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Wailing Wench - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wailing WenchWailing Wench

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

408 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 408
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 37
Gots: 12 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 408 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kmpitz2
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%

Thanks to shippos and clvand0 for the opportunity to share this beer. This pours a very deep rubied amber color, almost brown, but not quite, with a big-ass 2 finger head that falls very slowly. Holy crap. The nose on this one is gigantic. Tons of sweet grapefruit but with a very big malt sweetness as well. Wow, this smells great. The flavor is not as big as the nose. The malt is actually a little bigger than the hop, and the hop comes through as more of a spicey and sweet than just the strait up citric grapefruit. I like it. Its a sweet, malty beer but also a nice hoppy beer. I find it balanced. The feel is moderate to thick, very smooth. This is a damn nice beer. No hint of the 9% ABV anywhere at all in this one. Wow, this is worth finding.

kmpitz2, Jan 28, 2005
Photo of UnionMade
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%

The beer pours from it's 22oz vessel a surprisingly deep garnet red. A huge fluff of ivory head erupts on the pour, at least three fingers high, settling ever so slowly. Very dark, even for an east coast IPA. Excellent head retention, leaving gobs of lace sheeting down the glass.
The aroma is actually very well balanced. Sweet, caramelized malt forms a foundation for a lime green forest of american hop goodness. Heaps of pine sap, very oily and sticky smelling. A pervasive ester undertone creates a fruity blanket between the hops and malt. Plenty of pear, cidery apple and some sweet white grape. Soft buttery notes, adding a silky, even soft sweetness. A good deal of grapefruit and orange citrus notes from the hops. Very enticing.
The flavor opens with a caramel malt flavor, big and sweet. Apple and pear notes are immediately apparent, a thorough fruitiness to the entire sip. A tint of diacetyl butteriness throughout, more apparent up front before the hops take over. The hops enter in early, oily and citric at first, blasting into the finish with a sappy, pine laden bitterness. Adequate balance, allowing the hops to shine while still featuring the malt in a supporting role throughout the pint. A touch of booze in the swallow, adding an alcoholic tang to the finish. The hopping is so thick and oily it almost creates a sweetness of it's own. The malt maintains a hold on the palate with toasty, caramel sweetness. Perhaps a bit of chocolate. Some herbal, vegetal bitterness, akin to broccoli rob, lingering in the sticky aftertaste. Very full bodied, with a milder, english styled carbonation. A syrupy, almost greasy mouthfeel, absolutely overladen with hop oil. Awesome.
A well done double IPA. The balance is very even, allowing a solid drinkability, despite it's 8% strength. The hop profile is excellent, featuring the sticky pine sap flavor I've come to love in american grown varieties, namely amarillo. I love the fact that you can actually taste the malt all the way through, despite the hop attack. I'd certainly buy another bottle, maybe even a case to last until the next batch comes out.

UnionMade, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of cooter
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%

Got half of a bomber from charthepirate, and boy was I excited. He left it in the fridge since last semester, but good lord these hoppy beers don't CARE! It's the English method of preservation: put more hops than is sane.

Anyway. Strange color for an IPA: red-brown with a thin, tan head. An amazing combination of floral and fruit notes in the nose and flavor--cherry, banana, grapefruit, strawberry, mango are the strongest, in that order. Pretty even-handed, in that the taste matches the scents. Smells a bit more hoppy-sweet, tastes more hoppy-bitter, but that's almost it. Excellent balance. I can see some pine and citrus now, an enjoyable fall-leaf flavor (and almost texture!) Smells delicious and backs it up. The bitters are fantastic, very smooth and manage to be biting without being harsh. I think the malt is muted (as it should be for the style), but it's a theory that the smoothness of the brew comes from malt. A very very good example of the style, definitely meant to be savored, and ideal in a larger-than-12oz serving.

