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Vapeur Cochonne | Brasserie à Vapeur

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136 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

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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 201
Photo of francisweizen
1/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Cool bottle, but a crap beer. This pours a still amber colour. No carbonation. funky, lambic-gone-bad, taste. No mouthfeel or drinkability...Horrible! This stuff truly sucks!!! One of the worst Belgians out there, if not the worst. Was this a bad bottle???

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Photo of mophie
1.18/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First off, I got a bad bottle. Usually I give the brewer the benefit of the doubt that the beer sat on the shellf too long at the store, but A) I bought this beer at a reputable store, and B) at 9% abv I would expect that the shelf life of this beer would be fairly lengthy. But no, it was rancid. It poured like iced tea, except iced tea has more carbonation. Not a single bubble. At first, the aromas were fruity, tart apples. However, those aromas started giving way to a sour vomit-like aroma. At this point I was afraid to taste it, but I did anyway on the off chance that the smell was not indicative of the taste. Alas, no. One sip was all, and I felt like I needed something to wash my mouth out with. Absolutely disgusting. I know the beer is supposed to be better than what I had, but I think there are probably some quality control issues that need to be addressed.

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Photo of corby112
1.27/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a hazy amber color with a thin white head that quickly dissapears. Smells like spicy rubbing alcohol and doesn't taste much different. Nothing interesting about this beer really. It is all alcohol and very little flavor. It smells and tastes disgusting.

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Photo of RoyalT
1.45/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance – Orange in color with some carbonation but no head whatsoever.

Smell – Very faint and bland spicy aroma with a touch of yeast. There’s not much there, but I’m picking up a sour-type of smell that doesn’t remind me of any BSDA that I’ve had before.

Taste – Ouch! This is sour as hell. I can’t taste anything other than a horrible sour taste.

Mouthfeel – This was quite the pucker-upper. It was thin, fizzy, and lame.

Sinkability – There’s no way that I’m finishing this one.

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Photo of mzwolinski
1.63/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Call me a sucker, but I simply can't pass up an unfamiliar bottle of Belgian beer with a happy, large-breasted pig dancing around on the cover waving something (what is that, her brassiere?) over her head. Even if it did cost $12 for the 750ml.

Damn me and my impulse buys.

This beer is, quite simply, very poor. Not a bad looking color. Sort of a pale reddish/orange, but almost completely untroubled by carbonation -- just enough to produce a thin halo around the top.

There's not much of an aroma. But given the charcter of the aroma there is, this might be a blessing in disguise. Weak and obsequious smelling.

A harbinger of the flavor to come, I'm afraid. Again, the only blessing is that the flavors aren't stronger than they are. A bit of sugariness starts the sip and soon dissolves into cheap soda pop. The alcohol burns at the back end without contributing any flavors of interest. The mouthfeel, meanwhile, is thin and fizzy.

The *only* redeeming feature of this beer, oddly enough, is that it has a mildly pleasant aftertaste. Don't ask me how, but there's a gentle burnt toffee flavor that lingers in the mouth well after the sip, as if trying to convince you that the mouthfull you just had wasn't that bad -- go on, try it again!

Dumped down the drain. I won't even drink enough of this to get a buzz before bedtime.

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Photo of JBogan
1.94/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a cloudy dark brown with ruby accents. No head or lacing whatsoever. Sitting in the glass it looks more like a glass of dark wine with a handful of dirt in it.

The aroma was of dark fruits, mostly raisin and some plum.

The taste was also of dark fruit and plum, but with a distinct earthy background which really dulled things down. The alcohol makes it's presence known in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was thin to the point of watery. Zero carbonation. Just a really unexceptional sensation.

I don't enjoy slamming beers, but there's really nothing good I can say about this one. Even with a small 11.2 oz bottle I felt like pouring it down the drain before I was finished.

