La Vache Folle Double IPA - Simcoe | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

very good
28 Reviews
no score
Send samples
La Vache Folle Double IPA - SimcoeLa Vache Folle Double IPA - Simcoe

Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Tim2000 on 11-18-2009

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 41
Photo of bylerteck
3.26/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Copperish colour with a cloudy body. Two fingers of white head that left no lace and one finger of retention.

S - Boozy pineapple and honey.

T - Grapefruit, more boozy pineapple.

M - Full body, minimal carbonation. Decent bite of bitterness with some booze.

O/D - Not all that impressive. Boozy and lacks a smack of hop flavour. Decent, but definitely not the best.

 374 characters

Photo of CanadianBacon
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Might I just say before reviewing this that the bottle is epic...

Appearance - Pours a cloudy amber with 2 fingers off white head. aside from the head not much carbonation visible.

Smell - pine, wood, grainy malts, caramel.

Taste - The taste starts earthy and pine resin flavored followd by some grainy malts and some caramel finish is long and bitter.

Mouth feel -Medium body, Creamy with prickly Carbonation.

Overall - This is a really good ipa, If you can get your hand son it you should definitely try it out :)

 522 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

La Vache Folle looks as heavy as a cow - its amber colour, despite the cheerful glow, being of a fairly deep tone and the natural haziness lending even more apparent weightiness. That bulky head must tack on a few ounces, at least before it's thinned out from being spread all across the pint glass.

Simcoe hops possess all my favourite qualities: pine, citrus, perfume. It's a classic American varietal and is found in many of my highest-rated IPAs. And yet it also seems to be the most variable; if you ask me it's capable of being undesirably pungent. I'm certainly not a fan of what it's done with this aroma...

Cooked greens, wood bark, passionfruit and cat pee. I care for 1 of those 4. Sure, there's some citrus rind and tree resins in there but it's almost nauseating looking for them; alcohol hovers on the surface. The underlying malt bill is also sweeter than I care for it to be, lending dried apricot and cherry notes.

As the beer warms I warm up to it - beers better at room rather than fridge temp are better beers in general. The very barleywine-esque, borderline under-attenuated malt bill grows on me, especially as hops continue to keep things in-check; the tropical fruits of one contrast the dried fruits of the other.

Just as I've never been disappointed by Charlevoix's abbaye-style offerings, I've never been impressed with their hoppy beers. If you ask me this brewer is better suited to life in a monastery than he is life on a golden state beach. In fairness, Quebec isn't that tropical of a place, so what do you expect?!

 1,556 characters

Photo of jrenihan
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Simcoe comes through strongly in this beer, unsurprisingly. Lots of pine, with some citrus underneath. The malt is also strong, lots of caramel providing a robust body for the hops to interact with. Moderately bitter. Mouthfeel is rather sticky and quite full. Pretty good DIPA, better than most in Quebec for sure.

 319 characters

Photo of papat444
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled Aug. 6, 2015.

Dark, rust colored body, average retention. Flavor is very resiny and strong on grapefruit. Has a creamy feel to it yet doesn't lack robustness.

 167 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Service: Bottle
Bottled on: Aug-6-2015

Pours a caramel color with a little haze and a thick two fingers of off-white head that settles to a solid film. Pretty good retention; some swoops of lacing. (4)

Sweet, herbal, piney. Citrus rind, woody, sap, potpourri, dirty diapers. (4)

Rich, layered, resinous bitterness. Herbs, pine, bitter orange, dusty and dry, caramel. (4)

Medium-plus body with medium carbonation and a lingering bitterness in the back of your mouth very drinkable, well-hidden booze. (4)

This is a good single hop IIPA.
I am not necessarily the biggest Simcoe fan, but they are well-displayed here being both pine-like and slightly fruity with some woody alcohol in the finish. The beer itself has some good support in the form of a thick caramel malt backbone. Pretty drinkable, fetching in the glass, nice velvety feel.
Would have it again; worth a shot if you see it fresh—same goes for all of Charlevoix's other single hop IIPAs. (4)

 999 characters

Photo of VbolieuV
4.64/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pale-amber in color with lots of carbonation and a 1-inche bubbly head. Smell of lemon-orange-banana, not bad. Also fruity in the mouth. You couldn't tell it's 9%, it's so easy to drink! It's not too bitter also, really well-rounded, an excellent beer!

