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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
PiraatPiraat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

995 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 995
Hads: 2,247
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 110
Gots: 275 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 995 | Hads: 2,247
Photo of BeerWithMike
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling right now on 3/30/14. Bought this about a week ago as a 'make your own 6' for $8.99, as it was the only bottle of this. Comes in a neat 11.2 ounce (330ml) with a cool label also (NOT LIKE THE PIC ON HERE> Has a pirate and a old sailing ship on the open seas. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a flute glass.

Pours a pretty cloudy dark-orange in color with a half finger off-white heat that stays around for a long time. There is a bunch of sediment in the bottom of the bottle after the pour. Lots of sticky lacing is seen with each sip as well. There is a bunch going on with the aroma as there is caramel malts, lemon grass, dark fruits and honey. The taste has a lot going on as well with sweet malts right up front, followed by plums and some sweet bourbon-like flavor for the finish. I am surprised it is a I.P.A. style brew as there is no bitter/hoppy aftertaste at all. You don't taste the high alcohol content either. Goes down easy and after one of these, on a empty stomach, you will feel it. Over a great brew! (1,070 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a cloudy dark orange color with a lot of tiny particles floating inside. Forms a big thin bubbled and creamy light yellow head which is aloso soapy and molasses. Huge retention (never disappears completely) leaving tons of soapy lingering lacings in the glass

S: Strong sweet caramel malts in the nose. Candi sugar, dark dry fruits and caramel. Strong lemony and grassy hops profile. Very bready and earthy Belgian style yeasts. Alcohol notes in the end

T: Sweet malty upfront. Strong notes of caramel malts, candi sugar and toffee. Notes of dry raisins and plums. A bit of bubblegum sensation. Grassy and lemony hops bitterness. Consistent bitterness. Good bitterness balance. Belgian style bready yeasts

M: Heavy, creamy and molasses body. High density beer. Bready, fruity and bitter aftertaste

O: Good drinkablility despite of the ABV. Pleasant and well done Belgian Strong Ale. Classic (948 characters)

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review taken many times over the last 5 years.

11.2oz(33cl/330ml) brown bottle. Awesome Van Steenberge bottle shape with plastic pirate inspired label covering entire bottle. I love the shapes of these bottles. Poured into a fat stemmed Belgian tulip.

A - hazy yellow golden in color. Thick, creamy and massive are words that best describe this lovely head leaving a very sticky ring of lace.

S - for starters this has a top shelf Belgian yeast aroma paired with banana, orange, bubblegum, and a faint whiff of sour apples. Belgian spices and a toasted bread like malt balance the aroma. Maybe a hint of creamy vanilla as it warms.

T - this is a classic yet original flavor. Light fruitiness of ripe banana and orange with the perfect pairings of Belgian spices. Malts have a toasted bread character same as the nose and add an authentic Belgian yeast and its citrus notes just pop.

M - medium to full body and especially smooth feel. Texture and thickness play a key role in Piraat's ability to be a real winner. It almost comes off as too easy to drink but overall its just a great feel and brew in general.

O - piraat ale is a classic for me. One of the first true Belgian ales that got me hooked to the world of craft beer and Belgium in general. A true genius recipe that still plays a major role in my craft beer life. It's always there and will never let you down. This is something people will be drinking til the end of time (1,442 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into tulip. Whether on draft or in bottle, this beer never fails to impress. Not a great aroma, but the taste is very enjoyable and satisfying, with hints of spiciness and moderate floral notes. While a huge Belgian fan, this style has never been one of my favorites. I'm not sure why. But Piraat has always been a favorite of mine in this style, with easy drinkability, very moderate hops, and an almost undetectable alcohol presence for its high abv. And I love the bottle. I'll always have a place in my heart for this beer. (546 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a reddish amber color with a thick just off white head of two finger height. The head sticks around with it seemingly never going to fade. Eventually the head does begin fading however, leaving a nice level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is big and bready with lots of yeasty and spice smells. The spice are the classic Belgian spices with coriander and clove as well as a little bit of pepper. Along with these aromas are some fruit smells of orange and pear as well as a grassy and hay-like hop aroma.

