Vapeur Cochonne | Brasserie à Vapeur

137 Reviews
Vapeur CochonneVapeur Cochonne

Brewed by:
Brasserie à Vapeur

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-27-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 202
Photo of ballewblake
4.7/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at New Beer in NYC.

Poured from bottle into the breweries nude female pig glass. Average pour gave it a one and a half finger white head on a light amber brew. Chunk of yeast that settled on the bottle also went into the glass. Yummy. Getting lots of honey on the nose, really mild hops, sweet malts. Wow. Very interesting taste here, in a good way, not what I was expecting for a Belgie SDA. Really good carbonation with a really complex character all around the tongue. Wish I had a few more of these around. Some strange childhood memories going through my head while trying to pin point flavors, thinking kid candies somewhere in this one. Really good flavors, just don't know how to describe them. Digging this one. Complex all around.

 752 characters

Photo of gyllstromk
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The "belgian strong dark ale" style seems an inappropriate label; I'd place it closer to Rodenbach/Red ale/saison.

Pours copper red.

Nose has fruity sweetness, cloves, vanilla, perhaps nutmeg or cinnamon.

Flavor has a nice acidity with an interesting and welcome sweet counterbalance. Acidity has a vinegar character, which makes it more like a flander's red style (rodenbach) than a lambic. The balance makes this a more refreshing and drinkable beer than rodenbach. Slight bitterness on the finish. The alcohol is well masked; in fact I was surprised to discover this beer at 9%.

Very interesting and recommended!

 620 characters

Photo of welldigger888
4.46/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle no freshness date

Copper amber color with an off white head that gives a 1/4" cap all the way down glass leaving a blanket of lace.

Sweet earthy musty aromas, reminds of a white wine. A hint of ginger raisin and fig. No real hops detected, no booziness to speak of. Very impressive.

Flavors follow the nose, sweet musty earthy and BANG a BIG fruity sweet raisin grain citric melon berries and grape finish that lingers for days. Huge dry wine like finish- Wow the fruit.

challenging mouthfeel here for me, seems full and robust sweet and dry not cloying in any way easy drinker the ABV is well hidden.

Very pleased I found this, couple more in the hole.

 671 characters

Photo of Sallerj
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Two comments on other people's reviews-- first, I'm surprised at all the hate this beer is getting. Second, everybody seems to know what year their's was made, and they all seem really old. Mine has no date, but looks worn, and now I'm curious.

It smells like tart cherry and spice, with a little bit of a funky red wine aroma.

The taste is a wonderful balance of fruity malt and esters, with a distinct but not overpowering sourness. It starts lemony tart and slightly bitter, and then the tartness fades and a rich caramel sweetness lingers with the bitterness.

The carbonation cuts the sweetness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full and rich, without being overly sticky.

For 9% ABV, this is an exceptionally drinkable beer. I just polished off a 750 mL in about 20 minutes.

 785 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.43/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Champagne style bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours dark amber reddish with a layer of foam sitting atop the brew. Cherries, cola, fruity nose. Rich complex flavor, very fruity. Raisins, plums. Some chocolate in there too - and it builds with warmth. Firm strong carbonation builds to a great mouthfeel. Very complex and flavorful. Excellent.

 347 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.33/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brewery is total Jekyll and Hyde due to poor quality control. Some bottles are amazing, others terrible. Let's see what lot I drew...

Pours a slightly murky, almost rusty amber color with a light white head that leaves plenty of lace. Very light carbonation, but the head stays. On the nose, some odd but enticing aromas of vague spices (all below threshold and hard to identify individually), bubblegum and funk. A sweetish tea presence floats in the background. The palate is more oddity, but it's oddly delicious. Fresh acidity starts things off, along with sweet tropical fruits and the aforementioned bubblegum. Midway through the funk comes out, with lively sourness that tastes brett-derived. Tea-like mix of bitter and sweet that continues through the finish gives way to hops and creamy spices at the very end. Mouthfeel is not highly carbonated, but still seems lively in spite of it. Overall, this is a flavorful, funky saison. It looks like I got a good bottle -- it was excellent stuff.