 252 characters

Photo of 4ster
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 05/07/2013. Poured into a large wine glass.

Fairly clear with a bit of haze, dark rich amber, nice bubbles and really impressive, bright white head with decent lacing. Not a really strong aroma, but what does come through is some sweet malts, earthy with some piney/grassy bitterness. Taste wise you get a lot of the same, really heavy upfront sweetness, caramel malts, followed by a really earthy, pine resin woodsy bitterness.... also a bit of light citrus.... medium body, light-med. carbonation, and not a whole lot of stickiness.

Overall another good beer by Charlevoix... I'm not always crazy about the single hop varieties as they of course aren't as complex, but when done right it is refreshing to really pinpoint what a certain hop variety tastes/smells like.... and I would say this is one of those beers done right.... the hop profile really comes through but is also supported by a really heavy, sweet backbone that makes this an enjoyable beer to drink and as far as Quebec IPA's go, one to try if you get the chance.

 1,042 characters

Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-slightly hazy amber color with a nice large white head and good lacing

S-citrus, orange, light malt, pine

T-bready malt, pine, grapefruit, orange, hint of floral, moderately bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and relatively smooth

O-a solid IPA, not my favorite hop varietal, but overall nice flavor and balance

 343 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent DIPA, although the 9%ABV is scarily well hidden. Brewed in May 2013 and picked up the bottle in Montreal last week-end, so still fresh.

Pours a beautifully clear light amber colour, with an impressive white head that lingers before lacing. Surprisingly little oiliness, with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. The aroma is somewhat muted, but has a nice variety of caramelized malts and a real tropical fruit hoppiness. The Simcoe is more prevalent in the taste, which has a real sweetness before the bitter finish takes hold. Pineapple and mango plus some pink grapefruit etc. etc.; much fruitier than I expected - and right up my alley.

Would highly recommend!

 671 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A big thanks to papat444 for providing us with this.

A: Pours a beautiful clear gold with about 3 fingers of big pillow white head. The foamy head slowly settles leaving an amazing amount of lacing along the sides of the glass. Sheets of active carbonation can be seen racing up from the bottom of the glass.

S: Subtle scents of fresh cut pine together with pineapple and green apples. Finish is smooth and creamy.

T: Hops are present from start to finish along with candied orange peel, caramel and bread/biscuit in the finish. Notable floral flavour of orange flower water which wasn't picked up in the scent. Bitter notes linger on the tongue.

M: Medium bodied with active level of carbonation which leaves a creamy yet clean finish.

O: This is a very attractive beer in the glass with wicked amounts of lacing and retention. The floralness of the orange flower water and the carmel malts balance very well. Alcohol is more noticeable then in other DIPAs but isn't distracting or overpowering.

 1,002 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty DIPA set via Presario. Alberta is getting ome good Quebec beers, strange how that works. The bitterenss is drinkable and enjoyable because of the Amarillo orange citrus flavour. More or less one dimensional, good nonetheless. A little ornage colour and significant white soapy head. Hop oils in the aroma.

 311 characters

Photo of prosper
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a dense yellow head. Lots of lace.

According to the bottle, it was 21 plato and 79% AA - so 1.087 -> 1.018. 12L colour and 80 IBU's. Probably has a decent percentage of plain sugar in there to hit 79% attenuation.

Smell - smells like candy. Sweet caramel malt - something very light, there aren't any toasty or nutty flavours here - and lots of fruity hops.

Taste - this is the prototype for a good DIPA in my opinion. Absolutely perfect - sweet malt up front that's quickly balanced with a firm bitterness, and then all fading into a wonderfully fruity hop bomb. Some pine, some candied orange, but none of the passionfruit/mango/pineapple/tropical character that you get from other american hops. Slight (but not unpleasant) grassyness.

