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

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Ratings: 2,466 |  Reviews: 1,048
Photo of diddly
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass by the waitress. Nice head and golden color.

I wasn't familiar with this beer, so seeing IPA on the menu, I went for it. This beer is definitely not an IPA. It's a sweet and fruity beer, definitely with a noticeable hop flavor and feel, but not in the sense I was looking for - definitely more of a tripel. It's a very flavorful beer, but I assumed there was some sort of misprint on the menu - wasn't until I saw some other reviews here that I found out it is actually called an IPA.

I was surprised to see here that it's a 10.5% beer - it didn't taste anything like that. If you like the standard Belgian tripel beers, this is a good example and a tasty beer, but don't order it looking for an IPA.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz/ 330ml bottle. Pours a apple juice color amber with a foamy one finger head that I find surprisingly small for a Belgian Ale. The typical heavy Belgian carbonation is present. Aroma is very sweet and apple juice-like as well. Also, there is a slightly doughy yeast aroma in the background. 1st sip brings an initial surge of sweet fruit (apples, apricots), which gives way to a dry, spicy, peppery finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpoweringly so. It's a little thick on the tongue, with a sparkle from the carbonation. Drinkability is good, but I wouldn't call this a session beer due to the high abv. 2 or 3 slowly sipped over the course of an evening should do for me! Overall, a good beer...not the best Belgian i've ever had, but certainly good enough to make me want to purchase more!

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Photo of impending
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours a gorgeous rich clear copper capped with a pure white head. Spectacular looking, liquid pennies.

Smells like a tripel. No particularly strong hop aromas. Sweet bready yeast.

Tastes like a tripel with a soft bitter kick at the end. The dry finish coupled with the trailing mildly bitter aftertaste garnished with alcohol makes for a nice sipper.

I don't like the sound of a Belgian ipa.

an update much later - I've now had one that was served far too cold and the hops are much more pronounced. Now it tastes like a somewhat hoppy tripel :)

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 330 ml brown Belgian stubby bottle. Pours out a hazed yet still translucent rustic copper hue, white foamy head that lingers and leaves thick patches of lacing.

Sweet toffee malt dominates the aroma, some sugary notes and very present phenolic alcohol.

Caramel malt up front in the flavour, bisected in half by leafy, herbal, somewhat citrus hops. Intense alcohol warmth lingers on with earthy hops into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, low carbonation, silky slick texture with a small amount of carbonation zip on the finish.

Tasty and approachable for what it is, even then it doesn't really rock me as much as most people seem to feel about it.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a high ABV beverage. It has all the characteristics of these types of brews. It has a dark golden hue, a rich, frothy head, plenty of carbonated bubbles and an intense taste. You can definitely taste the sugar in this beer as it is almost too sweet. this is a sipping beer meant for special occasions.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a hazy orange with a thick white head.

Smell is a sweet, yeasty with a apply finish.

Taste starts of nice and hoppy with a big belgian yeasty with a light warming at the end. Alcohol is not nearly what I expected.

mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is surprisingly good.

I am not sure of the age of this, and wonder if this is not as fresh as possible.

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Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a massive head; lots of splashy lace

Smell: Yeasty and hoppy aromas, with chalk, lemon pith and herbacious, floral bitterness; some alcohol on the nose

Taste: Yeasty, with tropical fruit undertones for just a split second, but the herbal bitterness, the pith and the alcohol overwhelm the palate from then on, leaving a very harsh aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately high carbonation; rather boozy and warm after the swallow

Drinkability: More like a hoppy BSPA than a Belgian IPA, but I would not argue with the classification - this beer was just not to my liking as I didn't care for the boozy bitterness

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

Pours a burnt copper color with an enormous light tan head. Head falls very slow leaving big, sticky lace.

Nice yeast aroma with a bit of funk. Peppery and earthy too.

Tastes awesome. Nice Belgian yeast and a lemon-pepper quality. Alcohol is nice and warming. Just a wonderful beer.

Medium bodied in the mouth an has a pleasant bite.

Just an awesome beer. I always enjoy this one.

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Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep orange color with a nice tall head on it.

Smells of malty sweet deliciousness. Caramel and candied sugar with that Belgian yeast aroma that is so intoxicating. For a Belgian IPA the hops are really faint. Smells more like a tripel than BIPA.

Great fruity taste to it with a nice level of tartness to combat the sweetness. So many layers of flavor in this beer from the candied sugar and caramel maltiness to the fruits like apple and banana to the spicy flavor from the yeast. There is some warmth from the alcohol but @ 10.5% that isn't really a shocker. This is a beer that makes me pause and reflect on why I love beer so much and dedicate so much time and money to beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Still rackin' my brain tryin' to figure out what this beer's name means... Stupid foreign names! Anyway, it pours a clear golden amber topped by a stoic bit of white froth that eventually succumbs to the deleterious effects of gravity, leaving only bubbly rubble in its once proud place. The nose comprises hoppy florals, orange peel, and a touch o' that lovely Belgian spicy quality. The taste ups the spice ante a bit, focusing on pepper and cardamom, while still maintaining a firm presence of hoppy citrus bitters and a Belgian farmhouse-like yeastiness. The body is a very light medium, with a light-active carbonation and a finish that really wants to be crisp and dry-ish. Overall, a steady, solid Belgian offering. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of techfed87
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a well defined head. Color is light amber, almost yellow.

