La Vache Folle - Milk Stout | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
114 Reviews
La Vache Folle - Milk StoutLa Vache Folle - Milk Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Quebec, Canada | website

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
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
249
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
14.73%
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
49
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 249
Photo of Haydn-Juby
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of NightINgale
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle...

A - Dark brown body with a rich light brown head. Really nice head retention and lacing.

S - Smells chocolatey and roasty, with hints of strange yeastiness, red grapes and cherries.

T - Starts out like a true milk stout, with a very strong sweet malt base, hints of espresso, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Then you get a surprising fruity taste, with cherry, grape, and prune notes. The finish is slightly smoky and roasty, with hints of bread and vanilla. Over time the beer opens up even more, with very interesting flavours and hints. Oak, smoke, tobacco, raisins, dates... very interesting!

M - The beer has a nice medium body to it. For its ABV, it is super drinkable and not boozy at all. The texture is quite creamy and very roasty.

O - A surprisingly original specimen of its style, this beer aims to please and delight. Probably the best beer I've had from this brewery. Highly recommended!

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Photo of santa109
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at 50 degrees. 500ml bottle.

A: Poured a thick looking pure black with ruby hues around the edges of the glass. A thick 3 fingers of light-brown foam came close to escaping the realms of its glass prison. The head then fades into a nice thick film that leaves impressing lacing on the glass.

S: Roasted coffee is what comes first with a bit of alcohol. As I plunge my nose deeper into the darkness, I find some fainter notes of chocolate. Alcohol gets more apparent as it warms.

T: Initial chocolate sweetness followed on some sips by a bitter roasted coffee taste that balances the whole experience quite nicely. Finish is an extension of the roasted coffee bitterness, at times it can be surprising but never overwhelming.

M: Smooth like liquid silk. As an overall creamy feel but carbonation tingling is also perceptible and surprised me at first although I quickly got used to it.

D: Alcohol was well-hidden and I found myself reaching for another sip faster I knew was right for a 9% brew. Went down faster than I intended and I felt it. But it didn't prevent me from wanting more. Yum!

Overall, a very pleasant late night sipper. Another strong offering from Microbrasserie Charlevoix that I will revisit.

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Photo of Otterburn
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

june 15th 2009 bottle

Impérial milk stout

What a nice brew!! a treat..

looks good: big moka head, beer is darkblack

Smells very good as well: sweet and torrified

Taste: is very smooth, sweet, round, torrification,like coffee, excellent,
well balanced

mouthfeel is sexy

drinkability is perfect to sip on a winter day
you dont taste the alcool, but it warm you up

This beer makes me happy

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Francepants06
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a inky-black, mocha colored beer, with a thick creamy milky head which dissipated slowly. Smells like milk coffee with a hint of booze. It tasted creamy coffee, bitter chocolate, slight, half and half, fruitiness in the finish.
It was one of the better milk stouts that I have had. The alcohol wasn't overwhelming, which is nice . this is like organic chocolate coffee milk. Wish I could give it an A+ but there is no such thing as a perfect beer and if I do find one I will let the world know.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is black with a large and very smooth-looking tan head. Remarkably flat top- a few bubbles but otherwise a smooth ceiling. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

Smell contains cocoa, marshmallow, coffee and a creamy scent that, for whatever reason, makes me think of mint. Probably mint chocolate, to be specific. Roasted malt is in there as well, becomes more pronounced the more I smell.

Taste is wonderful. Actually a bit of a surprise from the nose. Very creamy, with a nice roasted malt flavour that is quite sweet. Chocolate and caramel, and bit of vanilla. The finish is fantastic- almost tastes like a milkshake with the creamy texture and sweetness. Very mild bitterness- noticeable but outpowered by the sweetness. I don't want to overemphasize the sweetness- it is not a Southern Tier specialty or a Belgian- but is quite sweet for an imperial stout. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and smooth. Moderate to low carbonation, full bodied. Very nice.

Overall, just a lovely stout from the excellent Charlevoix.

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Photo of TomStew
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really great stout, perfect balance of sweetness and dryness. There are notes of chocolate and a little hint of coffee. It's 9% ABV but it drinks like a regular stout! Got to be careful, the alcohol is barely noticeable. Good job Charlevoix. I look forward to my next one.

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Photo of bobsy
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After my explosive experience with Vache Folle ESB in Quebec City its with some trepidation that I open the Vache Folle Milk Stout. Superb appearance! Pitch black with a huge mocha head straining to escape the glass and billowing upwards. Good cocoa aroma alongside a dark roast coffee. The initial taste is a nice sweet chocolate, but this is prevented from becoming cloying by a dose of bitter coffee that quickly follows it. As the beer warms some dark fruit and Kahlua begin to appear. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the carbonation helps clean the palate of excess residual sugars.

This is a very well-crafted beer and dangerously drinkable at 9%. It hides the alcohol very well and I found myself drinking this as if it was a sessionable stout. Charlevoix have not disappointed me so far, and I look forward to trying more from this brewery, and returning to this beer.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rather dark, reddish brown with copious fine off white foamy head and good amount of visible effervescence. Smells pleasantly of almonds, molasses, coffee, an earthy almost herbal note, hint of cocoa.
Taste is sweet roasted malty (caramel / molasses), dark fruit (prune/raisin), coffee mid note and then ending with a bittersweet note of coffee/cocoa and a fairly clean finish. The lactose qualities were muted.
Mouthfeel was medium bodied – a little thinner than what I’d expected for a stout – and a fair amount of carbonation that gave it some qualities similar to a brown ale – not unpleasant – just unexpected. The carbonation did lift the notes a bit, made it a bit more astringent and though a (overall) sweet stout – it wasn’t syrupy.

