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McNeill's Pullman's Porter | McNeill's Brewery

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McNeill's Pullman's PorterMcNeill's Pullman's Porter
Very Good
96 Ratings
McNeill's Pullman's PorterMcNeill's Pullman's Porter

Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of Gmann
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near black color with a fluffy rocky tan head that slowly settles into a nice cap. The aroma is of a very lightly roasted malt with some bready and dark fruit notes. Quite bitter in the taste. Bittering hops hit right away and dominate the other flavors. The hops are piney with a bit of resin. This is followed by a deeply roasted malt which has its own bitter characteristics. There is some dark fruit sweetness that pops through here and there but does little to offset the bitterness. The brew has a full body, chewy, soft carbonation and finishes bitter. This brew seems to be bordering on the baltic porter/stout category. This sucker is big and heavy, strong hop profile that cuts through the roasted malt. I prefer my porters to be lighter than this. Flavorful, I can see why a lot will enjoy this beer.

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Photo of beer4colin
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber from Granite Liquors. A brand new label there and I am excited to work through all of the offerings. Vermont has such a great taste profile going right now, I am sure that MacNeill's will do VT proud.

A - Nice, deep, dark brown poured from a bomber. Nice foamy head with long lasting lace.
S - Nice roast aroma, nothing offensive, just nice and clean.
T - Very tasty! Nice raosted malt action but it takes a bit to get it. This brew is all about aftertaste. You don't get it until 5 seconds after swallow - a bitter bitbut I liked it.
MF - Medium feel. There are hops here but they don't make this bounce off your tongue. Roast keeps it sitting and coating.
D - I could drink this for the evening. I could make this a favorite for Saturday movie night.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Blanchard's in WR for around $3.50, which seemed like a good deal. Poured into stemmed beer glasses. Dark brown color, and a nice white head. Smell was of cocoa and licorice. Taste was quite nice, but much more hoppy than I expected. I grabbed the bottle and then I noticed the brewery notes about all the different hops they used in this beer. I don't think that I've had a porter with this intense of a hop profile. I'll give it points for being unique, but I think that a bit more malt would have balanced this brew a bit better. Seemed to be more of a brown IPA if anything else. A good beer for a bomber, but not a selection I'd make in a six pack.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Different than almost all other porters I've had, this one is not quite black in color, but a dark, dark brown with a ruby red hue on the edges.

The head looks mountainous... bumpy and billowy and leaves nice rings before it fades to a film.

When I took a deep breath of this brew, I hit a bit of nostalgia. I smelled the inside of my plastic Halloween pumpkin candy basket when it was full of candy at the end of a long night of trick-or-treating. It's party-like mix of aromas consisting of caramel, fruit, cocoa...

Taste was a bit punchy up front from the hops. But it falls subtle after a couple seconds, as you then smell malts and smoky grains.

Mouthfeel is assertive, creamy, but not heavy. There's a lingering bitterness.

Drinkabiltiy is as fine as can be expected from a thoroughly crafted porter. I highly recommend.

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Photo of Jayli
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

consumed 10/2/09

A: This beer pours a nice deep brown that has mahogany tinges to the edges when held to the light. A three finger of fluffy, creamy, rocky light brown head. Nice head retention with thick sticky sheets of lacing.

S: Nose is of cocoa, toffee, roasted and burnt malts

T: Taste starts with roasted and burnt malts up front, some toffee, caramel and chocolate sweetness in the middle, coffee and a touch of bite finish out the beer.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, nice thick creamy feel, slightly sticky finish, bit of a bitter afterbite to it.

D: This is a nice offering, well balanced, great drinkabillity

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Photo of u2carew
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a big, foamy head. Lacing is sticky and tight. Dark, dark brown in color with faint reddish tones.
S) Roasted grain. Coffee. Very noticeable hop notes.
T) Coffee. Light Chocolate. Not much hop bite but a bit of citrus sour in the middle that mellows with time.
M) Medium body. Fairly smooth. Mellow grittiness. A light creamy feel.
D) A decent brew. The initial three swigs or so were somewhat funky but with palate adjustment this got better.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pullman's Porter pours dark brown with a ridiculous amount of foam. Its a gusher and I'm left to wonder if the carbonation level is too much and that this beer might be undrinkable. I decide to wait it out.

A number of minutes pass...

The foam has subsided and a good amount is stuck in the upper reaches of the glass. A reminder of the flood. It seems to be okay now and the liquid itself seems to be of a fairly normal carbonation level.

The aroma is sweet and dark chocolate, bitter coffee, mocha and caramel and maybe, just maybe a hint of bourbon (this is not a barrel-aged beer).

Tastes, I kid you not, of brownie batter with walnuts. That is the first thing that comes to mind. Lots of bitter coffee, dark chocolate and sweet malt. The carbonation levels seem to be pretty normal. I'm surprised by the highly hoppy finish this beer has, that was not expected. Not a bad porter, despite the less than stellar start.

