Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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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

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,070 | Ratings: 2,551
Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L- Hazy golden orange beer with a nice bubbly appearance.
S-Apple juice, pear and sweet sugary malt. Very molasses like with a hint of honey. A big alcoholic boozyness at the end which kind of takes away from the beer.
T-Follows the nose almost perfectly, sweet apple juice, pear and sweet sugary malt. Very molasses like with a hint of honey. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Some bitterness, but overall very sweet.
F- Juicy full bodied beer.
O- I'll elaborate later, but this was a very, very good Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Would absolutely have again.

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Photo of jlindros
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed as part of BJCP training, 25C Belgian Golden Strong.

Pours a big pillowy foamy head, mildly dense but more bubbly and a little rocky, nice retention and lacing, slight hazy deep copper blond color

Nose very fruity and complex, apple, pear, some fig plum, prune, a mild cherry like too, big peppery phenols and spices, some perfumey alcohol as well, fair malts, not so much blond as more sweet toasty with a little caramel and toasty bread crust like, malt derived esters as well as the yeast

Taste brings more rich malts out front, toasty bready crust, sweet-grainy malts, a hint of malt caramel, as well as malt derived esters, ester fruits come with mild prune, date, as well as apple pear, mild peppery spicy phenols, and smooth but peppery spicy perfumey alcohols, spicy hops kick in with a fair bitterness, increasing towards the finish, a mild dry but mild sweet finish, lingering spicy hop bitterness and peppery phenols

Mouth is medium bodied, very high effervescent carbonation, mild smooth perfumey alcohol

Overall quite nice, a bit heavy in the dark malt characters, but quite enjoyable, and hits the spot when I'm hankerin for this style

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass slows a gold colored body with active rising bubbles to a robust 2" head of tight bubbles which dissipates to a persistent film and leaves voluminous steps of artistic lacing.

Aroma is bready malt and banana yeast hints and the flavors match.

Mouthfeel is a fuller medium with a slightly sticky finish.

Overall really aggressive Belgian yeast.

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Photo of Breakfast-Porter-Guy
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had a 12 oz bottle today with lunch at an authentic Belgian Bistro in the Orlando area (Sanford), which I'll rate later, but a delightful beer indeed! Light and full of flavor! Lots of foam and very smooth.

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Photo of Craig-er
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Just a spectacular Belgium beer that I have enjoyed over the years. Golden hue of color, somewhat of a sweet smell, taste is lovely with a beautiful body, the feel just lingers on like an angel. A must taste for a Belgium.

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Photo of C-Stockwell
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: an opaque burnt orange with an impressive head
S: combination of a fruity red wine and malted barley
T: sweet, either caramel or molasses, cherries, pomegranate, and vanilla
F: very fine bubbles, very smooth, and no alcoholic burn

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a 250mL (0.25L) Piraat-branded tulip glass. Piraat is my third favorite Belgian beer, with Duvel as number one and Gulden Draak/GD 9000 as number two. Rich flavor like a fortified wine, but without the aguardiente burn in say Madeira, Port, or Commandaria. I see Piraat like a moderately priced champagne - it's a bottle to be enjoyed with good food on a night to relax. Piraat is simply an exceptional drink.

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Photo of eberesford
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep gold with orange notes and a dense generous head. Aroma: citrus, green apple, some spice.Spice comes forward in the flavour along with some honeyish notes. Considering the ABV Surprisingly little alcohol in the flavour.

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Photo of RConrad
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Golden in color with big foamy head. The high ABV is hardly noticeable, this is what I think a beer should taste like. Would be my daily beer if it was under $5 bottle.

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Photo of Nass
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

There is wonderful bubbles streaming to the top of the glass. I am getting some of the alcohol, but it's nothing overbearing or off putting. a little spicy, wheaty, very mild citrus fruit notes. Another thing that I like about these high abv Belgian Pale Ales is that hold up for a long time. You can see it on these beers for 1 year or 2 & they are still unbelievably good.