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Photo of Knapp85
1.98/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Perhaps I had a bad bottle of this brew but I was not into this one at all. Color, Mouthfeel and Aromas were fine. The flavors were just undrinkable for me. I really don't know why I found this brew to be so gross. After having half the bottle I had to send this one down the drain. Not a pleasant site I know...

 312 characters

Photo of jfmorey
2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown (DC).

I do not understand calling this a Belgian Strong, a style that I have always enjoyed. The appearance was not bad, a hazy orange amber, and the smell was tart and funky, not unusual for a Belgian.

The real disclaimer that I must make is that this review is based upon only two sips, I could go no further. The predominant flavor was spoiled orange peel. Reminded me of the oranges with cloves stuck in them used as home-made room deodorizers when I was a kid; strong enough to smell up an entire room.

Now looking at the other reviews, and the variation in description of color and taste, I have to wonder if this is the same beer everyone else drank.

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Photo of bultrey
2.12/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't like this. Served in a 10 oz. glass at Spuyten Duyvil. I had tried the Cochonette previously, and thought it interesting, if not somewhat enjoyable. The Cochonne, however, had many of the same flavors (cinnamon, burnt toast, malt) drowning under a heavy medicinal character. No hops to speak of. Carbonation was non-existent from the beginning. I was surprised, because the Cochnonette (out of the bottle) had a tremendous and persistent carbonation that really improved the beer. But the Spuyten crew assured me that the low carbonation was normal here. If so, boo. I struggled to finish even a 10 oz. glass.
Pass on this puppy.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.19/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I really hope that I received a bad bottle of this brew... because this was godawful. The rust colored beer poured without a hint of head retention, lacking in carbonation, and simply appeared lifeless. The aromas did not fare better; a pungent vinegar aroma dominated the red-wine character and disregarded any malt sweetness and artisan ale influence. Flavors resulted in much the same: sour and dirty. No real detection of the spices that were noted on the bottle, nor any variety, complexity, or balance. The body was watery, acidic, and astringent; nearly undrinkable. The beer was a near disaster throughout; I'm interested in revisiting this brew and updating this review. Potential buyers, beware of old / contaminated bottles.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.23/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Believe it or not, I actually could not finish this beer. Me, the girl that glares at bartenders if they try to take my glass away and there's still a drop left in, actually pushed this beer away after 2/3.
I love Belgians, and if there's one on at Redbones that I've never had, I get excited. I've discovered so many delicious beers there, so naturally, I was delighted to see this beer on tap. Here goes: Dark cloudy apricot color. I picked up cinnamon in the aroma, but also some unpleasant medicinal notes. Unfortunately, the taste was more reminiscent of the medicinal flavor...and the mouthfeel was also syrupy. I thought there was an over-all medicinal flavor that was just unpleasant, and like I said, I just couldn't take it anymore and was unable to finish the glass (a 10.5 pour). Maybe this is better in bottles, but I don't think I'll take the chance again if I see it on tap. pat

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.3/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Officially, the oldest brew I have ever had. 13 years strong.

Poured a orange color with ok carbonation and a small white head that disappears fast. Nose is fruits, sour and tart, thats about it. taste is tart, tart and mo' tart with fruit and spice. Undrinkable all the way around. Should be classified as a sour ale.

 319 characters

Photo of Absumaster
2.31/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A clear, copper colored beer with a thin head.

Smell is autolysed yeast, with some sharp spicy notes and a subdued malt smell.

Taste of higher alcohols and the spices are probably anise, one of the worst combinations that are out there. Together with the 9% alcohol and the yeast taste, this beer is not OK. The alcohol is warming and almost burns a hole in my throat. I have had more beers of this brewery and they all seem to taste like this. Bitterness is pretty low and body is low. Some candisugar notes are in here, but can't get around the sharp spice and alcohol taste.

 579 characters

Photo of GClarkage
2.47/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

07/13/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. No expiration date listed. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky spoiled peach color, the smallest of head and minimal lacing.

