McNeill's Dead Horse IPA - McNeill's Brewery

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McNeill's Dead Horse IPAMcNeill's Dead Horse IPA

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189 Ratings

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Ratings: 189
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 10-29-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 118
Reviews by jermar:
Photo of jermar
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting take on an IPA. Very fruity tasting, almost like #9, with the fruit coming from the malt not the hops.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the establishment last Wed. night,poured from the cask a lighter amber with a thin but well sustained head,English hop aromas somewhat leafy and floral with a bit of sweet malt intertwined.Pretty balanced IPA again the hop presence if leafy with a bit of citrus a firm sweeter malt base holds up to the hops through to the finish.Not bad it wont bowl you over with hops but its not bad.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gary's in Portsmouth has started carrying some McNeill's beers. So far I've had two IPAs and the porter. I hope they'll be getting more, because I'm liking this brewery and my likelihood of getting to Brattleboro is not great. In a pint glass this beer was a hazy amber color with a medium off-white head. It had a pronounced malt aroma and was also somewhat floral. Citrus, pine, and malt were all present in the taste. I thought this beer was well-balanced, and a nice example of an English IPA.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Saw this bomber and it caught my eye becaue I've never seen it before, so I picked it up.

Pours a cloudy orange/amber color with a small off-white head that fades away quickly. Smells mainly of citrus and grapefruit aromas and a stiff maltiness in there as well. Taste is of aspirin-like astringent hops, and some sweet malts, kind of weak though. I'm guessing this beer is kind of old as well. It seems almost flat...very little carbonation and pretty thick mouthfeel. The flavor ends very sharp with bitterness but doesnt stick around for too long. Alcohol is fairly detectable as well in the taste. Very balanced anyways. Not bad, not great either. But like I said, this beer is definitely old.

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a “best before last day of” freshness date on the side of the label, funny little pic of a dead horse and buzzard on the front. Good amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: The foaming action is a treat! Lots of stickage and the head stays while the beer is there. A dark reddish orange unfiltered beauty.

Smell: The aroma is lively and jumping around with alcoholic esters, pungent and woody hop and a coarse mix of malt and yeast.

Taste: Full in the mouth from a lush and creamy malt built palate, bottle conditioned carbonation and solid medium body. It raw baby … Yeah! Fruity and pungent from both the hops and fruity esters. A touch buttery under the layered maltiness. Bitterness from the hops is more than sufficient with woody and oil undertones. Yeast is quite perceivable with lots of mineral and chalky nutty flavours. Finish with a lot of residual flavour as well as some sweetness.

Notes: This is a balls to the wall English style IPA, perhaps they brewed something like this back in the day. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned for your tasting pleasure and it was certainly a pleasure for my taste buds.

Photo of Billolick
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle with freshness indicator notched onto the label. Pours into my Leffe challis with a rich almond amber tone, murky and cloudy, fine bubble film develops after the slim off white head dissipates. This one leaves alot of nicely striated and well dispersed lacing. Nose is mildly of soft hops and yeasty dough. Hoppy brew, but not overly bitter or harsh on the flavor receptors. English style all the way. The bottle I sampled was fairly fresh, the hops were well represented and flavorful. Malt is the also nicely in evidence, the result is a balanced, flavorful brew. Quite dry in the finish. Nice EIPA, get a fresh bottle and enjoy it.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy amber with a slight amber tint under a 1” off-white foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Bread, caramel and fruit in the aroma with citrusy hops.
T: Biscuit with a little caramel finishes dry with a slight astringency and some earthy, spicy bitter and a slight dose of pepper.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: A full flavored English Indian Pale Ale.

Photo of far333
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber honey color, with some reddish hues coming through. White foamy bubbles sit atop, but I wouldn't call it a head. Spotty lacing down the glass. Aroma is of malt and hops, somewhat sweet, a little fruity. Mouthfeel is watery, with low carbonation. Taste is an even mix of malt and hops, with a bitter finish, like biting into an orange peel. A bit of smoke comes through as well. Lingering pine and citrus sticks in the back of the throat. Not my favorite from this brewer.

