Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

2,443 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: 2,443 |  Reviews: 1,044
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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Photo of carsonplunkett
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 330ml into a standard pint glass. Probably not the best glassware for the style, but it's all I had.

Very cloudy. Nice white head that disappeared pretty quickly. Average lacing, lingers on the glass for a bit.

The smell is very floral and hoppy; pretty much what you'd expect from the style. Slight alcohol hint on the nose. The taste is pretty much exactly what the smell hints at; it's very flavorful and hoppy. Hard to believe this is 10.5%.

It's fairly thin on the mouthfeel; good amount of carbonation. Nice and creamy. This is very drinkable considering the abv. Doesn't become any harder to drink as it warms. Good beer.

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Photo of JBogan
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A dark honey colored liquid fills the glass with a small white head which soon turns into a thin film.

An aroma of sweet honey and mild alcohol greets my nose, along with some floral notes in the background.

Taste did not reveal much of anything the nose didn't pick up. Mostly sweet honey and alcohol along with a very small amount of some spice that I can't quite put a finger on. I had read other reviews where a number of fruits were detected in the taste, but honestly I found nothing at all like that in this beer.

Mouthfeel was thick, smooth and slippery.

All in all this makes for a nice warming beer but I can't say the taste was all that impressive. In a sea of excellent Belgian tripels I'll probably spend my bounty elsewhere next time.

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Photo of charlesw
2.84/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pale orange/amber. Pretty clear. Pretty high white head. Lots of little bubbles, lots of bigger one. Lasts a bit longer than usual. Please darken the color.

Smells of caramel malts and orange peel extract and corriander. Maybe this bottle isn't very fresh?

Smacks-you-in-the-face astringent. Holy cow! It's like a Belgian on steroids, or something! Awfully bitter aftertaste. Lots of corriander, orange peel, banana, bits of clove, super zingy on the front of the tongue and still way bitter.

Zippy on the mouth like you'd expect.

I'm not a fan of this one and won't finish the bottle. Funny thing, but 'mericans seem to hit Belgian styles a lot better than Belgians hit 'merican styles. Know what I mean?

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, 12oz pured into a tulip glass

Appearance: light amber, pale white head two fingers with some large bubbles.

Smell: soapy smell, kind of funky to me

Taste: mostly the normal belgian grain with some light citrus overtones. Nice alcohol taste at 10% you would expect that but really smooth.

Mouthfeel: light with some alcohol bite on tongue.

Drinkability: very nice, I didn;t really like the smell but it warmed nice and mild even with the alcohol.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330ml fat stubby bottle into a Duvel tulip. No dating info. It was a hazy golden honey color. Large carb stream from the laser etching. Good lacing. It had an average sized white head that settled into a thick collar and foam from the carb.

The aroma was interesting for a Belgian IPA. It almost had more of a wild ale or saison aroma with good does of barnyard funk, pepper, yeast and sweet malt. It seemed kinda stuck between styles - the funk and spices battled it out but they mixed oddly. I would have preferred one on the other to be more dominant. Not bad but could have been better. The taste however was much better and excellent. The spices clearly won out. Again reminded me more of a saison than an IPA. Starts out with the sweet malt then the spices kick in a couple seconds later than fade right at the end for a sweet finish. This one is dangerously drinkable considering the 10.5% ABV. Really enjoyed the flavor on this one and it comes in a smaller size so you can enjoy and not get f'd up on it.

Oveall, an excellent beer. I highly recommend. Rotation: this will be a player. It's too strong and pricey to be in the heavy but this could easily be every couple months (which considering that I mainly drink new beers lately is hard to do).


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Photo of elitza
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear, orange gold color. 1cm head falls quickly to nothing; leaves a lovely lace on my tulip glass.

Nose is all cherry, a bit medicinal...then lavender, stone fruit. Really lovely and great complexity as it warms.

Dangerously easy to drink. Clean, dry, lots of fruit up front that warms into a biscuity softness in the mouth. Alcohol hits a bit later (getting that warm-belly feeling as I get deeper in). Refreshingly dry and very crisp, but the warming alcohol makes me want this year-round. Almost an herbal quality, sage and rosemary peeking through. Really nice on a hot day, but would be at its best with a roast chicken dinner.

