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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout - Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

109 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 109
Hads: 224
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 14.56%
Wants: 53
Gots: 44 | FT: 5
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 (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of La Vache Folle - Milk Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 109 | Hads: 224
Photo of 2_Shaynez
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Pours black with no light getting through, but a ruby brown shine at the base when tilting glass into light. 1.5 finger mocha head. Unproportional retention, but really beautiful lacing! Like picture worthy lacing!

Nose: Fresh Skim Milk, Coffee, Chocolate.

Taste: Something I cant put my finger on!!!! Its probably the first taste of the lactose, which I get right after..coffee & chocolate of course, at 9% ABV im getting a bit of alcohol which is expected, but tolerable. Say in comparison to St. Ambroise who do an imperial stout at 9.2% ABV and its a little hard to drink, but this is perfect.

Mouth: Some good body from the lactose, which they do specify on the bottle. Low to low-medium carbonation. A tad of stickiness around the lips.

Overall: "SOMETHING DIFFERENT", a good stout with a twist, i think brewing with lactose really sets it apart. Very very good honestly, and at 9% ABV these 500ml bottles will give you a buzz which makes this a nice after-dinner couch beer!

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Photo of Humphreyproject
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Really nice stout. Quebec microbrasseries are becoming pros at brewing British and Irish style stouts and porters.

VFIMS has a great look in the glass. It's almost opaque in the bottle with a nice almost solid head.

It smells of burnt coffee and earthy molases. The flavor is smooth, slightly bitter and hearty. While it does not have the complexity of Sang d'Encre, it is comforting and satisfying.

For food pairings, it goes great with beef and pork dishes (stews, grilled meats, meat pies, etc) but also goes great with rich sweet foods. I had a glass with a slice of cheesecake and it seemed to pair perfectly much to my surprise after having resisting the suggestion for so long.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When Bucky discovered that La Vache Folle by Microbrasserie Charlevoix would be making a rare appearance in the LCBO, he jumped on it like a fat kid on a box of Smarties. La Vache Folle came in a brown 500 ml bottle with a bottling date of February 4, 2013, and was 9.0% alcohol by volume. With its label showing a picture of a "mad cow", this beer is difficult to miss.

La Vache Folle poured an opaque black colour with about 1" of crema coloured head. The head lasted for several minutes before fading to a blob of foam in the centre of my glass, a thin collar of foam and a patchy thin film across the rest of the beer's surface. The remnants of the foam left considerable, attractive lacing down the far side of the glass. Its aroma was mainly of dark chocolate, with notes of coffee, caramel and a bit of alcohol as the beer warmed. I get the impression that I'm in for something special here! The flavour began with sweet chocolate milk which gave way to coffee with a hint of caramel, and finished with a mildly bitter dark chocolate flavour which lingered as an aftertaste. Its 9.0% alcohol content is very well hidden, being just detectable as the beer warms up. A perfect beer for this cold and rainy Canadian night. La Vache Folle had a soft carbonation, creamy mouthfeel and was rich and full bodied. I really hope that this is more than a one-time appearance by this wonderful beer. Though a bit pricey at $5.25 per 500 ml bottle, you are at least getting a superior product in return for your hard earned cash.

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Photo of NForr
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Vache Folle pint sized stange glass. Giant four fingers of head. This is the first time I've seen a head continue growing after a pour - it looks like an ice-cream float! Aromas of yeast, chocolate, and some sugars. Rather musty. Chocolate and coffee tastes, nice bitter finish from the hops and the alcohol. Al...most tastes a little like a Belgium beer. Good amount of sweetness, but not overboard. Not too much of a roasted taste which is different for a stout. Nice creamy body with tons of carbonation. The head lasted until the last drop.

Microbrasserie Charlevoix is one of, if not my favorite craft brewery in Quebec and this one is even better then the last time I had it. It's unlike most stouts I've had, but still retains the typical qualities one likes in the style. Incredibly drinkable, considering the fact that it's 9%. I highly recommend this one, and anything from this brewery.

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Photo of TerryW
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow. This is an impressive beer.

Pours black with a substantial and solid head that takes it's own sweet time settling to a cap while going down beautifully all the way. Looks great.

Chocolate, licorice and alcohol in the nose, but soft all the way around. Very appetizing.

Soft and full in the mouth. Chocolate, charcoal, coffee, wood all blended together in perfect harmony. There isn't anything jarring, out of place or overly stern happening here. Looks of interesting things happening in the glass, nothing out of place. Wow.

