Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,506 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: 2,506 |  Reviews: 1,057
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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Photo of jayhawk73
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into my Piraat tulip glass. Cork almost took my head off! Didn't even touch it and it hit the ceiling.. Pours a golden color with a big three finger off white head w/ sticks around for a while. Nice lacing and carbonation. Nice looking beer.

S- Apple, spices, malt, hops all present here. It's a triple in name, but really smells like a double IPA to me. Very good smell, but not quite up to the rest of the beer.

T- Same as the nose. Nothing to add here....

M- Very smooth, especially after warming. The spices really make themselves known, but it's a smooth beer.

O- This is definitely one of my favorites, and I've had it many times. Always enjoy this beer- check it out!

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

Pours a honey orange with a pillowy white head.

The Belgian yeast is dominant on the nose. Notes of spice, honey, sweet malty bread nots, herbs, fruit, fresh cut grass, orange all leap from the glass.

Sweet and heavy bready malt flavors rush in with a wave of heavy carbonation with fruity notes that are reminiscent of Mead. There is an herbal sweetness, honey and sweet apple, pear are part of Piraat ale’s finish. There is a somewhat faint bitterness that lingers in the mouth, the hops shining through only in the floral and fruity notes of the beer and not too much on the bitter end.

Has a medium body and some residual sugar that make it too sweet to be refreshing but a good beer to contrast nutty cheeses, sharp cheddars, or harmonize the sweet, or earthy ones. This would be great with Brie or goat’s cheese.

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

Nice golden ale, a bit hefty and with a raw edge, but quite serviceable around its dry finish.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle. Label displays the branding with the image of a viking ship at sea and a poorly drawn head of a shaved pirate. Notes a torn bottling date in the back label, and shows 10.5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Slightly hazy medium amber pour, rich frothy head with medium retention, nice surface memory and lacing.

S - Nose is a bit shy with a boozy hoppy sense, and a yeasty fruity astringency.

T - Taste pushes the nose without much fanfare, fruity dryness, yeast with a small acidic sense, light fruit sweetness, a spicy edge as it offers a bit of a brash boozy edge in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation, fine bubbles with a dry finish.

O - Good flow, a bit to astringent and raw in the finish for me but it works well.

Notes: It's a nice brew, but really not one for me. The acidic dryness is not my stuff, at least not here. As for the Belgian IPA denomination vs Golden Ale... Well, for my palate it falls most definitely on the Golden Ale side, now if hops or other ingredient matches the IPA range sure, file it under BIPA but the hop freshness, or its lingering memory associated with it, is not really there. Ah, and while good and despite the marketing this for me is clearly not one of the top 5 beers of the world...

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

I have see this beer in stores many times and just finally got around to buying it. Let's see what the Pirate has to offer...Aaarrg!

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy orange gold color with a solid 1/4" head of off white bubbles that was already sticking to the glass just from the pour. There is a solid vortex of bubbles rising.

Aroma: The aroma has an already noticeable alcoholic presence which is adding spicy complexity among other things. There is also a pretty solid hop profile to this beer that is adding to the spice and is also giving us some citrusy aromatics that remind me of American variety hops. The toasty notes from the Belgian Pilsner malt are unmisteakable.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely. There is alcohol, and citrus as the bigger players with lots of toasty malt notes. I doubt there is any actual sugar in this version of Belgian Strong. It has a heavier mouthfeel than a lot of comparable Belgian beers that reminds me a bit of a doppelbock in the way it feels on the back of the throat...but that is the only way it reminds me of a doppel. The carbonation is ample to high as it should be, so the medium bodied beer doesn't come across as heavy. There is bittering hops, and they almost balance the works out, but I believe that the alcohol is providing balance in the finish as well, so the hops aren't the leading force in the finish.

Opinion: This is a really good beer. It has a solid flavor and I will have to read up on it a bit more now as I feel pretty confident that there are some American "C" hops in here. Overall, I like the dryness that you get from the Tripels over this, but this is still an excellent beer and I will enjoy drinking this 4-pack.

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Photo of n2185
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear, golden orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin ring with decent lacing.

