Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

2,452 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: 2,452 |  Reviews: 1,045
Photo of Dixonian
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this one for a very long time. 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Maudite chalice.

BIG head on the initial pour-nice and white. Dissapated after a few moments-excellent carbonation. Burnt orange color you'd expect from most beers with IPA in the title. Aroma let me know I was in for something special-not as bitter/hoppy as some in the same style. Same with the flavor-getting more from the yeast than the hops. Very clean-citrus through and through. One of the most balanced Belgian IPAs i've ever had. I wish i'd bought a 750 ml bottle instead!

I will for sure be buying this again. Very exciting style of beer for me as I love both Belgians and IPAs and this was possibly the best one I've had. My next batch of homebrew just might be a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at the malt house last weekend

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a piraat chalice out of the nifty pirate tap, bright golden body, huge white froth and superb retention

smell: lush citrus hops, fresh yeast, lemon zest, honey, pepper

taste: definitely one of my favorites of the belgian ipa style - ideal blend of citrus hops, yeast, honey, pineapple, lemon, orange

mouthfeel: well carbonated, very lively, head retention adds a lot here

drinkability: good

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

330ml bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a honey golden with a large frothy head that slowly reduced into a thin film that left a decent amount of sticky lacing.
S: Peppery and spicy with notes of earth and grassy hay.
T: Very full strong flavors! A sort of Belgium yeasty funk with a ton of syrupy honey sweetness hits you up front followed by a spicy, peppery barnyard taste of hay, sour fruits and alcohol. There is a decent amount of bitterness in the finish as well from the hops, and also a bit of an overall medicinal taste to the beer.
M: Carbonation is sharp and lively, mouth is medium-heavy, and has a cough syrup quality to it. Alcohol is present but not uncomfortable.
D: This was a surprising little beer that I bought on a whim. The flavor is definitely heavier and bolder than one would think from looking at it. Flavors are bold yet refreshing and crisp. Pick one up, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a glass of this today and was told it was a belgian pale. I immediately knew it wasn't that but I also would have never guessed an IPA. It definitely wasn't hoppy enough for that but I did enjoy it. Good pale golden color, light colored head, clean but belgian-y flavor. I would recommend it.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a slightly hazy golden amber color into a snifter glass with a thick, white head that slowly dissipated into lacy patterns. The level of carbonation is moderate.
S: The aroma smells like apple cider, hops, and malt.
T: Hops are noticeable but do not dominate the overall flavor, which is well-balanced with tastes of tropical fruits such as pineapple, citrus and banana. There are also notes of spices in the finish, which is slightly on the sweet side.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate, and the aftertaste is a little dry.
D: It's relatively easy to drink and the taste of alcohol is well-hidden, but I can't see having more than one of these in a sitting given its high alcohol content.

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

This beer pours a very hazy orange/copper color. HUGE fluffy white head that seems to be going nowhere fast. Head consist of thousands of tight tiny bubbles. This beer appears to be very carbonated with tons of bubbles rushing up towards the top of the beer.

Smells is very sweet (almost like rock candy). Some hops are noticable, but this smells more like a trippel than an Ipa.

Taste is well balanced with fruit, hops, and malts all blending together nicely making for a complex, yet somewhat smooth beer.

Mouthfeel is medium and not nearly as carbonated as I had expected.

I could drink this bottle, and that's about it as far as drinkability goes.

Morey's Bottom Line: Belgians aren't typically my beer of choice, but this one is pretty quaffable. Would definitely drink again, but due to the price, I'd prefer that I wasn't the one paying for it :)

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a cloudy blonde with mild carbonation, a thick white head with some mile lacing and look absolutely beautiful when held up to the light. There were some light citrus smells (lemon rind and oranges) along with some wheat and malt undertones. It has a semi light mouth feel to it and seems to thicken up after a second or two. It's mildly tart on the tip of the tongue and gets a little more bitter when it hits the corner of your mouth. You can taste the malts flavors in the aftertaste. It maintains a crisp feel overall.
I'm looking forward to drinking this one again!

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

Poured a hazy dark yellow with very little head, I'm beginning to think this bottle is aged a bit.
Aroma is sweet peaches with sugar, there is some hop spiciness but just a hint, and of course the Belgian funk
Sweet up front with a tantalizing sour note, Honey like sweetness and hop spice mix it up, complex for sure.
Creamy and smooth, lots of sweet aftertaste and a little booze.
Could drink a lot of this, Very nice brew.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours golden orange with an extremely long lasting rocky white head with nice Belgian lace.

S: Peaches, candied orange, booze.

T: Ale fruit, orange, peach, Bosc pear, some medicinal alcohol in as well. Earthy hops to finish. Very tripel like.

M: Smooth and remarkably light and easy on the palate for its size. Elegant alcohol character.

D: A sipper for sure, would make a nice warming after dinner brew. One of the first Belgians I ever tried, I'm glad I revisited it.

