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

very good
165 Ratings
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Bière Du Boucanier DarkBière Du Boucanier Dark

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by maxpower on 08-17-2004

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Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 112
Photo of grub
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

pours deep brown with ruby highlights and a huge fluffy tan head. drops very slowly and leaves tons of clumpy lace.

aroma is nice. hint of fruit and spice. touch of alcohol. light caramel sweetness.

taste is great. bit of dark fruit. touch of alcohol. caramel. light sweetness. just a hint of spice. bit of yeast. taste is fairly straightforward and simple, not too much complexity, but nice.

mouthfeel is good. fairly light body with a nice dry finish. fairly high carbonation.

drinkability is good. i didn't finish the 'red', finding it too sweet, but this one is quite nice.

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Photo of crwills
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a 6-pack of Biere du Boucanier products around Christmas. Poured it into a Chimay glass from a solid white stubby bottle. Very nice deep brown with some gold highlights, and a huge overflowing white head. Near-perfect for this style.

Aroma was a little bit muted and hard to make out. Tangy, dark fruits like dates and plums, with some bready yeast. A little bit spicy. These elements carry over into the flavour, but this is much more bold and stand-out. Some chocolate and roasted malt flavours sneak in there, as well as a tangy, red-apple aftertaste. Average mouthfeel for the style.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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

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Photo of allergictomacros
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Huge creamy, foamy head capping clear, dark red liquid. The liquid hazes near the bottom of the bottle.

S - Smell has strong alcoholic tones, dark fruit and some toasted grain and spiciness

T - Starts off a bit tart up front, with faint notes of coffee. Fruitiness is actually a bit muted, and alcohol is noticeable in flavour only (without the booziness that might appear in a less flavourful beer). Well balanced.

M - Mouthfilling in a way. Not light by any means, but I wouldn't call this a heavy drink either.

D - A solid, well balanced, big beer. At 9% this may have the "right" level of drinkability - not something to session, but a couple over a few hours would be excellent.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz., 9% ABV, the code on the back is 09BE. Pours a dark cloudy chestnut color, with a slight red tint. Thick tan creamy head holds together very well, especially for the strength. Seems to be a lot of carbonation, just by the sound when it was poured. Raisins, spices, earthy, and fruity notes in the nose. Chocolate maltyness, ripe fruit, raisins, and lots of sweetness. The carbonation is very soft. A little bit of earthy spices as it warms. Alcohol is very well hidden. This is very enjoyable.

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Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.59/5  rDev -31.8%
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.

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Photo of bashiba
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

 1,274 characters

Photo of bubrewer
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of nouseforotacon
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of gdogalishus
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of Voss
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.41/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of descartes
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

 370 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
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 jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Bière Du Boucanier Dark from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.8 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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