Mouthfeel is good - it's still a 9% beer, so body is fairly full, but not so much as to make this syrupy and cloying. Still, feels pretty sticky for a 1.018 beer.

Drinkability - well, if it wasn't so strong, I'd have several at a sitting.

 1,009 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear amber color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of floral hops with subtle bitterness. Taste is a mix between some floral hops with some caramel malt and light bitterness at the end. Body is about average with great carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Not bad though not as hoppy as I was expecting.

 371 characters

Photo of Otterburn
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Birthday beer..

Appearance: this beer is alive,lots of light throught amber color, laces,decent head

smell: like sour candy i used to eat when i was younger

Taste: powerfull bitterness,strong and clear grapefruit taste, intense and smooth

mouthfeel: snake bite on the tongue
long lasting taste. fine carbonation,

Drinkability: vulgar display of bitterness..

 364 characters

Photo of markaberrant
3.21/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - light copper colour, clear, creamy off-white head, persists, sticky lace

S - clean, light pine, grapefruit, not a huge aroma, but pleasant

T - honey sweetness dominates, hop flavour and bitterness is low, there could actually be more hop flavour and bitterness present, but the sweetness is getting in the way, even lingering into the finish

M - med high carbonation, medium body, results in a mouth filling creaminess that really does not fit, carbonation also seems to increase alcohol burn

D - rather disappointing from a brewery that gets great reviews.

This is my second sampling of this beer. I first sampled it about a month ago, or should I say, I tried to sample it - it had the aroma of cheese and stinky feet, so I did not taste it. This is thankfully much better, but I'm still not overly impressed. Way too sweet and lacking hop character in all areas (aroma, flavour and bitterness). If it at least had the bitterness, it would make for a passable barleywine, but as is (inlcuding the over carbonation), it's just not that enjoyable. After reading through the other reviews, there seems to be huge inconsistencies with this beer.

However, I did enjoy their crazy Licorice Belgian Dark Strong (Dominus Vobiscum Double), so I'll be giving them another chance.

 1,281 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 500 ml brown bottle, label says it was bottled November 11, 2009.

Pours out a gorgeous bright translucent copper hue, tall loose frothy off-white head with good retention, and dense swathes of lacing.

Clean metallic grains and hops at first in the nose, chewy bready caramel malt comes through, with some spice, bright citrus hops, pine and earth, and some alcohol warmth. Complex yet refined.

Bready, biscuity, light caramel malt up front in the flavour, pine and spice in the middle, with tangerine and mild grapefruit closing in on the finish, some grassy hops rounding out into the aftertaste already. Complex and refined yet again, but something in there just doesn't gel for me for some reason.

Or perhaps it's because the mouthfeel is a bit too full and sticky to help make the flavour profile a bit more manageable. Fair game though, the mouthfeel is full, chewy, and gets sticky towards the finish and onwards, it's quite the hefty package.

Aside from the mouthfeel being a bit overwhelming this is a great and worthy DIPA, a lot going on here that's worth revisiting.

 1,090 characters

Photo of oakbluff
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Glouglouburp- pours amber with good clarithy and huge offwhite head. Nose- sweet and mettalic nose. Taste- hops come off in an overripe fruit kind of way. Earthy mix of these funky hops and malt. Big mango flavour that lingers right through to finish. An odd beer but grows on you.

 300 characters

Photo of Luk13
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Very good looking reddish brown pour with a persitent white head. Distinct grapefruit aromas with some maltiness and grapes. Taste is very sweet grapefruit, some alcohol, relatively low bitterness. The sweetness provides a rather creamy mouthfeel, particularly enjoyable. Feels like a barleywine.

 304 characters

Photo of Shadman
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the second dIPa this week...what a lucky liver I possess...

nothing to fault in the appearance category...nice rich head, tons of lacing, the classic burnt orange colour...this one is clear however...

aroma is muted, I had 1 @ below reccomended temp and one @ and both disappointed in the nasal sense...more sweet malt bomb than the expected pine/citrus blast.

