McNeill's Old Ringworm
McNeill's Brewery

McNeill's Old RingwormMcNeill's Old Ringworm
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Old Ale
Ranked #93
Ranked #23,193
3.84 | pDev: 10.68%
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States
Very Good
McNeill's Old RingwormMcNeill's Old Ringworm
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jmdrpi
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from the Cask at the brewery. dark amber copper in color. malty aroma, and the taste is also a bit sweet and malty. Nice soft and smooth mouthfeel

 154 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, dark mahogany with a small off white head that slowly fades into a gentle collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of ripe fruit, barley, prunes, brown sugar, cherries, and rum.
Taste is of the aromas with barley and ripe fruit. Raisinsand vanilla are found in the background.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, viscuous, chewy, slightly astringent, and lip smacking. Sweet but not cloying.

 426 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber purchased up in Vermont at the Brattleboro Food Coop. "Best before last day of" dating notched onto the bottom of the front label.

Look: dark amber, lasting darker tan head, stays at about 1/5 inch for ever and leaves some low sheeting and respectable bits of lacing.

Sniff: dark malts, the advertised butter, and some butterscotch.

Taste: Buttery sweet brew. Malted up and near cloying for my taste buds. Some cola, vanilla, coconut rum...feh, not really my cup of tea.

Tonguefeel: Carbonation is just about right, easy on the tongue.

Try again?: not likely, not really into the style, still waiting for any sign of hops to at least offer some balance...

 667 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A heavy pours yields a lighter fizzy head that fades quickly. The beer is slightly murky darker orange reddish brown slight mahogany and copper colored.

N: A rich nose, with lots of dark malts, crystal specifically, some brown sugar, a nice caramelized brown sugar aroma, some molasses, a slight syrupy aroma almost like Caro syrup, some toasty malt aromas to go with that. A sweet musty aroma that tends to come from an aged Scottish style ale. I get slight hints of a bitter earthy hop, but it's trying to hide from me.

T: Starts rich and sweet, as expected. Lots of brown sugar kick it off, with some caramel and molasses flavors with that. It adds to the sweetness, which is a little on the too sweet side for me. It has a malty base too, with some caramel malts, toasty malt flavors, and a slight hint of roasted flavors. It gets very slightly creamy too. It's slightly spicy, perhaps from a hint of booze, and there is also a little more slight hints of spicy earthy hops, which also adds a little bitterness. It has a nice subtle malty aged taste to it as well, that adds some complexity, and just that old ale style taste I can't really describe otherwise, which also seems to add a slight fruity quality.

M: Thicker, but not super thick, rich, with lower carbonation. Could have used a touch more carbonation, even for this style.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet, with lots of lingering caramelized brown sugar and molasses, with some lingering roasty and toasty malts, but this time some minerality comes through with the roasty malts, giving it that slight salty and earthy burnt malt flavor that would come in a stout typically. A little bitterness too, but now I'm wondering if that came from the roasted malts rather than the hops. A slight lingering sticky sweetness too. The more I drink it and the more it warms, it starts to get a lingering boozy taste and warmth too.

A nice rich beer, good old ale style, good malty flavors, but just a little too much sweetness and not enough carbonation.

 2,016 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy beer. The color is solid brown. Nice head that leaves a ring of clumpy race. The head also sticks around throughout the tasting.

Strongly caramel in smell. There's a small amount of chocolate to the nose. Alcohol warmth is behind that. There's also an element of "Belgian" to the aroma.

The flavor is even more Belgian--blindfolded, I would envision a Belgian Brown Ale. Strong alcohol taste in the swallow. The aftertaste is short lived. The body is below expectations with a higher-than-expected level of carbonation.

 533 characters

Photo of joe1510
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

A big thanks goes out to BeerTruth for this brew from awhile back, thanks Adam! Old Ringworm fills my snifter with a cloudy hazy ruby red with hints of orange running throughout. A few tiny carbonation bubbles rise to the surface. A dense bone white head grows to two fingers easily on the pour and at its lowest point falls to a healthy finger while leaving lacing all over the glass.