Taste – The taste of the beer begins big sweet and bready flavor with some light hop right from the start. The sweetness comes from a nice blend of citrus flavors and some caramel. The hops that begins the flavor are almost entirely of a grapefruit nature with flavors of a grassy hop and a bit of dank earthy hops joining the flavor as the taste advances. Along with these flavors there is an ever present and rather strong yeasty taste. While the yeast is constant throughout the taste, the spice and sweet flavors that accompany the yeast are not. At first a banana taste is present upfront with it fading and giving way to spice flavors of clove and coriander as the taste advances to the end. Some toasted malt flavors and some grain, along with a bit of a warming boozy taste come to the tongue during the flavor profile as well and with all the flavor transitions that occur throughout the taste, one is left with a nice bready, moderately fruity, sweet, and lightly hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the average to slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is composed of tons of tiny little champagne like bubbles. Both are fantastic for the style and the big flavors of the brew and make for a good sipping beer.

Overall – A very pleasant and tasty Belgian strong. It’s a classic for a reason as it has a nice blend of Belgian strong with just enough hop to keep it lively. (2,076 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: A dark orange/amber color with a somewhat creamy white head.

S: Citrus, especially orange in the nose, typical of a Belgian IPA, which is to say it smells delicious.

T: Akin to the smell, and again typical of a Belgian IPA, which is to say, again, delicious. Fruity Belgian yeast esters, orange, a general flavor of citrus, very tasty. Pleasantly bitter.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: A good, obtainable Belgian style IPA. Perhaps not the best, but a great example of the style, very drinkable, and quite tasty. (521 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

No date that I can see.

A: Pours a clear amber. Very bubbly with a tall, frothy offwhite head. Slowly fading head; good retention. Sparse but fluffy chunks of lacing.

S: Belgian yeast is strong in this one. Loaded with cloves and maybe a hint of banana. Tons of black pepper. A bit of grassy earthiness to boot.

T: Big citrus up front followed by a bunch of grass. Belgian yeast character is much weaker in the taste than the aroma. It's not a bad thing, it comes across more balanced this way. Cloves and black pepper regardless. Almost wheaty, grainy type malt. Kinda earthy in spots. Really nice citrus throughout. Mild bitterness on the back end but nothing like your typical american IPA. Lingering dry citrus and black pepper between sips.

M: Smooth, medium bodied. Higher carbonation provides a sort of airy, crisp mouthfeel while keeping this one from being too heavy.

O: A surprisingly good Belgian IPA. Nice crisp flavors and fruitiness. Tastes really light and refreshing until I realized this was 10.5%! It goes down like a 6% belgian pale. Great balance and drinkability is off the chart. One of the best belgian IPAs I've ever had. (1,151 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Brass Rail deli, poured chilled in a tulip

The color is hazed amber with thick three finger head with off white shade and fine bead. The lace clings in a film. The smell is both floral and phenolic with light spice and an herbal hop odor with slight malt and alcohol adding to the aroma with slight fruity ester from the yeast. The feel is great, feels full with moderately high carbonation giving a prickly tip of the tongue sensation with some light sweetness and mild bitterness with dry and alcohol influenced finish.

The taste is very good -lots of yeast providing a sort of fruity tangy element which leads to a more hop driven spice and herbal mix. The taste of candy sugar is there but it is not obtrusive, more complimentary to the yeast and supplements the bitterness of the hops in a tasty way. There is a good amount alcohol to bolster the hops in the flavor- more of a strong pale than Belgian IPA to my taste, but who knows what this is like fresh in Belgium?-Not me. I like this but it seems stronger than most of its strength. I like the taste and would definitely buy this again considering its complexity. (1,151 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Golden in color, with a creamy off white head. Hazy, great retention. Rings of lacing adhere to the glass.

