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Review of Van Steenberge Piraat Ale

18 Oct
How’s everyone doing today?  I hope all is well.  I have another craft beer to review for you and it’s the Van Steenberge Piraat Ale produced by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. located in Ertvelde, Belgium.

I’ve never had this beer before and I don’t know much about it so let’s just go to the website, vansteenberge.com, for and introduction.

This light amber coloured Piraat with full foam head overwhelms with an aroma of bitter, spicy, malty alcoholic scents.  What follows is a perfect combination of malty, sweet and hopbitter tastes, after which you are drowned in a very long, semi-sweet after taste with bitter undertones.

In the glass it goes

This brew stands in at 10.5% ABV and comes in an 11.2 oz. bottle. 

It poured a slightly hazy, deep orange to amber color.  The head was barely off white and it was comprised of huge bubbles.  It was rocky, somewhat soapy, full and very large.  The retention time was only average, but the lacing looked really nice.

The aroma smelled funky.  A little bit of “barnyard” and “horse blanket” I thought.  It wasn’t overpowering or anything, but I could still detect a slight note.  Plenty of peppery spice swirled through my nostrils along with a sturdy fragrance of Belgian yeast.  A little bit of lemon citrus and other sour fruits also.  A worthwhile alcohol presence was noted too.  The nose is striking and forward, although it seemed to be balanced fairly well. 

With the first sip I found a distinct splash of alcohol.  It’s funky, yeasty and spicy.  Fruity aspects along the lines of apples and lemons supported a solid bitterness.  It’s almost like someone dipped some sliced apples in alcohol.  Somewhat tart, but the yeasty goodness restrained the sourness quite a bit and made for a much more enjoyable taste.  After the brew warmed, the yeasty and spicy flavors took over and the funk and sourness became an afterthought.

The mouthfeel was medium, dry, very snappy and prickly.  A very robust warmth was left after a significant burn on the initial sip.  The palate was drenched with plenty of flavor to enjoy between tastings. 

I must say that I don’t think that I have ever had a beer with the same characteristics as this one had.  It was a little difficult for me to drink at the very beginning, but as my palate adjusted I started to enjoy it more and more.  The drinkability was never very high due to the heavy alcohol presence, yet the other flavors kept me interested throughout the entire experience.  Overall, it had a real nice aroma, flavor and mouthfeel.  I would be happy to sample this brew again.  If you guys see it, make sure you pick up a bottle and give it a try.

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  Be sure to let me know what you think of the reviews.  I would greatly appreciate it. 

Cheers.

Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 

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