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Madagascar - 4 Hands Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Madagascar
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

104 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 6.19%
Wants: 97
Gots: 37 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
4 Hands Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThePorterSorter on 02-15-2014

This Imperial Milk Stout was aged in bourbon barrels with whole vanilla beans. Madagascar pours a dark black with notes of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of phishphorce
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JackieAnton
4.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just amazing, chocolate and vanilla all over the place with just enough oak to balance out the sweetness.

Photo of Bunuelian
4.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with some light coming through around the edges. Delicate khaki head settles to a ring. Aroma brings it with the vanilla. A lot going on, but bottom line there a tantalizing marriage between the bourbon, oak, and vanilla beans. The vanilla just smells so pure and so damn good! I'm usually let down with the flavors of vanilla stouts that smell divine as they can come off as too artificial, but not the case here. Delicate, refined, smooth, balanced, and in no way artificial. Hint of bitterness on the back end ties everything together. Body is light, yet creamy. So freaking drinkable.
Overall...incredible. A harmony of natural vanilla and bourbon barrels that is on another level and matched by very few.

$17 for a 22oz bomber

Photo of yergermeister
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JohnParadee
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Angiecip
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cannabispinoy
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vanilla, bourbon, oak, hidden alcohol, chocolate, creamy, balanced

Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of IPAchris
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The comparison to Vanilla Rye is inevitable but I think a bit misguided. We're talking about a 9.3% milk stout versus an almost 14% imperial stout. Cue up the comments of "Madagascar is too thin" ... absurd considering the impressively creamy, almost marshmallowy body, close to perfect for the style. And, again, comments "needs more bourbon" ... when the bourbon marries perfectly with the beer and serves to highlight the incredible vanilla flavor rather than overwhelming it, which would turn this into a souped up version of vanilla extract.

If there is one "critique" I have it's that the base beer does get a touch lost under the vanilla. But, then, perhaps it's just married so closely that the two become indistinguishable. The purest expression of real vanilla I've come across in a beer. I'd love to see them amp up the base a bit to an imperial version and give it the same treatment.

Photo of hilgart1
4.17/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JFeres
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bcrossan
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good for a milk stout but would prefer a thicker mouth feel Don't get much barrel from this either

Photo of Getalegup
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is batch 2 done at the end of 2014. Not retired! Vanilla Rye wins a head to head vs Madagascar but this is very very good. Not enough bourbon and kind of thinner than I expected. Lots of sweet vanilla smell and flavor. This would be fantastic if bourbon barrel aged for a longer time to give it more barrel flavor.

Photo of whitenads
4.84/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mportnoy
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lunarbrew
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Sarge3130
4.29/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Stevedore
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle from the recent 2014 release. Much thanks to Dylan for sending this one. Served in a snifter 2/13/2015.

A- Dark brown body, opaque and close to being pitch black. One finger offwhite head, nice retention, no lacing.

S- Vanilla ice cream. Seriously, this smells like authentic vanilla with a nice dose of bourbon and lactose. Some milk chocolate sweetness, a small bit of oak. Sweet smelling enough but not over the top. This is perfectly beyond what I expected it to be, and I knew its reputation going into this. Wow, the vanilla balance in this is perfect. Surprised there wasn't more barrel in this, but honestly, I really don't care- it adds more vanilla to the overall flavour than anything else.

F- Vanilla ice cream flavour, milk chocolate, a bit of roasted malt, slight espresso, slight smoky bourbon flavour. This is phenomenal and drinking better then BCBVR is right now. Perfect amount of vanilla that is genuine and not extract-like at all.

M- Medium bodied, nice silkiness and moderately creamy; does not reach the mouthfeel of BCBVR but not a lot of beers do, anyway. Drinks great, easy to drink and zero heat.

O- This beer is drinking better than BCBVR is right now, and reminds me a lot of aged BCBVS. It hits that sweet spot of perfect vanilla goodness without being boozy at all. Seek this one with prejudice!

Photo of swampoodle
4.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Texasfan549
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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Madagascar from 4 Hands Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.