Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

2,459 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: 2,459 |  Reviews: 1,047
Photo of oline73
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at the Frisco Grille poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with less than a finger of white head.

Smell: There is a lot of banana in the smell of this one. I'm also picking up sweet malt and some very mild hops.

Taste: Initially I pick up a sweet Belgian spice and a lot of banana. In the background I'm tasting brown sugar and alcohol in the finish. The hops are there, but the sweetness seemed to dominate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very fine champagne like carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: I think this one is a bit too sweet for the style but good. I don't know if I'll look for more.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head that has great retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

Strong aroma that starts off with apple and pear with some pepper upfront, followed by lighter hints of honey and citrus in the back.

Taste starts off peppery with notes of pear and lemon. After a moment, the taste becomes more bready with hints of honey. A light touch of alcohol shows up but is masked fairly well for 10.5%.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. On the stronger side for the style but this doesn't hinder drinkability too much.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Piraat was poured from a 750ml corked, caged bottle into a New Belgium globe.

I love the look you get from Piraat - golden honey, slightly hazed with a towering white 4 finger head which is topped by massive peaks. Just...awesome. I find the lacing to be a bit bottle dependent - some lace well, others are a bit scant, but it's always there.

The aroma here is apple, pear, grape, bubble gum, honey, and sweet bread. The alcohol may be peeking through, but just barely. I couldn't pick up on everything until it warmed a bit. Nice.

Mirrors the aroma - apple, pear, grape, honey-tinged breadiness, plus slight hop bitters, and a faint alcohol flash on the finish. I'd say some cherry as well. I've never picked up the spice that the brewery boasts about nor do I really get much hop bitterness. Only mild bittering is my perception. Just spectacular on the tongue.

Nice feel - medium light and bubbley, like drinking an orange soda, you just want to chug, but you hold back and savor the moment instead. Piraat works well with an etched glass not only to release the aromas, but to tame the carbonation a bit as it's too carbonated for me at first pour.

Dangerously drinkable. I tend to get pretty buzzed every time I drink Piraat. It's very strong. A 750ml really should be shared with a friend - a very good friend.

Piraat is one of my favorite beers of all time. I've had several of the 750mls over the last 2-3 years and I think they represent better than the small bottles. I have no problem at all giving it high marks.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice pour in a proper glass at Cheeky Monk--Westminster.
Apricot golden pour, nice half-soapy, half-sticky 2 finger head

So a Belgian IPA I'm not quite getting. The aroma is spicy and sharp with an underlying malty sweetness. Less bready than expected.

Flavors pop forward on first sip. flowery spice, faint clove, lemon/orange zest, light honeysuck and unripe red plum. Hops don't add much, that I can detect, to the flavors, but they do deliver a dryness. Moreso, though, the hops just extend and highlight the alcohol. Flavors fade toward the finish and don't leave me saying, "damn, I need another sip".
Still, a solid beer that I will have again.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Big rock hard white head of four fingers and extremely tight and foamy. Body is a somewhat cloudy kind of hazy actually, with a golden burnt orange color and some carbonation from the bottom of tiny bubbles. Big retention head of bubble bath kind is real good looking, never leaves.

Bouquet is an airy dry must. Floral notes that are subtle, like a lilly. Clean and some faint sugar and yeast notes with spices. Smells actually real good. Perhaps some hop.

Taste is a hop bitter with some sour orange and yeast. Boozy warm and highly alcohol feeling. Somewhat syrupy in the mouth but a nice lingering tongue sensation, and a faint grass note on the swallow. Slight tingles for carbonation as well, a little gassy.

Drinkability is just good I would have this over a few other Belgians but I know I've had better. Could drink again no problem, but the high abv is real noticeable and does not make for easy drinkability.

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Photo of DPFRD
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Semi dense foamy white head. Copper to golden hue. Good carbonation that lasts. Minimal lacing.

S- White pepper and grass, some hop aromas too.

T- Comes out strong, hitting you with a blast of peppery sting and grassyness, settles with some sweet candi notes and earthy undertones finishing with some hop bitterness. Definitely some phenolic presence in the finish, but only slightly.

