Piraat | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

1,033 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: 1,033 | Ratings: 2,413
Photo of AudioGilz
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330ml bottle pours out a hazy golden orange colored beer. The head forms to a moderate depth and thickness, and has wonderful staying power. A strong aroma here....and odd in a great way....it's a bit musty, also pungent citrus and penetrating alcohol. Alcohol dominates the flavors of this beer. Also well noticeable is a dark spicyness and dark fruityness. The mouthfeel is fizzy while being a bit syrupy. I can't really say I would want another one after having just one small bottle of it. It's very strong with alcohol flavor, and warms my stomach up enough to be pleased with just one. But everything else about it is great.

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Photo of Crosling
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been thirstin for an ale all day and at last I get to have on

Bright golden hue with a nice two finger white head that is lacing quite well. Head retention became and issue towards the end of the beer.

Very aromatic nose with light peppers and citrus fruits especially lemons.

Yummy! The nice bitter hop finish on the palate pleases me. I couldn't find a chilled IPA and that is what I wanted but this satisfied my need for a hop monster for now anyway. I think this is a very well done, solid and fantastic tasting ale. The alcohol is very well hidden but still is quite warming in the mouth on the finish. Lots of tropical fruits, but still somewhat bready and yeasty with an interesting malt flavor.

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Photo of TerryW
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden orange with a moderately sized, long lived head and good lace. Good looking beer, tempting.

Lots of stuff happening in the aroma. Fruit and yeast, honey and grass, pepper and more. One of those beers you spend as much time sniffing at as you do drinking.

But you gotta drink it of course and it's just as interesting in the mouth as on the nose. Honey sweet malt, fruit and pepper, with a nice touch of hops to finish. Great alcohol warming.

Super beer to linger over for all kinds of reasons. Enjoy!

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

Presentation: 330ml odd sized fatty brown bottle with a picture of a pirate and a Viking ship!?

Appearance: A powdery, white, creamy head that does not want to go away covers a lightly hazy-amber liquid. Decent lacing effect.

Smell: Horsey, grassy, peppery and funky. You have to love Belgian yeast as this one is quite lively.

Taste: Explosive in its profile! A smooth, crisp, honey-like malt flavour turns grassy, peppery with strong alcohol lining and intermingled hop bitterness. A tad thick in the medicinal phenol department. Juicy fruit in the middle with hints of ripe papaya and pineapple. The aftertaste holds more grass flavours that settle into an almost minty note.

Notes: This is a wonderful Belgian Strong Pale Ale, goat cheese and roasted red pepper on slices of a toasted baguette is a quick and perfect pairing.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle with a wacky-looking pirate on the label...also says 10.5%ABV. The beer poured a hazy golden color with a nice whitish head forming, which quickly resided leaving a blotchy lace pattern. The smell had a sweet honey and fresh lawn grass quality,with pleasant hop aromatics, subtle coriander, yeast, and a strong alcoholic component. I was very pleased with the taste and mouthfeel. The beer pulls in somewhat thin, but immediatly becomes silky and full, triumphantly carrying a parade of flavor onto the palate...a semi-sweet honey and candy-sugar backbone with notes of grass and pepper, finishing with a well-done cap of bitterness, which lingers on with the honey. I found it to be quite drinkable, as the alcohol and sweetness were not overdone, and the flavor was so delicious. ARRGG!

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am love the way that this beer poured out. The color was a burnt orange and the head was light and creamy. The lacing was massive and there was a substantial amount of carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass. There was a wonderful wheaty, honey, sweet start to this beer and the finish was crisp. For being 10.5%, I cannot pick up any alcohol taste whatsoever. I really enjoyed this, but it is a distant second from something like Don de Dieu. Overall, another winner from the makers of Gulden Draak.

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber with full white head that leaves solid sheets of lace even after receding to a film of bubbles on the surface. Very little aroma, but what there was was fruity and sweet. Crisp carbonation and strong hopping keep it from feeling syrupy. Candy sweetness, pepper, and alcohol fill out the taste. Very nice for such an agressive beer.

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

Hazy orange-gold with a 2 finger frothy head. The marshmallowy head floated down with the level of beer in my glass, it never went away. Deceptively light colored for over 10% ABV.
Apricot aroma, honey, pepper, field full of hay all hit the nose.
Clove, apricot, pepper (alcohol), fruity, and an out of place toffee note. Medium-full body, a little cloying.
Drinkability is limited by the ABV, but this was a good beer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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),

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,413 ratings.
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