La Vache Folle Double IPA - Herkules | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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La Vache Folle Double IPA - HerkulesLa Vache Folle Double IPA - Herkules
Very Good
30 Ratings
La Vache Folle Double IPA - HerkulesLa Vache Folle Double IPA - Herkules

Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Tim2000 on 05-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by demcorhip:
Photo of demcorhip
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty good, deep amber body with a slight haze, capped by a tight one finger head. Modest retention, but no real persistence. Thins sheets of lace dissipate into a fine web.

A little lackluster on the aroma, but also should have done this a couple months ago. Floral, and richer hints of caramel.

Wow, quite surprising in the taste, im not sure where that big blast of pine was hiding. Some graininess and hints at caramel, but the malts are obliterated by a big assault of pine with some white grapefruit.

A nice feel. A substantial and slightly sugary malt body is subdued by a big resinous and bitter pine blast. Pretty much what one expects from the style.

Some fine tuniing and this would be first class. A touch less diacetyl and a more multidimensional hop presence could do it. A tasty double IPA, and certainly brash, would recommend it to fans of the style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the hops with a lot of pine and orange notes. There is also some bready malt in the aroma.

The flavor is more of the same. The dominant flavor is orange citrus hops, which are balanced out by the bready malt to keep the bitterness fairly low for a double IPA.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy golden amber hue, with one finger of foamy ecru head, which leaves some nice webbed lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells lightly of grapefruit, orange rind, pine needles, and biscuity caramel malt. The taste is strong, bitter citrus rind, kind of an indistinct blend of grapefruit, orange, and lemon, followed by a strong caramel/toffee malt, and a strangely floral and herbal booziness. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, smooth and somewhat creamy. It finishes clean and sweet, the caramel malt moving to the forefront, but still kept in check by a decent fruity hoppiness.

Another very enjoyable big single-hop IPA from Charlevoix. This one imparts some interesting flavours beyond the expected citrus bomb.

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Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bar Volo tasting. Pours a slight reddish colour, a faint head. Funky aroma, and that's the story here. The aroma gets in the way of the taste, getting an interaction with the bitterness. Dry finish. More of an American strong? Unlike the rest of the series I laterally tasted. Appropriate carbonation. But the bitterness needs some onion and cheese soup, or something strong.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't wait to try this. I miss the Amarillo edition.
A- Real pretty copper. Unimpressive head which recedes leaving an okay floater in the middle. Lots of tightly knit lace.

S- Right out of the bottle it smells like guava juice. In the glass, the smell is pretty tame. It is still pretty cold though. Warming up lets out lots of vodka-like alcohol. Strong honey and a tiny bit of marmelade and bubblegum.

T- I was scared I got a bit of onion but it's really not that bad.
My lips are sticky and sweet. Sweet malt and cirtus bitterness. Felt pretty bitter at first but you easily get used to it. Alcohol fits in nicely.

M- Full mouthfeel. High and very smooth carbonation but it went completely flat, that's not a problem though.

D- Good. I'd have a couple bottles... three... four...

Well I'm not exactly going crazy for this (like I did for the Amarillo) but it's a very good beer. Very possible that I buy it again.

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Photo of eat
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the last few bottles remaining from Peluso. That happened to me with the Amarillo as well; I keep getting lucky. Herkules pours as one of the least attractive Charlevoix brews I've seen. A slightly watery-looking and mostly-clear amber body produces only a sparse bubbly cover of bright-white head.

Maybe the hops have already faded at just over a month after bottling (April 27). I'm not getting 100 IBU out of the nose. It's pretty much an equal blend of bready, sugary candy malt and piney, tropical fruit-like hops. Lots of pineapple, papaya and guava; a bit of alcohol. Just a touch of German character there. I'm not familiar with Herkules but this smells more West Coast than German. Not bad but nothing spectacular like I've come to expect from Charlevoix.

It's really cool how this series showcases individual hops so well; this edition is nothing like its predecessors. There is a touch of the tropical character present (pineapple rind) but the hops in the flavour are dominated by pine resin and juniper, followed up with some cat piss; not what I was expecting. The bitterness is high but isn't really backed by enough flavour. Bitterness overshadows the candy malt, covering up most of the sugariness found in the nose. Some harsh alcohol shows up, but mostly blends in with the IBUs. Quite a bitter, drying finish with some lingering gin-like juniper (Bombay Sapphire, to be specific). Doesn't really seem German nor West Coast, but something else entirely.

