As you may have heard, this beer is my favourite. Seeing as it just appeared on tap at the Abbot's, I had the chance to try it again. Between being broke, generally lazy and working nights, I don't get the chance to go out as often as I'd like. Thankfully, the guys at the Abbot's were very accommodating and filled a half-litre swingtop bottle for me.
Piraat pours a dark gold, or a perfect amber, whichever you like. The aroma is all malty sweetness at first, and is a bit subdued by the cold. It's bready and full of sticky caramel malt notes, with the honey note I found in the very first bottle in attendance here too. There's even a light hop presence, something I didn't really pick up on at the first tasting. The palate gets more or less what's promised, but with a more noticeable fruit character of peach and apricot, and a touch of pithy bitterness at the end that balances out the syrupy almond finish. The alcohol is pretty high at 10.5%, but it doesn't really show in the taste, just the warmth after the swallow, but that's to be expected.
I still think this is my favourite beer, although I do have some trouble categorizing it. I'm not the only one though, as I've heard this called an IPA, a blonde and a Tripel before. I would say the vague but sufficiently descriptive Strong Golden Ale should do it. It's not hoppy enough to be a Double IPA, and lacks the soft dryness and spicy, grassy hop character of a classic Tripel. It's a strange one, just like it's stablemate the Gulden Draak.
One thing is for certain though - as long as the Abbot's keep this one coming, I'll be a very happy man.
Needless to say, fully recommended, as is the Abbot's Ale House.