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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.

111 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 111
Hads: 227
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 14.29%
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
Reviews: 111 | Hads: 227
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd love to say that La Vache Folle ("the mad cow") was black and white but it's not. I could probably get away with calling its body black (though I see it as more of a very dark brown) but its head definitely has a latte tint; it's not even close to pure white.

The aroma is relatively rich but far from opulent; it smells of milk chocolate, dark dried fruits and charred oak (though this is not barrel aged). It doesn't have the air of an imperial stout and comes across as being two or so alcohol rungs lower than it actually is.

The taste is defined by flavours of vanilla and burnt sugar. It drinks like a hot chocolate that's been spiked with a shot of espresso then put on the barbecue. It is sweet and bitter, strong but scrumptious. Bitterness takes the form of an unsweetened cocoa or coffee taste.

This stout drinks like it's been smoking cigars - there's a cinnamon-y, cigar box spice and light tar notes. It leaves a similarly smoky and astringent taste in the mouth. It's like coffee breath's raunchier cousin. But it's still a treat to drink; this is a dessert in a bottle and induces cravings for berries or caramel cake. Alcohol is not necessarily noted but does creep up eventually.

Microbrasserie Charlevoix brews some of the best Belgian-style ales outside of Belgium. They can also apparently emulate a mean Russian Imperial Stout; Vache Folle has the quantity and quality of character of some barrel-aged offerings but drinks about as easily as any generic, standard-strength stout. It remains a fixture of Quebec's rich, forever improving craft beer scene.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, impenetrable jet black with an adequate tan head that pours big before quickly settling down to about an inch of puffy goodness. Good retention; subdued lacing.

Hops, charred malt, brown sugar, some mineral odors. Quite inviting.

Toasty, but clean. Malt predominates but it is well-balanced with what hop there is. Definite sweetness, but not sticky sweet or too rich. Coffee, chocolate, nuts, pepper on the whole. Surprisingly earthy backbone. Really nice. Lingering, slightly spicy aftertaste.

Creamy and effervescent at once. Round flavors and mouthfeel but not over-powering. Smooth, slow finish with spicy, prickly aftertaste.

Really, really good. Everything that makes an imperial stout good, sanded and planed down to be super smooth, well-balanced and drinkable. Not much else to say. It hits all the most important marks and doesn't fail on any of them.
Would absolutely get this one again.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: deep dark brown with a minimal head that disappears quickly.

S: coffee, cocoa, roasted malts and some milk

T: coffee and bitter cocoa again upfront, there is a sweet finish and the alcohol is hidden.

M: medium creamy. Perhaps the carbonation is a little aggressive, but overall it is smooth and pleasant.

O: this was my first milk stout and I was rather pleasantly surprised by the feel and flavor of this style. The beer finished nicely and i have to say I find it quite drinkable. I could easily see myself having a few on a cool evening. I have always been a fan of Charlevoix, so this beer did not disappoint me. I look forward to trying more of this type and seeing what others have to offer.

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Photo of jvillefan
2.72/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I am going to take a point off of each category due to the vast inexperience that this brewery clearly has. The beer was vastly overcarbonated and nearly exploded after opening despite no reason to do so. After the fountain of beer on my ceiling and carpet there was only enough to fill 4 oz of my glass.

A: A dark brown body with a huge brown head.

S: Not great. It has a homebrew aroma when homebrewing is done with extract. There is sweet chocolate aromas present as well.

T: Light flavors. There is a chocolate flavor with some creamy flavors in the background. There are many better milk stouts out there.

M: The carbonation is way to high and this leaves the body deceptively light.

O: Could have been good if the brewery had more skill when it comes to their process. Very poor execution. This will be my last beer from Microbrasserie Charlevoix.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown, thick and murky, very large bubbly coffee colored, leaves webs of lacing.

Nose is fairly dry lactose, milk chocolate and dusty cocoa, vanilla, some light blueberry or grape. Light bitterness.

Taste opens with the same blueberry/grape fruit character, sweet milk chocolate, some lightly bitter roast, sweet lactose. Not incredibly sweet for a milk stout but very tasting. There is a slightly cardboard like thing in there too but it's not too distracting.

