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 sweemzander
2.39/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Produced a decent tan colored cap of foam. Good retention. Some lace.

(S)- A mild roasted component with raisin and a candied licorice characters to it.

(T)- A potent bitter roasted profile. Bits of raisin and licorice with a strange nutty/metallic flavor.

(M)- A nice mellow carbonation level. A very present roasted hoppy bitterness to it that mutes alot of the other flavors. That metallic flavor is bothersome as well. Very dry and bitter overall.

(D)- A very bitter/hoppy stout. Not a whole lot else going on, but it is what it is.

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Photo of cjacobsen
2.53/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz Bomber into a snifter

(A) Really dark, black head. Absolutely no light gets through this one. It has a really nice light brown head to it. It at least looks pretty.

(S) There's an abundance of dark fruits, licorice, coffee and some roasted malt with cocoa. As it warms up you get some hop notes.

(T) Right away and throughout the most of drink, it tastes like old coffee. It's very earthy and the bitterness is pretty significant. The hops are actually quite large and present for a stout. You get some of the roasted dark malts and some caramel in the aftertaste, but it needs time to linger in order for you to extract those.

(M) Very dry and bitter

(O) I think this is the hoppiest, most unbalanced stout I have every had.

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Photo of claspada
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Absolutely no aroma worth mentioning. Faint roasted malts but barely. Taste is roasted, no, charted malts. Burnt, bitter molasses, smokiness which is undesirable considering the lack of body. Coca cola unpleasant finish; too dry with no body. Pass...

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Photo of biglite351
2.82/5  rDev -26.4%
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 woosterbill
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
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 AgentZero
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Nate for sharing this, second time I've had it, reaction is still the same.

A - Very dark brown beer, almost black. Bit of a tan head, some moderate lace left on the side.

S - Some dark fruit, caramel, molasses, little bit of unpleasant burnt smell. Kind of boozy.

T - Not sure how this ended up on the buzz list. Not a ton going on here, and what does come through in the taste isn't particularly good. Some dark fruit, little spice, too much booze, some burnt something.

M - Medium bodied, overcarbonated.

O - Not particularly great, poor nose, taste not all that good either. Has too much carbonation, wouldn't drink this again.

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Photo of silentjay
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours thick and dark brown which settles to an opaque black with a huge mocha colored head that retains well and laces very, very well.

dark cacao, coffee, roasted malts, in a pretty weak aroma.

not getting the chocolate or cacao picked up in the nose very much, the dark roasted malts are there, but there is some unpleasant sourness before the hops take over nicely with pine, wood, and tobacco on the finish. possible slight contamination maybe? will revisit.

pretty full bodied and creamy with ample carbonation but a sour and tobacco-laden aftertaste that isn't very pleasant.

drinks ok, but has the backbone of what seems to be a better beer. will revisit and adjust ratings if subsequent experience warrants it.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Nate for this buzzed beer, drank from a perfect pint glass... The beer is a light black, still showing some signs of brown. A light tan head with ok retention and lacing, nothing special... The aroma is decent, dark fruits, molasses, alcohol, a hint of chili pepper... The taste is just not good, way over carbonated, too much alcohol, dark fruits, and more chili, maybe on the way to being bad... A few sips of this enough, can't recommend it.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
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 Dope
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
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 MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Nate for picking this up in Vermont. Served in a Heady Topper glass.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is black with a glint of brown at the fringes.

S - Smell is a little off. Rubbery and burnt, with some fruity and medicinal notes. Otherwise it has black malt, dark bread, and some obvious booze.

T - Taste is better, but a little bit bland. Lots of cocoa, dark fruits, and a bitter espresso finish. It's a slightly above average stout.

M - Overcarbonated, but otherwise smooth in texture. Medium-bodied, with some obvious alcohol in the finish.

D - This was alright. The smell was a little weird, but otherwise it was a fairly inoffensive stout. Not sure why you'd bother with this one considering the better options available in Vermont.

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Photo of cratez
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber acquired through an in-person trade with rageagainst123. Cheers Ryan!

Dark Angel pours an opaque black with two fingers of mocha froth and a few strands of lacing on the tulip. A good-looking brew.

Smell is vanilla, roasted malts, table cream, and dark chocolate. All of these aromas come through in the taste, along with a light cherry sweetness, a fruity, tart and acidic middle, a mild cranberry sourness, and a bitter and metallic finish.

This is a surprisingly malty imperial stout, and the fruitiness is a nice touch, but I'm not digging the sour and metallic flavours. Could be past its prime, though imperial stouts usually age well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat slick, moderate carbonation, a bit thin for the style.

Overall, DA is an odd duck, with seemingly “off” tastes despite the promising nose and appearance. However, it still drinks fairly easy, and I'm glad I got to try a rare beer from Vermont. Thanks again to rageagainst123 for the hook-up!

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Photo of Gavage
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a dark brown 1/4" head that falls apart immediately.

