Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,508 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: 2,508 |  Reviews: 1,058
Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a crystal mug it is a inviting deep golden brew with a strong head building.
Not to much smell. You can hint hops , wheat, some banana.
Strong taste of hops. Nice bitterness which is laced with hints of fruit and a good measure of wheat. The alcohol is present and I really enjoy the aftertaste even more than I first thought, since my favorite beers are actually sweet dark beers.
Good mouthfeel with lots of carbonation, prickly.
Good beer which calls for more because of the great aftertaste.

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Photo of NODAK
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma here is very, very sweet....banana, orange and grapes come to mind. A little spiciness and hops sit in the background. The overall dominant smell is fruit, though.

Pours an amber color in my glass. Head about an inch thick and fluffy. Goes away fairly quickly.

I've never had a Belgian IPA before, so this is interesting. The best way to sum it up would be to say it's similar to a tripel, but with more bitterness on the back. The upfront taste is sweet and fruity, as expected. Very tripel-esque. Belgian yeast is also apparent on the body, as well as a mild peppery spiciness that goes along with it. The finish has a pretty decent aspirin bitterness that wouldn't be considered very strong by many other IPA styles, but apparently Belgian IPA's aren't as bitter as American ones. It's somewhat puckering. Alcohol is also somewhat noticeable as well, but I'm impressed with how concealed it is for 10.5 percent.

It was a good beer. Beautiful aroma and drinkable, especially for the high ABV.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl, Netherlands, 9% ABV.

Poured slowly into a snifter, this effervescent monster forms a beautifully fluffy two-plus-finger head, with great lacing and impressive retention. The color is a lightly hazy orange-gold.

The aroma has some bright fruit character, along with a solventy alcohol note. Not bad.

The flavor is good, with a hefty hop bitterness: think Duvel but even more bitter. Leafy. There's some orange, pear and apple in there, as well as some cakey-sweet malts. The alcohol and spice unite to form a nice flavor profile of a strong ale. The mouthfeel was highly effervescent and fluffy, though not soft or creamy enough to merit a higher mark.

In the end I enjoyed this beer and found it very flavorful and drinkable for the ABV. Though, I'm not sure how this is an IPA.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep honey, with a bright white head. Lace is ok.

Smell is spicy. Not hot, but spice-like. Kind of a hop spice. Some malts on the latter.

Taste is nice, with some up-fronts malts, spice and hop bitterness. Some tropical fruits make their way in mid-way. There's some heat there, well masked though.

Feel is pushing medium in body, with pleasant carbonation.

I could see this as a Belgian IPA, but a hopped pale does seem more fitting. Fairly easy drinker, 1 was plenty. Having seen this around stores often, I was pleasantly surprised, and I may pick some bottles up.

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Photo of BamaViper1
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass (only thing clean at the moment).

Golden and slightly opaque, this beer has a fantastic appearance. It has a thick head that foms silky lacing.

Initially, Belgian yeast and fruit fill the beer's aroma.

Again, Belgian yeast and dried fruit are my first taste impressions accompanied by the bitterness I was expecting. In the finish I can taste the alcohol which blends incredibly well.

Mouthfeel, the carbonation is just right, and the beer itself has a pretty medium-full body.

As far as drinkability, I believe this is an incredibly balanced strong pale ale. The alcohol sneaks up on you and the flavors
are just right.

Overall, although this beer reminds me of a triple, I like it a whole lot. From the lacing to the mouthfeel, Piraat Ale is a solid sipper. Has anyone tried aging this one with positive results?

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Photo of AdamBear
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark hazy gold, nice white head

S-some berry fruits some wheat some hops, not a strong scent though

T-wow this is a very new and refreshing taste. it tastes very much like a strong belgian pale ale with more than normal. there is however a undesirable after-taste which i can't quite describe

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a dry finish

D-taste stays and amazingly the abv does not hit as quickly as one would think. all in all this is a pretty decent sipper.

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Photo of carolinabeerguy
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours an opaque caramel color with a 1 finger bubbly white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Yeast, cloves, banana and alcohol. I don't detect the hops I normally associate strongly with an IPA.

Taste: Sweet malt with banana, spices and a very mild bitterness. Light hint of alcohol. This tastes nothing like what I think of when I think IPA. Reminds me of a tripel. Aftertaste is bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: High drinkability despite the high ABV. This one could get you in trouble.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. Delicious flavor. I'm not really familiar with Belgian IPAs so I'm not sure if this is typical of the style but it doesn't feel like what I expect from an IPA. Not necessarily a bad thing. This is delicious. I recommend trying it out.

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Photo of Jef59
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - beautiful yellow amber with a 1.5" cream colored head.

S - nuts, clove, floral notes, bananas, and a little citrus.

T - clove and subtle bitter floral notes at first followed by a banana and bready flavor. It finishes with a really nice peppery zing.

M - nicely carbonated, a little chewy.

D - very drinkable considering the abv.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Certainly a beer, in modern times, that was ahead of its time stylistically speaking and was created more on tradition rather than trend.

Carefully decanted, it shows off a glowing bright golden color and a thick, sticky white mass for the head. Yeasty, hoppy aromas of ripe fruit, chalky yeast, faint mint, wildflowers, orange peel and cooked breakfast cereal. Smooth and creamy with a bitty medium body. The bitterness is there, but lands with a modest stance; perhaps a decade or longer ago this would have been considered bitter, but tame comes to mind, which is fine as it follows the path of the English IPA. Love the dry malt foundation as the mild tropical fruitiness plays off of it. A little biscuity middle to end and, without a doubt, finishes dry with a late entrance of warming alcohol.

