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McNeill's Champ Ale - McNeill's Brewery

Not Rated.
McNeill's Champ AleMcNeill's Champ Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Champ Ale is a West Coast style pale ale. Also somewhat citrusy, it has notes of concord grapes both in the flavor and the nose. Made from a blend of British and domestic malts, it has a light red or pale rose color and very high drinkability.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-17-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dwarbi:
Photo of dwarbi
dwarbi

New York

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

Truly a beautiful ale! Frothy white head. It sticks around for a while. I think I could take this head out and play with it. Maybe mold it into my own likeness. Hazy beer. Golden amber. Smells nice, but not powerful enough. Tastes chunky. A little bitter. In your face, but with a gentle finish. Interesting mouthfeel. A bit of a bitter aftertaste. I like it. Very drinkable, this beer definitely keeps my interest.

07-10-2003 17:37:55 | More by dwarbi
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +9.9%

Poured into an imperial pint glass a hazed light copper color with a thinner white head atop a few chunks and floaties swirling when I got to the bottom of the bottle,nice subtle aromas some floral/citric hop along with biscuit malt a nice even mix.It sorta reminds me of an old school craft American pale ale it has a healthy dose of citrusy,resiny hop but a firm slightly caramel malt base hold up through to the finish.A solid pale its food friendly and has enough subtle complexity to keep me wanting more.

10-13-2007 17:55:18 | More by oberon
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

This nice APA was a hazy orange color with a thick white head that retained well. It had a citrus aroma, and an outdoorsy scent. Grapefruit taste, not much in the way of malt. A crisp beer, a little too carbonated for me, but would still drink it again.

11-01-2009 12:35:00 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -1.1%

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle. Another story on a label. This time a jester is juggling some beers and taming a dragon. Ah, the power of beer. No freshness date.

Appearance: Light amber with a hearty white head.

Smell: Slight malt, and a delicate perfuming of hop aroma.

Taste: Dry bitterness upfront, mellowing with a touch of malt sweetness and toasted grain.

Notes: A full flavoured brew with great balance. A very drinkable session style beer.

02-17-1998 00:00:01 | More by Todd
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Amber, white head. For once the label was on fairly straight and almost entirely glued.

Nose of citric hop and toasty malt. Carries through in the flavor, with a bit of sweetness in the middle and a firm bitterness in the finish to go along with the grapefruity hop flavors. A decent brew in bottle, probably great on a hot day, but if they have it on cask at the brewery, try it - it's huge.

10-15-2002 20:31:43 | More by sponberg
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

$3.99 for the bomber @ the Brattleboro, VT. Food Coop.

"Best before last day of" dating on bottom of the label, nice info for the consumer.

Pours cloudy typical amber, looser off white head that stays then goes to to a frothy foam/film and better then decent lacing.

Gritty & citric, moderatly pungent hop nose.

Respectable APA, moderate cascade infused hop package, flowing over a nice malty base. Fairly balanced, but enough hops for respectability.

Decent every day APA, perhaps a bit thin mouthfeel wise and lacks the depth of flavors to challange the all stars of the style.

01-19-2011 03:18:12 | More by Billolick
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +4.4%

Champ Ale begins with a rich, malty nose, full of caramelized brown sugars, lychee nut, hints of chocolate malt and milk chocolate, and a good counter of rosewater hops.

On the tongue, the beer starts off slow, with a grape-like flavor mixed in with caramelized brown sugars, then moves to more light fruit esters, including apricot, orange, and berry. These lighter textures are soon joined by a good undercurrent of toasted grains, adding a biscuit/cereal base. Hops are very faint here, noticeable not so much because of their flavor (though they do nicely balance the sugars) but from the tingling they leave on the tongue and soft palate. The aftertaste is a mixture of nicely toasted grains and light pine notes from the hops, and lingers for quite a while. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium to medium-heavy.

Overall, this is good fare, and some lovely citrus and fruit flavors play around on the tastebuds.

08-03-2011 02:56:54 | More by jondeelee
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +10.5%

22 oz bomber purchased at North end Market in Brattleboro, VT.

AP: Golden hued amber, very active(good to see) nice 1" tall, foamy head, good retention, Nice legs too!

Nose: Ultra sweet hops, fruity and mildly citrusy.

