Very Mad Cow - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Very Mad CowVery Mad Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

453 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 453
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.67%
Wants: 124
Gots: 143 | FT: 16
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 453 | Reviews: 66
Reviews by C2H5:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Homer53
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure what is going on here but I pick up on some lacto funk. Possible infection?

Photo of tectactoe
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Photo of timc100
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown almost black with ruby/mahogany hues on the sides of the glass. The head looks of that of a smaller BA stout - medium sized bubbles, spotty lacing, big legs. Doesn't look like a huge beer in the color and body

S: Pretty subtle and mild. Boozy bourbon caramel and some coconut, vanilla, and oak sweetness. Is not the most complex and balanced - the base beer is lost in the bourbon a little bit - dark chocolate and coffee try to surface and come up muddled

T: Like the aroma a bit more vibrant. Raw caramel bourbon; bitter dark chocolate, subtle medium roast coffee, and vanilla and oak sweetness at the finish along with bourbon heat.

P: Thinner side of medium, especially considering the style

O: Much better on tap than in the bottle, but still a good beer. Not worth the price tag in my opinion - the bourbon and base beer don't tango well together and leave a kind of confused, mild product

Photo of joeseppy
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at the Revolution Brewery 2012 Nov release, also had on tap.

Bourbon on the nose with slight vanilla, caramel, and oak backdrop.

Tastes like a bourbon and coke that was sitting around for awhile. Not very sweet.

Low density brew with a bourbon aftertaste. Not alot of depth.

If there were a score for value, I would give it a 'C'. Very drinkable and not overpowering. Worth a try if your at the brewpub.

One year has done wonders for this-glad I cellared. Ratings reflect. Actually has become more complex.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown that's much lighter around the edges. It has an aggressive head from a not-so-aggressive pour. The head is pretty persistent, too.

The nose is toasted coconut, marshmallow, and vanilla. It has some great bourbon notes in it.

What I really like about this is that is imparts flavors from the bourbon, maintains a high abv, but doesn't come off as boozy. Vanilla and coconut are the main flavors with a dashes of chocolate and vanilla. It has a nice sweetness to it without becoming syrupy.

Fantastic creamy mouthfeel. It's very smooth and as I already said, not boozy at all.

I thought this was a really solid b.a. milk stout. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a milk stout from a barrel. Everything about this was subtle, but in a good way.

Photo of larryarms847
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of KYGunner
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Bung
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

(217th)

Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft serving at Revolution.

Black in the glass, thin off white tan colored head that didn't stick around for long, not surprising considering the abv. A thin skim and ring around the edges is all that's left behind.

Aroma is straight up bourbon, brown sugar and coconut sweetness with some toasted oak and booze. Definitely strong, this batch.

Any nuance that Mad Cow had is completely obliterated by the barrel this time around. It's straight up Woodford, with some feeble cocoa and mild roasty stout notes peeking through. Definitely lost any smooth creaminess and sweetness, it's astringent and boozy from the barrel. Flavors are still good, just a bit harsh and bourbon focused. Seems like it would benefit from a little blending with standard-issue Mad Cow to smooth the rough edges.

Photo of jsh420
2.44/5  rDev -41.2%
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

Photo of KDawg
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap at revolution. Poured into a snifter with a good dark brown color with very little head

pungent nose with the noticeable bourbon aromas to it along with some raisins, dark chocolate, and loads of malts

full bodied with a good feel. The flavors aren't as complex with notes of bourbon, dark chocolate and malts. The bourbon dominates a bit too much

A quality stout. Full bodied with more complexity on the aromas than the flavors.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated Nov 12/12. Thanks to Robbie for this one.
Poured in to tulip glass.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with two fingers of light brown head.

S - Roast and sweet milk chocolate dominate with oak, vanilla and a touch of bourbon in the background.

T - A big hit of bourbon and charred oak up front followed by a huge sweetness. Milk chocolate, roast and molasses flavours are present. At first the flavours seem well integrated but after a while they start to seem disjointed and the sweetness becomes somewhat cloying.

