McNeill's Warlord Imperial IPA
McNeill's Brewery

McNeill's Warlord Imperial IPAMcNeill's Warlord Imperial IPA
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #3,992
Ranked #41,241
3.62 | pDev: 14.09%
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States
McNeill's Warlord Imperial IPAMcNeill's Warlord Imperial IPA
Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 133 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by lpayette:
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lpayette from Vermont

3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the Beverage King in West Lebanon, NH. First time I remember seeing McNeill's there. I believe that this is the same as their old "Imperial IPA" but with a new name. The label is black and surprisingly snazzy compared to the McNeill's labels of old. A nice improvement overall from the new production facility.

Appearance- pours a slightly cloudy honey amber color with a solid two finger head. Great lacing.

Smell- My first thought is apples, and I'm sure the people on the lookout for quality issues would say that this is one. It's subtle though, and I believe it's just a pleasant hoppy smell.

Taste and mouthfeel- With the first couple sips I was pleasantly surprised how good this was. Is it on par with the quintessential DIPAs? No, not quite. But it's pretty darn good regardless. Not to say that this is the hoppiest beer out there, but my one complaint is that there is just a tad too much harshness from the hops. Like the first addition was boiled a smidgen too long. If I can ignore that however, everything else holds up pretty well. From mid-sip to the finish the hops are dreamy and the mouthfeel creamy. The malt in this one is just enough to offer a nice rounded balance.

Drinkability- Pretty good overall. With some minor tweeks I think this could be something special.

Apr 13, 2009
More User Reviews:
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin layer cream head that fades to a ring leaving traces of lace. Clear (not cloudy now) amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit and caramel nose. Flavor is grapefruit and caramel, big change from last year, sweeter not cloying. The brewer has given this more malt, much better DIPA now. $4.79 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Jul 25, 2010
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

War Lord was part 2 of the DIPA sampling yesterday with Artied2. Nice artwork on the label, with a bit of info regarding the contents. No ABV or freshness info, though.

Poured a cloudy chestnut hue, with a fine, creamy, tan, mousse-like topping. Had scant carbo within, and lacing was quite decent. Aroma had some light caramel and a solid helping of citrus present. Body was a middle of the road medium, and the liquid was fairly smooth on the tongue.

Flavor has some caramel and toffee sweetness. Heaped on top of that was a good load of citrus. Was a touch piney, with that strong west-coast hop character lingering well on the palate. Pretty good overall, especially considering the hit-or-miss nature of McNeill's bottled offerings. Artie liked this better than I, overall. Zum Wohl!!


Jun 21, 2009
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RonfromJersey from New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$5.99 bomber from SuperSaver.

Heavily hazy orange body, topped by a softball of off-white foam that looks like to could pack fragile goods with. Good lacing.

Piney aroma with a light citrus background. Pleasant but not the big enticing aroma I hope for with IIPAs.

A big splash of sweetness makes a big first impression. A wave of juicy fruit flows in, along with a bitter blast at the swallow which balances the sweet malt start and then overpowers the balance completely. Well hidden alcohol.

Properly chewy mouthfeel is good and firm.

Overall not a great IIPA but not a bad one either. Worth a try but keep expectations in the middle.

Jun 13, 2011
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far333 from Connecticut

2.94/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a honey amber color with an inch high head of sizzly light orange foam that settles down slowly to rocky caps.

Nearly no aroma, but I'm picking up some honey malt and faint citrus notes.

Grainy bready malt flavor upfront, moving quickly to sharp orange liqueur-like hops punctuated by rubbing alcohol vapors. Not too complex, needs some balance.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, very satisfying, but a little slick upfront and a little warming in the finish.

Low drinkability here, too much emphasis on ABV and less on balance and flavors. Winner of 13 national and international awards? This is close to being a drainpour for me.

Oct 30, 2009
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taez555 from Vermont

4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the horseshoe pub in Hudson, MA. Reviewed via Blackberry

Poured a murky tan body with small off white head.

Nose is very fruity, almost smells like a fruit beer. Citrus and some caramel as well.

Thick and full bodied. A nice firm citrus taste. Not overly bitter. Caramel and thick malt flavor. This beer is really an amazing cross between british barleywine and DIPA. Lemon, lime, grapefruit juice, not a lot resin or citrus peel which makes it very nice and unique. Ends with a fruity lingering finsh.