I would love to try this from a bottle, as I think it might be a completely different experience. The lower drinkability score stems from the high alcohol. Not a session by any stretch, but a lovely way to pass the day regardless.

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Photo of ADZA
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came in a 330ml bottle that looks very similar to the Duvel bottle and it pours a orange mahogany hue with decent carbonation that forms a one finger cream coloured head with heaps of visible lacing down the sides of the glass,it actually smells quite subtle for a beer that is 10.5% it has nice aromas of malt,candy,yeast and a faint alcohol background,it has a nice full mouthfeel yet is light in body and the alcohol is well hidden,it has nice tastes of bread,malt,dough and candy and finishes quite easy actually no hint of overwhelming alcohol still cant believe this is 10.5% more like 5%,a very nice beer that would recommend.

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

A: Pours a short, frothy white head that persists and retains well, laying down thick lace as it falls. Color is a light amber-yellow that's particularly pale. I recall the draft version having a richer color and much larger and stickier head.

S: Alcohol soaked dark fruits, granny smith sour apples, rich spice, and alcohol. Less fruity, more boozy than the draft version.

T&M: Highly complex and flavorful, though in a bit different way than on draft. Less bursting fruit, but more emergent spice and hoppiness here. Certainly notes of brandy soaked apricot, pear, and apple are present, but they're met with some spice, alcohol, and citrus. Finish is lightly dry with a lingering fruitiness and hoppy spice. Body is medium to full with a zesty Belgian carbonation that tingles the mouth nicely.

D: Still rather drinkable for such a large beer, though this bottle is inferior to the draft version I had a week or so ago.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle into a goblet. Golden in color, relatively clear, moderate head. Smell was lighter than expected, but still present and pleasant. Mouth feel was full bodied and easy to drink. I haven't had this beer in a while, and it was my fourth of the night. It was as good as I remembered and I am thrilled to recommend this beer to those Belgian fans out there, of which there are millions.

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

A - light amber, clear, fluffy white head, good retention, leaves some gobs of lace behind

S - candied/brandy fruit, apricots, low spice

T - lots more spice in the taste, but still has that big fruitiness, big alcohol throughout helps to dry things up, aftertaste has a lingering herbal bitterness. Actually reminds me a lot of a strong mead, with the big burst of honey sweetness upfront, which gets washed away by alcohol heat.

M - very light and fluffy, well carbonated, light body, quite boozy, yet not harsh, it really dries out the fruity malt

D - interesting stuff for sure, and it is tasty, but I'm not bonkers about it.

Tastes like a really strong, belgian-ized braggot. It is unique and quite good, but it is not my favourite belgian. And I really don't get the whole "IPA" thing this beer supposedly has.

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

The little stubby 33cl bottle pours a very clear amber yellow pour into the Corsendonk tulip. No head, no mess, no lace action - well, maybe just a touch of some Brussels island lace.

Light fruits in the aroma, but the quaff is a different bird for a IPA for sure - Belgian IPA all the way. Just a bit of the Belgian yeast, but with a sturdy dose of spicy hops in the finish - black pepper seems to lead the way.

The 10+ booze in this one does not even make a statement. Crisp, light bodied, easy drinking triple makes this a must on your try list

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

Light amber color with a foam head that is an "off-white" and about 1 or 2 cm in thickness, but I am at a bar and don't exactly have a ruler. The nose is faint, but is malty and has some touches of grain that promise some turns in the flavor other than from whatever hops is hidden in there. There is a sweet and fruity sensation to the attack. The flavor is candy like in its sweetness. A little bit boozy and some grain notes at the finish. This warms in the belly as you finish it. The mouthfeel appears to thicken during the flavor and then finishes hot.

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

33ml bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Nice golden color with minimal head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S: I smell malt and bread. Perhaps a hint of caramel too.. probably from the sweetness.

T: Sweet and exteremely well balanced. No flavor overpowers the other. Just a great blend of citrusy sweetness and caramel malt.

M: A little thick but the carbonation makes up for it. The bubbles bite the back of your throat a bit as it goes down.

D: Goes down easy for being so strong.

