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McNeill's Imperial Stout - McNeill's Brewery

Not Rated.
McNeill's Imperial StoutMcNeill's Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

52 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.83%
Wants: 12
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by pnkermiz:
Photo of pnkermiz
pnkermiz

New York

4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is it - the mother of all McNeill brews. Get your ass up to Brattleboro and buy six of these 22 oz bottles. Smile at, but don't hesitate beause of, the lo-fi punk rock xeroxed label, then shove these bottles under your old gym shorts at the bottom of your closet (shove gently, that is). Ignore for two years, then open and enjoy. You will. You will.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 01:40:27 | More by pnkermiz
More User Reviews:
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

I got this one awhile back from the man that bleeds orange...BeerTruth -the crowd goes wild-. This RIS gur..gur...gurgles from the bottle and presents itself with a black hole of a body. The head grew instantly to three fingers and took its sweet time settling down to a ridiculously thick meringue-like stack of two fingers. The mocha foam sticks to the glass like super glue, this glass will take copious amounts of hot water to get clean.

As my giant Dogfish Head snifter sits an arms length away from me I can smell the roastiness filling the air. When my nose enters the glass the roastiness is tempered by a unique aroma of berries and cream. Blueberries and blackberries to be exact with some of those being ripe and some green. The cream is soft and the roastiness brings along a hint of coffee. There's just enough of a clean booziness to tickle my nose without smelling in the least bit hot. Cocoa shows up here and there but never asserts itself enough to be appreciated.

Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards the aroma has set. The roastiness washes over the tongue and grows in intensity as it makes its way through. It actually peaks after the swallow in the back of the throat. The berriness that was so pleasant in the nose is tough to pull out on the tongue but the coffee comes back in the form of grounds. There's a touch of cocoa but only a sprinkling. This is a solid stout for sure but the nose left me with tall expectations.

The mouthfeel is were this brew falls a bit short and I believe that's what knocked the flavor down from where the aroma is located. This RIS is on the bubbly side, too bubbly in fact for my preference. The body feels like it has some heft and a nice slickness but the carbonation is a little too high to fully enjoy it. After some quality time in the glass the carbonation dies down to a more acceptable level but it does take some drinking time away.

This is an easy drinker for the style and abv. The excessive carbonation actually keeps this beer moving to the point of wanting another drink right after the first.

I've heard horror stories about McNeill's and their quality control. I was holding my breath when I cracked this brew over the sink but it was a beauty. I would love a few more bottles of this gem. Thanks for the treat Adam, if you grab any extras let me know!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 06:52:43 | More by joe1510
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, dark, dark. Nice head on overzealous pour. Sticky , clumpy lacing left behind. Large bubbled head.

S - Roasted, almost burnt, coffee, cocoa, a sharp acrid smell.

T - Not much sweetness. Very acrid, somewhat medicinal, overly carbed and off balanced bitter end. Left a nasty aftertaste

M - Funky. Maybe this bottle is off. Mostly carb, not much sweet, lots of off bitter finish.

D - Check, please.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 03:23:18 | More by srandycarter
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one in the Instant Gratification BIF, I think, if I am wrong I am sorry. But anyway I received this one recently and to be honest had never even heard of it before. I always appreciate getting a beer that I have never heard of, that always makes my day! So really nice looking twenty two ounce bottle that I let warm up a bit out of the fridge before decanting into a Terrapin Snifter.

Appearance - The pour was nice. A deep, thick, and very dark black. No light at all passing through this one at all. A decent sized, maybe one inch high of deep tan colored foam. Faded rather quickly and left behind a minimal amount of side glass lace. A nice coating though does appear on the sides of the glasses as you swirl it a bit.

Smell - The aroma was rich with bitter, dark, baker's chocolate and burnt coffee. Some hints of some alcohol notes, and a touch of cocoa. Some roasted malts sitting way in the back and as it warms some light hints of vanilla and molasses start to come up as well. Very nice, and a little bit heavy on the bitter notes.

Taste - The flavor was very interesting. Started out with a nice rush of cocoa and dark coffee like flavors. Somewhat astringent and very bitter, especially in the finish. Some alcohol notes were in here. Not sure the ABV on this one, but I have a feeling it was quite decent as there was a noticeable bit of bite to it. Some light vanilla flavor way in the back, and some light English like bittering hops mixed in. Nice dry finish capped it off well, really letting it come through nicely.