Mouthfeel is nice and rich, lots of carb, feels fairly thick and dry.

Very nice milk stout! I really like the dark fruit character.


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Photo of Haydn-Juby
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle to an English tulip glass.

A: Dark but not pitch black. Some ruby red highlights are visible on light contact. Minimal head about a little less then a finger with some lacing.

S: Coffee and espresso on the nose.

T: Deep rich roasted malts. Dark chocolate like flavor as well. Very nicely balanced but slightly sweet with the aid of the lactose sugars in the beer. The alchohol is very well masked and I probably would have no idea this was 9% if the bottle didn't say so.

M: Maybe slightly thinner then I would like but I tend to lean towards oatmeal stouts. Good creamy mouth feel and smooth going down.

O: This was a pretty good buy. One of my friends suggested it. Its pretty pricey but it would make a nice treat every once in a while. Good beer.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle from La Duchesse D'Aiguillon (Quebec City). 4.99. Bottled 11/1/12. Served in a Microbrasserie Charlevoix goblet.

Pours dark cola brown with one and a half fingers fluffy sand head. Nice sheets of lacing on the way down.

Smells of dark cocoa, sweet cream and roasty malts. Simple but nice.

Taste is bittersweet cocoa, lightly creamed coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate milk, roast malts, lactose sweetness and slightly nutty. Very little alcohol bite.

Medium full, creamy feel with initially too-sharp carbonation that calms down a bit as it warms. Mildly bitter creamy cocoa aftertaste.

A nice find on my recent trip to Quebec City (thanks for the reccomendation ricochet173!). One of the better strait up milk stouts I've had with plenty of robust notes that make it significantly more interesting than typical brews in the style. Definately worth a try.

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Photo of Muhly
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a mug.

A-opaque black colour. Couple of fingers of creamy tan/brown head.

S-coffee and sweet, slightly sour chocolate milk.

T-a hint of sweet dark malts with a powerful hit of bitter coffee and dark chocolate.

M-initially thinner and more carbonated than I anticipated, but as the carbonation dissipates, it seems to become creamier and fuller. The creamy mouthfeel adds to the enjoyment. No astringency detected and finishes with a bit of sweetness.

O-I think this is a pretty bang on sweet stout with the exception of the initial mouthfeel which I wish was creamier and a bit more full. Oh well. After sitting for a couple of beats, the mouthfeel comes into focus and everything is beautiful. I'm grabbing one the next time I feel like a sweet stout!

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Photo of Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Second time having this beer. The first time I scored it a 2.58, which isn't all that impressive. Let's hope eithe the beer or my palate has changed since then. Got this at Intermarche St-Roche in Quebec City.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Bottled 24 Feb 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours out clear brown and produces a one finger, medium looking, cream colored head with great retention. Clear black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. Good head, but body needs to be thicker.

SMELL: Roasted notes, coffee, sweet cream and lactose sugars for sure. Espresso roasted coffee and vanilla cream. Interesting, and bold enough for sure.

TASTE: Roasted notes with some slightly stale coffee flavors up front. A little less satisfying than the nose, unfortunately. Sweet cream and vanilla comes out at the swallow, then lots of coffee, lactose sugar and sweet vanilla cream in the bolder and lingering aftertaste. Some bitter coffee tries to peek through the sweet lactose flavors. Better than I remeber, though the coffee is still a little stale tasting.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little light for the style, thoug creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth coating.

OVERALL: Better than I remember, but still a little underwhelming. Coffee is a little stale tasting, and it's not really big enough for the ABV. Still a decent beer that's worth trying, but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of peensteen
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown colour, more than a finger of tan/off white head, little bit of lace as well. Smell is of milky chocolate, coffee and roasted malts and only intensified as it warmed, tons of chocolate present here. Taste is sweet and chocolatey, coffee grinds and roast, lactic flavours toward the finish, cocoa powder and milk chocolate finish and aftertaste. Lightly carbonated, medium body and a really nice feel, smooth and creamy. Solid imperial stout, at first I thought it was a bit on the sweet side but as it warms and comes together it all works very well.

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Photo of BigBry
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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%
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 Ruds
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

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Photo of NForr
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
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 papat444
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
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 NightINgale
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle...