S- Citrus, and a bit of juicy peach. A twinge of spice, yeast.

T- Slight citrus, with alcohol in the forefront. Sweet, a little caramel. Some fruity notes as well.

M- A little viscous. Bittersweet finish. A bit of hop character coming out in the finish.

O- A little more alcohol flavor than I prefer. I think it takes away from some of the other great aspects of this one. (532 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the Lazy Dog Pours a hazy medium golden color with a huge bubbly white head that takes forever to subside, in fact this bottle tried to pour itself. Aromas of honey and pilsner malt with hints of sweet fruit, a bit of peppery spice, clove, and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is honey like malty sweetness with a solid shot of warming alcohol. Bits of light sweet fruit like apple, pear, and raisin offset with a spicy earthy yeasty flavor. Medium to thick body with a spirited level of carbonation but a thick sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Nice sipping beer, flavorful and tasty, I’m glad I threw this one in the mixed six the other day! (652 characters)

Photo of Braheem
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is perfect. Three finger head, a light honey brown color along with solid carbonation providing a enjoyable mouthfeel. At the end of the day I like to relax with one brew or two. If that beer happens to be a Piraat then I'm a happy camper. (249 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear golden honey color with a fluffy white three finger head that breaks quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.

The nose is yeast and hops with some floral notes as well. The taste follows the nose from the yeast and hops perspective, but there is also a nice spice taste that comes to the fore along with some hpps bitterness.

The mouth feel is nice, medium carbonation and smooth which hides the high abv well.

Overall not a bad beer. I think it is something I would enjoy more in the spring or summer, but that is just my preference. I have to say that the high abv was well hidden, and it was perhaps a little too easy to drink. (683 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

great Belgian strong here, but a shade below the hype. its blonder than expected, with a robust inch of thick white foam. lemon lime color, simple, but elegant. the nose is bitter indeed, but not fully from hops, some funny malting strategy here perhaps is to blame, or maybe it is hops, hard to tell from smell alone. I don't get the other hop essentials, so im confused. rich flavor, creamy feel, vanilla before the bitter taste comes in. rich grain bill, oats maybe here, like a tripel, but not sweet at all, minus the candy sugar. interesting, but the alcohol is strong. its almost too strong. the taste finishes with a burn, and its moderately unflattering, but still unique to this brew alone with all that strange bitter. well carbonated and smooth, aside from the booze burn. less drinkable than many, but a complex and well refined glass of ale. ill be back. (867 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light orange gold with thick white creamy head. Smells of pears, honey, light alcohol, and some citrus fruit. Taste is divine, very fruity pears, citrus, sweet sugars, with light belgian spice. Sweet and hides the booze well. Medium mouthfeel, a bit slick, but goes down easy. Not sure how to characterize this one, but it is fantastic. I would love to drink this all the time. (383 characters)

Photo of Michael_DuBois
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I tried this at Croxley's on Long Island, NY in the Farmingdale area, neighborhood...I don't know what they call suburbs on LI. Anyhow, I was more than a few glasses deep before the bartender admired my outstanding tab amount and the gratuity he stood to make and offered to buy me a glass of the Piraat. I wasn't driving so I took him up on the offer.

I take a sip. Wow! Now keep in mind I had been drinking a lot of stouts and porters but this pour woke up my senses immediately. It was golden, murkey, marginally heady and after my first sip, I instantly went back in for another....and another...and another.

I then pull it up on BA to see what the concesus on it was, where it came from, ABV, etc., etc. I slurred over my few attempts to pronounce Brouwerij Van Steenberge which prompted the meathead at the end of the bar to ask if I was some sort of a retard. It sounded really funny at the moment in his thick Long Island accent, but the guy looked like he could rip off my arm and beat me with the wet end so I quickly did my best to clear the air and explain my inability to speak words without sounding all mongo-ish.

