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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout - Microbrasserie Charlevoix

Not Rated.
La Vache Folle - Milk StoutLa Vache Folle - Milk Stout

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

208 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 48
Gots: 30 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 02-14-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 103
Reviews by notdan:
Photo of notdan
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dense, creamy, dark tan head that leaves plenty of lace down my pint glass. Smell is pretty much what you'd expect; chocolate, coffee, bit of alcohol, though maybe a little bit of a metallic note. The first thing that hits you as you sip is the sweetness, which lasts for a while as milk chocolate and coffee flavours flow over it, ending in a slight roasty bitterness. Freakin awesome. Mouthfeel is perfectly thick and creamy with just enough carbonation. This beer is flavourful, but alcoholic (tasting) it is not, making it quite easy to drink.

Need to head over to Gatineau and pick up some more of these.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

A strong Stout sweetened with lactose sugar. "Vache folle" means "mad cow."

Jet black with a tightly laced, coffee-colored cream head that cascades and rises. Awesome head actually, with good retention. Slightly acidic in the nose, with dark berries and some faint coffee and chocolate beneath. Bitty and prickly on the palate, but creamy beneath, with a firm, full body that's a bit chewy, too. Sharp carbonation and roastiness up front. Mild astringency. Rich notes of dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, some toffee, earth, bark and smoke. Burnt raisins, too. Sweetness is well rounded and tame, with a distinct, semi-sugary, lactose character. No discernible hop presence, but we didn't expect one. Hints of dried cherries and pronounced alcohol as the beer warms. Lingering, dry chocolate in the finish.

Nothing to get mad about here. This is a delicious Milk Stout that crosses into Imperial Stout territory and is a must try if you find yourself in Québec.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle picked up by a Quebecois friend of mine and lovingly brought back to Ontario to me. From a depanneur in Drummondville if I'm not mistaken.

Bottled on 1 Sept 2010, so only about 3 months of aging. I simply couldn't wait to try this - I'll snag another bottle or two soon for aging purposes. Poured into a Chimay chalice.

Among the finest looking stouts I've had the pleasure to encounter. A rich inky black hue from which light cannot escape. Pours an incredibly thick mocha head that bubbles and churns but refuses to budge an inch. 10 minutes after pouring and it's still there with no signs of moving. Rich sheets of lacing on the glass. First rate.

Nose is roasted grain, licorice, bitter black chocolate, mineral, coffee grounds.

A well-crafted and superb tasting stout to be sure, but the lactose is eluding me a bit here. I certainly get all the usual suspects in the mix - rich dark coffee and chocolate, mild caramel sweetness, toasted bread. There is that lingering mineral flavor in there that I imagine some aging would solve. Finish is dry, bitter and long. Working through the bottle, the creamy sweetness arrives about halfway and is well blended with the bitter coffee notes. A sweet reprieve from the robust roasty flavors.

Crackles away on the tongue if allowed to sit for more than a few moments. Initially harsh, things soften after about half the bottle is consumed. Creamy and thick, a great sipper on a cold evening.

Certainly a pleasure to drink, rich and hearty and a brew that benefits from a few minutes outside of the glass to allow its character to erupt. I will certainly be back for a few aging bottles, because I imagine a well-cured bottle will prove to be among the elite North American stouts.

Photo of Swedes21
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - beer pours an extremely dark brown with a 1 finger brown head. Head is fairly foamy, has some volume. some decent lacing, hard to tell carbonation levels.

Smell - i can smell coffee, dark/deep chocolate, some sweetness possible caramel along with a deep fruit. very dynamic smelling beer.

Taste - very rich tasting beer! the taste that dominates is a coffee/metallic taste along with the deep fruits. Finishes with a bitter coffee taste that lingers. very warming beer.

Mouthfeel - the added carbonation makes this beer come to life even more. very well thought out and tasty, the coffee and caramel come to the front.

Drinkability - this is a good tasting beer, couldnt drink a lot of them, but nice to know its out there.

