Michael Heniff's picture

Judge's Review: 92 Rating - Piraat by Brouwerij Van Steenberge

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Piraat by Brouwerij Van Steenberge is a Belgian Golden Strong and is being evaluated as a Belgian Golden Strong Ale (category 25C from the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Belgian Golden Strong Ales are noted for their deceptive strength, light color and simple malt profile as well as prominent yeast-derived citrusy esters and peppery phenolics with an occasional complement from hops. Piraat is brewed with a wine yeast and is refermented in the bottle. Piraat measures in at 10.5 percent ABV.

Piraat pours dark golden in color, has a slight haze and sports a massive, fluffy, meringue-like white head. The aroma is an excellent melding of peppery phenolics, bready malt and light citrusy esters. The body is medium despite the strength and the carbonation is moderately high providing a pleasant palate cleansing along with a carbonic bite. A light warmth signals the alcoholic strength, but the drinkability remains high. The flavor is primarily a blend of peppery phenolics and bready malt, but a light citrusy ester and light spicy hops add to the complexity. The beer finishes with a moderate bitterness and moderate carbonic bite with a lingering bready malt and peppery phenolic.

Piraat is a bit more malt-focused compared to many Belgian Golden Strong Ales but remains deceptively strong and quite enjoyable. It is easy to see why Piraat remains as one of the commercial examples that defines this style. Always keep Piraat in mind when you want an excellent Belgian Golden Strong Ale.