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Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

1,025 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

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Reviews: 1,025 | Ratings: 2,373
Photo of MaddenDalyBrokaw
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden straw in the glass. Hoppy aromas- pine, plus fruit (banana?), plus more pine. Hint of clove. Medium, smooth body. Tastes of fruits and clove. Fruits include banana and some others (tropical?) that I can't place. Midway through the swig the alcohol kicks in. And it never fades back out.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -golden bronze colored body with huge white head

Smell - citrus fruit upfront orange, lemons, honey, clove

Taste - vibrant notes of citrus headlined by orange, hint of lemon, honey, ginger, clove

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, citrus sweetness upfront, flavors linger, bitterness in the back end

Overall - this is a good Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Towards the head of the class of the style

Price Point - $4.59/11.2 oz bottle

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Photo of babaracas
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy dark amber with fluffy khaki colored head, settles slowly to a quarter inch, splotchy rings on the glass. Smell: pear, cooked red delicious apple, peppery and spicy, orange peel. Taste: pear, candied orange peel, dried apricot, bready, caramel note, big spicy and peppery flavors and a little grassy. Syrupy-to-fluffy, peach skin finish. Huge and delicious with just a touch of warming alcohol. From corked and caged 750, no date found on bottle but judging from the label design it's 2013/4 bottling.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle from a sampler pack; best before June 17 2016. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a cloudy amber-orange colour, topped off with two fingers of fluffy, off-white head. Good retention; the froth slowly seeps away over the next five minutes or so, leaving behind a lacey imprint as it settles down into a loose, bumpy cap and collar. The aroma is yeasty and sweet, immediately bringing to mind various orchard fruits - green apple, pear, peach and orange come to mind, in addition to banana, bubblegum and pithy grapefruit.

Grainy malt sweetness, peaches, apple and apricot are the first flavours that cross the tongue, followed soon after by banana and orange peel. There is some grassy, almost earthy bitterness, with spicy clove and coriander leading into a warming, boozy, yeasty aftertaste. Moderately complex flavour that opens up for the better as the beer warms. Medium-full in body, with assertive carbonation that assaults the tongue; yet a smooth, almost creamy feel on the palate. I seriously cannot believe how well the 10.5% alcohol is hidden on this one; it becomes a little more noticeable as it warms, but even then, this is a dangerously drinkable beer that does not betray its strength - until you stand up after finishing the glass, at least.

Final Grade: 4.29, an awesome A-. This is one of my favourite styles of beer, and I must say that Piraat compares admirably to many of my long-time favourites like Duvel, La Chouffe and Don de Dieu. This is a sinfully-tasty strong Belgian golden ale, and its alcohol content is so masterfully masked that I'd be likely to place it closer to 7-8% than 10-11% on a blind test. A great way to cap off Christmas 2014, and any fan of strong Belgian pales should consider this an absolute must-try.

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Photo of BlazerT
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Teku glass. Deep amber/gold colour with nice, big, creamy white, long lasting head. The aroma is big biscuit, bready mixed with hops - mainly fruit aromas and some herbs, spices (coriander?), again the big grainy aroma and also grape juice. The taste is medium to heavy sweet, crackery, some biscuit, warming booze sensations, there are also some yeasty notes - clove and earthy. The aftertaste is big malty and again bready. The warming booze sensations begins somewhere in the middle till very end. The body is smooth, thick with high carbonation and smooth finish. In overall interesting belgian beer, which strikes with lots of aromas and flavours.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (03JM):
Pours a cloudy orange yellow, with a large amount of head on a fairly aggressive pour. The head was larger, soapy on initial pour, but reduced to fluffy off white head that remained thickly on the surface, also providing a ton of lacing. The nose is a bit candy-like in one respect. Sweet notes of honey and caramel pair with a faint waft of grapefruit (I think) to counter it slightly to produce a fairly unique scent. Beyond that are some classic Belgian notes, including some funk, some hay, and some saison-like dry notes. I also get a strange light neutral smoke note, though I have no idea why,.

The taste follows the nose pretty well, except the Belgian notes are a bit stronger in the taste, making it overall a bit less sweet. The specific taste that I get is that the grass/hay flavors are more prevalent than I noticed in the smell. I can take the malt profile in the nose, but the flavor is just slightly off-putting to me in this taste. The body is maybe a little fuller than medium, with a decent amount of carbonation adding some bite.

I think I might have rated this slightly higher (3.85 or 3.9) if I did precise (and based on previous experiences with the beer). This particular taste I rated down the taste because it didn't sit as well with me as it has in the past (I wavered b/t 3.5 and 3.75). Will continue to grab this occasionally, as I feel I do still enjoy it.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Good but at least in my opinion it's not duvel, the sheer brute force and stature of this beer may make it a tad difficult to appreciate some of the finer subtleties present, these flavors will fade before you are done reeling from the size of this beer

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Appearance: amber, heady white froth, fine carbonation

Smell: strong malt with hint of flower/bitter hops, yeast, honey , esters and faint alcohol .