I expected an old ale out of this but I get something entirely different. There's big doses of caramel, spicy hops and dried fruity sweetness. I don't know where to classify this beer. The ringworm is noticeable but not nearly as buttery as I've experienced in others brewed with it. The caramel lays down the malt base while melon, strawberry, dried pineapple, and golden raisins all play their part nicely. There's an Interesting aroma in this brew.

The flavor follows along the same lines. The caramel maltiness gets laid down the second this beer hits the tongue, while all the interesting fruitiness comes along mid-palate. The ringworm adds a teeth coating butteriness but isn't so much buttery as it is creamy and spicy. The hops add to the spiciness while all that fruitiness form the nose is translated better on the tongue. This is an interesting beer and I'm not totally sure what to make of it. I do like it though.

The carbonation is pretty noticeable in the moderate body and makes this beer work through pretty quickly. The hops grow slightly and end up leaving some bitterness behind as I drink.

This beer goes down easily. The lively carbonation keeps things flowing. The hoppy and malty fruitiness make it refreshing and easy going down.

This is a pretty good beer from McNeill's. I didn't get an old ale like I expected but what is there is tasty. I'd pick this beer up if I saw it on the shelves. Thanks for another great trade and a knock off my "wants" Adam!

 1,885 characters

Photo of erosier
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a nice brown color with a short and medium bodied white colored head that leaves some nice lacing down the glass as you drink it.
S: Smells of very nice sweet malts, some caramel even and a tiny bit of hops at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet malts, a bit of caramel malt, some slight hoppy bitter, then finishes with a molassesy taste to it.
M: Lighter than it looked, could have used a tiny bit more carbonation, with a nice alcohol twang at the end.
D: OK, probably would not have more than one of these in an evening though.

 532 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of huge caramel malt with some nice notes of toffee and subtle dry fruits also noticeable. Taste is a mix between again some huge caramel malt with some very interesting notes of toffee and dry fruits. Medium sweetness is well balance with a full body, some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I hard heard that chances were that Mcneill's bottles could be infected but I have to admit that this one was quite good.

 536 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a garnet color with a cloudy appearance. Half-inch off-white head quickly dissipated into a thin skim of foam and ringlets before finally coalescing around the sides of the glass; no lacing present during the tasting. Scents of dark fruit with some caramel undertones in the background. Taste similar to nose; however malt presence is revealed, as well as a mild astringency at the finish. Mouthfeel was somewhat on the thin side for the style, with very little effervescence. Decent drinkability - alcohol was well-hidden, and flavors were nicely balanced. I've had the opportunity to have this on tap, and it's almost like they are two completely different beers. Flavors were similar, but body and flavors were much less intense out of the bottle.

 790 characters

Photo of jjboesen
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened a bottle on Christmas 2007, having purchased it in Vermont five months ago. Upon first pour into my imperial pint glass, the it starts with a loose, spongy head that immediately sinks beneath the rim and dissipates leaving no lacing - I mean none at all. (Due to age, perhaps?) The initial color is a mahogany brown with some cloudiness; in fact, it never attains any clarity, but remains somewhat murky. One does notice a few pinpoint bubbles rising from the glass bottom.

As for the smell: there was a slight hint of clove and caramel, though neither overwhelming.

The taste is heavy on the malt with a slight hoppy bitterness retention. Note that intensity increases as the beer warms to room temperature - let it sit prior to the pour.

Ringworm offers a heavy, yet not quite balanced mouthfeel; however, the alcohol is not the least bit subtle. In any case, it is a fine winter warmer - makes for a pleasant, but simple, seasonal quaff.

Not my favorite from McNeil's, a brewery that still remains a reliable choice for those seeking decent Vermont crafts.

 1,071 characters

Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-copper color with a foamy brown head that recedes with some lacing. Aroma is simple, malty and even a bit spiced. Somewhat fruity as well. Taste is strong and malty with a nice dry aftertaste resulting and very faint hints of raisin/currant. The malt body is exceptional and strong. Definitely a beer for sipping on a cold winter night.

 352 characters

Photo of NEhophead
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt, 6 fl oz brown bomber; served in a snifter.

Deep caramel, almost maple in color. Creamy, off-white head that pushes to the sides leaving a thin sheet and pools of bubbles. Thin trails of lacing with good strength.

Caramelized brown sugar, nutmeg, and faint hints of mild coffee. Dark fruit, rounded: red grape, red apple, and plum. Lingering aromas of tame alcohol.