Back to the beer. Excellent flavor of citrus and light wheat. It almost reminded me of Danny-Mac, which I sampled at Furkin Fest in St. Paul, MN earlier that spring. I wouldn't have been offended if this beer was served at breakfast in lieu of OJ, alongside pancakes, eggs and a few strips of bacon. Danny-Mac or Piraat for that matter. There was no BOOZY-ness to the beer which I appreciated considering its ABV.

I enjoyed it so much in fact that before I left for the evening I grabbed a growler and shared it with my colleagues the following evening at a dinner event. All but one person found the beer to be exceptional. The nay-sayer is admittedly only fond of Coors Light and Michelob Golden Draft Light so I wasnt' surprised in the least that he would poo-poo this dilectable beverage. To each their own though. I personally don't enjoy lima beans....there...I said it. (2,013 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep amber-nut with lots of bubbles and a full, rocky, cratered cap of off white foam that sheets.
Lemon rind, white pepper, and sugar cookie on the nose with some leafy herb and coriander seed.
Spice cookie and baguette crust up front, some bruised apple esters, a smooth clovey phenol presence, then warm cumin and cardamom hop end.
Star anise and carambola finish and humming, clean, clove oil linger.
Medium, soft + silky, chewy, no heat.

Been looking forward to this one for a while; one of the few Belgian IPAs from Belgium that I haven't tried. And it looks great, and feels great, yet... the hops are there enough to balance the malt, which must be considerable given the ABV, but they're neither bright grassy noble hops nor citrus American hops (like Houblon Chouffe). What you end up with is simply a balanced, flavorful - but by no means superior - overstrength BSPA. This only worsens as it warms - a slight oily herb leaf note can't fight off piles of candy sugar.

Left wanting, somehow. (1,005 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 5 of 6 from the Belgian Taster's Pack at LCBO. Served cold and poured into oversized wine glass. Awesome label and bottle cap i should note.

Appearance - Semi transparent golden copper color with 2 big fingers rocky white head. the head lingers for a while and leaves some streaky lacing alongside the glass. Visually impressive.

Smell - Funky Belgian yeasts, gentle but potent hops and floral nose as well. Well crafted due to the interplay between these notes but not the most complex aroma, Booze is extremely well hidden in the nose.

Taste - Sweet & savory at first, then hops and spicy presence take over. Finishes slightly bitter. Only indication of booze again is due to a combination it makes with the spiciness inherent in the beer. Not quite as refreshing as I hoped. As the beer warms the lack of booze flavor diminishes and the alcohol stands out a lot more.

Mouthfeel - Rich with well hidden alcohol and a dry finish. A good blending of the IPA and various Belgian Styles Ales to create something that makes my mouth sing.

Overall - While I really enjoyed my beer (third best of the six pack), I found it a touch overly refined and less extreme than I hoped for. Would never turn one down as this remains one of the best in the style. (1,259 characters)

Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Piraat

Belgian Ale

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: When held to the light, the body is a light amber with orange hues. A frothy, two finger amount of head that stays around for awhile. Upon a small amount of swirling, it dissipates, but much like another Belgian: Duvel, it never dissipates fully and leaves bubble remnants among the glass until completion.

Smell: Hints of citrus, diced green apples, a very fresh and refreshing aroma.

Taste: This one from Van Steenberge slightly reminds me of Gulden Draak, although this is not nearly as dark. There is a complex variety of flavors present: Red apple, plum, and orange peel flavors hit the pallet and it finishes slightly bitter, but mostly clean. Booze-taste is present at times but is very well hidden as many of the flavors unwrap.

Mouthfeel: Despite the 10.5abv in this Ale, the heat is wrapped nicely with a silky and smooth profile that is stunningly easy to drink.

