Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,025 | Ratings: 2,373
Photo of thefireman
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in 11.2 oz bottle. Dark amber with a nice, ample, white head. First impression is malt, and alcohol-lots of it. Lots and lots of yeast in this one. Sweet and spicy with a hop hint at the end. Caramel color and taste. One of my favorites. Mouthfeel is great, with a lingering taste of candy. If it didn't have so much alcohol I would drink lots of this at any sitting.

 374 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: An 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) “Duvelian-like” stubby. This is the stronger of the two versions of Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge. There is a 9% version that has a plain label and a 10.5% version with the fancy picture. The former 9% version also goes by the name ‘Augustijn Grand Cru’ & ‘Bornem Tripel’, whilst the latter 10.5% version is sometimes also known as Amber Tripel IPA. All this “cloak and dagger” multiple identity stuff and Sunday names can sometimes make you want to call Interpol, or avidly check your beer note book, or beer list, before trying any of Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s beers in case you may well have had it before under a different name; this is the perpetual bane of many a Belgium beer geeks existence. Oh well, its all fun I suppose.

Appearance: A hazy golden honey color, it is scorched with a festered gold character that never really seems to shine but is almost dull in character. Not much of a head on this one, some lacing and a scum like covering.

Nose: Alcohol – yes, it either fails to mask the pungent ethanolic aromas, or it wants you to know that it may kick your ass later in the night. A nice dry hop aroma in the back end is somewhat spoiled by the vitriolic alcohol at times.

Taste: A very strong tasting beer, the alcohol is dominant, and way too demanding of the senses. A very harsh tasting beer that only Belgium-beero-philes may take to immediately. Not that impressed to be honest. It gets stickier as it warms, not good. Nice biting hop finish and a warming gullet feel. Raw at times though and uncultured.

Mouthfeel: Not that bad actually, one of the better parts of the beer, but its overall mouthfeel is spoilt by the raw rasp alcoholic feel in the back end.

Drinkability: Pretty average, the alcohol becomes a dominant factor after only half a glass, and can make this hard to finish. Don’t get me wrong I love Strong Belgium Pale Ales; I just feel that this concentrates way too much on the alcohol. Difficult to muster the next mouthful at times.

Overall: OK, so it’s called Piraat, I get that – nice one advertising execs., very original – yawn – and it even has a picture of a rather dashing Pirate looking dude in the bottom left, but wait - no body piercings, no tattoos, no eye-patches or even large gold ear-rings, in fact he could almost be a British Naval Captain. Oh yeah, and it also has a picture of a, erm well a Viking Longboat with backward facing sails, whilst it’s going forward. WTF?!?!?!? Yeah I’m anal when to comes to stuff like that. Hmmmm, I think the pony-tailed advertising execs. at the marketing company that B.v. Steenberge used for this label overdid the lines of Coke in the creative room a tad too much when they came up with this label. Burnt septum anyone?

I think this SOO wants to be a Kasteel Blonde – but it fails miserably, it lacks complexity, smoothness and a hop-balance. It can’t quite hide the alcohol as well as the Kasteel does. Not at all bad, but just above average overall. Slightly better on draft than the bottle, the draft seems to loose the harsh alcohol aspect.

Oh and sort the fucking backward sails out on the Viking Longboat label chaps, it’s really annoying me. Either that, or put a proper picture of a Pirate Ship on – just ask (Captain) Russell Crowe, he’ll help you out with pictures. LOL.

 3,373 characters

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

I've had this on-tap many times over the years at my local pub, the Cock & Bull, but I finally got around to reviewing it now.

Piraat's appearance is quite pale with a nice white head that vanishes after a few minutes. No matter, it's still a good beer. It smells of malt, spice and alcohol, which isn't surprising considering its 10.5 percent ABV.

The taste is pure Belgian. Clean. Strong. Complex. If only I were more experienced, I could begin to describe this beer! When it comes to Belgian ales, I feel limited in my ability to accurately write what it's like to drink them. Just take my word for it: If you find Piraat, try it. Just enjoy it in moderation, it's quite the heavy-hitter.