Taste: Great balance of hop forward followed by Sweet, flowery malts and clean finish.

Overall: Great beer, well balanced and goes well with cheese, pizza and high fat/greasy fair. Palate cleansing.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a seasonal mixed 6pk at the LCBO for a pretty kind $18.00. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and you need to watch you don't pour a ton of head. Head stays a while then settles to a nice film

S- Touch lacking here. Unusual orange peel scent. Yeast on yeast

T- Very good. Rather complex considering that it is only months old. Bite at the end when it's warm but stays still cold

M- Dry and tart. Very good but very carbonated

O- Very good beer. Enjoyable and for $3.00 for a 330ml bottle a pretty good deal. IF and that's a BIG IF there are 2 more good ones I'll buy another 6pk.

Food Pairing

This wonderful yeasty beer went well with...... Samosas. That samosa bite can't stand a chance at this nice beer


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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Piraat pours a golden color with a big lacing head. There is a big aroma, lots of candy aromas, hints of peach and yeast. The taste is very fruity, lots of peach, lots of candy, hints of a warm alcohol. Big body, nice feel too. Overall its a big strong beer, too sweet and fruity for me.

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Photo of ordybill
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 330 ML bottle into a tulip glass.
Aroma- Has a yeast and fruit
Appearance- Has a nice amber color with a giant white head.
Taste- Excellent blend of hops and malts
Palate- A medium bodied beer with heavy carbonation.
Overall- Outstanding beer, side note, for those who collect bottle caps this beer has a beautiful bottle cap.

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Photo of PaulietheBrit
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Lovely hazy amber pour with an aggressive but loose head. Settles quickly with good lacing.
The booze hits you first, with a fruity, toffee undertone.
Flavor is alcohol upfront with a smooth malty hoppiness, dry and bitter with fruit finish.
Feels good in the back of my mouth, a little warm from the alcohol. Mmmmmm.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear copper with foam that built with medium retention. The smell is candy sugar and honey. The taste starts off light and grainy but explodes into a bouquet of sugary wheat breads, honey, yeasty bread and tart prickly carbonation. The finish is long and sweet, yet tart still feeling light and refreshing. It works great for me.

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Photo of rangerred
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a clear dark copper with just the smallest bit of sediment from the bottle sneaking into the glass. Huge solid two finger white billowy head that hangs on the entire time the beer is in the glass.

Aroma is quite spicy with hints of coriander and peach along with a whiff of alcohol. Not incredibly deep but it is true to style.

The flavor continues with the spiciness with coriander but the peach is a bit more subtle. A touch of dark fruit and caramel underneath along with a touch of caramel. The alcohol definitely makes its presence known but it never becomes overwhelming. Very dry mouthfeel with just a light touch of sweetness in the end.

Overall, this is a very good beer. It is not top of the line but it isn't very far off. Love that it packs a decent punch and is not overly sweet.

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Amazing. Hazy golden body with a thick, lasting white head. Smell of lemon peel, a little herbal hop, candy sugar, and yeast. Fantastic taste that is smooth and sweet with just enough bitterness to prevent any sticky, cloying sweetness. There is a nice malt backbone to this with a smooth honey and candy sugar sweetness.

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Photo of mblk6062
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

This is one of the best Belgian ales of all time. I rate it slightly above Maredsous. One of those "if I was stranded on a desert island, and had only one beer...." kind of beers!

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Photo of MonkeyBread
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft, this is a lovely orange Amber beer with a decent sized white fluffy head. Smells is big on phenols and esthers. Very fruity with Asian pear, coriander, sweet booze soaked oranges shining through. Taste is similar to nose, boozy sweet fruits like apples covered in dried white sugar and candied pears. Great use of the yeast to get very pronounced characters. Phenols are highly prevalent, spicy coriander, pepper, bit of smokiness. The only detraction is a slightly too hoppy, bitter finish. I think with an aged bottle to mellow that out this would be even better. Great stuff.

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

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip glass. Pours a copper color with a mountainous cream colored head that very slowly dissipates to over a quarter inch thick with some spots much thicker that remain and leaves behind thick lacing.

Smell is of sweet honey and malt, floral hoppiness, and the Belgian yeast always brings a fruitiness to the table. A lot going on here.

Taste impressively complex. Big floral hop presence combined with honey sweetness right off the bat. Lots of hops here, but the bitterness is not overly intense. In the middle comes a mixture of lighter fruits like pears and dark fruits like plums. In the finish, the 10.5% alcohol makes it's presence felt and there is a grassy finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, a great Belgian strong pale ale. I've had this bottle a while, and poured darker than usual, but the flavor profile seemed to be about the same.

