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

Picked one up on a random at the local beer distributing establishment. Pirate, brewed in Tampa? No its brewed in Belgium. So let's give it a whirl. This one is in a slightly more Belgian looking bottle than in the pic above, but glass is glass, so let's give it a whirl. The bottle smell of this brew has a distinct Belgian whiff, heavy malts, spices, smells like a HG brew. Pouring into a stemless wine glass yields a fizzy golden brew that has a head that disappears quickly but continues to fizz like a champ. Mouthfeel first, got any pancakes? This is one thick brew. All joking aside, the taste of this brew is a complex malt with slight spice undertones and a sweet yet dry bitterness that leaves a bready finish with hints of yeast. Most definitely warms through the AC almost like a fine sherry but better as a brew. This is one big beer. Great malt and yeast combo, almost weiss-like, but much heavier.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL crowned and corked bottle served in a chilled O'Douls pint glass.

Rigorous pour gives a massive rocky eggshell head that continues to build for a while and threatens to overflow the glass. Faintly hazy, lemon yellow brew with moderate carbonation visible. Head settles from three fingers, leaving massively rocky peaks, valleys, lacing, 1-2 fingers in depth. Very impressive head. Smell is thick with sweet light malts, complicated by citrus, belgian spices. Also a touch of skunk and something pilsner-like, reminds me of saaz hops (though I doubt that's what's in there). First sip... pungent belgian spices, moderate hop bite, thick with light malts, and a bit of alcohol. Saaz character also present in the taste. I think it's the combo of spices plus hops that gives the effect. Also a strong pineapple note as it warms. Mouthfeel is thick in a light kind of way. Slightly above average carbonation. Alcohol feel in the finish. Loads of fizzy lacing on the glass. In all, very much like a belgian IPA, just as the bottle aptly suggests. A great tasting experience, quite unique. Not something I will seek out regularly though... more like something to try and enjoy once or twice, for me a novelty. Highly recommended in that regard.

Edit: I didn't realize there's actually a category of Belgian IPA (and this is in it)! That's exactly what I would've called it... either Belgian IPA or Hoppy Tripel. Very appropriate, a new niche in the world of beer.

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

Piraat ale found at my local liquorstore. 33 cl bottle, 9% abv.

The beer looks nice, hazy golden colour, soapy head with lots of carbonation, but afterwards , a thin head but good lacing.

The smell I instantly got was white wine and pepper. After it subsided, aromatic floral hops dominate: the rest is a bit of bread, spices, herbs.
The taste confirmed this. The yeast has a wild character to it.
This is fresh bitterness. It's smooth, and even though the alcohol is present, it doesn't bite.

Pleasant experience overall.
My first Piraat, and my first impression is good.
Also it proves to me Belgian ale-tasting is one of life's continuous adventures.

(10-2010. I've had several more tastings of this beer. The quality of the product seems to vary: sometimes it's a sublime ipa, sometimes it's strong alcoholic lager taste.)

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Photo of drtth
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a lightly hazy golden apricot color with a ¾" head that begins to recede almost immediately leaving rings and loosely scattered patches of lacing. Rather than creamy the foam is a bit ragged even though there are lots of small streams of bubbles in the liquid. Throughout the beer there is foam clinging to the sides of the glass, a thin layer of foam on the surface, and scattered bits of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is a dry and subtle blend of spices, white pepper some malt and grassy/herbal hops. Any alcohol is well concealed here.

Taste: The flavor shows off a spicy light sweetness along with some grassy/herbal hop bitterness that blends well with some green fruitiness. ON the whole the flavor shows great complexity in that it changes from sweet to spicy to bitter all in one sip.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full bodied with gentle carbonation. The medium to long finish shows a grassy/herbal bitterness about mid-way through which then just fades to a lingering dryness.

Drinkability: At first I wasn't quite sure what to make of this beer as it wasn't quite what I was expecting. But the more I had of it the better I liked it. This beer is dangerously drinkable. I'll certainly be having this one again and would be quite happy to have more than one a night if it were not for the ABV level.

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Photo of ledemie
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at 55 in my trusty tulip glass. 33 cL bottle.

A: Cloudy dark golden liquid with a small white head..

S: smell of pepper, and complexity, raisin, biscuit .

Taste: full, malty,full body. Very interesting.

M: full bodied with alcoholic warming. The taste of booze is masked, though.

D: does not taste hoppy like IPa ( good), I love this beer I could drink this everyday.

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

Looks amazing, pours with a thick vibrant white head with tons of lacing...amber orange w/ tons of visable carbonation.

Smell is honey, orange peel, floral esters and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is dried apricots, a little bit of pepper, nutmeg and a warm alcohol finish...good, alcohol is present but not super dominant. Quite bitter/hoppy for a Belgian - interesting.

Overall it's a nice Belgian ale with a characteristic bitterness not often found.
Nice one!

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Photo of boogyman
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from a small 330ml bottle into my goblet. A light golden color with a little head that didn't stay around long but there bubbles around the rim of the liquid.

S- Smells yeasty and a bit fruity almost like banana. Still have a bit of a cold so my smell is a bit limited but from what I gather it does smell good.

