Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - MAY 13, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2005 On tap Boston Beer Summit ’02: Heavy hops aroma, creamy body, with a color somewhere between black and ruby. The huge amounts of hops in this create an aftertaste that goes on and on. I need to find some bottles of this. Top 3 (IMHO) at the BBS ’02.
Gregory (357) - Pullman, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Absolutely outstanding. I personally wouldn’t classify this as a brown. It’s quite floral and very well balanced. Starts sweet and malty, and ends with a nice bitterness. The way an ale should be. Well done!
muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - APR 19, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2005 7/5/01: An excellent addition to the McNeills family, with one significant fault: a lingering bitterness not really appropriate to the style. Also, as the name implies, significantly stronger than the typical brown.
4/19/02: Liked this even more the 2nd time around: hugely hugely malty and chocolaty; comparable to a doppelbock in many ways. Body fairly full, though could be even moreso; and hops seemed more appropriate in strength this time. Don’t drink it too cold. What would I do without McNeills? 8/5/9/4/17 4.3
December 2005: 22 oz bottle. Massive frothy head atop a hazy, thick, translucent dark brown, thick lacing ....Pecans at first in the nose, fruity-winy-lactic quality shows up after a bit, wet sprucy hops…odd and pungent...More lactic qualities in the flavor, nutty oiliness midpalate, slightly rancid quality, huge stingy hoppiness late, anise & apricots....Medium body, dryish late palate, unfiltered but a bit too yeasty perhaps. 7/5/5/3 12 3.0
Alas this brewery’s beers continue to fall in my estimation, bottling problems and infections being the biggest culprit...average of the two ratings, but to be brutally honest I wouldn’t buy this in bottles again, and this sample was fairly fresh.
Kaya161 (1128) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 18, 2001
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
I don’t really agree with the others on this one. In fact this was largely a dissapointment compared to this brewery’s other fine offerings. A good beer, yes, a McNeill’s classic, no.
SNIAT (120) - Passaic, New Jersey, USA - JUL 30, 2001
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
One of my favorite beers (and Michael Jackson’s to!).
canary dog (701) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - JUL 14, 2001
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I’m not a huge fan of brown ale, but I decided to try this offering from the best brewer in Vt. The best brown ale I have had. Creamy head, tawny body, and fierce little bubbles. A bit hoppier than most browns, but that’s just fine with me. Standard brown/bark flavor found in good brown ales, followed by a nice dry finish. McNeill’s rocks.