Wow, this hands down the best mcneils I've ever had. So totaaly not an american DIPA. Damn good.

May 03, 2009
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mattp from New York

4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler at Oliver's. Very attractive reddish amber color. The nose was pretty hoppy as one would expect for this style. The flavor was rich, with good hops and a bit of the alcohol coming through. The mouthfeel was substantial, almost like you could eat it. Very flavorful but at this abv you are not going to toss four or five back at a sitting.

Nov 08, 2010
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears a hazy dark amber with a fluffy, off white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Streaks of sticky lacing are left around the glass.
Smell isn't overly appealing up front...I get some obvious hop notes of citrus, pine, and herbs with a wallop of sugary, (IMO) extract-like, syrupy aromas that sincerely smells like an open can of liquid malt extract. A touch of warm, bready biscuit is also found atop the whiffs of caramel, sugar and herbs.
Taste is a little lighter than the aromas with notes of tropical fruit being found. Again, there is that stinging sweetness that draws me back to beating the dead horse of reminding me of sweet extract. I'm not implying that McNeill's used extract but the malt flavor is certainly reminding me it more than any other beer I've had in recent memory.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, and a bit too sweet with more "umph" in the hop category.

Apr 21, 2010
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Gavage from New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark orange color with a two finger head that slowly falls.

Smell: earthy and woody tones are prominent. Grapefruit is a bit softer.

Taste: caramel, earthy tones, pine, grapefruit, red aples, and a biting bitterness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, smoother and dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: a so-so imperial IPA. One bomber was more than enough in the session.

Jun 13, 2011
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours hazy dark copper with a one inch head of dense off white. Retention is lengthy, with a fairly thick skim coat remaining throughout the glass as well as plenty of smeared lacework.

Aromatics lead off with a blend of malt and hops. A hint of butterscotch underneath and a blend of pine and citrus on top. Lacking any pungency or high level of floralness.

Medium bodied with a crisp, creamy, and chewy mouthfeel. A bit tacky and sticky.

Pine resin and citrus pith start the palate along with a solid malt base and toffee undertones. A solid bitterness pulls through along with a smidge of warming alcohol.

Finishes with some lingering bitterness, sweet malt, and candied citrus with spruce.

Fairly decent for a bottled McNeils. Far from screaming "fresh" and certainly a bit subdued for a IIPA, but not infected and tasty nonetheless.

May 21, 2009
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Phyl21ca from Canada

4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Winter Warmer: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a nice foamy head. Aroma consists of citrus hops with nice resin and piney notes also detectable. Taste is also a complex mix between some notes of citrus hops with some resin notes which is well balanced by a semi-sweet caramel malt backbone. Floral notes are very nice. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really enjoyed this one.

Mar 26, 2012
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

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

The last of my New Hampshire McNeill's haul.

A: The double IPA (screw you Imps!) is golden and coppery, barely translucent thanks to a pervasive haziness. Another impressive head, over two fingers, has left thick lace throughout the glass.

S: An excess of citrus along with vegetal greenness, this DIPA seemingly has it all. The citrus is aggressive, bitter with orange and grapefruit. A nice bite that has an abundance of caramel under the surface.

T: Pleasantly hoppy, this ale doesn't lack for bite. The citrus is strong, a resounding taste that brings plenty of green leafiness in the finish. The vegetal flavor of the hops is pronounced, taking over most all aspects. Caramel malts linger around, but the hops steal the show for both good and bad. The vegetal presence, I'm not so keen on; the citrus sharpness I am.

M: The mouthfeel is loaded with hops, some fresher from the vine than others. The vegetal leafiness that pervades the ale lends a syrupy bitterness.

D: A bold IPA that doesn't shy away from its hoppiness. I'd say that I'm 4 for 4 on McNeill's beers. A bold hoppy flavor that strays at times but generally stays on course.

Jan 17, 2011
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merlin48 from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Odd, finding this one in Knoxville. Pours a cloudy copper body with a small beige head that leaves some very sticky lace.

Aroma of melted caramel, pine hops, and orange marmalade.

Mouthfeel reveals a thick and chewy medium body with a creamy carbonation.