cooter, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%

Sampled on 1/14/05 from a 22 oz buxom bomber bottle courtesy of slander. Pours out extremely dark amber with a tall tan head. The only Double IPA I can remember being this dark or darker was Gordon. Decent lacing and head retention on this one. Strong citric hoppiness with an almost equally strong sweet maltiness fills the aroma. There is an odd aroma I can’t quite place that is pretty strong, Ringwood maybe? Flavor started a bit bitter with hops and somewhat buttery. The odd aroma seemed to be in the flavor as well which makes it a bit interesting. A good amount of malty sweetness is present too. The hoppiness seems a bit too muted for the style, while its there and pleasant its not quite the kick I would hope for. Mouthfeel is and medium with a slight bitter prickliness. Drinkability was ok as well. A pretty solid beer all around but not my cup of tea for a double IPA.

meathookjones, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of aracauna
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%

This one is a very dark ruby with a sizeable khaki milk foam of a head. Really gorgeous this one. The aroma is heavily perfumed with lemon pepper and grass hops that tingle the nose. Beneath that is a warm maltiness mingling with alcohol and that butterscotch house character of Middle Ages. The flavor is sweet, but not cloying, balanced by a good bitterness from the hops. I don’t know if I’d call it a Double IPA, but it’s a very good American Strong Ale.

aracauna, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of marburg
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

At first impression, one must be astounded with how dark this "IPA" is. Even a recently consumed and self-professed "triple IPA" wasn't nearly this light-absorbing. Good, bad, or otherwise, this is quite dark with a decent head.

More assuredly delightful is the nose: Never before on any variation of an American IPA or Double IPA have I ever gotten so much out of a few deep whiffs. The more plebian, overused pine and citrus aromas are expected, and expectations are fulfilled -- but far more dominant than any traditional hop aromas are vanilla, charred oak, and perhaps even some melted caramel or butterscotch. For the obvious quantity of hops my tongue later aided in uncovering, the nose is surprising mellow, yet interesting.

While style appropriate, the taste is a bit bitter for my liking. A roasted astringency helps round out the bitterness and make it unique. Impressions of scorched sugar and creamy, frothy egg whites in the flavor and mouthfeel make this beer more interesting than others in its style that I've had. Surprisingly drinkable for something this bitter.

marburg, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%

Pours a reddish-brown with a decent ivory head. Lots of lace. Smells of hops, lots of citrusy hops. Mandarin orange and tangerine in the nose. Bittersweet aroma.

OK, no sweet citrusy hops in the mouth. Well, maybe a little. But mostly this is just powerful bitingly bitter hops. The malt comes in late with some smoky caramel maltiness to provide a bit of balance. But really, who are we kidding? This is a tribute to hops and the hops shine though beautifully. Not that balanced really. A bitter hops aftertaste that lingers forever. I can lick my cheeks and still get the oily hops off with my tongue. Pretty drinkable if you like the hops. Right up there with Ruination IMFO.

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of dgallina
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours a nice dark chestnut with a very impressive rocky and creamy tan head that persists steadfastly throughout the drink and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The smell starts with potent, fragrant, and fresh hops blended with plenty of balancing grainy and slightly toasted malts. Flavors start with a strong, but not overwhelming, hop kick. The hops are quickly and nicely balanced by strong toasty malts, yeastiness, and slight fruitiness, however. A masterful blend of hop and malts in my opinion. Mouth-feel is a touch heavy for an IPA, but the brew remains extremely drinkable due to it's well-balanced and refreshing flavors. I could easily have consumed the whole 750 ml bottle before noticing the strength of this excellent double IPA.

dgallina, Jan 12, 2005
Photo of blitz134
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%

Dark amber in color, not what I was expecting, but always nice to see something new. Poured with a fairly large head, probably due to a little over aggressive pour. Head reduced to a couple of lumps and then hung around for a while. The spotted lacing on the glass was nice.

The aroma is quite powerful, I could begin to smell all the hops as soon as I barely broke the seal on the cap. The smell is over the top hops of all sorts. I pick up an overall fruity smell which tends to make me think of apricot and maybe some oranges or tangerines. There is a bit of pine and straw as well.