 1,005 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.32/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this bottle at Ebenezer's Pub in Maine- poured from the 750ml into a snifter - this bottle was the '96 vintage

A - A slight caramel ruddy amber w/ no head at all except there is some evidence of lace on the glass.

S - The smell has vanill oak notes and a cherry-like aroma similar to a baked tart w/ mild currant and subtle toast notes w/ sugary odor and floral yeast esters

M - The feel is tart and juicy w/ mild acidity and light spice w/ slight sweetness, very mildly carbonated and subtle drying in the finish

T - A creamy taste w/ cherry juice and subtle pine w/ mild vanilla and toasted oak notes. The taste is bready like grandma's homemade pie crust w/ slightly sour cherry flavor and gentle lemony accent w/ a moderately tannic dry finish

D - The beer is slightly oxidized but drinks well - a tasty treat from Chris and our friends at Ebenezer's Pub who shared graciously. The drinkability is great now I need to get a bottle of Supplication since it is the supposed nearest thing

 1,004 characters

Photo of shapudding
4.24/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No dating. Cloudy, dark and oaky brown, with tons of sediment floating throughout. Cannot see through it. Massive almond head finally settled down to only a small ring of creamy bubbles with a bit of a small island in the center. Lovely fruity scents of sherry, dark cherry and orange peel. I allowed this to warm a bit before opening, nice! Good amount of carbination, but smooth and flowing, silky....
Flavors of cream sherry and dried bing cherries. Caramelly sweetness, roasted malts, spices poking through in the background. Great flavors so very well blended. Leaves alot to savor on your tongue. Good sipper beer.

 621 characters

Photo of dgallina
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with small creamy head and decent lacing. Smells of very sweet candi sugars and caramel malts on a base of fusel alcohols. Starts caramel sweet, develops into plums and dark fruits, and finishes with very strong chocolate-laced brandy flavors. Creamy and medium-bodied in the mouth; light carbonation. Sticky and sweet but quite tasty. A very nice dessert beer.

 380 characters

Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle: This one pours a fairly opaque brown color. There was very little head from the pour, and it whent down almost immediately. The aroma is good. There are notes of sour fruits and caramel. Maybe some figs and yeast also. It was similar to a port wine type of aroma. The taste is a little tart and sweet at the same time. Caramel, roastiness, and a hint of orange to the taste. Nice.

 395 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.12/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz thick brown bottle. No Date.
It pours a murky amberish/tan with a big beige head a smattering of lacing.
The aroma is this beer's best attribute. Smells of cut hay, sweet caramel malt, citrusy hops, lemon hard candy and white rum mix quite nicely.
Fresh bread dough, malt, caramel, plums and ripe bananas provide an ample body.
Lemony hops, cloves, coriander and peppery spices make up the hop department.
The alcohol, while noticeable, is a good supporting team player in this brew.

 495 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.11/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To say that this bottle was ancient would be putting it mildly. It predates my move to my "new" house over two years ago.

As such, I was very gentle in my initial pour, so as not to disturb any dormant sediment and I got no head as a result. Color was a deep copper with only hints of carbonation, making it seem more like liquor than beer. Nose was rich with a molasses scent - slightly bitter, slightly smoky, slightly licorice. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, so the cap had done its job after all that time, really retaining the carbonation. I got an initial heat, followed by a very molasses-like flavor on the tongue. Finish was still hot and left me almost breathless. I would imagine that this must be quite the item when consumed fresh. I am also sure that its brewer, my inspiration for wearing an apron, Jean-Louis Dits, would not mind that I waited this long to open my bottle.

 889 characters

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

She pours a dark amber color with some chill haze a beige head, some carbonation rolling up from the bottom of the glass, and plenty of sediment. It keeps a lasting layer of foam and some nice lacing. The aroma is like sherry, fruity esters, bubblegum, tart and some plum thrown in. The Mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, effervescent, with a dry finish, and yet unusually light on the palate. It has a nice mellowing, warming effect as it goes down. An interesting brew with good balance and complexities, but not overwhelming.

 527 characters

Photo of FarmerJOrganic
4.08/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Great sour raisin, malty amber here.

Prefect 1/4 hat of pure white head. Glass was trimmed with foam as I imbibed.

Mouth feel is dry, could be from the sourness. I'd say more along the lines of a alcoholic apple cider, there is a sure crispy bite to each sip.

