Bière Du Boucanier Dark - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Bière Du Boucanier DarkBière Du Boucanier Dark

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BA SCORE
86
very good

111 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 111
Hads: 160
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 08-17-2004

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 111 | Hads: 160
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nicely crafted malt, with some sour darkness, aggressively carbonated, perhaps from being very fresh (November 2005). Cool painted over bottle. Nice dark rum colour. Different malts waft on head and boozy. Smooth drink though to be sipped, molasses and warming, a touch of yeast. Not to complex, though nice. (308 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste Pub & Cafe in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, dark fruit, brown sugar, and spices. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a solid set of aromas and flavors that make it tasty and easy to drink. (577 characters)

Photo of spycow
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz poured into a La Fin Du Monde Tulip glass.

A - Pours an amber-brown color. A lot of head and carbonation. It took a while before the head stablized to a normal level. Left a nice appearance on the glass.

S - Sweet smell of candy, with carmel and hint of cherries and other florals.

T - Taste started off typical of the belgian dark ales. Nothing too unique in this one. Not complex but you can taste the carmel malt and some of the hops and a light fruitiness. Lightly bitter but with minimal aftertaste to savor after drinking. The taste didn't change much from sip to sip. Though strong at 9% it didn't overtake the taste of the beer.

M & D - Feels light in you mouth. It starts off feeling carbonated but does dissipate quickly. The flavor didn't stay long and easy enough to drink even at 9%.

Overall a decent beer. It wasn't as good as their Red ale but will still recommend especially at a price point of $3.50. (930 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high frothy off white head that died down and consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits and sweet malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has bits of sweetness with some faint hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has somewhat muted flavors compared to other beers in the style but hides its alcohol rather well. (637 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a tea brown color with a beige head that has good retention and leaves thick sheets of lace

Smell: Toffee spice cake aroma with fusel alcohol wafting through

Taste: Starts with a caramel spice cake flavor that becomes peppery, mid-palate; strong alcohol presnece in the finish that is sweet and pungent with some bitter charcoal notes

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation and a warming finish

Drinkability: Decent in many ways but has some flavor flaws that knock it down a notch (527 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheeky as hell, it's easy to dismiss the lable and thus the beer. But inside, the very strong Belgian Ale carries some great authentic Belgian flavors.

The beer pours a dark amber, light burnish-brownish color with good initial clarity, but the second pour releases the yeasty haze. Vivid carbonation fuels an earyly froathy, nearly rocky head but the sugary and alcoholic weight brings the head down in short fashion. A nice looking beer but I wanted more retention and structure to the head character.

Fruity, spicy, and alcoholic; this beer has a medium maltiness of biscuit or cookie dough, but then the cotton candy confectionate sweetness kicks in for a perfumy scent.

Flavors of malty/sugary sweetness is amplified by early alcohol sweetness and spice. Rounded with esters of ripe berries, apples, appricots, pears, and cherries, the beer's fruitiness takes on cough-syrup flavors. Spicy with black pepper phenols and bitter alcohol, the beer balances out rather remarkably in the finish.

The sugary start brings about an oily feel that impeeds the effervescent carbonation for a decidedly sweet mouthfeel through mid palate. Finishing warm/hot with the alcohol and spice, the beer retains its sweetness deep into the finish and aftertaste, void of the signature malty-dry finish of Chimay Blue or Rochefort beers.

Where the beer isn't an all-together train wreck, there are a lot of components about this beer that keep it from rounding out and comming together. It makes me wonder how age would treat this beer. (1,526 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark color ale with a huge foamy head with pretty good retention. Aroma of strong malt with a lingering feeling from the Belgian yeast. Taste is a mix between sweet roasted malt, light funky yeast and hints of dry raisins and brown sugar. Body is above average with the alcohol well hidden. Very good Belgian ale but missing a bit of complexity to be truly great. (380 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky apple cider brown with an infusion of orange. In other words, tawny. There appear to be reddish highlights as well, although without brighter sunlight I can't say for sure. The cap was large on the pour and has settled down to an impressively firm, rocky expanse of pale orange-tinted beige. I like the way this one looks.

