Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,503 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: 2,503 |  Reviews: 1,057
Photo of wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 330ml brown short bottle, BB 21/06/2013, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak’s tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours an amber-ish golden hue, with very good clarity, mild and constant carbonation, plus a thick and frothy off-white head to last.
S: salty-sweet orangey+banana+green-mango-ish estery fruit perfume comes with amber malts’ aroma and caramely hints, underlined by a soft layer of spiciness, candy sugar, sultanas, with alcoholic warmth scattered around in the background. Intense, aromatically fruity, yet still approachable.
T: rather potent/intense in flavour and alc. does lend a vivid impact from very early on, the flavour is spicy and dry-ish fruity at the same time, featuring orangey-citrusness, apples, overripe tropical fruits (or -flavoured bubble gum!), peppery esters, and dried Chinese hawthorn fruits, while hop bitterness catches up almost spontaneously with the alcoholic kickback… allowing a flow of white prune-ish spicy-sweetness to linger in the very end.
M&D: rather moderate on carbonation, this full-bodied amber strong ale is very well hopped and features a delicious fruity malt theme as well. In fact, despite the unmistakable presence of alc., somehow my palate finds the nectar surprisingly easy to quaff, partially thanks to the rather low profile of candy-sugary elements. All in all, I think this is a well-balanced hoppy brew that definitely stands out as one of Van Steenberge’s premium ales.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
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 BeerImmediately
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at about 45 degrees into a Duvel tulip. Had a very healthy, foamy white head over a deep golden body with tons of carbonation.

Strong aromas - spicy Belgian yeast, lots of thick citrus, pineapple, and even some banana. You can tell it's rich. Nice barnyard funky quality and some alcohol comes through as it warms.

This is one of those "wow" beers - even if you've had plenty of Belgian IPAs before. Flavors replicate the aromas with lots of rich citrus tree fruits - pineapple, mango, apple, and maybe even some lime quality, too. Great thickness in the body is balanced perfectly with the high carbonation.

Overall, just a really terrific, and well-balanced Belgian IPA. Highly recommended for anyone just getting into the style.

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

Small bottle poured into a plastic cup. (WTF?! lol)

Appearance - Hazy apple cider body. Offwhite head.

Smell - Alcohol. Rubbing alcohol? Slight apple. Fruity and citrusy notes.

Taste - Very alcoholic. Hoppiness is strong but hidden under the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Very astringent. Has a nice kick to it. Frothy carbonation.

Overall Drinkability - Nice strong beer for when you're in the mood for a kick. The sum of this beer is better than the parts.

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Photo of benfons
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: amber to orange colour, nice thick but not very dense head

S: orange, malts, coriander and hops

T: sweet at the start, with some apple and rock candy, too sweet for my taste, and a bitter hoppy finish with malts coming through

M: ok thickness, right abv, ok carbonation

O: A bit too sweet for me, but not bad overall, could use some complexity

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Photo of jwinship83
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle drank from my duvel tulip glass.

A- the beer pours out a somewhat hazy dark orange colored body under a finger and a half of bright white head. the head has moderate retention, and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the beer appears to be pretty hoppy. herbal, floral, lemony, and grassy hops. after that pick up on some belgian yeast and a little bit of candi sugar. moderate to strong warming from the booze.

T- the taste starts out similar to how it smells. lots of pale malts followed by belgian candi sugar and belgian yeast. some fruit flavors filter in after that. decently hoppy at the end, but nothing like i was expecting from the nose. lemon, grass, floral, and herbal notes. alcohol was picked up throughout.

M- the body is a solid medium. the carbonation is a little higher than medium. moderate warming from the alcohol.

O- a little too much booze in here for my tastes. there are better options for this style readily available year round. its still one to check out if you havnt yet.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy amber, with minor bubbles and no lace.

Lovely fruity aroma. Yeast in there, too.

Taste is more fruit esters, followed by an alcohol burn (it is a strong 10.5%, after all). I get orange, spice, sour lemon, clove, candied apricot...sensational flavors, and about as complex as I've had in some time.