It is pretty rare for a beer to impress me the way this brew has. Wow. Wish I had more, especially since I lost half the bottle to my wife. Gotta go get some more.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle poured into Corsendonk chalice nov28 2009

A black with a large long lasting mocha head that leaves decent lace. this would get a 5 if it left some more lace but it's sassy nonetheless

S lots of milk chocolate, mild coffee and some booze

T as it smells but with but with a sweetness to it that makes it near perfect. I pick up on a little licorice as it warms, and I like how no one thing overpowers, well balanced flavors

M silky and smooth, nice and thick need I say more?

D lots of wonderful small things add up for one great thing. no for real though this beer can hurt you if you let it

one of the better Canadian beers I've ever had. once people start taking notice of this brewer they will become a permanent member of the top 25 for Canada with little doubt

Edit: I guess my review put it over the top, #24 on the Canadian top 25 as of nov30 2009

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep black with a tinge of dark red, topped off with a copious quantity of cafe latte foam. Aroma is very sweet with a whiff of smoke, recalls perfumy tobacco and fermented dark fruit. Palate is loads of milk chocolate, figs and dates, coffee, vanilla, and dark caramel. Overall effect recalls chocolate-covered raisins and bourbon. Body is silky smooth, creamy, and full, and finish is quite bitter with some woody and smoky notes. Complex with a perfect milk stout body. World class and probably my favorite Canadian stout. Carbonation level is moderate and accentuates the complexity. Struggling to find a fault here. Perhaps the palate fatigues a bit late in the game, where the bitterness starts to trump the sweet layers. Wait, nope ... There's the sweet again.

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Photo of hoser
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have fallen in love this with beer, creamy not overtly sweet and nice warming treat that always seems to be in the house and the fridge of late. Can't wait to try this on draft, I am crazy about La Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout or should I say mad. Love this beer!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of eat
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of BigBry
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We were at Model Milk for dinner, first time there. Wandered towards the front bar to check out the tap selection (saw others drinking some decent bottles), what jumps out but "that cow beer" as it became affectionatly know by my dining mates.

Served in a snifter glass, beautiful, inky black color with a huge, creamy, beige head. Foam lasted for the entire glass.
First smell gives you sweet milk chocolate, a little roasted malt, and a bit of coffee.
Taste is slightly sweet, but not too cloying or artificial. Chocolate, cocoa, coffee all meld with the big toasted malt base. The high ABV is hidden, all components are well balanced and flavorfull.
Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, full body with out being heavy, low carbonation.
Overall a great stout, super happy to have this Quebec gem available in Alberta.

Note to Self: Ranked #25 Top Beers - Canada when I reviewed it.

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Photo of leaddog
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours jet black with a finger width of frothy beige head.

Smell - Coffee bean, milk chocolate, roasted notes, ripe cherries, caramel.

Taste - Unique balance of coffee, chocolate, and cherries. There's a bit of tartness from the cherries that can be picked up. Very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy texture.

Overall - A very well-executed imperial stout by Microbrasserie Charlevoix. The individual flavours are very bold, but no flavour overpowers the overall brew, making this a well-balanced, unique stout. ABV is well hidden. A must try for stout fans.

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Photo of ReFill31
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml Bottle poured in a Pint Glass

A : Very dark beer with a nice moka foam that stays on the beer a long time, leaving a nice ring on the glass.

S : Torrefaction smell, I could also distinct black olives. Sweet smell.

T : The taste is very good! Chocolate, coffee and we can feel the lactose in it also.

M : Very creamy, sweet.

D : We do not taste the alcohol at all which is kind of behind the smooth feel of the beer. Because of that I could easily drink another one.

Overall, an excellent beer that I would absolutely recommend.

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Photo of Advocaate
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Caveat: drank this with friends a few days ago so recollection is an issue here. But...

Pours jet black and opaque. Less head than other poster noted, maybe 1 cm with minimal lacing.

N: Mild and nondescript, fruity and nutty.

T: Awesome! Immediate lactose tang and very rich fruit and coffee notes. Didn't notice much by way of chocolate, no more than a typical pale ale would have. Definite alcohol punch and very malty finish.

M: Low carbonation and very creamy, which I love personally.

O: Outstanding overall. Any truly creamy beer wins points from me, and the flavour was complex without being overwhelming. Only criticism was the disappointing pour, some more bubbles wouldn't kill this brew.

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Photo of HopBacchus
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Night pours from a 500ml glass. A guinness-like cascading head forms at the top and stays.

Chocolate Milk and Coffee are detectable nose along with dark roasted cherries and a roasted malt sweetness.

The body follows the nose but becomes more complex, dark chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit, toffee and lactose sweetness. There are no hops to be found here.

The body is big and creamy almost chewy.

It kicks like an imperial stout but it drinks like milk. More good work from Microbrasserie Charlevoix.

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Photo of JOaikido
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle.

A- Pitch black, Very nice creamy moka head with good durability and that leaves a thick layer of suds on the glass as it goes down.

