Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 1, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 5, 2005 Reddish-brown body, thin off-white/buff head. Sweet, caramely aroma with hints of brown sugar. Quite light, at least compared to the other beers opened during the evening. Very sweet flavor as well, with brown sugar, toffee, and caramel, in addition to a touch of toast. Not very complex, but still decent. Thanks to OldGrowth for providing this as part of a trade.
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - APR 12, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2006 Pours a cloudy amber with a small head. Smells of caramel, citrus and figs. Taste is robust with raisins and prunes present. Very interesting brew.
Rerate 11/2/06 bottle that has been cellared for a year: Pours more clear with a small but present head. Smells of caramel, tea hops and figs. Taste is semi sweet with nice earthy hops and much more blended than I remember it. Definitely worth the revisit.
Lubiere (12878) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 18, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
1996 bottle, from Ray McNeil. Deep red brown ale with wonderful floating creatures. Vinous aroma with cinnamon overtones, complex and ever changing as beer warms up. Notes of rose water and candy sugar. Oily onctous body. Blended taste of malts, hops, lingering smooth bitterness, alcohol being camouflaged by all the ingredients. Wonderful, Thanks Ray. May 2004. Enjoyed with Capflu.
tiggmtl (4544) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 15, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Raisins, figs, muted plums and prunes in the aroma with some dark malt, almost roasty character. Becomes vastly more expressive as it warms. Opaque, dark amber-brown with shy, large-bubbled, but lasting, tan head that covers. Plenty of suspended yeast that takes it’s own sweet time to settle back down. Gorgeous and intricate lacing. Very complex and fascinating flavour. Has roasty notes as well as mild acetic sourness, big caramel sweetness, lots of dark fruit esters and some herbal/grassy/pine-like hops. Fair balancing bitterness. As with most of McNeill’s beers, this one is very strongly hopped, but unlike a lot of the others, it’s really not that noticeable in this one. Medium-full body, creamy, smooth, somewhat still mouthfeel. Alcohol never apparent. Bottle (aged 9 months)... and you have to love that label...
egajdzis (6100) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 15, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured a ruby red color with a small khaki colored head and light lacing on the glass. Super musty and malty, sweet and full of dark fruits, plums. Taste was sticky sweet, caramel malts, raisins and figs, fudge flavor. A knockout at room temperature!
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - AUG 7, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cloudy brown color,medium sized tan head that lasted for a nice long time then slowly faded to a small lace.Light aroma of malt some fruit kind of sweet and maybe a hint of hops coming through as well.Nice malty flavor with a bit of some fruit maybe a little toffee and a mild hop presence.The alcohol is nicely done in this brew,fairly well hidden with just a brief showing in the beginning and a dull warmth at the end.Very nice brew full of nice flavors and easy to drink with little problem of an over abundance of any one flavor.Thanks go to Oldgrowth for sending me this fine brew.
beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 6, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Brown color with yeast in suspension, thin head. Aroma of malt, caramel, maple syrup and alcohol. Good malt, caramel and maple syrup flavor with alcohol vapors. Bitter finish, medium body.
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUN 13, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Pours a nice dark amber/brown with lots of yeast and sediment. Interesting nose smells like sweet earth, wood, sweat, plums, rotting wood. Flavor of caramel, rich malt, citrus, roasted chocolate. Very malty but balanced near perfectly by some hops bitterness. Would like to try this beer after more aging.
ClarkVV (5781) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 13, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
03 or 04 bottle (not sure) compliments of bucknaked (probably 04 bottle). Pours well enough, great dark ruddy brownish red, quite bright and foamy, with plenty of carbonation. Obviously bottle conditioned. Aroma of sweet, challenging yeast, funky and peppery, lots of vanilla, oak, wood, earthiness, some dry caramel. Low hops profile. Flavor is yeasty and malty, almost to the point of a sweet belgian dubbel, but then it quickly dries out and picks up much yeast complexity. Hops are quite subtle, giving bitterness, but not overly so. A decent shot of maltiness is chewy and lingers. I like the yeast part, but the fruit is not estery and as detectable as I would like. Want some more figs, dates, plums and what not. Still a great beer and well made. Medium-full body.
tidiaguy (168) - Hawley, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 11, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark murky brown body with hints of amber coming through. Decent sudsy head. Sweet earthy woody tones. Very plesant aroma. Mild malty flavors, earthy and yeasty with some subtle citrus notes and a mild hop bitter and flavor on the finish. Smoothe, highly drinkable. Slight warming sensations go well with the bitter aftertastes. Another great McNeills product.