Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,027 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,027 | Ratings: 2,392
Photo of dcotom
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2-ounce bottle into a goblet. Hazy, light caramel color. Warm pour yielded a voluminous white head that dissipated rather quickly, leaving quite a bit of lacing on the walls of the glass. Complex spicy and flowery aroma, sweet malts and a burst of tartness on the palate. Nothing subtle about the alcohol in this one, with a slight burn up front and a lingering heat on the finish. Kind of spendy, but well worth the expense.

 440 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into antique German pilsener glass

Clear Amber liquid, steady carbonation, massive , thick, creamy, white dense foam cap

Aroma of fruit -apple, banana and flowers- daisy

Sweet taste of honey, burnt sugar, caramel malts, peppery spice

Definitely some alcohol in this glass, no sudsing,

Good beer as an after dinner dessert beer

 346 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber colour with a good sized beige head. Aromas of yeast, burnt sugar and fruit. Tastes of fruits & spice. It's fruits flavours are peaches, mango & papaya with sultanas, dried currants, honey also present. Aftertaste has a bitterness coming out along with the hops. Overall a very powerfull cocktail.

 316 characters

Photo of L0ne
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From backlog. 330ml bottle, December 2014.

Pours golden/amber with a pillowy white head. Spicy, fruity esters and yeast, grainy malts with some caramel, lots of alcohol. Not bad, but too much alcohol for this beer to handle, in my opinion.

 240 characters

Photo of Dentist666
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into tulip.
Pours murky copper-amber beer with rocky beige head, utterly long retention. Smell - booze, banana, some yeasts, some sourish ham. Taste - hellish load of alcohol under thick layer of sweaty malts, too boozy, too meaningless. Good candidate for drain pour.

 275 characters

Photo of jk175d
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's what I hoped for when I found it in a grocery store in Budapest. At 10.5% I don't expect the alcohol to be masked so no complaints about that. It tastes to me what I imagine a strong beer made by monks in an old Belgian monastery would taste like. Rustic and bold. There's also a nice thick foam head that lasts until the final sip.

 340 characters

Photo of rxmk
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color, with a thick creamy head that holds for a long time.
Alcohol and hops dominates the taste. Moderate carbonation. Very little
Fruit and flower on the nose. Good after dinner drink in a 'duvel' glass.
Strong yeasty belgian ale.

 244 characters

Photo of jopezu
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

amber, which is surprisingly dark for the style. massive head that sticks around. nose; boozy belgian yeast and slight banana. taste; stinging booze, thick alcoholic yeast funk, and some slight fruit sweetness. i'm not understanding the high scores here - this beer jut isn't appealing to me - no usual fruit complexity and the 10.5% shows every step of the way. the yeast /grain profile is dominantly flat and just keeps building with every sip. not terrible, but not exemplary.

 484 characters

Photo of Saviour
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L - Pours cloudy ambery golden, white two-finger-head.
S - honey, carnations, grain.
T - a little bit too alcoholic, bitter-sweet, strong and flower-ish.
F - Full-bodied, medium carbonization.
O - good, but too strong beer for this style. Definetely not for everyday consumption.

 279 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From El Corte Ingles, Club del Gourmet. In Duvel glass. After dinner. Good sugary aroma and taste. Leaves a nice ticklish sensation in the mouth. Repeatable

 156 characters

Photo of Trombone69
3.34/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I felt like I could taste every bit of the 10.5% alcohol. Maybe a little too extreme for me. I have had strong beers that I liked more, but in general, I prefer to stay under 8%. I guess there just aren't enough good flavors to mask the high ABV.

 249 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Have had this since early October, so, considering it's an import and had been for sale for a while, I imagine it's well over a year old by now. Kept it stored in a fairly cool, dark place, so I believe it's aged like it was supposed to.