A - Dark brown body with a rich light brown head. Really nice head retention and lacing.

S - Smells chocolatey and roasty, with hints of strange yeastiness, red grapes and cherries.

T - Starts out like a true milk stout, with a very strong sweet malt base, hints of espresso, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Then you get a surprising fruity taste, with cherry, grape, and prune notes. The finish is slightly smoky and roasty, with hints of bread and vanilla. Over time the beer opens up even more, with very interesting flavours and hints. Oak, smoke, tobacco, raisins, dates... very interesting!

M - The beer has a nice medium body to it. For its ABV, it is super drinkable and not boozy at all. The texture is quite creamy and very roasty.

O - A surprisingly original specimen of its style, this beer aims to please and delight. Probably the best beer I've had from this brewery. Highly recommended!

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Photo of slimspady
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- jet black, long lasting, thick tan head
S- chocolate, lactose
T- chocolate, vanilla, a nice sweetness. 
M- lots of carbonation, very smooth, really light, no way this is 9%. 
O- enjoyable. A really nice stout. Very easy to drink. Perfect if you don't want a heavy oatmeal or Russian Imperial stout. Still enough flavors to be great.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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

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Photo of hoser
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
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 fostachild
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled on: 2011/09/20

pours a pitch dark colour. 2 inches of foamy/bubbly tan head - lasts forever.

smell is sweet, chocolatey, and has burnt/roasted malt, mocha/coffee aromas.

nice malty taste. coffee and chocolate notes. bitter finish but good carbonation and drinkability. have had this many times and it has always been enjoyable - solid imperial stout.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is black with a large and very smooth-looking tan head. Remarkably flat top- a few bubbles but otherwise a smooth ceiling. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

Smell contains cocoa, marshmallow, coffee and a creamy scent that, for whatever reason, makes me think of mint. Probably mint chocolate, to be specific. Roasted malt is in there as well, becomes more pronounced the more I smell.

Taste is wonderful. Actually a bit of a surprise from the nose. Very creamy, with a nice roasted malt flavour that is quite sweet. Chocolate and caramel, and bit of vanilla. The finish is fantastic- almost tastes like a milkshake with the creamy texture and sweetness. Very mild bitterness- noticeable but outpowered by the sweetness. I don't want to overemphasize the sweetness- it is not a Southern Tier specialty or a Belgian- but is quite sweet for an imperial stout. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and smooth. Moderate to low carbonation, full bodied. Very nice.

Overall, just a lovely stout from the excellent Charlevoix.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of sholland119
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Premier Wine & Spirits, Halifax.

A-Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a massive foamy mocha head.

S-Graham crackery notes in the malt. Roast with a hint of marshmallow.

T-Roasty front with dark fruits aplenty, some brown sugar and chocolate. Though this is brewed with lactose, this characteristic is hidden from my palate anyway. This is, to me, a heftier export stout. And a good one.

M-Medium bodied, a bit overcarbonated, a bit of lingering booziness.

O-Very tasty indeed. Not really a milk stout but I liked it.


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Photo of Francepants06
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a inky-black, mocha colored beer, with a thick creamy milky head which dissipated slowly. Smells like milk coffee with a hint of booze. It tasted creamy coffee, bitter chocolate, slight, half and half, fruitiness in the finish.
It was one of the better milk stouts that I have had. The alcohol wasn't overwhelming, which is nice . this is like organic chocolate coffee milk. Wish I could give it an A+ but there is no such thing as a perfect beer and if I do find one I will let the world know.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with a tall billowy foam head that eventually recedes while clinging to the glass. Foam reminds me of chocolate milk with its creaminess and colour.

S: Lots of caramel/molasses-like malts, vanilla, dark chocolate, and some faint dark & candied fruits like figs, dates, cherries. Very good smell with a lot to take in.

T: Caramel-like roasted malts upfront along with those dark fruits, and a faint and mellow dark chocolate and vanilla finish. Alcohol is noticeable throughout. Overall quite sweet, but still pleasant. Was expecting a bit more from the initial smell.

M: Surprisingly lighter than normal for the style, with a higher amount of carbonation.

D: Overall quite nice, but not something I would likely seek out again. A bit too caramel & molasses focused for my taste.

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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
91 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.