Very Mad Cow
Revolution Brewing

Very Mad CowVery Mad Cow
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English Sweet / Milk Stout
4.15 | pDev: 9.64%
Revolution Brewing
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Mad CowVery Mad Cow
Notes: Mad Cow Milk Stout aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels for 7 months.
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 531 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.34/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From old, undated notes; had this on draft.

Black liquid.

Tan head; nice lace.

Bourbon & oak blast in the nose; boozy!

Thick mouthfeel.

Cloyingly sweet caramel & booze in the flavor; a hint of milk chocolate as it warms.

The base beer is dominated by the barrel. Pass.

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Photo of tf10drap
1.65/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

2015 vintage; 22 oz. bottle poured into 16 oz. Libby snifter

Super bummed but this bottle was definitely infected. When I opened it, it exploded all over my counter and what I could get into a glass smelled very acidic and tasted like cherries. I love Revolution so I would try this if they brewed it again but this bottle wasn't good.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz Flying Dog tulip glass and saying 9.7% ABV. Pours a very dark and attractive slick black.

Smell is booze, dark chocolate, oaky vanilla, dark fruit, and toffee.

Taste follows bourbon start to finish, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, leather, dark fruit, and roasty coffee.

Mouthfeel is maybe medium, mild carbonation, very dry, and drinks easy enough for its boozyness.

Overall this is a very good beer, that seems larger than its 9.7 ABV. I wanted a fuller body, but very nice. Thx @jzeilinger for this surprise.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cocoa color with a light Amber caramel hint. Aroma is smooth mellow bourbon. Flavor is slightly sweet milk stout with a mellow bourbon with a hint of vanilla. Has a smooth body but a little thin. Overall really great flavor.

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Photo of bwood06
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this 750mL bottle sitting on a shelf gathering dust at a local bottle shop and decided to try it out. Glad I did! This beer features an opaque black hue through which no carbonation is visible. The head is a thick creamy khaki that dissipates somewhat quickly to a thin, whispy lacing. There is a deep mahogany rim around the very edges of the glass. 4/5 The aroma is very enticing and sweet with notes of dark chocolate, milk, caramel, corn (from the bourbon), oak, char, espresso, and dark stone fruit. Based on the aroma, it is very obvious that this is a bourbon barrel aged milk stout, which is something that I somehow missed when looking at the label. 4.5/5 The flavor follows the aroma dead on. The first note to hit my tongue is a rich, sweet caramel, and a bit of molasses intermixed. Then, a milky dark chocolate shows up for another burst of sweetness, although this one a bit more decadent and less sugary than the first. In the middle is where the bourbon really starts to show itself with oak, char, and corn really coming out strong (the corn being a very light undertone). The finish features espresso along with a boozy bite that is accompanied with just a bit of bitterness (the bitterness does not linger). 4/5 The mouthfeel is very full bodied and viscous but not cloying. There is a light carbonation tickle that disappears fairly quickly and this is followed by a full coating feeling where the entire tongue feels coated with liquid. Slightly drying due to the bourbon and this dryness lingers for just a bit, but the lactose helps cut this dryness. 4/5 Overall a very good milk stout that features a nice punch of flavor and a nice complexity, which is something not seen in many milk stouts. The bourbon is not overwhelming, rather providing a nice complement to the milk chocolatey feel of the rest of the beer. 4/5

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber. Pours deep brown with thick bubbly head that fades to a ring. Lots of wood and wine notes in the aroma. Taste is also full of wood, just a bit too red winey to be excellent for my taste. Over carbonated a little resulting in a thin zesty mouthfeel. Although not bad, was expecting this one to be better.

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Photo of basaywhat
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. Pour is close to black with some slight red tinting, small off-white head. Aroma is of milk chocolate with a huge amount of bourbon/oak. Slight cream/roast. Flavor is much like the aroma with a sweet and roasted front but finishes with bourbon. This is now my favorite beer, I cannot get enough of it!

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Photo of dleigh
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I take this beer as a better version of Velvet Merkin: a barrel aged stout that isn't super high ABV. I think this beer is more interesting and has more going on.

Smell is chocolaty, fruity, and a little peppery. Taste has a little malt up front with some fruitiness to it with some lactose sourness almost. Some chocolate, too. Feel is certainly thinner than your traditional BA stouts, but it's not bad if it's accepted for what it is. Overall, I thought this was an interesting and tasty beer for a non-super-high ABV barrel aged stout. Don't come here looking for Bourbon County, but if you accept this beer for what it is, it's quite pleasant.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/6/2016 at Flynn’s in Mansfield, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a medium beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains licorice, chocolate, alcohol, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate, licorice and dark fruit. Then a very hearty roasted malt character comes in along with some barrel-aging essence and lactose. The hops presence is very mild as expected and there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of jws7968
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one on tap at Legend's in Mokena. I usually like boozy bourbon barrel, but this one was a little too much. I have a bottle in the garage that I am going to let age before trying again.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours deep black in color with a creamy khaki colored head. Aroma is heavy on the bourbon barrel, with undertones of lactose, chocolate and coffee. Taste is similar to aroma, plenty of spicy barrel character that is complimented by a chocolate milk sweetness, light coffee on the finish. Medium bodied with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish. Very good, especially if you like barrel forward stouts.

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown black with a thick mocha head.

Aroma: Bourbon! Alcohol, bittersweet chocolate
Flavor: bourbon, Lactose, coffee, toffee, sweet chocolate.

