Wailing Wench - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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Wailing WenchWailing Wench

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very good

421 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 421
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 37
Gots: 15 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HappyHourHero on 10-23-2003)
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Ratings: 421 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample ...

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

A- Big froth, lots of tan colored head and the retention is superb. The bronze tinged brown hue shows some clarity.

S- Faint buttery note and thick malt sweetness resembles cake batter. The hop aroma is quite fragrant with floral and citric tones.

T&M - Big rush of floral, sticky herbal and citric hops. Very malty with a solid body and lush crispness. Tad buttery with more herbal hop flavor in the middle. Warming alcohol and a dark fruit flavor linger throughout after each sip. Bitterness kicks in middle to end with a slow tingle and a earthy dryness.

D- Big time fall / winter ale. Sipping brew all the way. Warming and flavorful and a easy paring with some mild goat cheddar.

Photo of jakester
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours a beautiful garnet red with a two finger head of light tan foam. The head falls to a coating and a ring, with great lacing. Carbonation looks medium.

Aroma is earthy, fruity and spicy, with notes of molasses, vanilla, spicy hops, plums and currants. This has a wonderful smell. Alcohol comes through as it warms. Pride of Ringwood?

The flavor is WOW! Big hop bitterness, sweet, dark, rich malts, earthy/spicy hops out the ass. Starts out sweet, but quickly dries out a little. Strong vanilla, dark brown sugar, and fruits like plums and currants. There really is a lot going on here, very delicious. Aftertaste is molasses, earthy hops, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a tongue curdling hop character. Residual sweetness is medium, and the beer is medium bodied. Dries out during mid-sip.

This is one outstanding brew. Wonderful combination of flavors; great hoppiness, perfect malt backbone, nice spiciness, and well hidden alcohol. Highly recommended.

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light brown or deep brown amber--clear. One-finger head that has great stability. Nice sticky lace

Sweet brown sugar and caramel smells. Second whiff produces the bittering hop, a seemingly high-alpha hop.

Think overhopped brown ale, very flavorful, but with strong ingredients rather than full flavors. Nice body with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Slightly sweet with a good bitter kick which is the aftertaste in spades.

This reminds me of extreme beers. Not much balance here, but the flavor is explosive in a balanced way. You want malt, here it be. The hops are lip puckeringly present. Smooth, this isn't, but flavorful it is to the n-th degree.

Photo of orfeu
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber. Dark, overbrewed tea appearance with minimal, dense head. Aromas are of pine and citrus hops with that familiar Ringwood yeast Middle Ages loves to use. Initially very bitter, with a heavy mineral flavor -- almost overwhelming -- with some roasty coffee malt at the very tail end. Hops predominate with bitter, bitter grapefruit which all but entirely cloaks a bready malt structure. The mouthfeel is full and chewy. Alcohol (8%) is barely perceptible underneath all those massive flavors. This is a big beer, probably the most complex offering I've sampled from Middle Ages. Interesting in that I mostly detect the Ringwood in the nose and in the otherwise hoppy burps. Drinkability...not sure yet. I think I'll wait a while before picking up another, but this certainly has piqued my interest, and I'll have no problem finishing the bottle.

Photo of taez555
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark tan body with a small off-white head.

Nose has a distinct burn of citrus hops in the nose. Although not overly piney or citrusy, mostly just the burn in the nostrils. Touches of malt, caramel and some rustic earth smells.

A very distinct flavor. Dark molasses and caramel dominate a huge malt taste. Citrus and black pepper hops jump right out at you. Citrus peel, grapefruit and some other natural citrus fruit flavors. This is very reminiscent of Stone's Arrogant Bastard yet very distinct at the same time. Medium bodied with a mild grain but mostly very smooth. Balanced in malt and hops from start to finish and ends with a lingering bitterness.

Wow, this is a damn good beer. I feel bad saying this reminds me of Stone's AB, but it really does. A little more fruity in the hop character and not such a compact malt, but... yeah... very good.

