McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout | McNeill's Brewery

very good
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McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial StoutMcNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SFLpunk on 07-24-2010

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 123
Photo of stonelis
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber. Pours a dark black with a tinge of red. Nice two finger tan head. Coffee, chocolate, molasses, roasted malt. This is one smooth and very drinkable beer. I was told it is 9.5%. This is so good I'm going to put a few away because I don't know if I can find it again!

*Update* Via Beer Mail, Ray McNeill informed me this was going to be a year round brew! Also that It's 8.5%. Cheers!

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Photo of almychristopher
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a dark opaque color with a tan head that recedes to a ring of lace with. the aroma brings a lot of beautiful roasted malt with overtones of chocolate. the taste follows with a lot of roasted malt coffee and chocolate overtones, very tasty. the full body and adequate mouthfeel and good co2 make this a great stout.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, sits opaque black. Thick layer of retention sits atop the beer like a snazzy chapeau and births foamy fingers of lace. My girlfriend says, "really super frothy." Lightly filtered as there was some sediment left on the bottom of my glass.

Smells big and sugary and roasty just like in IS should. If I were to play name that scent I'd guess chocolate, dark coffee grounds, sweet brown sugar and molasses and some citrus hop leaf.

Roasty with ash, char and misc. roast adjectives and dripping with dark sugar. Some hoppy bitterness in back for emphasis. Sweetens as it warms with chocolate and sticky molasses highlights. Smokey finish.

If this were released once a year and cost $20 a bottle it would be at the top of every BA list.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a Ro's Restaurant pint glass.

A: Viscous black color under e rich, creamy, two-finger head of brown foam which retains well and leaves bits of patchy lace on the walls of my glass. Light cannot penetrate this brew.

S: Robust, smoky malts give off a whiff of tobacco, roasted meat, vanilla and dirt. Spicy, herbal hop aromas linger beneath the roasted malt sweetness.

T: Rich, deep-roasted and bittersweet malts built an almost impregnable wall against the bitter, biting spicy and herbal hops which attempt to balance the brew. Hot alcohol and licorice flavors battle through to the smoky, near-peat malt flavor, super bittersweet roasted coffee finish. Really complex and quite nice.

M: Rich, full-bodied mouthfeel with a lingering bitter hop resin to match the sticky, silky sweetness of this RIS.

O: A nice companion with our grilled sausage and cured bacon brunch with eggs, Dark Angel is a nice beer brunch replacement for a cup of coffee. Very rich, complex and heady at 10% ABV, it achieves that rare balance between hot hops and alcohol and the rich, malty sweetness we crave that few big beers can. A very nice imperial stout and one of my fav McNeill's brews.

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Photo of threeviews
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the opportunity of having it served both on tap and from a 22oz bomber (of which I'm enjoying as I write this review) into a small, sample glass. To that end, consistency is there as both presentations smell, look and taste alike.

A-Pours oil black (10 on the Bortle Dark-Sky scale) with excellent lacing courtesy of the 10% ABV. The sample at the pub had a much more pronounced, toffee colored head. Almost no head coming from the bottle.

S-Sweet dominates over roasted maltiness. Caramel, chocolate, vanilla, hints of coffee and even a bit of grassiness are present. A nice, complex nose that is prominent even when poured directly from the 'fridge.

T-The caramel/chocolate is prominent and the coffee really reveals itself through sinus cavities. Finishes a bit dry along with a bit of hop presence. Simply awesome.

M-This is where I feel this beer really excels. For a stout, the mild carbonation provides the basis for a smooth, silky experience that I think defines the style.

O-Simply put, go get some (if you can find it) and experience a very-well-done RIS. I need to get me a 2nd bottle!

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Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dense, dark, opaque black with a small tan head that slowly fades into a gentle cap and collar. Lots of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is roast grain, cocoa, espresso, and ripe fruit. Honeycomb and herbal hops as it warms.
Taste is of the aromas wig that signature McNeill yeast that they seem to us in all of their heavy stouts. Lots of citrus and herbal hops come through that would give Storm King a run for th money.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, yeasty, fruity, balanced towards hoppiness, and enjoyable. A new favorite of mine by McNeill's!

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Photo of goalie33
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black color, thin layer of brown bubbles on top of the beer. Not much lacing in the glass but nice legs.
S: Espresso is the dominant smell infused with chocolate and roasted malts.
T: The smells on the nose come through in the taste. Nice chocolaty beginning. The espresso really comes through in the finish.
M: Full bodied beer that really coats the mouth.

I can't believe I'm only the 11th person to review this beer on this site. It is amazing. One of the best beers I've ever had in my favorite style. Superb.