Stsrts off as a wanna be tease with the sweet maltiness. Where's the hop? Tucked right in behind my friend in seamlesss balance. Balance is the key here...this isn't anything like a Yank version of a DIPA, but very contentintal...

Very easy for a hophead to get in trouble here...very smooth and easy easy ro drink....

 683 characters

Photo of MAB
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer, if you like the flavor of hops. It is extremely hoppy. That made me extremely happy.
It was a deep amber color with a nice white head. It fit perfectly in my Guinness pint glass.
The aroma is all hops, and a sweeter aroma you cannot find.
The first taste is WOW! HOPS! but there's a sweetness and a flowery flavor that makes this not purely a bitter assault on the tongue. The bitterness does come through on the aftertaste, though, and this makes your next sip sweet and flowery again.
A lovely beer and a super find for me!

 551 characters

Photo of Dawkfan
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber with 3 fingers of off white head, good retention and lots of lace.

S- There's a good amount of citrus hops in this one, the alcohol is slightly noticeable as well.

T- Bready malt up front, some sweetness & floral hops in the middle and it takes awhile after you've drank it for the hop bitterness to set in. Finishes a little warm.

M- This doesn't coat the mouth as much as most DIPA's, but this is extremely smooth. Thick body, low-medium carbonation.

D- Really balanced for this style. I was hoping for a little more bitterness, but I'd definitely buy again.

 573 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked the crazy cow imagery in Montreal this past summer - and I still like it now in Calgary at Christmas...

This beer pours a clear dark burnt orange hue, with two fingers of creamy ecru head, which leaves a ring of lace around the glass as it slowly melts away. It smells of grapefruit and pine hop essences, and caramel/toffee malt. The taste is caramel malt up front, and then resinous floral and citrus hops, with a hint of boozy edginess. The carbonation is moderate, the body slick, unctuous, and pretty smooth, and it finishes off-dry, the sweet caramel lording over the soft hoppiness.

A silky smooth, well-balanced DIPA, the booze hardly apparent on the palate. I'd love to see more of these around.

 714 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to papat444 for getting a chance to try this one. Served in an oversized wine glass. Bottle dated November 6th, 2009.

A- Finger of white foam (which is pretty good for a giant wine glass) that has good retention, lots of patchy lacing, and a hazy cap. Transparent fiery copper colored body. (I just copied this from my VF - Bravo review, as they look nearly identical)

S - This reminds me of Weyberbacher Unfiltered Double Simcoe - unconventional fruits like spiced apple and peach, a faint tropical note, slight dankness, a touch of cat pee. The malt base is sugar cookie and multi-grain bread. Booze is better hidden than the Bravo version.

T - Delicious fresh peach sweetness that is characteristic of Simcoe hops. The taste is less grainy with the smell, with more of a sugary dough malt character coming through. Moderate bitterness that builds slowly - you can tell this one has a few more IBUs than the Bravo (80 vs. 60).

M - Slightly harsh carbonation that borders on prickly. Resinous residual feel after a medium viscosity body. Definitely less hot than the Bravo.

D - The bitterness and carbonation are more intense than the Bravo, but that's balanced out by the reduced heat and better taste. Finishing 500ml of this one is no problem. Can't wait for the next one (hope it's Columbus).

 1,309 characters

Photo of elricorico
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A fairly clear amber with a mountain of beige coloured head. Waiting for the head to fall takes long enough that I start getting impatient. No lack of lacing.

Flowery and citric to the nose, but there is a bounty of malt sweetness as well, mixing in a touch of caramel. Very inviting.

Slightly sweet toffee and bready malt up front, but the bulk of the flavour is a ride of grapefruit rind hop flavour. Not terribly bitter, there is certainly a reasonable balance here from the malt. Uncomplicated, but it really is hitting the spot.

There is a bit of oily slickness to the body and the carbonation is a bit lower than average. Works well for the beer.

This is a really good Double IPA. A little more subtle and balanced than most I've had, but easy to drink and very pleasing. Would definitely suggest.

 807 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
La Vache Folle Double IPA - Simcoe from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
4 out of 5 based on 41 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.