M - Medium body but somewhat watery at times. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black with a small beige head fading into a tiny layer. Some lacing as well.

Lots of roasty chocolate with a little milk sweetness in the nose. Bourbon is evident, but not overpowering to the base.

Bourbon and milk chocolate hit the palate immediately. Usually bourbon doesn't hit my palate this quickly so it's interesting. Some milk sweetness and roast comes through before finishes with a hint of booze with a semi-sweet dry finish. Bourbon presence is noted, but subdued throughout the palate.

Medium mouthfeel and alcohol is hidden to a good degree. Would prefer it to be a little more full bodied especially considering the base is a milk stout.

A nicely made bourbon stout. It didn't knock my socks off, but was still enjoyable to drink.

Photo of yamar68
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one dsal!

Big black body with an edge of mahogany clarity, pale khaki head sinks down to thick collar that laces in a BIG way.

Creme brulee all day. Some light dessert candies... caramel, toffee, a bit of vanilla. Pretty one-dimensional in a way that doesn't detract from the beer. Creamy cocoa, but mostly those lighter sweets.

Fresh cream, soft bourbon notes, not nearly as sweet as I would have expected. Some cola flavors, no apparent booze character, a touch of vanilla, a surprisingly mild finish... good stuff.

Very glad to have had the chance to try this one - thanks dsal!

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of stortore
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2015 edition.

Pours dark, somewhat opaque. Not much head, with some clingy lacing. Smell is a good balance of bourbon aroma, roasted malts, chocolate. Taste mostly follows the nose with the malts leading the way, some chocolate, a little less bourbon than the smell, a hint of coffee. Pretty nicely balanced. Sweet, as expected. Very smooth, good mouthfeel. A touch thin, but not overly so.

Very enjoyable beer. Will likely be an annual purchase, although it's not as cost justifiable as some of the others in the Deep Wood series. Had the 2014 on tap and remember it seeming a little richer.

Photo of Etan
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two Kentucky Breakfast snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the asssist!

Bottled on: Nov 12 2012

A: Pours a coal black with only a slight reddening at the edges. A 1/2 finger of dark khaki colored foam sat on top before quietly melting down to a thin collar. Lace left behind was random and specky.

S: Fresh from the beer fridge, this was all bourbon. Delicious, delicious bourbon. I set it on the counter while cleaning up from Christmas and came back to it after about an hour. As it warmed up, this beer really opened up and let out aromas of fudge/dark chocolate, dark fruit, and the slightest hint of the base beer.

T: The taste pretty much follows the pattern of the smell but with the scales ultimately being tipped towards the bourbon side. The other things are in there, but we had to search a bit harder to find them.

M: Suprisingly thin when first poured. This score benifited greatly from warming up about 10 degrees. This beer obviously spent quality time in a bourbon barrel AND has a higher ABV than the base Mad Cow, but this does a fantastic job of hiding the alcohol content. We could smell and taste the bourbon, but the expected burn never arrived. Just a mild spiciness that blended well with the sweetness of the chocolate & dark fruit..

O: This was very enjoyable. We are fans of Mad Cow and had hoped that more of the characteristics of it would've shown through. We weren't disappointed (in the least)...more like we are intrigued as to what this will be like in a few years...and what the next batches of this will be like.

Photo of stouts4me
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good fresh, I liked it two years from the cellar, better.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub - December 27, 2010.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head that persists for a bit before falling to a thin cap. The nose brings a very strong bourbon presence. A bit heavy on that and the booze right now, though it is nice. I think this will develop well, it just needs a bit more time. The taste adds a bit more complexity with a bit of roasted malt and some chocolate. A bit of sweetness counteracts the boozy nature of the beer. A bit too much alcohol in the feel, but is nice and rich. Drinks pretty well overall. Wish I had a bottle or two to age for a bit.

Photo of blankenhoney
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

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Very Mad Cow from Revolution Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.