Photo of Soonami
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had McNeill's Dead Horse IPA on-tap at Local 44 last night and I had not heard of the beer or brewery so I asked the barman for his opinion and he said it was good, so I tried it. The beer looked like a paler IPA, which is nice after a meal and a couple beers because usually these beers are better attenuated and less sweet. In the aroma, I picked up some herbal hops and a graham cracker maltiness. The beer was thin on the palate and the malt character was not as complex or developed as I would like. The hops served primarily to bitter but did not provide the amount of aroma or flavor that is found in the better IPA's, though it was very easy to finish off the pint at the end of the night.

I did not know that Dead Horse IPA was an English IPA when I ordered, and only found now here on BA. I think that this beer could use a more complex and larger grain bill and hop profile, either to make it more like the english or American versions of an IPA. To me, it seems more like a standard Pale Ale.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this many times at Mcneill's and in the bottle, but not cask conditioned. So here it goes...

This comes out looking like the creamiest IPA I've ever seen, the head is a creamy, sticky white 1" looker that reminds me of a Guiness. a golden blonde color with very low's really smooth looking.

The nose has a mild, tangy fruits, some pineapple with pine-tree resin, but very sublte. Cream of wheat also comes to mind.

The flavor is strange, with a light wheatie malt and dull hop effect. I'm not sure I really enjoy this IPA cask conditioned. The hop flavors are very dull, with some slight fruits, mostly starfruit and pineapple. It's very herbal, almost earthy but the smoothness really nulifies it's IPA-ness.

The feel is heavy and very smooth, no...creamy is a better word. I like my IPA's crispy, light with a decent bite.

Very interesting, if you love cask, you might dig this one, but it's hardly an IPA to me.

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cross between an English and an American style IPA, very well done with good bitterness prominent. The malt serves to generate a proper level of bitterness, I think most enjoyed with heavier food. Fresh bottle from recent Vermont trip and carbonation, while suitable, bloated me to no end. Different and recommended, I would like this on cask.
Had two years later and just as good or better. More sutable carbonation.

Photo of blaje
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was really looking forward to taste my first McNeill's beer. As the brewpub is famous, I was expected a lot from that drink. I was a bit worry to because I never really like bottled beer that were thought to be cask conditioned and served on tap...

as expected, right form the begining, I was disapointed. Sh*t! Poured orange and very hazy. The glass was looking frosty because there was so many yeast in suspension. This is certainly due to the fact the my bottle was lying on it's side in the fridge before serving. high carbonation. A loud pichhhht was eared on the opening, loud enough the I was afraid to have a contaminated bottle.

Mouthfeel is disapointing for me. I was expecteing something creamier. I got something highly carbonated and very yeasty. Lot's of spices. Corriander, peper, orange peel, a bit of mint and earth.

i would skip this one if served in a bottle but I'll certainly give it a try on tap. This one would greatly benificiate a second try, from a cask this time! Expect a second review in the future.

Photo of mikey711
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed slightly above cellar tempurature.

A: Nice orange color, slightly cloudy with some sediment. The head was a bit of a gusher but the lace was good.

S: Crisp herbal smell of fresh cut grass a bit of pine. Also a little bit of caramel in the background.

T: Nice pininess and a bit of crisp herbalness too, There is also a little but of flowery lemon that is a little soapy tasting. The malt provides just enough sweetness to balance it out

M:A bit light in terms of body with some creaminess.

