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Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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1,030 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

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: 1,030 | Ratings: 2,403
Photo of Southernbrew
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden-orange with a smallish head.

Potent alcohol aroma combines with a peppery spiciness and an aroma I would describe as "horsey."

Big time flavors here. Medium bodied with some prickly carbonation. Noticable alcohol flavor with some bitter hoppiness as well as honey flavors and possible pineapple and caramel flavors. Near the finish I detect a flavor I would describe as musty red wine-like. Strange.

Very fine Belgian pale ale. I found the alcohol flavor a bit strong, but great nonetheless.

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Photo of chunkylover53
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avast ye, mateys! This be a fine brew and at 10.5% is sure to 'ave ye lookin' to board a neighbourin' vessel afore too long.

She be 'avin' a big ol' 'ead, but no shoulders, so there's no worryin' about accidentally drinkin' a parrot. And the smell... well she be strong, but I could nae place of exactly what.

As for the taste... Shiver me timbers, but I do detect enough alcohol in 'ere to scrape the barnacles off yer bottom. With just a wee bit o' nuttiness.

And the aftertaste slowly warms ye up and sticks around for a while. Which is good company for those long, lonely nights in the crows nest. Provided you don't need to come down anytime soon 'cause after a few o' these, even the heartiest o' seafarers will find himself a bit wobbly-legged.

A fine, fine grog she be.

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

Pours a beautiful reddish-orange color, opaque with a small tight head that drops to a film and leaves some sparse lace.
Smell is malty, sweet, orange, green apple,raisin, pepper and yeast.
Taste is malty, orange, pepper, hops, alcohol, raisin and yeast. Great complexity and flavor!
Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, warms all the way down.
Drinkability is quite high. The alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms. Perhaps that is a warning, 10.5% ABV should not be taken lightly no matter how good it is.

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

10oz take-home sample off the in house tap, courtesy of the fine folks at Half Time.
The beer pours a rich, chill-hazed orange, something similar to the color of autumn leaves. A short, finely bubbled head caps the brew, leaving aptly named belgian lace all over the place. The head thins to a weak collar, but I'm not complaining, with the alcohol and whatnot.
The aroma is intriguing, for a belgian. Familiar malty, candied sweetness, but tempered by a strong floral hop presence. I'm guessing hallertau or tettnang. Plenty of fusel alcohol mingles with scooped melon and a veritable basket of estery fruitiness. There's a lot going on here. A sweetened undertow of creamy malt rounds everything out.
The first sip reveals a moody malt sweetness, almost entirely pinned beneath fusel booze and hops, hops, hops. Rock candy right up front, sprinkled with sugared bits of watermelon, peach and pear. A soft caramel wash throughout, tinting the hops with an orange haze. Plenty of floral, metallic bitterness rushing into the finish, swallowing remarkably dry for the suggested sweetness. Phenolic cinnamon and clove notes. Booze attacks the inside of the throat with a lingering heat, better fitted of a good scottish whisky. A lingering fruity, hoppy, boozey bite on the back of the tongue, with traces of rock candy melting away from the heat like ice on a hot sidewalk. Impeccably fine bubbled, sturdy carbonation briskly carries a creamy, thick mouthfeel. Strong stuff, be sure to wear galoshes.
What a beer. As big as it is, it feels balanced. The hops stand out, which is impressive in the style (whatever this one is). If I were to taste this blind, I'd peg it as american brewed, with it's hybridized feel. I don't think I could make a habit of this stuff, but it would certainly appeal to those that like a strong cocktail. Sticky sweet with a boozey prickle. I certainly wouldn't pass up another taste, provided I'm not driving home.

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

Poured a pale golden colour with a thick foamy white head that never completely goes away, and laced well. Smells almost like peanut butter, and a bit of citrus. Taste is amazing, smooth and malty, with a dry hoppy finish. Very warming from the high ABV, but the alcohol is hardly noticeable when drinking it. This is a very flavourful Strong Pale, and I want another. :)

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Photo of hero27
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa.. The awesome tapper with the pirate on it had me entrigued. The bartender informed me that it was a Triple IPA and I absolutely had to try it..as I love IPA's in general.