M- Medium, good carbonation.

D- I love Belgian beers, I love IPAs, this goes down like a champ.

O- Pretty gangster. In the totem of Belgian IPAs, this isn't really on top... Hop-it and the Houblon have it crushed IMO. It still is wonderful though.

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Photo of richkrull
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one today at Brasserie V in Madison just because the tap handle looked cool.

Poured a nice golden yellow color with quite a bit of head. Very good smelling beer, not a real memorable flavor on the nose though. Good tasting with a bitter finish. Bit of an alcohol taste, but nothing like a malt liquor or anything. Good feel. I don't think I'd drink a ton of these beers, but I wouldn't mind having a couple in an evening.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, vibrant golden orangecolor with a ton of very active carbonation. The creamy white head is at least three fingers thick, is rocky, and billowing. This is an awesome looking beer!

S - Pungent, earthy grass, lemons, faint citrus, bready, and yeasty.

T - Peppery notes mixed in with floral, grassy spicey lemons. (if you can imagine that) Has some tropical fruit that shows up in the middle before ending with bready citrus. Papaya, pepper, and green apples linger on the tongue with some yeasty presence. There's also a warming in the throat as it slides down, exhibits some booziness which is appropriately done.

M - Medium heavy body, yeasty, a little chewy, somewhat crisp, and a little dry.

D - I don't give many "5's" out in this categroy but Piraat is certainly measuring up to an exceptionally drinkable beer in my book.

I haven't had this one in awhile and this particular bottle was so good, it reminds me of a tap beer. (I don't get it, but it's really working well right now.) I'm REALLY enjoying this beer in my tulip glass.

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

Poured from a 330ml brown stubby into my Duvel tulip.

A - Explosive creamy head that sticks around forever. Bright gold in color. Nice looking pale ale.

S - Grassy and floral, sweet malts, slightly fruity esters.

T - Complex and balanced. A beautiful beer to sit, sip and take your time with. Smooth up front, then fades to sweet malts and dark fruit, then grassy and floral notes. The 10.5% shows up late, and is definitely there, yet not overwhelmingly so. Every sip to me is a little different, and I love beers like this.

M - Medium mouthfeel and carbonation is fairly high.

D - For 10.5% is goes down the hatch very easily.

Overall - This is a beer I would introduce to wine drinking friends. It's a strong, complex and tasteful beer, and it goes down smoothly for it's size.

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Photo of BB1313
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice yellow-golden with a slight haze. Nice white bubbly head and decent lacing. Lots of yeast up front. Tastes great, not very hoppy, but bitter. Very sweet, lots of cherries and candied-sugars in the mix. I'm picking up some banana and sweet fruits. The flavors are more sweet than bitter. Mouthfeel is great, heavy and extremely smooth. Not fizzy or over carbonated; full-bodied; finishes dry. There's a nice warmth that lingers as well; slightly boozy. Drinkability is good considering the sweetness and high abv.

Very enjoyable beer. Definitely more on the sweeter side, not as bitter as I'd like.. but the flavors are spot on and I love the body of Piraat. It's worth trying.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: pours a yellowish orange color, like apple juice with a little fizz; head is huge and rocky, foamy and thick, like something out of a bubble machine; yeast sediments sink to the glass bottom upon pour and settling

S: everything you'd expect from a Belgian Strong Ale (Dark or Light), with complex, sweet dark candied and dark fruit aromas; however, there is a hint of dry, hoppy citrus and bitterness just underneath the heavy sweetness; definite booze smell as the beer warms

T: the first flavor is alcohol, but not in a sharp, unpleasant way; it's there, but tempered with the great and significant sweetness only found in Belgian Strongs; great maltiness; sweetness ranges from tropical fruit flavors to bits of caramel, vanilla, cloves and banana;

M: Smooth and heavy up front; warm, tingly on the tongue; finishes with a surprising and welcomed touch of dryness that finishes in a refreshing and crisp way; Amazing!

D: Too smooth for a beer with 10.5%ABV; it goes down easy and convinces you that you want more and more and more...