D: I could definitely have a whole bomber myself with no problem but i probably wouldnt want to

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange color, with a decent head. Hops, hops and more hops. They blast your senses from the opening sip to the last keptchap whacked drop from the bottle. The hops were not overwhelming, but rather delightful. A real man's beer, hearty and bold.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed on July 22, 2006. 22 Oz Bottle. Aroma is a light misty dry hop, as of a barleywine profile. Profusive tanned fruits. Delicate. Pour of heavily clouded rich amber sienna, fogged with orange bursts of yeasts and hints of caramel. Bold tawny bowling over foamy head. Flavor is a magnificient run of malts and gentle fruit hops. It’s like a wateredown barleywine, but not in a bad way. Flavor is an amalgamation of rich spice fruit, some bold yeast character and an astringent east meets west battle of the hops. Delectable and soothing. Some very light distant aged qualites, dancing with sherried persimmon and oxidized grain. This lends maturity and sophisitication. The malt is excellently constructed in this beer and that’s what really shines. It also beams of balance, which I heavily appreciate. Smack is heavy of hearty hops resins and fleeting pipe tobacco. I can see why traditional american IPA lovers wouldn’t like. It’s not the typical clean, sweet west coast hop heavy animal that so many are. But, this is different. Better and far above, with more character than any other IPA can usually muster.

Photo of schemb
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The mark of a great creation is its individuality. Dead Horse doesn't really taste like any another beer. Bits and pieces ring a bell: The
addictive scotch tape (mmmm, office supplies) quality of a good John Courage or Double Diamond on draft, the awesome balance and compelling tealike taste of Fullers ESB. All in all it just tastes like itself with the scale tipped a bit towards bitterness.This is one of the most unique and drinkable beers out there...but beware I have had more than one bad tap experience. It can vary greatly in in flavor and quality (like many beauties maybe it doesn't age well). I've sent a few back convinced I had the wrong beer but last Sat. at Redbones I knew it was the right one but I kept on needing more proof.

Photo of edchicma
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good offering from McNeill's. Nice copper cloudy appearance with minimal head, but some lacing. Earthy and floral hops notes that are very nice. Taste had a citus hint and the finish kicked in a very nice hop bite. Mouthfeel was rounded and finish was dry. Drinkability was very good, considering the hop bite. If you like a nice hoppy finish this is worth a try.

Photo of Goldorak
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured down a nice dark orange/red, and was quite opaque, with some sediment. Little or no head to speak of, even after twirling the glass around you barely got nothing.

Had a faint citrusy smell, with a mild sweetness in the end that reminds me of concord grapes.

The first few sips has a nice sharp hop bitterness, but as the pint goes down the sweetness of the malt starts to shine through. I really liked this brew at the pub, and the bottled version didn't disappoint either.

Photo of mydeadguy
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber with plenty of sediment.

Poured a decidely hazy orange brown with plenty of carbonation, and the head is built to last. It's huge and stiff head leaves plenty of sticky lace.
Aroma is lively with floral hops and sticky hop oils, alcoholic notes and fruity hints.
Taste is smooth and heavy, with tons of hops, a strong malt presence that is interspersed with friuty , citric qualities. Yeast is everpresent lending an earthy taste. Nice bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is full and round, a real healthy, smooth & strong presence on the palate.
Drinkable, oh, don't get me started.. This is really a beautiful brew, well rounded and oh so tasty.

Photo of OatmattStout
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber/orange color with a decent head and a little lacing. There was not much of a hoppy nose on this IPA but di detect some malty and bready notes. Nice thick and smooth mouthfeel with lite carbonation of tiny bubbles. Hop flavors were real nice with a somewhat mellowover all but left you with a strong presence in the after taste. Really nice bite to the hops anda nice grapefruit rind tart finish. Had some good chewy toasted grain and biscuit flavors in the malt.

Photo of puboflyons
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 1 pint. 6 fl. oz. bottle with a July-August notched off expiration date. Sampled on July 8, 2009. It pours a cloudy amber-orange tone with a frothy tan head that remains foamy and frothy through the sampling. The aroma is more like yeast, spices, and malts and the hops seem almost secondary, espcially as I am sampling an IPA. But the flavor tells a different story. The floral hops are omnipresent with every sip. A nice surprise.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Burnt autumn orange coloring with a heavy show of effervesce within. The head is a good size, with a mushroom like structure, light beige in color while displaying a very good retention rate.