Creamy coffee, hazlenut, and caramel malt flavors with powdery brown sugar. Mildly acidic, vinous fruit: cherry, red grape. The alcohol character is young and causes the dark fruit and malts to lighten. A moderate, floral hop bite with a creamy, almost rich aftertaste.

Full in body; creamy, yet slick at times due to the alcohol character. The hops also add a nice, dry bite in the finish. Very dynamic in texture.

A pleasant and unique Old Ale. This ale's flavors really shine as it warms, and I'd bet this one becomes better with age.

 923 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After having this brew at Mcneill's the night before I decided to buy a bottle just to compare. Many folks say the "bottled" Mcneill's is not even close to the "On-tap" versions, which I generally agree with when it comes to most breweries. I've had really good luck when it comes to Mcneill's offering in the bottle. Maybe I'm just lucky. I purchased this bottle at the Co-Op only one block away from the brewery.

AP: Dark and cloudy brown color with some red hues. A vigerous pour creates a two-finger sized cream colored head that is bubbly and active. The retention quality seems good.

Nose: A very pleasant fruity hop scent dominates with raspberry, cranberry and some ripe banana. The malt smell is very subtle, almost non-exsistant. I did notice that the nose was a bit weaker overall compared to the "on-tap" version from the night before.

Taste: There are some slight taste differences as well...I notice more of a yeastie and sweet-malted flavor than I did from the "on-tap" version. I also notice It's a bit less wheatie overall and the dominating, complex fruity and later earthy and leafy hop flavor is about the same.

MF: This is a brew that looks light to medium bodied but feels totally medium bodied. It still packs a nice crisp and clean bite with the classic Mcneill's hefty feel to it.

DA: This 7% ABV feels more like 9%.

 1,357 characters

Photo of ChuckD
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber carried back from VT, poured into a chalice. Chunky, tan lacing atop an odd shiny brown body. Not the nicest beer to look at.

To the nose, sweetness is all over. It appears to be a full load of malts here, with a little flowery bouquet in the back.

In the mouth, the malts are verified and you get layer after layer of a smooth, creamy bomb. The sweetness is nicely balanced with a slight hop presence.

The feel is heavy and full. Lots to work with here - and lots in return. Nice clean finish - turning organic and earthy.

Musings: A wonderful brew from McNeill's. A "light" barleywine character that warms the soul.

 642 characters

Photo of Jredner
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Malt aroma, but not sweet or fruity; more bready than sweet. A dark reddish/brown bod holds aloft a thinnish tan head. Almost has porterish flavors in the fore. Mildly roasted with a big bready malt backbone. A touch of fruity sweetnees in the middle finishing with a yeasty and almost flowery finish. Very interesting beer.

 324 characters

Photo of Hibernator
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

McNeill's Old Ringworm
22 oz brown bottle
Bottled Conditioned
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* Purchased at the Co-op in Brattleboro, VT *

Pours a light brown with a polished bronze color.

Whiffs of juicy caramel malts and hoppy spice.

Very soft mouthfeel that has low carbonation. Extremely chewy and creamy with a sweet malt profile. Nicely complex with hints of berries, fresh cream and caramel drizzle. McNeill's yeast accent, which I am just starting to decipher. Modest, yet snappy hop bang on the finish. The warmer this beer becomes, the more in depth the flavors are.

Reminds me of a combination between a strong altbier, wee heavy and barleywine. I really enjoyed this beer.

 709 characters

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased form the Bohemian haven the Brattleboro Co-Op in beautiful downtown Brattleboro, VT. By the way, nice selection of Vermont beers that are hard to find anywhere except.... well, Vermont.

A. Nice color, off amber, penny colored, but not too old. Nice lacing, steady body.

S. Old, get it? Actually it has a musty smell, kind of like a shirt that you wear to the beach for a couple days in a row. Funky, yes. Enjoyable, yes. Any problems with it, no.

T. Form my experience this seems like a pretty typical Old Ale, thoughtful tasty, basic. A nice style.

M&D. If the Dead were still touring this beer could be the official sponsor. Why wasn't this beer at Highgate in '93?

 689 characters

Photo of lpayette
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark amber with off-white head, which holds to the glass nicely.