Appearance: Poured into the tall Weizen glass with a humongous head. As I didn't pour it, I don't know if it this is usual for this beer, but it left a huge, pillowy head when he set it down on the bar. Not to mention, it looks like I could pour this before bed and there'd still be some head left in the morning..doesn't dissapate at all. The color is surprisingly yellow in color. I expected a more hazy/gold appearance but it is a distinct clear, straw-yellow.

Smell: Grains & grass overhelm the aroma. Smells sweet, fruity, and spicy as well. I am not a fan of too much cloves or spices so I was wary about it at this point..

Taste: mmm, surprisngly malty. Caught me off-guard with a very pleasant, fruity & sweet taste. You can definitely taste the alcohol but if I didn't know any better, I'd guess it was around an 8-9%..not 10.5. Ends dry with some grassy bitterness. Fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Well-balanced and defiantly smooth for such a strong beer. Warm, pleasant mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I only had one of these, but I can imagine it to be quite drinkable for such a strong alcohol beer. Definitely a belly-warmer if there ever was one, and by your 2nd or 3rd glass, you'd be one happy guy. Even though I savored this one by drinking it fairly slow, it'd be quite possible to drink a few of these bad boys in succession. It's smooth mouthfeel covers up the heavy-body and high ABV.

Overall, a solid Belgian IPA.

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Photo of Dmann
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A outstanding beer from top to bottom. This one poured a very nice golden color with a huge pillowy white head that stuck to my glass till the last drop. The smell was good with a touch of grass, a hint of pepper and a bit of bready yeast. The taste was exceptional with a nice sweet, not overly thick maltiness to start out with, followed by a very nice peppery flavor mixed slight hops and finnished with a great fruity aftertaste that was made up of a great pinnapple flavor. At 10.5% this is one to sip and savor for sure. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of mynie
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I ordered this at a taco joint. I figured that it would be light tasting, good to wash down food with, since there was a friggin cartoon Pirate on the tapper. How wrong I was.

Pours very hazy orange/amber. Tight white head with okay retention. Good, but nothing great.

What a wonderful smell! Jesus! Its like a rosegarden had sex with a rainbow and the bastard progeny of their sinful union just bent over and farted in my face.

Tastes like an almost wheat-malt up front, slightly nutty, strong dull fruit in the back mixed with flowers. Very nice.

This wasn't the easiest beer to drink, probably because of its high alcohol content, but it was certainly very, very tasty.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ever so lightly hazy deep gold color, and is topped by an off white head that is medium sized. The aroma is dry, grassy, herbal, and has a spiciness that is a bit akin to coriander. The taste is lightly sweet up front, with a grassy finish that lingers. This beer is quite interesting in its herbal-grassy character. This beer has some bright fruitiness to it as well, evoking notes of pear, apple, white grapes, and yellow raisins. Again this is pretty good beer, if not a bit sweet.

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Photo of edchicma
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy, long-lasting head with excellent lacing...medium yellow-gold in color. Smell was odd...something seemed off...Unbelievable the difference between smell and taste ...the taste was great..sweet on the front, rounding into a tartness and a very nice overtone of alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied with a nice light tart finish. Drinkability is very good for the high abv...very easy to drink. I'd have another, although at 10.5 abv...I might regret it.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One centimeter of fine, noisy, white head leaves filmy lacing. The beer is a clear, orange-gold. That's a very nice color. The nose is spicy, orangey, hoppy, excellent! The front is spicy with citrus, sweet corn, fresh grass and pepper. Rich caramel in the very buttery middle. The finish sees a nice, sweet corn reprise, with alcohol and a nice, grassy, hoppy, bitter bite. This is wonderful: full-flavored, delicious. A nice, hoppy, spicy, fruity Belgian.

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

From the 33cl bottle.

Pours a clear bright copper with a thick frothy ivory head. Lots of fine lace. Smell grassy and spicy. Some light hoppy bitterness evident in the nose. Also yeasty and fruity smelling.

taste is spicy, peppery. Followed by fruitiness from apple and raisins. Vinous flavors, black grape. A slight alcohol burn in the finish. Hints of pepper and clove. Dry in the mouth at first and then a sticky aftertaste. Rounded, sweet flavors.

