Privateer Belgian Ale By Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

very good
15 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Privateer Belgian Ale By PiraatPrivateer Belgian Ale By Piraat

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WVbeergeek on 10-09-2013

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 74
Photo of Beginner2
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This starts my rating of beers that I cannot find my tasting notes for.
Bought perhaps three years ago within a Van Steenberge sampler pack from, I believe, its distributor Global Beer.
As I recall, too carbonated and the hops could be less.

 242 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shiny blood red. Has a huge foamy head that breaks apart slowly.

Aroma of ripe fruits, plum, persimmon, spice and vanilla cake.

Sweet, ripe fruit, phenolic, big alcohol and grain on the tongue.

Medium to heavy and creamy. Rich. No big complaints, more substantial than expected.

 285 characters

Photo of breakingbland
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

At Ashley's (Ann Arbor) from a 330 ml bottle

The beer pours a golden orange with scant head. There is some sweet fruit (orange) in the aroma with some barnyard funk. The taste is sour and sweet (candy?). The hops are practically non-present, though there is a slight astringency. The beer was crisp even though is was served a bit warmer than it should have been. The carbonation was lively but with a foamy smoothness. The body was medium.

 441 characters

Photo of Co365030
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This came across initially as a seductive dark quad, and it delivered both with aroma and overall flavor experience. Wonderful world-class parts in my mouth!!!!

 161 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stubby 33cl brown bottle poured amber; slightly hazy; very large and durable bone-colored head; bands of sticky lacing. A full pour still left some dark brown sediment in the bottle. Very appealing aroma with brown bread, ripe fruits and a hint of toffee. The flavor follows largely, with intensity building through the finish and into the aftertaste. Very good sweet/bitter balance with an overall slightly sweet character. High ABV is well hidden in the nose, but only partly hidden in the feel and obvious upon tasting. Nice hints of raisins and brandied dates, along with some hop notes, in the aftertaste. Tastes considerably darker than it actually looks.

O: less well known than Piraat but worth seeking out.

 719 characters

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%

Review taken summer 2014.

330ml brown bottle in typical short Van Steenberge style. Label resembles other Piraat ales with white and gold and vintage ships. Poured into a stemmed Belgian style tall tulip glass.

A - golden orange with a pretty massive creamy head on the pour. Forever in settling, but finally a splotchey ring of creamy lacing coated the walls of my glass. Some haze and funk to the body color.

S - sweet biscuit malt with some bright and bursting fruity hop aromas. A bit of candied light fruits with some spices and pepper.

T - fruit filled front. sweet fruitiness with belgian hop spices. A touch of pepper. Biscuit malt and a very nice Belgian style yeast funkiness provide a very good flavor.

M - bigger side of medium bodied with a nice Belgian feel. Texture is good and is highly drinkable for its size. A hint if alcohol heat as it warms but honestly adds to the spices.

O - a nice offering from Van Steenberge. I've yet to drink a Piraat or Draak I didn't overly enjoy. A touch of Belgian craft and a touch of class give a good experience. Another addition to Steenberge's brilliant collection.

 1,132 characters

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great strong pale style beer.
Appears light gold, fine effervescense and white foam with ample lacing.
Smells of citrus, non specific flowers, hint of yeast and burn sugar.
Citrus forward taste, hint of malt, funky almost sour aspect with a hint of vanilla/molasses, very complex, minimal hoppy finish hint of spicey, nice clean finish.
Mouthfeel with adequate carbonation to avoid that syrupy texture of maltier beers.
Overall, excellent beer for the style. Significant ABV but well hidden by complex palate of flavors.

 521 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/16/2013. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 2-3 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, pepper, light pine, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and solid complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, pepper, pine, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness. Moderate yeast spice and hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, orange, pear, apple, pepper, pine, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian strong pale ale. Good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,517 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle marked 16AM at 45 degrees into goblet
Aroma of yeast, alcohol, and phenolic compounds
Head average (4 cm), off white, creamy, rapidly diminishing into 1 cm island and 2 mm ring.
Lacing sketchy and irregular, a broken reticulum of thin strands and small clots
Body dark orange and hazy
Flavor begins (after warming) with a yeasty sweetness that hides the alcohol flavor but not the after burn. No hops, no malt, no diacetyl, just yeast and alcohol.
Palate medium, oily, soft carbonation.

Another high alcohol beer with few redeeming features. Good to get drunk quickly, but not good for an enjoyable evening.

 615 characters

Photo of Ed2
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Look- hazy amber with a slight orange. White head about 2 fingers. Head lingers and leaves nice lacing. Smell is yeast and malt. Taste is same. Good amount of carbonation, yeasty and malty... Strong flavor that makes a beer lover happy. Very good beer. I would keep this one on hand.

