Very Mad Cow - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Very Mad CowVery Mad Cow

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BA SCORE
89
very good

58 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 58
Hads: 456
rAvg: 4
pDev: 3.75%
Wants: 125
Gots: 145 | FT: 15
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
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 456
Photo of jsh420
2.44/5  rDev -39%
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 blankenhoney
3.16/5  rDev -21%
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 Jeffo
3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
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 dbc5
3.32/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 ounce bottle poured into 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Stout snifter.

A: Pitch black with a .5 finger off-white head following a moderate-to-aggressive pour. No light makes its way through this dark brew.

S: Intense bourbon. The bourbon presence on this one is unlike any other bourbon age stout I've had. Strangely, the aroma hits me as if the bourbon and stout are somehow completely separate elements. Has one of the more intense "raw" bourbon aromas. The bourbon does start to integrate with the chocolate and roast a bit more as it warms.

T: Hmm, this one is good, but feels like it isn't completely developed and integrated. Perhaps the milk/sweet stout isn't the perfect format for showcasing the bourbon barrel. I wish the chocolate, caramel, and roast melded with the bourbon a bit better.

M: A bit thin for a bourbon barrel stout. Moderate carbonation, slightly more lively than most in the style.

O: I was left hoping for a bit more refinement. Just didn't feel like it was completely integrated and developed. A bit raw on the bourbon barrel elements. Honestly, I was disappointed with the $16.99 price tag too, but I try not to factor that into my reviews. (1,175 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -13%
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. (794 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
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 kawilliams81
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes on 12/23/12. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger light tan head. Some small bubbles speckle the glass.

S- smells like straight bourbon with slight chocolate.

T- follows nose. Bourbon forward, with chocolate initially and the bourbon with some bitter roast.

M- medium body and finish. Somewhat smooth, alcohol is there but not hot.

O- too bourbon forward! Overpowers base beer. (444 characters)

Photo of Grohnke
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours deep dark brown, essentially turning to black once in the snifter. A creamy, Boston coffee colored head persistently layers the surface of the beer

Strong bourbon aroma, with a slightly weaker oak. Notes of roast, chocolate, vanilla, and milky lactose in the nose. Noticeable alcohol.

High levels of bourbon right up front, with roast, chocolate supporting. Vanilla and oak, along with light caramel intertwine as secondary flavors. Lactose like sweetness is medium throughout. No hop flavor, medium light hop bitterness. The finish is a paradox - finishes sweet, yet dry, with a long roasty yet sugary aftertaste. Bourbon and, to a lesser degree, oak notes remain incredibly strong. Some surprise coffee flavors peek.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation. There is a slight milk stout creaminess, however it seems lacking in mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn.

The bourbon characteristics in this beer are incredibly high, in aroma, flavor, and aftertaste. So much that it throws the base off balance in a sense. Additionally, it is quite light on that signature, decadently silky creaminess that is a staple of milk stouts. Perhaps it's too young of a beer, and with a year or two on it the intense bourbon will fade from being overbearing to a pleasing, balanced component. (1,313 characters)

Photo of timc100
3.6/5  rDev -10%
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 (919 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2015-03-20
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 TheSevenDuffs
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: appearance is dark black with brown highlights at the edges, a hint of clarity, minimal head

S: nose features an onslaught of whiskey and barrel. Not getting a lot of the milk stout base. Some coconut comes through.

T: the barrel seems overdone on the tongue, quite a bit of booziness with the milk stout getting lost in the background. The wood provides a raw character too that somewhat detracts from the smooth creamy stout

MF: this feels a little thin with mild carbonation

O: this is the second barrel aged treatment I have tried of Mad Cow, and I must say this one leans towards dissapointment. While this wasn't a bad brew by any means, Revolution has been holding it to such a high standard and I feel this one is a little short of that. (753 characters)

Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
3.76/5  rDev -6%
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 KDawg
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rev Kedzie Grand Opening Party.

A - Pours black, cream-colored head, thin collar.

S - Bourbon, coconut, vanilla, barrel, light roast, and chocolate. Very sweet and boozy, but in a good way. Sweetness works well with the booze and there's a touch of creaminess that comes through as well.

