Wailing Wench - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wailing WenchWailing Wench

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BA SCORE
88
very good

421 Ratings
THE BROS
89
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 warriorsoul
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to HappyHourHero for this one.
Finally getting around to this bomber...served at cellar temperature.
Pours a real dark bronze color w/ two full fingers of cloud-like tan beige head. Lacing is thick, foamy, and has nice sustaining qualities.
Aromas filled w/ caramel, butterscotch, fruity hops just begging for attention...amazing they can get lost in the plethora of scents going on here.
The taste is fantastic...a malt bomb w/ plenty of hops to keep its definition as a double. Despite all the malt, this one is not sweet at all. It's mouthfeel is fairly thick, but average for its style IMO. Nothing lingering here...just a very refreshing, bitter finish.
Alcohol does make an appearance in the end, but does not distract from the experience...actually, keeps you cogniscent of drinking too much of this gem.
Has to be one of the most drinkable IIPA's I have tried to date...gets better and better as it warms up.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transparent dark titian with a crimson influence that becomes apparent with backlighting. A darker DIPA one is not likely to find. A dense mass of golden ecru foam occupies the top half of the glass and looks as if it won't give ground willingly. It isn't nearly as sticky as it looked immediately after the pour and doesn't deposit as much lace as I had hoped.

Wailing Wench has a quintessential DIPA nose of brown sugary, caramel-drizzled, candied white grapefruit. The Middle Ages butteriness is present in spades, but it becomes more of a butterscotchiness in this case and adds rather than detracts. That characteristic sets it apart from most of its peers and it's a better nose because of that distinctiveness.

This is a different DIPA to be sure. The flavor profile is slanted too heavily toward malt, with caramel, and even carob, occupying too large a percentage of my taste buds and denying them their hoppy fix. That isn't to say that this Wench isn't hoppy, it's just to say that she isn't hoppy enough. The bitter citrus pith doesn't have a chance to stand out given the abundant caramel malt and the (now more bothersome) diacetyl. If I was the brewmaster, I'd bury the diacetyl under a withering hop onslaught.

I feel as if I've being too hard on WW. Although it fails to follow my preferred path for hoppy beer in general and DIPAs in particular, it's still a pleasant enough experience. The body is no more than medium in heft with a slightly slick mouthcoating and a low degree of carbonation. It's fairly well-cloaked for 9%; I would have guessed lower. As it warms, however, some fusel alcohols do become noticeable.

Wailing Wench definitely does not 'scream with hops' as the fetching, cleavage intensive, redheaded serving wench on the label claims. If it did, I'd like it more than I do. As noted, it's still good stuff and I'll have fond memories once it's gone. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bomber.

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

Made the acquaintance of a harlot with this one on 4/1/2005, no joke. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Big top, three ring circus of river’s hydraulic head that settles with a circular Petri dish of lace. Glowing mahogany hue with total clarity and yet possessing an odd thickness with no action. Real kind hop juice green on nose with a mossy alcohol present and a very light butterscotch. Hop bitter hits right from the get-go on the mouth followed by a mix of tart lemon zest, cinnamon earthiness, and light woody characteristics. In a style that still seeks to define itself, this is more than a fine example.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a beautiful dark brown rubyish with dissipating head. smells hoppy with mild citrus and outdoor earthy notes. appearance is great. taste hits first with hops, the double ipa thing. continues with a belgianesque sweetness and dark fruit sourness which confuses the style. unique for a double ipa... leaves a real smoky aftertaste that rounds out an odd, different brew.

Photo of Stimack
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to try this brew on cask last evening. Funny thing is, the first time I ever had this brew was last week and then I find it on cask! Brew was poured to a amber color, had pretty good clarity and a nice sized tan/white head that had good retention. The aromas seem to be similar to the bottled offering. Definite hop aromas, more pine than citrus but they are both there. Over all it is a real nice aromatic brew. The brew has a dominant hop taste that really comes out about midway through and leaves a hop feel on your tongue for a while. Can notice some malt like characteristics but it seems to come and go quickly once the hop taste hits. Over all it is very good, but think I liked the bottled version a bit more. A beer I would get in an instance at any time!

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

Ah...review 400!! This seems like a good enough brew to sample for the occasion.
I am sampling a room temp 22 oz bottle in a snifter/chalice. THe beer pours a deep chestnut color, much darker than I expected upon opening the bottle. A fluffy off white head foams up 1 cm and floats effortlessly on the surface. The head fades gradually to a thin surface layer that remains throughout sampling. Aroma is a complex mix of hops: pine, grass, and mostly grapefruity citrus scents. The first sip reveals a creamy texture and fine gentle carbonation. Flavor is briefly toffee and some dark fruit (plums) but this is quickly overwhelmed by piney and grapefruit hops. Now the hops are strong, but not burn your tongue strong, so dont expect it. I think the hops are just about perfect strength, and dont make the beer overly bitter,but I am not a hophead either. Very smooth brew that is easy to drink. No hint of the abv anywhere.