Overall: This is a fine presentation from Van Steenberge. I acquired this beer in a Van Steenberge mix 6 pack that I carry at my shop. I was hoping for a more complex profile similar to Gulden Draak (triple). However, this beer is a great Belgian Ale that delivers and will definetly be carried now as its own item in my shop. It is very drinkable on any occasion (not too complex, but absolutely not bland either). (1,370 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a brown 330 mL bottle with the distinctive bottle shape similar to Duvel. Didn't think to locate the dating (if there was any) because I had this one at dinner and didn't want to be a total jackass. Poured into an oversized wine glass, and the waiter was kind enough to leave about a third of it in the bottle for me to pour at my leisure.

Appearance - Pours a a rich reddish orange that is mostly opaque and hard to see through due to the haziness of the yeast sediment. Atop the body sits a pillowy foam of about a finger thick, the color of parchment. Slowly dissipates, but never gets to be less than a generous drifting of foam around the edges of the glass and ample foam across the top.

Smell - Dominated by fruity phenols and the more astringent bit of alcoholic esters. The strength of this beer certainly isn't hiding in the aroma. Nose definitely gives me more of a "tripel" feel than it does IPA. The hop aromas that are present tend to be more tropical, with mango and pineapple, and it gets lost in the yeasty components.

Taste - Not quite as hot as the aroma, but still packs quite a wallop. Most of the bitterness I get seems like it's coming from the alcohol, rather than the generous hop profile that one might expect from an IPA--even a Belgian variety. It's at this point that I am now more curious about the date, because if I had to guess, this bottle has a little age on it, letting the fruitiness of the yeast overtake any of the hop characteristics.

Mouthfeel - On the slightly heavy side of medium bodied, with ample carbonation and a semisweet and bitter finish with the alcohol lingering like it would with a spirit drink.

Overall, I'm glad to have sampled this beer, but it's not one I'm likely to get again. In many ways, it reminds me of Green Flash's Le Freak, but it's a bit more unbalanced than that version, even though both are quite strong. (1,897 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Piraat... poured in a tulip at cellar temperature.

An attractive deep amber-orange color and a big three-finger, puffed up, pure white head which compliments said hue nicely. Beautiful lacing as the foam recedes. I can see lots of bubbles rising in the glass.

Smells like green apples, lemons, organic herbs, funky yeast, and sourdough pancakes. It's a typically Belgian scent (not a complaint), but with some unique complexities that are quite nice.

Upon tasting, I can see why this is fit for the Belgian IPA classification. It tastes much like some of the fine Belgian strong pale ales I've enjoyed, but with an infusion of juicy citric hops. That's what hits my palate first, and it's followed by that wonderful Belgian ale quality in the aftertaste that makes me feel like I just DRANK a slice of sweet, freshly-baked bread. The 10.5% ABV is just not there at ALL. I probably would have guessed 7.5% if it wasn't on the label. Anyway, it's delicious.

The feel is pretty effevescent, but has more body to it than other Belgian ales I've had... which is kind of refreshing since so many Belgians are carbonated to the extreme.

Piraat. Ah, yeah. (1,152 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Top Hops last week, having never had this before. I figured that with the Pirates in the postseason for the first time in a generation, this would be a good time to have something with this moniker. Although this beer was quite strong, it was immensely enjoyable and much more complex than I was first led to believe. The only detraction to be found was the alcohol content, as this was quite strong both in taste and in body

Quite a pour to this, as the head filled up quite a bit of my pint glass well before I poured all of this out, as I had to let it settle before swirling the sediment out. Not completely clear either but enough light shone through it and the carbonation was relentless throughout the whole session as well. Lots of booze, fruit, and malt in the nose with all of those even more pronounced in the taste. Light fruits here like apple and apricot and enough candied sweetness to serve as a reminder of what kind of beer this was. The mouthfeel was nearly balanced and somewhat light given how potent this was and how the yeast kicked in the in the aftertaste.

To be fair, this was strong and not something that could be quickly downed. That had nothing to do with the taste however, as this was great from start to finish and had enough to like in it like so many other Belgian beers. Even with the hint of lemon in the mouthfeel, this was very aggressive and spices are minor enough not to detract from that. A great beer that deserves to be savored slowly for all that its worth. (1,524 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a cloudy deep orange color with a huge huge white head.