Mouthfeel - The feel was more laid back, and not as full and rich as you would have thought. But still, this was easily decent. I t thickened up a bit as you worked throughout.

Drinkability - Decent sipper for sure. A little heavy on the boozy side, but I still felt I had no issue with finishing this off. Wonderful texture as it warmed up.

Overall this was an excellent stout. Not my favorite that I have had, but still very solid and easily a good call. I love when something have heard little of before surprises me in a good way. I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 15:12:42 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to an ominous blackness filling the glass and letting no light through. Head is a milk chocolate colored creamy brick of a head standing 3 inches. Leaves considerable scattered lace as it fades. Nose is very zesty and vibrant, showing a bit of sweetness, soft smoke and meaty maltiness. An odd mix of smoked malt and sharp hop feel grace the tongue. This feel mellows on second sip as the beer shows much more smoothness. A long but even bitter feel develops on the back of the tongue. This resembles a bit of black coffee, bakers chocolate and smoked malt. The flavor of this beer is actually better at almost room tempature. Mouthfeel is a burnt bitter. Drinkability is nice.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 00:40:40 | More by SPLITGRIN
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WeisGuy

New York

3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to calsbeek for this bottle.

a - pours a deep and dark black, ruby around the edges, one-inch deep brown head, decent retention and good lacing

s - pretty sweet smelling, lots of dark fruit, plum, blueberry and blackberry, hints of dark chocolate and very light alcohol notes

t - big flavors of bitter chocolate up front, midpalate has a lot of the dark fruits, some cherry and blueberry, the finish is fairly bitter with dark chocolate and light alcohol

m - medium-to-full bodied, low carbonation, pretty dry on the finish, a little alcohol warming effect

d - fairly drinkable due to the lower alcohol presence relative to other big stouts, but the taste isn't really all that interesting and the finish is pretty dry

Good impy stout, but nothing spectacular. Nothing bad about this beer, just kind of unmemorable.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2008 01:23:03 | More by WeisGuy
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Stimack

New York

3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this brew in the fridge for a long time and finally decided to give it a try. Beer is heavy, as it has a slight thickness when I am pouring it. Huge dark tan head that seems to lighten over time, has great retention and leaves thick chunks of lace at the top of the glass and think rings down the side. The aroma is complex, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, espresso, dark fruit of plum and slight cherries? Also has a pronounced alcohol aroma to it. Has a taste that is similar to the aroma but not as complex. Hops come out here as I guess they where noticeable in the aroma but play a somewhat larger role here. Has a sweet feel to it and flavors of chocolate are strong along with coffee. Has a slight dry finish. All in all I like this brew, a little bigger brew than I am into lately but a very well done IS.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2008 17:43:47 | More by Stimack
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Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Vermonthiker. A good RIS other than it was berift of a head and was a bit sour. That sourness I have had before and was integrated into the taste experience, hardly noticeable later in the bottle as roasted barley and chocolate ruled. However it could also be indicative of some infection. Good mouthfeel, and damn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 03:38:17 | More by Sammy
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ampzilla

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a recent trip to Brattleboro with the sole purpose of grabbing this beer.
The (hand filled?) bottle was full almost up to the lip of the bottle. Poured into a 12oz. snifter, this beer looked the part. Black body, small light brown head which quickly retreated to trace lacing and a ring.
This beer smells great. Lots of fresh hop aroma and a bit of yeasty/malty in the background. A hint of sweet ethanol. Even some toffee as it warmed. Very impressive.
The taste not quite as complex as the nose, but still very nice. Slightly hop-forward with near equal amount of roasted bitterness. Almost a semi-dry finish that was quite enjoyable with the bitter profile.
The only real drawback was the somewhat thin mouthfeel.
All-in-all, this was well worth the 3 hour round trip ride. I will seek this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 01:52:03 | More by ampzilla
Photo of iceball585
iceball585

New York

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark black color, non-transparent, three finger thick dark brown lacy head that very slowly lowered

S- Mocha, milk chocolate, alcohol, spice, hops, slightly sweet

T- Milk chocolate, coffee, milky, vanilla, creamy, alcohol, fairly bitter, slight spicyness

M- Medium/heavy weight, medium/heavy carbonation, smooth, warming alcohol feeling near the end

D- Very drinkable for the ABV%

The alcohol in this beer will definatly creep up on you if you're not careful. Definatly good flavors though... another good beer from McNeill's brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2007 00:58:01 | More by iceball585
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy BeerTruth for this one.