The taste was a bit disappointing to me. Nothing like what the smell alluded to and quite lacking in any hard hitting hop flavor. I haven’t had an IPA or Pale Ale in 2 weeks and it still doesn’t faze my taste buds with any kind of over the top bitterness. The flavor I do pick up is mainly resin in nature with pine accents, not the fruit found in the aroma. Others seems to think this one is balanced with malts better than some I2PAs. While it might be, I seem to feel that this style should be tilted more towards the bitter side of the scale. Or maybe that is what I have come to expect with this style...who knows, but I like bitterness and numb tastebuds. Alcohol nuances are nonexistent.

Mouth feel is decent, somewhere in between thin and medium, not oily typical of many I2PAs. Flavor lingers for a bit. Drinkability is decent as well due to the balanced nature.

blitz134, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%

Thanks to my mother in law bringing down some NY beers from Buffalo just in time for the Rose Bowl,anyways what a pour deep amber with a huge fluffy head that takes its time to settle leaving globs of lace.Aromas of citrius,pine and some butteriness in there,pretty well rounded.Big citruisy hop flavor up front but there is some great balance with a lightly sweet maltiness that kicks in late to make this a hop accented brew with a huge maltiness that almost keeps up.Mouthfeel is very creamy and how drinkable for 9% I have it nearly gone in less than ten minutes.I have been drinking a few west coast IPA's and hop tilted brews and this east coaster is the best in my opinion.

oberon, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of Southernbrew
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%

Pours a ruby/brown with a good sized bubbly head, nice lacing down the glass.

Aroma fulll of hops and Ringwood yeast. Not as much of a pine or citrus bomb, some spiciness and a hint of grassiness.

Medium body, maybe a bit thin for the style. No hiding the Ringwood yeast, dominates the taste along with bitter hops up front. Moves into a caramel sweetness with some spiciness, weird. Some earthy flavors come through as well and the finish with a potent bitterness.

This is a tough beer to call. I like the idea of lots of hops and ringwood, but there was something that kept it from being truly great.

Southernbrew, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +3%

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1 1/2" creamy dark tan head, which laces nicely. A deeply orange-copper hued brew, with slightly buttery hoppy aroma, with ample malt sweetness. Taste is Ringwood and sweet malts, with hoppy notes, but not "screaming," which is what the bottles says. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent for the style, would advise trying. However, if you have a big Ringwood aversion, and don't plan on giving this a chance, don't waste your money.

ppoitras, Dec 12, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%

This 22 oz. bomber is a new double IPA now on the shelves in Georgia. Who can resist such temptation? So I picked it up at Green’s on Buford Highway. The labeling is a sight to behold.

The beer poured really dark and deep red for a double IPA. I thought India Pale Ales are supposed to be pale. There was a nice sized head that was long lasting and lace bearing. The carbonation level was quite low.

The aroma was rather mild and soft for the style. The hop level was not cranked up to the in your face, eye watering intensity one comes to expect from a double IPA. Instead there was a floral and grassy hop aroma that was balanced by some fruity malts and medicinal alcohol.

The taste was more of the same with a sweet honey like flavor that was in balance with a herbal hop bitterness. The alcohol was peppery and pungent, and there was a lingering salty and buttery aftertaste. There was a lot of lingering warmth in the pit of my stomach as the glass emptied.

The beer was quite prickly on the palette with mouthfeel somewhat slippery and thin considering the style.

A little disappointing considering how far from the extreme bleeding edge this double IPA stands. A conservative and approachable East Coast take on the style.

rajendra82, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +3%

Bomber bottle, no freshness dating to be found. Pours a heady shade of dark auburn, quite clear, raising a tan head. This leaves a lot of stringy lace as well as sheets of lacing. Sweat, malty and resiny nose. So far so good! medium bodied. Creamy, buttery mouthfeel. Notes of vanilla, maple, leather, just a wee bit thin on the malt, but comes through with a resiny, pine finish. Strong, flavorful, complex and well crafted ale. Well worth seeking out.