Rich and heavy-bodied, this is a superlative Belgian ale.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A: Cloudy, deep golden coppery/orange color; 2-finger width head that settles as a thin foam on top; sticky lacing.

S: The aroma explodes with Belgian yeast up front, notes of tropical fruit, some spice, a little malt, and a good dollop of sugary sweetness.

T: Lots of sweetness, with a strong yeasty flavor up front; the tropical fruits and spices sort of evaporate and dance around your tongue; slight malty hints in the middle; finishes with a peppery bitterness that lingers on the back of the tongue.

M: Medium-light body, lightly carbonated; very dry finish, but very smooth; only a faint hint of booziness.

O: This is delicious! It's the second time I've had this beer and I will definitely be going back to buy some more. If you enjoy Belgian styles then you owe it to yourself to pick up a bottle of this deliciously sweet brew.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out golden yellow in color with a sticky head which later gives way to some nice light lacing. The color is light but appetizing and it cleverly hides the high ABV. The aroma is what truly showcases the Belgian roots of the ale. You get wine-like fruity esters which are ever so slightly sour. The taste is yeasty, light hints of tropical fruits and cider, with a slightly hopped finish. This is an extremely drinkable beer and could really start one hell of a raucous night with its high ABV.

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

11.2 oz -> My Unibroue-lip

A ~ Really gorgeous bronze color with some really flawless carbonation, and a head that looks like a wheel of baby swiss. Theres a glitter like shimmer in it as well. Dang!

S ~ Spices galore with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Some sugarcane hidden under the plethora of spices. Nice nose.

T ~ Lemon follows in lesser extent, peppered throughout. Some spiced-apple, hefty earth/wood, sliced pear, & citrus peel as well. Biscuit dough malt qualities & Hops that remind me of mowed grass, but not in a Resinous way with intention of standing out, but more In the fashion of melding with the many flavors in the ale.
Rum like flavors on the finish.

M ~ Refreshing and spirited mouthfeel. Truly exceptional. The perfect medium bold/fruity and dry. Not much burn but there is detection of alcohol

D ~ Pleasing amount of hops for the style with a complex palette of spicy fruit makes this a really great beer. Seek out in single format, as it is a "big" beer.

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Photo of Dieseljaxx
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After reading all the reviews I expected a little more out of this ale...for me it was a little to sweet and it was tough to pick up the delicious bitterness of the hops. The color was little lighter than I like and the head broke apart quickly. It was very drinkable for a high alcohol ale but seemed a little too unbalanced towards the malt taste for my liking. Its a decent beer and I would drink it again...but only if someone else is buying.

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Photo of BricksandPorter
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a variety six pack of Van Steenberge from Wegmans six pack shop the other day. This one was probably my favorite out of the lot. A really great offering.

Pour - medium quick pour with a good two finger head. Body is caramel brown, cloudy and appears to be very thick - almost syrupy. The haze gives it the look of pre-set orange jello.

Nose - Smell is very distinct. A good malt and hop combination (both of which are distinguishable) and a waft of bourbon or rum - something sweet and high alcohol.

Taste - straightforward pale malts, wheat and dried, earthy hops. Notes of banana, cinnamon and marshmallow and a finish of pure, sweet alcohol. Alcohol flavor grows as it warms and give a great after thought to the prominence of the malts and hops. A complex but palatable beer. Very nice!

Mouthfeel - a bit too light for my liking. This is the weakest facet of this beer. Character is light and the body is deceiving, especially considering how syrupy it looks in a room temperature glass. The gravity does not compliment the flavors very much.

Drinkability - Mouth aside, I could definitely drink a few of these over dinner and desert. I would recommend this offering.


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

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a chimay goblet.

Pours a light bronze or amber colour, with a creamy head settling down to leave a thin lace floating over the whole thing.

Smells peppery and lemon with a slight yeast zing.