 697 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden orange colored with a thick beige head. Interesting aromas. Smells like there's more hops than your average Belgian. Vinous, yeasty, and malty aromas as well as a big alcohol nose that is almost organic and musty. Sweet candi sugar hits the palate first then the 10.5% ABV kicks in finishing of a bit dry and a bit sweet. Alcohol lingers, begging for another sip. This beer has quite the fan base at my work. One's enough for me.

 441 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An attractive color and tasty beer. Alcohol is high but not overpowering. Masked by fruit but then you can drink too much.
Can sub for champagne or popular preference for bubby whites at dinner party. Would have again anytime. You can smell and taste the malt and yeast.

 271 characters

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

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a light yellow-orange color with three fingers of head. There is a good amount of lacing left. The smell is fairly sweet with white grapes, orange, and candy sugar. There is a hint of alcohol on the smell as well. The taste is a little tart at first, not expected. Overripe grapes dominate, and bits of sweetness are present. An overload of alcohol on the finish, no hiding it in this one. Also a little bit of peppery spices linger on the tongue. The mouthfeel is fairly strong and heavy. The drinkability lacks a little due to the high alcohol taste. Not a bad Belgian.

 628 characters

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

Appearance – Cloudy orange in color with a decent head.

Smell – Strong orange in the nose with classic Belgian yeast. There’s also a bit of spicing in there. I can pick up coriander and white pepper for sure.

Taste – The spices say BSPA. They step up big time in the taste. The yeast is present as well, but the huge story here is the gigantic, damn near overpowering, orange liquor and syrup flavor. This is like drinking Grand Marnier mixed with peppered vodka.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied with little to no carbonation and a respectable alcohol sting.

Drinkability – This one was creamy smooth and went down nicely.

Comments – Probably too strong and alcoholic for most. Don’t make this your first of the night, and don’t make it your last.

 765 characters

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

In a snazzy Allagash glass this looked like a soft yellow hay color, with a super soft head, bubbly but soft and miniscule. It glowed like a permanent soft crown, showing great lacing from it, of course.

Smelled of soft malt, sweetly, and with a soft texture bordering on oats and wheat notes. Strong presence of floral scents, and an edible yeasty presence, too.

This beer had a sweet triple body of soft and juicy malt with a smooth presence of nice yeast. But unlike others, its taste had spicy flavors perking up and spreading through out it, and strengthening as it spread. For me, I could taste the alcohol on the way down.

An aggressive triple? This is less complex and refined than some triples, namely the more trappist-styled, but not a loss because of it. A good turn on a classic style, hoppier and thinner in taste than most, but easy enough to drink.

 874 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy straw color. Moderate head. Smells of mostly alcohol and hops. Tastes very strongly of alcohol, which is not a good thing. This is the fourth beer I had out of this sampler, and it the least pleasant one to date. Still very good, comparitively (better than 100% of the macro brews out there),

 305 characters

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

Pours pale golden with an ample white head. Yeasty aroma with tropical fruits (especially pineapple). Medium-bodied. Extremely flavorful. Very sweet malt tasting, and very fruity. Turns a little spicey with alcohol and hop bitterness. The warming is incredible. Very smooth mouthfeel. Overall this is a great Belgian, but not one of my top favorites.

 350 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a low head with large bubbles. Chunks of sediment were floating in the drink. Decent carbonation. The aroma was a combination of alcohol, yeast, hay, grass, and sweet malt.

The flavor was full of sweet malts and yeast. Serious bitterness arrived on the tongue as soon as you swallowed. Some fruitiness and sourness were other sensations detected. The aftertaste lasted for quite a while.

Drinkability is scored as average as the heavy body and very noticeable alcohol makes this as a one or two beer session.