Smells of a very weak barleywine, chocolate, some grains, perhaps even oatmeal.

Tastes of alcohol and a certain tartness that I've noticed in several of McNeill's brews, which I'm assuming comes from a certain yeast used in all of them. There is also a hint of oatmeal that comes through every now and then.

Not much carbonation in this one, which is fine for the style. After pouring the first pint into a glass I decided to try a sip from the bottle and for some reason this tasted better to me... maybe just the temperature.

 616 characters

Photo of AlexJ
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly clouded amber pour with a thin and whispy head comprised of microscopic bubbles. Lace, yeah right.

Aroma is diluted barleywine with some sweet malts, subtle caramel, pecan praeline, hints of fruit, and a hop note that smells just like marijuana.

Flavor is sweet malts, minor fruit notes, a green floral note, roasted nuts, and something slightly medicinal or chemical-like.

Body falls between light and medium, no where near the meaty texture that a good Old Ale has. Carbonation is so light that the beer just seems watery.

 542 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

just as pictured, a 22oz from brattleboro co-op.

clear amber with retentive, shallow creamy foam. nose is first sweet toffee followed by complex, barleywine-like rich malt character. fruity in a deep red fashion, yeasty like sugar-raised donuts and overall perfumed with sweetness. perfect light body, lacking carbonation overall like a faulty co2 pour. mild bitterness seems more a result of the roasted malts.. brown sugar and fried dough give way to caramel and cashew, mild european hops and funky, sour yeast. probably the best mcneill's i've had to date and dangerously drinkable at 7%.

love the beer, wish the bottling problems could be resolved by this tiny, disorganized brewery. like i've said with most of these mcn's bombers, this beer would probably jump up on tap.

 785 characters

Photo of egajdzis
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby red color with a small khaki colored head and light lacing on the glass. Super musty and malty, sweet and full of dark fruits, plums. Taste was sticky sweet, caramel malts, raisins and figs, fudge flavor. A knockout at room temperature!

 250 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kind of barleywine-esue. Pours a red-shaded brown with a thin head that never went away. Not much for carbonation. Considerable lace. Nose was sweet and sour fruit-esque. Nose was at first malty but with a very kick-hitting and thick layer of biting hops. Surprising for an old ale, thought the hops would be a bit milder, maybe I have this style confused. Lots of floral flavors, with just a tad bit of honey in there. Sour apple finish with a big alcohol kick to it. Mouthfeel is medium body, not watery at all, in fact maybe a tad oily feel to it. Fairly drinkable, but the acohol is not hidden at all behind any flavors.

 624 characters

Photo of gentlebubbles
2.57/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

on tap at the Moan & Dove. Billed as "Ye Olde Ringworm"

Ordered it mainly due to the amusing name, but then I was easily amused by that point.

A dark chestnut brown with a low head. Strong sweet, vinous malty scent. The taste starts sweet and ends sweet. So thick, syrupy, and heavy I just couldn't go on. Sorry.

 319 characters

Photo of edchicma
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Moan and Dove. Appearance was a nice dark cheery chocolate brown....minimal head. Smell was strong and malty...very inviting. Taste was strong in the alcohol area, initial sweetness on the front palate that became a bit overwhelmed by the alcohol. Mouthfeel was medium with the overemphasis on alcohol being somewhat of a distraction. Drinkability, once again suffered from the over the top alcohol presence. One of these is just about right...wouldn't recommend more than that due to healthy alcohol wallop.

 522 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle-conditioned medium cloudy brown body with almost no head, just a light brown ring. A restrained sniffing, you've got to be in the right atmosphere to really take your time and analyse the aroma. It's mostly sweet, maple, chocolate, cream. Light floral hop notes in there as well. Taste is candy sweet with slight subtle smoked notes and a good hop presence, but not quite enough to detract from the big caramel/honey/maple sweetness. That being said, I don't consider it as a default in this case, but I recommend pairing this with food. It went very nicely with my sauerkraut and dijon mustard sausages assortment for instance. Low carbonation level, but a thick admirable body. Excellent beer brought straight from Burlington by Barry. Cheers and thanks!

 763 characters

McNeill's Old Ringworm from McNeill's Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 42 ratings