McNeill's Dead Horse IPA | McNeill's Brewery

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McNeill's Dead Horse IPAMcNeill's Dead Horse IPA
196 Ratings
McNeill's Dead Horse IPAMcNeill's Dead Horse IPA

Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SheepNutz on 10-29-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 |  Reviews: 116
Photo of GClarkage
1.74/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

03/26/05- Given to me from BA member spinlock.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Murky and yeasy yellow-amberish pour. Average foamy head and little lacing to be found.

Smell- Ugh, not the best scent. Smells pungent and bitter. Not like any IPA I have smelled before. Was kinda scared to even put this one to my lips. No hops, or if they were hops, they weren't ones I wanted to smell or drink.

Taste- Ummm, pretty damn bad beer here. Tastes like cardboard, dirt and maybe some malt gone bad. Didn't really take more than two gulps, so that's about as much as I can give.

Mouthfeel- Seemed adequately carbonated, a tad bitter.

Drinkability- The worst IPA I have had by far. This one took the drain pretty quickly. Although, it's an English IPA, so....naaaa, this is just bad, no matter what style. Though, I thank spinlock for the effort in getting me a new beer to try. I just hope he didn't get one for himself.

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Photo of chippo33
1.75/5  rDev -52.2%

Photo of StrayteEDGE
2/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
2.06/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm confused. This beer tasted awful. We tried several McNeil's beers at the 2002 Vermont Brew Festival. All of them were tasty. On our way back from Toronto en route to Boston, we swung through lower Vermont just to visit the McNeil's brewery in Brattleboro. We were there at about 2:00 p.m. and the sign said it opened at 4:00, so we left and never had the chance to sample their beers again until this year's Mid-Atlantic baseball Tour.

It pours a very strange dark orange color. The smell was nothing like any IPA I've ever tried. And then the taste....I could barely drink my 4 oz. sample glass. There were some traces of hops and malt, but they were not as distinguishable as was the foul citrus taste, almost like rotten oranges. Is that the true style, or was there something wrong with our bottle? And then I read where Michael Jackson praises this beer as one of the best IPA's in New England. You have got to be kidding me, Michael.

I wonder if this was a spoiled bottle, and if the real stuff on tap is what is giving it high ratings from BA's? All four of us agreed that this was the worst IPA of the 12 New England and Mid-Atlantic bottled beers in our blind taste test.

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Photo of meathookjones
2.1/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this in a 22oz bottle with nice art of a dead horse on the label. This poured out murky amber with hardly a scattering of bubbles on top. No lacing of any kind. Smell is a bit of earthiness, mainly dirt. This smells like some on took half a cup of beer added half a cup of dirt and served. Well the taste follows suite with a funky dirt taste with a slight dirty bitter after taste. Mouthfeel is medium with more carbonation that I expected due to no head showing up. While not being particularly nasty this tasted like crap and is something I may have in the future since itÂ’s possible I got a bad bottle. It was still before the best by date but oh well. Thanks to ppoitras for the brew.

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Photo of bjohnson
2.18/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz. Bomber, $4.95.

A: Pours a dark amber with little to no head at all. Almost looks like it was poured from a cask.

S: Aromas of a dark fruit, possibly cherry, with a malty background. Different smell than a usual IPA.

T: Initial taste of malts, but overall not very tasty. Tastes dull and cardboard like with a slight floral aftertaste. Not very hoppy at all.

M & D: Mouthfeel isn't very good on this one. Not hoppy at all with a slight bitterness at the end. Not very carbonated at all--possibly this was a bad one. Would like to try it again, on tap. Drinkability on this is not very high.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
2.18/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber. Distributor said that McNeill's just started distributing this November (purchased in Central New York).

A - Very cloudy dark copper in color with a big foamy white head. There is noticeable sediment in the glass and way too much in the bottom of my bottle.

S - Hints of citrus and earthy hops, but otherwise not too much going on.

T - Buttery like an amateur homebrew with very little hops. This honestly tasted like a poorly made homebrew and was a total letdown.

M - Medium creamy mouthfeel and nearly flat.

D - Glad I only bought one style from them. I did not even finish this (drain pour, on to better beers).

This was a huge letdown after really enjoying the McNeill's oatmeal stout last spring. I will probably remain very wary of purchasing from them again...

