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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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114 Reviews
La Vache Folle - Milk StoutLa Vache Folle - Milk Stout

Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Phyl21ca on 02-14-2007

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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 250
Photo of SFLpunk
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
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??

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of demcorhip
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of ksimons
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-almost black in color with no visible color highlights and a light tan creamy head

S-dark and milk chocolate, light roasted malts, and lactose

T-taste is similar to the smell, lots of milk chocolate and some lactose but with a slightly roasted, dark chocolate finish

M-medium body, light to moderate carbonation

Overall I usually don't like milk stouts but this one is way better than I was expecting, still a milk stout but with a bigger body and more roast than usual.

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Photo of peensteen
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Ciocanelu
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with mocha head. Smells like chocolate milk all the way. Taste is sweet and chocolatey, milky, a bit roasty and bitter on the finish. Body is quite heavy and smooth. I also get a bit of warming alcohol. Really nice overall, sweet, milky and chocolatey.

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Photo of sholland119
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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 Muhly
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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 SebD
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down moderately slow and leaves great lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of coffee, espresso, roasted malts, dark chocolate and cocoa.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has definite coffee/espresso, roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, cocoa and some faint fruits.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of kwjd
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown, almost black colour with thick tan head. Head retention and lacing all the way down the glass. It smells of roasted malt and light amount of chocolate. The taste has more of the chocolate with almost no bitterness that I sometimes get with big stouts. It is a little bit lighter in body than what I'd expect from how tick the head is, yet it is still quite smooth. It's a little bit boozy, so I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these at a time, but it is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Ruds
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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 slimspady
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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 Seanstoppable
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of ludachris
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of Long813
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a tulip, nice solid three fingers of light tan head ontop of a dark brown thick beer. Nice sticky lacing, and the film lasts till the end. 4
S – immediate licorice and roasty notes. Tarry licorice, sticky fruits, dates, figs, and a subtle thick creaminess, some coffee maybe, with a strong cocoa/ semi-dark chocolate. Really interesting, and able to coax some more coffee notes out. 4.25
T – milk chocolate, coffee, then a mélange of creamy licorice, slight candy fruits of dates, light bitterness. The creaminess is really tasty and interesting, blended with the chocolate and toasty caramel, with a licorice note as well, mocha is a big note. Then a dry, creamy caramel finish. It’s a bit on the sweet side I think but the flavor is quite intriguing, the lactose is def on the strong side, but differentiates it from a typical stout. 4
M – Far too sessionable to possibly be 9% right? This drinks super smoothly, a moderate carbonation and a full lactose creaminess which has some bitter choc., Roasty coffee and smoke throw in. Almost light on the palate as a lot of the heavier stout character are smoothed out by the lactose, its maybe a bit too much like chocolate milk, I want a bit more presence. 4
Initially this was rocking my world, then the sweetness started to get to me and I was yearning for bitterness. Really drinkable and for the style I would say this is a steller example, and it has a good mix of some more typical stout notes and licorice but smoothed out really nicely by the deep tasty creamy body. It’s definitely worth a try for the uniqueness, but I think in terms of a regular stout I would look elsewhere. This is super smooth though, and it would be very easy to get through a few pints of this tasty brew. 4

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Photo of pootz
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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. "

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Photo of Shadman
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
4.14 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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