Very Mad Cow - Revolution Brewing Company

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Very Mad CowVery Mad Cow

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very good

60 Reviews
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Reviews: 60
Hads: 460
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 123
Gots: 147 | FT: 14
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: 60 | Hads: 460
Photo of stortore
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of timc100
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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

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Photo of bcm75
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at the Revolution tap room, poured in a FFF teku. Aromas - very boozy with some vanilla and general sweetness. Body is thinner than I would like. Appearance not-quite-black. Sweetness - you'll know this is a milk stout. I found the carbonation level appropriate for the style.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage 22 oz bomber shared with a friend; poured into my trusty Bell's tulip today 4/12/2013.

Aroma: Sweet milk chocolate, a good bourbon and oak presence. A little vanilla. Not super pungent but not weak either. Nice on the nose. (4)

Colour: Pretty average looking milk stout. Dark cola colour, very dark with 2cm beige head that disappears within the minute leaving a beige film but barely any collar. And the lacing is minimal. So pretty average for a BA milk stout. (3)

Flavour: Sweet as heck, bourbon presence throughout from the beginning. As it warms up, more bourbon comes out as well as the milk chocolate sweetness which is probably the lactose. There is a decent bit of vanilla which is really nice and is the cherry on top and comes out the most at room temperature. The oak comes out more at the end. Very nice combination of bourbon and milk stout, probably the best I've had. But then again there isn't a ton of BA milk stouts. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Thinner medium body, tastes quite creamy but not particularly thick. Aftertaste is a decent bit of bourbon and oak (or could it be just the bourbon? since the oak is part of the bourbon...) not particularly intense but comes with a pleasant dry finish and a little bit of heat at room temp. (4)

Overall: Very drinkable barrel-aged milk stout. The sweetness is really good at complementing the bourbon and malt flavors. It's a very enjoyable beer to drink after dinner and that's really its main role. I very much enjoyed the relative balance of sweetness and bourbon. (4)

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Photo of bobhits
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 4.25

Rather tame in appearance, this one pours like a milk stout with light brown clarity from the bottle turning deep dark brown in the glass, a head forms but the alcohol is too strong for it. No real lacing left over.

A sinfully good bourbon nose with hints of lactose, milk chocolate, oak, vanilla, and light sugars.

A bourbon infused milk stout flavor...simply amazing. Milk stouts have a somewhat milk chocolate flavor unlike most stouts which take on a bakers dark chocolate. This beer takes on that same element of vanilla, lactose, and milk chocolate with just an astonishing amount of bourbon. Honestly if only woodford (a bourbon nearly as over rated and hyped as makers mark, without being terrible like markers is) tasted this good.

Sadly the body is rather watery and thing. The alcohol is very apparent and the carbonation is all but non existent.

A damn DAMN tasty beer that at 16 bucks a bottle is worthy of a try though splitting it might be a good idea as this isn't upper echelon.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color. Produced some nice tan froth and some lacing as it dissipated.

(S)- A lovely combo of a creamy but chocolatey raisin and vanilla oakiness. Its not super complex but really quite sexy.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. It really does have a sexy profile overall. Quite creamy with underlying notes of vanilla, raisin, and gingerbread. Finishes almost dry with superb oak and bourbon notes.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. A really nice balance to it. Such a nice smooth underlying creaminess to this (base beer), that it really mellows out.

(O)- Overall, a superb barrel aged stout. So smooth and creamy yet having great bourbon barrel notes. Sadly, this might get overlooked by all the other bigger barrel aged stout releases out there, but this is one great offering by Revolution!

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Photo of emyers
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of dbc5
3.32/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Photo of tut2528
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

thanks to Lognar for opening this one at the tasting!

A: pours a deep maple brown, with no head formation. alcohol legs are present on this one. forcing head formation creates a khaki colored head, but it immediately dissipates.

S: whoaaa. immense bourbon wood/oak notes dominate the nose. theres an alcohol burn, leather, slight tobacco, with a big lactose base.

T: still big on the milk/lactose sweetness, big bourbon, slight vanilla, very sutle hint of tobacco.

M: this is my only complaint. its actually on the lighter of medium bodied. doesn't really coat the mouth as I was expecting. it does leave a milky/cream touch on the palate tough that is enjoyable

O: a nice brew for sure, but its shockingly light on the feel, which pushes this beer just slightly off. its complexity is lacking, but it definitely works for this beer. the bourbon and the barrel notes are truly the main players in this brew. If this was just a bit more viscous, it would definitely be an A+ in my books.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to lognar for opening this one!
Poured into Founders Bolt Cutter glass

Pour: A dark brown to black with no head formation. Swirling does create a khaki color foam. No lacing evident and almost looks oily on the beer surface.

Smell: Wow big barrel, oak and wood with a touch of booze. Smells sweet with vanilla and bourbon. Leather rounds out the smell. The lactose is very evident in this.

Taste: Sweet up front with vanilla and oak. Bourbon heat in this with some chocolate and a bit of bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: Actually this is where this disappoints a bit. More so on the side of light than medium feel. Would have liked a bit more thickness and chewiness.

Overall: Nice to try this one and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The feel was the only real let down for me.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was sent time from mjmadsen21, major thanks on this one man! This beer poured out as a nice looking black color with a brown head on top. There is a moderate retention and lacing. The aroma on this beer is huge, it screams bourbon, it's sweet and boozy and strangely addictive. The taste of the beer follows the nose, lots of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla with a boozy wooden flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty slick, lightly carbonated and finishes with some ethanol heat. Overall I loved it, I think if anything there is maybe too much bourbon and it masks the a dual beer, but either way I thought it was great.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of vic21234
3.92/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into cascade hybrid tulip / snifter glass.

Appearance: light black bodied beer with a full finger of off white almost tan colored head. drops quickly to a thin cap.

Smell: really nice barrel notes pair with that trademark lactose sweetness of a milk stout. Lots of vanilla and oak. Sweet bourbon too.

Taste: bourbon forward stout. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak, milk chocolate, and totsie rolls. More bourbon in the aftertaste with a hint of tobacco and leather. The lactose sugar seems to linger even longer than the bourbon, tobacco, or leather notes do.

Mouthfeel: low end of a medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Its nice and silky. The carbonation is appropriate just wish it was a little thicker mouthfeel. Just a hint of booze and no harsh burn at all; really easy drinking barrel aged stout.

Overall: This is a great BA stout by Revolution. I like Bean Gene much better though. My biggest hold up is the thin body. Other than that this was a great brewery only offering from the windy city!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of yamar68
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of Grohnke
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with a smooth bourbon finish and a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is really tasy and smooth.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Very Mad Cow from Revolution Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.