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

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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 202
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.

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber colour with a beige head. Aromas of apples & caramel. Tastes of apples, caramel, dried fruit & spice. Aftertaste of malt & alcohol. Overall a decent strong Belgium ale.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650th full review! 330 ml bottle served chilled into a lindemans flute. Advertised as 8.5% ABV on this particular bottle.

Appearance - dark hazy ruby coloured beer with some sediment floating around. Small collar of foam lingers around the glass.

Smell - caramel, candied sugar, dark fruit a mountain of overripe cherries. Very appealing.

Taste- caramel, candied sugar and orange peel with coriander, then some cherries to fill everything in. Doesn't quite fit all together.

Mouthfeel- smooth and creamy, but with a boozy feel that adds sharpness.

Overall - a worthy and certainly unique tale on the strong dark Belgian ale with orange peel and coriander.

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Photo of FBGordon
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank the '96, and after having aged 19 years, it was still a nice ale. The alcohol had gone through the roof, but overall still enjoyable for an ale just shy of two decades.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 12/31/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery red color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains tart fruit, caramelized malts and touches of chocolate and spice.

T: The taste starts with a quick burst of sourness and then some flavors of tart fruit and caramel come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty with good complexity, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, this is solid beer to drink for while.

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Photo of barczar
3.76/5  rDev +10.6%

Minimal head. Aroma is strongly pear and bruised apple dominant, with an acetic note and buttery, toffee-like caramel malt. Flavor follows suit, with acetic and citric acid underlying toasted, slightly sweet caramel malt. Fruity esters fade in comparison to the tart acid. The buttery finish is slightly offputting. Obviously, this beer has some unexpected issues, for a dark strong. I like the sour notes, but there are other off flavors that detract.

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Photo of Samp01
3.56/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown amber with a small beige head. Aroma is of caramel malt, Belgian yeast, some dark fruit esters, plum and raisin notes. Taste same as aroma with some mildly sour yeast flavors, tart dark fruit. Palate is a medium body with low carbonation. Finish has some caramel malt, yeast, mild tart notes with dark fruit, notes of plums and raisins. Overall not the best but a good drinking flavorful brew,

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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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

weird brew here, this from 1996 it says. thats pretty old for what this is, and it pours real flat, maybe as a result of its age. apple juice color with some yeast sediment and no head at all, just some quickly bursting white bubbles, then no activity at all. the nose is like cider vinegar, its got that orchard fruitiness on the front end, and moves into a lactic tartness that may be an infection, not sure this was ever supposed to be a wild type ale, but it is now. the flavor follows the nose, moving from fruity and stale cereal grain beginnings to an acidic tartness in the finish with the yeast lasting quite awhile on the tongue. sharp acidity is exacerbated by the alcohol, which comes out when this warms up just a bit. a very strange mix of flavors here, it may just be well past its prime at this age, but for me it was a miss.

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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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky dark honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with malt, vinegar, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and sour fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice sour presence that works with the beer whether intended or not by the brewer.

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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 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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: whoa nelly! Despite being properly refrigerated and gingerly handled, this beer started outgassing and exploding immediately upon opening. Definitely one of the fizziest beers I've encountered. Upon pouring, I got mostly a big, frothy foam; inconvenient, but at least it dissipated somewhat quickly. Body is a hazy, medium-dark brown. Good color, but despite its huge original size, the head neither stuck around nor left much of a lace on the glass.

Smell: sweet caramel malt with a hint of fruitiness and a tart bite. I don't know if this is a bottle infection or an intended aspect of the beer, but I find I like it. It reminds me of a nice Flanders oud bruin.

Taste: dark caramel malt with dark fruit flavors: plum, cherry, raisin. The tartness is here but it's much, much more subdued than the aroma; plus, there is a definite alcohol bite. This beer is a bit of an odd duck, but I find I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, but despite its prolific outgassing this beer has a massive carbonation and fluffs up to a light foam the moment it hits my tongue. Despite this mammoth creaminess, it's also both quite light and evanescent, which makes the creaminess not as satisfying as it could be.

Overall: a weird beer that is pretty decent. It's worth a try if you are a fan of the style, but it's probably not a good introductory point for those interested in BSDAs.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Beer is reddish amber, with an enormous light tan head. I can't even pour that much of the bottle until the head has taken up the entire glass. A little ridiculous. Fades steadily but not quickly.

Smell contains cherry. other dark fruits and some sweet malt. Some Belgian yeast as well.

Taste is quite fruity, with cherry, orange and apple. Sweet caramel malt. Bready. Some coriander. Despite the sweetness, there is a pronounced dry side to the beer. Yeast is there as well. A bit of booze.

Medium bodied and hugely carbonated. Very active in the mouth. Almost like pop rocks. Distracting.

Overall, a bit unusual but fairly good. I am surprised by all the negative reviews here for this one. It is not a world-class beer, but it is pretty good and I enjoyed the bottle I had.

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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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Going into this beer knowing its a sour Belgium ale (based on other reviews)
Picked up an old bottle for 6 bucks at the House of 1,000 beers

A - Even though it's old its still lively with carbonation. Bubbles throughout form a 1/4 inch of off white head that reduces to a thick lace ring. Color is a Hazy dark amber brown with no sediment (always good)

S - Smell is a bit funky with a weird vinegar like malt sweetness. Yeasts do smell rather fruity. Smells like an amp'd up Flanders brown ale.

