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Vapeur En Folie - Brasserie à Vapeur

Not Rated.
Vapeur En FolieVapeur En Folie

Educational use only; do not reuse.

74 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie à Vapeur visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: zerk on 08-04-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeardedSquash
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up an 11.2 oz bottle at the store yesterday. The bottle looks nothing like the posted photo, and I couldn't find any sort of a vintage on it. The label says it is brewed with cumin. Sounded interesting.

A: Pours a very bright orange, clouded with yeast settlement and flecks of cork. They have my attention. Could have used a bit more head though.

S: Earth and cork. A dull hop presence, mixed with some bitter orange peel. Maybe some light biscuit malt. There is a haystack and barn scent like you would expect in a Lambic, but without the sour.

T: I'm sold. Dry spiced notes mixed up with some pils malt. A unique yeasty aroma. There is something I can't pin down falvor-wise. I cook with cumin quite a bit, and that's not what I'm tasting. But then again, maybe it pairs with other flavors to become what ever this is. I love it regardless.

M: Thin and refreshing. Bubbly and invigorating.

D: A wonderful beer. i don't know why it has a rating in the low 80's. Maybe the bottle I got is a different year. Either way, I'm going back to buy more of this.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml bottle, cellared for 9 months in my possession, in a oversized crystal snifter

Uncorked with a nice "SNAP". Poured with a lot of life, smooth. flowing.

Interesting nose. Light, crisp, dry, sweet with honey, mild coriander, wet rocks, fresh sea air. With some time to bloom floral esters come alive as well as some sour, tart qualities (apple & pear) along with some alcohol sting to the nostrils. Head was a solid 2 fingers of thick, sticky, sculpted pearl white foam of mixed bubbles that lasted about 5 minutes, fading slowly to a dollop of the same as an island floater surrounded by a glass ring that laced in splotches. The body is a thick, very clouded golden hue mass of suspension, almost dirty with sediment, practically viscous.

Initially dry, very soft & bashful, downright light in quality, a sweet mix of apple, pear, malts, spicy pepper and fresh, crunchy artisan bread crusts plays against a mild hop bite. Yeasts come alive along with a very noticeable spice (almost hot) peppery quality in a dry crescendo that builds and builds. This is one of the "spiciest" Belgian Pale Ales I've tried. It completely caught me off guard on the 1st sip with an almost sledgehammer dry bite of pepper, hops & spice...a nice feeling! While relatively easy to drink, I'm in no hurry to do so and enjoying the leisurely pace the beer is setting.

The yeasted, spicy quality continues on the throat as it finishes, albeit in a gradually diminishing capacity. It grows a bit syrupy, bitter with hops, then slides away in a nice, mouthwarming & teeth numbing farewell that is nicely clean, surprisingly sweet (well, bittersweet but more sweet than bitter) that is not coating at all, a tingle on the bicuspids as the main last note.

A very interesting, quirky, surprisingly spicy brew. I did enjoy the casual pacing it set, but it was also easy to drink. This would be perfect with lighter meat Thai or similar spicy fare, perhaps even Mexican? It would need a strong, soft, stinky cheese to hold up to it. Its slightly seductive in its reveal, which I enjoyed very much. Another beer to be celebrated for its simplicity, yet quality. I would love to try this with some spicy food. Give it a shot.

Photo of bennetj17
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This ale pours a bright gold color. Lots of bubbly carbonation, the head is about 1/2 inch before it settles into some nice coating foam above the surface. In the aroma I immediately notice a funky "off" smell best described as a sweaty, body odor like stank. There are some light citrus notes and mild alcohol fume also. Definitely not a real inviting smell overall, but could be worse. The taste has some of the funk noticed in the aroma, but not to the same degree. The malt flavors are tangy and bready, leaving a dry finish. Not bad, and the alcohol is not perceived either. Light body, with a decent foamy carbonation that coats the palate well enough.

This beer isn't half bad, stanky flavors and all. I probably would not purchase it again, however, considering I'd have to get a 750ml bottle and drop 10 bucks. There are plenty of other Belgian Strong Ales out there, so I'd recommend sticking with one of those...

Photo of Mitchster
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

$8.99 for a capped and corked green 750ml bottle at Merchants. 6% ABV, which is a bit light for a Belgian "Strong" Pale Ale, as mentioned hear...clearly just a BPA. Stamped as an "Ale brewed with spices" on the front of the mardi-gras appearing label. Pours out to a cloudy, sediment-laden golden orange, forming a modest white soapy head with average retention and mild lacing. Carbonation is medium. The aroma is lovely with strong "Belgian Funk" sour notes including dusty basement, apples, kiwi, sour candy, mead, peppery alcohol and dusty pale grains. The nose tells me this is more of a Gueuze/Lambique. The mouthfeel is lightly ruddy in the beginning, suggesting a touch of oxidation, but otherwise filling, not overly carbonated, with a medium body. As it warms, the plastic/ruddy mouthfeel becomes a major problem. Taste is a recap of the aroma but not holding up it's end. There is a pleasantly filling malt base and enough sweetness to round things out, as I don't particularly care for overly dry BPA's. Plenty of apple/lemon/mead/clove/must/yeast. Bitterness is very mild.