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Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off,I opened this at way to cold of a temp. so I let it sit for a few minutes before pouring into my Guinness pint glass.Poured jet black with a large mocha colored head that left multiple broken rings of lace as it settled slowly into a creamy mass,big piney hops in the nose,(maybe the hoppiest aromas of the style I have had)along with a healthy shot of roast and earth,some bitter chocolate shows thru as well.Roasty and quite dry on the palate,its earthy and has some wood elements to it,light molasses-like sweetness finally shows thru in the finish.A real nice big stout here,its highly hopped and roasted and goes down well,thanks to my inlaws for bringin this to me from the B-lo.

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Photo of MrDanno96
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a virtually pitch black with a little over a finger of tan head. The head dissipates after several minutes, leaving lots of foamy lace.

S: Lots of rich chocolate on the nose along with roasted malt. Hints of coffee, feint hops and licorice in the background. As the beer warms, some roasty coffee aromas really being to come out.

T: As with the nose, lots of chocolate notes come out in the flavor. The chocolate comes together with some roasty bitterness to balance out the finish. Bitter coffee and a hint of hops in the finish as well.

M: Full boded and a little sticky.

D: A really tasty RIS from a brewery that I apparently need to learn more about. Well done!

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Photo of mjsheehan08
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

McNeils dark angel. 

Pours an almost all black thickness with a decent sized tan head. Lacing is pretty awesome around the sides of the glass. Ruby red coloring around the rim of the glass. 

Smell isnt very strong, but there is def a presence of alcohol, and some chocolate and wood.

Taste is pretty great, dark chocolate, chocolate malt, definetly some strong coffee notes roasted, barley and maybe some dark fruit. This isn't advertised as a bourbon aged stout, but it has some of those sweet notes that BA stouts have. Some vanilla and woodyness to it which adds to the mouthfeel of this beer. 

A phenomenal mouthfeel. Just the right amount of thickness with a really nice coating feeling. Seriously might have the best feel of any stout I have ever had. 

Hides the booze well and I want another one, but by the end of the bottle, I was a little buzzed. I have another bottle and would be curious to see how it ages, but I would definitely buy this anytime I saw it.   

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Photo of Durge
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice brew at McNeill’s in Brattleboro this Imperial Stout shows a pitch black color with a fair tan color and good lacing. The aroma brings sweet molasses and a slightly citrusy malt. Solid but somewhat subtle. The flavor makes a pretty powerful statement with chewy charcoal and sweet malt. It’s perfectly balanced with a bit of a dry finish. It’s very lightly carbonated with a medium body that goes down smoothly. There’s just a nuance of chalkiness. It’s a high quality brew, very satisfying for the style, and easily recommendable. Nothing complex but spot on to meet expectations. Beautiful.

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Photo of Brad007
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thick brown head into my glass. Well-done for the style.

Aroma is full of roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate. It is somewhat "hot" as well.

Taste is full of creamy, roasted coffee upfront with decent notes of chocolate in the middle. The heat doesn't seem to carry over into the taste.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering coffee/chocolate notes and just a dash of creaminess.

A decent example of the style. It probably should be aged a bit though but otherwise, you can drink it fresh.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11%
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 codewarrior
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a tulip pint. Bottle indicates best by the last day of November, but no year indicated. Given the style, I wonder if this is a bottled-on date.

Grabbed a few bottles of this at the Webster, NY Hegedorn's. At $5 I figured there was very little harm in trying a new imp stout, and boy-o-boy did I get my money's worth. This is a world class stout right here.

L: In a word, awesome. Huge head with huge retention and hug globs clinging to the glass for dear life. Jet black with soy sauce thickness. Near perfection ... near.

S: Arresting-ly malt-forward. Hints at smoke and peat, fading into a crisp-hopped and bitter middle, over-taken by booze ... and plenty of it. Mealy. Good, damn good.

T: Not quite as good as it smells, but close. Starts out slowly, building from humble burnt malts to towering smoked mealy malts cut short by big hop characteristics. Fades into a lingering bittersweet.

F: A touch thinner than I'd like, but not much. Perfectly carbonated.

D: A delight, truly. At $5 for a bomber it's a race between this and Green Flash Double Stout for best bomber at $5.

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Photo of irs
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
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 WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a nice roasted, black malt scent along with a killer hop nose. It's quite bitter and enticing. The taste is good. It has an aggressive bitterness up front followed by a damn fine malt flavor. It's roasted with plenty of patent and special roast malts. The hop taste compliments the overall flavor; very fresh. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer wit adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The hops and malts meld nicely with one another. Lots of roasted character and hop content.

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Photo of Kendo
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notched best-by date on the bottle suggests drinking this one by the end of November. Consumed on November 4, 2010. Got the bottle at Westmere Beverage in Guilderland; I think I paid $4.69 for it. . . .

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is pitch black with a 2-finger foamy tan-colored head. Left behind some lace.

S: Roasted barley, some coffee roast and a touch of charcoal, maybe burnt whole wheat toast. Chocolate milk as it warms.

T: Solid. Pretty much follows the nose: roasted barley, burnt toast and coffee grounds. Milk chocolate noted as well. Touch of hop bitterness at the finish provides balancing bitterness, but there's also a chocolate-milky sweetness there.

