Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

1,037 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

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: 1,037 | Ratings: 2,428
Photo of ahommell
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into Chimay Chalice.

A: Foam is exceptional. Sticks around the whole way. It is a mix of tiny and medium sized bubbles. Sticky. The color is a deep amber to orange. Hazy in spots.

S: Candi sugar. Bready, Belgian yeast. Toasty carmel at moments. Slightly hoppy.

T: WOW. Malty. Warm alcohol. Carmel. Candi Sugar is very obvious and pronounced. Hops are there... but overpowered in some respects. Each sip takes me to a different taste in the profile. Bready yeast present as should be. 5/5.

M: FULL bodied. Lots of carbonation. Expanding bouquet.

O: Wonderful. May have found a new favorite. I had this listed as a 4.5/5 in my tasting book... but now getting to review, this may go higher. The burning alcohol in the throat lasts a while. I don't know if that helps or hurts this beer.

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Photo of ordybill
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 330 ML bottle into a tulip glass.
Aroma- Has a yeast and fruit
Appearance- Has a nice amber color with a giant white head.
Taste- Excellent blend of hops and malts
Palate- A medium bodied beer with heavy carbonation.
Overall- Outstanding beer, side note, for those who collect bottle caps this beer has a beautiful bottle cap.

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Photo of hackmann
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my chalice with a nice white head and hazy orange body. The lacing is clinging to the chalice.

The smell is very good. If the aromas are moderate at best my nose does not pick them up until I taste the beverage. Before I taste this ale I smell citrus and rich spice profile.

Taste: now I really like this ale. It is a complex beer, it's like eating a great salad. Enjoy it as it changes as it warms up. The tropical fruits are right up front with a little honey dip that follows. The sharp spicy edges battle for attention as the bite of the hops hit the tongue. Along with those sharp spices there is a little peppery taste. Just like that great salad, there is so much going on in its flavors that you just eat and enjoy and savor every bite.

Mouthfeel: all those tasting notes just mingle together and with each taste you say, nice sharp edges then, nice bitter note, nice citrus zip so, I am saying the mouthfeel is complex as well. The tastes linger for a little while.

Drinkability:I want to say 5 because a beer like this you want more of it, but the 10.5% I am only drinking two for the night. It is a sipping experience that you will enjoy.

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Photo of Alexrdvz
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On of the best beers I have ever had. Very nice bouquet and full of flavor. Nice alcohol level as well. Wish I had had it on tap and not the bottle. I am sure I would have given it a 5 if it would have been on tap.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled this on tap at the map room before and thought I'd try it in bottle form. 750mL bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a clear and bright copper with a rocky white head that just looks super sticky (leaves a nice bit of lacing down the sides of the chalice) nice and active carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the chalice.

S: Initally yeasty but citrus notes come in a bit later

T/MF: Not quite the same as on tap but that very familiar pineapple and honey combination is unmistakeable. There is also a remarkably pleasing heat to this beer that I normally would find offputting in beers, but it compliments the end spices of this beer quite nicely. The hops coupled with a vigourous carbonation impart a remarkable mouthfeel to this beer, that at first feels a bit watery but expands broadly across the pallate.

D: I love this beer, in this style this beer is excelent and one of the best I've had in recent memory, a very nice beer for a very nice time of year, truely magnificent.

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Photo of jepflast
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had to join Beeradvocate just to review this beer--it's my favorite.

Smell, appearance, mouthfeel--none of that really matters. The bottom line is this beer is one of the best in the world because it's an intense flavor that you never get tired of.

Other beers may be better for one sip or one small glass, but Piraat is for keeps. Tons of flavor without fatiguing the palette. Tons of alcohol without you noticing. A finish that just keeps going, always pleasant. Bitterness that only blends into the flavor.

Like a fine wine, Piraat has no harsh tastes that stand above the rest, which is the key to its wonderful taste. It's superbly balanced with just the right amount of IPA crispness. Pleasantly medium in color and clarity. Carbonation that is not easily liberated--a nice touch.

I say Piraat is the best after pitting it against the elite for several years, and it's always the one I want to come back to. You may not proclaim its eminence after just one glass, but eventually, you'll be hooked.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330ml fat stubby bottle into a Duvel tulip. No dating info. It was a hazy golden honey color. Large carb stream from the laser etching. Good lacing. It had an average sized white head that settled into a thick collar and foam from the carb.

