Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

1,042 Reviews

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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Reviews: 1,042 | Ratings: 2,437
Photo of mpyle
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampling it a little too cold, so take with a grain of salt:

Slightly cloudy dark gold/pale amber color. Darker than expected. Pours a beautiful creamy head, great head retention for a strong beer.

A gentle citrus fruit aroma, almost like a fruity seltzer. Hints of alcohol, but not much at cold temperature.

Gentle fruitiness up front, but tempered by the drying of the carbonation and alcohol. Definitely doesn't come across as sweet - very well attenuated.

MF - high carbonation jumped out at me before any flavor attributes. Fairly light body for the strength, alcohol somewhat prominent in the finish.

A little too boozy for me. Might just be that I prefer tripels to big golden strongs. No doubt is a good example of the style, just not a style that I like.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Piraat is on the "1001" list and deserves it.
It is very difficult to remember how many times I've had this beer. To make a valiant effort, let's say: "over a dozen." (I fall for Global Beer's sampler pack as often as I can, which usually has one Piraat and a branded rendition.)
I suppose that makes me a Follower, if not a Fan.
Classic head from this strong pale, almost amber ale. Full of life and lace that never goes away.
Smell is not unlike an alluring perfume... sweet, but no warning of the danger of its alcohol.
The taste is the same... particularly with a sweet red sauce... on the pasta. I imagine the bubbles help cut through butter and cheese. Overall, a delicious ale with foods I eat.
The aftertaste? The sweetness goes away, and becomes dry... almost too dry to let the foods play, too.

Whomever said that "ale is like life", at least, got this one right.

12/9/16, a decrease in mouthfeel... now that I drank it without food.
But, I will always go back to Piraat.

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Photo of CHickman
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very well aged bottle (at least 1.5 years), it pours cloudy copper color with bubbles racing up actively to a small off white head that faded on the quick side, leaving good spotty lacing. I expected a big head that would stick around, but this head was not really impressive at all.

Smells of booze soaked malt, toasted grains, tart green apple, rotting fruit, medicinal or light rubbing alcohol, caramel, Belgian yeast, cider, mild floral hops and light barnyard funk. The fruity notes are the strongest with the malt bill adding some complexities to keep the alcohol in check. It smells strong and shows it's age nicely.

Tastes like it smells with with more fruit up front which is a mix of dark rotting fruit like cherry, pear, apple, raisin, tart green apple and then more noticeable booze. Like the nose the sweet malt, toasted grains, Belgian yeast and cider come through along with herbs, light floral hops, caramel, honey and medicinal or light rubbing alcohol. The light barnyard funk is also there, but it fades and is replaced by a spicy mix of pepper, brown sugar, and coriander. More balanced than the aroma, the funk, slight bitterness and rotten fruit create a nice flavorful blend that tames the 10.5% ABV and makes it relatively smooth for a strong ale.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick and chewy with a dense body that has texture and slides down easier than expected with it's high ABV, funk and bitterness. It gets better as it warms and opens up, but this is a slow sipper and a one per night type of brew. Looking forward to having it again.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy beige with a large head. The aroma is fairly muted, presenting date, banana, pecan, and grape juice. The flavor is heavily tilted towards date, as well as banana bred, and that British soda vimto. Overall I find it quite sweet. The mouthfeel is very rich, with lots of velvety small bubble carbonation. Overall I was a bit disappointed here - not that this is not a good beer, but I find it a bit one dimensional, and too sweet, even for the style.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, Pours a hazey murky golden with a big fluffy white head. Aroma of spices, citrus, and yeast. Taste some spice, Apple, Lemmon, cherry and caramel. Very nice.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wandered as I wondered in one of my local bottle shops, Oooh, what's in those clearance boxes of beers? A treasure trove, matey! "6 Exclusive Belgian Ales" apparently, working out to $4.00 USD/BT. Whoo! Aged, on the shelf in cool conditions in a box?!? Sign me up!