Photo of jdhilt
3.05/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts with some sweetness finish is hoppy/malty with some bitter aftertaste. There are better double IPAs like Stoudts. $4.99 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep ruby-amber color with a frothy light tan colored head. At first in the aroma I get sharp notes of pine and then the diacetyl kicks in. The beer is quite light on the palate, at least from what I was expecting. There is a light sweetness to this beer, which off-plays the sharp pine-notes, grapefruit, and tangerine. The diacetyl definitely is quite present in the taste, it especially lingers a long time in the finish. This is like chewing on a butter soaked mix of pine and citrus. I can't say that it is without merit though; the ample hop rate does help to mitigate the diacetyl dominance, except perhaps in the finish. This beer is quite a conundrum, at times I find it drinkable, yet at others I want to pour it down the sink. Thus the score neither captures the depths or the heights that this beer gets to.

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, somewhere between a red ale and a nut brown; large fluffy head recedes slowly. Nose is sweet and floral, estery and hoppy.

Flavors run the gamut. Initially sweet balanced by a thick, burnt malt profile. Hardcore grapefruit juice flavor; a bit like drinking malty, boozy grapefruit juice. Okay not really, but you get the idea. Rounded bitterness in the finish. I remember the cask version being much hoppier. This is well balanced by actually leans towards being thick and malty in my opinion. I find this to be heading towards barleywine country. A rich malty brew...a true "big" beer at that. Nice.

Photo of sacfly
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On Tap at McGraths in Harrisburg

Presented a muddy brown with red hints. Moderate tan head. Smell is orange peal and grapefruit. Spectacular aroma.

First sip is a powerful blend of orange and pine. Nice balance of bitter and sweet in the orange. Medium to heavy body. However, a harsh cheep vodka presence overcomes me in the finish. Dreadful. This was so promising but I hesitated on each sip thinking about how bad the finish was.

I ended up giving the rest to my friend who said he barely noticed it (the harsh vodka flavor) and thought it was good. My wife also thought it was OK, so I’m thinking it was a good sample, just not something I enjoy in a IIPA. Would like to taste some bottled so I can age it slightly. Maybe the vodka would die down with age?

Photo of beerislove
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to shippos for sending along this and just about every other offering from Middle Ages. I love this brewery’s labels, and this buxom beer-wench is no exception!

The beer pours a burnt orange with brown and purple highlights – a bit darker than I am used to. A nice firm head settles down and keeps watch over the beer, lasting just about until I am done. The aroma is a bit woody and piney, not at all fruity to me - it isn’t very powerful compared to others in the style. I am not sure what to expect so time to take a swig…

The taste is sharp and piney, but with a strong grainy malt presence that I am not expecting in this category. The piney hops continue across my tongue and throat and the resins stick there forever. This flavor just doesn’t quit. I am not loving it initially, but as I take additional sips the sheer weight of the hops crushes my taste buds and a slight dark fruit flavor begins to come through. Still, it took a while to find any, and there wasn’t much to find. Also, the mouthfeel is a bit thin for a DIPA, being more in the range of an APA/IPA.

Overall I was expecting better from a highly rated beer and brewery. Perhaps it is personal taste, but I like a DIPA to be a step between IPA and Barleywine family (juicier & fruitier than IPA, but not all the way to a thick sipping beer like barleywine). I can’t argue that it is a highly hopped beer, it just lacks any inspiration of artistry in its construction. There is no complexity to its flavors and it lacks that juicy, hoppy chewiness that I love oh so much. I would call this average at best, and for the same price I can enjoy beautiful examples of the style like Maharaja, Big A, and Hercules. Given the high rating this beer holds I would certainly be willing to try again as I may have just tried a bad batch, but something tells me it just isn’t a great DIPA.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ole double duecer snaggletoothed from Buffalo, NY that has to be reviewed! Whimsical label of a Middle Ages buxom beer wench, ostensibly, in awe of the beer.

Free falls into a glass with a clear violet-coppery hue topped with a khaki spotty uneven thick sticking head cap layer berift of rising carbonation leaving a frothy headcap lace..

