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Wailing Wench - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wailing WenchWailing Wench

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

430 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 430
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 38
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HappyHourHero on 10-23-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 430 | Reviews: 305
Photo of BeerTruth
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you love hops, this is for you. What can I say, I'm a hop head and I'm 5 minutes from the brewery, so I'm quite biased. Color is a dark amber with zesty citrus odors. Middles Ages offers this in bombers and on tap for growler fills but not in 12 oz. bottles. So far it's always been on tap at the brewery, whether it be for tastings or in the back room for fills. Definitely one of my favorite brews of all time, but if you're not much into hops I would avoid it. Drinkability is rough unless you enjoy a lot of hops and 8% ABV. At least try a sample it you're at the brewery or maybe Blue Tusk. I highly recommend it.

Photo of BeerTaster
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I know some have complained about to much hops but that is never a complaint you will hear from me besides what did you expect with a name like Wailing Wench. The beer poured deep amber in coulor and head retention good leaving a nice lace in the glass. The aroma was a plesent piney zesty hopy one and the taste well what can I say I love hops. I have bought this beer before and even though it runs close to 4 bucks a bottel I keep comming back. Besides I like the label (its part of the experence)

Photo of alexskovan
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK -- I'm a sucker for beer with pretty women on the label. I just wish the "wench" inside the bottle was as appealing as the one on the outside.

Poured clear deep amber with an off-white head that lasted. Smell was . . . HOPS! Lots and lots of hops. Taste was . . . HOPS! With some malty notes underneath, but hard to hear over the wailing of the hops.

Sorry, I'm just not this much of a hop-head. Pretty bottle though. . .

Photo of aforbes10
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this along with Druid Fluid because i'd heard that middle ages brewed a good beer. Poured dark fudge caramel brown with very little head. Alcohol and fairly strong buttery odor. the smell is kind of worrying....diactyl? Thick alco-malt flavor with lots of hop bitterness and oily-ness. some residual buttery flavor but this is swamped out to some extent by the large hop load in the beer. Its overall a bit unbalanced with the flavors not really coming together particularly well. Not really all that impressive of a beer but its certainly a big beer and not awful by any means.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler glass at the Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill, PA.

A: The ale is a dark brown ale. It is not opaque, having a lighter color that mixes brown and red highlights. The head is nothing spectacular, in part because the glass was filled to the top.

S: The aroma is a thick hoppy citrus character.

T: I had this beer not knowing the style. Based on its darker color, I assumed it was an amber ale. Imagine my surprise when the first flavors are big citrusy hops. The ale is flush with grapefruit, apricot and pineapple. That hop flavor overpowers the biscuity malt base and hides the alcohol sufficiently.

M: The mouthfeel has a nice hoppy strength that catches one off guard and finishes nicely.

D: The abv is a little high, but the strong hop body makes for a pleasant pint.

Photo of froggyfrog
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The golden cap with its intertwined MA logo folds over under pressure from the business end of a black Beer Advocate bottle opener. Gas escapes its twenty-two ounce prison with a sharp hiss as if this brown glass bottle holds not strong American ale but a tangle of pissed off serpents.

A prolonged tip of bottleneck to glass snifter yields a dusky red-yellow liquid with a pervasive off-white cap.

Iron and calcium carbonate ride unseen currents of air to reach quickly for my nostrils. Heavily caramelized sugars mingle with earthy-herbal hops and a low-key spicy alcohol. Warmth spreads like a bloodstain on cotton through my body as the pleasant taste of alcohol permeates my tongue.

The strong mineral scents fade away with time, allowing ripe citrus notes to shine through.

Let it warm up a bit to get a nice peppermint-ginger finish in the swallow.

Spend some time with this beer. It is as delightful as the inviting young woman on the label seems to promise. This is truly a world-class beer.

Hell yeah, Wench! Sorry it took me so long to find you.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (Courtesy of Hogtownharry): Poured a clear light brown color ale with a small foamy head with low retention. Aroma of citrus hops is dominating. The taste is also dominated by the citrus hops but is lacking in malt balance. Body is about average with no alcohol noticeable. This beer while lacking in malt balance IMO is still very enjoyable.

