Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,483 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: 2,483 |  Reviews: 1,054
Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a clear golden-light orange w/one finger head that rapidly dissipated.

S-Sweet pale malt, pear, apple, spice and clove, pepper, alcohol penetrates the sinuses.

T-Sweet w/fruity esters midway, a moment where I thought I tasted a cognac- or whiskey-like flavor just before the finish. Finish is dry and spicy.

M-This brew flirts w/extremes. Very sweet upfront, and bone-dry finish. Body is slightly heavy and sweetness is cloying, but there is still a harmonious finish.

D-Decent, but not easy to drink. This is the first big beer I've had in a while, so I might have lost my taste for them.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As I poured the 330 ml bottle into a tulip glass, I didn't get much head. But, I kinda screwed up the pour, so that's my fault. Although, the little head I did get still created some nice lacing.

The color was an orangey gold, and hazy.

I smelled grapefruit, grapes, and a sharp aroma resembling sparkling cider.

I tasted tropical fruits. Each sip has a real kick of alcohol at the end, touched with leafy spices. I liked how the hops aren't so dominant in this brew.

Its Mouthfeel is very crisp, quite carbonated, and almost prickly on the tongue. It feels bright, reminds me of sunshine, and I like how its taste matches the pirate theme on the bottle.

Drinkability is high for the style, but it would be hard for me to drink more than 2.

I don't think I've tasted anything out of Belgium before that didn't have a musty aroma or a taste that reminded me of a monestary, or place of worship. This is a first. A pretty cool beer...definitely unique.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 11.2oz stubby into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours a golden straw with a 2inch white head that leaves lacing that reminds me of Lorianne Swiss cheese. Odd mental picture but that's the one drawn for me. The aroma reminds me of most BSPA's. Sweet pears and apples, a bit of hops and a bit of Belgian candy sugar. I really wish the hops were a little more prevalent in the nose but they really play second fiddle to the malt that's used to push the alcohol up to 10.5%. The flavor is almost exactly the same. Orchard fruits, big malty sweetness, with just a bit of hops at the tail. I think that if this beer wasnt so sweet, the booze would be almost untouchable. It still shows it head but its mostly covered by the big malt body to this beer. The mouthfeel is rather syrupy. The carbonation is light leading to the syrupy body. All and All, I'm not really impressed with this beer. i wonder if maybe this is an older bottle. I'll definitely be trying to get a fresher bottle and will re review.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer. And not just because of the cool label, but it helps.

A - Brassy, slightly hazy golden amber. Moderate head, good, sticky retention.

S - Sweet yeast with no specific flavor or disposition, and a very slight hay / straw funk.

T - It tastes good, but not spectacular. Clean with a tad of bitter and ester, but not banana. And phenol / medicine, but not clove. Amazingly well-hidden 10.5 ABV.

M - Very smooth, but slightly 'hot'.

D - Hell yeah I'll drink it.

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Photo of Soneast
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear, golden color forming a massive, ever growing, white colored head, that condenses to a marshmallow cream thickness, staying on the beer for the entire duration of it's consumption, pulling down thick sheets of bubbles which deposit on the glass as the beer recedes. A champagne-like level of carbonation cascades towards the surface.

The aroma reminds me of green fruits, mostly apple and grape, basically a plethora of fruity esters, and candy-like sweetness. There is a wonderful, peppery quality form the hops adding a great complimentary spice to the up front fruitiness.

the flavor is also heavy with fruity esters, sour apples and quite sweet. However the hoppiness is right up there to totally destroy the upfront sweetness giving way to a rather dry, acidic finish that leaves a spicy twang on the palate. The alcohol is non-existent. I had to check the bottle twice to make sure this was 10.5% ABV.

The mouthfeel is wonderful, sparkling and bright, almost refreshing. This is so easy drinking its scary. It would be very easy for me to have one too many of this beer. Just a great representation of the style. So delicious and the alcohol only shows itself via a slight warming effect.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 330 ml stubby into a Duvel glass.