Its weird that they chose to use a medium ABV stout and amp it up with bourbon but i love it. The bourbon cant help but be a huge part of the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of tigg924
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours opaque, dark brown in color, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is oak, dark and sweet chocolate, vanilla, sugar, and whiskey. Very tasty and sweet. High quality beer along the lines of other Revolution's barrel aged beers. Not as good as Blue Gene, but amazing nonetheless. I will look for this again.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a flight during dinner trip with the wife. Prefer the base beer to this one, I thought the bourbon influence overwhelmed it entirely. Would be interesting to try it again in, say, 6 months?

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at the Revolution Kedzie tap room. Straight off the bat, this is a winter warmer. Thick, milkshake like consistency. The lactose elements make this a smooth sipping, full thick stout and the bourbpn barrel aging adds a variety of oak, vanilla and caramel notes. Cadbury's chocolate hints in here along with some lightly brewed drip coffee, akin to that of the worst coffee maker in your place of work.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A two finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitchblack color with no vision of anything. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, bourbon, char, roasted, toasted, milk chocolate, and warm booze.

Taste: Same as above. Nice warm booze flavor from the barrels. Tasty and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, bourbon barrel flavor, medium csrbonation, ashy bitterness, and very delicious.

Overall: Aged very well for a 2014 version. Grabbing another glass before it's gone.

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Photo of KFBR392
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on what looks like 1/16/15

Appearance: pours with a soft head which is light brown in color. When held to light some dark brown notes are seen but sit primarily black in the glass. Plenty of active carbonation dancing in the glass. Sticky rings of lacing left behind with each sip.

Smell: intoxicating waves of lactose, butter, vanilla, and butterscotch all over the nose. Dark fruits and some lingering bourbon bite are present on the undertones. Roasty malts mesh very well with the brighter sweetness.

Taste: the front is surprisingly take with some milk sugar sweetness with dark fruits led by plums and blackberry. Booze is a highlight on the body with accents of toffee, vanilla, and butter. Oaky bourbon finish lingers on the palate with residual lactose sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel: viscosity on the mouthfeel is probably on the lighter side for a barrel aged stout but it plays well in this brew. Some boozy sweetness is the biggest play which lingers on the palate. Bright carbonation makes this a surprisingly effervescent experience.

Overall: Revolution has shown themselves to really have a wonderful grasp on barrel aging beers. With some time they really settle into beastly brews. The milk stout aspect of this one is certainly not lost and accents the barrel character very well. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is really interesting. It doesn't really drink like a milk stout. I wanted some residual sweetness, but I really just tasted bourbon. I like bourbon so that's not a bad thing. It just wasn't as balanced as I would have liked.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Very Mad Cow is a great off shoot of the original. The bourbon definitely is present in both the scent and taste. Not surprisingly the beer poured an opaque back with tan head that did not lace. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall....very nice.

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Photo of Trooper92292
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful beer. Beautiful after taste and satisfying aroma. I can really taste the vanilla and bourbon in the taste and the Carmel strongly in the after taste. The only regret I have is I didn't buy more bottles of this. I'm very curious to see how this ages out if I placed it in the cellar for a year or two.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black and sits pitch black in the glass with a very thin dark brown layer of frothy foam.

Chocolate, vanilla, coconut, roasty, and some bourbon heat.

Sweet creamy coconut, chocolate, roast, and a subtle but warming bourbon heat.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, creamy sweetness, silky smooth roasty bitterness.

Overall, a damn good beer and the bourbon gives this worth sampling more than once.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours out black with a tight finger of light khaki head. Sour mash smell up front. Vanilla, coconut, milk chocolate, Bourbon and oak. Medium to thin mouthfeel, minimal sweetness and dry. Pretty delicious.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. 1863 A2 0501 is the bottle code (if I'm able to read it correctly).

Pours black, small but definite head. Fairly stable (fades slowly). Seems to be supported by very fine carbonation. Smell is stout. Roasty, coffee, surprisingly yeasty. Definite booze.

Taste is raspberry, creamy sweetness, slight roast, booze (bourbon). Wood and dark, overripe cherry.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky. Overall, not bad, but nowhere near my list of great barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of jsh420
2.44/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

bottled dated 01/16/15

smells ok - caramel and bourbon

taste is sour bad off milk bourbon roast chocolate

mouthfeel is flat thin

overall complete mess of a beer and with a price tag of $15 its a never again buy fool me once

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with an apparent bottled on date 01/13/2015 stamped into the label, barely viewable. My first of the Deep Wood Series beers from Revolution Brewing.

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter glass.

A - It pours a surprisingly dark cola body; not the inky jet black liquid I imagined it would be. Opaque & dark in the glass, but not as thick as I thought it would be, I suppose. Less than a finger of khaki head that wanes to a ring. Scattered spotty lacing.

S - The aroma, my god, is heavenly. Huge huge huge oak and bourbon barrel aromas. Vanilla, oak wood, bourbon, must, caramel, buttery toffee. Smells like liquid candy.

T - The taste is the same: chocolate, vanilla, caramel, cream. The bourbon barrel aging has worked it's magic upon the base beer, which I've yet to try, so I'm unable to compare. Sweet, sugary, and semi-boozy, but the alcohol isn't too extreme. Mildly warming.

M - The feel is smooth, sticky, sugary, and creamy. Full-bodied, with moderate carb.

Overall, a decent bourbon barrel aged stout from Revolution. I look forward to trying more of their barrel-aged offerings.

Revolution Brewing Very Mad Cow -----4/5.

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Very Mad Cow from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 531 ratings