Smell is all malt with a quick note of sour on the backside.

Taste is prefect, if you like the more sour crazy examples of the Belgians. Hard to note all the flavors here, Raisin is on the front and it starts off sweeter than the smell you would lead you to believe. As soon as the raisin pass you get this sour citric melon, lemon thing that lead straight into the malt. The maltyness carries into the yeast. I get notes of honey and plum but neither last and both changed back and forth on each sip. More honey to start with metal plums towards the end.

Overall a great, interesting beer. I've got two more in the cellar and I may update my review as I drink those.

 937 characters

Photo of sjccmd
4.07/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Roasted chicory in the aroma with lots of baking spices. Clove is pretty strong. Cocoa, raisins, hazelnut. Fruity pear and apple notes creep up as it warms. The phenols seem to calm a bit revealing walnuts and fig.

Pours beautiful clear amber with a wispy light tan head. Ok lacing and retention.

Hearty, roasty, fruity palate. Fig and plum with chicory and light roasted coffee. A touch of acidity brings out the fruit character. Hints of berries.

Surprisingly light on the palate with light carbonation and a tickle of acidity.

I can't say it's my favorite from Vapeur, but it's fascinating. A real thinker.

 613 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.07/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Murky brown body, thin carbonation on top. Brown soot on the bottom, swilled and poured.

S - Tangy, fruity esters, aromas of apple butter and fig newtons. Carmel mineral water.

T - Good complexity with flavors of apple skin, wild cherry, honey, apple butter and dry wood. A certain mineral twang, sweet, tangy and metallic.

M - Fizzy carbonation, medium body, clean the whole way through.

O - A wonderful beer; complex yet clean, fruity and refreshing.

 460 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into a tulip glass, had at Delirium Cafe.

Pours a nice deep dark amber/ruby color with a small while head. Very nice. Nose is hoppy, crisp and sweet with a nice malt backbone to it.

Taste is awesome, very rich and smooth lots of carbonation and sweet caramel flavors. Very tasty with a very full mouthfeel, check this out if you can find it.

 362 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Massive, intensely fizzy, cracklin' loud cap of foam. Rice Crispies in milk bow to the noise currently emanating from my glass. The hugely stiff, blown styrofoam-like head is falling quickly (how could it not, given the deafening roar of bursting bubbles) and leaves no lace. The initial pour is as bright tangerine as any IPA from the U.S. left coast and the final pour is indistinguishable from fresh, sweet apple cider. Ultimately, the aural sex is over and I'm left looking at a spotty, spent film on the surface of the beer.

The nose is butterscotch fruity and smells like golden raisins swollen with dark rum. Alcohol is front and center, but is so completely integrated into the flavor of the beer that is doesn't bother me at all.

Cochonnette reminds me of a sweet dessert wine, some variety of port perhaps, with notes of dried fruit soaked in honey liqueur, an appetizing sourness and an oakiness that gives it a stately character. Candied orange peel completes the picture; hints of Grand Marnier. The syrupy slick mouthfeel is perfect for the flavor that it carries. Sip and savor.

I didn't expect to like Vapeur Cochonnette nearly this much. I have yet to cultivate a love affair with Belgian beer, but perhaps I just haven't had the right one. I have no illusions that this is among the elite, but so what. I like it and that's all that matters.

 1,369 characters

Photo of Jason
4.04/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender Euro style bottle with no freshness date, this is no problem for this brew being that it is at 9.0% abv and bottle conditioned.

Appearance: Lots of foam for the initial pouring, sadly it drops down to a ring of lace. Chunks of yeast stay whole a in suspension within a semi-clear reddish amber.

Smell: Solvent alcohol, tropical fruit punch, citric peel, musty powdery yeast and a vague sugary malty sweetness make up the complex and inviting aroma.

Taste: Slick mouth feel with an apparent medium body. Big viscous carbonation that slowly flows through the mouth. Solvent and fusel alcohols dance on the taste buds with a never ending and ever warming spiciness. Fruity is not even the word to use, tropical punch with a ripeness that you would never think would be in a beer is more like it. Musty powdery yeast with hints of coriander. An earthy bitterness comes out of nowhere, obviously from the roasted chicory. Hints of a rum and triple sec mixed drink from the fruitiness and raw sugar like flavour hits hard with a spicy phenolic surprise in the finish.