T- Hops are not very prevalent as it seems to be in most Belgian IPAs I have had. It has a yeasty flavor and a slight fruity taste probably from the smell.

M- Fairly smooth, the 10.5% ABV is very masked surprisingly.

D- Overall I would say this BIPA is not bad but like most, I think there should be more hops. I wouldn't mind having this again but the price is a bit steep.

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

Appearance: Pours a golden amber color with a huge white head. The head leaves a high lacy ring all over the galss.

Smell: Smell is very light and fruity with lots of yeast and floral scents coming out.

Taste: A bit of pepper and bitter hops up front with straw, grass, and a bit of a funky flavor mixed in. Lots of alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

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Photo of champ103
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange. A huge fluffy white head head forms that does not recede. Rings of sticky spiderweb looking lace is left behind.
S: Spicy aromas up front. Biscuit malt and yeast. Lots of fruity aromas. Funky barnyard and horse blanket. Citrus hops. Really complex.
T: Sweet fruity and funky barnyard flavors. Some floral and grassy hop flavors, and a light bitterness. Some alcohol is noticeable. A huge flavor with layers upon layers.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Crisp and dry. Easy to drink for the high alcohol content, but it is noticeable. A really good beer to sip on.

This is great. Lots of complexities. Something I would highly recommend.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


clear golden with hints of apricot. the head is about one finger, leaves a ring and some lace here and there.

nose is hard to pick out (that sounded weird)--after some pondering, i've come up with leather, a touch of banana, some alcohol, sweetness, possibly figs.

the flavors are so melded and blended they're even harder to distinguish than in the aromatics. suffice it to say this a smooth operator and carries its 10.5% better than most BBWs. the balance is nice, though there isn't really a wow factor to be found. the body is medium full, with moderate co2, slick and easygoing. finish is a little sweet but with enough mild spiciness and twang to even it out. worth having again.

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

A- pours a nice caramel brown with a frothy 2-finger head. lots of carbonation throughout. sticky lacing all the way down

S- very typical belgian smells. yeasty with sweet apricots and a hint of alcohol. malts are noticeable as well.

T- taste much like it smells. nice balance of yeast and malts. sweet raisins and banana mixed in as well. there is a nice bready aftertaste that lingers giving it an extra something. alcohol becomes more evident as it warms

M- clean and crisp. medium body with good carbonation

D- very smooth and drinkable for a 10.5% abv. will be getting this one again

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz stubby bottle into a snifter. Slightly hazy. A bright bronze in color with a nice retaining soapy head.

Aroma is strong and room filling of belgian yeasty funk. Floral hops are also apparent coupled with a lofty aroma of the malt body.

The flavor borders on fruity with sweet pear, tart apple and banana notes. Hop character is there, just a light spiciness on the tip of the tongue and a lingering earthy tone. Light pale malts are there adding to complexity.

Medium to full bodied with a chalky sensation from the yeast. Also a nice lingering hoppy finish.

Although not a session beer, this is a fine belgian india pale ale with plenty of well hidden alcohol and character. Afternoon delight.

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

Quite an impressive appearance with a frothy head and sticky lacing. Lots of carbonation. Smells spicy and yeasty. Tastes similar to the aroma, with additions of apple, banana, and a somewhat off-putting medicinal aftertaste.

The carbonation could be toned down some. For such a high ABV, the alcohol is well masked. This still doesn't help the drinkability for me, as I still find the aftertaste a bit of a downfall for this beer.

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Photo of atsprings
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a crisp pale orange with a decent off-white head that slowly diminishes to a ring and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is a decent blend of Earthy citrus hops and mild spice. The taste is a nice balance of sweet malts, spices and a nice lingering hop bitterness. The beer is somewhat heavy, but a decent sipper. This one is enjoyable, but it looses a bit on tap, as most Belgian beers do.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy deep golden color with a nice white foamy head that left some nice light lacing.

Smell: Yeasty, fruity with a little floral hops in the mix. Alcohol noticeable, but not overpowering.

Taste: Sweet funky Belgian yeast with some hops on the finish for a clean crisp hops bitterness on the tongue. This is technically a "tripel by strength but Belgian IPA by nature", it actually comes across as more of a good Belgian Strong Pale Ale (my favorite beer style). Delicious with a capital 'D'. For a high ABV brew, this is incredibly easy drinking with a ton of flavor. Bananas and cloves in the yeast, with a nice balance of malts and hops on the finish. A very fine example of a BSPA style.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a good carbonation. A nice sweet but crisp finish on the palette.

Drinkability: Oh yes, this is a very drinkable beer that would be easy to session. I love it, and will definitely seek it out again.

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Photo of TLove
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to glass tumbler.

This beer is delicious and truly one of the richest and most complex beers of its style and color.

Appearance is a strong, syrupy yellow that pours a thin, very bubbly head and little to no lacing. The smell is rich, almost consistent with a uber-yeasty hefeweizen, with touches of banana and a unique yeasty structure that bowls over to the taste. The fullness and syrupy complexity of the beer starts with light fruits of banana and fig, with a strong alcohol (about 11% ABV) that surpasses many tripels.

