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

204 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 43
Gots: 27 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 02-14-2007)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to papat444 for this one. Poured in a Selin's Grove pint glass. Bottled June 15th, 2009.

A - Pours with three fingers of dark mocha foam that dissipates slowly to a thin cap and thick ring. Some nice patchy lacing as well. Pitch black body with only the slightest hint of dark brown at the fringes.

S - Dark fruits and berries, some light smokiness, dry roast, some lactose, and sugar cookie. Not the biggest smell, and not as sweet or milky as you'd expect from this style.

T - The taste is a little nicer, with more chocolate and cream flavors coming out. Some nice fruitness, but also an odd lactic sour and earthy aftertaste that I'm not entirely sure fits. I suppose I'm forever skewed by the diabetic Three Hour Tour, but this is trending more into English Stout territory.

M - Light carbonation tingle, medium body, very soft and smooth. Right on for the style, but sufficiently big for the 9%.

D - This is an easy drinker. Killing the half-liter by myself would be no problem. I just wish the taste/aroma had a little more oomph and a touch more sweetness. I'd drink this one again if I were up in Quebec.

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

june 15th 2009 bottle

Impérial milk stout

What a nice brew!! a treat..

looks good: big moka head, beer is darkblack

Smells very good as well: sweet and torrified

Taste: is very smooth, sweet, round, torrification,like coffee, excellent,
well balanced

mouthfeel is sexy

drinkability is perfect to sip on a winter day
you dont taste the alcool, but it warm you up

This beer makes me happy

Photo of demcorhip
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Goldorak, finally getting around to enjoying this CanBif treat from years back. Looks great, black body topped by tight two finger tan head with great retention. Also great lacing, thin sticky sheets battle gravity and appear to hold their own.

Lactose, chocolate and espresso, a hint of char, some raisin and a touch of leafy earthiness. So ya, smells great and im looking forward to the taste.

Tastes pretty damn good. Much like the nose. A nice little smack of roasted malts near the finish break through the rich and creamy lactose rich chocolate and espresso flavour. Some hazelnut also present.

Incredible mouth feel and presence. Full creamy body, and a great balance of rich flavours, nuts, chocolate/espresso, and charred malts. I would put this up there with Dark Lord in terms of great mouthfeel, but instead of molasses the lactose provides the substance.

As drinkable as any 9% brew. The alcohol reveals itself mostly through the warmth it imparts. A great beer to ring in the new on the first of January in Canada. A must try for fans of stouts and milk stouts. This brew is easily the equal of higher rated and more sought after brews. Could La Vache Folle come out on top of the Darklord? It does in my books... Thanks Martin for the chance to try this incredibly rich and tasty treat.

Photo of elricorico
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
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 Dawkfan
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
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!!

Photo of notdan
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
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

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

My first Imperial Milk Stout. I'm not a huge coffee guy but I enjoyed this beer. Aroma is malt, coffee and caramel and chocolate. Taste is deep with malt and coffee and chocolate overtones. Alcohol bite and an aftertaste of creme brule. This is a very nice beer, I don't know if I'd have it again but I can understand how people would love this. Very complex and lots of great flavours coming through.

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a root beer float. Black with black lowlights topped by a foamy, frothy light biege head and monstrous lacing.

The aroma is quite fresh and spritzy, like fresh cut pears drizzled in chocolate and caramel. The roastiness is timid, but it's definitely there. This is all very subtle mind you.

The taste is sweet milk chocolate with just a tinge of roast and a creamy sweet chocolaty coffee. A lack of attenuation leads to a sweet finish, not dry at all, almost like a hint of chocolate syrup. Nice, clean aftertaste though. I want to say pungent, but I mean that in the best possible way. Low bitterness and roast though, but just enough to keep this from being cloying.

A very enjoyable beer and one I just realized, nearing the end, is 9%. It sure doesn't taste like it. It's oddly filling.

Courtesy of papat444 through CanBIF. Thanks Patrick!

Photo of ritzkiss
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from Montreal, pours a rich, dark black, no light getting through, pillowy cappucino/mocha foam builds up, milky like the cappuccino too! Superb, anticipation high.

Nose is... light. Not getting a lot off of this one, anticipation deflated. Light milk chocolate, a hint of anise.

Taste is... delicious. Anticipation met. Sweet choco nibs all throughout, offset by a nice lacto bitterness, milky like creamer, light bitter chocolate and hops in finish, not a lot of roast but some. Alcohol nowhere to be found, SMOOTH. Imperial stout = no. Imperial milk stout = yes. Pretty sweet, dessert beer.

Not perfect but a smooth drinker, well made, would gladly spend another night with this beauty.

Photo of hopdog
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle acquired in trade with Sammy (thanks!).

Poured a dark, dark brown color with a huge sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, chocolate, lactose, some coffee, and slightly earthy. Tastes of chocolate, caramel, licorice, and lighter roastiness. I also noted root beer candy. Thinner body with the alcohol content well hidden.

Photo of mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle- Deep dark black pour with a foamy and frothy mocha cap. Leaves nise spotty lace. Nose is quite lactic, milk chocolate, some roasty components, coffee beans, and fresh hops. Tastes of coffee, milk chocolate, lactic, roasty malts with some young hops. Has quite an odd metallic feel and flavour towards the end, but it doesn't come off as unpleasant. Creamy with good drinkability.

