Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Very Mad Cow - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Very Mad CowVery Mad Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 466
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 25%
Wants: 120
Gots: 148 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cadaugherty on 12-21-2010

Mad Cow Milk Stout aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels for 7 months.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 62 | Hads: 466
Photo of Flounder57
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A two finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitchblack color with no vision of anything. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, bourbon, char, roasted, toasted, milk chocolate, and warm booze.

Taste: Same as above. Nice warm booze flavor from the barrels. Tasty and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, bourbon barrel flavor, medium csrbonation, ashy bitterness, and very delicious.

Overall: Aged very well for a 2014 version. Grabbing another glass before it's gone.

 634 characters

Photo of KFBR392
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on what looks like 1/16/15

Appearance: pours with a soft head which is light brown in color. When held to light some dark brown notes are seen but sit primarily black in the glass. Plenty of active carbonation dancing in the glass. Sticky rings of lacing left behind with each sip.

Smell: intoxicating waves of lactose, butter, vanilla, and butterscotch all over the nose. Dark fruits and some lingering bourbon bite are present on the undertones. Roasty malts mesh very well with the brighter sweetness.

Taste: the front is surprisingly take with some milk sugar sweetness with dark fruits led by plums and blackberry. Booze is a highlight on the body with accents of toffee, vanilla, and butter. Oaky bourbon finish lingers on the palate with residual lactose sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel: viscosity on the mouthfeel is probably on the lighter side for a barrel aged stout but it plays well in this brew. Some boozy sweetness is the biggest play which lingers on the palate. Bright carbonation makes this a surprisingly effervescent experience.

Overall: Revolution has shown themselves to really have a wonderful grasp on barrel aging beers. With some time they really settle into beastly brews. The milk stout aspect of this one is certainly not lost and accents the barrel character very well. Cheers!

 1,330 characters

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is really interesting. It doesn't really drink like a milk stout. I wanted some residual sweetness, but I really just tasted bourbon. I like bourbon so that's not a bad thing. It just wasn't as balanced as I would have liked.

 234 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Very Mad Cow is a great off shoot of the original. The bourbon definitely is present in both the scent and taste. Not surprisingly the beer poured an opaque back with tan head that did not lace. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall....very nice.

 281 characters

Photo of Trooper92292
4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful beer. Beautiful after taste and satisfying aroma. I can really taste the vanilla and bourbon in the taste and the Carmel strongly in the after taste. The only regret I have is I didn't buy more bottles of this. I'm very curious to see how this ages out if I placed it in the cellar for a year or two.

 320 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black and sits pitch black in the glass with a very thin dark brown layer of frothy foam.

Chocolate, vanilla, coconut, roasty, and some bourbon heat.

Sweet creamy coconut, chocolate, roast, and a subtle but warming bourbon heat.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, creamy sweetness, silky smooth roasty bitterness.

Overall, a damn good beer and the bourbon gives this worth sampling more than once.

 416 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. 1863 A2 0501 is the bottle code (if I'm able to read it correctly).

Pours black, small but definite head. Fairly stable (fades slowly). Seems to be supported by very fine carbonation. Smell is stout. Roasty, coffee, surprisingly yeasty. Definite booze.

Taste is raspberry, creamy sweetness, slight roast, booze (bourbon). Wood and dark, overripe cherry.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky. Overall, not bad, but nowhere near my list of great barrel aged stouts.

 522 characters

Photo of jsh420
2.44/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

bottled dated 01/16/15

smells ok - caramel and bourbon

taste is sour bad off milk bourbon roast chocolate

mouthfeel is flat thin

overall complete mess of a beer and with a price tag of $15 its a never again buy fool me once

 228 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with an apparent bottled on date 01/13/2015 stamped into the label, barely viewable. My first of the Deep Wood Series beers from Revolution Brewing.

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter glass.

A - It pours a surprisingly dark cola body; not the inky jet black liquid I imagined it would be. Opaque & dark in the glass, but not as thick as I thought it would be, I suppose. Less than a finger of khaki head that wanes to a ring. Scattered spotty lacing.

S - The aroma, my god, is heavenly. Huge huge huge oak and bourbon barrel aromas. Vanilla, oak wood, bourbon, must, caramel, buttery toffee. Smells like liquid candy.