Color ranges from dull yellow at the bottom to amber near the top, using a small goblet. Hazy and subtly mottled throughout. Fine lemon-white cap of medium retention. Citrus- and balsamic vinegar-like esters, grain, and alcohol on the nose, in order of intensity. Very strong alcohol in retro-olfaction. On the palate, it has a caramelly malty tartness up front, with sugar and spice notes kicking in early but not full-throttled until nearly the swallow. Pleasantly boozy in the sides and the back, like sipping rum with curaçao. Finish is a little bready, a little sugary, and a little rindy. Full-bodied. Not too wet, not too dry. Pricks the tongue and throat for the duration, almost as much the alcohol's doing as the high-level carbonation's. Warms the throat and mouth. Better to not leave your lips clamped shut for too long after swallowing, as the fumes will go to your head. Very enjoyable beer, albeit a little too sweet for my tastes.

 1,187 characters

Photo of Zet
2.74/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This beer was a huge disappointment for me. It looks very promising, but the alcohol dominates too much in this beer in my humble opinion. A lot of flavour goes lost in both smell and taste. It was quite an endeavor to finish my glass. When looking at other reviews, i can't help but get the feeling i had a bad bottle or something. Might give this beer a second chance in the future.

 384 characters

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.

 247 characters

Photo of drmeto
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-pours a hazy amber with a big white head
-low-medium carbonation visible
-Follows the nose plus moderate hoppiness and a faint sour note
-typical high belgian carbonation
-like other Van Steenberge Beers very boozy
-full body
without the booziness this would be close to perfect

 333 characters

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.

 214 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great looking hazy gold brew sitting under a lot of billowy foam.

I get malty and candi sugar notes with a mild hop bitterness.

Same goes for the taste with some notes of yeast and alcohol.

Medium body, lively carbonation.

Nice beer.

 241 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enthusiastic head with streaming bubbles in the Saint-Martin goblet. Clear darkish amber color. This is both sweet and yeasty with the dry finish. Tingly and highly carbonated.

This seems like the textbook example of a strong Belgian ale. Flavors of sweet malt and grain. Bread and cookie dough, and is that a vanilla taste? Deeply fruity with lemon competing with the apricot and pear. Some tannic and woody taste. All of this seems to intensify as you sip and the hot alcohol tackles the tongue.

This is a big and bruising beer, but it is a cornucopia of flavors and sensation. From the beautiful printed on glass 750 ml bottle purchased in San Diego.

 655 characters

Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Head very large, rigid and durable, all the time, until the end draws wonderful patterns on glass.
Malt aroma, sweet, intense caramel with a delicate hint of raisins.
Taste is very malty, slightly sour, there is no accent raisins, sweet, plums feel.
Alcohol is a powerful but very well interacts with bitterness. Good, but not my taste

 335 characters

Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

-darker strong pale ale than normal but looks appetizing
-very mellow and pleasant yeasts
-mellow fruits and yeasts with a nice warm alcohol burn
-not near as light or carbonated as other i have had great thickness for a light beer!
-overall another great strong pale ale i am becoming fond of this style

 305 characters

Photo of IPA1978
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell is amazing yeasty phenols, sweet bubble gum and slight musty grains. Taste is peppery, fruity and medicinal, sweetness is tamed by medium bitterness and warm alcohol. Fantastic beer, more complex than Duvel.

 215 characters

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.

 607 characters

Photo of JasW
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderfully complex and balanced, sweetness and bitterness combined like yin and yang, an effervescent mouthfeel but not too cheek-puffing, an unbridled yeasty, malty, and hoppy delight. This is ale. And quite strong ale at that. Aye, mateys!

 243 characters

Photo of ajm5108
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Yeast & dry grain on the nose, pretty carbonated, taste is mostly medium toasted malt & cereal grain, earthy with just enough hop profile to give it a pop, not bitter, lots of earthy yeast with some dry fruit, very good belgian style ale.

 238 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
2.6/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Expected it to be similar to Duvel. Could not finish the bottle. Very sweet and boozy. There are a lot of better options for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

 151 characters

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,392 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!