Photo of EvilKeith
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wailing Wench poured into the tumbler with a deep copper hue and very good clarity. The head was a firm finger and a half of thick, dense tan colored foam. The glass was coated with a solid curtain of thick and sticky lace.
My initial impressions from the smell were of minerals and hard water. As it warmed the scent tended more toward herbal, grassy, citrus hops and a firm toasted caramel maltiness with faint phenolics in the background.
The taste was full of lightly toasted malt notes, caramel sweetness, organics with citric, spicy, grassy hops and an assertive bitterness. In the finish I found a pleasant dryness, a lingering bitterness and the faintest hint of peppery alcohol.
The body was medium and the carbonation was medium.

I originally planned to begin my review with a longwinded ode to the woman on the label. She is fair of skin, a fiery red haired beauty with bewitching blue eyes. Surely she is of Royal blood.
A knave such as me could scarcely hope to win the hand of so fair a maiden. Alas, I will go to the end of my days quenching my thirst with her Strong Ale and drinking in her beauty from afar.

Many thanks to dlee for this and many other fine beers and ales. You have a new friend indeed.

Photo of williamherbert
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange color. Thick, fluffy head. Hazzy but pretty spartan. Nice thick lace.

Heavy grapefruity hop smell. Bitter and so inviting. Very bitter smell.

Seriously bitter, hoppy grapefruit flavor. Sweetly bitter aftertaste. Very delicious. English yeast adds the perfect depth and a bready base. Yeast/hop balance works; very little malt presence.

Really sits on the tongue. Semi-thick feel, but not chewy or chunky. A tiny bit fizzy.

Great drink. Hoppy but surprisingly smooth; bitter but kind of sweet. Gotta love this Wench.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now how can you NOT try a brew with that pic on the label???
Pours a medium dark amber with a full two fingers of thick tan head that never melts...seriously...this sticky head stays forever.
Aromas are fresh hops as it should be ....fresh hops a touch of sweet malt...but a tingle of hops in the nose always.
Mouth is filled with slightly toasted amber malt that gives way to a citrus hops leaving you with a tangy dryness in the mouth for an aftertaste.
Pleasant, but unfortunately indistinct in the type of hops or the sense of citrus one feels.
I would like a bit more definition with this brew.
All in all good...could have been great with fresher, more distinct hops,.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First thoughts: Wow. As in WOW! Lots of beautiful hops.
Second thoughts: Hmmmm, it can't sustain itself, it'll destroy the palate.
Final thoughts: It holds up. It changes as the palate dulls, but in the end the combination of deeply caramelized malt, grassy/minty/piney/floral/citrusy hops, and buttery yeast is really nice. I drank a whole bomber and loved it straight through!

Middle Ages Wailing Wench pours a clear, deep-chestnut body with a crimson-orange glow. Here and there highlights tend towards gold, but for the most part it's almost headed to becoming a dark beer;) The frothy tan head holds remarkably well, and leaves even better lace throughout the entire glass. Very nice!

In the nose the hops rise up to meet you with notes of grass, pine, citrus, and flowers. It's quite refreshing and exciting! Beneath that, a darkly caramelized and toasty malt resides.

The flavor is both bready and hoppy upfront, with a spiciness that's reminiscent of rye; and some grassy notes make their way in as well. Notes of citrusy hops flitter to-and-fro and here-and-there with orange, grapefruit, and pineapple all checking in. It's also peppery, grassy, and spicy, yet it lands back on it's feet at the swallow with a dollop of sweet malt that brings us back to the beginning. From there a smear of buttery yeast hits the palate and gently melts as the bitterness ushers us into a bone-dry finish that lingers with a bit of pine-resin intensity (but not necessarily the harsh, resinous character that's normally found). The fruity and buttery bell of Ringwood yeast rings solidly throughout, and its supple fruity edge is more than welcome with a note of apricot and pear that seems to lend balance to the whole thing!

REALLY NICE! I wasn't expecting such a remarkably drinkable beer, but they've certainly pulled that off. Very nice!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The first thing I got out of the smell was tea. There was also a significant amount of hops and caramelized malt.