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Photo of Noelito76
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Photo of SMADMS
2.6/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from my notes at the VBF

On tap at the McNeill's Booth
A-- Pours a orange-copper color little head
S-- Hops but not as strong as I expected, more of a fruity smell citrus
T-- Nothing like I expected the hops are a second thought here, bitterness more of a fruit bitter
M-- Not a lot of carbonation here so it sits flat
D-- Not my idea of an IPA

I went looking for the ESB at the booth and they did not have so I went with the next best thing I thought....I was horribly mistaken

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
2.77/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This was poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was a hazy glossed over orange color with a slim one finger white foamy head that dissipated decently in a nice way. Lacing was decently stringy and messy. The smell started off with a decent earthy to semi-grassy sweet hops running into a sly caramel backbone. The taste pretty much copied the smell and had a decent sweet malty backbone leading to the semi-earthy and becoming slightly citrus (and English-esque) in the aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation is sly and carries the harshness just enough but stays back to allow the bitterness to take the lead. Overall, good as an English IPA, is that what its supposed to be.

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Photo of blaje
2.78/5  rDev -24%
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.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Utterly unimpressed. Expected much more. Usually like McNeill's brews. Been to the brewpub and walked out happy. Got a hunch this would be really good on cask. Poured absolutely flat. Cloudy orangey brown. No head (and I really, really tried). Nose is slihgtly sweet with a quick bitter pinch from the hops. Flavor is very malty, even for an English IPA. Hos are there but pressed underneath all the malts. Getting some overripe grapefruits and some other rotten fruits. Mouthfeel is very and wants to be chewy but falls short. Would work well in a pinch probably, but this is not a pinch.

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Photo of kennyo
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle purchased at Brattleboro Food Coop

Opened this bottle with very little hiss, here we go again, inconsistency, but hey this is one of my favorite bottles of McNeills. Pours a dark golden color with no head, very little carbonation, nice malty aroma with some hops. Taste was good, almost flat like cask, but tasty. Not as good as a properrly bottled of Dead Horse IPA but no problem drinking it.

As my previous review of a McNeills bottle productis there is a lot of inconsistency with them. But, I can resist buying them because when you get a good one, you get a good one

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice surprise today at the store 3 new bombers to try.

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a creamy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of malt and butter, caramel and maybe some floral hops if I squint, close my eyes and inhale. Taste is sweet malts, caramel, toffee and butter. Very little hops in the aroma or flavor. I had to call my wife over to verify that I wasn't nuts, but there is very little hops to be found. Medium body and carbonation, sticky mouthfeel. If they had called this a bitter I would have scored it much higher. An IPA this is not. Maybe there was some mix up at bottling time, but I have to assume that this is supposed to be an IPA. If I try this again I will re rate.

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Photo of jfh
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hi folks, in NH for work and scored a bottle of Dead Horse Ale at a gas station quickie mart. My First review. I'm not impressed by cloudiness in an IPA. The bottle is marked best before last day of Feb, no year. It's June 2010. My take on this beer is very similar to the rest of the reviews. No excessive head, pours just fine. The aroma is a bit dusty to me and the flavor is dominated by a citrusy/belgian/spicy flavor that imo is not hops and detracts from the what I expect from an IPA. I can't (I don't think) taste cloudiness, but it looks nice and orange with a bit of lacing around the glass and the cloudiness is not right (IMO). If I was sitting in a pub in England and drinking this from a cask, maybe I'd think it was like an old time Ale, but it's way different from IPAs and bitters and best bitters and cask ales I've had in England. So, I'll drink it, but won't buy another and won't be requesting it in trade.

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Photo of DonFrap
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Jenray
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of 2ellas
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Satan70
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of HRamz3
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of CHickman
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy amber orange in color with a creamy tan head, leaving decent lacing and layer of head on top as the beer goes down.

Smells of sweet malt and floral hops, some earthy tones and faint alcohol; hops were not as strong as expected when I ordered this.

Tastes of sweet malt, roasted grains, floral hops, caramel, toffee and it has a warm alcohol feel and kick to it. This was very malty, which I guess defines an English IPA, and perhaps my idea of an IPA is now skewed by the hop-bomb American IPA's that I'm used to so this seemed a little dull to me.

Smooth and creamy feel, but just a tad bit too harsh and bitter for my liking. It was OK, but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light to medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Piney hop nose. Flavor is hops and tart citrus. Light lingering bitter finish. Similar to their DIPA but lighter bodied. Not as hoppy as some American IPAs. $2.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of swierczt
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ybnorml
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An amber/orange colored ale with a large head full of big bubbles. Also I am not sure is this is a bottle conditioned ale but there is certianly a fair amount of debris floating around. A nice light sweet floral scent to the beer. Initially light in the mouth but with a strong bitter after taste. I generally like Hoppy beers but this didn't suit my taste.

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McNeill's Dead Horse IPA from McNeill's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 196 ratings