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

Not Rated.
Bière Du Boucanier DarkBière Du Boucanier Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

159 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 159
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 159 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattcrill
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Cloves, grapes, raisins, fruity esters and a touch of Belgian yeast funk.

Appearance: Murky river water brown with a fluffy off-white cap.

Flavor: Raisins, carmel, maple, a firm alcohol backbone. As it warms you get more cloves and pepper which gets to be a bit overwhelming. Seems to be more approachable at cooler temps.

Mouthfeel: Medium and oily with a drying finish.

Overall impression: This one really works for me. Seems to have multiple layers of complexity and immensely enjoyable. Strongly recommended.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a beautiful, dark, murky brown in color with a nice brownish head that came up on an easy pour.

Smell – This aroma is rich with sweet, overripe fruits like mushy prunes and damp raisins. The strong fragrance of chewing tobacco juice is absolutely sinful. The malts are almost a non-player in this sugary concoction.

Taste – The malts come out a bit more at the taste. They are heavily-roasted and just do keep up with this massive sugary flavor profile. The great tobacco flavor has some even bigger prunes.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full in the mouth and wonderfully carbonated. There’s absolutely no sense of the giant ABV.

Drinkability – I didn’t have any trouble at all hoarding this big Belgian to myself.

Photo of Blakaeris
2.59/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours deep red-brown with a huge solid head. Nice lacing.

Smell is caramel malt and mild dark fruit. Understated yeasty spices and strong alcohol.

Taste is sweet with overly harsh alcohol. I normally like to taste a little warming alcohol, but this is a distraction. Syrupy sweet. The yeasty spices are there along with a nice bit of chocolate but you have to look for it. Subdued dark fruit. Maybe I got a bad bottle?

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

This beer is far too sweet, and the alcohol stands out too much. Where is the wonderful complexity of a BSD? I would avoid this one.

Photo of bashiba
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with very little light penetration. A thick creamy long lasting head throughout.

Smell is a typical Dark Belgian. Strong Yeast, Sweet candi sugar, molasses, dark fruit with a slight mustiness.

Sweet Malt flavors with heavy spices dominate initially, but given a chance there is a distinct little sharp earthy hop bitterness in the finish. Lots of great flavors here, nice Belgian yeast, molasses, some pepper, cloves, apricots, a bit of alcohol and dark fruityness. Complex.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full with good carbonation.

A good but not great belgian dark, maybe a little to much going on in the flavor with a bit to much alcohol taste.

Photo of GClarkage
4.7/5  rDev +24%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a muddy garnet color, a thin light tan head doesn't hang around but leaves impressive lace behind. Maintains a very thin cover.

Aroma - slight roasted grain, a touch damp/earthy, with some initial fruitiness that overrides the dampness as the beer settles.

Taste - non-descript sweetness up front, pronounced licorice about mid-palate to back. Between the active bubbles and the alcohol, nothing subtle is going to make it to the profile on this. The licorice fades to a hint of chocolate on the swallow. Turns a bit bitter well after the swallow, I'm not sure if that's hops or just the flavor mix. I was expecting a warm finish in the mouth and throat but the alcohol stays raw and brash on the way down, warming only the bottom of the belly a minute later. The finish becomes a bit unwound with flavors separating rather than melding. Oh well, just drink it, don't concentrate on it I guess.

Mouthfeel - very busy on the carbonation, probably does more to magnify the booze than integrate it. The body is about average.

Drinkability - interesting but a bit ramped up on the abv, I don't think it pays off for the beer in the grand scheme of things. Maybe on sale I'd pick these up again, but probably would seek out something new otherwise.

Photo of bubrewer
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, murky, and mysterious. I poured this beer in a slightly out of style dimple mug and noted the lively carbonation and firm standing head. If this beer is bottle conditioned, the lees stayed stuck firmly to the bottom of the bottle. The opaque white coating on the glass makes it hard to inspect after decanting.

Something about flanders is mentioned on the label, so I expected something of a flanders red. This may be in that style, but it is on the light end of both the sourness and barnyard I expect from the style. very pleasant nonetheless, and I find this is one of the few 9% beers I would be happy having a second glass.

Photo of nouseforotacon
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass, b/b of 29/07/06.

Large, thick and tan head gushed out with a rush of carbonation, slowly fell and left sparkling, foamy residue clinging to the sides of my glass. Bottom was murky, dark cider-like in appearance, brown with a touch of red.

Phenols/medicinal properties were strong in this one. Light banana, raisins, and some spice notes (clove, pepper) lingered around in the aroma. Sweet malts, caramel maybe, with some traces of yeast detected. Not bad.

Strong phenol character was in the taste, too. Medicine + bandaids came to mind. No harsh or unpleasant aftertaste, though. Spicy and definitely peppery. Rush of carbonation in the mouthfeel. Caramel, dark chocolate and a burnt flavor played around on the tongue. Raisins also present in the taste. Mouthfeel was a touch creamy, very satisfying, and alcohol content warmed as it went down.

Light to medium body with a nice, crisp feeling. Drinkability is definitely high, this one is a nice treat for fans of Belgian Strongs.

Photo of Wildman
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber and formed a light tan foamy head that receded coating the glass with lace. A heavy amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, candy and alcohol. The flavor was of malt, caramel, raisins and some yeast. The finish was fairly light and the finish a bit sprite yet sweet with the alcohol appearing in the background.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

White bottle with a pirate on the label.

Pours a nice little head that dissolves into almost nothing with barely any lacing whatsoever.

Smell has a lot of grape flavor with some pepper and malty grain flavor hidden behind the grape.

This is the first beer in a while that has left my chest burning like this. This is a great flavor, starts out sweet, then fruity, and ends malty. Has a nice hoppy aftertaste to finish it off.

