Firemoose15 (567) - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2006
Well I guess there’s not much too say that hasn’t been said, so I’ll say that overall I like Mcneill’s brews. This one not so much. Aroma has a funky smoke to it, oh yeah this bottle is from last christmas, so I have no idea how much older it may be. Poured a dark hazened yellow. Flavor is grainy to me. Palate isn’t anything to complain about this just wasn’t for me. Maybe I’ll crack that imperial stout soon. frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 28, 2006
Slighlty hazy amber color, with a small ring of a head. Burnt plastic aroma with notes of plums. Grassy bitter flavor, with grainy, cereal-like malts. Not my cup of tea. rudolf (2360) - Buffalo, New York, USA - APR 10, 2006
Thanks to Frylock for this one. Orangey copper body, thin tan head. Nose is kind of plasticy - some orange & lemon. Very boozy - cereal, lemon, orange, caramel. Doughy bready finish. Very grassy. Sregnar35 (1032) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - MAR 27, 2006
Big time drain pour. Aroma wasn’t bad, very citrusy. Pooked nice, cloudy of course. Flavor was obnoxiously strong citrus and soap, like rotten fruit dish soap. Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - JAN 31, 2006
Pours amber with a thin rim of white bubbles. Smells of citrus and some sugar. Taste is very citrussy with some caramel on the finish.
egajdzis (6692) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 22, 2006
Poured an amber color with a thin, off white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel malts, light citrus and metal. Taste is much better. Some grains, sweet caramel malts, dough, some citrus, light bitterness, and a dry finish. freekyp (2387) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - JAN 14, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2008 22 oz bottle direct from the brewery. Dark amber with a slight, quickly dissipating, white head. Aroma is is dusty, kind of like basement mold. Clean and well balanced with a slight rise in hops at the finish turning to a long moderately lingering bitterness. Drying finish. Decent, but not nearly of the caliber of other McNeil’s brews. BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JAN 4, 2006
22oz bottle: Pours to a slightly hazy light-medium amber body with a small light beige head. Shines light copper when held to the light. Aroma is light grain, mild fruit, a hint of yeast, and a very light dough. Taste is light grain, wet sweaty grains, a hint of lemon, yeast, pale malt, and light hints of salty water and bready malt. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, finishes with a hint of good grains, floral/grassy hops, and a bare hint of citrus. Excellent mouthfeel and body, no off flavors whatsoever. No sourness anywhere in my sample. platzap (5) - Georgia, USA - DEC 24, 2005 does not count
22 oz bottle direct from the brewery - this version is NOT the bottle-conditioned version that has received some rather negative reviews below. Color is clear light amber and there is appropriate carbonation though head retention is minimal. Aroma is minimal, and clean appropriate for style. What really stands out in this beer is the solid malt backbone that is really deliciously grainy, with a very slight sweetness. Hops are there minimally for balance not for show. The bottom line: this is a very well crafted Vienna Lager, not an easy style to pull off as there are no huge IBU’s or dark malts to hide behind. I realize that the bulk of Ratebeerians are hopheads or highgrav freaks, and might care less for a "mild" style such as this, but from what I hear the folks of Brattleboro have embraced Pay Day as a session beer worthy of your attention. The high drinkability of this beer might lend itself to serve as an intro microbeer for somebody
who has never had anything more exciting than a Bass Ale. It is unfortunate that from the negative reviews I have read, the initially unfiltered bottle-conditioned version of the beer had an aggressive yeasty assertion that must have overpowered the subtle beauty of this beer. DarkElf (3066) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 20, 2005
(22 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with jjpm74, thanks John!) McNeill’s beers have a very short shelf life in my experience, so as soon as I got this beer in trade, I put it in the refrigerator in a brown paper bag to keep the fridge light from impacting the beer, and now I’m drinking it five days later. That’s about the best I can do in a trade. Having stated this, I’m hoping the mild to moderate sourness is intended because it’s not very subtle. It seems more like a sourdough type of sourness rather than a citrusy one, and though it’s not exactly enjoyable, it doesn’t make this beer an instant drainpour either. Still, there isn’t too much behind the sourness, which is why it’s so apparent. The mildly flavorful malt base seems very grainy and husky with just a hint of smokiness in the finish, and there is only a modest amount of hops for very gentle bitterness. Far in the background is a light sweetness that seems vaguely fruity, though no specific fruit jumps out at me. The nose is far from aromatic, with just a modest graininess and slight tartness. Body is light-medium and carbonation is fairly low, but the sourness at least keeps the palate refreshed. Orange amber in color and fairly cloudy in appearance, but there is enough translucence to see that there are no carbonation bubbles rising through the beer. No surprise there since there was barely a wimper when I popped the cap, and pouring the beer, I could only muster a thin filmy layer of "head". That film has of course long since disappeared and there is barely a ring around the edge now. Lacing is nothing more than a few sporadic spots. I wish I could say I enjoyed drinking this beer, but all in all, it’s just not very good. Maybe if it were less sour, it would be better, but even then, I still don’t think I’d enjoy it.