Photo of BGDrock
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black, sticky head, colour of a brown paper bag; fades in a minute or two leaving a film

Aroma: almost no aroma whatsoever; very faintly of coffee tobacco

Taste & Mouthfeel: light taste and light body, barely a hint of the hefty ABV; has a milky flavour, pairing well with a hint of coffee and caramel - like having a brandy cream, even including the mild burn of alcohol in the finish; great carbonation, satin mouthfeel; very lightly of chocolate, and it's more like what than dark

Overall: a nice change from the typical stout, easy-drinking, sure to be a crowd pleaser

Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, in a hotel room in downtown Montreal, in advance of checking out some local beer bar flavour.

This beer pours a rather opaque black, with very slight basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, foamy, and playfully bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent spooky webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells readily of a heady roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, salty black licorice, well creamed espresso, a hint of tobacco ash, and a whiff of warming alcohol. The taste is more toasty caramel malt, a touch of stronger toffee, mildly bitter, and yet still sweet milk chocolate, fading anise, cafe au lait, and a further burnt ashy note. No real alcohol manifests until it warms substantially.

The carbonation is mild, but not absent, the body a large-ish medium-full weight, smooth and silky and robust as all get out. It finishes off-dry, with some strong cocoa, bready caramel, and mild coffee essences sticking around. The amped-up alcohol is still a no-show (for now, I'm sure I'll change my tune soon enough).

A stellar Imperial Milk Stout (lacking its own category here, I'll give it one in my little microcosm), this seems to me to be a first cousin, perhaps once or twice removed, of Peche Mortel, as the flavours, while still quite punchy, seem to keep it mostly on the down low. A strong effort, and oh so very (scarily) drinkable. I'd partake in the insanity of this Mad Cow on a regular basis if I could.

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

A smooth drinking imperial stout..substantial milk chocolate, a nice change from bourbon booziness. The aroma is milk chocolate. Sweet without being cloying. Pours dark brown with lots of initial creamy bubbly off-white. ABove average mouthfeel. Worked with sushi.

Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

label-less, provided by bert from his recent canadian vacation

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice - very dark body, full creamy beige head with lighter retention

smell: dark roasty aroma - chocolatey, lactose, belgian yeast, touch of booze, dark fruit

taste: interesting beer - like some sort of cross between a belgian strong dark, dubbel, and stout. There is lots of dark belgian yeast, dark fruit and fig, licorice, strong alcohol sting

mouthfeel: similarities to a belgian dark, alcohol heat, well carbonated

drinkability: ok

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Remember trying this about a year ago but don't quite remember how much I liked it.
Has the label changed? My bottle says this is an Imperial milk stout not just a milk stout.

A- Dark, thick milk chocolate head. Liquid looks jet black but is actually a pretty clear, super dark ruby.

S- Smells like a Dubbel and a stout. Some nice good quality light dark chocolate. Very slightly metallic. Needs some warming up. Warming up now: Hot alcohol and sweet fruit...mango maybe. Now smells more like a weak IIPA with some cocoa stout added.

T- This is pretty light. I was expecting something a lot heavier. But not light like some weak seltzer stouts, a good, still flavorful and well bodied light. You can taste some pine and sweet fruit from the hops. The last time I tasted this I remember it having a lot more of a lactosedairy taste to it. The whole hop and stout thing works very well. One of the best examples I've tried.

M- Quite prickly active carbonation. Medium to full mouthfeel. Dry finish but lots pf sugar in here to counter. Creamy and aggressive at the same time and can feel like a lager or a milkshake depending on the way you swallow.

D- Very good. Just tastes good. But one bottle is probably enough. Mainly because it's just so satisfying.