T - The taste is the same: chocolate, vanilla, caramel, cream. The bourbon barrel aging has worked it's magic upon the base beer, which I've yet to try, so I'm unable to compare. Sweet, sugary, and semi-boozy, but the alcohol isn't too extreme. Mildly warming.

M - The feel is smooth, sticky, sugary, and creamy. Full-bodied, with moderate carb.

Overall, a decent bourbon barrel aged stout from Revolution. I look forward to trying more of their barrel-aged offerings.

Revolution Brewing Very Mad Cow -----4/5.

 1,153 characters

Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had it on tap at the brewery. Looked straight black and smell had hints of coffee. Taste was smooth and sweet, made me think créme brûlée. Honestly, was a little too sweet for my liking and not as thick as I would normally like a stout this alcoholic to be. Still a really good beer overall, but not one I'll be hunting down.

 328 characters

Photo of blankenhoney
3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber of the 2015 release, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Looks a lot like a thin caramel-colored cola coming out of the bottle, but in the glass it's more like a flinty, charcoal black. Frothy eggshell-white head on top. Looks great.

S: Very strong aroma of bourbon leads the way, followed by caramelized sugar, vanilla, and cream. Maybe a touch of chocolate. All the sharp, astringent alcohol on the nose indicates the barrel will be out of control on the taste.

T: Extremely boozy, heavy-handed bourbon dominates the taste. Very little of the creamy, sugary vanilla and chocolate that you might expect to see in the base beer. Maybe this is better with the proverbial "X years on it," but if this is your bag, why not just drink Woodford Reserve straight up?

M: Lighter bodied, creamy, and extremely pleasant.

O: I bet I'd like regular Mad Cow a lot, but the BA version didn't do it for me. I'd say the barrel flavors aren't integrated with the base beer, so that it tasted more like a milk stout with an ounce or two of bourbon thrown in. Consequently, the bourbon overwhelms all the sweet, creamy cocoa and vanilla flavors that I suspect are present in Mad Cow. As this is my third disappointing BA beer from Rev., I'll be passing on all such future releases from them. Except, of course, Straight Jacket.

 1,311 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The nose is filled with milky, creamy lactose-sweetness, chocolate, coconut and whiskey.

The flavor holds a whiskey sour cocktail tone, strong milk chocolate, coconut and vanilla. This is strong, smooth and delicious.

 218 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown, almost black. Big off white head. Nice surface lacing and a medium collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Milk chocolate. Oaky.

Taste - Sharp bourbon flavor. Lingers throughout. Just some chocolate behind it. Otherwise it's all bourbon.

Mouthfeel - Overcarbonated. Slight bite from the whiskey.

Overall - I like the bourbon, which makes this enjoyable, but there's not much else to it.

 438 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber from Masterski. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
April 2013

APPEARANCE: A very clear brown pour yields a three finger, medium looking, foamy, off-white or light brown head with very good retention. Bistre brown in color, transparent, with higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a thick foamy cap and leaves some sticky, foamy lacing down the glass. A good full wisp remains leaving lots of lacing down the glass. A very thin body and a touch foamy, but a nice head and solid lacing.

SMELL: Bourbon and oak with sweet cream, light caramel and some chocolate on the nose. Medium strength.

TASTE: Bourbon and oak, with sweet cream and lactose up front. Medium finish of bourbon and wood again, sweet, creamy lactose flavors again, caramel, coconut and hints of bitter chocolate as balance. Barrel and sweet flavors go well together, with a touch of bitterness as well. Not much roast and could be more forthcoming, but solid and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A little light on the palate, but creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. A bit of heat lingers as well. Could use some more weight, but this is creamy and smooth enough.

OVERALL: Decent stuff, but not overly special. I remember enjoying the original Mad Cow a bit more than this version. The milk stout has taken a bit of a back seat here and the barrel isn't all that impressive anyways, making this somewhat mild and mundane. Still, it was easy to drink and I'd drink another if it were offered. Cheers again Masterski.

 1,583 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presently, this is #16 in the Milk Stout category here on BA. For over $20/bottle, it'd better be.

Served in a Boulevard tulip.

A: So, so dark and then some. The head just sat there like a rat bastard from hell.

S: Bourbon, coconut….. not too potent or anything. Just right down the middle as far as these BB-aged milk stouts go.

T: So awesome, for sure. Worth the barrel aging IMO. Full body, yet the coconut hit the palate at just the right angle. Not an "Almond Joy" candy bar.