Pours cloudy yellow orange with thick creamy foam indefatgiable white foam. Puffy islands float amidst the beer that lasts long after the broader recession. Laces/sticky.

Malty, spicy smell. Funky Belgian yeast strain.

Taste is light fruit balanced by a bitter hop - and the hop wins out. Pear taste, and notes of the 10.5 alcohol.

Creamy, bitter, and mild carbonation in the mouthfeel. Good taste, but packs a punch with heat and hops.

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Photo of kegger22
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piraat is a hazy oraange in color with a two finger, creamy white head that dissipates to a lumpy skin covering. A citrus hops aroma. The taste is orange citrus right off the bat, with a large malt sweetness. There is a bitter after taste, but like an orange rind rather than a grapefruit rind. There is a bit of an alcoholic pop too. The feel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability is good, I would love to have another, despite the 10.50 ABV.

When I first began to delve into craft beers, I avoided Piraat for several month, probably still would if it hadn't come in a Belgian holiday sampler pack. My mistake. Piraat is excellent, though in a different way from other Belgians.

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Photo of ecoastman
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An impressive style and this is worth a try. I really, really like Piraat... but not love yet...

Great lacing after the dense fluffy head recedes to a thin layer - a welcomed effect from higher hopping. This one is a golden hazy glower.

The aroma has what you'd expect for the style: Belgian candy malt, fruit (banana, tropicals), yeasty bread, bubblegum, phenolics; IPA-like hops and spiciness. Not boozy but maybe a little medicinal.

Smooth and creamy to start and then transitions to slightly course from the high, fine carbonation and alcohol level. It's this courseness that I think I find detracting from the overall quality. This will warm you up quickly.

Found the tastes as in the aroma and also some minerals. Citric grapefruit in the semi-dry bitter aftertaste. Lots of hops here but the flavours are not overpowering ...and the ABV is dangerously well hidden.

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Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: orange-yellow in color, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation, cloudy

Smell: citrus, bread, and Belgian spice

Taste: alcohol, Belgian spice, bread, and hops.

Mouthfeel: smooth, bitter, medium bodied, it has some heat due to the high abv.

Drinkability: I can really feel the high abv here, so this is a one per sitting beer.. The flavors are good, if not slightly muted due to the alcohol. I will most likely not search for this again.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This looks like it should, a clear golden orange with a lily-white head that fades down to a thin blanket of foam. Laces elegantly.

The aroma is really nice, mildly like apricots but mostly caramel with a nice peppery Belgian funk to it.

Really nice, full flavored taste that is all at once equal parts honey sweetness, yeasty, fruity esters and thick grassy bitterness. Finishes semi-dry. Pepper lingers in the aftertaste. The taste of alcohol is assertive but not completely off-putting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, very satisfying.

Overall enjoyable enough, but perhaps just a tad too much alcohol in the taste for me.

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Photo of Husslerc
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

love this beer...plain and simple!!

hue- yellowish with hint of amber
good carbonation.
pour- perfect 2 finger head

nose- sweet malt with a subtle hint of hops....almost burnt

mouth - very inviting open with a mouthfull of hop bite....defenitly a high recomendation!!

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Photo of stakem
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden orange color with a faintly yellowish stained creamy head. It doesn't retain it's fluffy finger plus head appearance long but quickly fades back to just a thin film across the top of the beer with a monsterous amount of lace all over the glass. Nose is slightly spicy from the hops and filled with a mixture of cloves and a bit of malt sweetness. Taste is a little bitter and has clove character in the front but it blends out to a complex mixture of grain, yeast, malt and alcohol. Slightly bitter dry finish with a lingering taste of hops left on the palate. Finish is also a bit warming which is the only indicator of the higher than usual alcohol. Light feel and carb. 10.5 alcohol makes this beer dangerous because of how easily drinkable and enjoyable it is. I will certainly be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of philbe311
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A golden yellow with a distinct orange hue... Slightly hazy... Big fluffy rocky white head with excellent retention... Some foam sticks to the glass on the way down...