S: Spices and bubblegum along with sweet, pear-like fruits up front. There are some light Belgian yeast and bread aromas on the finish. Maybe a very light citrusy hop aroma as well, but very faint.

T: Similar to the aroma, you have spices, bubblegum, and light fruits up front followed by light Belgian yeast and bread flavors. There's a noticeable alcohol burn on the finish with a touch of bitterness from the hops.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is a bit thick and sweet for a Belgian. It's not as syrupy as many American takes on Belgian beers, but it lacks the attenuation needed for a truly stellar Belgian.

O: Overall, I'd say it's an alright tripel or BSPA, but definitely not a Belgian IPA. Perhaps I need a fresher bottle, but the hops are almost nonexistent. As is, even if the hops had shown up the beer is too sticky sweet for me to give it a high score.

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Photo of thepeter
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A Golden with a nice frothy head that lasted a while
S Lot's of yeast in the nose with some fruit and alcohol
T Sweet and hoppy balance with some yeast and lot's of alcohol
M Good carbonation medium bodied but light on tongue
O Decent beer but not hoppy enough for the style, thought there was too much yeasty esters and the alcohol could have come through a bit less.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pure gold and fizzy
S - fruity, yeasty, and sweet
T - not much happening when cold, but when it warms up... sweets and bitters, malt, fruit, funk
M - slightly clingy but good
D - higher abv makes more than two a tough time but the taste says otherwise.

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

This Belgian IPA pours clear amber with a large white head. The smell is light yeast and floral. The taste is with over tones of banana, clove and caramel. There is a fine prominent effervescence that keeps the mouth entertained along with the outstanding flavor.

I would definitely recommend this beer as one of my favorite beers to have with a meal, a snack or just on its own.

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Photo of sturner26
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Al's of Hamden into a tulip.

A: pours an orange/yellow color with a little fizz. Head is large, foamy, and thick,

S: A good representation of a Belgian Strong Ale 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. Not nearly as much hop or citris as I expected. Great maltiness however as well as 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: Very smooth and enjoyable. I would drink several if not for the 10.5 abv. Not at all what I expected, but very good none the less.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured briskly into a tulip glass yielding a fluffy 3 finger head atop a hazy golden brown/orange.

Smelled of yeast and fruit, subtly apple.

A great mouthfeel that hid the 10.5%ABV was more drinkable than one would anticipate.

This brew is a standard and I find it more approachable than the Gulden Draak which is also a great beer from the same company.

Aaargh matey!

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

Picked this up on a whim, and I'm really glad I did.

Poured from glass, immediately you see a rich, golden gradient. Thick head, that dissipates, but leaves fine lacing on the side of the glass. The smell is welcoming, as others have said. I smell mostly apples, and perhaps a bit of a bouquet of flowers. The taste comes in tasting like red apple or a pear. A bitter finish, that denotes the Belgian IPA, but much cleaner than an American IPA. As for the mouthfeel, it was pretty light. I was actually surprised by this.

All these factors led to a pretty high drinkability factor. I'll be buying a 6er of this next time I'm in the mood for sure.

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Photo of ksmi116
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a goblet, pours a dark golden with a thin white head that dissipates relatively quickly.

S - Smells of light fruits, apples, young pears, and a certain twang. Is that what people say Belgian yeast smells/tastes like? No clue.

T - Taste is sharp after the fruits, and I cannot say that I am getting a lot of fruit flavor. Not getting a big alcohol hit in it, which is a good thing, but the overall flavor is not standing out to me, which is disappointing

M - Relatively light and a nice carbonation to it. Coats the mouth well, not unpleasant at all

D - Trying to get a good read on this and I'm struggling. I hope this was just a bad bottle, but I am not very impressed with this Belgian.

