La Vache Folle - Milk Stout - Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

212 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 49
Gots: 32 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix visit their website
Quebec, Canada

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

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 103
Photo of polloenfuego
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle picked up from LCBO for under $6 CDN. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Jet black, with a dark tan head measuring about a finger. It doesn't last terribly long but leaves nice wispy collar of cream on top. Too dark to see anything that may be going on inside the glass.

Smell - Coffee, dark chocolate and a bit of burnt caramel. Maybe trace licorice aromas and the coffee and dark chocolate come out as the beer warms a bit.

Taste - Full flavored, intensely tasting of coffee dark chocolate and caramel. Booze is invisible at first but melds more and more strongly with the remaining flavors as it warms. Not that much of a lingering aftertaste, the flavor is just kind of gone like pressing a reset button, but wonderful in the mouth. Started off loving it, but about halfway in, the intensity was almost sensory overload and with the booze coming through more strongly, I was getting a lot of alcohol flavor every bit of the advertised 9%. Still really good flavor overall.

Mouthfeel - Rich super slick and extremely creamy and filling. Low carbonation but quite a heavy beer. Clean finish that doesn't linger nor is it especially dry. Really well done here.

Overall - Delicious beer that I thoroughly enjoyed however the sweetness and apparent booziness after half a glass is just a bit excessive and prevents me from wanting much more. A beer which if served in a 330 ml bottle would be even better since the serving size would be just about right. Nonetheless the inclusion of lactose here makes this beer a little creamier and amplifies the flavors to an extent that it is an experience in itself.

Photo of elricorico
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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 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.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
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 mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev -15%
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 FondueVoodoo
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Special thanks to hoppypocket for sending us this beer across the country. Bottled 01/23/2013

A: A pitch black pour with 4 fingers of tan head which slowly settles leaving plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Initial scents of milk chocolate and espresso followed by cocoa beans and oak.

T: Pronounced milk chocolate followed by mild espresso. Slight wood notes and nuttiness. The milk sugars are quite forward and add a layer of complexity.

M: Oily, thick and creamy.

O: Extremely delicious beer and the best milk stout I've had to date. If I was to have a beer for breakfast this would be it. Well worth getting.

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.

Enjoy!

UPDATE JAN.10/15

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

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of TheDoctor
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A:
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.

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

T:
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.

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

O:
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.

Photo of demcorhip
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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 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.

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.

Photo of Digimaika2
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of fostachild
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of flipper2gv
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Haydn-Juby
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of sstackho
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of berkey
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
92 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.