T: Flavors of caramelized malt, dark fruit, tea & hops hit you all at once when you first begin sipping. The hops bitterness ends up winning out remains in the after-taste, but there’s a faint underlying malt sweetness that sticks around as well.

M: Crisp, but not quite the smoothest beer, medium body, medium carbonation, clean & dry finish.

D: Tasty, and not filling, but doesn’t go down as easy as I would like. However, it’s still a good beer.

Photo of biegaman
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As much the bottle caught my eye (couldn't tell you why...) so did this one's name. True, I am a sucker for alliteration but something about those two words together - 'wailing', 'wench'. Origins of the word "wench" lie in the Middle Ages (no, not this beers' brewers! but the actual time period) and the Old English term "wencel child", akin to "wancol tottering", said of a child learning to walk. Well this one certainly could stand on it's own...

Pours with a small topping of white head, scattered sheets of lacing. A small stream of bubbles stay constant. A gorgeous terra-cotta shade. A deeper, dyed red on top, slightly lighter skin tone lies underneath. Perfumy aroma, zesty, fruity hops. Lots of hops. Refined and lightly delicate scent. Flavours somewhat astringent - a real buttery makeup. Mild hop bitterness, light candy malt. Well balanced body. Very mineral mouthfeel, copper notes. Fair drinkability. A rather dry, mild finish but with a really nice, gentle tinkling sensation on the aftertaste. Lots of diacetyl would come through as the beer warmed. This was pretty off-putting, although, the only real thing I could hold against this beer. Started off more promising than it turned out. Still enjoyable, but I'd recommend it served cold. Warming up hurt.

A swanky and high-minded lady...
And as for the other half of this beers' name - to wail, or be 'wailing', is also to lament - as in to lament in someone's absence; and while I've never done this before, and I don't plan to make it a habbit...
Song: Frank Sinatra's "Until the Real Thing Comes Along"

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised that this was classifed on BA as a strong ale and not an IPA. Has the buttery character associated with Ringwood. Fairly hoppy and smooth. Very good in a bottle but even better on draft. The Wench is a solid beer that I would recommend.

Photo of mcallister
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep ruby/maroon color, showing a large thick, frothy head of off white. Leaves a chunky full lace down the glass and retains itself well.

This is a fine smelling brew. First and foremost are thick and floral hop aromas with hints of pine, fig, red currant, and a malt happiness.

Mouth is very light and fruity. An interesting (in a good way) beer. Red currant, fresh fig, tea leaves, floral hoppiness, malt balance and other fruit minglings.

This is one that you could drink for a while considering the ABV.

Photo of Boto
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber: This one pours a darker brownish-amber color with a fairly large tan head. Definitely an aroma of hops: just not as much as I would have expected. Some pine seems to be on top. The taste seems a bit light for this tupe of beer. Smooth, but not as much bitterness as I would have expected or liked. Some dryness in the aftertaste. OK, but could be better.

Photo of EagleTalon
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a frothy white head and dark amber color. Medium carbonation. Aroma is mostly citrusy American hops--not quite screaming but very bitchy. Flavor is what you would expect from an American IPA, and no flaws. Medium mouthfeel. This is a very easy to quaff brew. A solid wall of 4's.

Photo of Morbeus3
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Coppery red color. A long lasting light tan head that never went away.

Very malty sweetness out of the bomber. Poured into a pint glass released piney hops aromas over the malt.

Expected a very sweet initial taste (from the smell) that did not pan out.First taste was slightly sweet followed by an explosions of hops bitterness. a dry hoppy finish that was slightly astringent. Mouthfeel started light but became fuller before I swallowed. Good Carbonation


Photo of hoppymeal
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours cola in color with a coppery hue and a decent size cream head that slowly fades back. There is a cola-y sweet aroma as well as a bitey piney hop smell. The beer is definitely hoppy with a good bite of piney peppery hops in the taste along with some malty sweetness that also shows a hint of citrus, although the hops seem to fall more on the pine side. A little bite of alcohol in the finish as well. Medium body and slightly thick on the palette from the malt sweetness. Definitely a hoppy experience however I thought that the sugary malts and the large hop bite do not seem to balance each other very well in the taste. Some good stuff going on here, just all seems to be competing for the stage.