Taste has a lot of chewy caramel and the maltiness prevails to the finish. Hops are up to the challenge and serve up a pine hop bitterness to balance. Citrus marmalade notes are present all the way through and contribute a thick bittersweet character. Hops segue into a bitter and dirty earthiness toward the finish.

A pretty good DIPA with a malty emphasis.

Jan 31, 2010
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Sammy from Canada

3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Premiere. In your face malts and hops, yet still drinkable, that's McNeill's. Some pineapple in addition to the citrus of the hops. Nice blend of malts which were both British and American and a full mouthfeel.Golden colour, small amount of head and barely perceived aromas.

Mar 13, 2011
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Billolick from New York

4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle.

Pours darker murky slightly orangy amber.The head is creamy and long lasting, light tan in color. This one leaves plenty of fine and also frothy lace and sheeting.

Piney hop infused nose.

I found this one to be a very pleasant and equally taste brew. Loads of smooth malts up front and then biting pine and resin hops late.

Creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

All in all a very smooth, tasty and enjoyable brew from McNiells. DIPA lovers go track some of this stuff down.

A bargain at under $5 at Spirit Haus in Amherst, Ma.

Apr 23, 2009
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-amber color. Quite cloudy. Rocky head that leaves chunky lace on the glass.

More earthy (and malty) than most IIPA's. Surprisingly mild in the hop department.

Unusually sweet, but in an interesting way. The hop shows up lightly for an IPA but well-balanced for any other ale. I like the unusual nature of this beer. It is different from any beer I've had before. I love the creativity, even if it departs from norm.

May 23, 2009
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NEhophead from Massachusetts

3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.

Pours a haze-filled, oak-brightened maple in color. Dense, inch-high white foam with very sturdy retention. Ringed lacing around the majority of the glass.

Bright/ripe, juicy pineapple, lime, apricot, and honeydew. The hop oils practically jump out of the nonic. Steady, warm alcohol nose with notes of vanilla and honey. Faint biscuity malt with a cutting saffron spice.

Creamy, toasted bready malt character with a hefty layer of honey and an additional layer of vanilla. The hop character takes hold following the slightly, bulky malt sweetness; and it is ruthless. The hops swarm the palate with a bulky, floral-perfume presence that only mildly highlight a bit of citrus flavors. Notes of tropical fruit are followed by an abrasively, vaporous alcohol presence.

Full in body; simply unbalanced. The slick malt character and the intense wave of noxious, perfume is too much for the palate to handle; not to mention the lingering heat that the alcohol presence imparts.

A very intense experience, and I don't necessarily mean that in the most glowing terms. Such great aromatics that translate into a bulky, overpowering flavor and mouthfeel. The Warlord takes your palate for hostage and does not let go.

Apr 11, 2009
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DrJay from Texas

2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy orange/amber with a slowly forming thin cap of whitish bubbles. The head settled really fast to a weak collar. There was a bit of spotty lace, but not much to see. Aromas of caramel, citrus, and tropical fruit, perhaps a little whiff of higher alcohols, roses, and pine. Nothing bad, but the aroma just didn't seem to meld well. Moderate bitterness that lingered once the malt fell away in the finish. Malty up front, biscuity mid-palate. Hop flavour was earthy, a bit citrusy, but quite muted. Light spicy alcohol flavour and warmth. Tropical fruit in the finish. Medium plus bodied with carbonation on the low side of average. Decent texture. This just didn't work for me. Other than being light on hop flavour, it just didn't come together. More boring than anything else.

May 27, 2009
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orbitalr0x from Illinois

3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Pours into my glass a deep ruby red with an inch of creamy khaki foam on top. Orange highlights and good clarity. Aromas bring sweet sugared fruits and caramel malts upfront. Cotton candy? Citric and piney hops with resinous accents in the background. Quite malty and a tad bit earthy.

First sip brings dense sweet malts upfront with caramel and fruits rolling across the tongue. Earthy accents roll in that get caught up by citrus and pine laden hop oils. Bitterness kicks in and provides good balance with the sweet malts. Quite a big malty body for an imperial IPA and not what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good creaminess. This brew goes down smooth and is easy to drink for a DIPA. The hop punch isn't quite there for me and this end up as a more malt forward brew. Overall though it's a tasty brew and I'm glad to try my first McNeill's, thanks to warriorsoul.

