Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 2,471 ratings

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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Ratings: 2,471 |  Reviews: 1,051
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.31/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep yellow color ale with a huge poured white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of alcohol is a bit too intense for my liking with some good malt backbone and lots of sugar. Taste is very sweet with a subtle burning sensation from the alcohol. Body is slightly below average with too much filtration and alcohol is too intense. Yeast is quite discreet and sweet too present. This one is definitely not to my liking.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big light tan head slowly settles into a nice bisquity lacing above a clear copper honey colored beer.

Aroma is very laden with fruits both dark and citrus and light pepper like spices.

Spices, light and of a darker cooking variety, mixed with dark fruit aspects like apricots on a light grain malt taste. The taste also brings with it an aspect of light alcohol.

A dry aftertaste that has with it some of the darker fruits on this medium well bodied beer.

This is a very good example of how to make a beer with a lot of different tastes but none of them really sticking out and smothering the other tastes with the beer.

 625 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/20/2012. Cork blew off into the cage as soon as I removed it. Pours fairly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of pear, apple, grape, lemon, pepper, clove, honey, candi sugar, floral, and light earthy yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with malt sweetness. Taste of pear, apple, grape, lemon, pepper, clove, honey, candi sugar, floral, and earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, clove, floral, honey, candi sugar, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with malt balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, prickly, and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong pale ale. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters and malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for 10.5%. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,298 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first had this beer compared with Duvel, Lucifer and a few of the other more balanced strong golden Belgian's, I found it to be aggressive and rough - with a bold sweetness, an apparent alcohol, and a rough edge of bitterness and acidity. I've since changed my opinion on that in so far as those qualities give it a bold, unique, character. There are times when you want something that will reach out and grab you! This is it! Beautiful deep gold with a bright white rocky head that holds. Nice, creamy mouthfeel that caresses and tingles. The aroma is huge, complex, fruity, spicy and sweetly malty. The flavor starts with a bright sweet malt, revealing some spice (coriander?) and light acidity, followed by a brash bitterness. Plenty of alcohol here. A very strong, highly flavored ale that tours your mouth and takes no prisoners.

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml unusually heavy brown bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange-amber with a 2 finger, creamy, off-white head that has good retention and leaves thick lacing. A large amount of exceptionally fine carbonation can be seen rising in the glass.

Aroma: sweet and sour fruits, yeast, light malt, hops, and surprisingly subtle hints of the high ABV.

T - The flavor, like the aroma, is most notably fruity, but both malt and hops are evident. No hiding all 10.5% ABV, but the alcohol-related flavors are partially hidden and integrate well with the fruity flavor. Some hints of banana, of course, but hints of pineapple, apricots, pear, apple cider and dark fruits (including dates) in here too. Flavor starts sweet and changes to a mild bitter finish, with some tartness throughout.

M - bonus points for the creamy smooth feel, but a not unexpected deduction for the mild alcohol burn.

O - a fine, powerful, bold, complex fruity Belgian ale.

{revisited in Nov. 2013}

 987 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had heard many things about this beer mainly good so had to try it on tap last night.Pours a gold/orange color with a big fluffy head,the aroma has big hop presence very herbal and grassy.Taste is very citriusy and tart with some late hop coming thru,very grassy and herbal aftertaste.A pretty nice beer but not a top notch Belgian in my opinion.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy honey brown with a two finger light tan head. The head diminishes quickly leaving a thin layer of bubbles, mostly around the edges of the glass.

S: Aromas of yeast, sweetness, hops, and some citrus.

T: Flavors are very sweet - caramel + toffee malts, banana/clove, candied orange peel, and a little bit of honey.. The taste of the 10.5 ABV is extremely well hidden.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little bit of stickiness on the palate with this beer.

O: Drank this in my favorite Piraat snifter, had to enjoy the beer the glass was went to hold. A little too strong to be sessionable but the flavors and smell were very enjoyable - if I had a couple of these I would be in a bit of trouble due to the high ABV.

