Review: Microbrasserie Charlevoix – Vache Folle Ella Double IPA

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Ella hops, which is a new hop variety from Australia and the namesake of  Microbrasserie Charlevoix's latest Double IPA in their Vache Folle series. I've enjoyed a Vache Folle Double IPA in the past, but I didn't realize that the Ella was a brand new version when I bought it, so I was in for a surprise when I opened the bottle. This Double IPA is a true showcase for this new hop variety.


The first thing that strikes me about this Double IPA is how the spiciness of the hops really dominates the taste pallet. The Ella hops dominate the aroma as much as the flavour. The scent is spicy with a hint of pine and resin notes with floral undertones. Flavour wise, the hops aren't necessarily very bitter, but their spiciness dries out the taste pallet. Don't let this be your last drink of the night as you'll want another beer after this one.


Despite having a 9% alcohol punch, this Double IPA hides its strength. The malt compliments the hops very well. The malt backbone includes a good dose of caramel which leads to the beer's faint amber colour. The carbonation level is low, which really lets you taste the delicious mix of malt and hops. Make no mistake though, this Double IPA really is a showcase for the spiciness of the hops.


You'll have to make a trek over to the Quebec side to track this down.  The Vache Folle line is fairly popular so you should be able to find it at any craft beer store over there.