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 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 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 irishkyle21
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer from Charlevoix and it most definitely will not be my last. This is one good looking beer. Pours a dark brown (basically black), a thick light brown head with loads of lacing.

Smells sweet, lots of chocolate, some coffee and a faint fruitiness.

Tastes pretty much like it smells. Chocolate, coffee, a faint lactic sourness. This beer tastes great but it drinks even better. Its almost like 2% milk...but a 9% stout instead Ha.

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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 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 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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Photo of Coronaeus
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle.

Opaque black with minimal head that dissipates rather quickly. Light chocolate and malty, coffee aromas. Chocolate milk, light sweet malt with chocolate bitterness to finish. Full bodied with expected creaminess and moderate carbonation. Solid and enjoyable. Thanks for sending the bottle Byron!

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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 elricorico
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in the glass, opaque all around. A slow steady pour generated a mountain of malt coloured head, that grows before it recedes.

Smells of milk chocolate and roasted malt. Some milky coffee and smoke. Not as big as I'd have hoped but nice.

Milky sweetened coffee right up front, that becomes more and more chocolatey as it heads towards the back of the mouth. Some cola impressions on the sides of the tongue. A bit acidic in the finish.

Body leaning towards full and creamy, with medium to low carbonation. Has a way of filling the whole mouth.

A different take from the average big stout. Quite sweet, but I don't mind that. Worth checking out.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on June 11, 2009

A: Pours very dark color with a brown head. Mainly formed of big bubbles. Top of the head is very cloud looking. Nice.

S: Roasted malts. Maybe some hints of chocolate but very slim. No hops in the smell.

T: Damn, first sip I get metallic taste... damn damn damn. After 4 sips, I'm used to it since it completely disappeared. It is mainly roasted malts for me with slight chocolate in the aftertaste. I don't get the smoke taste like others do.

M: Creamy... very creamy.

D: Very drinkable and the ABV is timid since I don't feel it while drinking.

Overall not a bad beer however I should get another to see if the metallic taste is always there.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle- Deep dark black pour with a foamy and frothy mocha cap. Leaves nise spotty lace. Nose is quite lactic, milk chocolate, some roasty components, coffee beans, and fresh hops. Tastes of coffee, milk chocolate, lactic, roasty malts with some young hops. Has quite an odd metallic feel and flavour towards the end, but it doesn't come off as unpleasant. Creamy with good drinkability.

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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 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 ChrisCage
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Now this is what I want to see in a stout! It has an almost crude oil color, which would entail black with just a tinge of cola brown around the edges. The tan colored head is dense and is puffy...it retains as well as any Irish conterpart that I've seen! The lacing is incredible, leaving behind not only sticky, bubbly residue, but a foamy layer on the side of my pint glass.

S- Being an imperial, I expected, and do smell, alcohol right off the bat. Once I get the initial tinge of roughness, there is semi-sweet bakers chocolate and coffee aromas noticeable. There is some burnt brown molasses bitter of the profile somewhat. To balance this, the modest sweet lactose comes through right at the end.

T- This is a yummy beer! A burnt almond chocolate bar flavor hits the palate first, then gets counteracted by the creamy moderate sweetness of the lactose. In the background, there is a flavor of black coffee and a semi-sweet toffee/caramel that lingers on the palate after the swallow. No hop bitterness on the finish, as there shouldn't be.

M- A little less full than I was expecting, but still a solid medium body. Also, the carbonation is slightly more zippy than I would have expected, but I find it also helps hide the slightly boozy nature of this one. With that said, it is still a relatively creamy, soft beer on the palate.

D- I'm finding as this warms up a couple degrees, it gets better than it is fresh out of the fridge. Overall, it's well balanced....astringent, yet sweet enough. I think this one needs to be enjoyed slowly and would be a good compliment with either some sort of chocolate desert or as a solid beer to go with a beef stew.

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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 TheBierdimpfe
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque black color with no visible activity. Creamy brown 1 finger sparkly head, lasting around 10 minutes, with strong legs.

Aromas of pleasant woody roasted nuts and toffee, though a little faint. Flavors of light coffee and cocoa, nuts, dark fruits, toffee, and herbal spices. Highly roasted bitter taste with low sweetness. Also a little vinous from the fruits.