Really feels like they've changed the recipe or this is just a different beer. Good. Would buy it again. I also recommend it. Not going crazy for it but the Charlevoix quality is here and this is worth the money.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - an impenetrable black, somewhat bubbly, with a tower of brown head that slowly dissipates, nice lacing
S - nice smells of sweet caramel and roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee, and some vanilla
T - all the smells transfer nicely to taste, caramel sweetness, roasty and smoky malts hints, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and just a little tartness
M - fairly strong carbonation sensation fills the mouth at first, changing to a fuller smooth chewy feel, with the high ABV thinning it out just a little
D - for a thick stout with a 9% ABV, this is very well balanced in feel and flavour, hiding the 9% well, although a couple of these 500ml bottles might give away the secret

Photo of Ruds
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Papat444 for the trade on this one!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a goblet to a luxurious black colour with a generous creamy beige/light brown head that, whilst reducing, kept its presence throughout the drinking experience.

On the nose I got sweet milk chocolate, a little roasted malt and perhaps caramel/fudge and a pinch of coffee lurking in the background but 'sweet' was the overwhelming word!

Taste wise not as sweet as I had expected, which was a good thing from my point of view! The chocolate flavour was definately at the 'sweet' end of the spectrum rather than 'bitter' and had a milky taste to it also lightly roasted malts present. Not a big punchy flavour as one may expect from a high ABV imperial stout but well balanced and highly drinkable none the less!

Enjoyed the mouthfeel on this beer, very creamy and smooth, top end of medium bodied but not as full as most 9%+ beers of this ilk. low to moderate carbonation - spot on !

Overall a good imperial stout, but perhaps a little too creamy and sweet to be a world beater in this category, none the less it was a fun beer that I enjoyed and will happily revisit!

Photo of eat
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great looking stout. Pitch-black with a creamy (you could almost say milky) caramel coloured head. Great lacing, nice retention.

Smells amazing! There's a definite presence of milk in the nose along with dulce de leche, roasted malt and some hops in the background.

This is a serious stout. Milk really comes out in the taste, moreso than I would have expected. Perfectly balanced notes of chocolate and coffee (as I tend to find in all of my favorite stouts) and a nice level of sweetness in the form of burnt caramel (just as described on the label). I totally forgot this is 9%. Unbelievably smooth for the ABV; just the slightest amount of bite while it's in your mouth. None on the way down. The aftertaste is of smooth, sweet milk chocolate along with bitter coffee. Very well balanced; very smooth; very delicious.

Just less than full bodied. Paired with a very light carbonation, the mouthfeel works perfectly with the flavour.

I was on a long streak of trying shitty beers and this one shattered it. This is a great new find I would recommend without reservation. It's much too drinkable to be 9%. Although I would say I prefer Dieu du Ciel's Peche Mortel as a whole, this is definitely more drinkable in that it isn't quite as intense. I have a whole 500ml to myself and could easily drink more. Among the best stouts I've sampled so far.

Photo of elricorico
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in the glass, opaque all around. A slow steady pour generated a mountain of malt coloured head, that grows before it recedes.

Smells of milk chocolate and roasted malt. Some milky coffee and smoke. Not as big as I'd have hoped but nice.

Milky sweetened coffee right up front, that becomes more and more chocolatey as it heads towards the back of the mouth. Some cola impressions on the sides of the tongue. A bit acidic in the finish.

Body leaning towards full and creamy, with medium to low carbonation. Has a way of filling the whole mouth.

A different take from the average big stout. Quite sweet, but I don't mind that. Worth checking out.

Photo of DaveBar
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

$5.35/ea at the LCBO. 500ml bottle.

Served at 6deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opened well with a good snap of the cap. Poured with moderate dark foam. Extremely dark

S- After opening you can definitely smell the spicy chocolate nature of this beast

T- This is where it excels. The chocolate flavor is fantastic. Super well hidden alcohol. Watch out, this one goes down like a guiness at twice the alcohol so be careful

M- Creamy. If you have ever had a milk stout you know what I mean

O- Excellent! Bought a few to cellar but will not let them go much past a year.

Very very good stout. It sneaks up on you so be careful. Mine when down in less than a half hour and it was my first of the night after work before dinner....

