Piraat Strong Ale (2013)

I have many, many beers in my hoard and looking into how old this beer is.. I looked on the web and Piraat by Belgian Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. is approximately two years, so I assume this beer was brewed on November 5, 2013 as the best before date was the same date in 2015.

Piraat is a Belgian-style Strong Pale Ale, something that I used to see a good deal of in my neck of the woods.. but the liquor commission has discontinued so many Belgian ales in the past couple years.. so it's a rarity now days. This is 10.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hefty opaque amber ale appearance, there's a tad bit of sediment but not a surprise as this beer is well over half a decade old. The head is decently thick with a beige hue to it. The head diminishes a tad but leaves behind a good deal of lacing on the glass, but it's pretty frothy for the entire time sampling this beer.

Aroma: Notes of Earl Grey tea, a bit musky, notes of caramel, candi sugar, herbal hops, lemon, a tad bit of cardboard.. but not surprising as this is quite an old beer.

Taste: I can taste my body warming up each time I take a sip of this beer.. shouldn't be a surprise as it's 10.5% ABV! Notes of caramel, dark fruit (raisins/figs), candi sugar, molasses, hint of pepper, a bit of breadiness, but still a lot of booziness from the malt. The mouthfeel is quite clean and smooth, I get a tad bit of bitterness for aftertaste from the beer, but it's very minimal. There's a tad bit of apple/pear sweetness, a bit of nuttiness.. and that's about it.

Overall Thoughts: Seeing that this beer may be 6+ years old, this had a lot of carbonation, easy to drink, notes of caramel, dark fruits and whatnot... smoother than expected for 10.5% ABV but I feel myself getting slightly tipsier every time I take a sip from this 330mL bottle. I miss Belgian beers, I wish it was easier to find Belgian ales but I'm going to have to travel from now on.

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