Only a sipper after the first few swigs, the alcohol creeps up and lets you know it is 10.5 percent. Complexities don't follow the same path and some flavors are pulled to their ends. All in all, still a very tasty treat.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a nearly,transparent golden/straw with a transient,one-finger,off-white head that left very little lacing.Minimal carbonation.

S-Yeast rolls,plaintain and some slight funk.No real allusion to the hops.Undeniably Belgian.

T-Big yeast character.Banana,clove,a little earthy/grassy note and muted herbal hops.Not enough hop influence to consider this an IPA.Definitely drinks like a tripel.

M-Kind of light for the style.Definitely smooth.No sign of the 10.5 ABV.Could of used a little more bitterness.Moderately dry finish.

D-For what it is,this beer is extremely drinkable but not an exceptional brew overall.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A real pirate's belgian brew!

It is a powerful ale, made to get you twisted quickly at 10.5 abv. And the sweet taste and inviting smell will make you get in over your head before you can even think that this is a beer to drink slowly.

Nothing lingers too long in the aftertaste, and it is a bit strong to be drinking all night, and it may lose points on originality. But for a hearty, manly beer that gets it all done right: I'm going to go to this one regularly.

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Photo of JoePat
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick white head that leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is very effervescent with hints of banana and maybe some breadiness. Kind of sweet too.

Flavor has alot of banana flavor with some light sweet malt and just a bit of spicy hop flavor to round out the sweetness.

The mouthfeel is "belgian" with the high carbonation scrubbing your tongue and the sweetness coating it afterwards.

While strong at 10% it is a light beer that you can easily have a few glasses of.

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Photo of TommyW
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, golden body with a thin, white head that clings in spots.

S- Fruity with some medicinal notes, honey and pepper.

T- Lots going on in the taste. Malt flavors that are a little grassy and then go to very fruity with notes of honey. Slight peppery flavor comes in after and mix with some bitterness and alcohol.

M- Medium body with a medium carbonation.

D- Really strong beer in terms of abv and flavor profile; a great beer all-around though.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a tulip.

Appearance: Mostly a translucent golden tangerine color, with a slight hazy that prevents me from seeing all the way through. A fluffy white head gently rests on top, retaining well and leaving graceful lacing down the glass.

Smell: My nose is greated with a candy-like sweetness and Belgian yeast. Delving in further, the sugary malt sweetness is accompanied by soft Belgian funk, represented through cloves, pepper, and some general grassiness.

Taste: As I would expect for a beer of this style, the flavors really mimic the aroma quite well. It starts with a slightly grainy but quite sweet golden malt flavor, with nuanced clove and pepper spiciness reminding me how Belgian this beer is. The grassy hops are present, but much lighter than would normally be in a Belgian IPA. Finishes smooth. Just a touch of alcohol is noticeable - quite impressive considering the 10.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is the strongest aspect of this beer. The above average carbonation is balanced nicely by a smooth creaminess. Very soft grainy feel, and there is a little bit of a grassy residue at the end.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel is great, but the flavor profile never really pops. The flavors just seem to melt together as opposed to forming a strong identity. This also does not have quite the hop presence for me to consider this a real Belgian IPA.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The body of this beer is a hazy golden yellow. An off-white foamy head, it lasts through most of the drink leaving nice lacing on the glass.

S: Moderate citrus hops with floral and yeasty notes.

T: A very pleasant tasting beer that starts off with a sweet citrus hop flavor and ends with peppery and bitter finish. The aftertaste is warming from the alcohol, but is very welcoming. Belgian yeast can also be picked up on the palate as well as some subtle malts.

M: A light to medium body with lively carbonation. The texture of this beer is very soft and syrupy.

D: A very delicious light flavor. Even though I loved this beer, I don't see myself buying this a lot for reasons I can't explain.

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Photo of MKEHophead
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in a tulip glass at Cafe Centraal in Milwaukee. Poured a nice golden color with large creamy head. Citrus Fruit/Coriander aromas abound. This beer tastes nothing like an IPA even though it is labeled as one. It's more representative of a Belgian Trippel. When I think of a Belgian IPA I think of LeChouffe as a prime example. This beer should be classified as a Trippel. Very high alcohol content which can be tasted, but the fruit aromas and fresh spices balance it out. Definitely has a sweet syrupy/bready aftertaste on the mouthfeel that lingers for awhile. This is a very drinkable beer with lots of nice spicy/fruit flavors. The alcohol is there, but you would never guess that it is 10.5% ABV. Even on a hot summer day when most pepole reach for a fresh Weiss Beer or Pilsner this beer was enjoyable.

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

Poured into Duvel Tulip

Appearance: Bright, deep golden color, hazy with a white head about a half an inch thick, lively carbonation, leaves lacing on the glass.

Smell: Pale malts, citrus notes & fruit notes as well, maybe some orange like aroma.

Taste: Pale malts, possibly pilsner malts up front with nice nuanced hoppy finish. In conjunction with the aroma, a fruit like taste, some alcohol present. Well balance between all of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy mouthfeel, almost "cream-like." Carbonation is high, very crisp.

Drinkability: Excellent, well crafted ale, especially with an ABV of 10.5% you wouldn't know.

(Reviewed from notes)

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Photo of diddly
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
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 +8.1%
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 +2.7%
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 -9.6%
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 -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 -4.7%
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 -24.3%
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 +5.7%
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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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,508 ratings