Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

1,036 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Strong Pale Ale, re-fermented with Bordeaux wine yeast

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

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Reviews: 1,036 | Ratings: 2,423
Photo of Braheem
5/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

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Photo of baos
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz into Falstaff goblet.

I had this one in 1996 in Amsterdam, this is the first time I've had it since. I remember it being ultra potent on top of my buzziness.

A: Light golden amber with a bit of haze with a two finger head that goes down to a half finger that sticks around. Very good looking on a beer thats this boozy.

S: Clove, candy sugar, and yes pink bubble gum again, and honey liqueur.

T: I'll go out on a limb here and say this tastes like pumpkin pie liqueur. You got your clove and your sugar and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and then you have that honey liqueur. I guess its not as dark as pumpkin pie. How about light pumpkin pie liqueur?! Yes.

D: As this mama warms she gets good good good. I improved the marks above a couple of times, because of this. Very strong yes but like I've said before men drink strong brews and men would be just fine with a jar of this in front of all of ye night. Definitely wear this! It fits so nicely. She will fit you like two latex mittens. YES!

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Photo of Revvy
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Piraat Ale (billed on the website as an amber triple IPA, 10.5% ABV)

Appearance - Another huge thick head poured from this bottle, this time getting three quarters into the glass before the head reached the lip of the snifter. Meringue like it seemed to be made up of a mixture of large and small bubbles.

The beer itself is a hazy gold in color resembling golden apricots.

There is a hint of lacing left on the glass after the foam falls (took over 5 minute) and a nice, small, creamy head on the surface.

Aroma - Cold the beer has the barest hint of apple as did the previous two brouwerij Van Seenberge Beers. There is also a hint of apricot.

Upon warming slightly, the nose picks up a trace of alcohol.

No hop aroma in evidence, cold or warm/

Mouthfeel - This is another one of those effervescence balance with silky mouth and tongue coating beers, though this time it leans to towards silky, like a hot toddy made with honey, whiskey and warm water.

There is also a noticeable alcohol "bite" on the tip of the tongue, as well as a bit of a burn as it goes down the throat, similar to any number of liguors, such as brandy, especially as it warmed significantly.

Taste - There is absolutely none of the "hints of sourness" as with the previous 2 beers. The flavor is apricot, apple, and honey, with a ginger "burn" which may simply be from the alcohol and not the spice.

It is noticeably sweeter than the previous too, but not cloyingly so.

As it warms, more of the apple tartness comes through. At it's warmist there is a strong alcohol bite on the tongue and lips as well as a highly pronounce hoppiness, although the hop is not identifiable to me.

Overall - This is exquisite. This is one of the best commercial beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, let alone the best of the 3 sampled. I have not had too many versions of the Triple style....I believe I have had 2-3 other commercial versions, one amazing one from a local microbrewery and an excellent one from one of my brew bodies. And except perhaps for the one from the microbrewery (Dragonmeade) this surpasses them all.

But is this a Triple or is it an IPA/Triple hybrid? Perhaps it shouldn't be judged in comparison to those that are truer to style.

The history of this beer is that it is very similar to that brewed to keep on the long voyage as a food suplement for the Flemish freebooters on long voyages.

Letting it warm to it's fullest lifts it fully out of the category of "mere" beer and places it squarely alongside brandy as an after dinner aperitif, along side a good cigar...This could go head to head against any of the 4 Calvado's types, even the 6 year old Hors d'Age...I wonder how this would cellar.

This is what you bring out to seduce a lovely stranger over a game of chess in front of a roaring fire.

Grade A+

I have been considering brewing a triple for some time now...but after tasting this I think I would love to brew a clone of this, if soley to have this on hand. (and hopefully for much cheaper than 2 cases of this would cost, considering that at where I bought this set, a single 330 ml bottle retails for close to 4 dollars.

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Photo of tjwarren
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife and daughter surprised me with the gift pack of 6 bottles and a glass. After I scolded them for spending that much money I set about trying one.

Appearance - brownish red with a huge fluffy head when poured into the Piraat tulip glass. Almost too nice to drink.

Smell - probably the best part. Banana, pear, even a whiff of the alchohol.

Taste - surreal. Funny it actually has a slight beer taste to it but the fruits come close to overwhelming it but blend in at the last minute. Hops are there but very gentle. So balanced.

