Steak (124) - New York, USA - AUG 29, 2002
Good hoppy aroma that is remiscent of so many other brews from the Northeast. I am not good enough to distinguish which type of hops they are, but the aroma is one that I’ve smelled before. This beer has a great thick body and just the perfect amount of bitter bite in the finish. It’s just it seems so one-dimensional as I really didn’t notice any profound balancing of different tastes. There’s just the malts and the hops, simple as that. It’s quite good, and better than many other beers, but not of the highest echelon. Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - MAY 13, 2002
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
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 (4951) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - APR 19, 2002
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.
Kaya161 (1139) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 18, 2001
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.
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
One of my favorite beers (and Michael Jackson’s to!). canary dog (766) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - JUL 14, 2001
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.