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McNeill's Champ Ale - McNeill's Brewery

McNeill's Champ AleMcNeill's Champ Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

53 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 12.88%


Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery visit their website
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: 53 | Reviews: 42 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by dwarbi:
Photo of dwarbi
dwarbi

New York

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2003 17:37:55 | More by dwarbi
More User Reviews:
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Hopstout

Minnesota

2/5  rDev -45.2%

01-29-2014 06:47:02 | More by Hopstout
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Noelito76

New York

2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

12-25-2013 15:19:38 | More by Noelito76
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LJWalker

Alabama

3.25/5  rDev -11%

12-01-2013 16:36:12 | More by LJWalker
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OriolesFan1008

Maryland

3/5  rDev -17.8%

07-06-2013 15:27:30 | More by OriolesFan1008
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sammy806

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

07-03-2013 03:41:16 | More by sammy806
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InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

05-27-2013 16:56:00 | More by InspectorBob
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Bandi

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +9.6%

05-18-2013 13:45:40 | More by Bandi
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metter98

New York

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

05-11-2013 16:53:15 | More by metter98
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noremac423


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

01-29-2013 02:34:37 | More by noremac423
Photo of firkinhophead
firkinhophead

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$4.99 from the Casual Pint in Knoxville. Bottle conditioned.

Pours cloudy, golden with a thick, fluffy head that rises up over the rik and takes a while to settle down. Clumpy, sticky lace.

Aroma is a strong suit. Sharp, yeasty notes of cheddar, apple, lemon, and biscuit. Floral hops.

Steely wheaty malts, citrus pith, vinous dry fruitiness, mild lemon soapyness.

Thin, slick mouthfeel like a wheat beer. Dry and a tad chaulky. Soft on the palate from the bottle conditioning.

Easy drinking, dry and subtle. A great summer ale that would pair well with bread, cheese and fruit. Drinks like a Saison without the spiciness. Would be great on cask. Perhaps a bit simple, but quite satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 02:59:22 | More by firkinhophead
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

09-30-2012 22:57:53 | More by jsprain1
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 ounce bottle.

A: Pours an amber/orange hue with a thick white head that is slow to settle. Lacing is decent, and carbonation is vigorous for the style.

S: Caramel and bready aromas up front, with piney, citrusy hop notes making up the better half. Some fruity aromas rise from beneath.

T: Very malt-forward up front. Caramel and honey, along with some fruity esters from yeast. Slight burnt grain notes lie in between. Hops come forward with citrus, grassy notes, and a slight medicinal bitterness on the finish.

Notes: Moderate in body with a very pleasant mouthfeel, and as the beer warms it becomes better. Rustic in flavor, combining the old world with the new. Flavor is there, but overall, the rest of the aspects are pretty basic. A good pale, although there are others that I would choose before it on a menu.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 08:13:11 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13

Pennsylvania

2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a fluted glass, color is pale copper, translucent, head is off white, very thick and dense, clings the glass well.

Smell is slightly off, bitternes is the there, but the sweet notes are not, hints of vinegar.

Taste starts out somewhat clean, light caramel sweet, but is caught up by some tartness, something is off, bitternes is there but not in a flavorful way.

Mouthfeel is balanced, the tartness is not lingering and the bitterness is the for a pale.

Overall, I don't like this as pale, it looks nice but does not followup; again an off beer from McNeill's, could be the freshness, could be the product and attention to quality, so far it has been 50/50.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 02:34:29 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of hoeg0015
hoeg0015

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +9.6%

11-15-2011 20:22:19 | More by hoeg0015
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the pub in Brattleboro this pale ale is a yellow-ish amber color with a thin white head but good cascading lace. The aroma is mild citrus hop with a bready, vaguely caramel idea. The taste buds pick up rye bread mixed in with the citrus bite, much like I noted in the cask ESB. There’s a nice grapefruit/lime taste that stays steady with a hempy, dusty, almost evergreen grain theme underneath it. The body is on the heavy side of light, with tasteful but delicate carbonation. Highly drinkable and a good choice for the beer lover at large.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2011 18:09:46 | More by Durge
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy watered down iced tea color (mild copper brown) with a 2 finger white crown that displays moderate retention and some lace.

Smell: English yeast, butter, toffee, slight fruity note, light hop presence.

Taste: Same as the nose but not as colorful. Might not be the freshest bottle so I'd like to revisit this one again.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied with ample crisp carbonation and a moderately soft crown.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 01:45:10 | More by koopa
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy light amber, with a quick to leave off white head that places a bit of lace, and settles to a lively skim.