Food Pairing

This creamy good stout will pair very well with... Beef pie

If you have the fortitude to try a steak and kidney pie you will be very very happy with this match. I purchased a Tenderflake pie crust then had at her with the steak and kidney recipe I found on the net from a nice Scottish site.

Enjoy!

UPDATE JAN.10/15

Opened one from the cellar over 1yr old. It held up great! Yes things blended out a bit and the chocolate had less of an edge but still very good!!

Photo of ChrisCage
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Now this is what I want to see in a stout! It has an almost crude oil color, which would entail black with just a tinge of cola brown around the edges. The tan colored head is dense and is puffy...it retains as well as any Irish conterpart that I've seen! The lacing is incredible, leaving behind not only sticky, bubbly residue, but a foamy layer on the side of my pint glass.

S- Being an imperial, I expected, and do smell, alcohol right off the bat. Once I get the initial tinge of roughness, there is semi-sweet bakers chocolate and coffee aromas noticeable. There is some burnt brown molasses bitter of the profile somewhat. To balance this, the modest sweet lactose comes through right at the end.

T- This is a yummy beer! A burnt almond chocolate bar flavor hits the palate first, then gets counteracted by the creamy moderate sweetness of the lactose. In the background, there is a flavor of black coffee and a semi-sweet toffee/caramel that lingers on the palate after the swallow. No hop bitterness on the finish, as there shouldn't be.

M- A little less full than I was expecting, but still a solid medium body. Also, the carbonation is slightly more zippy than I would have expected, but I find it also helps hide the slightly boozy nature of this one. With that said, it is still a relatively creamy, soft beer on the palate.

D- I'm finding as this warms up a couple degrees, it gets better than it is fresh out of the fridge. Overall, it's well balanced....astringent, yet sweet enough. I think this one needs to be enjoyed slowly and would be a good compliment with either some sort of chocolate desert or as a solid beer to go with a beef stew.

Photo of Rutager
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours black with a 1 finger head that seems to last forever.

Smell. Sour caramel apple and roasty coffee.

Taste. Slightly sour chocolate. Old coffee, dark cherries and wood. Alcohol present.

Mouthfeel. Medium-high carbonation. Warming.

Drinkability. An okay drinker. A little sweet.

A good stout with interesting sour features.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with pretty good retention and lacing. Aroma of medium roasted malt with a nice touch of lactose. Taste of roasted chocolate malt is pretty dry with no noticeable hops. I’m not sure if my mouth was playing trick with me but I could really distinguish lactose in there. Interesting take on a style that I don’t have access to very often.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with 2 fingers of bubbly light brown head that slowly receded.

S - Roasted malts, light chocolate notes and a slightly off tart/sour smell. A weak overall nose.

T - Roasted, slightly burnt malts, bitter coffee, dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel. Sweet in the middle and bitter and dry in the finish.

M - Medium boy with a nice chew. At times, the body seems full. Light carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tumbler.

A nice even tan light coffee head is formed, very creamy and soapy with latge staying power and great retention. Deep dark walnut brown body with nice red highlights.

Nose has light classic milk lactose but more of a nice wood and tannic roast character. Some cream but this is not sweet forward like most milk stouts. Some faint milky chocolate rounds things out a bit.

Palate is interesting. Woody tannic slight sharp hop bent almost, some faint berry fruit angles, even a bit of nutty character. Some cream comes in with much toned down nice sweetness. Minor fizz playful carbonation and quite dry.

Overall one of the more unique milk or imperial stouts I have had lately, very memorable.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on June 11, 2009

A: Pours very dark color with a brown head. Mainly formed of big bubbles. Top of the head is very cloud looking. Nice.

S: Roasted malts. Maybe some hints of chocolate but very slim. No hops in the smell.

T: Damn, first sip I get metallic taste... damn damn damn. After 4 sips, I'm used to it since it completely disappeared. It is mainly roasted malts for me with slight chocolate in the aftertaste. I don't get the smoke taste like others do.

M: Creamy... very creamy.

