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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 Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Second time having this beer. The first time I scored it a 2.58, which isn't all that impressive. Let's hope eithe the beer or my palate has changed since then. Got this at Intermarche St-Roche in Quebec City.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Bottled 24 Feb 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours out clear brown and produces a one finger, medium looking, cream colored head with great retention. Clear black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. Good head, but body needs to be thicker.

SMELL: Roasted notes, coffee, sweet cream and lactose sugars for sure. Espresso roasted coffee and vanilla cream. Interesting, and bold enough for sure.

TASTE: Roasted notes with some slightly stale coffee flavors up front. A little less satisfying than the nose, unfortunately. Sweet cream and vanilla comes out at the swallow, then lots of coffee, lactose sugar and sweet vanilla cream in the bolder and lingering aftertaste. Some bitter coffee tries to peek through the sweet lactose flavors. Better than I remeber, though the coffee is still a little stale tasting.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little light for the style, thoug creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth coating.

OVERALL: Better than I remember, but still a little underwhelming. Coffee is a little stale tasting, and it's not really big enough for the ABV. Still a decent beer that's worth trying, but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: piraat snifter, finger-width beige head, thick and creamy, good retention, the mahogany brown appearing nearly black in color

s: prune and raisin with roasty bakers chocolate, moderate lactose, slight wood char with a delicate smokiness, mild sweet alcohol but nowhere near boozy, subtly hopped

m: carbonation moderate with a medium body, seems slightly thin

t: dark bakers chocolate, dark fruit skins, raisin and prune, roasty, with an undercurrent of licorice, slightly smoky, balanced lactic sugars, cleans up well with a long finish of dry chocolate, cleanly earthy hop bitterness

d: a very nice milk stout that drinks easily given the abv

500 mL from Depanneur Peluso in Montreal

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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 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 hopdog
3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle acquired in trade with Sammy (thanks!).

Poured a dark, dark brown color with a huge sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, chocolate, lactose, some coffee, and slightly earthy. Tastes of chocolate, caramel, licorice, and lighter roastiness. I also noted root beer candy. Thinner body with the alcohol content well hidden.

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Photo of BigBry
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We were at Model Milk for dinner, first time there. Wandered towards the front bar to check out the tap selection (saw others drinking some decent bottles), what jumps out but "that cow beer" as it became affectionatly know by my dining mates.

Served in a snifter glass, beautiful, inky black color with a huge, creamy, beige head. Foam lasted for the entire glass.
First smell gives you sweet milk chocolate, a little roasted malt, and a bit of coffee.
Taste is slightly sweet, but not too cloying or artificial. Chocolate, cocoa, coffee all meld with the big toasted malt base. The high ABV is hidden, all components are well balanced and flavorfull.
Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, full body with out being heavy, low carbonation.
Overall a great stout, super happy to have this Quebec gem available in Alberta.

Note to Self: Ranked #25 Top Beers - Canada when I reviewed it.

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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 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 jvillefan
2.72/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I am going to take a point off of each category due to the vast inexperience that this brewery clearly has. The beer was vastly overcarbonated and nearly exploded after opening despite no reason to do so. After the fountain of beer on my ceiling and carpet there was only enough to fill 4 oz of my glass.

A: A dark brown body with a huge brown head.

S: Not great. It has a homebrew aroma when homebrewing is done with extract. There is sweet chocolate aromas present as well.

T: Light flavors. There is a chocolate flavor with some creamy flavors in the background. There are many better milk stouts out there.

M: The carbonation is way to high and this leaves the body deceptively light.

O: Could have been good if the brewery had more skill when it comes to their process. Very poor execution. This will be my last beer from Microbrasserie Charlevoix.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown bottle, I missed it the first time it was available here in Alberta (didn't realize it would sell out so fast!), so this was part of the La Vache Folle 4-pack, my 2nd chance. This one was bottled on June 15th 2009.

Pours out an opaque black, only the faintest of garnet highlights are apparent even against a direct light source. Dense spongy mocha head that eventually settles and leaves some intense lacing.

Coffee, roasted malt and slight char on the nose, along with treacle and some smoke.

Sweetness immediately up front in the flavour, some alcohol warmth, treacle and cocoa, a little bit of bourbon. Sweet milky chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, slick, and deceptively quaffable for such a strong stout.