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Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant light golden with a lingering frothy ivory head. Aroma is floral, with green apple sharpness and notes of perfumey hops. Flavor reveals more sweetness, with cherry cough drop coming to mind. Finish is alcoholic. The phenols are overpowering.

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Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE - Pours coppery red, with a huge, five-finger beige head that lasts a long time. It leaves a floaty yeast lump up till the last sip.

SMELL/AROMA - Herbaceous, sweet, a little piney.

TASTE - Sweet, herbaceous, piney. Definitely not bitter as advertised. ABV only a bit hidden.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE - Lots of carbonation, light, not syrupy.

OVERALL - A bit boozy, but a nice beer, sippable, not quaffable. Advertised as bitter, but it's not at all bitter IMHO.

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Photo of Roguer
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Huge fluffy white head with great retention and chunky lacing. Brew is a thick, translucent, mango-orange gold.

Sharp, pepper and yeast aroma with hay and wheat.

Banana notes, sweet malt and yeast, clove, earthy. Tiny bit of alcohol. Nice earthy bitterness.

Thick and smooth mouthfeel. Chewy with sting.

Good, balanced strong ale; not oversweet, nor too bitter.

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Photo of FLima
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber color with a three finger thick off-white head with good retention and leaving lots of laces.
Sweet aroma of Cointreau liquor, herbal hops, Belgian yeast and mild white pepper. Hints of pears and peaches after warming up.
Similarly, flavor of Cointreau liquor with lots of perfumy and herbal hops, light white pepper, green pears, champagne and pineapples juice foam. Aftertaste takes a while to become dry and bitter.
Medium body with effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 10.5% abv is noticeable but is harmonic with the overall beer.
Good beer, though I was expecting a bit more complexity, but on the other hand, it was surprisingly hoppy for the style and interesting that borders other styles besides Strong Golden Ale such as Belgian IPA and Tripel.

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Photo of stephens101
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A robust tan head throws a thick blanket over this orange brew. Smells of mostly light fruits (pear, green apple, peach), Belgian yeast and very faint hops, if any. Big fruits and subtle hops mix quickly on the tongue and play together nicely, forming a pleasant, creamy, medium body. Alcohol heat flickers across the back of the throat. Flavorful and consistent all the way through.

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

Pours out to a generous buff head and orange-amber color. Aroma is clove, fruit, spice, bubblegum, aged hops and sugary sweet grains. Flavor is complex, strong on alcohol and esters and finishes boozy yet balanced. Mouthfeel is effervescent and medium. Overall a very good belgian ale. I don't think "IPA" fits here.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Next brew on my history lesson trot is Piraat, Arrrgh! [couldn't resist throwing in good "arrrgh"]. Everyone knows what a pirate is so I'll be brief: the Spanish got to Latin America first, plundered the shit out of it, the rest of Europe was like "Hell no!" and the monarchies at war with Spain gave "letters of marque" to bad ass dudes with ships which was essentially a licence to attack Spain and take as much booty (note: 'booty' meant treasure back then not a 'fine ass') as they could. They were otherwise known as "privateers" from which we get the word pirate. Eventually the Spanish began sending out pirate hunters, also bad ass dudes with ships, and began to protect their galleons with more ships/guns, and thus the golden age of piracy ended.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Cloudy amber bodied with a light slightly off-white lacing for a head, generally most brews over 10% ABV have a very minimal head and this one is no different.

S: This Belgian IPA has quite a boozy brandy-like aroma that assails the nostrils at first whiff. A second more deliberate inhalation reveals pear and apple esters along with pepper and grape bubblegum fragrance. There are some nice yeast notes at play as well giving this ale a touch of bread and clove as well.

T: Glad I let this warm to 8 degrees as the label recommends, what a symphony of flavours at play here: grape bubblegum, pear and apple esters, pepper, warming alcohol (more Rum than Brandy) and clove wrapped up in a medicinal hop finish. The thing about this bold Belgian ale is how it slaps you in the face like a glove in the hand of a pirate challenging you to death by cutlass. That Rum hint only adds to the sensible and righteous naming of this fine brew.

M: Medium bodied with some dense/harsh carbonation. A touch on the gassy side.

D: One glass of this brew makes one want to sail the Spanish main in search of plunder and fine Caribbean booty, booty in the modern sense, preferably from a tavern wench. In all my years drinking I have never tasted any beer that fits its name as well [slight exaggeration for effect there]. Really this is a fantastic ale. Minor cons - the carbonation isn't as smooth as expected from a Belgian ale, and the alcohol really lets you know that this is 10.5% ABV. Otherwise a solid effort from Brouwerij Van Steenberge *cough*notasgoodasGuldenDraak*cough*.

Food match: Tavern wenches... but seriously this bold ale would have to be paired with a bold meal - char-grilled meats, bold cheeses, large Cuban cigars and gunpowder, yes gunpowder... (these food match things I write are getting rather silly now aren't they?).

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,025 ratings.
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