canary dog (658) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - OCT 18, 2001
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Heavy aroma of vanilla/coconut notes. Dark and cloudy amber hue to the body. Little particles of bottle conditioned ’gremlins’ floating throughout the glass. Rich and floral hops, a sturdy foundation of malt, and a very complex finish of esthers, tannins, and alcohol. Strong in every way. Not my kind of brew. Certainly an acquired taste, but very well made.
SNIAT (120) - Passaic, New Jersey, USA - JUL 30, 2001
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Incredible (let it warm up a little bit).
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUN 22, 2001
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2006 June 01: Strongly vinous nature and very noticeable high alcohol content make me think this may be closer to a Barley Wine (I don’t know my styles so well, sorry!); whatever, it’s one of the 2 or 3 best brews from this state that I’ve had, with a rich tawny appearance, smooth finish and very complex flavor (I get toffe and port, for starters). Go for it while you can! 9/5/9/4/18 4.5
March 03, on tap at the brewpub: Seemed a little weak -- but only after Bucksnort! This is really closer to an Old Ale in character, very malty and biscuity on the nose, some faint raspberry hints; flavor is heavily bready and musty malty, little hops or fruit until the end which is somewhat peppery. Still awfully great, I might have overrated just a tad two years ago but this has to be tried. 8/5/9/4/17 4.3
March 2006, 2005-6 22 oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse, Winooski (March 06). This bottle is filled to about 5/8" from the cap...the lowest fill I could find, for whatever that’s worth. Bit above cellar temperature, La Chouffe tulip. Pours a very soft, huge fluffy light tan head atop the very thick, dried blood body.....big lactic aroma, some cherry and fortified wine as well, but dominant characteristic is alas, spoiled milk....flavor is really off on this sample as well, massively sour and milky-cheesey, with tart sour grape juice giving no help....long vinegary finish....no way can I finish this. 4/4/2/2/8 1.8
Part of me wants to keep the old scores, remembering past glories and competent bottling...part of me wants to just keep it as it is currently; but I know this is always better on tap, and there is potential in McNeills yet...this particular beer, sadly, seems rarely found in good shape these days if ever. Average of the last 2 scores, for now.