Taste: A tasty, tart and slightly fruity hop taste dominates. A mild malt flavor appears then finishes with a nice leafy-hopped bite.

Mf: Medium body, feels rather thick but displayes plenty of bubbles and has a big fresh bite. The constant foamy head gives it a nice added smooth feel.

DA: Mmmm...

10-19-2006 14:46:15 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +10.5%

A solid drinkable pale. Enough C hops to give off a citrus smell, great big creamy long-lasting head. Well malted, good with lunch. Citrus taste and aftertaste dominated. Not too bitter so was popular.Good amount of hops. Middling mouthfeel. Well done.

01-22-2006 04:02:26 | More by Sammy
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

3.7/5  rDev +2.2%

A lightly cloudy golden honey with a prodigious shaving cream sticky head. Retention is quite good and the glass is well decorated as I drink. Lots of yeast suspended but not much carbonation.

Smell has an orangey note with citrusy hops and a caramel malt base. A bit of yeasty bread.

Taste is sourdough bread malty with grapefruity sharp hops. A light spiciness and a return of sourness, this time gently tannic in nature. Finish is dry and firmly bitter. Lots of grapefruit skin and a light malt lingering in the mouth. Feel is finely carbonated in a lightly tingly way and somewhat crisp. Weight is moderate.

Quite quaffable. A nice one with dinner ( fish sticks, asparagus, garlic mashed, and lentil pilaf this evening ). Good for a ball game.

Thanks to The Rowan for this Vermont treat.

11-13-2009 01:31:08 | More by scootny
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
FLAbeergutinMASS

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Bomber purchased from the brewery with no freshness date. Seemed to have many bottles on hand, so I figured they must go through a lot of it. I can see how.

Should be considered an EPA. Very bland in color. Nice lacing. most likely due to its freshness?!?!?!?!

Peachy clean taste. For an EPA (which is what it is) has a fair amount of bitterness that accompanies it.

First McNeil’s beer I've "officially" reviewed. Craft yes, good yes, try again? Yes. Average at best.

10-16-2005 03:25:41 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of Goldorak
Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +3%

Appearance: Translucent and orangey golden, with only a ring of lace.

Smell: Clover honey and grapefruit hops. Good stuff.

Taste: Very well balanced. Sweet malt cascades into a light hop bitterness. Low carbonation makes this creamy smooth and very drinkable. APAs like this are rare in my neck of the woods, so I enjoy them when I have the chance.

03-23-2005 01:08:02 | More by Goldorak
Photo of Hagbard
Hagbard

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a cloudy deep golden color with some reddish highlights. The beer is not transparent. A thin, soapy, white head forms. The aroma is subtle with a hoppy presence. Slightly fruity. Thankfully, there is more to the taste than their is to the aroma. The taste is very hoppy up front. Immediately a bitterness asserts itself with a florally background. The bitterness mellows a bit allowing some citrus juiciness to assert itself. This beer is seriously hoppy. Much more strongly hopped than most of the more mainstream, tamer IPAs. In fact, without knowing better, I would have assumed this was an IPA. I really like this beer as it has some really nice hop flavor, however it isn't something I would grab when looking for a nice mellow pale ale. If I'm looking for hops...bring it on!

10-04-2005 12:07:42 | More by Hagbard
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -6.1%

From the 1 pint 6 fl. oz. bottle with the date clipped at February on the label without a year listed. Sampled on December 28, 2009. It pours a cloudy copper yellow with an overwhelming and long lasting puffy cream head. The aroma is strong on yeast, the sign of an unfiltered brew. There are some clean hops lingering around the background a bit. The mouthfeel tends to be thin to medium. A tart and sour taste that leaves an aftertaste that was unappealing to me. I guess I have a hard time giving it as high a rating as previous raters.

12-29-2009 01:05:29 | More by puboflyons
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +5%

A 650 ml bomber from the Lebanon, NH Coop.

A: The APA is a pale amber color, like watered down iced tea. Translucent, the ale sits under a white head of nearly half a finger.

S: The nose is grainy, a toasted bisctui aroma that covers up any sign of hoppiness. Mild citrus wafts out after some searching.

T: Biscuity toffee flavors rule the day, a much maltier ale. Tea flavors run alongside the grains, a sweet body that covers up most of its hoppiness. What's there is citrusy and very faint. Not a malt-bomb, just one that is very focused on its own breadiness.