Finish is soft and yeasty, with a little bit of bread and a little bit of bite. Crisp, but very smooth and the alcohol holds its grip to the end. There is a bit of unwarranted tangyness, but its impact is minimal. Overall, a very drinkable, very smooth, and remarkably complex beer.

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Photo of bobsy
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think my review got lost in the merge of the duplicate entries. Luckily I had a backup:

This beer was originally tasted in December 2007

Bottle purchased from the LCBO. A golden pour kicks up a large frothy white head, which had decent retention and put down some sticky lacing. Spicy aroma, with strong pepper notes, combining with tropical fruit and grain. The flavour is predominantly grainy and dry, with a strong aftertaste of fruity malts. Spicy, almost grassy hopping adds a good level of bitterness. Alcohol is well-hidden. Medium body and medium-high carbonation is well suited.

This reminds me a lot of Christoffel blonde, mostly because of its grainy character and saaz-like hopping. Its not quite what I expected from a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5oz stubby bottle from a brewery sampler pack... been told the 750ml have a stonger taste

A: light yellow with amber highlights, hazy, fluffy white head. decent lacing.

S: Belgian Yeast - funk, horse, straw, grass, pepper

T: Sweet malts backed up by grass, straw, funk, pepper up front. Slight fruity note on the middle. finishes clean and semi bitter.

M: Light to medium bodied, somewhat sticky. decent carbonation.

D: To me it lacks the bold flavors others have described. Still a decent, complex beer.

I begining to wonder if the sampler pack from the brewery is not of highest quality. This is about the 3rd beer from the set that didnt live up to expectations.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2oz stubby brown pop top with cool Viking-themed label; no freshness date to be seen

Appearance: Fairly bright dark golden beer with a stark-white cap of large bubbles which soon fades to a thick white film with decent retention

Smell: Some lightly toasted malts backed by fruity aromas; I think I'm actually getting some strawberry in here.

Taste: Big yeasty fruitiness, sweet Belgian sugars, alcohol esters, and bitter grassy hops on the finish...it's actually a little too sweet (IMO) thoughouth the middle, but the sharp grassy hops on the finish are quite tasty. Lots of peppery spice here as well, as well as some very obvious alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy and smooth, if somewhat prickly from the alcohol

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: I was really hoping to be wowed by this, but...I just wasn't.

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Photo of Dotcubed
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In line with the Belgians I got from the Mother in Law in Arkansas.

Looks good, deep golden color. Nice foam, creamy.

Smells fruity, almost tropical.

Tastes pleasantly fruity too. Over ripe mangoes! On the sweet side with some sourness. Not what I expected.

Fizzy and warming, heavy-medium body. There's some shelf life left, but no telling with no dates on the bottle.

Might be too sweet & warm for mass consumption. But I'm sure it's good.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

An impressive head given the high alcohol content, the eggshell-white foam builds to a half inch before slowly settling to a mat of fat bubbles. Beneath, the clear body is copper and tangerine, split by a trail of carbonation rising up from the Duvel etching. Aromas of yeasty Belgian spice and tropical fruit. Banana, mango, dried citrus peel, lemongrass, and crystal malts all make an impression on the nose.

Surprisingly mild flavor given the style and ABV, with subtle hints of floral, grassy hops and some banana-rich yeast esters in the middle. Finishes with a tinge of alcohol that suggests a tropical-flavored spirit. Body is bubbly and lighter on the palate than I had anticipated, as the spritziness draws out some of the more subtle hop notes. Crisp, clean finish with a slight linger of booze and grass. Not the most remarkable Belgian IPA, and the 10.5% certainly limits its drinkability, but Piraat makes a nice sipper for those slower evenings.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: golden cider color with a one-finger white head. Attractive lacing.

Smell: sweet, earthy malt with distinct apple notes. Also notes of wheat and a chalk-like aroma, which is quite pleasing.

Taste: sweet, almost unctuous malt. Nice bitterness. Big, well-rounded fruit and malt flavor which I quite enjoy.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium body which makes it quite creamy in texture. Quite enjoyable.

Drinkability: I can only say that this is way too drinkable for a 10.5% beer. I'll definitely be getting this one some more.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color, not too much head to speak of. Aroma is surprising hoppy, some distinct spice notes (clove? coriander?) and pine. Taste is quite sharp, much more bitter than I expected. Nice punch from the hops, some mild malt flavor, mostly spicy yeast. Alcohol is quite hidden. Wonderful belgian body to, really quite good. Extremely easy drinking, highly enjoyable.

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Photo of jimiv73
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is good belgium ipa that i reccomend to everybody anyone who enjoys beer should like this style of ale even my wife dug it!! and it kicks ass weighing in at 10.5% mmm try some if you getthe chance a lil pricey but worth the money xxx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

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Photo of janubio
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Copper-amber colour, with a big white head that leaves great ring and lace. Aroma of caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, herbs, spices, mint, coriander, cardamom, pine. Almost full body, thick palate. TAste of chocolate, dark fruits, cardamom, caramel, spices. This is a great one.

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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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