Don't know why Belgians think this style is "hoppy". It's way to sweet for that. Maybe I'm just an American, but this one's damn good. Gimme more

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a BrewDog Cervoise glass. Best by 22 September 2011.

A: Billowy white head that bubbles and churns down in a more manageable size. Very high clarity (though it gets hazier toward the bottom of the bottle), with beautiful chains of bubbles floating upward. Golden in colour. Huge amounts of lace.

S: I mostly smell yeast, somewhat floral. Buttery, a bit. Not overly pronounced.

T: Flowery sweet. Buttery malts. Spicy yeasts. Trace hops. Much more sweet than bitter, somewhat to my dismay. A gentle flavour, unassuming but complex. Worthy, but not quite to my taste. The aftertaste merits little remark.

M: There is a mouthfeel. Smooth, with a little bit of carbonation. Nothing great.

D: Quite a good beer, but not one of my favourites. I have had other Belgian IPAs that I found better, but this one is still recommended for devotees of the style. I probably won't be getting another one.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a cloudy golden with a thick white head that dissapates to a thin white head. A ring around the top.
S- Smells of generic BSPA. Slightly green apples and some mustyness to it. A vague bit of spicy clove to it.
T- Taste is a little more bitter than the nose indicated. Green apple, some spicy flavor. Slight bitterness. Not as distinct as I'd like but enjoyable. Malty and a touch sweet.
M- Slightly creamy. Finish has some alcoholic warmth.
D- Hides the 10.5 well. Thoroughly drinkable, albeit not as distinct as I'd like.

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Photo of TriGuy20
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Bright golden color with massive amount of white fluffy head and a delicious lace that sticks to the side of the glass. Great looking beer!

S: The alcohol of this beer really dominates the nose. Alcohol/ Pineapple/ wildflower honey/ toast/ orange peel/ yeast

T: On the palate there is a lot of malt to this beer with the pineapple coming through upfront and the orange peel finishing you off. The alcohol is present on the palate throughout and cuts the finish a little short.

MF: The malt profile gives this beer a nice mouth feel, however, the alcohol gives it a slight harsh edge.

D: With the noticeable alcohol edge this beer is one and done for me.

A really solid brew. I just wish the alcohol were a little more balanced.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nice looking, slightly cloudy and tan with a great, long lasting, silky head and gobs of great lacing. The head just doesn't want to go away. The lacing is sick! Bumped rating a hallf point to perfect, cuz this is a great looking beer all the way to the end.

Definitely a yeasty, fruity smell, with a bit of dry sawdust (a good thing), and a spicy alcohol background.

Tastes very, very nice. Easy drinking sweet and fruity flavors dominate, along with a great spiciness and grainy flavor with alcohol tang. Almost like drinking a spicy candied apple.

Exceptional mouthfeel. Thick and rich, smooth and silky, this beer rocks!

Drinkability is good. This one would be a welcome addition to almost any time you've got a free hand and could use a beer in it.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork and caged 0.75cl bottle, posh golden sailing boat on the new front label.

This beer was opened during a raclette evening and it went well with all the food on offer.

Alcohol content is prominent, but not overpowering. Evident in the aroma and taste, it however sits well within the hop and malt balance and adds that extra dimension, raising the beer from an also ran to a top runner.

An easy to drink strong ale, lovely.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Iron Horse in DC, but usually pours out from bottle to a dimple glass or snifter glass. Pours rich, golden yellow, and cheddary, with a nice head and beautiful lattice work. Aroma is a hint of sweet sage, followed by bread and citrus. Flavor is a sweet grapefruit a touch of bubblegum and perhaps bread. Palate is thick and chewy. Great Belgian that I order often at bars when available.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, whopping head, I was fast enough to not let any get away. Lace is plentiful and was not going anywhere. Color is a 8 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is a cornucopia of berries and fruits, and malt. Taste is so complex, each sip brings something new. Cranberries, blueberry, raspberry, apple, orange, honey, spices. This is a kick your butt IPA, you are focusing on the flavor and all of a sudden the 10.5 ABV hits you, another Wow. Lots of body and creaminess in the mouth. A little too sweet and complex to drink several in succession, but one good beer.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden orange, yellowish brown, no head, little lacing.

