McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout
McNeill's Brewery

McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial StoutMcNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #2,008
Ranked #20,906
3.84 | pDev: 13.02%
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States
Very Good
McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial StoutMcNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 125 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Holderness
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super roasty (almost charred) and chocolatey. Very traditional British-tasting stout, but with a more extreme hop bitterness and ABV. Lots of sticky lacing and a moderately fluffy mouthfeel to boot. Great in the sub-freezing Vermont environment this time of year!


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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: black opaque 1” rocky foam head, excellent lacing
S: Dark malt, a little sour fruit, alcohol, hints of espresso and chocolate.
T: Coffee at the start that intensifies into an espresso coffee bean bitter in the end. Lingering dark burnt malt after tastes blend in with hop bitterness.
F: Thick luscious body with medium low carbonation creates a fine soft body almost like nitro beer.
O: Luscious carbonated iced espresso character.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snow day beer tasting fun
Looks awesome. Pours jet black with a latte colored head. Really good individual parts but never really comes together. This beer tastes really sweet and thin for a 10% beer. Needs some bitter malt, may have been better fresh.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%

In review is a 2011 Vintage.

A - Pours pitch black with a very thick toffee colored, sticky creamy-like head. Thick looking.

S - Dark chocolate roast, light char, cream, chocolate milk balls.

T - Smoke, dark chocolate bitterness, dark chocolate roast, cream, and some bitter Espresso
bite at the very end that lingers quite awhile.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation creates a smooth texture, dry finish.

O - In the middle of the pack, but solid overall. The 10%v alcohol in this stout is very well

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Photo of Dope
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Best before" the last day of May...doesn't state which year this. Believe this to be around 3 years old.

A: Pours black with a good sized and dense medium brown head. Good head retention and quite decent lacing given the age.

S: Pretty mellow aroma. Mild chocolate and hints of char.

T: Bitter chocolate up front. Mild burnt malts. Quite a bit of oxidation in the aftertaste, lots of dusty paper mixing with the bitter cocoa.

M: Medium-heavy body and smooth.

O: Pretty simple for a 10% IS. Mild roasted malt character and an unfortunate amount oxidation. Nothing really special but nothing horrific either.

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Photo of irs
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bottle from D&K Grocery in Jamaica Vt.
I don't know why they label this "imperial" stout. Its a really nice chocolately dark ale - a really good strong stout. but when you add the IMPERIAL label I think of Kate the Great (came close to having it), Plead the Fifth (not even close), Ten Fitty (every chance I get ) Stone IRS (that is what inspired my screen name). This isn't it. Just call it strong stout and I would be happy to drink lots of it if I lived local. a really nice regular stout. I'm guessing 6% ABV? doesn't taste imperial....

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Photo of woosterbill
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Bomber from 2011, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black body, 1-inch tan head; good retention and lace for the ABV.

S: Dark chocolate, dark fruit, sherry oxidation. Pretty far downhill for a two-year-old RIS.

T: Tart cherry, dark chocolate, dessert wine, graham cracker, and astringency on the finish. Very flavorful, but not that enjoyable.

M: Medium-thick body with lots of soft, creamy carbonation. Excellent.

O: This did not age well, but something tells me it wouldn't have been terribly great fresh either.


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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of roasty notes with toffee, burnt molasses and some pine.

T - Good roasted malt flavor, some sweet chocolate, caramel and toffee. A nice bitter/piney hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale.

O - This is really good. It was the highlight of the tasting.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch frothy tan head that stayed around for a long time. There's also a lot of lacing that sticks around a while. The brew smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, it tastes like roasted malt, dark fruit (plums), bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some licorice. I think it's a sweeter imperial stout. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and coating with good, soft carbonation. I like this imperial stout, it's easy and enjoyable to drink. This is the first McNeill's brew I've tried, and hopefully it won't be the last.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dense tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark and roasted malts in the nose along with hints of alcohol.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts along with some hints of licorice and burnt malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little dryness in the finish, which becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
O: The alcohol is relatively well hidden from the taste, making this beer relatively easy to drink considering its strength.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very light gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a quarter finger tall creamy dark tan head that reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, a small thick patch, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Not as much aroma as I expected, there is a light to moderate aroma of dark roasted malts (almost burnt malts) and some lighter notes of chocolate. There is some moderate alcohol near the finish of the nose of this beer.