Jul 02, 2009
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Ego from New Jersey

3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

don't turn your back on this beer, it will be overflowing all over your desk/table etc.

slightly hazy orange fading toward brown, lots of carbonation gurgling up this one, the head started up at 3 fingers but really retreats at a crazy rate down to almost nothing more than a hefty o-ring. lacing is sub par, legs are apparent but not defined to well, this is pretty average looking for a DIPA.

caramel citrus with hints of dark fruit (raisins specifically), smells duller and not 'bright' like most DIPAs, some dark honey notes, pretty interesting mix, definitely not the DIPA standard.

taste etc...
tastes like the smell... rasiny hops with a strange almost licorice bitter note, for all that carbonation it feels pretty syrupy in the mouth, some warming from the alcohol is noted, the finish is almost sort of unpleasant, it lacks crispness and bite, it is a strange flavor that just lingers and lingers, it feels out of place, somehow it tastes 'old' for lack of a better term (I have only had this bottle for 2 weeks in the cellar)

eh, nothing terrible but not a grail to be sought by those who love the style, worth trying just because it is different than most DIPAs.. and the bottle graphics remind me of Ironsword on the NES...

music: Alex Skolnick Trio - Goodbye to Romance

Jun 11, 2012
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

2.2/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a clear amber copper color with a one fingered, dense creamy head.

S - Caramel malt dominates the nose and there's some very faint grapefruit aroma in the background, also getting some wet cardboard aroma.

T - Sweet caramel malt, grapefruit bitterness, and boozey effervesence. There is some medicinal character and even tastes a little oxidized.

M - Heavy medium body and cloying.

O - This beer is probably past its prime, I'll re-visit this beer again because right now it falls flat on its face.

Feb 02, 2012
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Seanibus from California

3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with a smallish sticky white head. The aroma is pungent, way hoppy, with a deep well of pine and citrus that makes it like smelling a rich mai-tai. The flavor is sweet and pineapply, with a sweet malt background and a surprisingly retrained citrus bitterness. The mouthfeel is very sticky.

Good if not particularly artful or subtle.

Sep 02, 2010
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BeerNinja007 from New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained 22oz bomber from Beverage King in West Lebanon, NH. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

A: Orangey-tan brew with a 1-finger off-white somewhat-rocky head of medium and large bubbles. Somewhat dark and rich for an IPA. Head settles to a thin film that laces slightly. Bubbles are too large and heavy to lace significantly.

Second glass has a much better head, 2-fingers, smaller bubbles, better retention and lacing.

S: Light honey/caramel and orange/lemon aromas. Not a very strong hop presence noted in the nose (or maybe my sniffer is dysfunctional tonight).

T: Warmth on the tip of the tongue. Hops bite in soon and remain strong through the finish. Some honey and lemon up front. Pine, grass, orange, a hint of toffee in the finish. There isn't much in the middle because the finish is strong and starts early. A good dose of bitter lingers well after swallowing. Belch consists of orange and grass. Toffee becomes more apparent after exposure to air. Banana appears also.

M: Full and creamy, not harsh like some IPAs can be. Good dry finish, just as it should be. Appropriate carbonation. Slight alcohol burn.

D: Very good. Thick and filling, but not too heavy. Enjoyable. Good representation of the style.

May 20, 2009
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle courtesy of dmeadows. The label states this to be "a bitter ale made from piney, citrusy American hops and a blend of English and American malts. It's heavily dry-hopped to give it an especially pungent nose."

The beer is a clear golden copper color with a thin tan head and lots of lacing. The aroma is definitely hoppy but it has a fairly large load of sweet caramel malts too, giving huge flavors from both sides. Honestly there might be too much sweetness for my personal tastes, but the hops shine through well regardless.

The beer tastes sweet initially, but it takes nanoseconds before the hops bitterness washes over your tongue. The after-taste is rich but balanced, like a light American barleywine. Full bodied and sticky, at least it seems sticky (maybe due to sugary sweetness).

Jun 05, 2010
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doremite from Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Jul 17, 2013
McNeill's Warlord Imperial IPA from McNeill's Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 133 ratings