Deceptive is the key word for this Imperial Milk Stout, between the sweetness and the slick mouthfeel this stout goes down far too easy for such a big beer, very well done. Glad I had the 2nd chance to sample this.

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Photo of grub
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one as part of a recent trade with papat444. thanks pat!

500ml bottle. sampled may 24/09.

pours nearly black and opaque with a huge dense dark brown head. the head drops very slow and leaves tons of thick lace behind.

aroma is nice. light smoke. slightly sour, but a lactic or baltic sourness. wheat bread. cracker. biscuit. light alcohol. dark and milk chocolate. bit of fruit. earthy and slightly woody. a bit of anise. very low bitterness level.

taste is good. dark and milk chocolate. light lactic sourness. bit of coffee. light alcohol. bit of smoke. caramel and toffee. biscuit. toasted whole wheat bread. fairly sweet, but not over the top. anise. a bit earthy. touch of fruity character.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. silky smooth medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. it hides its alcohol pretty well, at the expense of being just a little too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle from La Duchesse D'Aiguillon (Quebec City). 4.99. Bottled 11/1/12. Served in a Microbrasserie Charlevoix goblet.

Pours dark cola brown with one and a half fingers fluffy sand head. Nice sheets of lacing on the way down.

Smells of dark cocoa, sweet cream and roasty malts. Simple but nice.

Taste is bittersweet cocoa, lightly creamed coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate milk, roast malts, lactose sweetness and slightly nutty. Very little alcohol bite.

Medium full, creamy feel with initially too-sharp carbonation that calms down a bit as it warms. Mildly bitter creamy cocoa aftertaste.

A nice find on my recent trip to Quebec City (thanks for the reccomendation ricochet173!). One of the better strait up milk stouts I've had with plenty of robust notes that make it significantly more interesting than typical brews in the style. Definately worth a try.

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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 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 TerryW
4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow. This is an impressive beer.

Pours black with a substantial and solid head that takes it's own sweet time settling to a cap while going down beautifully all the way. Looks great.

Chocolate, licorice and alcohol in the nose, but soft all the way around. Very appetizing.

Soft and full in the mouth. Chocolate, charcoal, coffee, wood all blended together in perfect harmony. There isn't anything jarring, out of place or overly stern happening here. Looks of interesting things happening in the glass, nothing out of place. Wow.

It is pretty rare for a beer to impress me the way this brew has. Wow. Wish I had more, especially since I lost half the bottle to my wife. Gotta go get some more.

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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 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 polloenfuego
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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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 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.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.67/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Massive dark brown foam over an opaque brown liquid. Head is solid and sticky - exceptional. Nose is somewhat muted though with some grapyness and fruit. Some caramel as well. Sweet and fruity flavour with apple, grape, red berries and hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Good toastiness but nothing over-the-top. Alcohol is well hidden. Fairly light body and low carbonation. Good balance and overall very drinkable. Maybe a bit on the light side though, and definitely weak in aroma.

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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 leaddog
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours jet black with a finger width of frothy beige head.

Smell - Coffee bean, milk chocolate, roasted notes, ripe cherries, caramel.

Taste - Unique balance of coffee, chocolate, and cherries. There's a bit of tartness from the cherries that can be picked up. Very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy texture.

Overall - A very well-executed imperial stout by Microbrasserie Charlevoix. The individual flavours are very bold, but no flavour overpowers the overall brew, making this a well-balanced, unique stout. ABV is well hidden. A must try for stout fans.

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Photo of kjyost
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated June 15, 2009. Thanks Viggo!

A: Pours an inky black with a nice tan head that laces well. A perfect looking pint.

S: First notes were yeasty and not in a positive way. The aromas of yeast disappeared slowly with the head leaving more muted aromas of licorice and coffee

T: A good RIS. Numerous subtle flavours that play across your palate at different times. A thick roasty bitterness from the dark malts is paired with notes of molasses, licorice and, at times, berries. The lactose addition is not perceivable in any form to me, as any sweetness within the beer (which is minimally noticeable) I would have chalked up to a higher FG.

M: Stick to the mouth nicely as any good RIS should, but I found the carbonation a little more biting than I would have liked.

D: The taste wins the day here. The issues with aromas and mouthfeel are minimal compared to the enjoyable flavours within.

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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.

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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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