Like the color, which is more pale than usual, the nose isn't exactly to-style. There's very little dark malt and not much estery yeast. Sour, bruised orchard fruit dominates. I'm reminded of (alcoholic) apple cider.

BDB Dark is sweeter than most BSDAs. I don't mind sweet in most circumstances, so that isn't necessarily a negative. The biggest reason I'm not blown away is a lack depth and breadth. The flavor doesn't expand in the mouth and allow one to appreciate its nuances from all angles, like the world-class versions do.

The beer tastes like brown sugar-crusted dates soaked in caramel syrup with a sprinkling of ground clove. Tobacco notes are welcome, as is a mild alcohol presence. This really is good beer, I just wish that it contained a bit less candi sugar and a more impressive yeast strain.

The mouthfeel is medium-full with a syrupy stickiness that I'm enjoying. Brouwerij Van Steenberge must have purchased candi sugar in bulk in order to save a few euros. Thankfully, there isn't the usual amount of frenetic Belgian carbonation, although the body is certainly big enough to absorb any number of bubbles with ease. Sip it or gulp it; either one works just fine.

Dark is the middle beer of the Biere Du Boucanier trio in term of ABV. For my money, it's also the middle beer in terms of flavor and overall quality. I am enjoying it, though, and that's all that matters in the end. This is one of the few versions of the style that would make a great dessert beer. (1,817 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sessions in Greensboro.Poured into a goblet a hazed russett color with a blooming off white head atop.Aromas of spiced cake and brown sugar stand out most with underlying funk wich doesn't play a big role but is there.Somewhat boozy and sweet on the palate with Belgian yeasty spiciness,again it has that spiced cake element to it,not overly complex.I have had worse of the style but this isnt one of the top end of the style for me either. (450 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours hazy, medium brown body with a full, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Sourish, fruity aroma smelling of a blend of cherries and raisins, brown sugar, booze, and dusty, dry cocoa powder.

Taste: Sugary sweet raisins and cherries with occasional pops of sourness. Slight dry, nutty malts. Tiny hint of unsweetened cocoa powder. Fairly low bitterness. Peppery alcohol character. Drying, semi-sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Fine and drinkable, sure, but I just couldn't get too into it. I guess a pirate's life is NOT for me. (585 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The "black pirate" delivers a lightly hazy, deep mahogany body with ruby highlights beneath a creamy tan head that holds exceptionally well and leaves sheets of lace throughout most of the glass. The nose is not as complex as some of the other Boucanier beers, but it's quite welcoming with notes of mild cocoa, bready malt, yeasty fruit, and alcohol (and, unfortunately, -but it's very limited- some acetone). In the mouth it tingles the tongue with a medium body and a moderate but very-fine, natural carbonation; before warming to become lightly creamy. The flavor is richly caramelish and cocoa-ish upfront; although the alcohol is noticeable as well. It's a bit one-sided, but rich; and it lingers in the finish with some yeasty and alcoholic spice as the sticky malt fades and bitterness rises. (Again, some acetone finds it's way in, cutting down on both its flavor and drinkability). At 9% abv it's kind of surprising that the alcohol is as noticeable and warming as it is; but apart from that this is a decent beer! (1,024 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy medium brown color with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, dark fruit, some spices, a little Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and malty up front with flavors of dark fruits, caramel and brown sugar. There's a mild alcohol warmth that comes in along with a decent Belgian yeast breadiness. The hops presence is very mild and there's a decent balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, it's a fairly good beer but there are certainly others in the style that I would pick first. (837 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown that shows a small amount of light. Nose is mild, but gives a general sweet tone with a very minor funky edge. Flavor is what you expect it to be. Consistent smooth sweet tone. Minor funky that barely presents itself. Dark fruits combine with dark sugars. Feel has a biting carbonation. Typical liquid feel. This is a nice Belgian ale. (354 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/09/06- Purchased at Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle, as most brews are from this brewery. Stamped code of some kind on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- One inch plus slight off white head, levels to about 1/2 an inch for the rest of drinking purposes. Cola like in color, maybe a shade towards grape juice. Very nice examples of cobweb lacing and streaking.

Smell- This one is all malt and fruit baby! Dark sugary roasted malt combined with a bit of prune, figs, dates, raisins and plums. Quite a nice scent.