M: Medium in heft, perhaps a touch weightier. Slight chocolate milk-type smoothness.

D: Very solid. Buzz is felt about halfway down the glass, but I wouldn't have guessed 8.5% ABV; maybe 7% or so. Alcohol is well masked in the taste.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up recently at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT for $4.79. Label notched as Best By November (no year), so I guess McNeill's doesn't recommend aging it. Served cold in a chilled tulip.

The brew forms a tall thick mocha head that builds slowly and then... stays there, perfectly calm... no movement, no bubbling or collapsing, peaceful as a Hindu cow. When held to a light bulb the brew remains completely black. After a good 5 minutes the head starts to collapse into a series of deep canyons and craters, and leaves thick foamy lace on the glass. It's certainly a good looker if nothing else.

The smell is fairly bright for the style- a light sugary sweetness, warm milk chocolate, some vanilla and caramel, and cafe au lait. A little bit of smoke, roasted malt, and resiny pine hop come out as it airs. Taste is much darker and more astringent than the smell. It starts with a really powerful bite of bitter chocolate and roasted malt that lasts straight through to the finish. There's some hop and peppery alcohol in there but it all blends almost seemlessly together. Altogether the whole thing is like a singular giant powerful dark dry note on the palate, made up of chocolate, smoke, hop, alcohol. The body is moderately thick, completely dry, with a pleasant mildly tingling carbonation. The finish is lingering chocolate/smoke/hop/pepper and has a little dry resin feel.

Pretty good stout, very dry, not too filling. I'd guess it is 7-8% ABV.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
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 BeerdedEric
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
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 jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fluffy darker head fades semi slowly nice lacing essentially pitch black beer

Nose Some dark roast, light choc, coffee, crystal malts, caramel, quite a bit of vanilla, some light earthy and grassy aromatic hops, a bit of creamy oats as well.

Taste plenty of dark malts, oats, coffee, vanilla, choc, creamy, earthy hops, chewy, grassy and light spicy hops, bit of sweetness and fluffy, finishes a bit syrupy and drier, chewy spicy hops, some dark malts, vanilla and coffee lingering, hint of booze on the finish.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied with decent carb, fairly smooth and creamy.

Overall pretty good, don't think it would age well, great aromas, nice flavors and malts, barely imperial though.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my DFH snifter.

Pours an inky black that settles into the glass with a nice viscosity. Completely opaque save for the edges which are a milk chocolate brown. Very thin darkish tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving some sticky, spotty lacing. Smell is slightly sweet and malty, with chocolatey undertones mingling with some hoppy notes.

The maltiness from the nose is prevalent in the taste, providing a mildly sweet undertone as the flavor shifts from chocolate to a slight bit of woody coffee rounding out with some distinct but still subdued hop bitterness. Alcohol is ephemerally there, with just a touch of booziness at the end followed by that warming sensation as it goes down. A well-balanced flavor profile, with a rather nice range of tastes providing a pleasing drinking experience. Mouthfeel is on the slightly thicker side, which is suitable for an imperial stout. Feels weighty on the tongue as you sip with a drying finish.

Drinkability is quite good. Coupled with the all-around well-done taste, the masked alcohol and the big and smooth mouthfeel, I could definitely put away a lot of this in one night. A quality imperial stout from McNeill's. I'd love to try this with some bourbon barrel-aging to really give it a unique character!

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. "Best Before the Last Day of" with November checked off. Just released today in bottles.

Appearance: Pours pitch-black with some brown hues around the rim and thin tan head.

Nose: Lots of coffee-ground notes, roasted black malt, fresh cream, a little smokey tobacco. But mostly coffee.

Palate: Medium-full bodied and creamy at first, but turning spicy with hop/alcohol bitterness/sharpness. Wow, tastes like homemade espresso, gritty and roasty. Some creamy carbonation rounds things out and a little bit of leafy hop flavor comes through.

Notes: Wow. Damn. This is the best McNeill's bottling I've had since he switched from self-distribution with Ink-jet labels to a wholesaler and label designs. I miss the original Imperial IPA, but I feel like this approaches the old Imperial Stout if not surpassing it. Can't say I like the label art, though. Well done on the beer, Ray!

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
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 gregshead
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 8/8/11. Thanks for the who knows how manyth time to Biglobo. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a medium thickness, dark black. A small layer of light khaki colored head.

S: Sweet chocolate and bitter coffee on the nose. Also dry/roasted smells, probably the coffee.

T: Sweet notes balance the bitter coffee flavors. Aftertaste is definitely dry, maybe hoppy.

M: Great silky smooth feel. Definitely a creamy feel. Possibly more creamy than an other beer I can think of.

O: This beer really reminded me that there are the diamonds in the rough I can't exclude from my beer hunt. I would love to have another of one these to bring to a blind tasting beer event.

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McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout from McNeill's Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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