.
smell of wheat, fruit, some malt, some spice, this thing is all over the place.
the first taste almost knocked me down! i haven't had a beer in 3 or 4 days due to a cold, and this could have ended me. first taste has some malt, moves into some spicy orange/apricot taste, and then the wheat hefe flavor kicks in, with a huge surge of alcohol in the back. WOW, this is something very different.
mouthfeel was nice, some bubbles, but rather creamy. not something i would drink often, and the 10.5% really hits you quick. my girl said she liked it, reminded her of exotic wine.


Photo of mdagnew
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from the Vineyard, Belfast..

Poured a golden yellow colour... Head was white, big and foamy with quite small beading and lasted until near the end...

Aroma - Citrusy, spicy, pineapple, earthy hints, grassy notes also...

Taste – Quite sweet, flowery, citrusy, vanilla notes...

Feel - Very sharp as there is quite a lot of carbonation...

Overall - A top notch Belgian pale ale.... one of the best. Highly recommended...

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,087 ratings.