22oz bomber pours into my pint glass a thick, deep black color, not quite completely opaque but close to it. About a finger and a half of dark coffee-colored head builds on top and recedes to just a bit around the rim, but leaves a good amount of stick.

Smell is big and malty and sweet, with bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and sweet caramel malt. A touch of dark fruits, too, but only a touch. Very nice.

Taste is heavy on the roasted malt and coffee flavors, with ample bitterness/charcoal flavor, too. There's a nice sweetness to it, as well, with lots of caramel and chocolate flavor. Some dark fruit flavors in there, as well. The finish is dry and bitter, with just a touch too much of that charred flavor for my taste.

Very nice rich and creamy full body on this one, super smooth on the palate. This is my first brew from McNeill's and this is a hell of an Impy Stout. I'm nitpicking, but I'd like it to be a bit sweeter and a little less bitter/roasty/charcoalish, but I'd have this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2007 20:08:35 | More by number1bum
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an imperial stout should be. Dark as the devil's soul and highly drinkable (although you might want to bring a friend to drive you home if you plan on having more than a couple). Leaves a nice warm feeling in the month, with just a hint of alcohol at the end. I really look forward to winters in Brattleboro so I can get this on tap. The only downside is that McNeill's is not widely circulated outside of Vermont; however, on the plus side, they do sell most of their brews in 22oz. bottles (at local stores in town as well as at the brewery), and the Imperial bottles well.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2007 11:52:28 | More by Jwale73
Photo of lpayette
lpayette

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours just about pitch black with a huge, brown, and frothy head. Beautiful... just be careful pouring because a hard pour will produce way more head than you wanted. A decent amount of lacing, but I would like to see a bit more.

Smell- Rich, roasty malts. fairly fruity, but nothing overbearing. faint hop smell in the background. Not bad at all... maybe a bit too fruity for me for the style.

Taste- yep- this is definitely a big old russian imperial stout. the home-made, word-processor printed looking label doesn't lie. Huge malt taste with plenty of roastyness, chocolate, a bit of peat flavor, some smoke, rich coffee flavors, and a bit of fruitiness. Again, maybe a just a bit too much fruit... but not too over-done. maybe a bit higher pictching rate would be beneficial? It certainly adds character and another dimension however.

Mouthfeel- pretty thick, although not as thick as some stouts. Some dryness, but certainly not too dry. Definitely some massive amounts of bittering hops are evident although they don't show up much in the taste.

Drinkability- this is a great beer. in fact, I think I would consider this the best commercially available vermont--brewed beer currently available in bottles. It doesn't quite reach the high level set by other huge stouts such as the abyss, stone RIS, and speedway stout (haven't tried dark lord yet, but I've got a bottle to try on a special occassion), but damn this is drinkable. Ok... so ignore the fact that 3 of the 4 beers I just listed are technically classified as American double stouts... but that's my point... it's a nice balance of hugeness and drinkability. Pretty freakin' good if you ask me- just wish it was more widely available, and available year-round in the few places that McNeill's is sold. Every time I see this on the shelves (wherever it may be) it seems to sell out very quickly. McNeill's knows how to brew an awesome stout- try Reagin's stout from them as well.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 06:24:39 | More by lpayette
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color with a nice brown head. Aroma is strong and rich with lots of roasted character. Chocolate and coffee are noticed upfront. Taste is very rich, roasty and it lingers at the back of the tongue. Strong coffee overtones there. Very deliciously drinkable. If there's anything that McNeils does well, it has to be their stouts. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2007 03:58:11 | More by Brad007
Photo of shbobdb
shbobdb

Indiana

3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Stout is a tricky style to do. With people routinely throwing in bourbon, coffee, vanilla, their cat, sassafrass, chocolate, crack cocaine, chickory, or some combination thereof, people expect *big* when it comes to Impy Stouts. To make matters worse, Stone has pretty much created a perfect version of the style that doesn't involve throwing in the kitchen sink.

This beer takes the 'normal' approach and does a fine job of it, despite being surpassed elsewhere. The beer pours jet black with a head that lasts and lasts and lasts. It also leaves a wonderful coffee-and-cream lacing, trailing the beer as I drink it. Wonderful.