 779 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright white head sits atop a hazy dark gold brew.

S: Lots of funk here. Also, plenty of hops and Belgian yeast. Fantastic.

T: Lots going on here. Good funk from the yeast, and plenty of hops to go along. Hints of different fruits as well.

M: Good taste throughout, sits in the mouth well. Medium body.

D: A little overpowering to go through more than one of, but this is a very fine brew.

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

On-tap 7/17/08 at Pitcher's Pub, in Cumberland, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with strong flavors of Belgian yeast and floral hops. There's a pretty significant alcohol sting and a heart malt character. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice high-octane beer to drink for a long time or at least until the ABV catches up with you.

 727 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The head is a towering, two and a half fingers of bone white foam. The body is deep golden colored and perfectly clear. The carbonation supports the head well, but it eventually settles down and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - Spicy hops with pine and citrus notes, backed by peppery yeast and rich malt.

T - Some citrus hop notes up front that are quickly overwhelmed by phenolic yeast. Pepper, cloves, anise, and a hint of vanilla. Sweet malt comes out briefly in the finish and is more than balanced by smooth hop bitterness. Lingering flavors of tropical fruit.

M - Medium body, very high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - A strong golden belgian with a distinctly spicy yeast profile. Pretty drinkable for what it is, and it hides its high alcohol content well. There is a nice hop character, but the yeast dominates, and I wouldn't put it in the same category as other Belgian IPAs that I have had.

 926 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of mactrail
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
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 Ciocanelu
2.6/5  rDev -36.1%
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

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

I've had this many times over the years, but I'm finally just getting around to reviewing it. Pours a slightly hazy bronze color with a firm white head, varying in size, but usually displaying decent retention and lacing. Aroma is grainy, with notes of Belgian sugar and yeast, moderately hoppy. Biscuity malts in the taste, yeasty, candi sugar and light spice, with an indistinct dark fruit sensation, and a lingering herbal bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable for the style. Good beer overall.

 550 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this as part a mixed Belgian sixer

Pours gold with 3+ fingers of parfait-like cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Lemons, apples, pears& honey as this warms

T: Lemony & grapefruitty hops, pears & apple- tinged booze up front. Apples, grapefruitty hops, & a touch of honey as this warms. Finishes with breadfruit, other tastes of the tropics & grainyness

MF: Syruppy, but some carbonation bites at the edges

Drinks pretty, good this is more of a nightcap or dessert type offering

 503 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Extremely cloudy, straw blonde in color. Relatively thin head with only a touch of slippery lace.

Creamy alcohol aromas similar to an apertif--fairly sweet. Very low hop aroma.

Very high alcohol warmth...to the point of distraction. The swallow burns from the alcohol. The malt flavors are rich with just a touch of hops to provide some balance.

Really, this is too much of a good thing. The powerful punch of alcohol is not really balanced by strong flavors or smells. This is like a beer flavored after dinner drink. One 11.2 oz bottle is enough for me--tasty in an expiremental way.

 595 characters

Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, bronze-hued body with a large, last, white head. Gobs of splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Sugary, spicy, delicately grainy malts served up alongside a tray of juicy, fresh-cut fruits and a single shot of clean alcohol.

Taste: Initially, you're greeted with a sugar sweetened, clove-spiced doughy malt character. Next up is a blitz of fruit flavors: peach, pineapple, and banana. Additional taste of bitter orange zest with a medium-low bitterness. Peppery alcohol character remains for the warming, dwindlingly fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high, finely-textured carbonation.

Drinkability: Paired well with "Lazy Confessions" by the Moldy Peaches. Though the alcohol is noticeable it's not glaring or, as a wise man once said, "It drink pretty good, don't it?" However, when the plummeting US economy drives me to a pirate-based livelihood, I'll probably stick to dark rum instead of Piraat. That's just me though!

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 84.9% out of 100 with 2,471 ratings
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