M: The breadiness of the APA is nice, a rich landscape of toffee and biscuit. A little more in the way of hops would really help though.

D: Another solid beer from McNeills. All the horror stories that I've hear are fading away as I sip my way through their line-up.

01-16-2011 21:00:36 | More by akorsak
Photo of Bluegrass49
Bluegrass49

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

08-11-2014 02:27:38 | More by Bluegrass49
Photo of LJWalker
LJWalker

Alabama

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

12-01-2013 16:36:12 | More by LJWalker
Photo of nebula1999
nebula1999

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

08-10-2014 01:06:49 | More by nebula1999
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -8.8%

Another gem from McNeil's. I have really been plowing through their lineup lately to say the least. I think this is the 6th or so I have had and I have one more left for tonight. Split with my brother in law over dinner, this one was consumed on 10/13/2009.
 
The pour was fairly nice I have to say. Nice golden amber in color with a good three inch head that quickly collapsed on itself and left behind only token amounts of lacing but kept a good bit of carbonation working up from the bottom of the glass throughout to make sure you kept yourself interested. Light aroma, hints of dry citrus notes, grapefruit maybe? A touch of light pineapple and a good bit of grain to balance it out. As I reach in to take a sip it just leaves me looking for a little bit more. It is nice and clean, crisp, dry and with a good hop kick right up front I would have just wanted a touch more to go on for me. Starts with a nice dose of grapefruit and light  orange flavor that quickly blends in with a bready taste and a nice touch of light grain. But then it just kind of all muddles and fades into one another and never really comes back to where it needs to be. Clean and dry finish and nothing really terribly heavy about it, but I was really just looking for that one more little punch to make this one excellent.
 
Overall a solid, seasonable and workable pale ale, but I just wanted a little bit more out of it. Would not turn it down but it needs a little work. Still good though.
 

10-14-2009 18:46:26 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of sammy806
sammy806

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

07-03-2013 03:41:16 | More by sammy806
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

05-11-2013 16:53:15 | More by metter98
Photo of Noelito76
Noelito76

New York

2.75/5  rDev -24%

12-25-2013 15:19:38 | More by Noelito76
Photo of erosier
erosier

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

L: Pours a golden orange color with a small and almost non-existent head white head that leaves little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet malts, nice floral and some citrisy hops as well.
T: Tastes like the nose - very nice sweet malty base, and then a big citrisy/floral hop flavor at the end.
M: Smooth, refreshing, but it seemed a bit raw. Nice flavors though.
D: Pretty drinkable, I enjoyed this one alot.

11-22-2008 13:55:40 | More by erosier
Photo of marc77
marc77

California

3.78/5  rDev +4.4%

Copper hue with a light haze. Well retained ivory white, lofty, dense head leaves lace. Mellow citrus of a ripe tangerine and pink grapefruit dominates the aroma. Secondary are light caramel malt notes and a pine sap tinge as well. Understated, yet enticing aromawise. In flavor, incipient is a lightly acidic, sweetened lemon twang. It is promptly complemented by stately, orange rind bitterness and vibrant orange zest notes. Bready pale malt hints surface as the beer warms, but there is meager outright malt character overall. Vitrually bereft of yeast presence, save a trace persistent tartness. Lightly bodied, perhaps overly so, with a passably dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes with a brief surge of hop bitterness and lingering clementine hints, which whet the palate for more. In terms of hop flavor, this is perhaps the most purely sweet orange laden APA I've had, having little of the stylistically ubiquitous grapefruit or pine notes. Well balanced and soft overall. With a more pronounced malt backbone this would be excellent. Very tasty, nonetheless, and certainly better than OJ. Thanks to Mikeys01 for the bottle!

05-10-2004 00:28:19 | More by marc77
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -11.6%

22ozer from Brattleboro Co-Op, Brattleboro, VT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" eggshell head over a cloudy golden amber brew. Uneven head lasts reasonably, with great lacing. Slightly sweet aroma with citrus notes. Very earthy taste upfront (not so much in a good way), with expected hops character. Mouthfeel and drinkability were both affected by what I perceived as off flavors in the taste. Disappointing, since the appearance and nose were so promising. Will have to revisit and verify.

01-09-2005 21:45:00 | More by ppoitras
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McNeill's Champ Ale from McNeill's Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.