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Beer #89 – April 2, 2010: Piraat Ale

April 7, 2010

Beer: Piraat Ale

Brewery: Van Steenberge Brewery, Ertvelde, Belgium

Style: Belgian IPA

Serving Type: 11.2 oz bottle

Price: Unknown, part of a mixed gift pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Brandy Snifter

Strength: 10.5% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Really tasty, “comfort food” beer

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Hazy, orange-honey hue with a thin white head.

Aroma: Boozy, sherry-like aroma.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick with tiny, fizzy bubbles.

Taste: This ale starts with a honey and muscat sweetness.  The bubbles of carbonation build, and notes of whiskey come forward.  Spicy notes of grains of paradise mix with the spritzy carbonation, all ending with a relatively bitter finish.

Pairing: Moules Frites (a Belgian dish of mussels sautéed in ale) and some fresh, crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.

Trivia: Continuing yesterday’s thoughts on glassware, I may have made a mistake here.  Never having tried Piraat Ale before, I thought it was a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, like Duvel, with a big, billowy head, making it ideal for filling the volume of the glass.  This beer, however, has a much thinner head.  Still, a beer in any glass is better than a beer from a bottle.  Pouring into a glass allows you to truly appreciate the color, carbonation and, most importantly, aroma.  Since much of what you taste is directly related to smell, the narrow mouth of a bottle does not allow you to appreciate the aroma of a beer like a wide-mouthed glass.

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