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

From the 330 ml. bottle marked 02FJ-14:18. Sampled on March 3, 2011. It pours a nice looking amber color with a decent head and hypnotic, upward trickling carbonation. Malts, hops, dough, and a hard to define fruit are all meshed into the aroma. The body is medium to full. The 10.5% ABV is well hidden in the taste but it leaves a memorable impression in my head. The finish is almost dry but not quite.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this has become a favorite over the last year or so - there's no dating on the bottles - pours nicely with a hazed yellow/orange and puts up a fluffy 2-finger head that holds on for half a glass till it becomes a foamy film/ring, leaving behind spotty rings of lacing - smells of the belgian yeast, clove, along with some tropical fruit and herbal action - i guess i'm picking up the 'bananas in the beer' taste, along with a spicy 'zing' on the front of the tongue, peppery action as well and a sweet creamy finish where all the before mentioned flavors come together very nicely - each sip is very flavorful and begs for the next - good carbonation - the first glass has me warm behind the ears - a bomber of this stuff is just right for me.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark, golden color with a medium-large white head that slowly goes down. Scent is floral, hoppy, yeasy, and fruity. Some scents of green apples and bananas. I also get some pear aromas with some spiciness and Belgian yeast. Taste is not what I was expecting...To me this tastes more like a triple of Belgian Strong Pale Ale than other Belgian IPAs I've had. There are some tasty Belgian yeast flavors with great spices and clove. Banana, green apples, and pear are definitely there. This beer finishes with some warm booziness and slight hoppiness. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and very dry. I like it! Drinkability is fairly high. It sure is tasty, but the booziness could probably become overwhelming after a couple of these.

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Photo of xodin
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy copper with about a finger of rich white head standing firm. Delicious aroma of rum-like spice, hops, and hints of fruits envelop the nose. Every drink fills the mouth with some carbonation and bitterness, but then turns creamy all the way through the swallow, ending with a warming, peppery finish. Surprisingly light for the 10.5% ABV. Reminiscent of an IPA mixed with a Belgian strong ale. I found it quite enjoyable--a great original brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

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

Yaaarrrr! A beer fer me mates! I was excited to try this beer out. The bottle is unique, it's 10.5% ABV...and who doesn't like pirates (except of course for those kidnapped by Somali pirates)?

I got a large head, 3 fingers worth, of a white color. The liquid was a murky amber color.

My nose was greeted by the smell of hops, some citrus, and finally a hint of fruitiness.

This beer has quite a kick of alcohol to it that is prominent when drinking but the malty sweetness and grain-like flavors help balance it out. I'm not a huge fan of Belgians but Piraat was refreshing enough to be enjoyable. It wasn't too fruity and Belgians often are too fruity/sweet for me.

When drinking this imagine that you are a pirate. You'd want something light but full-bodied and have some kick in it too. This beer certainly does that.

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Photo of JMforman
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first Belgian IPA. Very different from an American IPA. VERY different.

A- Deep golden body with a wonderful white head and good retention. Looks like this is very well carbonated.

S- Alcohol, very astringent and biting with some honey and fruity esters.

T- Alcohol, medicine (in a good way), very bitter middle and finish. Tastes like it has lots of bittering hops and not a lot of resiny-citrusy hops. Very interesting.

M- Great peppery bite with a medium body.

D- Yes sir.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle (I believe bottled 6/28/10) poured into a Duvel Tulip

A: Pours golden amber, mostly clear, massive 3-finger off-fwhite foamy and bubbly head that leaves plenty of lacing as it recedes.

S: Banana, clove/spice, lemon

T: Some banana, but not as much as the nose. Good amount of fruit and citrus (Pears, slightest tart apple, maybe a little apricot, lemon) up front with some herbal hop qualities. Not much bitterness, expected considering the age I believe this bottle is. Fairly sweet with candy sugar. Alcohol is fairly strong in this with a warm finish and spicy quality that bites through each sip. While the alcohol is evident, it's in a pleasant manner that adds to the flavor/feel. Finish is bitter-sweet, pear/orange peel, and a little leafy/floral.

M: Fairly high, bubbly carbonation. The body is quite light, but is very refreshing and almost smooth/viscous. Works perfectly for the style and flavor profile.

D: I was almost done with my glass before I realized that the bottle was practically gone. Flavorful and refreshing, this is definitely a beer where the alcohol will sneak up on you (not that's it's not evident in the taste, just incredibly easy to drink quickly). This is definitely one of the better Belgian IPAs I've had, I look forward to trying this fresh.

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Photo of oline73
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
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 +1.2%
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 +10.1%
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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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,506 ratings