Milky smooth medium body with prickly carbonation. Strong bitter finish of medium length, ending with a fruity dark berries, cherry feel, and spicy herbs. Roasted and oaky feel lingering on the tongue.

Overall one of my favorite sour stout having incredible body and complexity. Although not the most visually appealing nor strong on the smell, it have some of the most delicious flavors and a great refreshing feel.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a root beer float. Black with black lowlights topped by a foamy, frothy light biege head and monstrous lacing.

The aroma is quite fresh and spritzy, like fresh cut pears drizzled in chocolate and caramel. The roastiness is timid, but it's definitely there. This is all very subtle mind you.

The taste is sweet milk chocolate with just a tinge of roast and a creamy sweet chocolaty coffee. A lack of attenuation leads to a sweet finish, not dry at all, almost like a hint of chocolate syrup. Nice, clean aftertaste though. I want to say pungent, but I mean that in the best possible way. Low bitterness and roast though, but just enough to keep this from being cloying.

A very enjoyable beer and one I just realized, nearing the end, is 9%. It sure doesn't taste like it. It's oddly filling.

Courtesy of papat444 through CanBIF. Thanks Patrick!

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Photo of mountdew1
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark opaque brown with a mocha brown 3 finger head. Lots of carbonation rose up from the bottom in constant streams. Thin layer of head lingered with small amounts clinging to the sides. Aroma was sweet, milky, and slightly brown sugary. Small amounts of dark chocolate and coffee. Taste was sweet, with obvious hints of milky flavor. Almost like a very slightly flavored milk. Felt outstanding in the mouth. Coated extremely well, much like milk, with only a small touch of carbonation. It was very easy to drink, but definitely not session. Was almost too sweet.

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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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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 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 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 fostachild
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled on: 2011/09/20

pours a pitch dark colour. 2 inches of foamy/bubbly tan head - lasts forever.

smell is sweet, chocolatey, and has burnt/roasted malt, mocha/coffee aromas.

nice malty taste. coffee and chocolate notes. bitter finish but good carbonation and drinkability. have had this many times and it has always been enjoyable - solid imperial stout.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Remember trying this about a year ago but don't quite remember how much I liked it.
Has the label changed? My bottle says this is an Imperial milk stout not just a milk stout.

A- Dark, thick milk chocolate head. Liquid looks jet black but is actually a pretty clear, super dark ruby.

S- Smells like a Dubbel and a stout. Some nice good quality light dark chocolate. Very slightly metallic. Needs some warming up. Warming up now: Hot alcohol and sweet fruit...mango maybe. Now smells more like a weak IIPA with some cocoa stout added.

T- This is pretty light. I was expecting something a lot heavier. But not light like some weak seltzer stouts, a good, still flavorful and well bodied light. You can taste some pine and sweet fruit from the hops. The last time I tasted this I remember it having a lot more of a lactosedairy taste to it. The whole hop and stout thing works very well. One of the best examples I've tried.

M- Quite prickly active carbonation. Medium to full mouthfeel. Dry finish but lots pf sugar in here to counter. Creamy and aggressive at the same time and can feel like a lager or a milkshake depending on the way you swallow.

D- Very good. Just tastes good. But one bottle is probably enough. Mainly because it's just so satisfying.

Really feels like they've changed the recipe or this is just a different beer. Good. Would buy it again. I also recommend it. Not going crazy for it but the Charlevoix quality is here and this is worth the money.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with a tall billowy foam head that eventually recedes while clinging to the glass. Foam reminds me of chocolate milk with its creaminess and colour.

S: Lots of caramel/molasses-like malts, vanilla, dark chocolate, and some faint dark & candied fruits like figs, dates, cherries. Very good smell with a lot to take in.

T: Caramel-like roasted malts upfront along with those dark fruits, and a faint and mellow dark chocolate and vanilla finish. Alcohol is noticeable throughout. Overall quite sweet, but still pleasant. Was expecting a bit more from the initial smell.

M: Surprisingly lighter than normal for the style, with a higher amount of carbonation.

D: Overall quite nice, but not something I would likely seek out again. A bit too caramel & molasses focused for my taste.

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