Initial aromatic blast of fresh grassy piney hops that are nearly to die for. I am more in love with the aroma than the slooty-hoo on the label. Maybe and hopefully some amarillo in there. Sheesh, that is a virtual hops furnace of aromas with a smidge of vanilla and woody malt.

First swigs: Sweet and piney hops greet a gregarious toungue. Bold citrous characters well intertwine with a malty orange peel treat. This is tasty.

Medium to full bodied with a lingering mouthfeel of blended buttery ringwood and orange peel astringency.

Last swigs: Citrus orange and oak woody power IPA. Already, I crave more before I am done this first pour. Where have beers of this caliber been? I miss beers like this! A new one legged albino beer. IthacaBaron was right...this got me back into the swing!

Beer is good. Happy hoppy regional beering.

Photo of tavernjef
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burnt orangey red color with a slight brownish tint and fairly clear in body. Nice tannish cap of creamy foam sits about an inch high after a moderate pour out of the 22oz bomber and keeps a presense at length. Dwindles down slowly to get a keep a girth of cream always present. Lacing is in sandy sheeting with some broken cob webbing areas to the overall skin.

Aroma reminds me of dirty unwashed oranges but also carries with it a pretty solid topping of woody pine and some light cardboard notes. A bit to dull and plain in the realm of what I come to expect from a double IPA.

Taste is also a bit low ended and tame. Very small amounts of dark orange flavoring with a smidgeon of burnt edgyness to it. Big on the pale malting. Wood notes are akin to spruce pine and cottonwood esters. Some cardboard paper dryness and roasted grains float across the finish as does a light pale bitterness of hop resin and dried flowers. Slight buttery parts inbetween. Left over parching orange flavors sweep up late under the bitterness.

Feel is a solid medium body with a stern smooth ended carbonation creating a bit of texture and bite to the overall tone as the hops help add some bitterness while the pale malting does its thing. Sweetness comes up short but is there within the orangeyness and flowery finish. All in all its an OK Double IPA, not quite what I was hoping for as its overall tame dry tone just lacks complexity and juicy hoppyness that I tend to like in others I've had in the style.

Thanks to lostbearbrew for the chance to wail!

Photo of LPorter33
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased bomber from Baur Wine/Spirits on Newbury St.

Appearance = Exceptional. A beautiful dark ruby brown that glows magnificently. Great 1 inch head that lasted awhile and gave way to sultry lacing.

Smell = Mmm...There's a delicious scent of buttery sweetness mixed in with the strong hop flavor. Smells thick and heavy and very flavorful. I really think this is gonna be tasty.

Taste = Wow, this is very different from Hercules/Dogfish 90/Ruination. Not as sour with little citrus flavors that come through. Instead it's a buttery sweetness while still strongly hopped but the bitter harshness and ass kicking is missing. This reminds me of a overhauled ESB. It is absolutely delicious though. Tons of flavor and not ruined by an overwhelming alcohol taste. Hides the 8% well.

Overall = Highly recommended for Double IPA or ESB fans. I would certainly drink another if it comes across my path.

Photo of Boilermaker88
2.93/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. I noticed that the %ABV had changed to 8.0% vice the 9.0% currently listed on the site.
Had an unusually dark chestnut coloring, lots of minute carbonation and a dense off-white head that stood up well over time and left nice sheet lace.
The nose was well-hopped with strong pithy citrus and pine notes. Equally potent were the aromas of caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. Lurking underneath all that was a vaporous alcohol note.
The taste unfortunately got skewed right away as the butteriness of this brew superceded any and all other flavors. Yes, there were some decent hops traits - citrus rinds and pine needles - but nothing could stand up to the brute force of all that butterscotchy sweetness assaulting the palate. The feel was medium/full and creamy.
Man, I had to work through this brew with some effort. I pretty much detest butterscotch and the butteriness that dripped from this beer made it profoundly disappointing.

