Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,511 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: 2,511 |  Reviews: 1,059
Photo of beertunes
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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 +2.5%
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 +2.7%
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 -3.7%
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 +2.2%
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 +10.6%
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 -2.7%
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 +8.4%
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 +6.4%
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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Photo of emsroth
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml stubby

App: Pure amber with a slight haze, just barely transparent. A small but thick, frothy head.

Smell: Dominated by sweet malt. A strong sweet cherry aroma dominates, and a touch of woodiness that often comes with the cherry aroma. A slight bit of alcoholic undertone as it warms. The thickness of the malt can also be sensed through the aroma.

Taste: The taste upfront is a strong bite. The tingly carbonation and bitterness from the hops rips your tongue out. Next the malt gets to come through with a strong sweetness reminiscent of the aforementioned cherries with the occasional tart twang of green apples--two of may favorite fruit in beers. Ends with a sharp, astringent hop bitterness with no defining qualities. This aspect definitely causes a loss in points. Husky malt strongly lingers on the palette accompanied by a slight fruity sweetness. Noticeable alcohol taste in the end.

Solid full body with high carbonation.

Definitely a unique ale and worth trying again, and again, and again...

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Photo of ryanonline
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a light amber color with an enormous billowy white head that hangs around indefinitely and leaves tons of lacing.

an amazing citrusy nose with a slightly more general fruity backbone (berry?). a strong(bitter) hop presence as well, though it is masked well by the fruitier aromas.

taste is bitter up front, but very citrusy in the finish as well as a sort of coriander taste to it, along with some other spices i cannot place.

creamy on the palate and warming going down. medium body.

very drinkable, not overtly heavy. nice alcohol content.

great ipa, Belgian style is very apparent, which i enjoy. I also enjoyed stones cali belgique, which is very similar.

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Photo of ludachris
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pilsner-esque shade of gold with 2.5 fingers of chunky, and thick white head that tempts you to take a scoop out of it. Excellent retention, and leaves suddy and sticky patches of lace. Carbonation is very lively and makes itself clearly visible.

Belgian yeast, dry biscuit, juicy but tamed tropical fruits, phenols, hints of spice, and a clean herbal hop profile. The 10.5% ABV is undetectable.

A big punch of belgian yeast hits you right off the bat, which is quickly followed by notes of pineapple and grapefruit, finishing with dry buttery malt and a warming alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is bold but refreshing. Crisp and very creamy. The high ABV, like most Belgian's I've had, is well disguised and a creeper for sure.

This marks my first Belgian IPA and definitely not my last. Unlike the American IPA's I've grown to love which place a great emphasis on tropical fruits and resiny hops, this one's more focused on the Belgian yeast and spicy aspects of the beer which wonderfully disguise the very high ABV as well as highlighting why this brew has its own style.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear golden amber with a thick finger's worth of head. Very nice lacing. One of the clearest beers I have seen.

A pleasant yeasty, spicy aroma accompanied by some mellow herbal hop aroma.

Tastes of peaches and white grapes, some biscuit malts, and ends with a sweet finish. A nice burst of hop bitterness that is very pleasant, and has some nice balance. Alcohol is very well masked.

Light and mouth enveloping on the tongue; medium carbonated and somewhat creamy,

Highly drinkable with a nice balance. This is definitely an easily quaffable beer that I could definitely have multiples in a session, although someone would have to carry me home!

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

Chilled bottle into a Duvel tulip glass for best effect. 1st time drinking this in all my years.

A golden pale ale if I ever seen one, this Piraat glows with ease and is actually a shade darker than some in the style. Rising bubbles and a nice one inch sturdy diligent head that's white with tightness. I was expecting more as I poured it rather quickly. It died leaving soapy bubble lace.

Smells of Belgian yeast up front and a big fruit basket arrangement type of thing. Bananas, apple, pears. The yeast is somewhat bready but bold and a tad spicy. A nice malt build is noted and builds to the sweet scent. Being a IPA this does give off some tropic fruit but also earth. Some of the 10.5 shows but it's small.

The yeast while big in the nose is somewhat tamed in the taste. Piraat is well balanced between the yeast, fruit and the malt. The fruit is mainly bananas and pears but there is some grapefruit and other muted tropic goodness. It is not like a big american double I though. Yeasty bread with clovy spice and some alcohol in the end which I enjoyed, it's not completely out of the picture.

The feel is easy going down the hatch if you can stand a big fruit array and some Belgian yeast and somewhat candi sweetness. A bit thicker than most pales and Im for the change, especially in this winter, coats the mouth and leaves with a fruity finish. Medium bodied with light carb from the easy ride.

I had a small bottle but a big bottle could of been tacklrd as well, although the 10.5% is a bit high, espicially for a Belgian IPA. I don't think I've ever heard of something in this style with that type of alcohol. Either way it masks the alc very well. This will leave you tipsy because it's easy to drink, the sign of good beer. Will try this as fresh as possible next time and revise this.

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

Poured from a white 330ml bottle into a Tremens tulip glass.

A: Pours with a white creamy head thats close to 3 fingers. Golden amber hue with lots of lacing around the glass.

S: Lots of Belgian yeast! Hints of pepper, wheatgrass and spice.

T: Explodes in the mouth with Pineapple, malted honey and pepper. Quite a bit of hop bitterness that masks the high (10.5%) ABV very well.

M: Yeasty natural carbonation in the mouth. Medicinal phenols mixed with a little bit of spicy pepper and a dry finish.

D: A beer that quenches and keeps me going back for more. But I am wondering just how much more before I'm flat on the floor? :)

This beer was a nice surprize to me as it was bought on a curious impulse!

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

Another beer sampled at Roman Market's beer tasting.

