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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

106 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 215
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 8.5%
Wants: 50
Gots: 33 | 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 (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 215
Photo of Swedes21
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first beer of 2011, and my first beer from the Microbrasserie (microbrewery) Charlevoix.

The head is large and fast-forming. It's lumpy, creamy, and dimpled. The impressive head forces a pour done in stages. It's very dark in the glass... pitch black/dark brown. No light gets through. As the beer goes down, the lacing is sparse.

In the smell is chocolate, milk, oranges, and alcohol. Perhaps even some wet/musty wood.

The taste is very fruity and alcoholic - not quite what I expected. It's bright and light in some ways, but strong. You can taste cherries, chocolate cream wafers / mousse. There's also a chocolate liqueur flavour... almost like chocolate Grand Marnier. Just a hint of coffee, as any roasted flavour comes out later (and in he aftertaste).

The carbonation is OK. The mouthfeel isn't too thick or thin. There is a sharpness of the alcohol (& fruit flavour). I don't like what I taste/feel as an imbalance in alcohol / tartness / bitterness / sweetness.

Overall, for me, this beer is decent. It's too sweet / strong for my liking. It's not quite medicinal... more like the syrup of a really sugary drink. A bit much to want to finish. (1,169 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (344 characters)

Photo of ludachris
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its deathly black body is topped by a mammoth goopy, creamy, and thick mocha head that takes its sweet time receding, leaving dense patches of lace across the sides of the glass. What a gorgeous looking stout!

It took some time for the beer to really reveal itself in the nose, but once it warmed up, this stout was quick to shine. Notes of licorice, roasted coffee, and caramel blend with an almost medicinal milky scent that I assume is coming from the lactose. A bit strange, but not off-putting with sweet milk chocolate also thrown into the mix.

Silky smooth milk chocolate and caramel coat the mouth but battle it out with the roasty, dry, coffee-like character for prominence. As the beer progresses, the sweet and milky character stays on the tongue while the roasty notes move to the back of the palate, with the former just edging out the latter in terms of how pronounced it is. A smidgen of alcohol is detectable, but the lactose seems to do well disguising it.

Full bodied with a great balance achieved between the silky and dry feels that mesh from beginning to end. Again, the 9% ABV is well hidden, making this one a true sneaker.

This marks my first beer from Charlevoix, a brewery whose beers I've always been eager to try, and I'm quite impressed. The pour left me a little worried with a Duvel-esque head sitting on top of this thing, giving me worries that this was possibly infected, but those worries quickly passed after a whiff and a sip. In my opinion, this one's worth seeking out. (1,514 characters)

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. (430 characters)

Photo of ChrisCage
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (1,666 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (1,749 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from ZorPrime, thanks again brother. 500ml glass into a pint glass, bottled on September 1, 2010.

First pour on this yields a massive 4 finger light brown head, that billows and sits above the glass and just wont settle, not an aggressive pour by any means. Retention is out of this world, and leaves alot of lace. Body is a very dark brown, bordering on black with the slightest dark orange highlights at the edges. Smells of rich milk chocolate, cocoa and a bit of coffee. Maybe a hint metallic. Head is still sitting here, hard to get my nose in! Tastes of bitter chocolate, rich and full, maybe some dark fruits (and chocolate covered berries?) here too and some molasses or licorice adding some sweetness. Again, a bit of metal. Medium-low carbonation, fairly smooth and pleasant overall; would've liked it thicker. Can't taste the alchy by any means, and fairly drinkable, but 1 is probably enough at a time. (922 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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 (692 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark dark mahogany colour, solid thumb of very fine bubbled mocha head with solid retention and leaves some fine bubbled tacky lacing on the glass.

S - Bitter chocolate with a stronger espresso finish. Faint scent of cherries and leafy greens also detectable, with a bit of alcohol also noticeable.

T - A very tasty offering, though I found it slightly metallic. The high ABV is extremely well hidden under coffee grounds, bitter chocolate with earthy undertones. There's a bit of a bitter-sweet finish on this one with the coffee aromas lingering one the tongue. YUM!

M - This one goes down quite smoothly, perfectly carbonated and the finish is not dry or overly bitter. Very enjoyable!

D - This one is surprisingly drinkable, especially given the higher ABV content. A very enjoyable offering and highly recommended. The flavours are quite tasty holding bold characteristics that are delicious but non-offensive. (931 characters)

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. (1,014 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - the beer pours a black/brown colours with a huge beige fluffy head. I can't make out a whole lot of carbonation due to the darkness. It has a excellent amount of lacing and the head sticks around for a while.

Smell - The first thing I can smell is hops. Also some sweet malts and caramel. It also has a floral citrus note blend that makes it smell very fresh.

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a fantastic mouthfeel. It has just the right amount of carbonation to leave it feeling light, but also creamy and velvety. First thing I can taste is some chocolate and vanilla mixed in with some hops. The hops stay with it - making it slightly bitter until the end, but then it leaves a nice chocolate sweet aftertaste.

