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McNeill’s Dark Angel Imperial Stout

September 12, 2012

McNeill’s is a brewery out of Brattleboro, Vermont that offers a nice array of fairly tasty beers. Also, if there’s anything to be gleaned from their description of their brewmaster as a “sorcerer or fallen angel,” they clearly have a decent sense of humor. Since 1992 they’ve been brewing a wide selection of European and American style ales out of their brewpub. In the past few years they’ve established a larger package facility and now offer ten varieties year round plus seasonal brews, which I consider pretty impressive.

During their tap takeover at Barcade Brooklyn the other week, before I could even contemplate the beers they had on hand, I was suggested to have myself a glass of the Dark Angel, McNeill’s Imperial Stout.

The beer poured a dark black with fluffy dark brown head that slowly disappeared over the course of a few minutes. There was a strong scent of roasted malt, and espresso with the slightest hints of oak. With a mouthfeel that was thick and creamy, and let the beer linger in your mouth, things were off to quite a good start.

The taste of the brew comes in waves. The first wave is a nice strong taste of coffee and roasted malt, dark but not overpoweringly so. The second wave of this beer is where things become strange. There’s a fruit taste to it, but it didn’t taste like some chocolate covered fruits might. Instead, the best comparison I can make is when you let a piece of fruit sit in sangria for too long and in a drunken stupor you decide to bite into this bloated, reddened, cointreau covered piece of orange. I feel it could work but it just wasn’t doing it for me. The beer ends with a strong wave of bitterness like a shot of espresso, or a hunk of the darkest dark chocolate. The strength was welcome and pleasant in this imperial stout.

At the end of the brew, I think it’s definitely worth a taste especially if you like dark beers. Not for people looking for a strong chocolate or fruit punch and certainly not for green horns.


From → Beer

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