Usually I'm impressed with the feel Charlevoix pulls off but this one is actually a little on the watery side, as noted from the appearance. You can see the viscosity is not all there. Carbonation is also low, maybe a bit too light, even.

I feel like the hops must already have faded significantly, highlighting the importance of freshness with these kinds of beers. When I picked this up at Peluso, it was in the fridge and I've had it almost constantly in refrigeration since then. Still, that wasn't enough; I should have opened one earlier. I think I did get a good idea of what Herkules hops are all about, though. I definitely wouldn't call this sessionable (for IBU and ABV reasons). This isn't the star of the series but does make for an interesting addition.

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Photo of Rutager
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a light amber with two fingers of light yellow, sticky, bubbly head.

Smell. Tangerine and lemon. Some light malt. Smells good.

Taste. Sweet, caramel malt, citrus, tropical fruits, some grass and a nice bitter, fruity sweet finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. Some warm alcohol.

Overall. Normally, I don't go for the more ballanced IPAs as much as the hop bombs but this is ballanced in a great way. Fruit component enhances the strong, sweet malt presence with enough hops to not leave any doubt that this is an IIPA.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with large foamy head with great retention ans perfect lacing. Aroma of dry piney hops with a noticeable level of bitterness. Taste is also a nice mix between a medium caramel malt backbone with notes of pines and bitter hops. Body is quite full with great carbonation factor and no alcohol was noticeable. Well done even though this is not the most interesting hops around.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep cloudy orange with a small creamy head that quickly faded but left a bit of lace. Smell was hoppy heaven! Pine and strong citrus overtones are really all you can smell. The taste was right behind, just up in your face hops! Truly a DIPA if I have ever had one. Not as strong on the alcohol as some others which made this much more drinkable, which could be a problem with the high ABV. Could drink this everyday, truly a great bee

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Photo of spinrsx
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy amber colour with a gigantic frothy and foamy off-white head. There is lots carbonation showing, unlike any beer I've ever seen before. There are thousands of little bubbles rising to the top. There is also some really nice lacing all the way down the glass. The head stuck around for a long time before it dissipated.

Smell - caramel, hops, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't feel as carbonated as it looks, but it's still got a lot of bubbles on the tongue. The most noticeable flavour is a buttery caramel taste mixed with hops. The beer almost has a milky creaminess to it. It finishes with a slightly bitter and sweet aftertaste.

Drink - I can see how this beer may appeal to some, but there's something about the taste that doesn't do it for me. It's a good beer, but there's others I'd rather be drinking.

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Photo of hoser
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have never had a big alpha DIPA made with only German hops. To say this is a strange concept for a DIPA is a bit of an understatement. I really like this beer but it seems more like a lager. Maybe it is the hops as Herkules seems like a high alpha Hallertau. A big crisp lager has just a hint of ale esters in the finish late and I could see myself drinking a lot of this beer.

I like this brewery's series of the single hopped DIPAs and keep them coming.

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Photo of grub
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another from my recent trade with papat444. thanks pat!

500ml bottle. sampled july 17/2010.

pours crystal clear deep orange with a big fine off-white head. the head drops fairly fast with lots of fine lace.

aroma is good. orange and tangerine. bit of grapefruit. caramel and honey. more earthy bitter citrus than the amarillo dipa. whole wheat bread. bit of cracker and biscuit.

taste is good. light grapefruit. orange and tangerine. caramel and honey. bit of toffee. whole wheat bread. cracker. a bit earthy. light alcohol. just under medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. good hop profile.

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Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark amber/orange, nice and bright, very thick white head forms and settles down to a thick ring around the glass, good chunks of lace, great retention, looks nice.

Smell is nice, some citrus hoppiness, big and malty middle, caramel, some biscuit/toast, wafer, floral, light pine, alcohol, tons of fruitiness, lightly herbal, neat.

Taste is nice too, biscuity up front, some caramel maltiness, a touch on the sweet side, very malty, light floral, some fruitiness, a bit of citrus and some herbal bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, a bit of warmth but very drinkable for the ABV. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Patrick for sharing this one!