Photo of beerluvr
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Features an off-white head over clear deep red liquid. Fresh and flowery hop nose, some malt sweetness, phenols and alcohol notes too. Great hop bitterness tasted along with slight sulphur/buttery/phenolic notes probably attributed to the Ringwood yeast character. Finishes very hoppy with a long and drawn out hop fade and some alcohol at the end. Very good, a great ale for those who love hoppy and potent brews such as myself!
Thanks to HappyHourHero for this one too.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber.
Cast a dark crimson hue, with prodigious foam, creamy-toned, nesting on top, looking very nice.
Aroma, big, bold hops, dark fruits, with malty undertones, smells more old ale-ish than IPA-like. Unusual, actually, I've sniffed this before, but can't recall where...probably certain English ales. Rubbery. Buttery? Oaky. Vanillaish. Odd, but likable.
taste: smooth, easy-drinking, with a medium body, and a long, soft, fruity finish. I'm not getting the hops I expected, though...they aren't screaming in my mouth, that's for sure. Perhaps the ringwood yeast has taken over this beer? Just doesn't taste much like an IPA at all. the 8% listed on the label doesn't stand out in the least. As a tasty, smooth English-style ale, yeah, it's got it going on...but as a wild, bellowing hop monster, it doesn't cut it...at least not this bottle.

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

Pours a dark red color, looks much like the Druid Fluid I had yesterday. Nice white greamy head. This beer seems to radiate with hops, ju solid tangy floral wall when you get any where near the glass. Taste is all over the place with hops bitterness, but I believe it is missing somesweetness, a very dry, somewhat smokey/sour DIPA. If it cut back on these flavors I believe this has the stength and the hotness of the chick on the label to be an elite DIPA. Still very good, and I thank Southernbrew for the final beer from his wonderful Georgia sampler.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber and red with a light tan head that leavesa sheen of lace.
Aroma of darker fruits, semi-sweet chocolate and that trademark fruitiness.
Flavor has strong caramel and fruitiness backed up by a gritty pine and resin bitterness. Not as sweet as a lot of this style but very enjoyable.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with high residual sweetness and some resiny bitterness.
Drinkability is good. Very interesting take on the style. Ringwood stands out in a very good way with this beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting label on this one to say the least. The Wench pours a deep brownish red with a nice two finger khaki head. This is one super dark double IPA that leaves nice lacing as the head recedes. Big piney/citirc hop nose with an interesting buttery caramel background.

First sip hits upfront with a nice bitter sticky pine hoppiness along with hints of citrus fruit. It's very well balanced with a nice caramel maltiness, accentuated by warm buttery notes. A damn fine double IPA that seperates itself from the pack.

There's a very nice body here along with a smooth, creamy taste that goes down easily. I could have a couple of bombers of this on the weekend and be content. Kudos to Middle Ages and to dmeadows for allowing me the opportunity to sample this one.

Photo of krberg
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just have to say how much I hate Wailing Wench's label. It looks like a drunken, sex-obsessed, college student's 3rd project for a photoshop class. It is downright embarassing to buy sometimes.

Big cream head on a rich red, almost brown brew. It is a beautiful color that reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, and therefore quality.

Huge hop nose. Centennial? Challenger? I am almost positive it is one of those two. There is a good scent of the malt as well. It livens up the hops with its sweetness.

Beautiful. Not very bitter. Mostly flavor and aroma hops. Enough bitterness for balance. Very malty. Rich caramel like flavor is the backbone here. No fusel flavor. This is one of the best balanced DIPAs I have had yet.

The mouthfeel is truly exceptional. Very soft carbonation for a bottled beer. Especially for one that isn't bottle conditioned. It is the closest to a cask I've ever had.

I feel as if I could make this a session beer. Sure its 8%, but I drinks so nicely, that it would be hard to follow this act. If Wailing Wench was a 5-6 percenter, I would give it a 5 for drinkability.

Over all WW is a superb beer. A triumph for Middle Ages. It easily ranks in my top 20 bottled and top 10 on cask. Seek this beer out.

Photo of clvand0
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shippos for bringing this one my way. 22oz bottle with an attractive and busty wench on the front. Nice. Pours a darker color than expected. It's almost a standard brown/amber color. Has a tall head that has good retention and leaves a nice amount of lacing behind on the glass. Huge aroma. The aroma is very mostly a grapefruity hop aroma, but there is a bit of malt hiding back there too. The flavor is not nearly as hoppy strong as the aroma would suggest. It's surprisingly well balanced as the malty goodness was hiding in the aroma, but it's right there in the flavor. The hop flavor adds a citrus/grapefruit feel to things and it finishes strong. Very well made. Drinkability is great for a Double IPA. Mouthfeel is right where it should be. No trace of the 9% alcohol.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of marburg
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of dgallina
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of blitz134
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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