Smell is yeasty tart, bready like an English bitter, and some floral and lemony citrus hop in a nose that is lighter side of medium strength.

It tastes like a bitter also, but with a tart edge, some caramel, then that English hop fade out herbal bitter at the end, here with some lemony/citrusy bitter added. This is an APA? The simple flavors combine in a balanced and delicious way, esp as it nears room temp.

Nice mouthfeel, very low carb., full bodied for style, and a long fairly clean finish. To nitpick there is just a bit of the lemon taste buildup on palate.

Drinkability, rated against others in style, suffers. Ten better in this style easily spring to mind.

Impression: Another well made McNeill's beer that is good, esp. for price, and tasty, yet not a standout.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 01:19:31 | More by cavedave
Photo of madjr80
madjr80

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought a 22 ounce bomber for 2.75, so it was not a bad deal. It is listed as an American pale ale, but it is not really true to the style. It has a funny yeasty/citrus tang to it. The color was a pale amber. The texture light with enough of carbonation; head retention is just about average(thin lace).A bit weaker on the hop than expected. Overall, not a bad decision, but a 22 ounce bomber is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 03:43:48 | More by madjr80
Photo of BeerNinja007
BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

2.63/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

22oz bomber was $3.69 at the Lebanon Co-op grocery. Label notched to indicate best before last day of February. No year is indicated, so this info is of minimal value. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

A: A rigorous pour gives 1" of off-white foamy head on top of a mostly-clear pale golden-yellow brew. Minimal lace.

S: Light tasty aroma of honey, apricot, green grapes, hay, florals.

T: Much more hoppy and dry than I expected from the smell. Mostly dominated by a big note of bitter orange and lemon, then some yeastiness. Barely any malt at all, far too bitter with no backbone. Finish turns a bit tropical, bitter pineapple or mango.

M: Dry, thin, a bit fizzy. Acidic and unrefined.

D: It has a good hoppy bite but lacks any balance with malt or sweetness. Fizzy hop water. Plus there's a complete disconnect between the smell and the taste, which are nothing alike. I'm not too interested in finishing this, it is a chore to drink. Dumped the rest.

A perusal of other reviews shows my experience to be atypical. I previously speculated that McNeill's may have problems with consistency/ reproducibility and this seems like even more evidence. Drink at your own risk. :/

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 01:14:17 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a good APA, not brilliant but good. The tartness of the beer really shines through as it settles in. The beer pours a really cloudy, dirty water, no make that filthy water light brown, with particulates mostly at the bottom of the glass. There is a decent creamy, slightly fizzy head, with some lacing. The nose imparts more hops than you will find in the taste. The nose is very enticing and it hints at a really well balanced beer with a nice bready malt underbelly.

The taste is good but doesn't quite live up to what the nose was leading to. There is a nice slighlty floral hop, maybe a bit of drying leafy hop, with some thick malts underneath. There is some herbal texture to the malts. The defining feature is the lemony, tartness that comes through on top of the hops. There is a slight acerbic quality to the beer and a bit of mouth puckering with this one. The beer has some body, and dries up in the finish. The lemony tartness overly predominate this beer. It's good, but not brilliant.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 00:45:43 | More by albern
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours light creamy and bubbly head. A hazy pale almost glowing wheat orange color.

N: Nose is quite nice and complex. It has some creamy malts, and a decent pale malt aroma. Hints of fruit and... grape?... and a nice hop aroma, with some grassy, chewy, and fruity hops.

T: Starts with a malty bite, some nice dark toasty malts, a really nice malt flavor actually. It then comes through with some light pale bitterness and some light grassy and spicy hop flavors. Those hop flavors are then followed with some fruity and juicy hops. More earthy malt flavors mingle. A slight citrus orange peel flavor comes through a little on the end, but isn't too bad yet.

M: Somewhat light body with good carbonation.

F: FInishes with a nice light pale bitterness that builds a bit, then adds more of the spicy hop quality and can be somewhat dry. Then it gets a somewhat unpleasant bitterness, like biting on an orange peel as that orange peel citrus flavor goes way over the top. Overall it's a nice pale ale, with some nice hop flavors, lighter fare, great malt flavors, and refreshing. The only real issue is that strong orange peel bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 02:30:25 | More by jlindros
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McNeill's Champ Ale from McNeill's Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.