T: Moderate flavors of dark roasted and burnt malts with some lighter notes of bittersweet chocolate. Just a hint of licorice/anise. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness that lingers lightly.

M: Just shy of heavy bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a moderate amount of dryness in the finish.

O: Since the alcohol is not as well hidden as I would like, I found this beer not to be the easiest drinker and requires slow sipping over a while. There is a nice roastiness to the smell and the taste with decent amounts of complexity.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, no date.

opaque black in color, creamy tan head. good retention and nice lacing. aroma is mild compared to the taste. smell of dark roasted grains, as expected. taste is roasty, with a bit of an acidic bite. some bittersweet dark cocoa, espresso notes. very nice flavors. slightly thick, a bit creamy body. appropriately mild level of carbonation.

overall - very tasty

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at the brewery from a cask and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, cloudy, brown-to-black coloring with a thin, foamy, dense, light brown colored head. Aromas of booze, old world fruit sweetness, and earthy tones. Smooth bodied and creamy with a deep, dark, roasty and sweet backbone. Toffee and date make up a majority of the profile, with highlights of licorice and molasses. Very smooth, with a chocolate kiss to the aftertaste. Smooth, rich, creamy finish. Very tasty.

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Photo of biglite351
2.82/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am re-reviewing this as there is a rather large difference in the two bottles that I had.

New review from June 2012:

A - Dark as night with a tall creamy brown head

S - Very mild, hops, malt and dark chocolate

T - Hops, cocoa, malts and dark fruit

M - Thick with a good coating, tingle all over tongue

O - Too hoppy for my taste

Original review from 1/8/2011 (3.6 rating):
A - 4.5 - no light even around the edges. Tight light tan head.

S - 3.0 - malts and chocolate, something almost leaf like. Hops in the finish, that seem to linger.

T - 3.5 - both milk and dark chocolate, malts and oak. Hops in the finish but not as much as in the scent.

M - 4.0 - good coating with mild tingle all over the mouth. Some alcohol burn in throat.

D - 4.0 - I could have a few of these.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on April 7, 2012 while attending the Keene (NH) Beerfest. The pour is an incredibly dark black with a silky, moderate sized mocha head that settles after a few minutes. The aroma is of dark malts and sweetness. There is also a vague hop note around the edges. The body is medium. The taste is quite sweet at the beginning with a powerful, bitter finish to tie things together at the end. Alcohol is well-integrated.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is almost black in color with a tan head. A lot of roasted malt and coffee aromas to this with a slight metallic note and maybe even a bit of oxidation. Some nice chocolate aromas are still present, however. Dark chocolate and roasted malt give a mild bitterness, as does some coffee flavor. A hint of char on the finish with some molasses type sweetness throughout.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 9/3/11

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown with a nice tan head - retains a nice little cap, leaves average lacing

Smell: Chocolate and burnt, roasted malts - a lot of chocolate malts - burnt coffee and coffee grounds, with a touch of semisweet chocolate and vanilla

Taste: Lots of chocolate, in multiple senses of the word - milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and burnt chocolate malts - roasted, with roasted coffee - a nice level of burnt bitterness - very dry, but there is some sweetness

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, medium to full body - dry, and roasty

Overall: Really good, probably even better with age

This stout is well-rounded and good in every way. It's not particularly mind-blowing, but it's solid. I have another one of these that I plan on opening in a few years. Regardless, it was good fresh.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a slight dark-ish head

S - sweet malts, slightly hopped, toasted oats

T - a blend of oats and grains that leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, slight hints of chocolate and coffee

M - a little heavy, the alcohol makes my cheeks pucker so it's a slow drinking beer

O - not bad for the price ($9.99 a growler), would like to pick up a bottle and let it age a few years so some of the flavors gain a bit more definition, plus from the looks of the picture uploaded here for it the artwork looks cool.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a fluted glass, color is nice dark brown to black, with a nice tan head that sits 1-2 inches thick at first then dissipates and clings.

Smell is mild roast and caramel sweetness, light ester.

Taste is malt sweet with roast and chocolate followed by bitterness, lightly earth hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is very cloying, flavors sit strongly on the tongue and the abv is noticeable in the ester strength.