 555 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not overly impressed by this triple IPA. I found the alcohol taste to be overpowering of the finer points of this beer.
This brew arrived a deep orange colour and murky in substance.
Also, a very short crown which quickly left leaving a very small glass ring and minimal island lace.
Carbonation consisted of a host of well spaced large bubbles.
The body was a medium/light.
The nose was reminicent of a freshly cut hayfield.
Taste initially of lemon, but soon the alcohol began to overpower this citrus like offering.

 530 characters

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

Peachy orange in color with a creamy white head that seems to last. Smells like most triples. Lemon, orange, grass and some alcohol notes come through. Nice steady stream of bubbles coming up from the center.

The taste is smooth. Orange, citrus and hay (?) are things that hit me in the beginning. The middle is where the alcohol comes through. It leaves rather quickly and you are left with a warming feeling. Very good, very complex.

This 330ml bottle has been aging in my basement for about 1 year now. I just love drinking beer out of it's own glass and I am lucky enough to own this one.

 599 characters

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

A nice showing from the get go here. Super fluffy beige head with gloriously artistic lacing-hey nice legs on this one eh! Deep in the nose with an over-abundance of malt syrup and caramalized pear. The mouthfeel continues in the malt syrup direction, yet proves to be more enjoyably rich than flabby. More malt and sweet pear in the mouth. Man this is a real fun beer to warm up to! The concentration of malt,and the subtle entrance of fruit in the way of roasted pear, tart cherry and red berry make for a complex taste experience. Pretty to the end with washes of vanilla and bittersweet hop. I'd love to be on this pirate ship-cept during a storm maybe! Finishes moderately candied and warm-check your reviews for spelling to see if your not quite buzzed and beginning to make errors!

 788 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden slightly hazed nice creamy vibrant white head lacing Belgian webbing fine lacing. Aroma: Aroma is rich sharp sweetness clean candy-like tone blended with alcohol just the way I like it, the hops actually exist in this sweet rich alcoholic beverage. Taste: Syrupy layers of malt profile nice bitterness Euopean hoppin going on, hey I'm a fan of this one flavorful as all hell, with zesty citric tones thrown in there and a warming tone of the alcohol of this 10.5% wow. Mouthfeel: Relatively light bodied syrupy texture makes it rich and warming, the secret of the Belgian strong ale make it lighter bodied and excessively good so everybody will always have a buzz even if they don't want to. Drinkability: Way to easy to sip and consume chalice after chalice, Piraat can serve up one hell of an unwarranted buzz quicker than you would expect.

 861 characters

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

Nice golden,somewhat hazy color.Fairly decent sized head that quickly diminishes.Aroma of orange,spice and apple.Nice sweet flavor-the alchohol is definately there.Very slight hop bitterness.Flavor of malt,somewhat grassy-hint of coriander.Full bodied mouthfeel-slight burn from the alchohol on the back of the throat.Very nice triple indeed.Can see this one sneaking up on you very easily.

 390 characters

Photo of Todd
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml brown bottle.

Pours a hazy amber topped with a massive white foam head. Great lace and retention. Faint malty sweetness in the aroma with some grass and soft white pepper. Flavours are big on this one! Huge malt profile of sweet malts with a massive honey-like character and notes of tropical and candied fruits. Alcohol rips the palate with warmth and a sting of spice, then gives way to a smooth grassy bitterness and big dose of pepper. Prickly carbonation accentuates with a sharp edge. Some sappy pine notes lurk. Dirty yeast in the finish with a tea-like flavour, spice and lingering alcohol fumes on the palate.

One of my favourites. The incredibly bold flavours and massive alcohol warmth always makes this an enjoyable beer.

 745 characters

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

Pours to a clear golden-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is herbal, and spicey. The flavor is fruity and herbal with pepper-like spiciness and a bit of tartness. It is medium-full in body and warming. A very nice Belgian that will sneak up on you.

 260 characters

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

I was very impressed by the draught version of this beer. I have had the bottle, and it didn't rank as high for me. I would not class this as an IPA, though. To me, it should be classified as a Belgian Strong Ale like La Chouffe.