It smells great. A strong blast of roasted barley and chocolate. Good stuff.

It tastes just like it smells, with a slight bite from the carbonic acid.

The mouthfeel is nice. It leaves a slightly clingy aftertaste/afterfeel but I like that.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 01:53:39 | More by shbobdb
Photo of jamie2dope
jamie2dope

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Corey for picking this one up for me. Poured it into a pint glass....color was black, with no light getting through, and a large fluffy brown head. In the smell were some musty notes, a bit of coffee, milk chocolate, and a faint touch of dried fruit. Taste had a very nice roasted character, with burnt coffee tones, and more dried fruit. Mouthfeel I would say was medium to full...not really thick, but not a small brew either. One bomber of this simply is not enough....I could sip on this beer for many nights to come. This is an awesome Imperial Stout. I only wish this was available near me all year round. Oh well, I guess I will just have to take a few more trips to Vermont. Highly recommended, Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2007 22:22:27 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of velo343
velo343

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured from a bomber into a goblet. Probably the single darkest black beer I have ever seen. Seriously, no like is coming through this one. A rich, creamy head that sticks around for a while, eventually subsides, leaving lots of lacing around the sides of the glass.

Smell - Very sweet, dark smell. Lots of esters and chocolates, like baking a plum pie and death-by-chocolate cake at the same time. A bitter, burnt coffee flavor just manages to squeeze through.

Taste - Initially, a very smooth, milky body with low carbonation. While the roasted malt flavor is present, it is not overpowering bitter and drying. Finishes with an extremely faint taste of smokiness and hop bitterness. No hot alcohol notes at all.

Drinkability - This is really an imperial stout that can be put back all too quickly. Super smooth and balanced, with no real standout flavors. Just good, roasted malt with a sweet body to bring it together. Compared to other breweries' RIS, fairly subdued but highly drinkable. Would be fantastic on cask...

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 01:20:34 | More by velo343
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tough to brew an Impy that is as good looking as this. Midnight black with a delicous frothy mocha cream head atop. Fades into a bubbling shrine of lava. Thick sticky, bubbled lace around my snifter.

Nose is damn fine as well. Rich with bitter dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, bold dark fruits of currant, black berry, black mission fig, burnt caramel, black tea and a hint of bitterness. Great nose.

Big round and full of charcoaly burnt roasted malts. Very bold dark fruit flavors. Layers of complex bitter chocolate. Again black currant and black berry stand out with hints of black tea on the finish. On the topic of finish this one is long and tight. Mouth is full but slightly missing on the mid palate. Otherwise a top notch beer. Would love too be able to get more of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 21:29:41 | More by mcallister
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SteveO1231

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample courtesy of Jim (goodbyeohio) 22 oz. brown bottle with a white label that looks home made. No freshness date printed. Pours an opaque black with a thick tan head that settles to a layer of large foamy bubbles. Tan spotted lacing. Very nice aroma of chocolate, roasted malts, hints of plum and tobacco, and dry oak smell. Full bodied with a creamy texture. Plenty of sweet burnt caramel up front along with some dark chocolate. Large roasted malt profile on this one, and a finish like espresso. There is a severe drying of the palate here. Tasty Imp stout, big roasted flavors, big malt sweetness, big bitterness, big ABV. The ABV is not indicated on the bottle but it's up there.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 05:24:08 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark obsidian that is utterly opaque. No light is getting through this beer. Sparse cola-colored head atop and is thick and bubbly, giving the appearance of a tar pit in my pint glass. The aroma is a welcome addition, with wafts of chocolate hitting first. Alcohol, coffee, and caramel notes as well.

The taste bites in more than one way. To preface, I am not a dark chocolate fan, and that is the first thing that hits the palate. Hazelnut flavors and alcoholic notes bite strong, as mentioned. The mouthfeel is dry with a malty-smooth finish. Not high up on my drinkability profile, but bigger fans of imperial stouts probably wouldn't mind.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2006 03:36:51 | More by wagenvolks
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GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 2006 Purchased at The Co-Op. The Co-op is staring to have some mighty fine beers available.

AP: Whoa!...this one was like pouring mud...it basically poured out in clumps of black. Extremely heavy looking. Totally 100% opaque. This dark, heavy liquid poured into an Oversize wine chalice created a rather thin brown head that dissipated quickly for the style. (It's a trait I've noticed with most of Ray Mcneill's beers) The edges of the glass are thick with a bubbly, brown head and only a scattered and thin cap.