This one is a mixed bag. There is plenty of good things going on, but the ruddy, plastic mouthfeel is the biggest disappointment. I've had plenty of unique Belgian farmhouse ales, and I think this one ultimately suffers and can't hold up quality-wise. Ultimately, I find that this isn't worth the price. If I'm in the mood for something special, I would pick up Abbaye des Rocs or Fantome for the price. A good idea but a bad delivery.

Photo of paterlodie
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 6-2008. Nice apearance in the glas as it shows a nice and lasting white head and a beautifull deep golden beer. Has tons of huge particles in it though and bottle head despite some months in my fridge quiet some gushing. Nose is wild has quiet some spices butcomming down to a sweet gale spicy arome. Hint of sourness but decent and hard to find any malts in this one. Still good overall and well balanced. Taste is also quiet good; has bit of mustyness, dry caracter and low bitterness but fitting with the well dosed spices. Good alcoholtouch and balanced mouthfeel make it an enjoyable beer and something else.

Photo of jhu1995
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden color with orange hues. Yeast in the bottle gives it a cloudy appearance. Large fluffy white hed that dissipates at a moderate pace. Smell was sour with hints of spice and flowers. Taste was sour and peppery with some very faint hops spiciness in the finish. For an 8% ABV beer, I thought it was smooth in the mouth. Light-bodied. Drinkability was pretty good as well. Overall, a solid beer that is worth a try.

Photo of silenius
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bottle with the green and purple hat on the woman and the words "ALE BREWED WITH SPICES" stamped in ink on the label.

The smell is pleasant and sweet with aromas of coriander, cork, cotton candy, orange peel and caramel. No hops detected and it seems a bit unbalanced.

Taste mimics the smell with it being predominately sweet with flavors of bubblegum, orange and melons. No hops detected and too sweet.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin although there is ample carbonation.

Drinkability suffers from the sweetness that gets annoying about halfway through the bottle

Photo of tjthresh
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle says 1996. The overriding discriptor of this beer is sour. Smelt sour with some barn yard charactor. Tasted sour. Stripped my tounge with sourness. It was hazy yellow. I don’t know if it was supposed to be that sour, but it wasn’t very pleasing.

Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden colour, white head with nice lace. Yeasty aroma, tart and fruity, slight alcohol. Tart, fruity, bit of vanilla, with some residual sweetness. Nice balance of flavours. Loads of carbonation off the pour. Definitely enjoyable and something I'd try again. Thanks northyorksammy!

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yeasty aroma that carries for several feet. Alcohol in the scent as well. Aggressive carbonation, that we left for a while to ease off. Expiry 2007, bottled in 2003. Lasting head. Lace, satisfying with vanilla, sugar and creamy bannana. Very drinkable in small mouthfulls.

Photo of karst
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have read all the reviews available, emailed several BA's, read Dr. Raoul Palamand's "Training ourselves in Flavor Perception and Tasting", translated Brasserie a Vapeur's web pages into english.

Why? My delima: I found the Vapeur En Folie a likeable ale. I do, however have some reservations along the lines of this old bottles care. I believe it had undergone warm storage (cardbord) and contained some musky flavors indicating mold growing in filters or elsewhere - these have been intensified by the aging and maybe also by the oxidation allowed by the green glass bottle.

An older vintage with a steam engine on the label poured hazy amber. Aroma of old apples and ciderpulp. Skunk briefly then predominately apples and vinegar with mucky wet forest leafs (almost soil at bottom of the duff layer) reminesent of cardboard. Perhaps a spoiling organisms is involved (gluconobacter acetonones or just wild yeast mold).

I liked this beer happily drinking 2/3 of the 750 ml bottle while my BA friend was completely put off by its obvious "off" characteristics.

I found its complexly weird flavors very surprizing and loved the champaign like carbonation and found its dry wine like finish most acceptable.

The reviews reminded me of:

O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing.

Jainism and Buddhism. Udana 68-69:
Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant


Grope this pachyderm carefully. You may find parts of it surprizing!

Photo of Shultzerdugen
2.68/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

75cl green bottle with both cap and cork. Has a picture of a steam engine on it. Must be pretty dammed old since it doesn't match the current brown bottle pictured on the site.

Poured a very light hazed copper, head boiled up and disappeared.

The first impression on the smell was strong green apple peels and something old and funky. I finally nailed it down to wet leaves, like the kind closest to the ground you'll kick up hiking through the woods. Maybe some dirty old gym socks in there as well.