The aroma was interesting for a Belgian IPA. It almost had more of a wild ale or saison aroma with good does of barnyard funk, pepper, yeast and sweet malt. It seemed kinda stuck between styles - the funk and spices battled it out but they mixed oddly. I would have preferred one on the other to be more dominant. Not bad but could have been better. The taste however was much better and excellent. The spices clearly won out. Again reminded me more of a saison than an IPA. Starts out with the sweet malt then the spices kick in a couple seconds later than fade right at the end for a sweet finish. This one is dangerously drinkable considering the 10.5% ABV. Really enjoyed the flavor on this one and it comes in a smaller size so you can enjoy and not get f'd up on it.

Oveall, an excellent beer. I highly recommend. Rotation: this will be a player. It's too strong and pricey to be in the heavy but this could easily be every couple months (which considering that I mainly drink new beers lately is hard to do).


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Photo of nwshull
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving: 330 mL bottle into an extra large wine glass

Appearance: This beer pours darker than most belgian golden ales. It is a deep golden clear color with a moderate pale white head.

Smell: It has a strong sweet aroma with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: It is a rich sweet flavor with some spices in it, it compliments this with a hoppy finish. Hard to describe, but its very rich without being over the top like some others of this style.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is balanced. It turns into a nice creamy flavor in the mouth once the carbonation is gone. Goes down well despite the 10 percent alcohol.

Drinkability: The only problem with this beer is its cost and its become harder to find. It is my favorite beer, its a bit strong, but best and rich enough to enjoy anyway.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a very nice straw, golden body, with a white walloping head. Nice retention and great lacing point to one well made brew.

Smell: Big Belgian yeasts with some grassy hop notes.

Taste: Big candied malt on this guy, blends nicely with a pilsy malt profile as well. Sweet notes of pineapple and defined grassy hops really make this a balanced brew - and incredibly tasty at that. Lots of alcohol in here end the experience with a warm smile.

Mouthfeel: Full and sticky

Why yes sir, I'll have another!

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very thick head that takes a long time to settle to a thin skim. Color is peachy gold with a slight haze, and plenty of bubbles feeding that greedy head. Lots of styrofoamy lace as the head drops.

This aroma brings funk the is wrapped around lively fruits and peppery spices. A big, sweet, musty smell, I can't help but award it the highest marks.

Flavor is a mixture of apple, black pepper, banana, must, honey and what has to be one of the finest yeast strains in the world. Finish is a sour/sweet/spice character that leaves you dying for the next sip. Alcohol is very well-hidden. A mild, pleasant heat lurks in the background, but for 10.5% you can't beat it.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Airy yet substantial, bouncy, creamy, just bubbly enough but not too demanding.

A quintessential example of a fine Belgian ales. Sometimes Piraat tastes more funky to me, other bottles some fruitier. But it's always wonderful. Van Steenberge forever has my highest respect for creating two world-class beers: this and the phenomenal Gulden Draak.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium orange amber with a one finger medium white head with moderate retention and nice lacing Aroma of light fruit, Belgian spices and a bit of caramel malt. Flavor follows with complex mixture of light fruit, caramel malt, coriander and clove, fairly sweet; spicing is reminiscent of a tripel. Finish is robust light fruit with a neutral, somewhat citrus hop kick. Medium to full creamy bodied with nice carbonation. Great mouthfeel. Very nicely done; complex with a nice progression of flavors. Sorry I waited so long to try this, the label looks like a lot of other middle-of-the road Belgians, but this is quite fine.

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Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew was my firts belgian IPA and how I love it. Its a solid brew from beggining to end. Highly recommended.

Pours a golden amber brew with its medium creamy crown. Thick foggy body, good carbonation. Very pleasant on the nose with some wheat malts, hops, fruits and floral hints. The palate its dominated by the hops amd the sweet malts ending in a sweet bitter, dryish and sour aftertaste that lingers on for a while. No alcohol taste which is very well hidden and that comes out full force as the brew warms up. Very refreshing with nice drinkability despite its respectable 10.50%abv.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick, white head. Carbonation bubbles. Orange-golden color, hazy. Decent lacing left behind.

Cloves and banana jump out of the aroma coupled with hops, lemon and oak. There is also an overall wheaty or bready scent.

I wasn't surprised to find banana and clove in the taste, I didn't really expect to find grapes, dates and apricots though, that was a pleasant surprise. A little bit of alcohol comes in, wheat, a little hops and spice. The taste is great.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth and highly drinkable. Very tasty too, such a good beer.