A - Pours a golden orange color with a one fingered creamy white head, mild carbonation.

S - Weak aroma for a D-IPA. Biscuit and caramel malt, pineapple, orange, citrus, mildly floral and piney.

T - First impression is a perfect balance. Resinous pine, sweet caramel malt, and some citric notes. Perfect, but delicate balance. Pepper, mild citrus rind, lemon rind, sweet honey. If not for the indication of some burn in the throat, the 9% is nicely masked. Hopping is resinous and sweet - I dig this beer!

M - Velvet on the tongue, is on the heavier side of medium body, and there's alcohol warming on the way down.

D - Very, very nice balance. I really enjoyed this and would purchase an entire case for my personal enjoyment!

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Straight copper color, fully translucent. Head is pure white, quite good, but lacks a bit of retention a bit. Insane amount of lacing. Gorgeous beer.

S: They used German hops for this brew and it shows. There are lots of piny hops in this, with a good mix of herbal hops. There also are a good level of citrus from hte hops, makes me think mostly of lime. A nice sweetness is present, making me think of brown sugar. A bit of tartness also present. Not as strong as the other offerings yet still interesting.

T: Starts out real smooth and sweet: there is tart and brown sugar. Then, it's a good level of the lime like hops, but still in smoothness, nothing really aggressive. Then, there is lots of piny hops, without any sweetness, it's raw and in your face. It is accompanied by a light grassy-ness. It develops in the mouth, interesting. Too much bittering hops, not enough flavor from them.

M: Medium to heavy body, really smooth feel and a nice level of carbonation to keep a brew like this alive. I would have preferred a bit more carbonation.

D: It's an IPA, it's not an intimidating brew. Easy to drink but because of its "bigger" nature in the feel and in the taste, it isn't as sessionnable as the Amarillo version.

They did a great job with the Amarillo to bring the West coast hops, a great job with the Simcoe and Bravo for a more East coast version, but this really has a German feel to it. In that sense, that beer is a success.

EDIT: It's written on the bottle this is a 100 IBU beer, around what I thought.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of many goodies a buddy brought back for me from his Quebec trip. Bottle pours a clear orangey copper colour with a nice creamy foam lacing the sam adams perfect pint glass. The taste is very malty with a nice honey caramal finish to add with the bitterness. This goes down quite smooth and the alc% is very well hidden. This is a very tasty iipa and probably the best one I have had to date, from canada. Ten Bitter Years included.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass june7 2010

A clear copper with a few slowly raising bubbles of all sizes floating up to a two finger head that has good retention and leaves a few patches of lace

S plenty of sweet malty honey with some citrus and a little caramel

T again a fair bit of bitter sweet malt with some tropical fruits I cant quite place and some pine, mildly spicy with a slight bread flavor and where the 9%alc is I'll never know

M a little sticky and syrupy with a bitter bite and a long finish you can taste it for some time

D well rounded and for the strength it's dangerously drinkable

I wasn't sure what to expect from an unfamiliar hop, but I didn't expect these flavors from a German hop that's for sure. The Amarillo was a very hard act to follow and they did a pretty good job. I'm a fan of the single hop doubles and can't wait for the next one.

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Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Shadman
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Last of a 3 beer, 4 bottle taster pack.

Bright copper color. Very thick head, 2 fingers deep. Impressive staying power and lot's of Sweet toasted malts and lots of floral pine hop. Booze not noticable.

Swrrt malts followed by a wave of pine-citric bitterness. I'm knocking it down a notch because the alcohol burn ( yes burn) interfered with the hop bitterness if only for a few seconds. Finishes quite sweet with a nice citrus peel ( grapefruit) bitterness.

Slick, full, almost chewy mouthfeel.

It's quite nice. But there are better examples out there.

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Photo of kwjd
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mostly orange with some amber. Nice carbonation and lacing. The smell is quite sweet of malt, but certainly there are some hops in there. I get pine hops with sweet caramel and honey. If this was labeled a barleywine or american strong ale, I would have believed it as well. I'm not going to hold it against the beer too much though, maybe this style of hops demands this? Still, a pleasant drinking beer that is quite delicious, even if it isn't quite what I expected.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an interesting beer but I'm surprised to see it rated so well as there are some flaws in my opinion.