Smell- Smells lifeless. Maybe some peaches and other fruits hanging on, but not much else.

Taste- Sour to the point of almost a red flanders. Maybe a little bit of sweetness as well from the fruity aspects.

Mouthfeel- Hardly any carbonation. Lifeless and somewhat watery.

Drinkability- Hands down the worst belgian I have had the pleasure of having so far. I wish I had read the reviews before purchasing. Glad I was able to share this with someone rather than drinking the whole thing myself.

 749 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
2.6/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shared this one with some other good beer drinkers after dinner. Oh yeah...shared it with the sink, also. I thank my bro-in-law for bringing it, though.

Poured a dark amber color with a thin ivory head that quickly vanished.

Smelled musty. Vinegar, ginger, light fruit scent, cheap wine. Wasn't sure what to make of it.

Tart, slightly sour flavor. Sweet at first with a touch of spice before a sour mustiness becomes overbearing. Not my cup of tea (or beer). Possibly a bad bottle, or maybe just my taste buds. Either way, I don't like it.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, very little carbonation. None of us made it all the way through our glasses. Label was different, though.

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Photo of NEhophead
2.63/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz bottle.

A fizzy white head that fades to a thin sheet after a moment. A bit of spotty lacing with average strength. Slightly hazy, light brown in color. Some noticeable sediment.

A tart fruit aroma: lemon, orange along with an odd vinegar mustiness. A touch of candied malt sweetness. The aroma is more reminiscent of a sour.

The most obvious flavor is a fruity tartness: sour apple, grapefruit, and lemon with some vinegar. A powder candied sugary underlying sweetness. Some clove/herb spiciness that creates a dry finish. A mouth puckering and unbalanced aftertaste. The typical Belgian Strong Dark's rich malt character is absent. All of these flavors are unbalanced and unflattering.

Medium bodied; thin, very little carbonation. Weak on the palate. Leaves an unpleasant film on the mouth.

The one positive about this ale is how well its 9% abv is hidden. With that said, this ale is an unpleasant offering that I won't be going back to. A disappointment.

 985 characters

Photo of zeff80
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a somewhat hazy, copper color with a tan , foamy, bubbly head. It left some nice lacing.

S - Simply put, it smelled like Heineken. It was a little skunky and smelled like a Euro Lager. Not good for a Belgian.

T - It tasted bitter and grainy. Not at all like a Belgian ale. Not very good at all.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - From other reviews, it looks like they have quality issues and this must have been one of the bad ones.

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Photo of bobsy
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought a smaller bottle, named Cochonnette at Volo. The contents is the same as regular Cochonne - the different name just differentiates based on the bottle size. A sudden cold blast of fall weather should be the perfect moment for a beer like this, but sadly it cannot live up to the billing.

Pours a rich chestnut with an extremely short-lived tan head. While the colour is good, the complete lack of retention and lace is disappointing, and its not all that appetising for it. Sweet aroma is a touch one-dimensional, but works nonetheless. Candy sugar, raisins, prunes and light spice spring to mind. We see the same notes in the flavour, but its sadly lacking a solid malt background, and the spices don't come through. It needs some more yeast and some rich malts to bulk things up, because it currently tastes like a watery, sweet mess of a beer in need of some major tweaks.

I read up about Vapeur, and the whole steam-powered brewery thing they have going on is pretty cool. I want to like this beer, and to support something archaic in the face of factory production, but the quality is simply not there. Put a fork in this pig - its done.

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Photo of dsa7783
2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz single bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in Sout Plainfield... pink logo sticker with a pig and a white towel on the bottle... "Ale Brewed With Spices"... Dark-copper, amber appearance with a modest head that left little lacing.. smell was complete with pears, caramel, and dark sugar... taste strongly complements the aroma with an obvious pear and floral taste... very different from most Belgian Strong Dark Ales.. a very fruity and floral taste that makes this one stand out from the rest... wasn't too crazy about this one, and I could be fair to best rate this beer as "average"... nothing to write home about at all... and the taste and mouthfeel weren't very thick at all, more of a watered-down taste if anything... wasn't too impressed by this one... an average sample at best with a very strong apple-cider and pear taste and aroma...