Mouthfeel - also great. Some Belgians are a little too fizzy for me but this one was just right.

Overall - can't imagine anything wrong with the beer. The alchohol warmth might be the best thing. I don't generally like boozy beers but this one is all that and a bag of chips. Can't wait for a snowy afternoon to sip one watching the snow fall and drift off for a glorious beer nap. Maybe my favorite Belgian so far.

Thanks for reading.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the beer from a bottle into a wide-mouthed glass that I chilled by first pouring ice water into it (obviously poured it out before sampling the beer!). Label calls it a "tripel IPA."

-Appearance 4.5: Beautiful deep amber color. No head whatsoever, just a few wisps of bubbles on top. No visible carbonation bubbles on the side. Some unfiltered material floating around.

-Smell 5.0: Wow. This is one of those beers that, when you sniff it after pouring it into a glass, makes you think, "THIS is a beer." Big, sweet, grain smell with a touch of citrus and a sweet caramel hint. Is that a raisin smell in there, too?

-Taste 5.0: Very smooth, slightly sweet with a smooth taste of hops. I can't explain it; some beers use a lot of hops and the brew is sharp tasting or metallic as a result. Not this baby. Lots of hints of caramel balanced by a slightly sour taste, probably the result of its nature as a tripel. Lingering tastes of alkaline hops and barley after swallowing. Delicious. Just amazing.

-Mouthfeel 4.5: Slight hint of carbonation, but it is definitely there; obviously bottle conditioned. The ale actually feels thick in the mouth, almost syrupy. Very smooth, but you know you are drinking a tripel when you get a gulp of this. Awesome.

-Overall 5.0: One of the best beers you will ever drink. Complex, compelling and delicious. There is a lot of history in the beer and every drop is telling you a story. Worth the hefty price tag ($12.99 for four). The jewel in the crown of the Steenberge brewery.

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Photo of Dirty1
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had this beer in awile and was happy to find it. I had forgotten how good this beer was and enjoyed it with a smile. I poured this from a 750ml into a Piraat tulip glass.

A- Nice deep golden color with a slighty red tinge. Slightly cloudy with a nice thick white head that came to the top of the glass. Head fell back rather quickly and had nice lacing around the glass.

S- Pleasently strong sweet smell with hints of candy and yeast also slight hints of bananas and honey.

T- A very full flavored beer with hints of candy sugar and yeast. Very balanced dispite the high % with some mild alcohol taste. Nice mild hoppyness on the back end despite the IPA name. It tends to taste a lot more complex as it warms slightly with hints of clove, raisons, bananas, citrus, and a more pronunced bitterness.

M- Nice rich mouthfeel! It has a nice amount of carbanation that gives it a nice head. Very similar to most triple style ales.

D- This is a very drinkable beer to me. It warms you very nicely! High % will sneak up on you if not carefull! Cheers!

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Photo of jcivetz
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

so bomb so bomb so bomb so bomb!!! this beer is by far one of the best beers I've ever had. so bomb! it's sipping material, though can easily be drunk in a gulp with its bomb tastes sizzlin your tastebuds. if I had one a day i'd live to see 92. give thanks and praise for this bomb did i say bomb? CHRONIC belgian brew.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.89/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perhaps because it has been a long week of work, or maybe this ale is REALLY that good, but I was really extra fond of this ale when I started sipping on Friday night. What an explosion of malty goodness (with a hint of bitterness). The caramel maltiness is really the star here--with banana accents, nuttiness, spiciness and some yeasty loveliness....The head is gorgeous and the ale its self is a wonderful dark golden color. The mouth feel sizzles enough and finishes with a wonderful creaminess. Wow!

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Photo of ledemie
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at 55 in my trusty tulip glass. 33 cL bottle.

A: Cloudy dark golden liquid with a small white head..

S: smell of pepper, and complexity, raisin, biscuit .

Taste: full, malty,full body. Very interesting.

M: full bodied with alcoholic warming. The taste of booze is masked, though.

D: does not taste hoppy like IPa ( good), I love this beer I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of twilight
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm going to try not to gush about this beer because it is one of the nummiest things I've had in a long time. I like hoppy beers, so I though this was going to be a bitter bomb like DFH90, but it was more of a welcome treat. Kind of like when you buy a lemon drop in a candy store and it turns out to be even better than when you were salivating over it behind the counter.

