The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Piraat

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 12, 2006 4:08PM

2006_10_piraat2.jpgIn hindsight, we should have featured Piraat the same week as "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Arrr, what a fun post that would have been to write, mateys. Instead, we featured Bell's Octoberfest. Judging from the thirteen recommendations the post received, we made the right call.

Chicagoist first became acquainted with Piraat when we first moved down to Bridgeport, thanks to the always hospitable Al Moran at Puffer's, who's also forgotten more about bartending than anyone else can hope to learn. Piraat is a Belgian strong ale: 10.5 percent alcohol, by volume, to be exact. The Van Steenberge brewery, which brews Piraat, calls this a "living" ale, which means that a secondary fermentation occurs after bottling. We'll write more about secondary fermentation with next week's "BotW."

Piraat pours a yellowish orange color, with what one reviewer at Piraat's page called a "MASSIVE rocky head." There's no smoothness to this beer's head, as it has some serious carbonation, staring at the foam of this beer is like looking at a teenager with bad acne. You'll also see traces of yeast sinking to the glass' bottom. Alcohol hits your palate immediately upon tasting. However, once you've become acclimated to that, you pick up wonderfully smooth malts, with an emphasis on tropical fruit flavors, and hints of caramel, vanilla, cloves and banana. This is a beer that could ward off scurvy. The finish is warm and slightly dry. Overall, you'll feel like your mouth's been boarded and a Jolly Roger was hoisted up your flagpole.

If you can find it, Piraat also comes in a slightly weaker 9 percent version. But if you're going to try it, dive in and crack open a botle of the heavy duty stuff. Arrrggh!!

Piraat is Chicagoist's "beer of the week."