Notes: An in your face Belgian beer, it wakes up the taste buds shakes them a couple of times and then does it over and over again. This brew is all over the place but in a great way.

 1,287 characters

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.04/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark orangey / maroon in color. Sweet and musty. Smells wonderful. Funky musty concord grape, perhaps a bit of apple and some cheese rind notes. Sweet and funky on the palette. Easy drinking. This was a really pleasant brew

Paired great with Naked Goat cheese...

 265 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1996 vintage - the same year that:
- eBay was launched
- "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls was no. 1 on the US music charts
- gas cost $1.22 per gallon

The bottle is definitely showing it's age... cap is covered in rust and the cork is beginning to disintegrate but still manages to produce a quiet "pop." It pours out a nice looking burnt tangerine colored body, producing a thin beige collar that actually leaves behind a bit of lace with some booze oil. It looks as though this particular bottle fared better than many of its brothers and sisters. So far so good.

As others have noted, this has taken a distinctively tart direction. Apple skins, wet hay bales, some tart pear qualities. A bit of oxidation is also beginning to surface, like soggy newspaper. Lemongrass and some more of those pale fruits. A faint skeleton of caramel malt is buried deep beneath all of that.

Not quite as focused on the palate. Tart apple cider character blended with pear or peach juice - maybe even a bit of pineapple as well. I was worried that some of those spices would still be hanging around to sabotage the unexpectedly tart palate. Instead, it finishes up nice and dry with some mellow chardonnay flavors and apple skin. I can't see this one improving but if you've got one sitting around, don't hesitate to open it up - very unique stuff at this point.

As you might expect, the first taste caught me completely off guard. But as I sit here nursing the bottle, it's definitely growing on me.

 1,484 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a orangish amber in color with yellow highlights and had a thin head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma was very fruity cinsisting of dark fruits, apples, pear, and citrus alogsinde some tart notes but with weird butterscotch notes.

T: the flavor had more sweetness than the nose presented which I'm guessing are from the caramel malts with apple, dark fruit, tart, candi sugar accents and a touch of spice.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, and tart finish.

D: it was drinking really good and was pretty damn tasty. good lookin out bryan for crackin this brew.

 658 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, almost coppery amber with a fizzy white head that doesn't stick around all that long. Very murky in the glass.

S: Strong alcohol notes on the nose are followed by traces of burnt sugar, roasted chicory, spices, and a melange of tropical fruit.

T: Opens oddly tart and prickly with a quick yeast bite and a hit of alcohol, but soon mellows in order to display lovely notes of chicory, figs, sugar, coriander, dark rum, orange, and overripe papaya. The finish provides a lingering swirl of tropical fruit and alcohol flavors reminiscent of triple sec or a rum cocktail.

F: Very prickly and heavy with forceful carbonation. I found this to be a full-bodied ale.

O: This one is very strange and ponderous, but not at all unpleasant. I find that it is has a charm all its own and stands apart from other beers of this type.

 839 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color. What little head came from the pour is gone almost immediately, no lacing as well.

Smells of sour fruits, spices and sweet malts. A bit of funk is also apparent.

Tastes like it smells, fruits, sourness, sweet malts, spices and wood.

 261 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like the label on this one. Piggie's got a clean bottom, don't he?
Murky, deep amber, little floaties dotting the landscape, under a fine, pudding-y head that softly drifts down from an impressive several inches thick at first pour.
Funky and sour in the nose, with bright fruit to complement, a lemon/peach tango. Spices are prevalent, and oddness prevails.
Taste: ooo! The weirdness continues. Starts fierce, then fades with all those flavors found in the nose at play on the palate. Dark fruit, citric, and spices, but they take a powder a bit too quickly, and do very little in the mouth.
Medium bodied, with a fruity, but brief finish.
This is a nice, tasty brew, but very quirky. I feel as if I got a "good bottle" when I see some of the other reviews here, but hey, you get lucky some times...or you?

 820 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Vapeur Cochonne from Brasserie à Vapeur
3.4 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.