How have I not set sail on the Piraat ship before now?!? I am a retired US Navy sailor who started out in Deck Department & worked my way to Supply before retiring as a qualified Shellback; Bluenose; Plankowner & Order of the Ditch (Suez). I've been blewed, screwed & tattooed, all at the same time, several times over. I shook hands with Davy Jones, helped him open his Locker when it got stuck; married a mermaid (briefly) until we just couldn't make it work & had our marriage annulled; retrieved 200' of sound-powered phone line; gotten an HT punch; issued Fallopian tubes; broken cherries only to repair them with a welding rod, just like the crack of dawn, the crack of one's a** & the crack of the Liberty Bell (until I was ordered to stop) and so many other seaworthy tales that I shudder to tell ye landlubbers.

A Pop! of the cap and we were underway! The head rose up like an angry sea, washing along the sides of the glass as though the gunwales were that low. I directed the crew to secure everything & watch for heavy rolls. I then had the local crane hoist us out of the water for a look at the hull's underside. I started to yell, "All clear!" until I noticed a light haze in the Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper colored liquid (SRM = > 13, < 17) and had her set back down. I put my nose into the hold, expecting the worst, but instead, I got old newspapers, dried hay or grass & caramel. Say, are we transporting livestock? My crew is NOT to be trusted! Arrgh! I weighed anchor and lifted the goblet to my lips for a sip. Arrgh! It seems as though someone snuck some dried fruit aboard. This be my weakness! I love me some cherries, lemons, limes & plums. This be mighty tasty! Arrgh! Some fella named Jefferson paid me to lay in a barrel of his whiskey to slosh on our journey. I be tempted to hit that next. Oooh, the sea spray be opening me sinuses so that now, I also get melon! Where they be hidin' all of that fruit?!? I not be seein' it. Finish was semi-dry, not really dry, per se, but definitely yeasty/musty with a lot of fruity flavors. I may need to hit the rack or lay in me hammock after this little adventure!

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: slight haze; bronze in color; 2 finger off white head that receded slowly to a very thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: lemon, apple, black pepper, yeast;

T: pear and apple; a little sweet through the middle; a little lemon creeps in at the finish; mildly bitter at the end;

M: medium bodied; highly carbonated - effervescent; lightly dry finish; ABV is well hidden - a little warming;

O: complex aroma and flavor; very good;

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another beautiful looking Belgian, this pours an orange-gold with lasting, clingy, lacing, finger of dense white froth. Aroma is yeasty, full of esters and slight sweetness. Flavor is different with some spice and bitter from the hops finishing this clean and dry.

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Photo of fx20736
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a single bottle from AJ's Beer warehouse, Dec 2015. Served chilled in a Duvel tulip

Look: Opaque dark peach, white head, decent lacing

Smell: Noble hops, Belgian yeast

Taste: Orchard fruit, touch of cloves

Feel: solid

Overall: very well made beer

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Photo of Capn_Offal
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This feisty Belgian is akin to going to a lavish ball attended by nobility such as Lord Draak of Tilden and the Ladies Chimay, and then meeting a rollicking, burping, more "punk" party crasher taking way too many turns at the punch bowl. This is Piraat. A fantastic time that makes you feel young despite its own age. As a lover of strong beers AND Belgian brews, I was ecstatic to find another powerful contender for top spot in my bar. While it lacks the sublime harmony that a Draak brings to the table, it is by no means lacking in any way. I would recommend this as a great starting point for anyone ready to walk the plank into darker Belgian territories. Happy drinking all!

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Photo of leadpaint76
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice thick white head. Mild on the aroma. The flavor is nice and a little sweet not over bearing at all. Piraat retains a nice head until you finish beer with a mild pour. This would be a great beer to get a friend into the style but at 10.5 ABV it is a beer to slowly enjoy. Cheers all.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours somewhat dark amber with huge head that sticks around. Aroma is very yeasty with spicy and fruity notes of raisins. Some banana and a faint hint of honey. Taste is fairly boozy and sweet. Medium body. A nice beer but not one I could have very often as it's too heavy (both ABV-wise and flavor-wise) for a lightweight like myself.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a chalice.
The appearance was a burnt orange color with a slim cap of a white foamy head. It dissipates nice and slow leaving some thick stringy lacing clinging to the glass.
The smell started off with crisp sweet apples, light pear, some Belgian sugars, Belgian spices and then had some light sweet orange to blend nicely.
The taste was fixated on the sweetness in the Belgian sugars, apples and pears. The spices seem to maintain an integral part in the background.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with some sticky sweetness sitting on my tongue. Spices do hit my tongue but in a nice way.
Overall, what a really nice Belgian Strong Pale Ale, definitely would have again.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am surprised this beer is not rated higher. The ABV is masked extremely well and the taste is very balanced (sweet but not too sweet). Great carbonation and pour as you would expect from a BSPA with incredible lacing. This stuff is on the shelves year round in my neck of the woods and available in single bottles...can't believe it took me this long to try it but now that I have, it's going to become a staple in the fridge.