 320 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy light orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, white grape juice, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with white grape juice and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that seems more fruity than hop forward in my opinion.

 549 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep-amber orange color with a beautifully thick and billowy just off white head. The head has an amazing retention, hanging out for quite some time, with it eventually fading away to give a wonderful level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big and bready with some nice hop aromas mixed within. The hop are a mix of grapefruit, earth, and grass mixing with some yeasty smells as well as some spice of coriander and clove. Along with these aromas are some hay like smells and a slightly grainy aroma. A light level of caramel and lighter fruit sweetness (orange and pear) are there in the nose creating a drier and bready light Belgian IPA smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with dry bready and crackery taste mixed with some lighter sweet flavors of caramel and candied sugar. The sweeter flavors fade fast with them being replace by flavors of yeast and some hop. The yeast bring with it flavors of clove with the hop flavors initially being mostly of a grassy taste. As the taste advances, the grassy grows stronger and is joined by a bit of grapefruit and some good earthy hop. Toward the end of the taste, the sweetness has faded to a good extent with the yeast, spice, and grassy flavors all quite strong. A bit of hay and grain come to the tongue at the end along with a lighter alcohol flavor to end up leaving a drier and hopped triple like flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. The higher carbonation is quite nice for the Belgian characteristics of the brew while the thickness is good for accentuating the hop and being good for the more malty flavors of the brew, all creating a somewhat crisper but upheld brew overall.

Overall – A rather enjoyable and nicely flavored Belgian IPA. I will certainly frequent this more often given the opportunity.

 2,012 characters

Photo of BeerDocT
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle states that this brew is "by the makers of Piraat." That's all I had to read. Sold.

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 4.0: Huge fizz-up after opening the beer led me to loose several ounces before I could even get it to the glass. Doubly disappointing as this is a beautiful beer in the glass. The goblet helped to break down the head, but even with that this beer has a huge, fluffy and beautiful head (1/2") that stuck around the entire session. Deep golden in color.

Smell 3.75: Bouquet was a bit subdued on this brew. I detect the requisite biscuit malt and treacly barley malt, but also detect a promising bouquet of hops.

Taste 4.0: Front is somewhat sweet, but this fades quickly into a luscious middle where the sweet drops out and a delicious hoppy alkaline taste comes in and mixes with a pleasant crackery, biscuit malt taste. Finish is smooth and balanced with more emphasis on the noble hops. Aftertaste is short and clean with a final punch of buscuity malt.

Mouthfeel: In spite of the foam-up when opening, this beer is not over-carbonated. It is smooth, pleasant and added to my enjoyment of the beer.

Overall 4.0: Outstanding beer. Very enjoyable and unique tripel. This answers the question about what an IPA would be like if brewed with low-Alpha noble hops. Very smooth, pleasant and loaded with levels of tasting profundity. It's not Piraat (what is?!) but it is a delicious brew nonetheless. Recommended.

 1,460 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Privateer has a moderately thick, semi-fizzy, semi-creamy, off-white head, a hazy, gold-orange appearance, with tight bubble streams, and heavy lacing left behind. The beer garners a milky tinge, once the bottom contents are swished and poured in. Aroma is of sweet, yeasty, bready, lightly-toasted barley malt, some sweetness, corn bread, a bit of fruit, and a touch of hop zing. Taste is of all those elements and a decent enough hop bitterness a the end, although this is not a hoppy beer. Mouthfeel is medium and fizzy, and Privateer finishes somewhat wet, rich, a bit chewy, rich, and sip-able. Get some!


 615 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Deep copper golden slightly hazed body billows with off white head, into a nice big tulip Tripel Karmeliet glass. Aroma has a bit of fusel alcohol, tart sliced apple, this bottle is not all about hiding the alcohol like the regular Piraat is. It came in a Van Steenberge sampler along with a Piraat, Gulden Draak, Gulden Draak 9000, Bornem double and tripel. It has some of the harsher qualities that the high gravity 12 % malt liquors do in the US, but with a bit more refined qualities. Flavor hits with quite a harsh wave of alcohol, tart fruit notes, and grain excess cloying sweetness. I've never had a beer from Van Steenberge this hard to drink, I'm glad the 6 pack ran about 18 bucks...there's enough great beers in the sampler to justify this one. Tonight I plan on drinking the Piraat when the Buccos beat the Cards in St. Louis for game 5 of this playoff series. Mouthfeel has a lot of abrasive fusel alcohol burn, carbonation carries it well but the cloying malt backbone just hangs out and doesn't go away. Overall a beer that I won't search out, and I don't think they plan on bringing it over regularly, just an extra in a sampler pack it used to be one of the other beers I had never seen on the Sharp Edge from Van Steenberge.

 1,243 characters

Privateer Belgian Ale By Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.93 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.