M: Like most barrel-aged entries, this wasn't ridiculously sweet at all. So, so, so perfect in the mouth regard. Low card and no ABV detected.

O: Cellared for 1 year+. I honestly couldn't ask for more. Great brew!

 702 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured into a glass, the beer was a malty black color with a slight mocha color lacing around the rim of the glass.

Smell - The booziness in the aroma was modest, but it was still attention seeking. The bourbon did not bludgeon the malt out of existence in the aroma.

Taste - In the initial impression, one notes the sweet bourbon. The malt of the stout is balanced with the bourbon, so you know this is not just some booze bomb. Notes of sweet dark fruit, vanilla, and oak also are detectable. The beer finishes with a smooth and warming aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Being a milk stout, there is a smooth sweetness to the mouthfeel. In conjunction with the bourbon notes, it creates an impressive effect.

Overall - This is among the best bourbon aged beers I have ever had. If you are able, get it.

 812 characters

Photo of CooperEllis
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From @CrushedVol as part of a Baseball BIF box. 22 oz bomber into a tulip .3l.

This pours like cola. Maybe it was the temperature I served this, or maybe the body is just naturally thin out of the bottle. Nose is thin whiskey, very little pokes through and that is unfortunately true in the flavor as well.

The reality is this isn't very fair to Revolution, but I had this after BA Blackout and the comparison isn't flattering. The nose is thin on complexity, overall it is fine but for a beer intentionally aged on bourbon barrels, this falls short.

Flavor is fine, if underwhelming. What is missing is the richness of a milk stout, there is no creaminess in the mouthfeel and that is evidenced in the taste as well where this offering fails to coat the palate in a gentle swath of flavor. A bit of bourbon - think the last sip of a Johnny Black on the rocks - is always present throughout.

I'm going to wait and have the second half of this bomber at room temp.

EDIT: Damn, the overall rating is harsh and I did enjoy this, but I don't think I'm taking it over other shelf offerings from around the country. Also I originally rated this 3/3/3.5/3/3.25 but after allowing this to warm I think two things - 1) Drink this at room temp, it is a totally different beer and 2) the new rating is not based on a composite - just the warmer consumption.


 1,361 characters

Photo of jokemon
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as coffee with a magical white stripe on the top from fast fleeting foam.

S: chocolate, booze, sweet, creamy, hint of coffee. Chocolate booze is the most prominent.

T: creamy chocolate with a booze kick on the tail end.

Overall a very nice beer, there are some clear distinctive flavors going on, nice balance and not hard to drink for the booze content.

 367 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured into 22oz snifter; jet black with a thin fizzy tan head that fades quickly into a thin ring of foam. Smell is big bourbon; fermented bananas and dark fruit, vanilla, oak, sweetness, and some dark sweet chocolate malt, and coffee. Taste is sweet chocolate, bourbon, slightly boozy dark fruit, burnt sugar and slight bitter coffee. Very sweet, but balanced with a perfect dash of chocolate/coffee bitterness and very slight alcohol heat (especially for 9.5%). Mouthfeel is creamy-smooth and pretty full. This is the second best BA stout I've had, beat only by BCBS so far. Awesome.

 586 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for splitting the bottle. It pours out pretty thick and viscous looking; essentially colorless, even at the edges, though it was kind of dark outside, so I didn't have the best lighting to compare it to. The tan-ish head faded pretty quickly, but was very easy to coax back to nearly a half-inch just by gently swirling the glass. Gotta love the carbonation, alive and waiting to be set free.

Milky sweet cocoa nibs jettison from the beer into your nostrils from the get-go, along with lighter straps of vanilla and oak. There's a strong, underlying creaminess that projects the cocoa essence of the beer very nicely. I really don't get *much* bourbon in the aroma; there might be a little bit hiding in there, but it's pretty buried from the abrupt chocolatey sweetness. Vanilla and oak itself shows up stronger than the bourbon, here. No complaints from me, though.

The taste is also built from that milk chocolate body; soft cocoa nib sweetness, cream, and a light touch of roast that sweeps in and out. The barrel sifts in between all of these other things, with hints of oak and vanilla once again reigning supreme. There is detectable bourbon on the palate, but not seven months of barrel-aging worth. I don't feel that a more robust bourbon or boozy presence would necessarily help at this point, though - the beer is quite nice as is.