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color, it is pretty clear except for the large floaties that have stirred up from the bottom of the bottle. Pours with a wispy off-white head that does not stick around for very long. There is not much in the way of aroma here, a bit of sourness, some cider character, and a bit of alcohol is all I can pick up. The taste is lightly sweet, and quite thin as well. I get a weak cidery flavor, this is definitely a big disappointment. There is nothing wrong with this beer per se, but it is just weak and lame.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.7/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours considerably murky with a dingy brownish orange color. If a beer could look gloomy and depressed, this would be it. Essentially no carbonation; you could count the bubbles it produced on one hand.

Smell: Markedly funky fruitiness, with green apples, pears, and yeast. A little sherrylike, all glossed over with a pronounced vinegary aroma.

Taste: Grapes, sour apples, and pears usher in a brief, vague sweetness, followed by a spicy, puckering tartness. Seems overly acidic.

Mouthfeel: Flat and syrupy, though unmistakably mealy, like a bad grocery store apple.

Drinkability: Sadly, it never really excels in any particular category. The flavor of this beer mocks me. The mouthfeel mocks me. Both hurt. For me, it failed, and I wouldn't recommend it.

 781 characters

Photo of hotstuff
2.72/5  rDev -20%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer just didn't quite fit the bill for a Belgian Ale in my opinion.It really tasted "off" its mark.There was virtually no head and there were fine sized bubbles that quickly dissipated.The body was very yeasty and cloudy with a copper hue.The nose was lightly sweet with a weird taste to it.The mouthfeel was tingly, smooth and medium bodied.The lacing was sparse.

 370 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer poured a cloudy orange/brown with lots of floaty stuff in it - very murky color. Even with a vigorous pour, I couldn't get any head to form and there was no lacing on the glass because of the lack of head. The aroma was very heavy with grapes with a littly maltyness. The flavor was very much like watered down wine with a tiny bit of carbonation in it. The floaty stuff was noticeable in the taste as that it stuck to the tongue and mouth. It also left a hefty sized pile of yeast at the bottom. The alcohol is apparent in the aftertaste, but not so much up front. The taste was ok if you like watered-down wine, but the chewable floaties didn't do it for me. I don't think this represents the Belgian Strong Dark type of beer well.

 743 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 1996

Pours to a deep copper color with no head, just a ring of white for lacing. The aroma is musty, sour, and yeasty. The flavor is tart, sweet and a bit metallic. It is a bit funky and earthy in the flavor too. It is medium bodied and sour. Not too easy drinking, would have another.

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Photo of danielharper
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Light brown body, sort of like a brown ale, thin bubbly head that persists.

Smell: Strong Belgian funk, sort of a "farmy" aroma. Very sweet, highly astringent. Some citrus notes, hints of coriander and lemon. Complex, a bit intimidating due to the funkiness, but inviting. Reminds me a bit of a lambic, strangely enough.

Taste: Wow, incredibly yeasty and with a strong alcohol taste. Very sour finish. Makes me think more of a Gose than a Strong Belgian Dark. I can get hints of citrus, but overall the complexities of the flavor are completely destroyed by the sour aftertaste. The alcoholic astringency also catches up with you quickly.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation gives it a smoothness, no hops to speak of, moderate thickness, a bit low for such a highly alcoholic beer.

Drinkability: If you can get past the cloying sourness, it's actually not bad. I know the Strong Dark Belgian Style is wide, but this doesn't match up with many of the characteristics of that style. Decent, but not one I'll buy again.

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Vapeur Cochonne from Brasserie à Vapeur
3.4 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
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