Nose: This one is not as pungent as I would like, some of the best RIS I've had are very aromatic, even when not directly on top of it. However, there are nice subtle aroma's coming from my glass...Roasty-Dark chocolate malts with some very subtle but fruity-sweet and leafy hop scent.

Taste: This one is a big Roasted, smokey and bitter first hit with a burnt-chocolate and many other malted barley charachteristics. There is a very pleasant and complex fruity, leafy and semi-bitter hop finish. This is a East-coast hop-bomb stout...the hops really play a very big part in the flavor at the end. The Malt flavors don't really approach that classic "caramalized" type sweetness I've come to really enjoy from my big RIS. This version does display some very heady dark coffee flavors and an interesting balance of malt and hops.

MF: Big, heavy, full body look and feel with a clean edge that replaces the smooth effect sometimes found with these stouts.

DA: I dig this style and I dig Ray Mcneill's style of brewing, however, this is not one of my favorite version of the RIS. It's actually a bit more drinkable than some with an ABV under 8 %. I think this sTout will do well after some exteneded cellering.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2006 17:38:55 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of BillyB
BillyB

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark black. Black as night. Opaque. Thin tan head.
Looks like motor oil or tar.

Aromas of chocolate, whiskey, coffee, charred wood and a bit of hops.

Taste is chocolatey/coffee with some whiskey/alcohol characteristics.

Smooth,velvety mouthfeel. A bit oily.

Very nice alcohol warmth.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2006 03:21:11 | More by BillyB
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours like worcestershire. Its like a black hole, no light gets thru. Medium sized dark beige head is holding its own.

S: Hoppier than I would have imagined. Lots of milk chocolate, burnt oak, bit of tar and touch of licorice.

T: Wow thats dry! I'm actually having a hard time placing these flavors but here goes...Bit of low salt soy sauce immediately. Then a quick transition to an almost chocolate/licorice bubble gum flavor. Then the massive roasted espresso hits. Ever chewed on espresso beans? There you go. Mixed with a copius amount of bittering hops this thing is extremely dry. Thru the process a highnote of unsweetened bakers chocolate peaks around during and after the roasted flavors. Aftertaste is burnt brownies and hints of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied. Could be silkier.

D: Well, your palate would take a whooping if you tried to drink too much of this. Wish this wasn't the first beer of the night, everything else won't have much flavor after this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 03:31:32 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black. Smells like a chocolate forest, that rains toffee, with hints of wood (tree branches), chocolate (leaves), cocoa (dirt) and resinous, magical sprouting buds. But the fat of the land is the massive array of coffee beans. Sugary, chocolatey, coffee bean, licorice, anise, expresso, cocoa, brownie battered resionous hop vines and leather notes. Coating mouthfeel. High hop level and great hop burps but the hop level does not distract the incredible malt flavor. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2006 01:40:35 | More by Crosling
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

same label as the picture, glueing technique seems to have improved as the label is flush flat on the bottle sans bubbles or tears. 22oz fresh.

black as night with a 1" mocha brown head of billowy, pillowy foam. appearance is where this beer excels. time shrinks the head.. but leaves strong cavernous lacing and at no time does the surface of the beer become exposed- a dark khaki cream top stays with the beer until the last sip.

aroma reaches out into the fire-roasted yet creamy dark stout profile. something salty, like pretzels, lingers in the background. te mcneills funk tart is present but minute, and allows the hops that contribute to said sourness to really shine. decent ris aroma and begs for a sip to be had. so i do.

nice body, creamy and rich with sexy ass mouthfeel. silky yet adequately carbonated, and not very abrasive in the physical hop resin presence. the taste, however, changes... as the beer goes further into the mouth. what starts out smooth becomes bitter and nutshelly in the finish. chocolate covered espresso bean bitterness is one saving grace essence found here, but the saltiness from aforementioned bar pretzels also strains the aftertaste. a bit too hoppy and "fresh".. and "english" for me overall. still a remarkable stout.

i just like mine (read: dark lord) sweet, deep malty, with creamed coffee (not black coffee, like this one). for fans of mcneills and/or sam smith's IS this is for you. otherwise, good but way overrated.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2006 02:29:41 | More by goodbyeohio
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McNeill's Imperial Stout from McNeill's Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.