Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,451 Ratings
PiraatPiraat
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium
vansteenberge.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,451
Reviews:
1,045
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
12.13%
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
372
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,451 |  Reviews: 1,045
Photo of Hackattack
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

These Belgian Strong Pale Ales pack a powerful and flavorful wallop..I'll tell ya'.... Very malty and sweet goodness. But the 10.5% ABV tempers the malty/sweet taste. This is not as good as the Chimay stuff, but comes close.

 227 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours a burnished gold body with big foaming white head that pretty much sticks around
Spicy clove aroma
Spicy clove flavour

 167 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The kind of beer you first expect to be an alcoholic mess, but just impresses you more each time you try it. Pours copper amber with a largish head that leaves good lacing. Nose is brown bread, British Xmas pudding, cola, and a touch of booze. Taste is similar, like a drier barleywine, with added vanilla to go with the strong malt fruits and some black pepper. A beer that always surprises. Better than most of the beers from this brewery, but not as good as the excellent Gulden Draak and GD 9000.

 505 characters

Photo of Timtac
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of intensify
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a amber color body with moderate carbonation. Piney, sweet, bitter, bready. The complexity really makes this one shine.

125 characters

Photo of 54V4G3
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of bbtkd
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piraat Belgian Ale, 10.5% ABV. Pours thick and dark orange with a lot of head on a careful pour. Nose is subtly fresh and spicy, taste is a bit sweet, slightly sour citrus, a bit of black pepper aftertaste, with almost no bitterness. Real unique flavor. Excellent mouthfeel, and overall outstanding. The BA listing says 10.8% but this bottle says 10.5%. This isn't the Piraat beer I intended to buy, so a pleasant surprise.

 423 characters

Photo of steverx8
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of citizencane
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks sunburnt orange with significant head. Smell is nondescript faint hops and a hint of sour. Taste is clove, sour hops, bready malt, and maybe a hint of banana and pine on the end. Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and refreshing. Damn good, and I don't typically go for Belgian beers.

 286 characters

Photo of DesertFox24
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jodio
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mcpat1993
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Birdman89
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of MjBrewhouse
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of flyingpig
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle:
Well-balanced & lively with an bubbly feel that was slightly boozy at the end thanks to the alcohol content. Nice fruits & the odd sweet malt in the early going that made it quite easy to drink but the warming kick at the end was appreciated. It was easier to drink than expected thanks to the balance & I particularly liked the light, crisp feel to the beer; it's an offering that I'll hopefully have again at some point.

 436 characters

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

Photo of Jliscin
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of evanwoertz
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of twillingthenoz
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HardyA
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdecross
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the brewery behind Gulden Draak comes this take on a tragically underrepresented style.

BOTTLE: Purchased in Denver, CO, for something like $18 a 4 pack. 330ml snub format. Brown glass. Iconic label design has a red and white motif but depicts a golden pirate ship. Branded white and gold pry-off crown cap.

10.50% ABV. "Belgian ale."

HEAD: A nice delicate coating of lacing sticks to the sides of my tulip as it recedes, which in spite of its robust ABV takes over 10 minutes to fully occur. Fluffy, airy, and soft in appearance with a nice billowing consistency and bright complexion.

BODY: Pale amber of terrific vibrance. Clean and filtered-looking, yet nevertheless lively, with a gorgeous glow.

A true to form appearance for the style. I'm eager to try it.

AROMA: Spicy, floral, peppery, and above all yeasty, with Belgian yeast-derived intricate subtle spice delicately playing with the drinker, promising a prickly delicate brew. Hints at indistinct tropical fruit. In spite of its monstrous ABV, there's not a hint of alcohol. Belgian pale and pilsner malts; possibly wheat? A blip of clove honey. Hints of bready malts.

Aromatic intensity is low. Promises a Belgian brew with an emphasis on delicate subtle flavours that doesn't shy away from a tropical fruit character that would be right at home in a loud American IPA but is more expertly reigned in here.

TASTE: Fruity, spicy, phenolic, estery, and warm, with a mildly sweet bready malt backbone evened out by pale and pils malts (and possibly wheat or oats?). No candi sugar here, but the sweetness is already there.

Warm but not boozy or hot, which is something at 10.50% ABV. These high ABV Belgian ales always drink easier than the loud American stouts and barleywines that seem to be branded as sippers these days.

Has a tropical fruit bend but it doesn't come from hops (which are primarily floral, and a little fruity but not tropically so). It's all yeasty esters. Make no mistake, Belgian yeast rules the roost in this delicately built brew.

Honey sweetness. Subtle bready malt tones. Crystal malts. Amber malts.

I can't say the balance is perfect seeing as its alcohol warmth will be off-putting to those drinkers unaccustomed to the strength of traditional Belgian ales. It's not the booziness of a tripel, but this isn't as approachable as most Belgian golden ales, nor is it as hoppy as most Belgian IPAs - in spite of being more hoppy than most more traditional Belgian ales.

MOUTHFEEL: Creamy, soft, prickly, and perfectly carbonated, with a slightly filling bread-like feel. There's a nice push-pull between coarseness and smoothness, dryness and wetness, but it errs on the more drinkable side. Has an alcohol warmth.

The prickly texture helps the yeasty spice sing, lending this delicate yet strong Belgian ale a nice harmony of texture and taste.

OVERALL: A bit warm even for a Belgian ale, though not as boozy as you'd expect a strong pale ale to be at 10.50% ABV. The contradictory dominance yet subtlety of the yeast alone is enough to make this brew worth trying, and it's a worthwhile entry in Van Steenverge's lineup - which is comparatively experimental in terms of Belgian brewing traditions.

Indeed, judging this by strict style conventions is a recipe for failure - and for missing the strengths of this somewhat unique brew. Closest to a tripel with a more aggressive hop bill - though it's anything but aggressive in comparison to contemporary American IPAs. If anything, drinking this ale in 2016 may make the discerning drinker reflect on whether hops have been pushed to too far an extreme; if Piraat can accomplish this level of depth, subtlety, and fruity character of flavour with a far more restrained and careful hop utilization, why waste so many hops on dry hopping the Ruinations and Palate Wreckers of the world?

Bold yet quiet, complex yet subtle, Piraat is a drinkable enjoyable treat of a brew that I'll be revisiting many times over the years (moreso in Belgium, where it's shockingly affordable).

B / GOOD

 4,040 characters

Photo of Taybeh
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,451 ratings.
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