T - Mostly bourbon with the remainder of the beer coming afterwards. Light barrel, chocolate, roast, and vanilla in the middle which helps tone down the booze. Alcohol is there, but works well with what's going on. Finish is coconut booze and creamy chocolate.

M - Full body, rich and smooth, creamy finish.

O - A nice BA milk stout that could use a bit more time before it's really "on". That said, I easily finished my pour and would have again if offered up. (764 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Why would you wanna piss a cow off that much, anyway? Regardless, this stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises chocolate cake, bourbon, and a twinge of coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light cardboard and some mild roasted malts. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid-ish feel. Overall, a generally tasty and enjoyable beer. I wouldn't say that the barreling really injected the base with a significant amount of better-ness, but it certainly didn't hurt it. (597 characters)

Photo of CooperEllis
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
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) (1,361 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (588 characters)

Photo of lstokes
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark with a thin tan head and plenty of lacing. This is heavy on the whiskey and oak notes, with the lactose only showing up in the taste, and that late. I like the bourbon-into-sugar development in the taste, but ultimately the bourbon is a bit much. I guess I like my milk stouts sweet? Creamy, rich mouthfeel--I was happy to drink my snifter but probably would not want another. (386 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: 22 oz. bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City tulip. Big thanks to Beerlistman for the bottle. Bottled in November of 2012.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color with a light, beige colored head. Really nice one finger, pillowy head with really impressive retention. Keeps a nice lacing throughout.

Aroma: Pretty strong bourbon character with some caramel and brown sugar notes. A touch of peat and smoke from the barrel as well. The barrel notes are definitely front and center. Some chocolate and fudge cake tones in the background as well. Really nice flavor profile but the raw bourbon character is a bit strong.

Taste: The barrel character is really strong and provides a huge raw bourbon character. Almost like sa shot of nice bourbon has been added to this beer. Caramel, molasses, and milk chocolate make up the rest of the beer. The booze character from the bourbon stands out a little, but this is still relativel easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Perhaps a bit lighter body than the average bourbon barrel stout. Plenty of carbonation though.

Overall, a nice beer that suffers from a bourbon barrel character that isn't completely integrated into the base beer. I feel that a little more time in the barrels or in the bottle would have helped the beer come together better. The bourbon character is really nice though and the whole experience is a lot like sipping a bourbon. Very tasty but with some noticable flaws. (1,448 characters)

Photo of vic21234
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Bottled on date says 11/12/12.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a small amount of nearly white colored head that quickly fades. This beer is dark but a small amount of light can be seen along the top sides of the glass. Looks kind of thin.

S- This one smells primarily of sweet malts and bourbon. Some chocolate and vanilla notes are in there as well.

T- Starts off with nice flavors of roasted malts. I get hints of vanilla and maybe some coffee as well. The barrel aging shines through in the aftertaste. Nice hints of bourbon and oak.

M- Medium bodied, carbonated well for the style, a nice sipper. The alcohol/ heat is noticeable at 9.7% ABV but not overbearing.

I have been impressed with both BA offerings I have now had from Revolution. Milk stouts arent usually my style but this is a nice beer. (848 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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 tectactoe
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
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 jmarsh123
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (772 characters)

Photo of emyers
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown with a very thin beige head dissipating almost immediately.

Smell: Bourbon and oak up front. Oak is quite strong relative to most BBA beers, which tend to just highlight the bourbon. Cocoa and roasted malt comes through afterwards, in a way that is reminiscent of chocolate covered malted milk balls. Some alcohol on the nose.

Taste: Lactose is apparent right away. Malty sweetness followed by oak and bourbon, once again with the oak being very strong. Cocoa and roasted malts finish off the flavor profile. The beer is very balanced, with the bourbon being fairly mild. It's a very well done BBA stout, but I'm waiting for some flavor to really take over and make an impression and I'm just not getting it.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth, with a silky feel as it goes down. However, not a whole lot of body - I prefer my stouts nice and thick and this one is fairly thin.

Overall: Clearly Revolution knows what they're doing when it comes to barrel aging. This is a very balanced, well done beer. Yet, it doesn't do enough to really stand out from other options. (1,153 characters)

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Very Mad Cow from Revolution Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.