Tastes citrusy at first, deepening to a peppery hop taste, which seems quite balanced and not too overpowering, ending with a bitterness and overall a very refreshing taste.

Overall a very nice IPA, great summer beer, refreshing and a cleverly disguised strongly alcoholic beer. I would get this again.

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

I first had this beer on tap. It was actually at the first fine dining restaurant I ever served at. They had it, I liked the tap, so I decided to pour myself a pint. And man, what a great beer. My first memory of the beer was how fruity it not only smelt, but tasted. I remember a certain hint of banana… perhaps some lemon. I wonder if this beer is served with a lemon on the side of the glass in nicer restaurants. (We didn’t serve it that way, I remember that.)

The beer doesn’t smell like beer at all. It has a wide range across the nose, and smells like a bowl of fruit before a glass of beer. Then the flavor, when you finally raise the glass, is HUGE on the front of the palate as it crawls down the back of the throat. It has a hint of carbonation at first, then it smooths itself out leaving a nice layer of hop across your tongue.

The aftertaste is weak, but always present. It’s not spicy, really… I can’t really place what I am tasting here. Also, a beer with this much alcohol should taste like it… this one doesn’t. That means it’s VERY drinkable. It’s not cheap, by the way, and is served in very small bottles. Of course, you can get a big bottle… but you are going to pay for it.

This is one of my favorite beers, and until this project I had no idea it was considered an IPA. I would call this a fruit beer… but of course, I am just saying that based on what I smell and taste in the glass. I love this brew, and can’t wait for our next bottle!

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a nice hazy golden yellow color. The head is bit a fluffy. The lacing it leaves behind isn't too bad. The smell of the beer has a good amount of hoppy aromas coming off of it. The other aromas are a little spicy and has some floral qualities. The taste of the beer brings all those qualities together in a very spicy flavored IPA. The aftertaste has some nice bread flavors also. The mouthfeel is a sharp and tingly. Overall it's a pretty good Belgian IPA. I still prefer the Valier Extra over this but this is still a worthy try.

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

In a tulip from a bottle purchased with love.

Absolutely a beautiful brew.
Gorgeous brickel golden amber colour, slightly cloudy, nice head of less than an inch with suds that drape the glass. Only complaint is that a bit more bite would make it perfect! Slight bitterness after a second glass tells my palate I need a tiny bit more...

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Photo of matt20102
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in goblet glass at refrigerator temperature. Pours with slight head which dissipates into a thin lacing within a minute or so. The aroma is slight- heavily of sweet, somewhat spicy malt (not terribly cloying, though). The flavor is of a heavy malt which is just barely balanced by a subtly spicy hop flavor. The hop presence works but, for the pure flavor (rather than the style), I would have preferred a bit more bitterness to balance the big malt. (A judicious and slight addition of cascade would be sublime.) There's generally said to be a orange flavor but, if it's there, it's hidden by the malt. Given the double-digit alcohol count, it is surprising how little (if any) alcohol flavor is present. Would pair well with really spicy food.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

571st Review on BA
Bottle to Piraat Tulip

Bevmo Belgian Pack

App- A great looking orangy/yellow with a super puffy two finger head that was gone in a flash. A bit more retention and lace wouldve been nice.

Smell- It's a bit boozy, yeasty, citrusy, hoppy and floral. Its a lot in a glass and it's a lot of beer at 10.5%

Taste- For a Euro IPA this is tasty. Its not a punch you in the face IBU factory but not a malt bomb and they packed in extra flavors. The yeast add a great dimension along with the ABV.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated but is very wet on the lips. Leaves what I think after so many beers is a yeasty/hoppy flavors.

Drink- Another classic I finally got around too from back in the day. Didn't dissapoint. Ill come back to this one.

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Photo of Kooz
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from this potentially awesome (and at $20, expensive) six pack poured into a standard pint glass. Pours orange-ish and slightly opaque with a head more white than tan, but with some color.

Smells of spices and faintly of hops; not unpleasant.

