RATINGS: 86   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.42/5   SEASONAL: Winter   ABV: -
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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
muzzlehatch (4922) - 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.

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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kaya161 (1139) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 18, 2001
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
SNIAT (120) - Passaic, New Jersey, USA - JUL 30, 2001
One of my favorite beers (and Michael Jackson’s to!).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
canary dog (760) - 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.

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