RATINGS: 17   MEAN: 2.38/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.41/5   ABV: -
Seasonal unfiltered and bottle conditioned. Available in 22 oz bottless.

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Sammy (12491) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 20, 2005
demonstrates skill in an underappreciated style. It was still fresh and very popular with my drinking mates, finishing a 750 ml. Yeasty aroma. CLoudy unfiltered look, good head, lace. well malted and smooth creamy mouthfeel, though metallic in finish.-after all it is a lager.

CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 1, 2005
Pours a hazy copper orange with a thin white ring of foam. Has some mild citrus and caramel malty aroma. Starts with some full dry bittersweet maltiness with a touch of tartness and earthy hops. I had no idea what this was supposed to be before I drank it (nor did I know how it was rated) and I really don’t think it’s as bad as these ratings suggest. An interesting brew. Doesn’t really fit any specific style though.

ClarkVV (6821) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 13, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2006 2005 bomber shared with Muzzlehatch on 11/4/05. Appears a lightly hazy peach-copper. Small off-white head immediately recedes to cover. Smells of grainy-grains (ya, I know, sorry), light sourness and acidic mash notes. Flavor begins sour, with melon notes, moderately acidic grains, very grainy texture, overly dry and far too attenuated, or just not extracted correctly. Yeast apparency is high, as usual for the brewer and there is a heavy sourdough breadiness on the end. I do tastes some light, floral hops. Mouthfeel shows lightly expansive carbonation. Light lacing is left on the glass. Just too much obnoxious yeast dryness. Papery on the end and now I can not find any more hops flavor. Peach and melon notes (very dry) take over. Light bitterness on the finish. Very light body, no alcohol apparency. Almost like it hasn’t been heated/boiled long enough (something off with the malt, anyways).

egajdzis (6672) - 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.

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.

muzzlehatch (4969) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 21, 2005
Draught sample at American Flatbread. The beer list said "McNeills Pay Day Vienna Lager" but that is so far from what I tasted that...well I’ll leave it at that for the moment. It pours a hazy gold, very light if it IS a Vienna...unfiltered, bit chunky, with a smooth head decaying to a wisp...strongly perfumy, grassy nose, with odd vinous characteristics as well, not necessarily unpleasant but strange...oh no, the body is loads of citrus and maybe some Saaz, fine if it stopped there but nope, grapy qualities come in, weird pungent spiciness, and a strong lactic spoiled quality to go with the lovely rusty iron in the finish. God knows what this is supposed to be, this sample is clearly bad; I will definitely check it out again when I get a bottle but as this brewery is usually much better on tap....all I can say at the moment is, trainwreck.

beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 14, 2005
Pours a cloudy orange color with a thin white head. Weak aroma of spices and caramel. Unpleasant flavor of spices, hops and caramel, there’s something gone wrong in there. The body is light and the carbonation low. It’s hard to believe that’s a McNeil ...

Eyedrinkale (3214) - Astoria, New York, USA - NOV 13, 2005
Bottle. Gold color with a small white head, Aroma is dry but fresh hops with some plastic (no pool toys though). Taste is almost repugnant, fruity with apricot and sweet/sour like chinese food. Horrible.

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.

freekyp (2363) - 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.

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