Very drinkable. Tasty and smooth for a high ABV beer. This one is fun. Really hits the spot.

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Photo of beragg
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My friend and I have seen this beer in the store and both being pirate fans decided we had to try it. This beer poured a pale brown from a 11.5 oz bottle with a very huge fluffy white head, and it stayed for a a minute or so. I was actually not expecting this as I wasn't even pouring it quickly. It smelled of alcohol and citrus. The taste was spicy and alcohol. The alcohol strength definitely made it harsher and brought down the drinkability. You couldn't drink a lot of this stuff. This was the first Belgian beer I've ever had, and I wasn't let down. It was delicious.

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Photo of trumick
3.26/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one burst and overflowed when I opened it hope it's ok???Pours a pale golden color with a huge fluffy head, not much lacing head quickly faded.
Scent is metallic, banana, yeast spice.
Taste is clove, banana, yeast, sweet malts with a huge alcohol finish, very overpowering.
Mouthfeel is a bit harsh, medium bodied seems to be too much carbination and really big bubbles. Along with the alcohol taste together makes for harsh mouthfeel.
Drinkability is not so great. The alcohol is just too much to be able to drink more than one of these.

Piraat, for me, is ok at best. I won't be buying one of these again. Very expensive 4.65 for 11.2 oz.

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Photo of Doppel07
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Massive, thick, foamy white head. Clear golden body with moderate carbonation. Thick cottony lacing. Classic citrus and banana nose of a tripel plus some spice, yeasty aroma and a vague leathery quality. Flavor is very distinct with elements of leather, fruit peels, more spice, and prominent alcohol. This is a big, very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of shippos
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a duvel glass with a clear golden honey yellow with a fluffy rocky white head. fruity spicy aroma with lots of citrus notes spicy corriander and good hop aroma all infront of an estery alcohol background. spicy explosin of co2 in your mouth followed by warming alcohol and a nice sugary malt mouthfeel that is moderately syrupy. a very warming beer and very drinkable as much as this style is drinkable.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I like most Belgian beers. This is not one of them. Flat, strange tasting beer. Plenty of alcohol, which is well hidden. It just has a weird taste that I can't describe. There are so many great beers of this style, don't bother with this. Even the Bier du bouccanier (if fresh) blows this away.

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Photo of necoadam
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a orange/golden color with a huge, thick head that never goes away it seems. Smell consisted of all sorts of things. Malts, citrus, grass and some slight alcohol can also be detected. Kinda wild almost. Taste was actually sweeter than I thought it was going to be. But wow is this thing thick. After taking that first sip I knew that this was going to be a thick brew. Almost looks like a Duvel, but nowhere as thick as that beer is. Citrus and honey and malts hit the palate first with some caramel and some hop kick towards the middle and end. A little bit of that 10.5% can be detected, but is masked well by the hops and citrus notes. At first I didn't know whether I was going to like it or not, but this does get the job done. Yes it's a thick beer, but it's pretty smooth and creamy. Worth a shot for sure.

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Photo of RocketWidget
2.83/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My good friend CharThePirate is going to be disappointed with me, but this Ale just didn’t cut it for me.

Pours a dark yellow color, with good off white head retention. Appearance is the best part of this beer. Smell is hope like and slightly sour. Taste is disappointing. Alcohol is a dominant factor in the taste here, and not in a good way. Other high alcohol beers blend the alcohol taste with the sweetness of the malt and balance with hops. The taste of this beer is liqueur-like, with the sweetness of the malt only having a subtle impact. Slight hops. Aftertaste is of whiskey, or ironically enough rum. This beer just isn’t right for me.

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Photo of twilight
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm going to try not to gush about this beer because it is one of the nummiest things I've had in a long time. I like hoppy beers, so I though this was going to be a bitter bomb like DFH90, but it was more of a welcome treat. Kind of like when you buy a lemon drop in a candy store and it turns out to be even better than when you were salivating over it behind the counter.