This is a full-bodied flavor. Although it isn't something I typically go for flavor-wise, it's delicious. There are too many spices, but they *work*! I can't get enough of this--very pleasant. It's really got a depth of flavor and layers--it's just really good.

It's got a slight burn and bite, but not in such a way that messes up the flavor. It's got a good foaminess, but not the best ever. I'd say that this is its weakest point, but even here it's at a 3.5 at worst.

This is a quality beer and I'd love to enjoy this over and over again.

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

Poured from a 33 cl bottle, into a tulip.

A: Golden hue. Pretty heavy carbonation. Pours about a 1 and a half finger, frothy, white head. Deteriorates slowly in cratering fashion, leaving plenty of sticky of residue behind as it does. Nice spider web lacing.

S: Nice piny hops, and hint of floral character.

T: Syrupy sweet malt. The hop is subtle but full... not really piny, just there. Raisin and a hint of honey.

M: Syrupy thick body. Sweet and hoppy in the front, with a really dry lightly bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice body with a great frothy head. Nose is basic, but denotes what you're in for well enough. Flavor is a really great balance of syrupy malt tones, subtle full hops, and a floral sweetness. Well-balanced and unique combination. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of Forb
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle...

Appearance: Golden haze with it shading from dark to lighter golden from the head down. Massively carbonated 3 finger head.

Smell: Spices of apple and Belgian yeast with a boozy element.

Taste: The alcohol is present at 10.5% accompanied by strong hop and spice.

Mouthfeel: Frothy carbonation leaves a medium body.

Overall: A good solid Belgian IPA, definitely worth a taste.

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

Reviewed as part of the blind BIF #5. Apparently this bottle had some age, which partially explains the lack of detectable hops. Very nice this way!

A. Pours a dark gold bordering on brown with a 4 finger head that hangs around. 4

S. Not overpowering but a nice spicy Belgian yeast coming through. Clove? Sweet bubblegum fruitiness as well. 4

T&M. From the aroma and appearance I was guessing blonde or belgian strong, but for the second time today I am blown back a bit by unexpected alcohol. This one is a lot more balanced though. It has to be a quad. I am guessing 10% or so. Plenty of carbonation and a nice residual sweetness. This is really growing on me as I drink it. Very well balanced. I had just a taste of La Trappe yesterday, and this is similar. Not quite as malty, but close. 4/4

O. Good combination of sweetness and clean finish. This is a solid Belgian! 4

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich, light amber color with maybe a finger's width of frothy white head. Fair retention and light lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, sweet, dark fruits, alcohol. Big nose and incredibly pleasant. Really a fantastic smelling beer, well balanced and appealing.

T: Bready flavor with hints of honey sweetness, dark fruit, some balancing bitterness on the finish. The taste of alcohol coats everything (at times overwhelming), providing a nice balance to the sweetness.

M: Medium body, medium-high amount of carbonation with a nice stickiness.

O: By far the best beer from the sampler pack that I got. A good beer in it's own right and definitely worth buying on its own. It is well balanced, with the heavy alcohol that is present but not overly so.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours slightly cloudy dark gold with a firm 2-finger head. It has a nice. subtle, fruity nose.

When you taste this beer there's an explosion of flavor: fruit, malt, hops, grain, and alcohol. Like many good Belgian ales, it is dry, highly carbonated, and champagne-like, which complements the flavors nicely. The finish is also quite strong and dry with a hint of juniper. There is a bit of cereal, some nice hoppy bitterness, and a bit of booziness, which is not surprising given the high alcohol content. As the beer warms and the carbonation wanes, the booziness becomes a bit more pronounced, but never quite overdone.

This is a very good beer and worthy of your attention, but don't plan on drinking more than one. It's pretty potent. If I had a hankering for something like this, I'd probably get a Duvel instead. Perhaps it's not the exact same style, but it has a lot of the same qualities and I think it tastes better.

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Photo of StaEva
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
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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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,503 ratings