Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Piraat Belgian Ale

Whenever you see a bottle of Belgian beer with a strong ABV you tend to expect greatness. I’d heard good things about Piraat Belgian Ale, that it was the Belgian equivalent of an imperial IPA. But drinking it, it’s not all that much different or better than Duvel. Not that it’s a bad beer at all, but one that’s only just plain good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (781) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2013
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark orange hue, extremely hazy. Forms a large, white, fluffy soapy head which retains and laces the glass wonderfully.

Smell: Light bananas, slight citrus notes and a strong alcohol presence similar to spiced rum.

Taste: Only sip into Piraat Belgian Ale could I tell it was definitely not an IPA by any means. Well, at least not by American standards. It’s similar to a long list of Belgian strong pale ales but without the zestiness or floral character of a saison or the spiciness of a tripel. It’s a rather simple, direct palate with malty sweetness up front and strong alcohol on the back end. There’s a quick bitter sensation at the apex of the palate, but it’s far too weak to truly be considered in the IPA category.

The alcohol places a crucial role here, imparting a slight rum flavor with hints of vanilla and oak. It’s almost more of a confectionery, candy sweetness than raw malty flavor. There’s a slight banana taste right on the finish and in the aftertaste which is nice, but not enough to make the beer anywhere approaching world class. The same palate with a lighter body would greatly improve this beer.

Drinkability: I was genuinely surprised by how drinkable Piraat Belgian Ale is. Though overtly boozy, the mouthfeel is surprisingly calm and thinner than you’d expect. The aftertaste is rather clean, too, and the low carbonation enables a smooth finish. The 10.5% ABV does make its presence known, and quickly at that. It’s a big beer that’s easy to throw back, but will overwhelm you quickly.
 Grade: 7/10

1 comment:

  1. I think It is a slight mistake ti compare any beer with a Duvel . for the rest I can tell you that many beers tried to copy Duvel , evne in name and bottle , Piraat , Satan, Lucifer, and nobody came even close,
    @captaincheers belgianbeerday Vic