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Photo of StaEva
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love the way this beer pours - golden honey, slightly hazed with a huge 3 finger head with massive peaks. Serious lacing and glass viscosity.

The aroma is big on pineapple, pear, honey, banana, grassy earth and sweet yeasty bread. The alcohol does peek through, but just barely—it's actually what gives the tropical fruit aromas I think. I couldn't pick up on everything until it warmed a bit. Incredibly aromas, one of the best I've ever had.

Mirrors the aroma - caramel, pear, buttery honey-tinged bread, plus mellow hop bitterness on the back and sides, and a faint alcohol flash on the finish. I picked up the spice that the brewery boasts about...absolutely perfect yeast spice and good alchohol warmth when it goes down. Just spectacular on the tongue.

Nice feel - medium light and bubbley, like drinking a soda. Medium dryness on the finish and dangerously drinkable for the high ABV (and the price). I got pretty buzzed after the 2nd one...accidentally of course! It's very strong.

One of the best beers I've ever had, without a doubt. I hope this never changes—it's damn near perfect.

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Photo of Ant777uk
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Nice deep reddish copper colour, bubbly foam.

Deep, intense aroma. Peach and apricots coming through.

An abundance of flavors happening. Intense hoppy bitterness. It's a really great beer. I prefer this to Tremens and Tripel Karmeliet. This is more daring, it packs a punch. It's intense bitterness shines through, supporting the other flavours. The taste sensation lasts for 30 seconds, slowly changing with time. Citrus and orange peel notes, with some peach and apricottyness, play on the tongue with some banana peel, lime, and hints of liquorice.

Every taste is different, there are so many flavors.

This is great. The alcohol level is complemented by the big, bold bitterness and overall taste.

Mouth feel is creamy, tingly and pretty much perfect.

Piraat rules

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Photo of Todd
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml brown bottle.

Pours a hazy amber topped with a massive white foam head. Great lace and retention. Faint malty sweetness in the aroma with some grass and soft white pepper. Flavours are big on this one! Huge malt profile of sweet malts with a massive honey-like character and notes of tropical and candied fruits. Alcohol rips the palate with warmth and a sting of spice, then gives way to a smooth grassy bitterness and big dose of pepper. Prickly carbonation accentuates with a sharp edge. Some sappy pine notes lurk. Dirty yeast in the finish with a tea-like flavour, spice and lingering alcohol fumes on the palate.

One of my favourites. The incredibly bold flavours and massive alcohol warmth always makes this an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of mangledorf
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Among the easier Belgian IPA to track down in the US, this is a delightful treat on tap. Smells and tastes of a perfect proportion of hops and spices, notably cloves. The alcohol content is present in the taste but beneficial and certainly not overwhelming. And in spite of such a strong flavor and high ABV this beer is easy to drink and good choice for an introductory beer, where others might be too intense.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull golden yellow, faint haze, with luxurious white head that pillows up when poured, laces well, and retains thickness throughout the duration of enjoyment.

Nose is Grenache or Mourvedre-wine like, wet black soil, chalk, and moist cave aromas. Some dark fruits peak through too, maybe herbs, but overall that complex musty note is very Grenache & Mourvedre-like (try a bottle of the wine, if you like this beer).

Palate is thick, almost syrupy, with honeyed malt sweetness, some black pepper spice, and dry herbal character towards the end and into the finish.

Finish is herbal, dry, and pleasantly chalky.

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Photo of cnally
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

radiant orange with slight head retention.

boy oh man, I have reviewed this before and slipped on how floral and aromatic this is...very strong orangey, citrusy scent. hint of hops on the backend. wow.

flavors of malt are huge. alcohol is well hidden. sweet like an orange and dried apricot on the aftertaste.

creamy and full feel. great.

wow. too much hidden alcohol. bombastic, delicious and full bodied. wow.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a wonderfully complex nose, smelling simultaneously of Belgian fruits and spices (orange and coriander, along with banana), champagne, lightly toasted grains, and brown sugar.

On the tongue the brew is no less complex, hitting first with a deceptively plain Belgian-ness, then ramping up quickly into a whirlwind storm of flavors, including some sour apple cider notes, oaky champagnes, caramelized brown sugars, spicy fruit esters, and even a hint or two of cognac on the edges. The aftertaste is no less complex, bearing sweet fruity sugars and lightly toasted grains that take up to a half minute to truly fade away. And even though all of this comes with an impressively high alcohol content (10.5% ABV, though a 9% ABV is also available), there's very little alcohol whang--and what is there blends in and hides with the hops.