Smell - Very floral, alcohol, hops, some sugar and spices, unique smell.

Taste - Very strong hop and floral yeast kick. Alcohol is very present but the sugar and spices add some sweetness to help balance this monster out some. Malts are also present and add some thick bold flavor.

Mouthfeel - Your mouth gets worked over pretty good. Tounge gets some sweet bite from the sugars and malts, palette gets whooped from the hops and alcohol. Better eat aftet this beer if you plan on drinking something different.

Drinkbilty - At 10.5% its not something you can drink 3-4 beers of. Im a sucker for strong beers and this did the trick. Really loved the flavor and kick it had. Not for the weak, this baby kicks.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark golden color, hazy with a large and dense white head. Very nice lacing and retention.

S: The smell has hops up front, with a candied sugar backbone. It smells very much like a Tripel.

T: The taste is very balanced between the Belgian tripel and the IPA. Lots of Belgian yeast and candied sugar, what I would expect from the style, and the hops only rear their heads up front. A bit bitter, but overall very sweet.

MF: Very light and bubbly, very refreshing.

D: Overall, one of the better Belgian IPAs I've had. The hops don't overpower the flavor, and the drink overall is pretty sweet and refreshing.

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

Pours murky amber with large and soft dense head that leaves generous and patchy lacing. Aroma is lively yeast, sweet malt and fruity esters.

Taste is bittery alcohol first, followed by smooth and warming citrusy yeast, as well as malty sweetness. Nice mix of flavours with dry finish and long lasting warming feel.

Overall, I think this is one of the best beers of Van Steenberge brewery, rich and tasty.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz into a snifter. It pours a rich dark golden color, fairly translucent, with a generous white fluffy head. Nose is hoppier than most big Belgians I've had...I guess why they call it a Belgian IPA. It's worth noting that the hop bitterness is nowhere near a big American IPA. The hops do not overpower the yeast or malt and it's well balanced. Great funkiness in the nose too, I really like their yeast strain. Taste is rich and deep, with a different gist at both the beginning and the end. In other words, fairly complex. Hard to believe this brewery has put out some other beers that I really didn't think were very good. This one is a winner and I'll drink it again.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly murky golden color with a thick foam head that leaves great lacing.

S- A bit of tart fruit and Belgian spice in the nose. Some esters and floral hops as well. Smells a bit more like a triple than a Belgian IPA.

T- Plenty of bitterness upfront with some sweetness in the finish. The alcohol is stronger than I would have anticipated. Lots of fruit with some lemon grass and orange peel shining through.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Bitter and boozy, right up my ally.

D- From the nose I wouldn't have expected this to be as bitter as it is but it packs a wallop. One I will buy again no doubt.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A semi-straight pour into a tulip. The color is a cloudy, pale amber. Two fingers of light, white foam developed and dissipated slowly to leave a bubbly lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Mmm...yeast. Leans toward hefeweizen: Belgian yeast, almost-ripe banana esters, and a little clove spice. There is also a presence of bitter orange peel, citrus zest, and apple cider.

Taste: The first couple sips are bitter and packed with an alcoholic punch that overpowers the flavor complexity. However, the initial jab mellows with each sip to reveal a smooth and well-crafted brew. The taste mostly mirrors the smell: Belgian yeast, orange peel, citrus zest, apple cider, clove spice, and almost-ripe banana (when the skin is still a little green and very tough to peel).

Drinkability: Very nice brew. I am eager to crack open and savor another bottle.

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Photo of gopens44
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear, coppery amber in color with a quickly dissipating fizzy head.

S - Pretty much just a yeast smell in the nose, not much else.

T - Very nice bitter presence while being a touch sweet as well. Not overly boozy despite the ABV. Pretty well hidden in fact

M - Medium in terms of carbonation with a dry finish. Bitingly warm on the tongue.

Not a bad beverage by any means. Good representation of the style. It's pretty easy to find in my parts, so I'll certainly have to pick this one up a bit more often.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,459 ratings.
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