Taste- Wow! This one has more intense fruit flavor that any beer at this abv level that I have had. I'd expect the fullness from a 12% beer, but at 9%? Super brown sugary sweet, with a nice twang of sourness after the swallow. Dark fruits everywhere! Figs and raisins with prunes and plums colide to make this diabolical flavor. Even a touch of hops to make it more interesting. Wonderful!

Mouthfeel- Thick and almost syrupy. Smooth with a slight below average carbonation level.

Drinkability- Holy crap! Why didn't I snag another handful of these! One of the most flavorful brews of any kind that I have had. Try it, you won't be sorry. (1,235 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Biere du Boucanier Dark

Appearance : Poured from a cool looking white stubby bottle with a label depicting a pirate at night . The beer pours a dark brown with no sediment and with decent clarity. Off white head forms, lasting the duration.

Smell: The nose suggests figs and brandy, heavily malty, sweet smelling and inviting all in all. As it warms, caramels and floral notes come out.

Taste: Strong presence of estery Belgian yeast with dark fruit notes of plum, date and raisin. There are some leafy, herbal noble hop notes with a balancing bitterness. Really highlights the yeast with the sugary over ripe dark fruit notes. The finish is malty sweet with alcohol making a small presence.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, rich and flavorful. Carbonation is spot on at a medium high level and the finish is strong and quite drying. Every sip beckons for another.

Overall: Another fine offering from one of the world's greatest breweries. Great flavor, feel and overall drinking experience. Finding a few of these in the fridge would be like discovering buried treasure. Would pair excellent with mild fruited cheeses. (1,116 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A careful pour to keep out any sediment rewards me with a dark brown ale with a respectable tall tan head.

Smell is sweet with a distant sour edge to it and brown sugar on apples odor. The aroma of German Christmas cookies and some alcohol spice tickle my nose. Lesser aromas of figs and dates this is a very nice smelling beer.

The taste begins sweet and sugary with a sweet cake flavor. Lots of molasses flavor to this one and I don't mean brown sugar, it is more than a slight flavor too. The German Christmas cookie flavor is strong with this one good flavors of ginger and cinnamon. Hops appear as a bitterness in the after taste but otherwise are not a flavor component.

Mouthfeel is good.

An excellent and relaxing beer that goes down easy. This is no Gouden Carolus but it IS a first rate dark Belgian ale. (826 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer seems reluctant to bare any colour at all apart from that dreary, dark russet that looks as though it were on lend from the funeral home. Only against very bright light will it relent even a shaving of ruby and even then, although you know it has the clarity it in, transparency is too much to ask for. Meanwhile, it is overly generous with the head (providing more than the glass could handle the carpet becomes a lucky beneficiary).

Boucanier Dark also plays its cards close to the chest with regards to aroma. It is typical for a beer of this style to be overwrought and stimulated with yeasty phenolics and esters and alcohols, but this one remains tight lipped even after we've had some time to warm up to one another. A musty variation on the dark fruity smell of prune juice seems to be all it cares to share. Surely there must be more to it than that?

Some progress is finally made in the taste. The flavour of leathery, dried red grape skins comes to the fore while watered down port, molasses and a pinch of clove-like spice also register. Still, the beer hardly capitalizes on the dynamics of Belgian yeast and uses only a fraction of its phenolic, enterprising potential - it's like owning a Porsche and never taking it on the highway. On the whole, I find the beer detrimentally reserved.

One of the problems I remember having with these 'Boucanier' beers was how candid they all were with regards to their alcohol strength so finally something good comes of all this bashfulness - the beer let's on hardly an ounce. Still, I'd gladly welcome more booze to the palate if it meant also trading up for some additional flavour. Sure, this is easily swallowed but what's the point of drinking a beer if it doesn't engage and entice you?