A beer that shouldn't be judged by the pour I guess.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration date or lot code. It pours a dark brown to nearly black with a foamy tan head. A touch of sedementary action floating in the brew as well. The aroma is a balance of chocolate malts, coffee, and hops. The mouthfeel is rather silky and of medium tecture. The taste is full of hop bitterness and a balance of dark malts. I am pleased that McNeill's brews are becoming more available next door in New Hampshire.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. label has date scheme, but it is unclear which month is notched. august?

tasted in late april, 2009.

dark brown, almost black. clear on first pours. (later pours have visible chunks of yeast.) ruby tint under the light. vigorous pour gives a massive, light tan head, barely fading at first. foamy, creamy and rocky, eventually receding to a thin but constant, foamy layer. great lacing.

aroma: light caramel, faint cherry fruitiness, with hint of... licorice? trace of dark malt and earthy roast, plus whiffs of earthy and grassy hop. faint fusel/phenol in the back.

taste: sweet, dark caramel maltiness upfront, with hint of cherry and trace vanilla. quickly met by mild roast and grassy hop with coffee note. bitterness is moderate with lightly acidic, coffee-like twinge, lingering into the finish. again a trace of fusel and phenol.

medium body, with quite astringent finish (from fusel/phenol?). light to moderate carbonation is complementary though.

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Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Excessive and chunky beige head. Lots of lumpy lace. The liquid is dark brown, but light shines through.

Sweet chocolate smell; light latte aroma.

Relatively thin body for the style. Cocoa flavor with a bitter bite at the swallow. The aftertaste has a sour element to it. Fresh cherry notes with a touch of Coca-Cola.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bomber poured into a pint glass. The beer was very, very dark brown (just about black) with a thick, sticky cafe au lait head that lingered a long time. Roasted grain aroma. More came through in the taste, with roasted grain, chocolate, and (mostly) espresso all competing with one another. Nice dry mouthfeel. A very good American porter.

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Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty hazy, tawny brown with reddish highlights. A big frothy cap of light brown foam appeared during the pour and settled very, very slowly and left some clumpy lace on the glass. Burnt and roast malt aroma with a bit of chocolate and malted milk, faint sour cherry. Moderate bitterness, slight hop flavour mid-palate. Mostly flavours of dark grains, malt, and chocolate. Fairly heavy on burnt malt. The texture is super creamy, lots of carbonation with medium body. Light astringency from the dark grains. Not bad at all.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into nonic.

Very dark black hue, only giving ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is just above one finger, tan, and very slowly settles to a thick cap. Very dense mixed with some bubbles on the top.

The aroma is very light, with a little bit of roasty malts, but they are hidden behind a slightly above average bitter hoppy aroma.

Once again, the hops are above average. They add a nice citrus and mint highlight to the malts, which have a hidden burnt characteristic. It gives a smokey dark fruit characteristic which is actually pretty enjoyable. Full bodied, maybe some slightly higher carbonation. The hop bitterness lingers for a while after each sip.

This is one of those beers that could probably fall into the Black IPA category (I would prefer India Black Ale, or just Black Ale since it has nothing to do with India). Like Southern Tier Iniquity and Stone 11th (and maybe even Flying Dog Gonzo), it's another hoppy porter. Whatever you call it, Black IPA, IBA, BA, or Imperial Porter, it's a very good beer and not too strong. Recommended.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly. Smells of chocolate, brown sugar, floral hops, and a bit of spicy yeast. Taste is roasty chocolaty molasses with a hop bite that is followed by an acridic bitter finish that makes this one unpleasant. Carbonation is a touch on the high side, mouthfeel is bubbly, body is medium. Its good until the finish then it just kinda gets ugly. I couldn't finish this one.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.22/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22oz bomber served into a chilled pint glass. Obtained for $2.99 at the Lebanon Co-Op (BARGIN!!).

A: Thin vanilla head fades quickly to almost nothing. Dark, dark brown, with a reddish hue evident when held to a bright light. (NOTE at end explains reason for "awful" score.)

S: Molassas, caramel, a touch of smoke.

T: Smokey roasted malts followed by a bit of hoppy bite.

M: Slightly dry. Good carbonation, alcohol only slightly apparent.

D: This went down smoothly. Excellent example of the style, a very good porter. Nothing particularly distinctive. (NOTE at end explains reason for "awful" score.)

NOTE: Remainder of the bottle poured into a second glass. More aggressive pour this time resulted in a better head (~1 finger) with better retention. But... a large population of white floating chunks came with it, like grated parmesean cheese. They are not settling, just hanging suspended. Transferred to a coffee press pot and decanted through the mesh. Otherwise would've went down the sink. If this is typical, then go easy with the pour. Not an expected, or acceptible, experience. Not typical for porters, and not the kind of sediment one would see in an unfiltered beer.

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Photo of gregc
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Barcade

Pour is a nice dark black with a coffee like brown head.

Aroma was wonderful, lots of roasted malt, cocoa, and some smoke. Taste was really nice, a great porter. A nice roasted malt flavor, slightly bitter without being to overbearing, nice cocoa and dark chocolate flavors and a smallest amount of smoke in the finish. Very smooth, very drinkable. This was a really nice example of a porter, one of the better ones ive tried in a while.

