Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,501 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: 2,501 |  Reviews: 1,055
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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Photo of OskarL
3.14/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A hazy/cloudy amber beer with a big head that stiicks for a while and leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell - Yeast, bread and fruitiness. Also a smell of alcohol and a note of some thing that's not very pleasant, kinda like iron/chlorine.

Taste - Yeast, bread, fruity with some phenols and esters. Also a lot of bitterness in the finish and alcohol which is warming.

Mouthfeel - A medium body with average carbonation.

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Photo of dqrull
2.7/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale amber with a crisp, airy white head that sticks nicely to the glass and leaves lots of fine lacing.

Alot of yeast and white bread in the nose, slight fruity notes, a bit sickish, dont like it.

Taste is pretty much the same as the nose, but the sickish taste grows in the mouth and isnt very pleasant at all, a zesty fruitiness makes up for it a little though.

Feels alright and light in the mouth, okay carbonation but nothing special.

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Photo of berley31
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with an average-sized head that is white and bubbly. Body is a dark orange, and extremely clear with just the slightest evidence of haze.

S: Lots of yeast and bread coming through here. The aroma also has a fruitiness to it that is quite pleasant.

T: Sweet, fruity, and yeast, with a very slight twinge of bitterness in there as well. The finish is dry, with a slight alcohol warmth as well.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, with average carbonation.

D: A very good beer, but I don't know if I would have recognized it as a Belgian IPA; mind you, I've never had this style before, and I would expect their IPAs to be less in-your-face then many in North America.

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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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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 2,501 ratings