Smells somewhat citrus like, kind of a wild yeast sort of sour.

First sip is perky, flavorful, and definitely got a kick to it. It's a bit sweeter than what I thought it would be, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, it probably makes for one of the best Belgian beers I've had in a long time.

A very nice beer, try it sometime!

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Photo of Sigmund
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There is both a 10.5% and a 9% version of this beer. 330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 9%. Extremely pale yellow colour, huge white head. Strong sweetish aroma with notes of Belgian yeast, ripe fruits (incl. bananas) and spices (incl. cloves). The flavour is moderately spicy and relatively dry, notes of Belgian yeast again, very light bodied and refreshing for its strength (which means that the alcohol is well hidden). Nice, but I've had more complex Belgians than this one, though.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At Eulogy Tavern in Philadelphia. Poured cloudy golden with one finger of bright white head, which collapsed fairly quickly, and laced modestly. Lots of candi sugar, yeast, coriander, orange peel, and some other citrus in the nose. The flavor yield copious amounts of apricot in addition to what was detected in the aroma..admittedly a robust and tasty mix..but the finish revealed a sharp alcohol bite and after-burn. The body was smooth, medium and pleasant (aside from the after-burn), with only a modest amount of carbonation. A pleasant albeit harsh-finish beer to drink; beware the alcohol.

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Photo of clegolfski
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note: I checked out the style guidelines while evaluating this beer and decided to dock it in the taste category because it really is far more Belgian than IPA. It is a really tasty brew but tough to categorize. Wow, I really am putting way too much thought into this. Maybe it should be classified as a Belgian Pale rather than a Belgian IPA?

A = Deep orange color, opens with a strong head and settles into a nice topcoat.

S = Belgian IPA? smells like sweet carmelly candy more than anything else. The yeastiness is there for sure with a slight alcohol smell.

T = Again a Belgian IPA? Im not super familiar with Piraat but wonder if this is not a old bottle. Well on ultra careful examination there are bittey hop notes in the finish but it really is tough to call this an IPA.

M = Smooth and rich with a nice warming finish. Again my style guidelines may be off but it really seems to far more Belgian than IPA.

D = Delicious but heavy and hot enough to be quite pleased with one and done.

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Photo of cudmud
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange color with medium head and lace combined with very little carbonation.

Smell: Fresh cut grass and citrus. Wonderful yeast esters and malt aromas.

Taste: Very complex mix of malt, yeast, and hops. Nice bitter aftertaste that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and bread-like.

Drinkability: Awesome beer. Give it a try; You'll like it.

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Photo of thain709
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a bright, golden body...the head was big and white but it fell quickly...decent lacing

S - Where are the hops?...I was surprised when this beer smelled more like a tripel...sweet, candied sugar, some yeast, and fruit

T - The taste starts off leading with the tripel flavors...sweet up front with those candied sugars and caramel malt...the middle is a giant blast of fruit...apple, orange, peach, pineapple...very nice...finally in the finish you can detect some faint hops...they aren't as strong as I expected but they are there...alcohol is hot

M - Medium bodied...great fruit flavor...some lingering hops...too much alcohol

D - I did not realize this clocked in at 10% and it's pretty evident...the tripel (Belgian) flavors were real nice but the IPA characteristics were put towards the back

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

A: orange with a small head that goes away fast lace is decent

S: smells like a triple but where are the hops?

T: no hops in smell or taste did i get a bad batch I don't know but all the beers in this 4 pack are the same

M: med mouth with high carbonation

D: drinkable but does not conform to BIPA style

overall: little or no hops in this BIPA very malty and a decent triple but does not conform to style

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ive had this beer on tap a long time ago I believe. Its one you see around but you dont pay any attention. You are distracted by other, flashier beers. But when I saw that one of my area Giant Eagles expanded their beer selection and this was on the shelf I was surprised and excited to bring this one home. Big slender magnum cork and caged, popped and poured into a Unibroue tulip.

A- Nearly insane amount of head. Its manageable though. It actually lets you pour your glass. Its big, billowy and sticky. It fades down to a one finger high pile of foam that crawls up the sides and sits there like that for ever. The beer its self is clear and quite pale/gold.

S- Distinctly Belgian. Lots of fruity esters from the unique yeasts. Banana is very strong. As are some fruits you wouldnt expect like kiwi and strawberry. And oddly a little bit of paraffin wax/candle wick. It smells exactly like a fruit cocktail and I like it.

T- Very different from American attempts at this style, but I expected that. The yeasts are showcased over the hops. Belgians dont have the insatiable crave for hops like Americans do. More yogurty fruits. Banana, kiwi, strawberry and some orchard fruits like sweet apples and a touch of lemon towards the end. You can get some dusky malts every once in a while

M- Persistent carbonation leaves a dry finish. The body is getting close to full like a few American IIPAs. Not bitterness lingers. Alcohol isnt totally masked.