I've been wanting to try this beer since I heard about it a few months ago. I finally saw a 750 at Bierkraft but circumstances prevented me from carrying the bottle around. I later picked up a stubby 33cL bottle from New Beer fresh out of the newly-opened box.

It pours a clear golden orange with a fluffy head leaving beautiful lacing all around. The nose is of the typical belgian spiciness and pear sweetness reminiscen of a Tripel. The alcohol is present in the aroma, so I wasn't shocked at the first sip.

Whoa mama! It's a malty overrun with belgian candy sweetness with a hint of earthiness. It finishes with alcohol, leaving it spicy due to the yeast. It's really almost like a tripel, but lighter, almost heavenly.

Mouthfeel is smooth, beautifully lolling on the tongue save for the alcohol bite. Drinkability? Well, suffice to say that it's so good that I really could have like two or three before I passed out and I wouldn't care. Hear that?!?! I could drink this all night even though the night would probably be cut short when I passed out with a blissful smile.

I'm adding this to my staple beers, crazy as that may sound... Arrr, mateys, thar I come.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into Chimay goblet. Pours a medium golden color, rich and thick looking. Has a medium-sized white head that settles to a 1/8th inch layer that sticks around. Aroma: in a word, nice! Bright and clean with apples, floral hints, and some sweetness. Flavor has a nice tripel-like feel with slight sweetness, apples, & cinnimon with a late hop bite that nicely balances the rest of the flavors. Some alcohol drifts up into the sinuses, but not overpowering. With this ABV, the alcohol is nicely underplayed in the taste profile (but it will catch up to you in a hurry). Mouthfeel is full and very pleasant. Because of ABV, drinkability is not as highly rated.

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Photo of putnam
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge cumulous formations of pearl-white appear over candy-yellow liquid. The aromas tell of drunken banana puddings, coconut, navel oranges, yeast, and dry flint smoke. On the palate it is thick and sweet with flavors of tropical fruits, cream and tree bark. Like Duvel with more juice and alcohol. A persistent hop bitterness accompanies the sweetly alcoholic, medium-length finish.

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Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh from its delivery to American beer in Brooklyn, I picked up this 11.2 oz. stubby bottle.
Pours orangy golden with a tiny bubble puffy head, dissolving to a sheen and of course leaves some nice lacing. Nose is strong medicinal, phenolic, alcohol, yeah baby, I love this style! first taste is pure bliss. Strong alcohol, melon, lots of pepper, more medicinal notes. As it warms, malty flavors and character come foward, This is 10%, but all the flavors and body conceal the alcohol well. Complex, tasty, strong, full of character and interest. Glad I went for this one, seek it out and enjoy. Sante...

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Difficult to find on tap, but glad to find it. 64 oz. growler from Half Time. Poured a bright golden yellow with a puffy, cloud like head full of bubbles. Constant line of bubbles coming out of the deep recesses of the glass. Smell was very much a cross between a tripel and a grand cru. Sharp esters, orange peel, slight honey flavors all blended together with an almost brandy like quality. Taste was very sweet and almost like a less hoppy version of the American Double IPA. Sweet peach and green raisin flavors, juicy malt characteristics, slight hoppy finish that adds just a slight note of piney bitterness in the end.Sticky sweetness. The alcohol is very apparent, but not overbearing. Good beer and a nice belgian with a note of British influence.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer is probably the only disappointing part of this beer. The color is a light golden yellow, with a bit of stark white head that recedes into a light top and ring. Smell: lots of fruity sweetness, spice, wheat, hops, mustard, lemon/citrius. The taste is amazingly complex. It starts out with a hit of sweet fruit and syrup, and it quickly blends into the slightly salty meaty spiced flavors, with mustard, and the wheaty malts. The aftertaste blends into a wonderful mix of hops and spice. The mouthfeel is just right in body weight and is perfectly carbonated. The warm feeling that you get drinking it is wonderful to warm up to on a cold spring evening, and it also lets you know full well that what youre drinking is strong enough to knock a mule on its head. This is a great beer, and I hope HalfTime keeps this on tap for a while.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,403 ratings.
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