A great tripel and IMO a beer a lot of people forget or don't know about. It deserves the high marks it gets when reviewed.

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Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best Belgium tripels available! Liquid gold!

It is a bit thick, sweet, and spicy with a great aftertaste. Dangerously strong abv. You don't taste the alcohol, you feel it 5 minutes later.

One bottle will do you right. Buy two, if you can afford it, and share with a bud.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Piraat pours well with a two finger thick head, into my 3 Monts Tulip glass. The body is gold in color and has a slight chill haze to it.

The aroma is a little perfumy and fruity. There seems to be hints of orange rind and maybe a little candied sugar too.

The taste is a little tart and medicine like. There is a slight unripe grape and orange rind taste that turns into the burning alcohol flavor, which makes this have a little bit of the medicine taste.

Mouthfeel wise it's a refreshing and fruity beer up front, but gives into the warmness of the alcohol. This makes me believe I'd enjoy this beer a bit more if it were late fall/winter timeframe.

All in all this is an interestingly complex beer, and deserves another stab in the cooler season time.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. First Belgian IPA, yeah! I mean, très bien!

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber hue, with a tower of puffy, densely foamy dirty white head, which leaves some nice chunky, fuzzy honeycombed lace around the glass as it lazily recedes. Looks like a big IPA, that's for sure.

It smells rather lightly of grainy pale malt, and soft spices - coriander, cloves, a hint of white pepper - a bit of earthy yeastiness, musty orchard fruit, and a very subtle metallic alcohol edge. The taste is much more fruity than the nose let on (it doesn't always know, apparently), with strong apple, white raisin, and peach liqueur notes, a part of the mildly caramelized malt very much in the forefront, muted citrus rind, edgy honey, and some tame candi sugar notes. The big alcohol is very withdrawn, imparting only a sparing dry metallic edge over the whole.

The carbonation is mild, but still duly supportive, the body a decently solid medium weight, and smooth, in that 'did I just do a vodka shot' sort of way. It finishes fairly dry, the caramel and alcohol maybe making a weak case for their side, but the hops, yeast, and flipside to the booze saying otherwise, and thus taking this round.

This does indeed taste like a so-so Yankee IPA merged with a big Belgian pale ale or Tripel, and further with some rather unassuming malt liquor. The Belgian side does seem to win out, given the fruity, yeasty (and alcoholic) notes herein. Any American-style IPA hopping is barely perceptible here, which is fine, but the denomination leaves something to be desired, and is a bit misleading, but that aside, this is a very well made, more hoppy than usual, strong Belgian pale ale.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Medium amber-orange color with a bright white head.

S: Malty sweetness along with a spice mix of clove and coriander. Some whiffs of lemon zest, as well as an underlying yeasty bread character.

T: Very nice Belgian character. Quite sweet and flavored with the aforementioned spices. Has an interesting citrus base that is hard to describe. The higher alcohol seems to meld the flavors quite well.

M: Medium-bodied and robust. Bursting with character and plenty of carbonation. Finishes clean with a sweet aftertaste and slight alcohol warming.

D: The 10.5% ABV may be too harsh for some, but not me. Still, slow is the way to go.

All in all, a very solid, very delicious strong Belgian ale. The "Belgian IPA" classification seems a bit of a misnomer to me, as the hop character was quite subdued. Nevertheless, this is a very good beer and is well-constructed. 'Tis good to see some more pirates in the beer realm!

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Photo of erz316
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 floz bottle into duvel tulip

A - a hazy orange body with a light orange head. pours well and has a modest amount of head, one full fingers worth. the colour is just amazing. dead settles down soon enough leaving a good layer round the edges and on top.

S - a bit citrusy with a noticeable backing from the alcohol, even when right out of the fridge. a little bit of clove comes along with the alcohol.

T - initial taste is a bit plain, mild hop and citrus bitterness. the finish is a bit elusive but the alcohol is the most noticeable,; sweetness turns into bitterness, honeyed malts into mild hop bitterness and regular bitterness of fruit rind. aftertaste is, coming off of the finish, light tropical fruits. alcohol and some sweet malts help bring the flavour profile to a head and the trailing off flavour is light sweet malts and grapefruit rind bitterness. a great warming sense then overcomes me and I begin to feel lethargic. though i have never had a belgian ipa, I know belgian yeast and I know what an ipa should taste like so it is in my best judgment to say this is just an outstanding beer, and I wish I had gotten the bigger bottle!

