Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Vapeur Cochonne | Brasserie à Vapeur

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 201
Photo of impending
2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours an amber copper, towering dense head slow to recede, nice lacing.

Aroma is of crisp fruit, a tart apple perhaps, hint of sour.

Flavor starts sweet then jumbles, stumbles. Hints of citrus for the tart followed by very minor but clear sour. Thin prickly mouthfeel.

Seems unsure of itself. The aftertaste never develops, warmth doesn't help.

 377 characters

Photo of Brabander
3.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an unexpected good beer. Totally different from the brews you get in Belgium. I asked the saleslady at Geers in Gent when i was there last time what beer i should take and she told me to buy this one.

Poured in my Dutch beerglass this beer looks very abnormal, cloudy darkcoppercoloured fluid and no head. Only a small ring in the glass.

A bit odd smell but not bad. Fresh and a light sour taste with some fine fruits in it. The alcohol is totally hidden and that is great.

Surprisingly good beer!

 508 characters

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 NATOuk
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep, hazy amber colour. Quite a bit of initial fizz which creates a good head which dissipates fairly quickly to leave a white ring around the glass.

Dark fruits, a nice sweetness with some alcohol notes. Did remind me a little of port.

There's a lot going on in the taste. It's a big flavour, full of complex tastes all blending together. Quite tart dark fruit flavours (plum/cherry), slightly sourness. Not a lot of bitterness on the finish. For a 9% ABV while I could detect some alcohol in the smell it isn't very noticeable in the taste. The taste stays in the front to middle of the mouth with very little hitting the back.

Good amount of carbonation on this one, seemingly typical of Belgian beers, however the carbonation doesn't cause too much acidity in the taste. Overall medium body.

Quite a complex flavour that lends itself to be drunk in small quantities.

Quite an interesting brew, certainly one of the more memorable Belgian beers that I've drunk, although perhaps a little too much tartness for my taste.

 1,076 characters

Photo of bminor7
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 from beers of the world.

a - amber, just the slightest bit of haze. a 3/4" head formed and settled for the most part, leaving some lacing, which is attractive.

s - sugar, dark fruits, rye-ish...

t - malty, but seems to be built too much on a foundation of sugar.

m - a bit crisp. sugar can be felt on the teeth.

d - going slow, despite an ABV in a reasonable range. there are much better examples out there. but the label art got me.

 443 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 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 Tone
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and poor lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, tart acidity, slight roasted malt, slight caramel, and a hint of syrup. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable tartness. Tastes of sweet malt, slight tart malt, slight acidity, hint of caramel, hint of syrup, hint of hop, and a hint of roasted malt. Overall, the tartness and acidity are slightly off-putting. The spice is hard to discern. An okay beer, but I wouldn't recommend.

 606 characters

Photo of bringonthehops
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1996 Brasserie a Vapeur Saison "Cochonne" - Belgium, Wallonie

-- popped and poured (cork topped with crown cap)--
-- tasted non-blind from 750mL over 1 hour --
-- direct from brewery's cellar --

NOSE: honestly, this smelled rather gross to me -- kind of like a Belgian trippel mixed with bad morning breath.

APPEARANCE: intense golden orange color; some sediment is present in the bottle.

TASTE: thank goodness this tastes better than it smells: baked apples and pears; considerable amount of sourness (maybe 7 out of 10, with 10 being most sour). Very smooth, alcohol not noticeable. It definitely has some Saison character, but it came across more like a old gueuze, really. Despite the gross nose on this brew, I'm actually going to buy another one. I'm pretty sure this is the oldest beer I've ever tasted, and I was blown away at how put-together it still is. Amazing.

 891 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a hazy copper color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: Very sweet on the nose with caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch. There's a strange aroma of tart fruits, too, like raisins, green apple, grapes, and cherries.

T: The flavor is almost a mirror image of the aroma. The tart fruit character is perhaps a little more intense, and (at the very least) provides a counterpoint to the rich butterscotch and caramel flavor.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

D: The combination of intense sweetness and tartness was not at all what I was expecting. This was a really interesting beer, if nothing else.

 633 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Hazy orange amber color with a decent sized creamy, smooth looking white head. Slightly lower than average retention and a nice creamy layer of lace.

S - A lot of orange and apple aroma. Sweet caramel and butterscotch malt with a sweet aroma. A lot of fruity aroma with lots of orange, apple, golden raisin, etc.

T - Very fruity with a lot of orange, apple, golden raisin, and some other golden fruit. Quite sweet and fruity with some light malt in the background. Some candi sugar too. Some spices mixed in as well.

M - Lighter side of medium body with an average amount of carbonation. Smooth and somewhat creamy, but a bit thin.

D - A bit too sweet to be all that drinkable. Fairly cloying and just too fruity for the style.

Notes: Not a big fan of this. Just a lot of fruity flavors that seem a bit out of balance. Not a bad beer, but not really one I would search for.

 882 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour reveals only a thin white head atop the walnut colored body with bits of yeast sediment settling to the bottom.

The aroma consists of dark fruit such as grapes, plum, or cherries, quite vinous & boozy, almost resembling port.