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Photo of tone77
2.9/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a small head. Smell is of fruits and alcohol. Taste is of overpowering alcohol with just a touch of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is definatly not a session drinking beer. Overall I found this to be a mediocre offering.

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

A hazy orange with a big, craggy, white, head.

This is one complex beer. On the nose I'm getting Runts banana flavor, lots of spicy notes, some buttery baked goods and a little bit of earthy stink. There's also some alcohol coming through.

This is one big beer. Bananas and alcohol, with some buttery caramel. Yeah, that's right.

A supremely balanced beer. As I'm getting to the bottom of the glass the alcohol is getting a bit hot, but nothing major.

I loved this beer when I tried it a few years ago and it's still really really good.

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Photo of hackmann
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my chalice with a nice white head and hazy orange body. The lacing is clinging to the chalice.

The smell is very good. If the aromas are moderate at best my nose does not pick them up until I taste the beverage. Before I taste this ale I smell citrus and rich spice profile.

Taste: now I really like this ale. It is a complex beer, it's like eating a great salad. Enjoy it as it changes as it warms up. The tropical fruits are right up front with a little honey dip that follows. The sharp spicy edges battle for attention as the bite of the hops hit the tongue. Along with those sharp spices there is a little peppery taste. Just like that great salad, there is so much going on in its flavors that you just eat and enjoy and savor every bite.

Mouthfeel: all those tasting notes just mingle together and with each taste you say, nice sharp edges then, nice bitter note, nice citrus zip so, I am saying the mouthfeel is complex as well. The tastes linger for a little while.

Drinkability:I want to say 5 because a beer like this you want more of it, but the 10.5% I am only drinking two for the night. It is a sipping experience that you will enjoy.

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Photo of sitarist
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours an orange sunset/honey color. Beautiful inch and a half white frothy head. The head drops to about half an inch and remains. Some spotty lacing and steady carbonation.

S- There is a lot going on with this one. spice and sweet fruits dominate but there is a musky/earthy funk going on also. Bubblegum/circus peanuts.

T- Apple, spice, pear, banana, white pepper. The malt and yeast provide a sweet and fruity start while the hops provide a spicy, peppery finish. Full flavored with balance.

M- The carbonation is strong but balances well with the body. Thick and creamy at first, peppery dry finish.

D- Full flavored and balanced, just a little to sweet/sticky. It is alluring to the senses. Taste great but one bomber in a night is enough. ABV 10.5 %

Notes- Its a nice mood setter.

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Photo of jlapennas
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Caramel and toasted malt have kind of an oktoberfesty quality blended with some apple/pear fruitiness. Some clean alcohol in the background. Seems sweet and malt forward. No real hop character detected.

Appearance: Deep golden color, very good clarity, moderate head with poor retention.

Flavor: SmartiesTM, fruity and slightly tart. Sweet, caramel, candy-like malt character. Maybe there is a bit of sherry character. Lingering clean firm bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium body with a creamy slick character. A bit cloying.

Overall: The sweetness and candy character take away from the drinkability. I've had this beer a few times before and this bottle doesn't resonate with my memories. Could be this bottle was oxidized or old. If it always tasted like this, I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of yeast, herbal hops, some spice, and apple.

Tastes of apple upfront with a sourness to it followed by a touch of herbal hops. A peppery and clove like finish caps off everything. Hoppiness has some grassy notes, but is not prominent. Good balance though.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and creamy.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a honeyed chill-haze gold with a nice white cap of foam and decent carbonation and some fair lacing. Very nice. I must also say that this bottle has some weight to it -- surprise!

Some yeasty scents, some light malt, but that's it.

Wow. This is good, although the IPA factor is far far in the background. Yeasty malt, coriander and white pepper spice. Some alcohol, but less of a presence than expected. Some light bitter bite, coupled with sweet grain and some herbal elements. Overall, just flat out smooth beer, one of the smoothest I've had.

Light carbonation bite on the palate, medium mouthfeel -- just perfect for this beer. Highly drinkable, although it has caught up to me a bit (alcohol-wise). But I was sipping and all of a sudden, the pint was empty -- a good sign. Try this.

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Photo of beertunes
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure this should be listed as a Belgian IPA. The breweries website doesn't clearly define this brew, but this classification just seems wrong.

Poured into tulip. Poured a golden amber color with about an inch of dull white head that dissipated much quicker than I thought it would, but still left nice lacing.

The aroma was much more subdued than anticipated. Mostly balanced and mellow, I did detect a very slight horse blanket scent. There was a trace of hops as well in the aroma but it melded well with the malt and yeast. The taste was mostly spicy yeast, with a tingle of hop at the back of the tongue. A nice blend of flavors.

The body was good, smooth and full, without being heavy or sticky. Drinkability was very good for brew of this strength. Overall, a very good beer that is worth your time.

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

11.2oz bottle served in a goblet.