MF&D - the body is perfectly viscous, not too much but not watery; just enough body that ones doesnt notice either a lack or a excess. carbonation is perfectly balanced with the medium-light body, a strong crisp carbonation to help offset some of the booze's power. I would easily session this beer if on tap.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Always saw this one in the stores so thought I grab it. Finally getting around to knowing my belgians better.

Pours a royale with cheese golden with ring around the collar. It may have forgot to add the fabric softener.

Smells kinda good. Candied, alcohol. Kinda like Cotton Candy that someone from delta house spiked.

Tastes real good too. Crisp, lemony, candied alcohol. Like someone from tri lambdas spiked the cotton candy.

Sweeter than Betty Childs and more biting than liminent in jock straps. Beware, there be good beer here.

I was going to do a Rod Stewart themed review, next time, next time.

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Photo of jwheeler85
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured a nice orange - amber with little head

S- A lot of maltiness and some dark fruits

T- This one was a little frustrating. It had a very balanced and blended flavor profile. There was a lot of complexity going on in such a short time span (flavors dissipated quickly after each sip). There was definitely a malty start, leading into a quick bitter zap, and finishing with a very belgian tripel-ish taste. It was very difficult isolate all the different flavors going on here. A great excuse for some further investigation... possibly with a larger bottle.

M- Medium level of carbonation that was quick to escape on the tongue. Followed up with a nice alcohol burn.

D- Average drinkability for the style... very belgian-esque. I think the IPA designation is a bit misleading. Very good beer though, it was a close tie between this and Gulden Draak for which one I was going to try to clone.

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Photo of NewGeneric
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this the other night at home out of a Chimay glass. Poured a bronze/copper color with creamy white head and plenty of lacing. Smelled very fruity and yeasty with a hint of hops and spice. Tasted of yeast, raisins and spice with a mild sweetness. Mouthfeel was very smooth, but slightly oily. This was definitely a sipping beer, no more than 2.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Sizzles a bit as it pours to a finely bubbled one finger head. Fine lacing throughout. Dark golden in color.

S: Spicy, dry yeast smell. Makes you water at the mouth in anticipation.

T: Spicy yeast flavors that cling to you tongue. Delicious and satisfying.

M: Decent carbonation on the front and sides. Warming, dry sensation clings to your tongue and down your throat.

D: Excellent beer that would work in warm weather because of the dryness and in cold weather because of the warming alcohol. The only drawback is that it's a bit too big too drink too many.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

stubby 11.2 oz bottle picked up for me by Brenda at the COOP.. the label isn't the same, instead it looks exactly like (Piraat 9% Blonde).. but the ABV is 10.5%.. So I am pretty sure this is the correct entry... Poured into my New Belgium goblet... listening to a Danny Tenaglia mix on the iPod.

2 finger Meringue like head sticks around forever and is pretty rocky as it drops.. great lace.. The brew is almost perfectly clear honey gold.

The nose is expected funky Belgian yeast with quite a bit of yeasty spiciness.. I know there are hops in there, but they are pretty much drowned out by the abundant Belgian esters.. honestly, it has a great complexity.

BA may say Belgian IPA, but this is a definite BSPA with a descent hoppy bite.. Some fruity esters come across as pears and lite orange.. again some spicy esters... and a nice mix of spicy hoppiness.. the bitterness is really restrained.. a pale malty component is present from front to back, but sorta gets hammered by the Belgian qualities mid palate.. the finish is a phenolic spiciness, but even that surprisingly dies off quickly..

The body is a solid medium, but the carbonation is fairly high and I love it.. Wow .. It's been more than a few years since I've given Piraat a chance... and I am very much appreciative that Matt and the COOP took the chance to get this brew back in... I will definitely buy it again on a regular basis... I like it and could easily see enjoying it in any weather.. after mowing the lawn in the Boise heat... or after a long day at work in the middle of winter...

This is a Classy brew that I am very happy to have it back in my stable.


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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,443 ratings.
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