Smell: dark chocolate, coffee, a hint of vanilla, and a bit of alcohol are detectable by the nose.

Taste: roasted flavors abound here, with some earthiness. Licorice, dark chocolate, some burnt bitter coffee, and a bit of hop presence rounds it out. Alcohol is slightly warming here too.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Long dry aftertaste as the roasted flavors and alcohol linger in the mouth.

Overall: slow sipping imperial stout that is decent but not mind-blowing. The licorice tones got a bit stronger as the beer warmed.

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Photo of devilben02
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as pretty as any run-of-the-mill imperial stout, with a dark opaque brown color capped by a very thin, creamy head. The aroma is a bit weak, with only a very faint dark roasted malt character and a bit of dark fruitiness. The flavor is much less nuanced, with a predominant, nice smokiness contrasted against some medium-roast coffee and a little licorice. Lightly carbonated and quite dry, this one is a pleasant departure from the thick motor-oil-like viscosity of many big stouts. Overall, this beer isn't as big and powerful as many well-regarded imperial stouts, but the comparatively mild flavors and interesting flavor profile make it a nice change-of-pace within the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout poured out nice and dark in color. Not much light is able to pass through this brew. The head was thick and tan in color. The smell of the beer had plenty of roasted malt aromas and some hints of chocolate and coffee in the mix. The taste was much like the nose but I felt like the flavors could have been a little stronger. The mouthfeel was a little thin for this one I thought, I was a little bummed that it was a thicker brew. Overall the beer is decent, I would drink it again.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
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 SawDog505
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 16 oz snifter. Very black, with a nice half inch of mocha head. Minimal lacing, expect more out of my stouts. Smell is on the weaker side. Some chocolate, coffee, and liquorice. Taste is same, but kind of simple for my taste. Mouth feel is o.k, with enough carbonation. O.k Imperial Stout.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown into a pint glass with a very interesting chunky mocha gray head that sticks to the glass.

Nose of light chocolate and light roasted malts - some piney hops.

A sip is sweet milk chocolate and a subdued roasted malt at very light carbonation and medium to lighter body. Reminded me of an iced coffee. More of the roasted dryness at the end, slight alcohol warmth - overall the 10% is pretty well disguised by the sweetness.

This beer has some nice aspects but the flavor isn't hitting me at any interesting angles - sweet and much too thinly bodied for me, still very drinkable. Not upset with this one but wouldn't search out. Solid price for a 22oz IS.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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 busterthecat
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a slid milk chocolate brown, a big mocha head sits prominent. The rocky head leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S- Smooth roasted dark malt with a toffee sweetness. Piney haps peak through. Smell is good but a tad light.

T- Roasted malts that finish with a slight burnt tone. A nice coffee bitterness. Some alc burn. Hops add some notes but dark malts mostly dominate. Seems a bit raw.

M- Medium body for this type of stout. Good. A very light ting from the roasted/ burnt malt.

O- A good IS. Worth trying. Might shape up with some age.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle, served in a goblet.

Deep brown in color; slightly opaque. Slightly creamy, coffee-colored head that fades to a nearly intact sheet after a moment. Traces of thin lacing.

Bitter chocolate and roasted malt aromas; deep, earthen espresso notes. The pine hop aroma really comes through amidst the dark roasted malts.

Really deep, chewy roasted malt flavors with an intense nut-flavored and espresso dryness; hints of smoke. As in the aroma, the pine flavors are aggressive and unrelenting at mid-sip. The hop flavors make for a very dry finish with notes of bitter chocolate, espresso, and roasted nuts in the aftertaste.

Full bodied; chewy and very dry. The texture is very similar to an export stout rather than a syrupy imperial stout.

Not my type of imperial stout; flavor-wise or texturally. The bittered, roasted malt flavors are just a bit much for the palate. I wonder if by putting this one down for a year, the somewhat rough flavors would mellow a bit.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown. A nice reddish tint with a decent amount of off-white head. smells roasty and pretty sweet. A dry roasty malt profile. Sme nice dark chocolate on the tongue. A bit too sweet for me but a nice dry finish, Overall pretty solid but nothing special.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Spleeb for this random stout

This finished off the night, so take that for what it's worth. This beer pours a nice darkness topped by an ecru foam, which wasn't long lasting. The smell of this beer was a decent malt bill, with some nice maple wood and a touch of roast in the background. The taste was really rather plain, in my opinion. Not that it tasted bad, but it was weak on all of the flavors. It had a roasted malt character to it, but I really more than anything got pale malt in the taste. The flavor weren't really all that exciting, they weren't bad. The mouthfeel was a touch acidic for my liking, but overall the viscosity was really pretty good. Overall there was no getting over my lack of enthusiasm for the lacking taste. I was hoping for better, though this beer was still good.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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 Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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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McNeill's Dark Angel Imperial Stout from McNeill's Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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