Poured from a 11.2 oz stubby bottle, the same bottle as the 11.2 oz Duvel bottles. Color is straw yellow, slightly hazy in nature. A large off white head is produced on the pour, and has great retention. It leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is Belgian yeast and malts, spices and light floral hops. I have to say, I had this pegged as a Belgian Pale Ale, never thinking it was a Belgian IPA. The hops just weren't as noticeable as they should have been.

Tastes distincty Belgian, much like other Belgian Pale Ales. Sweet and fruity, with a solid malt backbone and spicey hops.

Mouthfeel is light, with a low carbonation. Drinkability is good.

Overall, not a bad Belgian IPA. I would not categorize this as so, but thats not my call. I graded it as a Belgian Pale Ale, and it's a good one at that.

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

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Ommegang tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours hazy deep golden color with a 2.5 finger white head that leaves havy lacing as it dissipates.

Smell: Lots of yeast, with slight candy sweetness and herbal hops.

Taste: Sweet and sour apple and farmhouse yeast, with a balanced, bready bitterness at the end. Hints of alcohol in the finish. Has sort of a wine taste about it.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth body with light, natural carbonation and a dry finish with warming alcohol.

Drinkability: A good sipping beer. Interesting flavors and a nice drink overall. My first Belgian IPA, and this is a style I want to look more into.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with lots of carbonation bubbles. Has a thick, fluffy white head that dissipates slowly and leaves copious lacing.

Smell: Smells interesting. Smells of hops crossed with the typical Belgian yeasty smells.

Taste: Starts with sweet malts and bitter hops. Finishes spicy with a crisp, clean bitterness. The spiciness and bitterness linger and give this beer a very heady quality. The alcohol is also very noticeable here. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a crisp, refreshing carbonation bite.

Drinkability: An excellent and very intriguing beer. I'm honestly not quite sure what to make of this one. The Belgian IPA style is certainly complex and interesting. I'll certainly look for more in this style.

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Photo of pweis909
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The last of a 4-pack of 12 oz stubbies given to me as an Xmas gift (thanks Jane).

Deep yellow with dense, 2" foam that stayed pretty healthy and left lacing on the glass.

Aroma was grainy with a slight hint of bubble gum that complemented the taste, which initially seemed tart but got sweeter as the beer warmed. Although hop aroma was not strong, there was a robust hop bitterness, even a slight astringency, to the finish.

Although it doesn't have a particularly alcholic taste (maybe that is contributing to the bitterness?), it's 10% abv is nothing to sneeze at, which is to say, I shouldn't drink more than 1 of these at a sitting

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Photo of meeekyh
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the small bottle into a Belgian-pale-style glass.

Hazy yellowish golden ale. Amazing, slightly off white head, pillowy with lacing like polyester stuffing or foam rubber.

The nose is tart and fruity, undercurrents of spice, vinegar and cider smells. Yeasty.

Taste is sweet and fruity, like apple pie and apricots.

Mouthfeel is full and very well carbonated. Almost perfect. Sweet start and slightly sweet finish.

Well balanced. Tart and clean. Even the high alcohol is not a deterrent to drinkability.

I love beers with with allusions to pirates. They are invariably more complex than IPAs and in the same, happy, high alcohol vein.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Source/serving: 330mL bottle, no expiration date
Smell: tart pears, horsey, honey, and actually a little floral to me. Delightful!
Taste: Taste much like it smells. Fresh and crisp honey apples rush at you under high carbonation. A wave of bitterness and slight sourness and pepper replaces that in the middle along with fruitiness. Very dry, bitter finish.

Notes: Very interesting and wonderful. Amazingly drinkable too

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber and has a small head but strong one.
Smells of wheat, almost like it is a wheat beer. Has a bit of a peppery smell.
Tastes a lot like a wheat beer but with regular malty sweetness, this beer is confusing but delicious!
Along with the taste being peppery and wheaty, I get the feeling it is a mixture of malts, probably not though.

I like this a lot and will buy again.

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Photo of Jprebs
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Admittedly I'm a hophead DIPA kind of guy, so I'm trying to expand my tastes with this one.

Thick head climbs out of the 750ml bottle as soon as the cork comes off. Pours lighter than I guess I was expecting, more yellow than amber.

The smell is very sweet, strong Belgian malt with the alcohol busting through. Makes me wonder a bit about the taste.

Taste is sweet with the malt dominating; I guess I was expecting (or hoping for) more hops. The alcohol seems to take over on the back end, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in my book.

This one certainly packs a punch and is light and smooth enough to sneak up on you. Not my preferred style, but a very solid brew that I will undoubtedly go back to at some point. One of the better Belgians I've tried, as the ratings suggested it would be.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very loose and easy to pour yeast clouds the translucent amber orange body of this ale. Thick, tightly formed white foam clings to the walls of my chalice, leaving delicate crochet lace in its wake.

Aromas of over-ripe banana and pineapple battle for dominance as the beer warms, hints of cotton candy, booze, and hay. I love the barnyard quality this beer shows around the edges. Juicy tropical and orchard fruit flavour with a complimentary pepper note. Faintly sweet; followed by a lingering dry, bitter finish. The moderate bitterness is slightly grassy and medicinal, while also reminding me of citrus rind.

Medium bodied and finely carbonated; feels round and soft. An exceptional beer showing great depth of flavour. I enjoyed this one a lot.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.9/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ugh, pours a dank yellow, lots of little bubbles, minimal head.

Smell, alcohol blast, some fruity essence.

Taste, no hop character, alcohol dominates, probably some typical apple, pear flavors, tastes like someone dropped some diluted pucker into some vodka. Thin, yet strong.

Mouthfeel, alcohol dominates again, throughout. Not very drinkable.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,511 ratings