The aroma is awesome of orange peel, sweet candy sugar, and lots of fruity phelonic character along with Belgian bready yeast.

The flavor follows with sweet tangerine, orange peel, the candy sugar follows. The candy sugar is bright and clean. There's some Belgian yeast character and tastes a good amount like a balance between a tripel and Duvel. Lots of carbonation. Some white wine and lemon characteristics. There's a bit of booze, but it's super hidden and really drinkable. The finish has some nice bitterness that cleans up that sugary sweetness in there.

I really enjoyed this. It has a Duvel, but also La Chouffe character along with tripel characteristics. A truly underrated Belgian beer. (776 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Copper filtered, little to almost no carbonation, 1 finger off white large fish roe sized bubbles.

S: Glue, nail polish, sweet Belgian yeast much like those found in Unibroue’s, cologne, perfume, alcohol.

T: Belgian yeast like Unibroue’s La Terrible, then the nail polish and glue, cologne, finishes with a slight sour and alcohol note.

M: Thick alcohol body, medium carbonation with fine bubbles.

O: A really good Belgian, high in alcohol, reminiscent of Unibroue. A nice sipper with some strangeness that would make me prefer others over it. (554 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
3.14/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Broken from the Van Steenberge beer pack I purchased last December. Consumed on "08/04/13." Review is from my notes. I've had this substantially fresher before, and feel bad reviewing a Belgian IPA that is 8 months old, but it should hold up alright. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours an extremely thick deep amber reddish color (one that you see often in barleywines) with a frothy head about 4 fingers high in the glass. It settles to about a finger, but doesn't seem to ever let go, which is impressive given the high alcohol, but expected given the strong yeasty qualities of the beer at hand. Not much lacing. Extremely viscous, with huge alcohol legs. Hoping it isn't a boozy trainwreck.

The aroma immediately confirms my fears. It has been over a year since I had this beer, but it really seems that I either my tastes have changed or this isn't meant to be consumed this old. Super boozy, with brandy raisin notes that seem to pierce the nostrils with sugary boozy malty notes. Maybe some stone-fruit, maybe some citrus lingers about, but it's pretty much nothing but banana smelling yeastiness topped with malty booze. To make matters worse, it's metallic as well - iron seeps in to very confusing results. At this point, there's barely enough of a dry hoppy profile to speak of. Super oppressive.

The flavor is considerably less alcoholic, but is still considerably sweet and layered as well. Notes of green apple (perhaps acetaldehyde?), raisins, stone-fruit, and some light orange peel come at the front, which isn't too bad. Then, I find myself kicked in the face with the extra booze and hearty malts to the point that three sips in I was already feeling tons of heat and tipsiness. Contains the properties of barleywines, but has some off aromas and too much booze that isn't canceled out by the residual sugars. Not difficult to drink, as it is thick and robust, but way too intimidating in the same manner that many of these super boozy, sugary Belgian offerings I used to love have grown to become a chore to drink.

I am sad to have to have finished halfway through this without going on any further, as I remember I used to love this one a lot. I hold the belief that this brewery makes great offerings (Gulden Draak), but I'm going to start opening all these remaining bottles from the gift pack that I negligently stored away. However, I feel that overall this isn't much better fresh - it simply lacks the subtlety of dried hops I enjoy in the style, and seems to be way too over-boozed for its own good. (2,529 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml standard pressure-cap bottle into a snifter in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Three-finger offwhite head with large bubbles and active carbonation. Cloudy orange beer with very active carbonation. Nice looking ale.

S- Funky cold medina. Got that Belgian funk, alcohol and golden malts. Complex aroma.

T- Boozy, slightly tart but with a clean, crisp finish. Very nice flavor composition.

M- Vinous, boozy feel.

O- Great ale. Alcohol is hidden more so in the flavor than the aroma. I enjoyed it. (539 characters)

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 995 ratings.