Overall, this is a first-class beer, and it's not hard to see why it's regularly rated among the top Trippels in the world.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap as part of a Belgian flight. Color of light amber with a finger of light, loose head. Aroma is yeast, bubblegum, candied sugar. Taste follows, with fruity notes. ABV is well hidden. Another sneaky Belgian ale. Beautiful, must have.

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Photo of sleazo
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Lovely clouded orange colour with a huge fluffy head that seems to be it's own entity. Very nice looking, the only improvement woudl be better lacing. other than that beautiful.

S-Very complex aroma, I get anise on first whiff then a bananas foster type burnt sugar alcohol banana smell. A faint floral hop bitterness lingers in the background. Wow is all i can say.

T-Bananas and cloves and licorice oh my!. This is a unique treat with hints of pepper and a slow warming sensation from the alcohol but not harsh at all. the yeast plays a wonderful role in amping everything up from the bread to the hops and the spices it creates. You get those wonderful spices but in the end there is an unerlying bitterness from the hops. i am not sure when the hops were added to this brew but it is strong in the bittering variety and not so much in the aroma. Complex and nothing like I have had before.

M-Fluffy, highly carbonated with the tingling bubbles.

D-now this is one dangerous brew that I wish I got in a larger size than this stubby. This is basically a tripel with a huge dose of bittering hops. The almost honey like sweetness plays so well off of the bitter hop background and then at the end you get this dose of spice, magnificent. I will go out of my way for this.

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Photo of threeviews
4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle with a BOD of: 07IO. Translated, that is September(letter 'I') 7th(number "Zero+7"), 2015 (Letter 'O') into an oversized, Brasserie D'Achouffe branded Belgian tulip glass (similar to Duvel, but without the nucleation). With a published shelf life of 24 months, this bottle is well within the wheelhouse of freshness...as a matter of fact, this is the most fresh I have ever encountered Piraat.

A - Using the same method as pouring a Duvel, Piraat pours with similar vigor. The beer presents itself with a deep orange hue sporting a full, 4 finger (2") rocky, white head.

S - Absolutely brilliant, resplendent with sweet stone fruits (peach, apricot, green apple), flowers, honey and cotton candy/bubblegum. Very reminiscent of La Fin Du Monde and Don De Dieu (Unibroue)...two of my all-time favorites. Alcohol is completely masked.

T - Much like the aroma, Piraat's flavor blooms with flavors of stone fruit, ripe citrus and bubblegum sweetness. Alcohol...what alcohol? This drinks half of its labeled ABV (of which I can only assume is correct).

M - Medium mouthfeel, but with its persistent and prickly carbonation, it seems the body is much lighter. It finishes amazingly dry, like that of an American IPA/DIPA...even at today's standards!

O - Piraat is juicy and finishes dry. At 10.5%ABV (and like Duvel who is 1-2points less in ABV), this is one dangerously drinkable brew...perhaps a nod to Pirates who stormed the waters. Although the price for a 4-Pack will cause you to second guess a purchase (~$16), this is a spectacular Belgian Golden Strong Pale Ale and if obtained fresh (i.e. within 6-24 months...or earlier) will provide an exceptional experience.

Postscript: Although this is my inaugural review, I have had this before (old label with an actual caricature of a pirate on the label. However, I feel that the bottles I had (with the old label) were well past its prime which resulted in a cloying, sugar-cookie aroma and flavor. I am absolutely floored by the impression left by this bottle which I used to compose this review and assume it to be to be ~9 months fresh. That said, I am beginning to appreciate "living beer" more and more...Like those who brew with whole-leaf hops, Piraat is one more offering that confirms my theory of extended freshness due to bottle conditioning.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden slightly hazed nice creamy vibrant white head lacing Belgian webbing fine lacing. Aroma: Aroma is rich sharp sweetness clean candy-like tone blended with alcohol just the way I like it, the hops actually exist in this sweet rich alcoholic beverage. Taste: Syrupy layers of malt profile nice bitterness Euopean hoppin going on, hey I'm a fan of this one flavorful as all hell, with zesty citric tones thrown in there and a warming tone of the alcohol of this 10.5% wow. Mouthfeel: Relatively light bodied syrupy texture makes it rich and warming, the secret of the Belgian strong ale make it lighter bodied and excessively good so everybody will always have a buzz even if they don't want to. Drinkability: Way to easy to sip and consume chalice after chalice, Piraat can serve up one hell of an unwarranted buzz quicker than you would expect.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,428 ratings.
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