S- Chocolate with a touch of roast coffee. Faint hint of plum/prune and alcohol.

T- Slightly sweet, but not excessively. Chocolate. Touch of roasted coffee and a bitter aftertaste. Alcohol and drid fruit hints come through as it warms.

MF- Smooth. A bit highly carbonated. Good body. Some alcohol warmth.

D- A very nice sipping stout with high ABV well hidden. Not everyone will like the sweetness, but I did. A desert beer for the end of the evening.

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Photo of notdan
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.41/5  rDev +7%
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.



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!!

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Photo of papat444
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As of now, i've made it halfway through the Top 100 of Canada.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, bottled 2011/12/08.

Appearance: Massive light brown head that bubbles and exposes lacing all over. Dark brown the color of the body. Each pour gives more head.

Smell: Chocolate, not too sweet.

Taste: Hit at first with milk chocolate mixed with oatmeal. Milky coffee as it warms. Almost like a stout milk shake. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation starts strong for the style but quickly calms down. Body is silky smooth, robust throughout yet is never heavy.

Overall: A different type of stout. Literally like a milk shake a bit. Very good stuff.

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Photo of Trancesexual
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a Snifter

A: Jet Black with frothy white foam that dissipates fairly slowly

S: A lot of sweetness from the lactose here, a good whiff of booziness from the 9%, but not a whole lot of other discernible smells here.

T: Much like the nose, the sweetness and creaminess from the lactose hits you immediately. Aftertaste ends pleasantly with bitter roasted malt notes, and the high alcohol content is somewhat noticeable.

M: Low carbonation makes this beer deliciously creamy and drinkable on the tongue. Hands down the greatest strength of this brew in my opinion.

Overall: Very solid offering. I only wish the nose had a bit more complexity.

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Photo of Clubchat
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Au dépanneur Tremblay (avenue Cartier) de Québec

A - Black with little dark brown reflects, nice creamy tan head

S - Sweet chocolate, roast coffee, little fruity but discret with the alcohol

T - Little sweet because of the addition of lactose, chocolate & roasted coffee just like the smell, high alcohol rate is really not aggresive, well-balanced

M - Smooth, Great body, very gooddd in mouth

D - One of my favorite beer from now in 2008, really appreciate the style, the sweetness is fabulous, can get one every night after dinner

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Photo of dar482
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%

The beer comes in a rich black color.

The aroma has a big punch of dark fruit, raisin, roasted malt, espresso and chocolate.

The flavor is full on the palate. In the front, there's dark fruit of dried date and raisin. Then onto chocolate onto the sides of the mouth, espresso and roasted malt on the back end to dry out the beer. Touches of vanilla and molasses for more complexity.

An underrated brew that tastes towards an hugely improved Narwhal.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rather dark, reddish brown with copious fine off white foamy head and good amount of visible effervescence. Smells pleasantly of almonds, molasses, coffee, an earthy almost herbal note, hint of cocoa.
Taste is sweet roasted malty (caramel / molasses), dark fruit (prune/raisin), coffee mid note and then ending with a bittersweet note of coffee/cocoa and a fairly clean finish. The lactose qualities were muted.
Mouthfeel was medium bodied – a little thinner than what I’d expected for a stout – and a fair amount of carbonation that gave it some qualities similar to a brown ale – not unpleasant – just unexpected. The carbonation did lift the notes a bit, made it a bit more astringent and though a (overall) sweet stout – it wasn’t syrupy.

Overall – I really enjoyed this ‘Imperial Milk Stout’ – I picked it up on a recent trip to Quebec – one of many incredible craft brews in the Quebec region that I wish were available in the states. . . Definitely a beer I would buy in bulk if I find it in the states. Delicious.!

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This beer pours a dark black with 3 fingers of head that lasts for some time. Only the outer ring wants to receed leaving me a beige colored island on top of this beauty.

S- Sweet chocolate and light roasted malts. This smells like an easy drinker.

T- Sweet chocolate to start, toasted malts in the middle, and a good dose of bitter coffee in the end. A little warmth from the alcohol, but in a good way. Very well balanced!

M- That's mighty smooth, it's up there with some of my favorite stouts in terms of feel.

D- 9% you say??? I laugh at that and crack another. My first from this brewery, won't be my last. What a well rounded brew!!

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Photo of Matt1516
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into Vache Folle branded pint glass. Thick fluffy head with lots of retention, much lacing ensues. Inky black colour beer, mocha-hued head.

Some carbonnation in the mouthfeel. Smells of roasted coffee and milk.

Lovely roasted grain taste with notes of bitter chocolate. Very malty and no hop taste. Slightly bitter in the finish.You notice the 9% ABV but it doesn't overwhelm the taste.

Great example of the style.

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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
91 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.