La Vache Folle - Milk Stout | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
255 Ratings
La Vache Folle - Milk StoutLa Vache Folle - Milk Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Quebec, Canada
microbrasserie.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
255
Reviews:
115
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
9.9%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
53
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 255 |  Reviews: 115
Photo of BGDrock
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black, sticky head, colour of a brown paper bag; fades in a minute or two leaving a film

Aroma: almost no aroma whatsoever; very faintly of coffee tobacco

Taste & Mouthfeel: light taste and light body, barely a hint of the hefty ABV; has a milky flavour, pairing well with a hint of coffee and caramel - like having a brandy cream, even including the mild burn of alcohol in the finish; great carbonation, satin mouthfeel; very lightly of chocolate, and it's more like what than dark

Overall: a nice change from the typical stout, easy-drinking, sure to be a crowd pleaser

 587 characters

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.

 1,639 characters

Photo of MJ63
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque black, no light penetration. The huge, rocky espresso head lasts almost the whole glass, draping it with foam patches on the way down. The aroma is sweet with a roasty edge and brandy notes. The taste is of creme brulee with toffee sweetness mixed with a subtle dark malt roastyness. Some plum and apple fruit notes lie in the back. Hops are very restrained throughout, providing nothing more than a minimum of bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a soft, light carbonation.

This is a good imperial stout. On the sweet side as you would expect, but with lots of complexity. Alcohol is also very well hidden for 9%. Worth a try.

 651 characters

Photo of AugustusRex
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of LoveBeerNo7
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of StJamesGate
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garnet umber with sticky hills of tan foam.
Malteser nose with bark, bubble gum and smoke - phenolic.
Milk chocolate, a lactic tang, some woody balsamic notes, brown sugar sweetness, a bit of berry and earthy hops to end.
Humus finish and tight, sour linger.
Creamy, the light side of medium, chewy, no burn.

Sort of Belgian? Because there's an edge here that's a bit wild and not totally wrong. It could be sherry notes from Special B or, at 10 months after bottling, it could just be a bit oxidized. Either way, it opens nicely, with the lactic notes settling down, lots of chocolate, no heat, and a smooth body that never cloys.

 635 characters

Photo of kevinlater
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

 1,774 characters

Photo of cam477
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of RedAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of dipso123
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of AussieAbroad
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Groulxsome
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of 604growler
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep black with a tinge of dark red, topped off with a copious quantity of cafe latte foam. Aroma is very sweet with a whiff of smoke, recalls perfumy tobacco and fermented dark fruit. Palate is loads of milk chocolate, figs and dates, coffee, vanilla, and dark caramel. Overall effect recalls chocolate-covered raisins and bourbon. Body is silky smooth, creamy, and full, and finish is quite bitter with some woody and smoky notes. Complex with a perfect milk stout body. World class and probably my favorite Canadian stout. Carbonation level is moderate and accentuates the complexity. Struggling to find a fault here. Perhaps the palate fatigues a bit late in the game, where the bitterness starts to trump the sweet layers. Wait, nope ... There's the sweet again.

 775 characters

Photo of Exeter
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

 541 characters

Photo of strang
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Balvenie
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of yossarian
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of groleau
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

 1,588 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 933 characters

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
4.14 out of 5 based on 255 ratings.
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