Biting carbonation right from the top. Very sour, vinegar vibes. A strange quality not unlike the musk of a wildebeast I would guess. Apple peel characters noticed throughout, with a dry, astringent finish. Malt has a macro adjunct lager taste, maybe even a malt liquor taste.

If this were a lambic or gueuze I could see where this funkiness might be desirable. As it stands now, I would say this was infected by wild yeast or even bacteria, and hurting from it. Maybe it was the brewers intention? Not even a cave-aged gruyere could salvage this beer.

Photo of stcules
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange hue, with light coppered reflexes. Beautiful head, abundant, compact, creamy: very good appearance!
The smell is very fruity, with pear, melon, kiwi, grapes (grapes sugar), vanilla, cream: delicate. Maybe a hint of citric in the background.
The taste is slightly more monotone, and more warm, too. Ripe fruit (always pear), but even some spices (cinnamon).
Medium body.
Fruity aftertaste, with pear again, and spices, not very longstanding.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage August 1996. Orange-amber, light reddish hints, complex color, very nice foamy head. Good call Josh, this nose reveals tremendous house character! Full French mustard grains, lenses, expanding essences. The more I smell, the more I develop the certainty that they really did use mustard grains, relishy vinegar notes, mellowed out lemony hops. Tart grapefruit, melon and mango provide a pleasant fruit salad melting pot. WOAH! Sour! Mustardy, rhubarbish, earthy, this one has rusticity by the ton. Rather thin lambicy texture, moderately carbonated, herbal, extremely spicy, cheesy (with moderation), heavily citric, bittering out and a true pleasure to sip. Surprise: A real winner that one! Farmy and thirst-quenching.

Photo of Cwrw
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another oddly labelled beer from Vapeur. "Folie" translates as "madness" from French, so I suppose that explains the label. A nondescript unmarked green cap. I have never seen another bottle of beer filled as high as this one: there is only about 3 cm between the beer and the underside of the cap, consequently it almost foamed over when I popped the cap. This is a hazy tangerine coloured beer; orange and light brown. Bits of sediment clearly visible floating. The head is a creamy off-white cover, not extremely large, but consistent at about 1cm. Superb lacing, leaving a dense screen that slowly dissolves on the sides of a chalice glass. Some of the best lace on a beer I have seen. The aroma is a massive hit of sliced pieces of green apple. Spicy cider; this is definitely not the typical apple aroma of some beers--this one is frontal, extremely heavy. Behind this are some sour candy smells, lightish malt, a low level of any musky yeast, spicy fruits, and a moderate solvent-like pungency of alcohol. Cinnamon rolls, grass, a numbing clove smell, and several others, chemical-like, somewhat hard to identify. A complex aroma. That fresh green apple dominates, and I like it. I get apple in the front of the taste as well, but in the middle there is tart malt, lactose, and it leaves with a decent dryness. Slick sugariness from the beginning, leaving a carmelised candied taste. Not much aftertaste at all, and the body is medium. It definitely has some sour notes in the middle, and phenolic. Medium carbonation, but to its credit this is a very smooth beer to drink. The alcohol limits the drinkability, as does the subtle dryness which becomes stronger with every sip. This beer IS a little mad, a little all over the map as far as anything close to a "style" is concerned. A unique beer.

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color, transparent, with light effervescence and a small white head (low retention). Smells of fruity esters, like a tripel, with some sour apples thrown in. Tastes lightly sweet at the start with a tart middle and a dry, peppery finish. Palate is medium bodied, watery and lightly bubbly.
IMHO: Quite one-dimensional ? more like a Saison than a Strong Pale Ale

Photo of tjd25
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foamy as a bath gel, as active as a volcano. All the bubbles go on a curved way to the top of the glass. The head is lasting, velvety at the surface but more irregular underneath. Craziness in the bubbles. Is this head ever gonna fade so I can smell the beer?
Well, the smell is quite floral with nice notes of liquorice and sweet apples. A bit cider like. The taste is reminiscent of apples, but more in a warm apple pie way with caramelized sugar than in a cider way. The high abv’s warming aspect is not overwhelming and ends up matching nicely with the sweet apples flavor, showing also hints of cinnamon. A subtle and pleasing spiciness consists of liquorice with some sour notes. The brew gets a bit biscuity. Mouthfeel is consistent and round. The high level of carbonation nicely puts life on the palate. Also a kind of artificial candy-like banana character in the background. Overall a drinkable brew.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1996 vintage corked and capped 75 cl bottle. Label looks completely different. Pours a lightly hazed honey gold color with a significant frothy, off-white colored head. Excellent lacing. Tart aromas, yet malty and yeasty and fruity at the same time. Very intriguing taste, pale malty and a thoroughly unique yeast character to it, imparting a blueberry-like fruit quality to it. It has the slight barnyard funk of a lambic, yet it maintains a pale ale quality to it. It's very nice. I'm glad I sat on the bottle for awhile and I'm tickled pink that it had sufficient carbonation. I'd pick this one up again in a heartbeat. It's very unique.