Overall – I really enjoyed this ‘Imperial Milk Stout’ – I picked it up on a recent trip to Quebec – one of many incredible craft brews in the Quebec region that I wish were available in the states. . . Definitely a beer I would buy in bulk if I find it in the states. Delicious.!

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This beer pours a dark black with 3 fingers of head that lasts for some time. Only the outer ring wants to receed leaving me a beige colored island on top of this beauty.

S- Sweet chocolate and light roasted malts. This smells like an easy drinker.

T- Sweet chocolate to start, toasted malts in the middle, and a good dose of bitter coffee in the end. A little warmth from the alcohol, but in a good way. Very well balanced!

M- That's mighty smooth, it's up there with some of my favorite stouts in terms of feel.

D- 9% you say??? I laugh at that and crack another. My first from this brewery, won't be my last. What a well rounded brew!!

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Photo of Matt1516
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.39/5  rDev +6%

The beer comes in a rich black color.

The aroma has a big punch of dark fruit, raisin, roasted malt, espresso and chocolate.

The flavor is full on the palate. In the front, there's dark fruit of dried date and raisin. Then onto chocolate onto the sides of the mouth, espresso and roasted malt on the back end to dry out the beer. Touches of vanilla and molasses for more complexity.

An underrated brew that tastes towards an hugely improved Narwhal.

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Photo of Clubchat
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Au dépanneur Tremblay (avenue Cartier) de Québec

A - Black with little dark brown reflects, nice creamy tan head

S - Sweet chocolate, roast coffee, little fruity but discret with the alcohol

T - Little sweet because of the addition of lactose, chocolate & roasted coffee just like the smell, high alcohol rate is really not aggresive, well-balanced

M - Smooth, Great body, very gooddd in mouth

D - One of my favorite beer from now in 2008, really appreciate the style, the sweetness is fabulous, can get one every night after dinner

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Photo of DaveBar
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
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!!

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Photo of papat444
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As of now, i've made it halfway through the Top 100 of Canada.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, bottled 2011/12/08.

Appearance: Massive light brown head that bubbles and exposes lacing all over. Dark brown the color of the body. Each pour gives more head.

Smell: Chocolate, not too sweet.

Taste: Hit at first with milk chocolate mixed with oatmeal. Milky coffee as it warms. Almost like a stout milk shake. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation starts strong for the style but quickly calms down. Body is silky smooth, robust throughout yet is never heavy.

Overall: A different type of stout. Literally like a milk shake a bit. Very good stuff.

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Photo of Trancesexual
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a Snifter

A: Jet Black with frothy white foam that dissipates fairly slowly

S: A lot of sweetness from the lactose here, a good whiff of booziness from the 9%, but not a whole lot of other discernible smells here.

T: Much like the nose, the sweetness and creaminess from the lactose hits you immediately. Aftertaste ends pleasantly with bitter roasted malt notes, and the high alcohol content is somewhat noticeable.

M: Low carbonation makes this beer deliciously creamy and drinkable on the tongue. Hands down the greatest strength of this brew in my opinion.

Overall: Very solid offering. I only wish the nose had a bit more complexity.

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Photo of notdan
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dense, creamy, dark tan head that leaves plenty of lace down my pint glass. Smell is pretty much what you'd expect; chocolate, coffee, bit of alcohol, though maybe a little bit of a metallic note. The first thing that hits you as you sip is the sweetness, which lasts for a while as milk chocolate and coffee flavours flow over it, ending in a slight roasty bitterness. Freakin awesome. Mouthfeel is perfectly thick and creamy with just enough carbonation. This beer is flavourful, but alcoholic (tasting) it is not, making it quite easy to drink.

Need to head over to Gatineau and pick up some more of these.

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Photo of kculrich
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 500ml bottle dated 2015/06/26.
L: Pours impenetrable darkness, well perhaps one or two mysterious ruby highlights when held up to the window. A vast rocky head of loose, light-brown foam that slowly dies back to a wayward island of bold suds with some spotty lacing.
S: Brandy, plums, licorice, coffee grinds and vanilla caramel.
T: A brown sugar custard with brandied plum sauce. Some chocolate, walnuts, dates and vanilla. Only mildly sweet, with a long, long mellow, slightly bitter and boozy aftertaste that lingers forever on the palate and in the sinuses.
F: Silky smooth with very fine, light carbonation.
O: This is some fine drinking, like cream, infused with viagra and codeine. I could lay myself down in a trough of this.
Jesse, I'm feeling very generous toward you at this particular moment.

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Photo of JOaikido
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle.

A- Pitch black, Very nice creamy moka head with good durability and that leaves a thick layer of suds on the glass as it goes down.

S- Chocolate with a touch of roast coffee. Faint hint of plum/prune and alcohol.

T- Slightly sweet, but not excessively. Chocolate. Touch of roasted coffee and a bitter aftertaste. Alcohol and drid fruit hints come through as it warms.

MF- Smooth. A bit highly carbonated. Good body. Some alcohol warmth.

D- A very nice sipping stout with high ABV well hidden. Not everyone will like the sweetness, but I did. A desert beer for the end of the evening.

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Photo of VbolieuV
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Nice black beer with a one finger off-white head. Smell of dark chocolate, malt and alcohol. Nice sweet taste in the mouth, you again get dark chocolate flavors, sugar, subtle hints of dark fruits and malts. Really smooth for a 9% beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of eat
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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La Vache Folle - Milk Stout from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
92 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.
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