Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

2,466 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,466 |  Reviews: 1,048
Photo of ZorPrime
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is copper. Nice head thrones on top of it. Looks like a cloud. Very sticky. Wow the aroma is a bomb! Very complex and so inviting. Bananas, spices and yeast. Some floral notes too. Big beer in the nose... heavy. The aroma reminds me of banana bread with some spices.

On the taste, it is less complex than the aroma. Very big beers nevertheless. Almost chewy. Fruity and sugar notes are presents. Effervescent but still very heavy in the mouth. The finale is dry. Slightly bitter, very well balanced.

Warms in the body. High alcohol beer that is well hidden... a bomb! Very good beer.

 595 characters

Photo of jaidenjb
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of FreshZ
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of yergermeister
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of avisong
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of kc44
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enormous fluffy head eventually collapses into itself somewhat but just won't quit, lingering on at no less than one finger. Unreal lacing. Beautiful burnished gold shade looks perfectly inviting especially when held right up by a light source, just a touch of haze but not so much that it obscures the perpetual effervescence at the heart of the beer. Simply gorgeous. The smells are spicy and yeasty. Pretty prominent clove aroma, maybe some nutmeg. Alcohol is fairly obvious - a human being will smell boozy after consuming this, and even a tiny person is considerably larger than a 11.2 oz bottle. Flavors come on sweet and spicy at first, a lot of intensely caramel sweet and somewhat acidic fruity flavors. The hops basically ambush the scene after hiding out on the aroma front. Not much in the way of hop flavor either, but their bitterness comes on strong right along with the boozy warming sensation to create a memorable beer experience. The hops are enough to dry your mouth out, but the beer itself could finish a bit drier. This is a big, pushy beer and the carbonation level also fits those descriptors, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing as it serves to lively up a beer that would feel much stickier otherwise. All together, I personally really enjoyed this beer after having one for the first time in a long time. I feel like this one sometimes gets disrespected or overlooked by some for being widely available, or being part of a somewhat larger conglomerate, or whatever, but if an American brewery produced something like this people would be falling all over themselves (if distribution was limited and they used the word "barrel", anyway). A must-drink for anyone interested in the wide world of belgian beer, and a good lesson that the concept of an intensely bitter beer had crossed the minds of belgian brewers long ago.

 1,851 characters

Photo of SalMineo
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of RickS95
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish peach color. Not hazy, but just dark enough to be opaque, though still clear. The head is bright white, LARGE, and has great retention. When it finally gives, it leaves a thick, sticky lace.

Yeasty nose with orange, candied sugar, pepper and grape, slightest bit of mint.

Taste is sweetish to start with, but quickly gives way to the acidic ingredients. Carbonation is prevalent, as it the alcohol.

Has a sharp feel, almost biting with the high ABV, hops, orange and carbonation...and heat. After just a few sips, my lips, mouth and throat are hot.

This was one of the best of the type I've had. It's a manly, aggressive drink so you can't knock them back all night, but it makes a great sipper for late in the evening. Despite the manliness, it's pretty easy to drink unless you chug it.

 809 characters

Photo of Beezee
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Nerudamann
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - light amber in color, a little hazy, with about a finger's worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - a little on the fruity side, but other than that, I can't get a strong sense of its balance between malty or hoppy.

Taste - interesting taste. It does start off a little on the fruity/malty side, but the strength of the bitterness mellows that out. But at the same time, it's not a strongly bitter taste in general. The abv power pokes its head in toward the middle of the tasting. Not too much of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - pretty well-balanced, but does seem to border on the creamier side.

Overall - very interesting brew, and good-tasting as well.

 732 characters

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of ng85
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of JVan
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of NeutroMan
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of abmhighrise
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap and served in a tulip, the beer is a dark, vibrant, honey-copper coloring with a foamy, frothy, small bubbled white head that has a great cling along the glass. Nose is subtle, with some light spicing atop the boozey and rich, malty backbone. Smells solid and strong. Flavors are more heavily spiced, with a strong clove and grains of paradise character along the rich fruit and boozey backbone. Fruits range from pineapple to pear, and grapefruit to apple. Slightly cloying, resiny sweet aftertaste with a mild hopping. The finish is rich and slick, with an oily mid-linger. Great lacing left behind as you drink, and the spices leave a pleasant, cleansed feeling on the palate. The increased ABV is blended well into the beer, making it very easy to drink. Solid brew.

 784 characters

Photo of Rschis16
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A brilliantly clear yellow-orange colored beer with a bubbly shock white head on top and tons of visible carbonation feeding it from the bottom. It dissapates slowly with big bubbles and a good amount of lacing. Somewhat vinous in the aroma with notes of bright citrus and subdued citrusy hops. A bit musty as well, with hints of lemon zest, orange peel and belgian candi sugar. Not super aromatic, but definitly a well-rounded smell.

Very complex in the taste, and yet simple enough to be very relaxing and enjoyable. It starts off pretty sweet and citrusy with a nice dose of that candi sugar. The sweetness is of lemons, lemon rind and orange peel with a touch of coriander and spices. These spices let off a little and just let the citrus shine, aided by a Belgian yeast that lends slight notes of banana and clove. The sweetness also has a sharpness to it, almost a tartness but just short. This is especially noticeable in the latter half of the bottle. Juicy in the middle with a big burst of orange, then it dries out big time in the finish. Also a touch of mustiness in the back. The hops are not in your face, but very pleasant, lending an easy-going bitterness that balances out the drying sweetness perfectly. The carbonation is on the higher side, giving a certain soft prickle that cleanses the palate. It still manages to be smooth however, making this highly drinkable. Not much more than a hint of that 10.5% ABV, mostly just noticeable in the breath of the aftertaste. Otherwise, it is perfectly hidden and almost forgotten even, hiding behind those great flavors of citrus.

This is a very nice beer, easily enjoyed equally for its sippability and its complexity. I definitly recommend this to anyone who likes Belgian ales with a good note of hops. I do wish I had this a little fresher as this bottle is probably about a year old. I think that the hop notes would not be as subdued, even though that was not a negative for my tasting. This was a very enjoyable drink.

 1,989 characters

4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Antnyd82
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of squarebottle
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Mark5252
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of gleemonger
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Morningstorm
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,466 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.