D- Like I just said, alcohol isnt totally masked. This isnt really a summer time BBQ session beer which is what the letters IPA have so quickly become synonymous with. Instead its a complex and alcoholic golden Belgian ale.

Quite nice and heavily Belgian despite the Americanized style.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Billowing rocky foam head highlights this straw colored brew. Copious amounts of active carbonation give great retention.

The smell is big malty and sweet, accompanied by orchard fruits, clove and peppery spice with honey. There is also some grassy hops in the mix.

The flavor is huge! very spicy and peppery with some tart apple and a good deal of yeast. Very dry, the hops are leafy, grassy and earthy. Alcohol heat on finish.

Spritzer/champagne-like carbonation, very easy drinking and medium light body with a crisp texture.

IMHO this is a very under appericiated style, and one of my favorites. This beer sets the bar. Hop-tacular and very refreshing. I highly recommend this especially on a hot day such as this.

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Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold color with a large white head with great retention. The aroma has lemon, funk, grass, pepper, and spice. Very much like the aroma of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

The taste is sweet, with all the flavors present that I listed for the aroma. The alcohol is well hidden for 10.5%. Medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth. A nice Belgian IPA which reminds me a lot of a BSPA.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was very amped to try this beer, I had been saving it for a week or 2, and I finally decided to crack it after I took a long exam as a gift to myself for getting through it for the Celtics game tonight.

Looks really good, excellent pour, huge foam, pours golden brown/yellow.

I'd describe this as light and fluffy, very highly carbonated, the bottle is huge, I may have to take this down in 2 servings. It is almost juice like to me, reminds me of champagne in a way more than beer. Very different to me, never had a Belgian IPA but not quite what I was expecting. Very bready, get a good yeast flavor here, fruity as well. ABV is hidden well. I really can't believe this has much alcohol at all....guess I'll find that out now.

I am not sure how much of this I could drink, a bit too sweet for my taste, I am not big on the sweet beers but maybe I will develop a taste for it but it tastes too much like juice. If you like the sweet beer, this is for you. And if you like the Belgian yeast, this is also for you. You could bake some serious bread with this beer.

I think this is a good quality beer, I just don
t think it's my bag because its so sweet. Still good and I will enjoy drinking it.

I dont think this is a bad beer, just not what I expected.

**Update-- the ABV is legit. I only had one glass and I am feeling it.

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Photo of mempath
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a hazy golden orange with fat head that settles slowly into a big bubbly venner of pancake batter...also, eventually clarifies into a transparent golden orange.

deep ripe fruit and candied/brandied alcohol...almost tropical. like thor heyerdahl in tahiti...bananas dipped in yeast. excellent.

sweet sweet (and bitter), much like the dogfish head 90...but quite different as well. less body thickness, but very smooth with a near perfect mouthfeel. abv is really not 'present' but can be sensed...be careful. this is delicious. very much worth the ticket price to this show. glad to see this style mapping itself beyond...actually, the hops are much more sedate as expected, but i wouldn't want this any other way. i WOULD like to see a drier, hoppier version of this...or maybe do a half and half with this and, say, Smuttynose's ipa...that would be tremendous

a MUST have brew after any cyclocross race this fall. heck, after any bike ride. put a couple in the creek...make sure they're hidden!

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Photo of akenethon
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: nice dark blonde color with orange tint. persistent foam. cloudy. a beautiful blonde!
S: malty smell, not so intense
T: a surprisingly light taste, somewhat malty but well balanced. hint of honey. Beers of this acohol content tend to be over-sweet, this beer is not, which is a plus. nice aftertaste which is very slightly bittersweet. in general I would have liked it to be more aromatic and tense, but still good
M: full feeling in mouth despite light aroma
D: very very drinkable, because it is light but tasty, very well balanced

I am very surprised how a 10,5% alcohol beer can be so light tasting. It tastes as light as a German pilsener. You can get drunk with this very quickly, so better drink slowly.

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Photo of digitalbullet
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep golden in color. Light thin head. trace amount of lacing.
Smell: Great deep citrus with some big malts present. Good amount of yeast in and alcohol in the nose.
Taste: Very malty. Citrus with hop bitterness. Bready notes as well.
Mouthfeel. clean and crisp. nuff said.
Drinkability: The 10% abv is dangerously hidden. Damn good brew. So easy to drink.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden yellow, huge white head, tons of carbonation, very clear.

S - Cloves, phenolic, spicy hops, Belgian yeast.

T - Much like the aroma with plenty of clove, pepper/spice, with that Belgian yeast tang. This is backed up with a nice hop bitterness very different than most Belgian ales. The alcohol really stands out at the end.

M - Highly attenuated, lots of warmth of the carbonation and alcohol. Wish it actually had a little more body to stand up to the hops.

D - Enjoyable but I think some more malt flavors and/or body would help. The hops are not harsh, but almost stand out too much and don't seem quite balanced with the rest of the beer. Still very good.

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