Dead Horse I.P.A.July 1, 2002 Place: Brattleboro, VT
Brewery: McNeill’s Brewery
Place: Brattleboro, VT
Available: MA, VT
This beer is bottle fermented aged one year in their cellars and can be kreuzened or conventionally carbonated. At the pub, the beer is served “cask” via beer engine. McNeill’s Brewery is housed in a 19th century fire station, which then became the town offices and finally the town’s jail: “The village drunks were forced to sleep here…now they all work here.”
Alcohol by weight: 5.05
To me, a dead horse represents something passe, but this horse is decidedly alive and well. The beer is a fine, hoppy, aromatic extravaganza; and certainly a jewel in Vermont's crown. All that and bottle-conditioning, too! IPA's are just about my favorite beer type, especially when I need my daily hop fix. These hops are grand. As I think about this beer, I am salivating, even though the bottle is still in front of me, and my glass is not empty. It's easy to see that Vermont is a state worthy of closer examination, especially if this is any example of their brewing expertise. I am impressed and I can tell that this is a fine excuse to visit that great state again.
- Fred Eckhardt
It’s a big bottle and I pour carefully as the deep honey-colored beer, literally chunky with yeast, forms a thick rocky head. It has a gigantic American hop nose, all grapefruit and pine needles. On the palate, it’s surprisingly light-footed, a medium-bodied beer supporting robust bitterness on a light malt frame. The finish is very dry and sharp, with bitterness wandering around long after the beer is gone. If you like hops and you don’t mind “floaters,” this is a very nice IPA. My spicy chicken Pad Thai awaits.
- Garrett Oliver
Despite its unappealing name, this is one of my favorite IPAs. It has an attractive, full, amber-red, color; a fresh, fruity, fragrant aroma; a firm, smooth, creamy malt background; and an extremely appetizing, late, lingering dryness and hop acidity. The flavors are very lively, and their interplay makes for a teasing but satisfying (not satiating) brew..
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer and Sake (USA).
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.