Photo of geexploitation
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark red color, with a larger cream colored head that sticks very well, probably on account of all the hop oils in here. Hop aromas predominate, with some earthy and metallic notes at the forefront. Some chocolatey malt aromas poke through as well; it's a strange nose. The flavors on display here also defy easy categorization and they aren't necessarily pleasant. Quite metallic and bitter at the start; the flavors are thin and unbalanced, with a definite emphasis on the hops at the expense of the malt. Mouthfeel is on the thin side. I don't find this to be terribly drinkable, as the flavors are not really that interesting, even though the gravity is thin enough to promote drinkability under normal conditions.

Photo of Rudgers73
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. There seems to be some sort of wench on the bottle and she is wailing quite well...

A- Pours a nice copper red with a tan froathy head. 2 fingers, hmm. Crystal clear, light carbonation.

S- Pungent with hops. Sort of a grape skin smell to the head. Slight alcohol.

T- Solid with a big kick of fruity hops. Ends very dry. Leaves an overall grapefruity, sweet taste in your mouth. Similar to arrogant bastard IMO.

M- Dry and winey. If you put the flavor behind you the texture is actually very thick and creamy.

D- Nice to share with a friend.

I was surprised to see that this is concidered a strong ale. It's strong but I was sure it would be an APA. I guess I still have a lot to learn about my new IPA/APA experimentation.

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on-tap 9/25/06 at Tria Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.
Advertised as 8%.

Beautiful mahogany color with a nice tan head. Prominent spruce and pine hop aromas and flavors. Very robust and malty with lots of hops to balance. A solid nicely balanced Strong Ale without overdoing the alcohol level. Full-medium bodied with a spruce/pine hop finish.

Interesting that this beer doesn't really use the citrusy hops which makes it nice and unique in my book. A must try and a re-buy (if I can ever find it. :-(

Per MA website: 8% ABV

($5.50 / Pint)

Photo of auntfloyd
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first beer from this brewer. I'd seen their stuff at Bierkraft before, but nothing really jumped out at me... to be honest I kind of thought it was gimmicky. But a New York State brewer deserves at least a trial. So I picked the Wailing Wench, because a "full-bodied ale screaming with hops" sounds like the perfect brew for me.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a nonic. Very dark reddish-brown, with a decent head and good retention. The nose is hoppy with hints of citrus, but subtle.

The hoppy, citrusy flavors are the most prevalent ones at first, while later establishing its complexity with notes of caramel, chocolate, and sweet malts. This is an excellent representation of its style.

The mouthfeel is good; this is a slightly chewy beer with substance to it. It is eminently drinkable, though with its high 8% a.b.v., you probably wouldn't want too much of it.

In passing, I would like to say that as a dyed-in-the-wool Arrogant Bastard fan, this is a great beer that is very much like AB, but much less bitter, less in your face, and more drinkable. I highly reccomend this beer.

Photo of orsulacp
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My neighbor gave me this for letting him park his truck in my driveway. The beer had a deep clear amber color with a large sticky off white head. The nose was big and malty with hops on top, caramel, coffee, some roasted malt and piney earthy hops. The taste reminded me of Scotch ale with more hops, malty flavors - caramel, toffee with a very nice earthy hop bitterness at the end. The mouth was light-medium; I was expecting a bit chewier.

Photo of bruachan
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this is my first MABC brew. let's go

so dark, it's like wicked dark. we'll call it mahogany or chestnut and then move on to remark about how juxtaposed the fine white head is

the aroma is at once bigtimehoppy. pine flies out of the bottle when i remove the cap, but in the glass i get big roasty notes. it's almost like an RIS in the aroma category (though wich some heavy butter aromas). doesn't taste much like it, though. actually, the flavor profile is pretty thin, as is the mouthfeel. the bitterness is mentionable, but not up to the size of the taste and aroma—imbalanced

i'm not diggin this beer. smells liks butter, weak flavor characteristics, thin. if Nosferatu and Hibernation ale are my benchmarks with which to judge this one, not even close

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Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.