The appearance was golden in color with a very white head that had some lacing with staying power. The smell was fresh, a little hint of fruit with a definite alcohol aroma. After all, it is 10.5%. The taste was exceptionally clean with hints of spices, especially coriander and some fruitiness seemed to be citrus in nature.

The bartender had warned me that the beer tended to be a little flat compared to the bottle version, but this was not the case with this keg. It had a light fee in the mouth with some nice fizziness. Overall, this was a very drinkable, if not excellent draft beer. If it had not been 10.5%, I would have gone back for another one.

 893 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.6/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one pours an amber color with a large head that dies off into a rocky shape and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was a little grassy and hoppy with some sweet fruits. The taste is very strong and is composed of peppery spices and some sweetness. The flavor seems a little too aggressive for my tastes compared to the others by this brewer. Not smooth enough to thoroughly enjoy.

 397 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled in my trusty Duvel tulip. Stubby 33 cL bottle with a picture of a pirate who looks like he's into disco on the label. Where's the stubble? The scarring? The eyepatch? Must be the cabin boy...

Appearance: Cloudy dark golden liquid with a small white head. Poor retention for a Belgian beer. Very little in the way of lacing.

Smell: Sour medicinal smell with a good wallop of pepper. Faint herby hops.

Taste: Tart and peppery slap with a sweet medicinal backing. Very interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with alcoholic warming. The taste of booze is masked, though.

Drinkability: I got this as a belated yen from Talk Like A Pirate Day. Wish I had had it then. It's not a bad drink. It's got some character and is worth giving a shot. A nice average BSPA.

 785 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper gold color, large head. Aggressively hoppy and spicy. Strong malt flavor, Added cane sugar evident. Complex taste. Interesting amalgam of flavors; sweetness, tartness, almond nuttyness. Mouthfeel is full and expansive, creamy. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, some alcohol bite at 10.5%. Interesting beer. A warming afterglow, taste smoothes with time.

 374 characters

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle
Appearance:. Golden-amber color, translucent with small carbonation, and a large rocky head that diminishes to a thin layer.

Smell: The aroma is earthy, with fruity, tropical (bubblegum) overtones and hints of apples.

Taste: The taste is sweet, somewhat syrupy and piney, with a strong presence of alcohol, and a dry peppery (hop bite finish lingers for quite a while).

Mouth Feel: The feel is rich and full bodied: creamy, and effervescent with a hoppy-peppery finish.

IMHO: An enjoyable brew, but its intensity overwhelms the drinkability and it is lacking in a well-balanced character. Somewhat two-dimensional: a very sweet start and a very dry finish.

 683 characters

Photo of Brian700
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one turned me into a piraat last night and I almost got in trouble. I hope my girlfriend lets me drink it again.

It has a golden, hazy color with some suspended sediment. (Drink it in the shade) The head is frothy white and isn't going anywhere. It stays around throwing its smell right up your nose. Good lacing all the way to the bottom.

It's loaded with aroma. Its got a great grassy hoplike aroma and the alcohol and and spice come through in it as well.

Its got a crisp Hop bite with a sweet flavor. Sort of spicy, and an excellent aftertaste. As it warms a bit, the prevailancy of the sweeter flavors come out more. I would have to say its a medium to full-bodied beer with a thick finish. Definately a must try and then try it again just to make sure

 773 characters

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

This beer's appearance is totally awesome. Rich, thick, billowy, creamy plumes of white froth top this little beauty. The head lasts all the way to the bottom and laces in a way not often seen in many beers. The foam imparts a very sweet flavor followed by the deliciousness of the amber-hued body. The flavor is indeed complex giving the impression of many different foods. In there are raisins and plums, a little spice, some herbal hops and fruit from the vine. Unbelievably, late in the glass the smell of pure honey begins to emerge and mask the malty goodness. Truly a lovely feel and great drinkability. Complex...

 621 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.