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Photo of MoreBeer4me
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What's not to like about this beer? An excellent Belgium offering that I've always enjoyed. Fruity, malty and creamy with a full rich taste. When I see it, I usually pick up a few.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah, this one is this one, ya know? Piraat - been around a while, she’s been taken for a few spins before. It’s like Belgium on Belgium. A waffle on top of a waffle. Peter Paul Reubens on Peter Paul Reubens. At 10.5%, this one is pretty smooth for being a big boy - kind of like an elephant in a tutu. Yeah, I dunno... like the E channel, this one isn’t exactly too inspiring. It’s just kind of there. It’s not bad by any means, but it ain’t doing it for Raul at this very moment.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Karmeliet tulip glass. Massive foamy head with superb retention, body is a delightful apricot colour, thick and hazy with a few bubbles. Looks the business.

Aroma is quite boozy, mixed with a hefty dose of bitter malts.

Taste is just as good, a lovely malty hit upfront with a lovely bitter twist at the end which lingers long after it has disappeared down the jugular.

Feel is not as harsh as expected, this is a 10.5% big hitter and given the waft of booze I was fearful of an overly dry texture, but it is surprisingly smooth.

Overall a top top beer, certainly up there with the other classics.

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Photo of OlaB
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy amber color with a huge top of white creamy had that dissolves slowly and leaves some really sticky lacings. The aroma is of citrus,apples,yeast,spices,sugar,caramel and tofee. The taste is fruity and dry with good malty tones in the back. It also has quite good spicy notes in the flavour. The finish has a comfortable bitterness with floral and grassy notes and the aftertaste has a good lenght. This beer is complex and has a good balance. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a high carbonation and a medium body.
A tasty and delicious beer. Would happily drink this again.

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Photo of michiganmatt
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: SRM 5, quite clear, a very generous quantity of bubbly white head, with decent retention
S: A strong aroma of sweet fruit sugars with hints of belgian yeast and spice. an overall quite pleasant bouquet
T: A complicated flavor, with dominant flavor of musty grapes, very similar to DFH's Midas Touch beer. The sweet grape flavor is complicated with moderate levels of Belgian yeast and spice flavors. While its definitely an artfully put together and well-balanced beer, I'm not sure if I dig the grape flavor. I do like DFH Midas Touch quite a bit though, so it's not that alone. Overall, I guess this particular combination of ingredients doesn't turn my taste gears.
F: This beer feels great. Medium bodied. A slightly-above-average level of high-intensity carbonation. Minimal bitterness.
O: Overall, a decent beer, and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love the "Pirate Ship" bottle cap, a keeper!
Plenty of smoke from the bottle, good omen!
11.2 fl. oz. poured into a big mouth wine glass.
Enjoyed with walnuts, blueberries and lemons.

Golden-orange, foamy two finger head, of bubbles large and small, plenty of carbonation and lacing.

A dry, malty scent, of fruits most subtle.

Creamy, crisp and floral. Cellared citrus fruit. A bit tangy, earthy-mellow.
I would not say the booze is hidden, rather presented like a gentle, sunlit wave, in a sour sea of spiced honey bliss.

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Photo of huthuty
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown/yellow with a small head compared to, say, duvel
Smells spicy and sharp
Taste is reminiscent of apple juice and cough syrup, pepper is noticeable
Overall a great beer, I liked duvel more but maybe bc I'm a wuss and this one is a bit darker

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange color, really good head for such a strong beer. Nose is estery, malty, dark sugar, nice. Flavor is dark sugar, sweet, slight bit of booze, slight bit of cough drop on the back. Pretty tasty Belgian beer.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply a beautiful beer to look at and drink...

Looking at the beer in the glass is an experience unlike any other. The beer is lightly colored at the surface and at the bottom, then darkly colored in-between - very unique. The smell has a light boozy scent that translates to a light boozy flavor to the taste. I was also noted honey, spice, and even a fruity undertone. Mouthfeel was slightly creamy and overall this is truly an special beer.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) into a conical pint glass; no clear production information.
A: Pour a slightly hazy, honey amber color with very robust head formation (>2 inches), solid retention, and some lacing.
S: Fruity and spicy bouquet with aromas of caramel and biscuit.
T: Sweet. Flavors of honey, apple, anise, and pepper with bitterness intensifying over the course of consumption. Aftertaste a little bitter.
M: Full bodied and mouth filling. Solid, persistent carbonation. Boozy without being overwhelmingly so.
O: Really a nicely designed and executed brew. Was worth trying, although nothing beats Van Steenberge's Gulden Draak.