Overall, an average imperial stout, too sweet, though one of the mcneills that turned out decent.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my snifter.

Pitch black body, dark brown creamy head that fades into a ring around the glass. Nice creamy lacing.

Big time roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, caramel, molasses, brown sugar and some bitter smelling hops.

Chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, roasted coffee, slight alcohol and a dry bitterness with a smokey flavor at the end.

Thick body but silky smooth. It leaves the lips very sticky. Light but noticeable carbonation - exactly how a stout should feel. Slight alcohol burn while going down and leaves with a dry bitter feeling.

Well, it says best before November but no year. I suppose it was last year, since it's now January and I saw this bottle sit on the shelf for quite a while at the store. It's an Imperial Stout so I'm sure the alcohol preserved it somewhat. I'm sure this brew is incredible fresh but the tastes seem complex but not as pronounce as it could be. Don't get me wrong, it is quite tasty but this stout has the potential of being insanely delicious if I got to it when it was fresh. I will have to keep an eye out for a brand new batch.

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Photo of Ungertaker
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip.

A- deep black with a two-finger khaki/tan head that turns to a ring sound the glass after a few sips. A sticky, foamy lacing is left behind.

S- faint hints of dark chocolate and coffee accompany a strong pine scent.

T- bitter, piney hops; roasted coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla at the finish.

M- medium to thick with about as much carbonation as a stout can handle.

O- if I hadn't known beforehand, I never would have guessed that this was 10% ABV. The hop presence and carbonation do a good job of masking the burn. The hops were a little heavy for what I was wanting, but it would have been bland without them.

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Photo of Vylo
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with tan head, as to be expected.

Smell is nothing spectacular, but pleasant, earthy.

Taste, crisp and oaty. Delicious.

Mouthfeel was well balanced. Good but not overbearing carbonation.

Overall a terrific stout after trying a long line of dissappointing ones. Glad I picked this up.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint at the pub in Brattleboro. Pours an inky black with a dense, two-inch, khaki-colored head embedded with tiny pinpricks that eventually settles into a solid, one inch cap. Thick, creamy, concentric bands of lacing are revealed and exhibit excellent adhesion. Nose expresses roast, molasses, burnt sugar and citrus notes. Taste follows nose with the addition of an ashy quality and a bit of a piny hops presence. Mouthfeel is medium-light in consistency with a creamy/oily texture and a slight acidity; however, no residual bite. Overall, I have to say that I prefer the draft version to the cask - not sure why; however, there's just a bit too much of a hops presence for my general preference.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Black color. Two and a half fingers of light brown, fairly dense frothy head. Retention is good and plenty of semi-regular lacing is left behind.

4.5 S: Wow, this is incredibly intense and surprisingly sweet. Overload of milk chocolate and cocoa powder, molasses, and dark caramel malts. There's some roastiness to bring a balance, but this is sweet all over. Perhaps a touch of coffee. Hops are herbal and citrusy and bring a nice complement to the brew without getting in the way by standing out. Alcohol is well hidden

3.5 T: The taste does not capture the intensity of the nose. It can only be described as having a hollow center with many peripheral flavors. All the flavors of the nose are in the taste - soft roastiness, milk chocolate, cococa powerder, molasses, dark caramel, but none of them really stick out. It's strange. Mild to moderate bitterness. Moderately smokey. Some citrus from the hops. Alcohol is for the most part well hidden. This has a pleasant taste, but it is without a focus.

4.0 M: On the lighter end of a heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: Overall I found this to be quite enjoyable, but this would be a lot better if one of the flavors manned up to take the lead. Still, definitely worth a try.

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

Poured a really dark color with a nice foamy dark brown head, from a 22 oz bomber.
Head dissipates very slowly to a thin film, good head retention.
Aroma is sweet molasses with milk chocolate. Not very complex on the nose, predominantly sweet.
Taste upfront is sweet with an almost full body and a lasting bitterness in the finish. Not the most robust of stouts, however, the alcohol is hidden very well. Easy to drink even with 10% ABV.
Overall, a good stout, but not the best. Definitely worth a try, especially considering it is sold at a very reasonable price.

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McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout from McNeill's Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 125 ratings