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The cork liberated from its dock, and the ensuing lusty report from the escaping “Vapeur” tickled my expectation of embracing a cornucopia of flavor and a mirage of Belgian countryside. This is an ale and a strong ale at that-- bearing 8% alcohol.

The ale emerged from my glass as if alive- greeting me with an endless head-- it rose from the confines of the rim like a necromancers libation- gobs of foam, thick, dense. Another glass brought to table but no matter how carefully I poured, the head set free from the liquid elevating as a great cylinder-- the very image of the inside circumference of the glass. My expectations dashed as I waited for the rush of head to recede.

Finally my palate was greeted by a mild body and character-- as if the very beer embarrassed by the exuberance of the head, blushing, kept it’s boasting under check and it’s flavor subdued.

Even the look was one of apology-- a mild straw color, not that of a filtered beer but clear enough to easily see through.

The nose, less prominent than I had hoped, was present nonetheless. Once again, it seemed as if the whole chorus was busy apologizing for the exuberance of the conductor.

The beer itself produced a lingering finish, clean, crisp that transmuted into the ghost of the Belgian bucolic. But once again, like a ghost its flavor image shimmered and haunted on my taste buds without making a definite statement. “Mouthfeel”? The beer seemed to whisk my palate clean of old flavors, cleansing the way for another sip.

Even though this ale produced an abundant head, it’s body wasn’t as effervescent as one might be lead to believe. In my opinion, a good thing indeed!

In summary, if only the flavor and body were a little more like the head ...

Photo of rastaman
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Earthy sorta' farmhousey stuff, candied sugar sort of start, lightly sweet, with quite a dry, carbonated finish, some late bitterness, but fairly light, and a touch thin. A bit candyish, but not bad, drinkable. Didn't excite me like Saison de Pipaix of the same brewer.

Photo of zerk
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a dissapointment for me... pours a cloudy yellow-gold, with a thin but persistent white head. Leaves behind a bit of lace as well. Aroma is somewhat musty and sour, with notes of apple and lemon. Flavor is bland... with a musty overtone and a hint of apple and malt. Mouthfeel is very watery with low to medium carbonation. Not a beer I'd recommend if you're looking for a good example of a Belgian Blonde.

Photo of NeroFiddled
2.72/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. Pours a slightly hazy gold body with an orange cast topped by a huge, rocky head of off-white foam that wants to rise right out of the goblet at you. The retention is exceptional and it holds a solid 1/2" head throughout the entire glass; leaving exceptional rings and sheets of lace as it goes. The nose is unusual. It's not necessarily appealing, but neither is it off-putting. It expresses some clear phenolics and it's laden with acetaldehyde leaving it reminiscent of mead and dried fruits (particularily apple and some pear), but it's also a bit plastic-like. (My though was initially that it had undergone a high temperature fermentation, but the higher alcohols that would also come of that are not present. Odd.) The body is medium, and it's very fine and gently effervescent carbonation caresses the tongue. Unfortunately, the flavor displays the same acetaldehyde and phenolics present in the aroma. It's sweet, quite honeyish in fact, and very apple-like... yet not particularily pleasant. A bit of astringency is present as well. It's an interesting beer that's rich in flavor but lacking in complexity. It's defects really bring it down, which is surprising because the other Vapeur beers are so well done.

Photo of marc77
2.03/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Golden in hue w/ a light haze. Tremendously effervescent carbonation supports an initially immense mountainous head that settles surpisingly quickly into a moderate layer. Sparse lace is left. Green apple acetaldehyde dominates the aroma, w/ phenol present at a trace. Flavorwise acetaldehyde is intense and masks other potential contributions in flavor. Perhaps a poorly aged bottle (brewed 1996) but this is seriously difficult to drink. Cloyingly tart, dry and over attenuated. I highly doubt this is supposed to taste like this. Highly reminescent of dry, tart apple cider. I suspect a wild yeast infection. A true disappointment.

Photo of budgood1
2.18/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

hazy deep golden color, huge cream colored rocky head. very fruity, tart, musty nose. extremely tart and lip puckering upon first and last sip. the only thing i can compare it to is champagne, with the large white grape taste. moderate to high carbonation. pretty smooth mouthfeel. some pale malt flavor in the far background...no discernible hops...extremely dry finish. no alcohol detected except for the buzz in my head. can't say i've ever tasted beer like this before. i had to pour it out at the end because it was just too nasty tart and sour. i believe this bottle obtained on clearance is over ten years old.

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Vapeur En Folie from Brasserie à Vapeur
83 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.