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Photo of beergoot
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark gold, dark honey body; thick, billowy, creamy white head. Crystal malt aroma; honey-like on the nose. Sweet flavor; fruity; pit fruit like pear and light peach; notes of caramel; sweet with a deceptively mild alcohol presence lurking in the background. Heavy body; bright and sweet with no cloying qualities; some alcohol warmth.

A fine, tasty strong ale bringing some restrained malty sweetness to the glass along with a noticeable yet mostly balanced alcohol presence amidst the grain sweetness. Excellent balance and depth for the style; a very approachable boozy sweetness. Liking this...

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle
Date code: FP06

Pours a golden amber that is fairly clear with a massive off-white head that sticks around. Great retention; some swooping arcs of lacing. (4.25)

Spiced and candied oranges, crusty bread, old wood, dried apricots, lime zest. (4.25)

Rich, layered bready sweetness with an citrus/stonefruit-like alcoholic warmth that finishes it off. (4.25)

Full body with fluffy carbonation and a lingering, warming, complex finish. (4.5)

This is a really nice, huge, well-balanced beer.
It looks smells and tastes awesome with a nice head and lots of fruity and earthy notes. It was not at all like what I had expected, and was an enjoyable, complex sipper that really showcased a fruity and faintly earthy malt-yeast-hop combo while still being an awesome fireside beer.
I'd definitely have this one again. (4.25)

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the classic squat, single-serve bottle emblazoned with the iconic ship into a tulip. Enjoyed more than once in the past, but reviewing, finally, for the first time. Time to settle the personal Duvel vs. Piraat battle.

Pours with a fabulous rocky head that lingers, giving way to a thin but persistent lacing. Though it's a Belgian Strong Pale, it's nearly amber and rather translucent for the style.

The aromas are wide, varied, and complex. Hops and fruity malts, mostly from the citrus class assault the nose in equal measure with inviting spicy yeast notes in the background. Floral notes appear as the brew warms. Just a hint of booziness completes the nose.

The brew hits the palate with a very defined set of flavors. Malts very forward, but with a mix of dry and sweet notes. Dry biscuit notes play with classic Belgian phenols, mostly from the tropical end of the spectrum--I'm thinking mandarin orange and pineapple And then--the hops and yeast arrive at the finish to provide spice and bitterness as a counterpoint Balance, balance, and more balance.

The mouthfeel is outstanding, but just a titch boozy and burned. Very light, and well carbonated, but a fabulous dry, crisp finish, but the boozy burn is just a shade heavy-handed.

Overall, this exercise will not settle my own internal battle---Duvel vs. Piraat. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Brolo75
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a golden amber color with a big, full frothy bright white head, lots of retention, lacing, and carbonation.

A: Not getting much on the aroma, Belgian yeast, honey, malt, slight note of pepper and spice.

T: Strong alcohol presence in the finish, slight bitterness, Belgian yeast, cherry, overripe banana, spice, pepper, clove, lots of depth and complexity.

M: Full bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel, dry finish.

O: Nice beer, lots of depth and complexity, great mouthfeel but the alcohol comes through really strong, nice Belgian yeast notes as well, really enjoyed this but the strong alcohol presence was a little too much.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark orange with hints of red in it, and a small white head with rings of beautiful lacing around it.

S: Notes of dark stone fruit, mint, caramel, Belgian yeast and some hops.

T: Dark stone fruits, a little orange, some tart cherry, Belgian yeast in the end of the sip, with a little bit of floral hop, ends with a slight to medium bitterness. Alcohol is quite noticeable.

F: Medium body and very smooth

O: Alcohol is noticeable but very nice Belgian Strong ale.

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Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 4 pack of these to try. I let them get good and cold (about 40F), and tried them. Taste is very consistent, very much like the strong Belgian Ale style, and finished clean. Could not believe the beer was 10.5%ABV, it was very sessionable-- if someone handed one of these to me beforehand, I would not believe how strong this beer is. Very good IMO.

Well, after writing all the above, I was sipping another (much slower this time around), and something very interesting happened-- the beer changed on me taste-wise! The beer now had quite a bit of alcohol warming taste throughout-- this was not present when the beer was drank at a much colder temp..... so, if this beer seems to be a bit too boozy tasting, just get the beer even more cold and re-try.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,551 ratings