S - Rather subdued compared its style brethren... Loaded with Belgian yeast... Sweet lemon and assorted other citrus... Grainy... Minor grassy and spice notes also are present...

T - Much sweeter than expected... Citrus... Sweet lemon candy stix.... Belgian yeast... Sour apple... A faint but distinctive European hop presence... Some minor funkiness....

M - Light to medium bodied... Delicate and lush... A tad bit on the sticky side of things... Smooth...

D - A very enjoyable Belgian IPA... Slightly rough around the edges and not as smooth bell weathers for the category... I would gladly welcome the chance to revisit and certainly not shy away from in the future... The alcohol also makes no attempt to hide itself... All that being said, this one was easy to go down and still gone before I know it... It's still a very good brew, just not head of the class as far as Belgian IPAs go...

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Photo of callmescraps
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always see this, but never buy it. Changing that up this time.

Appearance - Light gold color with a half inch of white head. It laces pretty nicely.

Smell - Some citrus and lemon. Definitely some wet hay and grassy hops. A hint of sour apple as well. It's very mellow smelling.

Taste - A little sweet honey and citrusy up front. It's followed by some grassy hops. It has a nice bite to it. There is a pleasant sour note as well. The yeast is present as well. A little champagne dryness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation. Pretty light.

Drinkability - No hint of the booze, it's nice. The sour note and the grassy bitterness makes it hard to have more than one.

This really is a quite good beer. I'd happily buy it again, especially since it's so available.

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Photo of OttoBomb
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml/1 Pt. 9.4 fl.oz. bottle poured into pint glass (Nov 18, 2009).

Eyes: Very hazy. A beautiful white head surges up the glass and threatens to overflow. Ridiculous retention with heavy lacing.

Nose: Lemony, sweet light malts. Hops are relatively light but identifiable. Earthy yeasts and grains evident.

Tongue: Fruity, sharp and tasty, but not heavily hopped in my opinion. The 10.5% ABV is hidden well, and is mildly carbonated, both good features for me. Does not taste as fruity as the smell would have you think. A hint of acidity.

Mouth: Quite smooth, goes down easy and leaves little aftertaste.

Libation: Overall smooth and interesting. The Belgian IPA tend to have a wide range of styles and tastes amongst them and this offering proves that point. 10.5% ABV dangerously unnoticeable. I can't see downing two of these 750ml bottles without a place to crash nearby.

This is a Belgian IPA, and for my tastes it's a bit too much Belgium and not enough IPA. I feel this would be better if the hops were heavier, but it is certainly a good beverage by any measure. I'm not sure if it's worth the pricetag per bottle, but I'm glad I tried it and will likely return to Piraat in the future.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, bold bronze color. The medium-sized white head is frothy and dense. Retention is above average, with solid lacing.

S: Tart fruitiness - apples and peaches. Some spicy phenolic notes of cloves and yeast. A strong champagne aroma is also present, with dry white grape notes. Some faint herbal hops as well.

T: A honey-sweet, fruity, phenolic beer overall. Fruity notes of white grapes/champagne, along with apple peel and pears. Spicy, with hints of clove and pepper. A firm hop bitterness for a Belgian, with herbal/spicy flavor. Some notes of alcoholic heat.

M: Medium bodied. Actually a bit thin for such an otherwise robust beer. Carbonation is mild. A typical dry finish.

D: I was excited to try this, but I have to admit I am a little underwhelmed. The malt profile is too thin here, and the alcohol seems to take too much of a front seat for my taste. Still, an interesting Belgian that is worth trying.

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Photo of Tone
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden/copper color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, slight sweet malt, alcohol, nuttiness, caramel, and slight citrus. Fits the style of a Belgian IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, alcohol, citrus, and slight brown sugar. Overall, a great blend, body, aroma, and drinnkability.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
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 -4.7%
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 -1.7%
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 +8.6%
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 +19.2%
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 -1%
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 -11.1%
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 -8.4%
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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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,483 ratings
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