The flavor is not what I was expecting. Abundant tart fruit such as the cherries and grapes from the aroma, just much more sour. There is an earthy bitterness mid-palate, and a finish that is almost like tealeaves, but then back to the tart fruit.

Medium-light in body with carbonation to match. The tart fruit leaves a slight biting impression on the palate with a touch of alcohol warmth that cuts through the fruit.

This is a unique beer for sure. Some very fine traditional qualities with a bit of overlap to other styles. A bit tart compared to its counterparts, but certainly a tasty brew.

 844 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 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 ffejherb
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 750ml bottle from June 1996 shared with friends at Ebenezer's on 2/27/10.

A - Poured a hazy reddish orange body with a thin ring for head that eventually disappeared, leaving no lace behind.

S - Initial aroma suggests stone fruit with hints of cherry, peach and nectarine, as well as sweet vanilla notes. Moderate alcohol presence with a hint of funky sour band-aid character and slight oxidization. Tea-like hops are subtle but noticeable.

T - Fruity flavor with a cherry character, which imparts a tart pie filling aspect with a hint of sweet and sour candy. Tea-like hops add a bit of bitterness in the backend, but this finishes rather tart.

M - Light bodied with medum carbonation and a wash of bristle over the tongue. Finishes with a moderate tartness on the palate.

D - For a vintage strong ale from '96, this one held up quite well considering it's age. Although there was a bit of oxidization (as expected), this brew's complexities were presented quite nicely.

 986 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 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.

 681 characters

Photo of jbonapar
2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at Pub Italia in Ottawa.
Pours a caramel brown with a slight head in the glass.
Smell: Very sweet caramel, honey and raisins.

Taste: Certainly not the best, but reasonable. Nice sweet fruits and caramel. Raisins and other dried Fruits. Nice carbonation with a moderately syrupy consistency.

overall a reasonable beer, certainly not as special as many other belgian beers.

 386 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.07/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. slender Belgian bottle. The bottle was a gusher - so much for attempting to decant off of the lees. The brew is a translucent dark crimson with an inch of frothy tan head, and it still manages to look decent despite the muddled appearance. Some sour cherries in the nose, peppery?, with earthy and woody notes later on. Smells like a light version of a Flanders red mixed with some stone fruits - good, but probably not what they were aiming for. Fruit and yeast on the palate, with a mild malt backing and a little bitterness. A light sourness cuts through it all and forces it to finish a bit thin. The body is medium, with prickly carbonation and a dry finish. This one's not really all that bad; certainly drinkable, but rather average, and I'm pretty sure this is a soured bottle. I have another bottle kicking around and if much different, I'll re-review.

 870 characters

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 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.

 1,151 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
2.9/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle at Volo. Looking through the reviews this seems to be a real mixed bag and that would be my experience as well - good and bad.

Pours a light caramelly orangeish color, not much head to speak of, translating into not much carbonation and no lacing.

Nose is sweet. Lots of caramel coming through, hints of raisins, cherries, candy.

This is a disappointingly one dimensional brew. There's plenty of sweet, fruity, syrupy caramel but not much else to speak of. Lacking any depth to a yeast profile, none of the spices they speak of, hints of brown sugar and molasses but not enough to add some complexity. Candied oranges, honey too. Smooth, thin, syrupy mouthfeel.

Tis a blustery night and on such a night this one does not hit the spot (though I find it hard to imagine a situation where it would). Just too one dimensional, not enough body .

 858 characters

Photo of thekanna
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark opaque maroon with a thin white head.

S: Strong scent of apples, along with yeast and mulling spices. There's a faint malty sweetness in the background, vinegar, and some resident spiciness, although I can't quite pinpoint which spice it most resembles.

T: A vinegary apple cider taste with mulling spices. This is followed by a very significant, hard-hitting alcohol character that becomes less pungent and dulls by the sip.

M: Medium body, some active carbonation on the tongue.

D: Interesting to sip, but alcohol taste is a little overwhelming. Probably will not have again.

 601 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle, corked and capped. The cork was wet, saturated wet with beer, a first for me. No serious leaks so far as I could tell. The beer is dark orange, murky and hazed, some floaters, light tan head that quickly recedes to a wispy layer. The beer smells funky and estery, a little sour too. Kind of similar to Fantome, but maybe not as it's hard to tell without a complete side-by-side. Very Belgian, that probably sums it nicely, this is more saison than Belgian strong dark ale. The taste is yeasty, spicy, citrus. I liked it a lot, maybe I had a lucky bottle. Others have complained about consistency from this brewery, so it looks like I won with this one.

 680 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased at Amity in New Haven.

The appearance is a deep dark amber, originally a good sized head, which settled to a thin ring.
The taste is a little sweet, with strong alcohol character present as well.
The mouthfeel is almost bubbly like bubbly (champagne) while still having attributes of other Strong Dark Ales.
Drinkability is here and enjoyable. I am quite surprised at the review below. Vapeur Cochonne is a very good beer and deserves your consideration.

 478 characters

Vapeur Cochonne from Brasserie à Vapeur
3.4 out of 5 based on 201 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!