Billolick, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of mikeys01
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%

Big thanks to Unionmade for this 22oz bottle of the Wench, indeed the first Middle Ages brew I have had the pleasure of sampling. The wailing Wench poured out crystal clear, a beautiful deep garnet color, piled with a healthy finger’s worth of beige head.
The aroma on this beer is indeed screaming with hops as loud as it can, it reeks of fresh juicy hops, and it has a lot more to offer too. Nice caramel and plum in the nose along with the dripping pine sap and citrus. Body is best described as medium bordering on the low end of strong ale heavy, perfect carbonation. Taste is a whirlwind of hop flavors, like a juicy navel orange soaked in spruce sap. Then something remarkable happens as the flavor makes a smooth but very definite transition to a sweet, fruit and nut bread malty middle. Finish wrapped up clean and dry as can be, just bitter enough to make you grab for the glass again as quick as your reflexes allow. Superbly crafted beer this one, eminently drinkable, I can only imagine the wonder it would be on tap.

mikeys01, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%

This is a very good Double/Imperial IPA from my fine friends at MA. This brew is dark amber/red/brown with a nice head of khaki foam. The aromas are of heavy, caramel malts, ringwood yeast notes, HOPS, fresh baked breads, and more. The taste is very malty and hoppy in a nice unison. The hops hit hard up front, but the malt backbone is very, very strong as well with a very pronounced biscuit flavor in the mix. The finish is leafy, and raw, ie: awesome. The mouthfeel is quite thick, but not OTT and the drinkability is very good. An interesting, and quite awesome Double IPA with that distinctive ringwood fruitiness blending perfectly with those distinctive PACNW hops.

francisweizen, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of erica
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Bought a bottle of this at Middle Ages, Bubbles the brewery cat helped pick it out. No, not really...

Anyway, moving on- The beer is of a high quality indeed. I was very impressed. It was a dark amber colour, almost like very weak, watered-down coffee actually. Darker than I'm used to for an IPA. It had a good sized fluffy slightly off-white head that didn't last too too long. It smelled like a big hop festival, almost stinging my nose. Also it smelled a bit bready maybe actually.. yes. Tasted oh so good, the hops were very much there, but not in your face. It was as though I was drinking a buttery dinner roll along with a side of fresh green hops. No real trace of the alcohol, and I know it's definitely in there.. Very very tasty. Mouthfeel was very slippery and soft swirling about my tongue and sliding down my throat. Drinkability is high- very drinkable, but this wench of a beer would whip your ass if left alone in the room with you, so you better watch out with her.

erica, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%

Over-the-top Very hoppy and bitter and assortment of hops. good brew, something newer at the brewery at this time. A winner, very drinkable, with some carmel & significant malts .Grapefruit in there, even bitter astringent, perhaps from rinds.This is a big winner hopped up ESB for them.
Had about two years later on cask and got juicy grapefruit hops in taste and aroma. Nice darker colour.

Sammy, Nov 17, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%

pours a nice dark amber colour with a moderate light tan head on top. this has to be one of the darkest ipa's (double or otherwise) that i can recall seeing. very nice. the smell is of hops galore. there are earth/dirt scents scattered throughout and a hop sweetness that is present as well. nice and strong without overpowering. reminds me of the scent of an old baseball glove. the flavour starts off nice and sweet and is quickly attacked by hops from every angle. there's a dirty earth/roasted malt finish that's dry and tasty. sweet hop burps with some pine needle notes come out shortly thereafter. some have noted caramel. i didn't catch it at all in the flavour or the smell. oh, well. it's still damn good. this one's @ 9% abv so be careful, as the alcohol is not noticeable at all in the flavour. i'd definitely try this one again. a nice first offering from middle ages for me.

SixpointJMH, Aug 28, 2004
Photo of sponberg
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%

I've tried this more times than I care to think about - on tap, on cask, and in growlers - and now I can write a review as I've figured the Wench out. She's an auburn beauty - no, she's not from 10 miles west of Syracuse, but she is a stunning dark ruby red with a thin persistent offwhite head. The aroma hides the bitter hop attack to come so well - faint diacetyl (to me - your diacetyl mileage may vary) with toasty, cocoa, coffee, and coarse hop notes.