Photo of mentor
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two and a half dark tan head over a crystal clear red-brown liquid. Smells hoppy citrus/pine, caramel, chocolate, toffee, vanilla, alcohol. Buttery. Dark, almost oaky, smell. Intriguing. Tastes unlike any other IPA I've ever had. Hops are light compared to most IPAs. They taste mostly piney with some citrus character. Bitter is gentle, but seems more because of an acrid sting from carbonation and a sour tang. What's that sour tang?...it's caramelly, but it's as if the caramel was left in the sun and spoiled in some way. Maybe like the sugar and oils separated. Butterscotch, bordering on flat out butter. A little bit mediciney. Wet sugary sweet finish with an underlying grassy co-humulone hop roughness. This beer is balanced mostly toward the malt, but the hop flavor and bitter are noticable and keep the beer interesting. Md body but slick and buttery in the mouth. The oily feel just hangs there and keeps the flavor hanging around. Moderately carbonated with amazing lacing on the inside of the glass.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a small sample of this from a distributor at Brookline Liquors. She noted it was the east coast's answer to Arrogant Bastad. I liked it there and decided to pick up a bottle to give it a propper tasting and review.

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber in a tulip glass the beer was a dark mohogany/brown color. A slightly off-white head formed about two-fingers thick. Very nice lacing rimmed the glass the whole way down throughout the sample.

The smell was slight toffee and caramel with figs and prune in the nose. No hops in the nose the despite its presence proclaimed on the lable. Slight smell of alcohol as well.

The tasted was very malty upfront but this quickly gave way to an intense bitter hop character. Not overpowering, but very prominant and well balanced for the style and other flavors. Slight alcoholic warming and some roasted flavors as well. Some coffee and nut, perhaps fig in the taste as well. Each sip had a bitter crispness to it, but it was well in check with ample maltiness as well. Indeed if this is the east's answer to Arrogant Bastard, it was well done.

Moderate mouthfeel with a hint of carbonation.

Very drinkable and enjoyable. No overpowingly alcoholic, and all flavors and aromas are balanced well. One I'll go back to indeed.

Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red/brown, clear and with a big off white head, good lacing. Smell is very citrusy, piney, nice malt, light floral hoppiness, some malty sweetness. Taste is very strong deep malt, piney and floral middle, some alcohol and a clean bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is low, very warming, bitter burn in the finish. Very tasty beer. Thanks DrJay.

Photo of DrJay
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep ruby red with a big, fluffy, light tan head. Excellent lacing and very good head retention. Strong citrus/grapefruit and pine hop aroma with plenty of malt for balance. Pronounced bitterness with a full malt backbone. Caramel sweetness, pine and citrusy hops round out the flavour. Finishes on the dry side with a lingering bitterness and a hint of alcohol warmth. Smooth carbonation, a little on the low side, which makes it very easy to drink. A bit creamy as well. Great beer with lots of hops, but malt balance keeps it in check. A definite winner.

Photo of ybnorml
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber, nearly brown beer. Has a big creamy beige head with a good lace. The aroma starts with a somewhat fruity sweetness followed by a pungent grapefruit hop background. At first the hops bite your tongue. Then a smooth roasted malt charater slides thru followed by a dry grapefruit hop bitterness. Yum.

Photo of xgrigorix
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twentytwo ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Deep auburn hue, lovely thick beige coloured head. Retains well & leaves good patchy lace behind.

Resinous - notes of spruce & pine. Good bit of fruit playing in the background.

Wave of lush flavours. A touch of biscuity malt, some great fruit & tons of American hops. Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Delightful.

Photo of PatYoda
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is perfect - clear ruby with a long lasting cream colored head and great lacing. Smell is interesting. Ringwood yeast is there. It has a very winey smell as well - don't know if this bottle is still good, but it's all I've got, so I'll rereview it if it turns out I have a bad bottle. The taste is sweet caramel and buttery up front, with some very strong bittering hops in the finish. The wine from the smell is completely gone. Alcohol and medicinal aspect is very noticeable, which knocks it down a couple notches. The mouthfeel stands out in this beer - it has that nice smooth creaminess that I look for in a Double IPA. Overall, I started liking this more and more as I finished the bottle, and maybe I'm being unfair because I'm not used to English IPAs, but it just seems kind of weird to me. Not something that I would crave for sure.

Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark ruby copper with a 1 inch off white head. Chunky scatterings of lacing.
Smell is of rich, caramel malts followed by flowery hops. Ringwood yeast is evident. Seemed a bit too hoppy until I poured the last portion of the bottle into the glass.
Taste is very flowery with a smooth, buttery caramel that helps to balance it out.
Mouthfeel is creamy with plenty of flowery hops and caramel with the lingering taste crawling slowly from the front to the back of the tongue with a slight pepper bite.
Do yourself a favor and let this one warm up slightly. The smell and taste become more rounded.

Finger licking good.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber with a frothy almost tan head which rose extremely tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was piney and citrusy and grassy with hop aromas overtaking the head. As the head fell a slight soapy aroma was detectable followed by malty goodness and Ringwood diacetyl.

The flavor was malty and strongly hoppy with citrusy hops in the background and earthy and grassy hops in the forefront with the piney hops. Intertwined in that was the Ringwood yeast diacetyl, but the hops kept that at bay. The malt presence did not compare to the hop presence but did contain some caramel goodness.

The finish was dry with lasting bittering hops long into the aftertaste. The body was almost medium full and well done. Middle Ages has used Ringwood since the beginning of time. They might try a new strain every now and again to cut back on the butter. A nice and very bitter beer with nice hop flavor carried throughout and into the finish which distracts from the butter.

22 ounce bottle purchased at Green's on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, GA.

Photo of bditty187
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The clear liquid is dark amber in hue with some gold in the mix and even some bronze. I really like the color of this beer, it is deeper then I was expecting and thus pleasant to look at. Beige head, at the apex the foam was two fingers in height. Head retention was decent, it faded to a soapy cap, the liquid wasn’t exposed for along while. Even though there wasn’t any subsequent lacing with beverage is eye-candy.

The first sniff was Ringwood yeast and plenty of it! The tone and direction of this beer has been determined. It is buttery with butterscotch. It is earthy with vanilla. There is also assertive hoppiness that produces an inviting mixture of dank marijuana, pine, and citrus aromas. Then, Bam! At the finish is a kiss of popcorn. Where is the malt? Are those traces of caramel mixed in with the popcorn? The potency is moderate but the nose says all I need it too. I find the aromas inviting, there is enough complexity to intrigue me.

The palate is milder than I was expecting but it is plenty tasty. The Ringwood yeast is more of an undercurrent then the nose led me to believe. Still, the finish is very buttery/butterscotchy/popcorny. The hop bitterness is restrained but strong enough to stop the sweetness of the malt and yeasty flavors. The hops offer some piney flavors, some citrus, and some earthiness. There really needs to be more hops in the mix, there needs to be more assertive flavors and more outright bitterness. None of the flavors are cutting through the butter. This beer is way too sweet for a DIPA. Is this really a DIPA? English Strong Ale is what I would say. The alcohol is well hidden, bravo. I’m not saying this beer isn’t tasty and it is plenty flavorful but I feel like it is lacking something extra.

Almost full in body, the carbonation is moderately low but very fitting for this beer. I love the long aftertaste… I bet it would be tasty with a grilled pepper jack and sharp cheddar sandwich on rye bread. Drool…

I want to drink this beer again, I bet the next time I have it I will like it more. But the fact I really want to try this beer again speaks to its “wantability,” which in my mind is better then drinkability. The palate might not have jived (totally) with me today. Still it was a good quaff. Thank you shippos for adding this bomber to the Secret Bunny Exchange.

Photo of Suds
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’d been sitting on this bottle for a short time, and wasn’t particularly excited about it. I should have been…this is phenomenal stuff. I suppose the label, with its renaissance-style redhead is worth noting. Pours a mahogany color with a creamy white head. Floral and strong hops smell (resin-like American hops) that’s fairly well balanced with a sweet malt aroma. From the first taste, a serious grapefruit and pine flavor springs forward. They’re tempered by a caramel sweetness and an almost tangy aftertaste. It’s not a dry beer, and that really helps balance things. Rather full bodied and very easy to drink.

Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.