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Photo of Yoann
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle to a tulip
A - Hazy dark gold with ruby reflexions and a white foam
S - Roasty malt with spicy hop
T - Sweet with a nice boozy aftertaste
M - Crisp, the carbonation can be felt even in the throat
O - A classic strong Belgian ale!

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Photo of dcotom
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2-ounce bottle into a goblet. Hazy, light caramel color. Warm pour yielded a voluminous white head that dissipated rather quickly, leaving quite a bit of lacing on the walls of the glass. Complex spicy and flowery aroma, sweet malts and a burst of tartness on the palate. Nothing subtle about the alcohol in this one, with a slight burn up front and a lingering heat on the finish. Kind of spendy, but well worth the expense.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into antique German pilsener glass

Clear Amber liquid, steady carbonation, massive , thick, creamy, white dense foam cap

Aroma of fruit -apple, banana and flowers- daisy

Sweet taste of honey, burnt sugar, caramel malts, peppery spice

Definitely some alcohol in this glass, no sudsing,

Good beer as an after dinner dessert beer

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber colour with a good sized beige head. Aromas of yeast, burnt sugar and fruit. Tastes of fruits & spice. It's fruits flavours are peaches, mango & papaya with sultanas, dried currants, honey also present. Aftertaste has a bitterness coming out along with the hops. Overall a very powerfull cocktail.

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Photo of L0ne
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From backlog. 330ml bottle, December 2014.

Pours golden/amber with a pillowy white head. Spicy, fruity esters and yeast, grainy malts with some caramel, lots of alcohol. Not bad, but too much alcohol for this beer to handle, in my opinion.

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Photo of Dentist666
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into tulip.
Pours murky copper-amber beer with rocky beige head, utterly long retention. Smell - booze, banana, some yeasts, some sourish ham. Taste - hellish load of alcohol under thick layer of sweaty malts, too boozy, too meaningless. Good candidate for drain pour.

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Photo of jk175d
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's what I hoped for when I found it in a grocery store in Budapest. At 10.5% I don't expect the alcohol to be masked so no complaints about that. It tastes to me what I imagine a strong beer made by monks in an old Belgian monastery would taste like. Rustic and bold. There's also a nice thick foam head that lasts until the final sip.

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Photo of rxmk
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color, with a thick creamy head that holds for a long time.
Alcohol and hops dominates the taste. Moderate carbonation. Very little
Fruit and flower on the nose. Good after dinner drink in a 'duvel' glass.
Strong yeasty belgian ale.

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

amber, which is surprisingly dark for the style. massive head that sticks around. nose; boozy belgian yeast and slight banana. taste; stinging booze, thick alcoholic yeast funk, and some slight fruit sweetness. i'm not understanding the high scores here - this beer jut isn't appealing to me - no usual fruit complexity and the 10.5% shows every step of the way. the yeast /grain profile is dominantly flat and just keeps building with every sip. not terrible, but not exemplary.

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Photo of Saviour
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L - Pours cloudy ambery golden, white two-finger-head.
S - honey, carnations, grain.
T - a little bit too alcoholic, bitter-sweet, strong and flower-ish.
F - Full-bodied, medium carbonization.
O - good, but too strong beer for this style. Definetely not for everyday consumption.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From El Corte Ingles, Club del Gourmet. In Duvel glass. After dinner. Good sugary aroma and taste. Leaves a nice ticklish sensation in the mouth. Repeatable

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,437 ratings.
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