I love the way this beer attacks the palate. It immediately goes for the back of the tongue and slaps it around a bit, then brings its bitter slightly roasted malty attack around to the front of the mouth for a quick tour. The bitterness is big-time in this one - if you like hop bitterness, you'll probably appreciate this beer. There is malt sweetness and a bit of diacetyl in the background, but the flavors that emerge from the melding of malt and hop - piney, bitter chocolate, faint coffee - are the real story here. Finishes bitter, slightly astringent, with faint brown sugar malty sweetness in the background. More? I've cracked another pint writing this review.

On cask, this beer is simply heaven, as the softer carbonation balances the bitterness. Well worth seeking out.

These guys... does anyone else do this much this well with the Ringwood yeast???

sponberg, Jun 10, 2004
Photo of wailingwench
4.88/5  rDev +23.2%

"Consumed" at Alternative Brews, Buffalo

Foam Factor: Deep amber red tint. Nice pour with lacing on glass. Retained white head throughout the 15-20 minutes that it took me to finish a pint. This turned out to be a mistake as the evening ended early. Very early.

Skunk Factor: Deep and full hop and something almost citrus detected. Big and complex. After one, my nose told me that it was leaving before anything ugly happened. This statement was realized later.

Tongueland: I loved the taste of this so much that I didn't even order anything else. After 3 of these, my tongue mysteriously disappeared. I found my tongue at the end of the night attempting to drink straight from the tap. Bad tongue.

Gurgling factor: We need a constitutional ammendment that proclaims Wailing Wench to be used for mouthwash. Worker productivity would surely increase and corporations would not locate overseas. In addition, water coolers would be replaced in favor of wailing wench coolers. The work week would become 7 days.

Bender Factor: I was prewarned about this beer. Somehow, my cerebral prefrontal cortex did not understand that this beer is so good, it is dangerous. Makes one act like Rodney Dangerfield. WW rendered me unable to speak a complete sentence. I almost fell off my barstool. Ended up passing out on kitchen floor.

Wailing wench, I am in love with you, you naughty and nasty girl.

wailingwench, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick off-white head that eventually fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a nice malty scent surrounded by an intense floral hop arrangement. The Ringwood yeast adds a fruity aroma that helps balance the malts and hops. The taste is good. It is rich in malt complexity and piney hop flavor. It is really bitter, but finishes strong and goes down easy. The mouthfeel is good also. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer drinks well. It has tremendous flavor and complexity. I love this brew!

WesWes, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of twilight
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%

Nonick Pint

Man, when does the hop worship ever stop? This was a rough assault on the palate. Malty sweetness in the background, but the overpowering aroma and taste was pure hop goodness. Color was reddish in a dark bar, but very very attractive. The taste was hoppy, and slightly astringent and roasty, but ultimately, with a big, bold hop flavor. Great mouthfeel, as the taste just takes over your mouth and coats it. I would probably end the night on this one (as I did last night), because the intensity of the hops and the high abv leave one with such a warm feeling.

twilight, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of beerman599
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

i had this at the connecticut real ale festival and i think it was the best beer their! hops hops hops but not overtly bitter great hop taste, hop aroma, and hop finish . some said that it was amarillo but i don't know that as fact.
hats of to tim butler and middle ages brewery for brewing a big hoppy beer thats not just about being bitter!

beerman599, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of nomad
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%

A caramel brown, this beer had a good lustre despite its cover of darkness. Pours a solid off-white head of tight foam that doesn’t budge, showing plenty of messy lace and an abundant stain without pattern. Sure don't look like an IPA, or an Imperial one at that.

Smells of caramel and big scents of dates, as fruity Ringwood esters abound; meanwhile, these are covered in spruce and hop leaf aromatics. They are a brief appearance, as then soapy herbal hops come in for the duration, but nicely so. Tastes of lots of caramel malt with small Ringwood fruity touches, but just as much hop flavor and roasted earthiness pound you through the middle and last through a long finish that brings on soapy hops and floral licks.

A nice full mouthfeel, its drinkable enough but mainly hop and roasty bitter with little hop flavor. A great malt base though, its an interesting take on Imperial IPA. Seems to be much better on cask than draught, which doesn't surprise me at all.

nomad, Dec 30, 2003
Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
89 out of 100 based on 408 ratings.