I've been wanting to try this beer since I heard about it a few months ago. I finally saw a 750 at Bierkraft but circumstances prevented me from carrying the bottle around. I later picked up a stubby 33cL bottle from New Beer fresh out of the newly-opened box.

It pours a clear golden orange with a fluffy head leaving beautiful lacing all around. The nose is of the typical belgian spiciness and pear sweetness reminiscen of a Tripel. The alcohol is present in the aroma, so I wasn't shocked at the first sip.

Whoa mama! It's a malty overrun with belgian candy sweetness with a hint of earthiness. It finishes with alcohol, leaving it spicy due to the yeast. It's really almost like a tripel, but lighter, almost heavenly.

Mouthfeel is smooth, beautifully lolling on the tongue save for the alcohol bite. Drinkability? Well, suffice to say that it's so good that I really could have like two or three before I passed out and I wouldn't care. Hear that?!?! I could drink this all night even though the night would probably be cut short when I passed out with a blissful smile.

I'm adding this to my staple beers, crazy as that may sound... Arrr, mateys, thar I come.

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Photo of roblowther
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged. Don't know what to expect. Amber triple IPA? I thought that was three different styles :) Color is pale, almost luminous gold with active carbonation & a thin white head. Smell is very pronounced & apparent the moment you pop the cork. Lemons, pepper, grassy and a hint of sugar. Very intriguing & a definite hop presence. The taste is wonderful! A touch medicinal, taste of hay, a smooth caramel back, pepper finish. Very complex but surprisingly light. There's vanilla in there too somewhere. Mouthfeel is chewy and very, very nicely carbonated. Again, a balancing act that the beer pulls off very well. This one is very drinkable, with the malt making you want more, the hops making it seem light enough to let you drink a lot, and a pleasant alcohol warmth that just makes my toes tingle. Good on ya, Brouwerij Van Steenberge!

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great pour. Three finger head that sustains. Good lacing. Dark amber color. Smells great. I love the bottle cap artwork. Very very good beer. The taste is outstanding. Does not taste like a 10.5% beer. It goes down very smooth followed by a malty and thin but strong aftertaste.A great after dinner beer. Outstanding.

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Photo of yonnie
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into chalice. Orange gold in color with 2 fingers off offwhite head. Quite a bit of lacing.

S - Slight banana and green apple, various fruits, bread, sweet malt, yeast.

T - Sweet malts, sour green apple, slightly bitter hops, typical Belgian yeasty flavors. Alcohol well hidden.

M - Moderate to full bodied. Well carbonated.

O - One of the best Belgian IPAs I've ever had. Easy to drink and great taste even at its high ABV.

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Photo of jenbys2001
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I absolutely love this beer, it's one of the most unique and complex beers I've had the pleasure of trying. It pours golden and creamy with a gorgeous head. The taste is nearly indescribable and packs a serious punch. It has a strong yeasty flavor with earthy, spicy notes as well as creamy fruit tones. It has a strong phenol character, which normally I don't care for, but it lends a bold sharpness to this beer which I found very alluring. This beer has a lot of warmth to it which I'm sure is related to the high ABV. While drinking too many glasses could be dangerous, I really enjoyed this flavorful beer.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

For almost 6.00 a bottle it's not one to get regularly, but one I truly enjoy.
Look of dark hazy Amber. Smell was complex....yeast and bread-y sweetness. Taste is just as complex and smooth. Carbonation effervescence mouthfeel with slight sweet malt. Not boozy and very much what a Belgian should be...sipped and enjoyed. One to recommend all the way!

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Photo of dbell23
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Duvel tulip from a magnum. Burnt orange/dark golden color with a huge head that never completely disappears. Good lacing. Nice looking beer.

Smell is lemony citrus with Belgian yeasty goodness maybe a little grassy. Nice. The aroma is somewhat understated but really nice. The hops don't hit you like an American ipa.

Taste is sublime. Crisp lemony start with a slight citrus hop finish that is super clean. As with most Belgian ipas the hoppiness is very understated. Coming from a hophead who loves super hoppy American ipas, it surprising I like this beer as well as i do but its a Belgian ipa not an American imperial ipa. The taste is in the same ballpark as Duvel, which is the highest compliment I can give it.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect. Great carbonation with a smooth finish. Really nice.

