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MicroBrasserie Charlevoix

 

MicroBrasserie Charlevoix ("MBC") began operations on July 3, 1998, and in 2009 moved to a larger, modern facility in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec. The expansion increased production capacity from 500 to 5,000 hectolitres of beer per year. MBC produces a series of Belgian inspired bears under the Dominus Vobiscum (the Lord be with you) name, and two stouts using the name Vache Folle (Mad Cow). Quebec brewed beers definitely have some of the coolest names!

We sampled their Dominus Vobiscum Triple ("Triple") in a 500 ml bottle purchased from the LCBO, with a production date of July 27, 2011. Triple was a healthy 9.0% alcohol by volume.

Triple poured a hazy orange/apricot colour, and despite the haziness there was plenty of visible carbonation and an audible fizzing right after the beer was poured. Pouring produced about 1.5" of fluffy white head that lasted for 4-5 minutes before dissipating into a foamy collar and thin film that left no lacing, and some very minor spotting down the glass. Triple's aroma was of sweet fruits, yeast and alcohol...I wish I could distinguish the different fruit aromas but with the exception of a barely distinguishable banana, they seem to be fighting each other to a scoreless draw. Likewise with the taste, which begins with a distinct sweet fruitiness...but despite my best efforts I just can't distinguish anything beyond a barely detectable banana and apricot. Maybe this beer is just a bit too complex for its own good? The sweet fruit flavour is followed by yeast and alcohol, which then give way to a spicy finish that balances the initial sweetness nicely. Triple was medium bodied, and I found its carbonation to be a bit too strong for my taste. Certainly a respectable brew, but given its reputation and price ($5.95 per 500 ml), I was expecting much more from this one. I wouldn't turn one down, but better value for money exists elsewhere.

Rating 7.60/10.0

When Bucky discovered that La Vache Folle by Microbrasserie Charlevoix would be making a rare appearance in the LCBO, he jumped on it like a fat kid on a box of Smarties. La Vache Folle came in a brown 500 ml bottle with a bottling date of February 4, 2013, and was 9.0% alcohol by volume. With its label showing a picture of a "mad cow", this beer is difficult to miss.

La Vache Folle poured an opaque black colour with about 1" of crema coloured head. The head lasted for several minutes before fading to a blob of foam in the centre of my glass, a thin collar of foam and a patchy thin film across the rest of the beer's surface. The remnants of the foam left considerable, attractive lacing down the far side of the glass. Its aroma was mainly of dark chocolate, with notes of coffee, caramel and a bit of alcohol as the beer warmed. I get the impression that I'm in for something special here! The flavour began with sweet chocolate milk which gave way to coffee with a hint of caramel, and finished with a mildly bitter dark chocolate flavour which lingered as an aftertaste. Its 9.0% alcohol content is very well hidden, being just detectable as the beer warms up. A perfect beer for this cold and rainy Canadian night. La Vache Folle had a soft carbonation, creamy mouthfeel and was rich and full bodied. I really hope that this is more than a one-time appearance by this wonderful beer. Though a bit pricey at $5.25 per 500 ml bottle, you are at least getting a superior product in return for your hard earned cash.

Rating 9.60/10

 

 
Beer Name Rating
La Vache Folle 9.60
Dominus Vobiscum Triple 7.60

 

 

 

 

 

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