Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Liked This Beer
4.03 w/ 2,470 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: 2,470 |  Reviews: 1,050
Photo of mempath
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
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 +3.7%
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 +4%
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%
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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Photo of NahpunGnome
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into Chimay goblet.

A - A clear copper with a nice head that has fine bubbles.

S - Citrus, faint yeast, and malts.

T - Citrus fruits with balanced sweet and bitterness. A slight alcohol aftertaste.

M - Feels nice going down, not too thick.

D - This one's very easy to drink, so be careful. I only really noticed the alcohol as my stomach started to warm up.

Summary - Piraat to me is Mr. Tripel having a child with Mrs. IPA. The balance of flavors is great in this beer. The 330ml bottle doesn't taste as good as the bigger 750ml or on tap though. Overall, this is one of my favorites.

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Abita balloon glass.
The beer poured a deep golden color with a very minimal head. I was expecting more out of this beer. Very little lacing seen.
The aroma is distinctly Belgian. Blindfolded, you could tell the pedigree of this beer. I was anticipating more of a hop aroma, but I wasn't displeased. On the nose, I get pepper, tropical fruit, malt, spicy phenols from the yeast, a touch of horsey notes, and a mild hop presence. As the beer warmed, vinous notes started to show and became more pronounced.
The taste of the beer was not what I had imagined, but I was not disappointed by what I drank. Flavors of sweet malt, honey, pepper and clove co-mingle with a touch of funk, a hot middle, and tropical fruits (mango and pineapple). The finish of the beer was almost tart, and had a nice bitterness to it. As with the nose, as the beer warmed, it took on a vinous quality to it, with the taste of grape and grape skins. Wonderfully complex.
The beer was thick, but had a good level of carbonation. It coated the tongue. This is a good sipper of a beer.
I'll definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours translucent, ruddy orange with billowing head. Don't typically describe lacing as 'mountainous,' but it's accurate in this case.

Smell -- clove oil, bready malt, honey, grassy hops, grapeskin, funky yeastiness, white pepper, booze.

Taste -- Honey, biscuit, and tropical fruit sweetness, then a hit of sharp spiciness and hop bittering. Finish is a little malty, VERY spicy.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, quite boozy.

Drinkability -- A lot of great malty flavors with enough hoppiness and spice to keep it balanced and drinkable. The booze bites on this one, which I don't typically like, but it really compliments the spiciness - or is it the other way around?

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear, straw gold color. Poured a coarse one finger head with fair retention. Decanted continually. Lacing sheeted down the glass.

S: Light-colored fruits, candi sugar; more like a tripel than an IPA. Some bitter hops and alcohol.

T: Alcohol right up front. Lots of light-colored fruits and sweet candi sugar. Yeast flavors linger through peppery bitter finish. An interesting beer.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Sweetness lingers in the finish; this beer is need of more hops for better balance.

D: An interesting beer. The sweetness make me want to drink faster, but the ABV, which is not disguised well, makes it a bit boozy.

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

Poured from 750ml bottle into chalice

Appearance-Pours a hazy golden color with a big white billowy head that recedes very slowly leaving very thick lacing all along the sides of the glass that remains as I sip. I would guess it's the combination of the Belgian yeast and the hops that give this such a magnificent head and head retention.

Aroma-Belgian candy-sugar upfront followed by fruity and estery notes and Belgian yeast, the hops linger around the edges but certainly make their presence known.

Taste-This is where the hops come through lending a floral, spicy bitterness to contrast against the heavy Triple-like sweetness of malt and sugar. Flavors of sweet honey and alcohol mingle towards the middle rounding the whole thing together in a way that I find rather delicious. The alcohol is definitely detectable on the palette but it doesn't detract from the flavor, if anything it adds to it.

Mouthfeel-Big, lush and pillowy with a fine, crisp carbonation; personally, I find this beer to leave a superb feeling in one's mouth.

Drinkability-I shared this bottle but I'd have had no problem finishing it off by myself, I could have had another to be honest; it's damn drinkable.

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Photo of scottyb88
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured into a Duvel glass; cloudy orange/copper color with a lingering 1.5 finger head; some lacing

S-tropical handsoap, lemongrass, yeasty, sourdough; it was a little muddled, hoping for more prominent citrus

T-lemon, pepper; not very typical american ipa taste of grapefruit or other citrus; has a sweet start with a nice dry, and slightly bitter yeasty finish

M-a little too aggressive for my liking; not sure if it was the carbonation or a combination of that and the alcohol; the bitter dry finish was nice though

D-I'm still confused by this style; I've had a few versions of belgian ipa and they vary so much from beer to beer; this version is definitely nice and refreshing; it's a bit spicy and the carbonation might be a bit much for some; 10.5% i believe, is noticeable at the end of the sip

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Photo of GregPearson33
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smell/Appearance: Deep golden blonde with a slight murkiness topped by a tall fluffy head of tightly laced foam that leaves fantastic lacing as it recedes. Smells floral-sweet and citrusy with the classic spice notes Belgian yeasts impart.

Taste/Drinkability/Mouthfeel: Sweet and delicious! The taste is bready and sweet, balanced by light citrusy hops in the background. The finish is pleasant though there is little heat and a lasting mouth-coating. The carbonation level is medium-high, which is probably responsible for its fluffy texture on the palate. It also helps lighten the body and certainly boost drinkability.

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Photo of crossovert
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle.

Pours a decently clear honey/amber color with hints of gold. The head is foamy, rocky, and white and sticks around for a while before leaving some nice lacing.