It starts off well with a clear orange bronze color and a very attractive silky cream white head. The smell is lighter than you might expect though.. simple honey and caramel malts with a hint of pine underneath.

The taste is hop dominated with bitterness and pine but there's a big malt base present as well. It's sweet, almost processed sugary sweet but I think it's required given the high amount of bitterness involved. Unfortunately it's just doesn't seem to work.

Mouthfeel is smooth albeit quite sugary sticky. Drinkability is average but this would be a pass for me in the future.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently received this from a friend in Ottawa. He mentioned I should drink it sooner, rather than later. I had the Amarillo the other day, and was pretty sure it was near the start of 'later', so I figured I would pop this open now. Bottle on date is May 13.

Pours a dark copper/orange color with several fingers of creamy off-white head. Nice amount of lacing left all down the glass.

Scent of pine, some sweeter malts, and hops. More muted than I expected.

Taste is very interesting. Definitely some pine. Some honey flavoring too. Something like pineapple. Also some really nice hop bitterness up front, which mellows out and matures into some malt character at the end, fairly nice balance between the two. Bits of hop and malt flavoring lingers for a while after the swallow. Some alcoholic flavor is there as well, but only near the very end.

A very nice DIPA. Not as hoppy as I expected, unless the hop flavor has already faded after two months. I think between this and the Amarillo, I enjoyed the Amarillo more.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hoser for this bottle. The rear label has a space for a "Bottled On" date which is blank. The brewer advises on serving this beer between 6-10*C, it was poured cold from the fridge.

A rigorous pour produced a good frothy head on a clear golden brew. A nice pine smell with a few malt notes in the background. Taste brings a nice fruity blast and some citrus with a great bitter finish. The bitterness lingers in the mouth and on the tongue. A great, light syrupy mouthfeel. The alcohol is hidden fairly well for a brew that is 9% ABV.

Fairly drinkable for a DIPA and not a heavy tongue scrapper. Right now this bottle is only available as a part of a four variety pack. If I could buy this singly I would.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to papat444 for this one. "Bottled on:" field is blank. Served in a tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of eggshell foam that dissipates to a chunky ring and big-bubbled haze. Slightly hazed golden apricot color. Lots of lacing.

S - Unusual hop choice - I don't get a ton of aromatic hop character even though this beer is at most 6-8 weeks old. There's some honey and caramel malt character, along with a tiny bit of that cotton candy scotch ale smell. There's some pine, spice, and citrus zest, but it's understated. Interesting, but not what I expect from a DIPA.

T - Taste is pretty similar - slight scotch ale malt profile with a bit of tropical fruit and pine character imparted by the Herkules hops. Bitterness is present, but less than I expected from a hop so high in alpha acids. More American Barleywine than DIPA.

M - Lower carbonation, slightly syrupy with a touch of grain character. Not much over hop oil or resin. Alcohol is well-hidden.

D - This was OK, but is probably my least favorite in the series. I would suggest lowering the malt bill a touch, and using something more aggressive like Columbus or Centennial.

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Photo of kjyost
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks eat! Well worth the Black Scrapper I gave up.

Poured stiffly into a tulip. At first I was worried the beer was uncarbonated as it took forever for a 1 cm white head to form and float atop a lighter than expected orange-brown hued beer. Some lacing.

The aroma of this beer is exceptionally interesting. At first I thought it to be very earthy, and then spiciness comes through with cloves and coriander dominating. For a moment I honestly thought this was brewed with Unibroue yeast, as the hops were giving off an aroma almost identical to Trois Pistoles. Wonderful, and once I read up on the hop, an excellent introduction to the character it can provide.

The beer itself has an obviously malty body with a slight alcoholic character to it. Enjoyable, but for a DIPA the bitterness comes across as quite low. Of course this could be because it is exceedingly well balanced or due to the Red Racer IPA I had a few hours back... Sweetness is evident with a bit of spiciness that cannot be nailed down is there too. Very nice, but a little too alcoholic for a 4.5

Carbonation is low and the alcoholic character affect the mouthfeel & drinkability. A good DIPA, just not a favorite.

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La Vache Folle Double IPA - Herkules from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 30 ratings