D: Very drinkable and the ABV is timid since I don't feel it while drinking.

Overall not a bad beer however I should get another to see if the metallic taste is always there.

Photo of berkey
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Looked a little odd so I had to try it. 500ml bottle poured into a Weizen glass as that was the closest glass I had to the one shown on the label which is entirely in French. From notes 11/17/09.

Pours very dark, essentially black. Forms a sturdy brown head with faint red highlights. Lacing is very nice.

Chocolate cream and caramel notes lead followed by not insignificant coffee aromas. Sweeter than I expected.

Caramel is much stronger than anticipated on this beer. Continues with some dark chocolate and more coffee. Not sure if it's because it had warmed or because my palate adjusted to the chocolate but the creamy, almost milky character is coming through really strong late in the tasting. Coffee and more chocolate cut through again in the aftertaste but the coffee doesn't lend much bitterness which actually works for this beer. It seemed like every sip was slightly different than the previous. Interesting experience.

Creamy, silky, texture with low carbonation. Not cloying or hot by any means but drinks at about the 9 % abv listed.

Never been a huge fan of the style but this was probably the best Milk Stout I've tried yet. Not exactly my ideal beer but it was very interesting so I'm giving it high marks.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown liquid, essentially black with no light penetration what so ever. Rich deep, and thick chocolate colored lace then formed on the top of it to a height of around two inches

The aroma was just as rich and sweet, the first notes to hit me were a nice sweet milk chocolate, lactose, and a nice burnt caramel aroma. Very sweet, with hints of coffee throughout. . It was a little bit lighter then some of the other big stouts I have had, but still could put a hurting on most any other. Rich milk chocolate, molasses and vanilla hints were the first right out of the gate. Very sweet with lots of lactose sugar like flavors coming in, probably from the oatmeal. A slight warming on the back of the throat, but other then that there was literally no hint of the alcohol what so ever. Really a fine quality stout here. Nice dry touches in the finish capped it off well and left a long lingering sweet coffee like taste in the mouth

Photo of irishkyle21
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer from Charlevoix and it most definitely will not be my last. This is one good looking beer. Pours a dark brown (basically black), a thick light brown head with loads of lacing.

Smells sweet, lots of chocolate, some coffee and a faint fruitiness.

Tastes pretty much like it smells. Chocolate, coffee, a faint lactic sourness. This beer tastes great but it drinks even better. Its almost like 2% milk...but a 9% stout instead Ha.

Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: piraat snifter, finger-width beige head, thick and creamy, good retention, the mahogany brown appearing nearly black in color

s: prune and raisin with roasty bakers chocolate, moderate lactose, slight wood char with a delicate smokiness, mild sweet alcohol but nowhere near boozy, subtly hopped

m: carbonation moderate with a medium body, seems slightly thin

t: dark bakers chocolate, dark fruit skins, raisin and prune, roasty, with an undercurrent of licorice, slightly smoky, balanced lactic sugars, cleans up well with a long finish of dry chocolate, cleanly earthy hop bitterness

d: a very nice milk stout that drinks easily given the abv

500 mL from Depanneur Peluso in Montreal

Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown bottle, I missed it the first time it was available here in Alberta (didn't realize it would sell out so fast!), so this was part of the La Vache Folle 4-pack, my 2nd chance. This one was bottled on June 15th 2009.

Pours out an opaque black, only the faintest of garnet highlights are apparent even against a direct light source. Dense spongy mocha head that eventually settles and leaves some intense lacing.

Coffee, roasted malt and slight char on the nose, along with treacle and some smoke.

Sweetness immediately up front in the flavour, some alcohol warmth, treacle and cocoa, a little bit of bourbon. Sweet milky chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, slick, and deceptively quaffable for such a strong stout.

Deceptive is the key word for this Imperial Milk Stout, between the sweetness and the slick mouthfeel this stout goes down far too easy for such a big beer, very well done. Glad I had the 2nd chance to sample this.

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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
91 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.