Drink - I can't believe this beer packs a 9% punch, you would hardly notice it other than the warming feeling. An absolutely fantastic beer that is a must try in my opinion. (938 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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 (557 characters)

Photo of irishkyle21
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (450 characters)

Photo of Seanstoppable
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A recent gift from Quebec. I've enjoyed some of Microbrasserie Charlevoix's other goods, and hope to continue the trend.

Pours a jet black color with two fingers of thick chocolate head. Head is slow to evaporate and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell is somewhat muted. Some light coffee flavor and some sweet toffee/molasses scent does make its way through.

Milk chocolatey sweetness up front. Medium roast coffee flavor. Some molasses/toffee sweetness in the back. Coffee and toffee flavor lasts a while after the swallow. Not too strong, not too weak. The alcohol content is also well hidden.

Surprisingly easy to drink. Probably one of my favorite stouts now. (685 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
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 (676 characters)

Photo of Long813
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated: 2009 JUN 15
From: ZorPrime

A: Pitch black body with three fingers of fluffy dark mocha head. Rentention is good and laces amazing lacing.

S: Loads of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, dark coffee and some sweet caramel. Very good.

T: Much like the aroma, tons of roasted malts. Notably dark coffee, some chocolate and touch of caramel. Not as sweet as I was expecting.

M: Medium-heavy bodied and medium carbonation. Texture is smooth and creamy and leaves a bitter roasted aftertaste. Quite surprised at how light bodied this is. Alcohol is not very evident.

D: Thanks again ZorPrime, quite a good stout here! Very enjoyable. Some flaws, but over all, great. (672 characters)

Photo of Shadman
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 4 pack sampler.

Poured black as used deisil oil with a rich looking tan head & gobs of lacing.

Smokey roasted malts, slight cocoa notes.

Slick roasted milk coffee flavours abound. Some piney hops in the finish. High ABV is hidden well by the milky sweetness.

Found it to be quite slick and medium full in body.

Scary-easy drinking imperial stout. Nothing harsh about this at all. (391 characters)

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (1,477 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark black with a decent amount of caramal foam, using the duvel tulip glass. The taste is of very sweet roasted dark coffee/chocolate. It really drank like a light 6% stout, so I was suprised to see it was actually 9%. So its very easy to drink and goes down quite smooth. Good stout. (300 characters)

Photo of kjyost
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated June 15, 2009. Thanks Viggo!

A: Pours an inky black with a nice tan head that laces well. A perfect looking pint.

S: First notes were yeasty and not in a positive way. The aromas of yeast disappeared slowly with the head leaving more muted aromas of licorice and coffee

T: A good RIS. Numerous subtle flavours that play across your palate at different times. A thick roasty bitterness from the dark malts is paired with notes of molasses, licorice and, at times, berries. The lactose addition is not perceivable in any form to me, as any sweetness within the beer (which is minimally noticeable) I would have chalked up to a higher FG.

M: Stick to the mouth nicely as any good RIS should, but I found the carbonation a little more biting than I would have liked.

D: The taste wins the day here. The issues with aromas and mouthfeel are minimal compared to the enjoyable flavours within. (904 characters)

Photo of Ralphus
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My last Vache Folle series beer was an explosive ESB - in fact three of them in a row. So I was concerned how this one might turn out but luckily it was for naught. The milk stout was in good shape.

It poured a dark guinness black with a large light brown foamed head with retention. Smells are light, coffee like and a little smokey/boozee. The taste however has much more.. rich milk chocolate, smokiness, roasted malts and a well balanced sweetness and sour, hop finish. It's well done but not really a stand out for me. The levels are right but the taste is just a little off.

Mouthfeel is good if not a bit too prickly due to the carbonation. Drinkability is better than average for a beer of this strength. (714 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark opaque brown with a mocha brown 3 finger head. Lots of carbonation rose up from the bottom in constant streams. Thin layer of head lingered with small amounts clinging to the sides. Aroma was sweet, milky, and slightly brown sugary. Small amounts of dark chocolate and coffee. Taste was sweet, with obvious hints of milky flavor. Almost like a very slightly flavored milk. Felt outstanding in the mouth. Coated extremely well, much like milk, with only a small touch of carbonation. It was very easy to drink, but definitely not session. Was almost too sweet. (617 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (964 characters)

Photo of pootz
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Half liter "subbie" bottle: Poured a black viscous ale in the glass...modest carbonation...small mocha head....smells delicious..sweet, chocolaty, roasty, some coffee...light grass tones.

Mouth feel is viscous. oily....good malt backbone and all the cocoa/coffee toasty stout tastes but toned back with a soft rounded taste profile from the lactose. Not a cloyingly sweet drink but sweetish, toasty chocolatey and mild....nice effort. " (439 characters)

La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
91 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.