What Brouwerij Van Steenberge have at their disposal is basically an easy short-cut to a sure-fire, automatically dynamic and characterful beer - and somehow they managed to pick out the one sheepish, timid strain of yeast in the whole of Belgium! First impressions aren't everything and to be sure I've given this beer a second, third and fourth chance to come around; we haven't really hit it off yet so I assume we never will. (2,191 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light tan, one finger-head that goes slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is sweet apple. Starts as sweet raisins/plums, finish is sweet, spicey (nutmeg?) with hops in the background. The high ABV is not noticeable. 330ml bottle from six-pack $22.99 Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. (342 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Squat white 330 ml bottle picked up at Tres Bonne Cuisine over the weekend... I think I paid $4.50... but the memory bank are fading.... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 finger lite tan head sticks around for quite a bit with descent lace, but nothing special.. the brew is a slightly hazy dark dark chestnut.

Nose is very fruity.. overripe apricots and thick prune... smells too sugary... not enough malt depth.

Ehhhh.... I thought the Red was too sweet, this is just cloying... the "Belgian" qualities are there, but the sugars overpower most everything and comes across a sickly sweet alcoholic lightly spiced applesauce... need some more bitterness to balance the sugars... big body and uneven carbonation adds to a growing unpleasant experience.... add on a slight metallic note, and I'm thinking this may end up being my first drainpour in a long while.

Once I find it, I'll buy the Golden just to try it, but I will certainly never buy the Red or the Dark ever again.... Waaaay better BSDA's out there for the money. (1,028 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in flared goblet. Poured a clear mahogany with a half-inch of dark tan (with a slight reddish tint) head that had decent retention and minimal lacing.

The aroma was sweet and malty with some fruit notes. The flavors followed that same path with the earthy fruit flavors being a little more noticeable.

The body was full, well-rounded and tongue covering without being sticky. Drinkability was very good, more so if you're a fan of the style. Overall, a very good example of the style. Worth trying if you see it. (521 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy dark orange amber with a fine very light tan head with good retention and massive lacing. Aroma of dark sweet malt, molasses, dark dried fruit, Belgian spicing. Flavor starts with dark fruit, brown sugar, Belgian yeast and sweet malt, developing more estery fruit flavors then finishing slightly dryer with lightly sour fruit flavors. Very nice flavor progression and modestly complex. Body is light to medium, but pleasant carbonation keeps it interesting. Quite sweet, like a lot of van Steenberge beers, but has plenty of flavor to keep the balance. I really enjoyed this. (624 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-brown, off-white head, nice retention and lace.

S: Bready caramel, slightly fruity. Not a lot of nose, but it's quite nice. It doesn't smell as dark as its 'Gulden' brother.

T: Very Belgian (Special B malt). It's smoother and maltier than its big brother... seems like it could be an all-malt version of Gulden Draak (ie. no extra sugar added for alcohol content). Very nice fruit-bread flavour. Alcohol is very subtle and well hidden. Hint of tartness in the finish. Really incredible... pushing a '5'.

M: Moderate body, highly carbonated. Velvety, or perhaps even silky smooth.

D: Great.

It's not a power-hitter like it's big brother. Seems more subtle and refined. I like it A LOT!

Back-to-back, I'll take this one. I think it's under-rated. (772 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear ruby brown with a fluffy, light tan head. Lots of clumpy lace gets left behind as the foam subsides. Vinous alcohol aroma, sweet dried fruit, hint of tobacco. A bit earthy too. Sweet, raisin fruitiness, not very complex. Lingering alcohol warmth with a bit of solventy character. Creamier texture than the red, carbonation on the high side, full body. Fair attenuation leaves it on the dry side at the finish. (415 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, chunky brown/red, big off white head forms, some nice lacing. Smell is sweet, brown sugar, spice, orange, some alcohol. taste is sweet and sugary, caramel, orange, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, not bad, although a little too sweet. (276 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dirty burgandy tone. Decent sized light tan head which has good staying power. Lacine is more than adequate. Nose is thick with phenols, cough syrup, sweet dripping candy resin, booze and rum punch. The combination doesn't do too much for me. The taste is quite boozy. Spicy remnants of alcohol linger long after the swallow. Lots of tropical fruits to go around as well. This is a replicate of that heavily spiked punch you sometimes find at the trendy "Mid Winter Luau." It's a little much for me. The mouthfeel is just a tad syrupy. Body is pretty full. More subtlety could do this beer a lot of good.

Thanks for the rum punch cokes. (640 characters)

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Bière Du Boucanier Dark from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.