Friday, February 5, 2010

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.: Piraat Ale

It's a strange spelling, but I still have to go for the beer with a pirate on the label.

Piraat is an exceptionally flavorful Belgian pale. It leads with a honey-sweet malt taste that is followed very quickly by a leafy hop taste. The taste of alcohol permeates throughout, which is not surprising, since this brew weighs in at 10% ABV. Unfortunately, there's something about the malt flavor that really sticks to your tongue, and the alcohol sticks along with it. As a result, the aftertaste is an awkward mix of honey, alcohol, and leafy hops. Not a fantastic combo, in my book at least.

This beer is a great example of why I don't really consider myself a devotee of Belgian-style beers. I can see that, for those who really dig the flavors that are typical of Belgian beers, Piraat would be quite exciting. For me, it's just a tad bit overwhelming. It's fun to venture into unexplored territory now and again, but I remain loyal at heart to my Anchor and Stone inspired roots.

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