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 allergictomacros
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Massive dark brown foam over an opaque brown liquid. Head is solid and sticky - exceptional. Nose is somewhat muted though with some grapyness and fruit. Some caramel as well. Sweet and fruity flavour with apple, grape, red berries and hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Good toastiness but nothing over-the-top. Alcohol is well hidden. Fairly light body and low carbonation. Good balance and overall very drinkable. Maybe a bit on the light side though, and definitely weak in aroma.

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

500mL brown glass pry-top. No date. Bought at Super Marché Rahman in Montreal.

Appearance: Poured into an Imperial pint. 1 inch frothy tan head atop a solidly opaque black body.

Nose: Café au lait, fresh cream, whisper of white smoke, coffee syrup, dark leaf tobacco. Smells like medium roast coffee with cream.

Palate: Bright and crisp with some light hops and some acid, which quickly switches to being creamy. Coffee and mocha flavors dominate, and there's some oxidized notes here too. Not sure if that's on purpose. The finish is long and rich and creamy, all mocha.

Notes: A seriously tasty brew for the coffee and/or mocha enthusiast. Would love to see this on nitro. Wish they dated the bottles, dammit! What's with brewers these days??

Photo of ZorPrime
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
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 grub
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one as part of a recent trade with papat444. thanks pat!

500ml bottle. sampled may 24/09.

pours nearly black and opaque with a huge dense dark brown head. the head drops very slow and leaves tons of thick lace behind.

aroma is nice. light smoke. slightly sour, but a lactic or baltic sourness. wheat bread. cracker. biscuit. light alcohol. dark and milk chocolate. bit of fruit. earthy and slightly woody. a bit of anise. very low bitterness level.

taste is good. dark and milk chocolate. light lactic sourness. bit of coffee. light alcohol. bit of smoke. caramel and toffee. biscuit. toasted whole wheat bread. fairly sweet, but not over the top. anise. a bit earthy. touch of fruity character.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. silky smooth medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. it hides its alcohol pretty well, at the expense of being just a little too sweet for my taste.

Photo of Viggo
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed the old 5% Vache Folle, too bad they don't make it anymore. Thanks to grub for sharing this 500ml bottle!

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, huge and thick light brown head forms, leaves a ton of lacing on the glass, very sticky, settles to a thick ring, looks real nice. Smell is great, very milky, lactose, sugary, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, lightly smokey, some dark fruit, very rich and smells great. Taste is similar, very sweet at first, lactose and caramel, sugary, bit of banana bread, brown sugar, chocolate, some bitter roast, smoke, biscuit, sweet but balanced in the finish, real nice. Mouthfeel is great, medium to full bodied, very thick and milky, low to medium carbonation, silky smooth and the alcohol is very well hidden. Charlevoix is pretty underrated, this is a great beer. Thanks Russ!

Photo of flipper2gv
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Pure black. Head is tan and has a nice volume. Nothing overly exciting, but a nice looking brew nonetheless.

S: Really good chocolate smell. Lactose help the beer to have a lesser roasted smell than most stouts, much more smooth. Good malty sweetness, great and powerful dark fruits are there (cherry, raspberry).

T: Unlike the smell, roasted malts come upfront with a dark chocolate taste. Kind of a powdery cocoa feel. Lactose is present and helps the brew to rise the taste of the dark fruits to a much higher level than most stouts. Surprisingly very balanced, nothing too powerful.

M: Well, that's where I'm a bit disappointed. Medium body, with mid carbonation. I would have expected something much more heavy from a 9% ABV brew.

D: Mouthfeel being low, the lack of alcohol warmth, taste being balanced and not too powerful are all some "weaknesses" that makes this Imperial Stout almost as drinkable as a Guinness.

A very good brew that would make it a great session stout even for the ABV.

Photo of Clubchat
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
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

Photo of bobsy
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After my explosive experience with Vache Folle ESB in Quebec City its with some trepidation that I open the Vache Folle Milk Stout. Superb appearance! Pitch black with a huge mocha head straining to escape the glass and billowing upwards. Good cocoa aroma alongside a dark roast coffee. The initial taste is a nice sweet chocolate, but this is prevented from becoming cloying by a dose of bitter coffee that quickly follows it. As the beer warms some dark fruit and Kahlua begin to appear. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the carbonation helps clean the palate of excess residual sugars.

This is a very well-crafted beer and dangerously drinkable at 9%. It hides the alcohol very well and I found myself drinking this as if it was a sessionable stout. Charlevoix have not disappointed me so far, and I look forward to trying more from this brewery, and returning to this beer.

Photo of sstackho
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle purchased about 4 months ago at Jovi in Gatineau for $4. Pours black with a nice velvety creamy brown head. Nice roasted malt aroma. Flavour is initially roasty and toasty, perhaps a bit spicy (or perhaps I shouldn't have eaten that pepperoni stick before reviewing a beer). There's a nice tang to the flavour, but when cold, it drops out after that and the aftertaste is a bit thin. Initially, it certainly doesn't feel like a 9% beer. As it warms, the flavour starts out richer, almost a bit syrupy, and the alcohol seems more noticeable. Definitely let this one warm up. But still, not one of my favourite big stouts.

La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
91 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.