Overall this is a spectacular beer. The high abv is not noticible in the taste but its definitely there. It sneaks up on you. This is a super beer. This is one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of Dmann
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A outstanding beer from top to bottom. This one poured a very nice golden color with a huge pillowy white head that stuck to my glass till the last drop. The smell was good with a touch of grass, a hint of pepper and a bit of bready yeast. The taste was exceptional with a nice sweet, not overly thick maltiness to start out with, followed by a very nice peppery flavor mixed slight hops and finnished with a great fruity aftertaste that was made up of a great pinnapple flavor. At 10.5% this is one to sip and savor for sure. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of jimiv73
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is good belgium ipa that i reccomend to everybody anyone who enjoys beer should like this style of ale even my wife dug it!! and it kicks ass weighing in at 10.5% mmm try some if you getthe chance a lil pricey but worth the money xxx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

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Photo of mempath
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a hazy golden orange with fat head that settles slowly into a big bubbly venner of pancake batter...also, eventually clarifies into a transparent golden orange.

deep ripe fruit and candied/brandied alcohol...almost tropical. like thor heyerdahl in tahiti...bananas dipped in yeast. excellent.

sweet sweet (and bitter), much like the dogfish head 90...but quite different as well. less body thickness, but very smooth with a near perfect mouthfeel. abv is really not 'present' but can be sensed...be careful. this is delicious. very much worth the ticket price to this show. glad to see this style mapping itself beyond...actually, the hops are much more sedate as expected, but i wouldn't want this any other way. i WOULD like to see a drier, hoppier version of this...or maybe do a half and half with this and, say, Smuttynose's ipa...that would be tremendous

a MUST have brew after any cyclocross race this fall. heck, after any bike ride. put a couple in the creek...make sure they're hidden!

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Photo of billybob
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

rich golden opaque color with about a one finger white head that holds well and some lacing. aroma actually gets better as the beer sits with fruity sweet candy notes and hints of spice. nicely spiced big flavors with cinnamon and pepper and a sweet fruity taste then the warmth hits for a great finish. only had the one 11.2 oz stubby bottle but at 10.5 alcohol its not session beer but i sure wish i had another.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Yeasty nose with traces of ripe and over ripe fruit and light grains. Depending on the temperature it pours either brilliant gold or gold with a slight haze. The head is enormous – 3” or more of pure white finely bubbled foam that persists and leaves ledges of lace inside the glass. The palate offers peaches in different stages of ripeness followed by an earthy hop bitterness on the finish with a layer of malt sweetness and alcohol. It is slightly warming but the alcohol is not hot or solventy. The body is suprising medium for the amount of alcohol and flavor and the carbonation is above average.

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Photo of stevoj
4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sour citrusy with strong alcohol presence. Poured into tulip with rich, fluffy head. Fine carbonation keeps the head lofty. Copper colored with musty aroma of wood, wine and licorice. Taste of apples, prunes, figs, raisins. This is a keeper!

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Photo of hdofu
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears like gold champagne with a beer head. Smell is like nutmeg and pear. The taste is similar to an apple or pear with a definite nutmeg taste, a big sip is yeasty with a mild malt finish, moreso then any other IPA I have ever drank. Mouthfeel is definitely bubbly and champagne feel. I could easily throwback one of these, very drinkable. This beer is a marriage of characteristics of an ipa and Belgian triple

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Photo of Cascadia
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this is a great belgian strong pale ale, but I like this style so I'm a sucker. This gives Duvel a run for the money, a little more carmel flavor than Duvel and a little less head. Don't let the funky label scare you, this is world class beer all the way. I haven't been able to find this one in a larger bottle, but if I could I'd love to see if a little time in the cellar changes the flavor profile at all.

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Photo of fourplayed
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Golden hony color with 3 finger foamy head that leaves nice lacing.

Nice smells of orchard fruits, mild sweet esters, yeasts and spices, some citrus and alcohol.

Taste is pleasing, fruits, apples, pears, peach with yeasts, citrus, hops and spices. A nice mild sweetness. Some alcohol which is well hidden.

Very zesty carbonation, medium body, more than medium alcohol warmth, decent hop bite and dry finish.

Very glad to have tried this Ale. Felt more like a tripel in many respects. An excellent Ale choice that I will revisit again & again!

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,423 ratings.
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