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Photo of albern
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is the real deal. It pours the most foamy and prodigious head that I think I've seen on any beer. It is scoop-able that is how thick the head is. It is tannish and it retains amazingly so. The beer itself is inky black, there may be a tad bit of light that can seep through. This beer is just thick and creamy as the head of the beer reveals.

The nose on the beer is milk chocolate, cocoa, sweet malts, maybe some roasted notes. The tastes -- whoa -- this is really quite hopped up for a porter. It has very strong charred notes, prodigious coffee flavors, some roasted sweet grains, but mostly just coffee and maybe a tad bit of bittering dark chocolate. This is a full bodied beer that is more like a meal. The mouthfeel is creamy and the aftertaste does have some lingering and bittering hops. This beer is an experience well worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a dark, opaque chocolate brown. Big cratered cardboard brown head. Big thick lace. Reddish tinge.

The smell is dark black licorice. Heavy caramel. Really sweet and intense. The licorice aroma is overwhelming.

The malt comes in like burnt cookies. Heavy alcohol sting. Really bitter and burnt, opposite of the aroma. Harsh but also equally delicious. Supremely bitter.

The feel is oily and thick. Remains on the tongue for a bit. This is a strong, bitter, burnt drink. Delicious but too intense for repeats.

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Photo of eyeamthewind
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very round and tasty porter, dry, dusty, and surprisingly hoppy.

A- Watch out when pouring this stuff as it tends to gain a towering head. Completely dark brown with a rich tan head that slowly dissipates to a beautiful rocky foam. I could eat the chunks of delicious foam like meringues.

S- Smells earthy and malty, happily lacking in chocolate and coffee aromas, just a down to earth dustiness that comes from a balance of hops and malt.

T- Dry, refreshing and heavy with good bitterness, no off tastes. Quite a hoppy porter, the roasted flavors mix right into the hops which are dusty and dry with a solid profile. Not sweet, would go well with dark chocolate or sharp cheese.

M- Creamy and smooth with a nice bite at the back of the mouth.

D- Great beer for sitting inside playing games in the winter, though I couldn't drink more than two or two and a half bombers.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Muddy Waters in downtown Burlington this beer was a deep mahogany color with ruby highlights. The head was a finger thick, tan and left good lacing in broken bands off the collar. The aroma was of roasted malt, milk chocolate and coffee. The flavors were interesting, fruity at first with pear and apple in the rather floral hops that then quickly became darker with roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel was slightly watery but smooth, the body medium/full and the carbonation soft.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown that lets no light through. The best part is the head on this. Tan, chunky, and thick, this 2 inch creamy show-stopper stays all the way down the pint, leaving gobs - literally the size of marbles - stuck to the sides with every sip. I literally ran my finger around the inside of the glass when I was done -- like a kid cleaning out after having a chocolate milkshake. Absolutely fabulous.

Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee notes.

Taste of charred grain, coffee, something oddly leafy/herbal back there as well. Finish is clean.

Very much what you expect in a porter in body and texture. Little sips of larger mouthfuls make this an easy drinker. Might be my best purchase of the night, and @ $3.95 for a bomber, making me wish I bought 2. Try this one.

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Photo of erosier
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a deep brown almost black color with a short but medium bodied off white colored head that laces the glass very nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some coffee hints, and then a big roasty/smokey aroma at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate, but then a bigger smoked finish at the end.
M: Very smooth yet rough around the edges from the smoke, nice amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable beer, enjoyed it alot.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.
Best before 04.30.2008.

Pours a near opaque, deep maple beneath a foamy, off-white head that fades to an intact sheet. A few patches of spotted lacing without much strength.

Semi-sweet caramel with notes of dried coffee beans. Bright floral hops with a brisk hint of citrus.

Citrus hints prior to a caramel and milk chocolate malt base. Coffee beans with a hazlenut and dried spice flavor. Arrid, floral hops with notes of citrus and berry esters. A bready finish leads to a dry, coffee-flavored aftertaste.

A full, medium bodied; active and airy, slightly over-carbonated.

A decent Porter; very floral, but otherwise nothing out of the ordinary for the style. A decent offering, but I'd rather try a different McNeill's product.

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Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thick brown head. Aroma is one of coffee and chocolate. Smells smooth as well. Taste is somewhat strong and coffee-like upfront that fades into a smooth chocolate aftertaste. Has a bite to it that seems unusual to me. After I take the time to savor the aftertaste, I detect a nice, pleasant chocolate flavor that you wouldn't notice if you didn't take your time to taste this.

A decent porter but not really anything to write home about.

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Photo of cichief
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at McNeill's Brewery in Brattleboro, VT.

A- Pours very dark brown, almost opaque, with a thin, brown head of foam.

S- Smells of roasted malt, coffee and licorice. Somewhat hoppy.

T- Intense flavor of roasted barley, dry hops, and strong coffee.

M- Creamy, smooth. Very thick on the tongue, with a dry finish.

D- A great beer for a cool day in the mountains.

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McNeill's Pullman's Porter from McNeill's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 96 ratings
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