T - Not as tart as I expected. The work "musky" comes to mind on first taste like wet cardboard. Flavors then take a turn for sweet with chocolate like malts and some bread that finish with a slight woody taste.

M - Goes down rather easy giving me a sort of sour cherry like bite. ABV is well concealed.

Overall an interesting brew which is not too big on taste yet smooth enough to drink with no off flavors. No where worth 12 bucks a bottle but interesting enough to try for 6 bucks.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle.
Unique amber/rose color. Khaki colored head that holds up just so-so. Good looking beer though.

Smells a lot like raisins - ripened fruit. Mostly yeast aroma. Mixed with some darker caramel malts. Bit of spice a fig notes as well.

Sweetness front sip and yeast flavored end. Kind of taste like barley pops- the lobster ones if your from New England. Alcohol is present. Aftertaste is acidic and slightly odd.

Not my favorite Belgian beer. I found myself not wanting to finish the glass. Never had another quite like it though, and there is something to be said for that.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml cochonnette bottle, best before november 2012

A- Pours a murky light brown colour. One finger of quite dense and nicely persistent slightly off-white head, nice amounts of lacing on the sides of the glass

S- Dark fruits aroma, with a bit of spiciness to it, among a quite earthy yeast/brown sugar feel. A hint of acidity may be detected on the back of things. Lively and fresh aroma

T- Very much yeast-forward with a distinct earthy feel and some notes of brown sugar. Some plain alcoholic notes and a bit of estery spiciness bring a bit of a rum-like feel. Some dark fruit notes on the back of things, not as vivid as in the aroma though. Slighlty acidic (not so distantly reminds of a flanders red ale) as the smell suggested, but it a way that does not really fit with the beer's overall feel. Very flavourful, but flavours are not well integrated. I can't even say that they may have not yet mellowed, cause the beer is actually quite close to it's best before date

M- Medium body. Low carbonation but still a bit crisp on the tongue with what seems to be sugar. A slightly tart finish hides flavours in the aftertaste. Odd

O- A very flavourful and actually quite interesting beer. The 9%ABV is quite nicely hidden but as already mentioned flavours have just not mellowed. It's a bit of a mess and also feels quite heavy on the stomach with dominant yeast. A lucky bottle could be a great pick though

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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!

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Photo of DCon
3.79/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared a 25,4 FL. OZ. (750ml) bottle of this w/ STLWIll & Friends @ The Royale. Poured from the Caged/Corked bottle w/ a Lime Green Label w/ a Pig toweling off his genitals & laughing into a 12oz Shaker Glass. Has a brew date of 04/1996, bottled in June 1996 on the back of the bottle. Wow! Vintage?

Aroma- Huge amount of vinegar, peach, and muskiness. Duh, what else would you find with a beer brewed from over 15 years ago! Glad I could find all of this!

Appearance- Pours no head at all, while pouring very aggressively. Has a dark copper/glowing orange body with good clarity. Leaves no lacing behind.

Flavor- A blend of peach and light lambic characters hit the mouth first. Very sweet and malty. The musk attribute found in the aroma comes out here as well.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation(due to aging), Smooth, and a very light tart finish.

Overall Impression- A Belgian Strong Ale you say? I say this is more like an Unblended Lambic or Belgian Golden Ale... Due to aging, this beer became COMPLETELY different from what their original goal was. Very musky, light tartness, and some peach/fruits came out quite often. Would like to see a fresh bottle of this sometime.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1996 vintage opened Jan 8, 2012.

Pours almost still, very low carbonation with a slightly hazy, deep golden color.

Aroma is quite tart with lots of fruits. Tart apples, pears, light citrus, some goaty funk, tart notes and slight acetic acid.

Taste follows the nose and has a very dry, tart finish. Begins with tart apple, lactic acid, a very mild malt flavor is evident. The finish is lots of sour lactic and some acetic acid. Leaves a puckering sensation and finishes with some tart, green apple flavors on the tongue and mild funk lingering. Very light hop bitterness evident.

Mouthfeel is medium/thin bodied with low carbonation. Light astringency.

Overall a very interesting beer, I think it peaked a few years back when there was still some malt to it and perhaps the spices came through.

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Photo of TheBeerWatcher
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

75cl bottle from Belgian Beer Station. Bottle only capped, no cork.
Didn’t expect it but bottle opened with a loud pop and the beer sprayed out of the bottle. Never seen this before. Stored it upright for a couple of weeks though. Pitty for the lost beer (although the dog licked a bit off the floor; seemed to like it a lot). I had to clean the living room though (at 00:30 AM !!!)

Beer is hazy amber with an off white noisy head leaving lots of lace on the glass. The head lasts very long.

The aroma is very fruity (cherry) and fresh but also yeasty and funky. Very like a good gueuze ...

The taste is tart and fruity evolving to a yeasty side with a pretty bitter, dry and grainy finish. The beer has got a medium body with little carbonation. The 9% ABV does its work very well.

Overall an original beer with lots of character. I hope that the next bottle won’t be such a gusher.

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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.

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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.

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Vapeur Cochonne from Brasserie à Vapeur
3.4 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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