La Vache Folle Double IPA - Simcoe | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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La Vache Folle Double IPA - SimcoeLa Vache Folle Double IPA - Simcoe
Very Good
41 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of markaberrant
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.26/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

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Photo of Luk13
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.41/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of KeKeKumba
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of oakbluff
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
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?!

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Photo of jbmaur
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of groleau
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of eat
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful IIPA. Almost translucent and bright-amber in colour, the off-white head poured has the consistency of frothed milk. Good lacing but while the initlal retention looked impressive, after a couple minutes there was nothing more than a thin covering. This would have earned a solid 4.5 if the head stuck around.

Strange, there's a huge frothy head but not much smell coming off of it. I'm not sure why. The smell that is here is great, mostly buttery caramel and floral, citrusy hops (Simcoe, I suppose, since these were the only hops used). It's difficult to even pick this up though. I've beed snorting in whatever I can from this one the whole time I've been drinking it and it has only improved marginally as it warmed. I really wish the lack of smell didn't drag this beer's rating down so much, but I can't give it anymore than 3.

I really like this but it's definitely not a typical IIPA. I don't know anything about Simcoe hops, so it's hard to know whether I'm misjudging based on an ignorance of these specific hops, but it doesn't seem like there are quite enough hops present. I wouldn't say it's completely balanced either. I do enjoy a malty IPA more than most, but this one doesn't have an extreme enough hops level to balance it out. Found here is mostly roasty caramel malt and earthy hops. There's a tasty, lingering bitter finish. The powerful 9% ABV is very well hidden, only contributing to the flavour. While I wouldn't say this beer is at all complex or completely balanced, I'm really enjoying it regardless. Maybe this is just what Simcoe hops taste like.

Sticky, medium-full bodied feel with a light-moderate carbonation. Great feel.

For a 9%er, this is extremely drinkable. I'm about to finish off a 500ml bottle and could definitely keep going.

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Photo of liamt07
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrenihan
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of CanadianBacon
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
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 :)

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Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
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

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Whatup14
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Dawkfan
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of Krakpoff
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of wizo
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TheDoctor
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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)

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Photo of Ultrarunner100
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tmappin
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

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La Vache Folle Double IPA - Simcoe from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 41 ratings