It doesn't smell hugely hoppy, this is a fresh bottle. It is very much floral and grassy with a huge yeast kick.

The hops are more represented in the flavor. It is thick and sweet but also mildly hoppy. It isn't bitter at all just a lot of flowery, grassy, spicy hops with a pinch of grapefruit peel and pine. The yeast is big too providing even more spice and a hint of fruitiness. The malts are sweet and slightly cloying with the alcohol which isn't completely hidden, but not overly so. It gets better as you go.

The carbonation seems right on but the flavors don't pop on the tongue due to the sweetness. The alcohol isn't hidden but it never become a nuisance.

This is a high gravity BIPA, perhaps it is a bit too malty, if you love Belgian strong pale ales this one is for you.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. 10.5% ABV, no date, "Tripel by strength, IPA by nature and history."

Thanks to my cousin Dan for bringing this over!

A - The pop of the cork signifies strong carbonation that's mirrored by the constant stream of bubbles through the beer. A full three-finger head is totally white and loosely packed. Great retention and classic Belgian lace make the head even better. The beer is a hazy golden yellow color.

S - Awesome yeasty nose with a delicious citrusy lemon characteristic to it. Hints of clay and earthy notes appear in the background. Pale malts and a touch of honey balance well with an awesome low hoppy citrus and floral kiss.

T - Lots of citrus and yeast in the flavor with a bold backing of clay and pale malts. The main thing that stands out to me is a punch of alcohol. Not boozy or paint-thinner, solvent-like, it's just alcohol. Hints of light fruit poke in and out of the whole beer flavor. The alcohol fades through the course of drinking it and the taste really grows on me.

M - Crisp and refreshing with a medium-body and a well-balanced dry, crisp finish. Subtle warming alcohol finish. The carbonation is bold in this beer giving it a sharp bite the to the finish.

D - Just fantastic. After a few sips it takes a little getting used to since it's so unique, but it really comes through and gets very enjoyable. A solid beer that's fantastic and getting me nice and saucy while listening to a quality vinyl.

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Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the Brass Rail on 29-Apr-10.

A: The Belgian IPA is a golden straw color, a fuller yellow color that is several shades lighter than an egg yolk (although it is nearly opaque like an egg yolk). A small ring of head, no more than a band, circles the rim of the snifter. [Yeah, I said circle the rim.]

S: The nose is far more tripel than IPA, with a sweet candi sugar scent that barely hides its fusel strength. The more I search for hops, the more I come up empty. A solid tripel nose though!

T: Again, a fusel alcohol presence is immediately evident. Behind the strength, plenty of tripel flavors, candi sugars and pepper and distinctive yeast, linger around. There is a more assertive hop presence in the taste but it isn't nearly strong enough to punch through the tripel. The strength of the beer would be more manageable if the hops were more forward.

M: The mouthfeel is dominated by the delicate strength of the tripel, sweet and heavy. That sweetness is dangerous, making me want to sip it faster. Bold hops would help quell that urge.

D: One snifter for me, thanks. The ale is too boozy and needs to add a little more hop oomph.

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Photo of tim9887
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml (11.2oz) bottle poured into glass..

Pours a beautiful slightly hazy golden-orange. Nice thick white foam head. Aroma and taste are sweet at first - honey-ish malt character followed up nicely by lemony & peppery hop bitterness. Very good all around. Mouthfeel is of a typical Belgian IPA - nice subtle carbonation. WAY too easy to drink for an ale of 10.5% abv. Oh well, I'm not complaining - give me two more and I'll be ready to take a nice long nap.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Waterzooi, Garden City, New York.

Poured a light copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an ocean air aroma with some fruit and esters.

The taste was upfront herbal with a grassy hop and earthy malt. A nice ester present as well.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a residual spice.

Overall a tasty user friendly ale.

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Photo of mwa423
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy gold color with a finger of off white head.

S - The up front aroma is lots of Belgian yeast with the very typical dried fruit aroma that goes with the typical trippel.

T - Taste is rich, complex, and impressive. First, the alcohol and Belgian yeast hits, followed with a flat dried fruit flavor and a slight sour note that really leaves a bite.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rich, thick and gives a bit of a bite on the end. Carbonation is heavy but doesn't negatively affect flavor. This is drinkable only because the bite at the end makes the mouth want the next flavor. This isn't a beer you drink two of.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Piraat Ale 10.5% 750ml bottle corked and caged.
Truthfully I didn't have a clue what kind of beer this was till I checked the site. Says Belgian Ipa but well...

A- Pours a beautiful golden orange fluid with massive two inch fluffy head that hangs around for the duration of the brew. Leaves a massive quarter inch thick head on the glass.

S- This smells like a triple... heavy Belgian yeast spice is first in the nose. Second is a light but appearent pear and citrus bite followed by strong alcohol fumes.

T-M- Has a very strong bite of warming alcohol that only leads on to the fresh bitter grass and candied citrus fruit. Last is a lingering alcohol and malt stickyness. Mouthfeel is smooth with the fact that the alcohol is so high in content. Slick and warming effect fall down the tongue letting it know a hell of a beer just went down.

D- Its drinkable but watch out or your ass will hit the floor. Excellent Belgian Ipa, Triple and Strong Pale Ale... in one.

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Photo of Dixonian
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +6.9%
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 -0.7%
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 -13.2%
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 -0.2%
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 -2.5%
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 +9.9%
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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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 84.9% out of 100 with 2,470 ratings
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