S: After a good visually, the aroma seems rather lackluster in comparison as well lacking by style. Some fresh wet grass mingles with a light toasted grain base that was more on par with a amber rather a ipa. Even after much agitation I failed to get any real sense of hoppiness. I later found out this was classified as a english style and not american style.

T: Sweet toasty grains with a bit more show of hops then the nose led on. Pine with a warming flowery hoppiness of light to medium strength, maybe more so of a assertive pale, but offers some redemption, especially upon warming where the hops become more pronounced.

M: Active carbonation, malty medium base with some creaminess. More in show of bittery flowery hops come on the swallow aiding in a last minute redemption.

O: With exception of the nose, an adequate ipa with moderate drinking results. Wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend, or buy again, but wouldn’t discourage for the english drinking ipa fan.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More McNeill's, courtesy of Coop in Lebanon, NH.

A: The EIPA is golden, a coppery brew with a few bright spots near the base of the glass. A huge, and I mean huge, head accompanies the pour, filling 2/3 of the glass with dense cragy foam. Plenty of lace follows.

S: Floral citric hops alongside biscuity malts. A nice combination that has a hop profile closer to the American IPA side of the fence.

T: Toffee and biscuit flavors drive the malty side of the IPA. The bready chewiness supports a rich hop profile that doesn't ignore its English heritage. Citrusy and floral, the hops have a very pleasant edge. The bitterness has orange flavors, softening the bite. The mix of orange hops and toffee grains is very nice. The mild bitterness mixing with sweetness. The tangy sweetness keeps me coming back.

M: The biscuity malts and sweet floral hops are a nice pairing, drinkable without getting too strong. A well-balanced beer is always welcome here.

D: A nice ale, chewy and hoppy without going overboard on either side. And another beer to check off in my Michael Jackson book.

Photo of SickGnar
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Mildly hazey, orangey copper. Lots of active bubbles rising to a large, vaguely light sherbet hued cap of foam. Very good retention. Quite decent lace. Second pour from bomber is a bit more hazey and has a few floaties.

S: Floral, earthy, & citrusy hops. Malts are toasty & biscuity with touches of diacetyl and caramel. Rather lacking in heft – particularly for hops. Some more esters come out as it warms, aas does some more buttery caramel and a hint more malts.

T: Earthy & spicy hops on the front end. Resin and herbal on the back nine. Barely there hints of citrus fade in and out. Bitterness is more firm than character, but both are substantial. Hops give a bit of a coarse impression. Malts are biscuity / crackery / toasty in a dry way. Just a bit of Crystal 40 character, but minimal sweetness. Ghost hint of roast in the finish. Very light diacetyl and esters hover in the background. Pretty well attenuated. Secong pour from bomber yields a bready yeast note. It is also warmer with increased English character from esters & buttery toffee – plus malts are more rounded out.

M: Under medium body with CO2 quite a bit over-matched. Carbonation & firm hops on the sort of thin base give a dry raspy feel. Just enough texture from tannins & a few dextrins to keep it from being too harsh.

D: A bit rustic in hop character, look, and feel. Minimal caramelly, malty, richness for an English IPA. Sort of leaning a bit to an ESB or a big pale. Definitely English in character. I would like more umph from the hops and more richness to the malts. But, all said and done, This one is alright. Serve it on the warmer side though.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy caramel color ale with a nice thick foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of light bitter hops with light floral undertones with a rich caramel malt base. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some floral and lightly bitter hops with a rich caramel mal bill with just enough sweetness to balance the hops profile. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. I understand this is not an IPA for hophead but the malt bill is quite incredible and I would love to have this more often.

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McNeill's Dead Horse IPA from McNeill's Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.