L - slightly hazed brassy color with a small white head and quite a few bubbles.
S - yeast, candy sugar, bitter hops and a little alcohol.
T - the hoppy bitterness and Belgian yeast hit upfront before a sugary sweetness kicks in finishing dry and tart with warming alcohol.
F - medium bodied with lively carbonation.
D - a tasty treat for once in a while.

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

Poured into a chalice. It has a nice clear yellowy golden color. The head on the pour was barely half a finger. It was less than I expected and the carbonation appears to be much lower than most Belgian beers I have had. The aroma has the standard Belgian sweetness to it of light fruits. A slight hop presence is noted as well. This has a very smooth nice flavor. The sweetness is much mellower than I was expecting. On the front the sip the sugary sweetness presents itself with perfect balance. The sweetness fades quickly to a light crisp hop bitterness that leaves an incredible finish. This is definitely probably my favorite Belgian beer. I tend to not like them because I feel many are overly sweet for my tastes. This beer will definitely make me look more into the Belgian IPA category.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first time I had Piraat, I was extremely disappointed. I was expecting a tripel, and it turns out it's really a hybrid tripel/ipa. I didn't really like the fact that it was somewhat bitter due to hops, and if I were to have reviewed it then, it would have gotten a poor grade. Fast forward to now, and since my palate has evolved, things has certainly changed.

A: Copper/gold liquid poured into my St. Bernardus glass with a small head that evaporates quickly leaving some lacing. Very average looking.

S: Belgian yeast, faint hops and candy sugar are all present.

T: Sweet and bitter at the same time, though not nearly as bitter due to hops as I recall. Belgian yeast notes as well as banana can be detected as well. A relatively easy drinking beer even though it boasts an ABV over 10.

M: Less than stellar carbonation and a mouthfeel that leaves a bit to be desired. Oily, but only mildly, this seems like it could do with a more fuller and carbonated feel.

D: Moderately drinkable, but a sipper not a quaffer. A bit too sweet, a bit cloying and not carbonated enough. Still, much better than I had originally found when I first tried it. A different interpretation of a tripel with the addition of some IPA qualities, it's sure to appeal to those beer drinkers who like their hops but also want their brew to taste somewhat sweet. Does need to be a bit more balanced, however.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue glass feb11 2010

A a nice hazy orange that has tonnes of bubbles popping up from everywhere and a massive fluffy head that goes nowhere and leaves lots of thick lace. this is a sexy looking beer without doubt

S some tropical fruits with a little yeast and sweet grains

T I get lots of grainy cereal on top of what I smell perhaps with a little spicy and earthy flavor to go along with it

M a little creamy yet somehow light and fluffy at the same time

D I thought the 10.5% on the label was a typo until I stood up and took a step sideways, so ya it may be dangerously drinkable

I was surprised by this beer, I don't think Belgian IPA when I drink it but what do I know. what do I know you ask? this is a great deal at 2.50$ a bottle this will be in front of me again soon

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Photo of taigor
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into regular glass.

A - Poured slightly hazy golden color with small head that quickly dissipated leaving almost no lacing.

S - Mostly yeast and hay with earthy and fruit hints.

T - Sweet malts upfront followed by slight tartness with a slightly bitter hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - ABV is very masked and this ale is very drinkable and tasty. Definitely want to have more of this in the future.

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Photo of jsh420
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours light amber orange with a big 2+ finger head that had great retention

smells very medicinal and lots of cereal grains

taste is good - somewhat fruity belgian yeast lots of cereal grains spicey earthy hops - to me this is a belgian pils not an belgian ipa

mouthfeel is great - very carbonated crisp dry finish

drinkability is good - this breer might sneak up on @10.5%

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Photo of brystmar
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Paddy Long's in Chicago.

A: pours a gorgeous amber-brown color with 1.5-2 fingers of thick, frothy head which sits on top of the beer until you finish the glass. Tons of white lace adorn the sides of the tulip throughout the experience.

S: yeast, sweet malts, dry grains, and some light fruitiness too. Wish it smelled stronger of each ingredient because it's so pleasant.

T: Belgian country yeast and sweet malts up front with hints of hoppiness, then it turns dry and complex with fruity notes I can't quite pick out -- tons of complexity here. Ends dry with a yeasty & hoppy complexion. The high booze content shows itself only in stomach warmth as it flows gently down your throat. Nothing short of world-class.

M: medium-bodied with average carbonation. Quite pleasant to bathe your tonuge in.

D: far too easy to drink for a 10.5% beer. The alcohol is hidden well in bottled versions, but is even more elusive on draft. I could drink this beer all night long and never look back. Highly recommended.

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

(Bottle into tulip) Poured a cloudy dark amber / light orange with a large head the hung around for the entire glass. Nose was of slight citrus, with a little caramel sweetness and a hint of banana. The taste was not disappointing as all of these came through in the mouth, enhanced by the jumpy carbonation which also brought forward a nice spicy bite at the end. This helped for a very nice finish. Be wary as the 10.5% could catch up with you! Unfortunately I only had one, as this was part of a brewer's sampler.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,452 ratings.
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