The mouthfeel was watery , but still very nice.

I love the flavor and would adore another one of these.

Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong spicy aroma. Cologne, clove and spun sugar. She’s a looker. If Belgian Ales were women they’d be the last 20 years of Playboy covergirls. This one is also pretty. Dark brown with massive fluffy mocha head. Spice, pear, malt, apple maybe a a little cinnamon and navy rum. A lot of flavors going on here. Not expertly balanced, but still a great beer I’d drink again.

Photo of gdogalishus
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a hazy dark red color with a nice brown tinted head of small and lage bubbles. Poured into a goblet style glass from the tap. Beautiful, IMHO. The aroma was initially of raisins, but not too strong. The flavor surprised with hints of chocolate that intesified with each sip. The flavors finished slightly dry, just enough to make you want to drink more. The mouthfeel was adequate but could benefit from a little more body. If there were not so many choices at this event, I would have had a couple more of these.

Photo of Voss
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burn brown earth color comes out from this white painted bottle, filling his beautiful sniffer glass, ending up with a BIG persistent head. Smell of fresh fruit, apple, apricot and orange. 9% of alchool stay hidden at this point. Medium carbonation and a medium body, smooth on the palate, starts sugary with non bitter aftertaste. Alchool is still well hidden, leaving to malt and dark fruit most of the job of characterizing this belgian.
A good one, not a top beer for me, but one of the right choices to pair with grilled meat.

Photo of Derek
4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of rebel1771
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazey reddish brown with decent head that diminishes quickly. This brew aromas consist of rasins, toffee, and just a hint of dark chocolate. Like the aroma, the taste starts out with flavors of rasins then fades to caramel with an alcohol finish. This is my second Boucanier brew and I have to say that this line is becoming one of my favorites.

Photo of descartes
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from attractive 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: A dark brownish red with a thick two inches of head.
Smell: Burnt smell, some chocolate and alcohol.
Taste: Burnt front with some slight sweetness on the middle. The alcohol over powers on the back, not overflowing with character.
Mouthfeel: Slighly watery.
Drinkablility:An easy beer to drink despite it's flaws.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of Viggo
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of DrJay
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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.

Photo of TerryW
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark copper red with a solid, long-lived monster big head. Leaves behind gobbets of foam as you go. Lots of fun to watch action as you pour, so overall a rather good looking beer.

Nose is heavy and sweet, lots of fruit and malt, bread and a whiff of alcohol. A little on the cloying side for me.

Quite warming to drink. Sweet and sticky, with a noticeable to strong alcohol finish. Not as interesting as some of the other Boucaniers, a little too one dimensional.

Mouthfeel is sweet and dominated by a warm alcohol finish. Decent enough to try.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poura a mahogany brown with yeast haze and pretty lame tan head. Lacing is minimal. The aroma is malty with raisins cocoa and alcohol evident. The taste follows suit with a wall of malt taking the lead. Its full of dark malt and graininess, I taste bran flavors. Theres a bit of candy sugar and Belgian yeast esters. Hops are very minimal. The finish is sweet, a bit spicey and warm with alcohol. The alcohol taste is exactly where youd expect it for a 9% beer, not undetectable but not destracting. The mouthfeel is syupy and rather lightly carbonated for a bottle conditioned beer.

This is a tastey Belgian Dark Ale. Its not as tastey as its bigger brother, the Blonde, but its still worth a try.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.49/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 11.2 fl.oz (330ml) ‘Duvelian’ style white painted brown glass stubby with a themed label that reflects the brews name. An eye-patch wearing Pirate with his toothless smile dominates the front label whilst in the background wooden barrels and a Buccaneer ship complete the display. A small blue colored neck label has the words ‘Superior Class, From Belgium, East Flanders’; all this is finished with an appropriately color coordinated crown cap. The main label has a generic design and the words ‘Bière du Boucanier’ which appear on all three BdB variants. Only the small text words “Dark Ale” below the larger word Boucanier and “alc. 9% by Vol” differentiate this from the other two “Golden Ale” and ”Red Ale” versions.

Appearance: Ruddy dark brown settles with a nice looking tan colored head which struts its longevity for some time. Gorgeous lacing once the head rests and lays low with a ¼” cloth carpet head. Finely dissolved conditioning.

Nose: Basic odors. Nothing outstanding here. Dark malts, burnt sugars, caramel and molasses, normally these ingredients would be able to muster some decent aromas, but here they are an unorganized mish-mash here.

Taste: Starts with a sickly sticky maltose run which rises into a burnt sugar centre piece and a molasses laden malt finish. Just awful. Far too unbalanced and disjointed. Shocking finish reminded me of Bonfire toffee mixed with caramelized sugars. Very poor structure.

Mouthfeel: The sugary high alcohol is raw and unpleasant. Like a rough Rum mixed with molasses and brown sugar with some cheap Vodka mixed in for bad measure.

Drinkability: A real struggle. I liked the fresh boldness of the 11% BdB Golden Ale (Hit!) and the thrusting spicy-hop character of the 7% BdB Red Ale (Hit!)…..but the middle of the road 9% BdB Dark Ale (MISS!!!) is a big let down and fails to complete the Ménage- a-Trois. After the two earlier BdB versions I expected much more complexity from this one.

Misses by a Mile! Far too sickly and unbalanced, sweet and cloying with a high alcohol rum burn that ultimately detracts. The hard looking Pirate on the label may portray a positive image but what’s in the bottle does not - maybe Queer Eye for the Straight Guy could help out here. This needs more work, a *lot* more work, and I don’t recommend this until it gets a make-over.

Bière Du Boucanier Dark from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
85 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.