The bourbon is an afterthought and is pretty much flushed from your palate once you finally get around to swallowing the beer. Oak, chocolate, creamy, residual sweetness, and a faint nuttiness close things out. The body could be a bit bigger, though it still feels pretty nice on the palate. Silky, smooth, and almost oily, I would have liked a bit more creaminess - I think it would have matched the taste a little more closely.

Pretty good sweet stout, and it has me curious to how the base stout tastes without the barrel aging. Sweet enough to be a sweet stout without reaching Chocolate Rain or Dark Lord levels of residual sugar. Though the bourbon notes were low-key, I'm taking that to be a positive, as I was pretty happy with the flavors that were pronounced in this one.

 2,144 characters

Photo of Bung
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz. A thick enough looking black pour, light tan head that retains well.

Aroma, Chocolate, lactose sugar and molasses. Light peaty barrel and vanilla.

Taste, milk chocolate, maybe a chocolate malt. Vanilla caramel and oak barrel. Some roast in the finish. A chocolate milkshake bomb with some light bourbon. Pretty straight forward and pretty nice.

Body is barely medium to me, but this seems to happen with many barrel aged sweet stouts. Cafe Royale comes to mind. Carbonation is good and abv is barely apparent. Drinks very easily.

Certainly worth trying, I bet this is even better on draft.

 599 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, Winter '13
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a deep brown color. More like a brown ale on the initial pour. Reddish hues. Got a full finger of light tan on the start. Some alcohol feet.

S: Booze heat, just like some of the other Deep Woods brews. Milk sugar sweetness. Light milk chocolate. Slight roast.

T: Sweet milk sugar sweetness, right up front. The booze is really nicely incorporated. Milk chocolate. Smooth roasted coffee. Finish is long and creamy and rich.

M: Medium to full bodied.

 495 characters

Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appears to be a date stamped on the label but half of it is missing. Looks like it starts with April, so I'm assuming this is around 2 months old. 9.7% ABV

A: Pours a very dark brown, not quite black. Big fluffy light brown head. Head fades slowly leaving pretty decent chunks of fluffy lacing. Good head retention.

S: Nice sharp bourbon aroma with a bunch of toffee and burnt sugars. Burnt sugar reminds me of toasted marshmallow in fact. Hints of caramel and some milk chocolate. Spicy alcohol hit, almost reminds me of peppermint. My brain might be making that one up.

T: Bourbon up front but a lot mellower than in the smell. Burnt sugars, hints of toffee and caramel. Chocolate is more prominent here, a creamy sweet milk chocolate mixing nicely with the bourbon. Bourbon fades into the back end, leaving pure decadent milk chocolate. Small bourbon resurgence in the finish with again that sort of minty flavor and a bit of oak. A little booze in the lingering aftertaste as well with some more mintyness.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

O: Nice bourbon barrel milk stout. Don't get a lot of barrel-aged milk stouts. This one is nice, bourbon is quite prominent but very tasty (I believe Woodford Reserve? My favorite bourbon, so I'm biased). Interesting mint flavor, pretty mild but I'm curious where it comes from. It's similar to the mint chocolate flavor from the Stone Mint Chocolate Stout collaboration from last year. Tasty and enjoyable.

 1,463 characters

Photo of Etan
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the first release (2012).

A: Pours a glassy black with a large light tan head.

S: Aromas of charred oak, molasses, coffee roast, dark chocolate and tannic egg cream waft up.

T: Taste brings soft vanilla and cocoa, some marshmallow-like sweetness, roasted grain, some smooth bourbon notes, caramel, drying oak, lactose, hint of raisin.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This was pretty nice. Might be a little sweet for some, but I like it.

 474 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from The Beer Temple (Chicago, IL). 17.99. No bottle date. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours cola brown with three quarter finger pale tan head. The head fades quickly, lacking retention or lace.

Smells of sweet cream, sugar, vanilla and bourbon.

A complex sweet bomb. Lactose, Cadbury cream, bourbon, vanilla, sweet coffee creamer and a little oak. Very little alcohol presence. Nice sweet mixture.

Medium feel with moderate carbonation. The sweet lactose remains on the tongue for a long finish.

A damn fine barrel aged sweet stout that I would definately buy again at half the price. Quite enjoyable but the cost makes it a one time purchase.

 673 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Very Mad Cow from Revolution Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.