Druid Fluid - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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Druid FluidDruid Fluid

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

322 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 322
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 38
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 10-30-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 322 | Reviews: 243
Photo of Tikiri
4.73/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A phenomenal flavor, completely unexpected after the noise. Great Mouthfeel, and a rich dark amber color.

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Bomber in a St. Feuillien glass. This is a fresh 2014 bottle.

Appearance: Poured a deep red copper with a sizable head of off white foam. Very effervescent and bubbly.

Nose: Flowery hops up front, toffee, caramel, horse blanket, kind of dank and resinous from the hops.

Taste: Well carbonated (the laser etched glass helps too). Fruity from the classic English house Ringwood yeast that fades quickly to a very short hoppy finish. slightly sweet, candied sugar, low malt character. After a few sips the finish stays longer and drives that dry, hop bitterness. No alcohol perception at all, dangerous for a 9.5%er.

Overall, not a bad beer. I have not tried many Barleywine ales and certainly none with any significant age. I'm going to pick up a few more bottles of this for the cellar and see how they do over time. I'll be looking for the hop bitterness to fade and the malts to shine. I'll let you know in a year how things turn out.

Photo of spinrsx
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bo,ber from the Wegmans Syracuse NY for $8 - 2011 edition

Appearance – Brown colour with a below average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, caramel, dark fruits, leather

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and ripe dark fruits. There is also some anise, leathery notes and a buttery flavour.

Overall – 2011 and drinking well. A bit of an odd flavour in the aftertaste. Maybe a touch too sweet, but indulgent.

Photo of scotorum
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another bomber I bought almost fourteen months ago and cellared for later. This is later.

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Clear amber with a two inch tall offwhite head which receded rather quickly to even surface foam and nearly solid lacing.

s: Ripe fruit.

t; Initial fruit flavor over a mnedium caramel malt base. The latter becomes more prominent and dominant as it warms (initially served at 48 degrees F). Sweetish to dry finish. High ABV is amazingly well hidden.

m: Very silky smooth, some carbonation tingle.

o: A wonderful fluid! If this was not 9.5% ABV I could drink it all night. Dunno if the aging helped it, it is more malty than most barleywines I have had, but I sure enjoyed it, one of the best I've had in some time!

Photo of jmdrpi
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2010 vintage, so about 3 years old.

nice dark amber color, fairly clear. creamy off-white colored head that fades to a thin covering. slightly boozy aroma with earthy hoppy notes. nice rich caramel taste with slightly hoppy aftertaste. smooth mouthfeel, coats the mouth. lower carbonation.

overall a nice barleywine, the time has done it well.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a nice barleywine here, different than the conventional English versions. this is a blonde beer, which threw me off on the pour, a bit cloudy and boasting a tall and lasting inch of white head. the nose on it is surprisingly hoppy too, especially in the context of other middle ages beers, which tend not to be the most aggressively hopped ales around. wheat malt, warming booze, candy sugar, and a pleasantly complex and bright strain of ale yeast. it opens up a lot as it warms, and the sweetness is only for a second before hop bitterness takes over. the interplay between yeast and hops here is extraordinary. the alcohol flavors come across a little strong though, and slow this beers drinkability, even for a barleywine. a bomber of this is a few ounces too much really, at least for me. still the happy carbonation and lighter body for the style make it a really unique brew. good stuff here from middle ages.

Photo of rlee1390
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Semi clear amber orange, some carbonation and a one finger head

S-Grass, malt, bread, tad bit of hops, caramel and molasses.

T-Starts with caramel and molasses. Some grass, bread and malt. Very slight bitterness in the finish.

M-Light to medium bodied and not much carbonation.

O-A decent Barleywine. One of the better beers made by Middle Ages.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first barleywine; I rated it a year ago almost to the day, during the beginning of my beer career. It was one of my first forays into unfamiliar styles. Now that I got a bottle for my brother to try, I'll take a few sips and give it a full review.

Poured into over-sized wine glass (in lieu of the snifters I left at school). Hazy orange/brown with a thick white head that receded slowly into a film of foam with delicate lacing and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge.
Smells of bready, nutty malt, slightly buttery with some crisp earthy bitter hops rising on a puff of booze.
Taste follows nose...crackery, nutty malt, slight diacetyl or other, with some crisp earthy piney hops pinching off the finish and leaving some sticky malt and bitterness left over at the end. Slight alcohol presence, pretty well hidden.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and medium-full.
Overall, seems an entry-level barleywine as I imagined it was. But except for the odd butteryness, it's appropriate for the style and well done, just not mind-blowing.

Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a large, soft, dense, off white head that has great retention

S - bread, caramel, candy sugar, citrusy hops, grapefruit, some vanilla

T - bread, caramel, citrus, bitter, pith or orange rind, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, warm, smooth, well carbonated

This beer is good but in my opinion needs some work. The malt character is there but the hops are a bit strange or unbalanced. The citrus notes do not sit as well as they should with the malt character. As a fan of Barleywines I will still recommend this as a beer that's worth a try, but I would view it more as a DIPA or strong ale than as a Barleywine.

Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a caramel hue with a semi-hazy clarity and a half inch, loose, cream-colored head that eventually disperses into a creamy slick. Some lacing, but no adhesion. Nose expresses prunes, a slightly vinous character, toasted malt and a trace of wet cardboard. Taste consistent with nose; however, a bit more subdued. There's also a light earthy hoppiness and some ethanol; however, things are a bit muddled by the carbonation levels - it definitely needs a swirl to open it up. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light) with an overly assertive carbonation level and a slightly oily texture. Overall, a fairly mediocre example of the style. Not something I need to revisit again anytime soon.

Photo of mitch3114
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up 22 oz. bomber from Price Chopper in Clifton Park, NY tonight

Served at around 50-55 degrees F, in a snifter glass

A- Beautiful rosey-amber color with a fluffy, bubbly white head of two finger thickness with aggressive pour. As I drink and swirl it around in it's vessel, it creates a nice uniform, sticky lacing. Very consistent looking with little to no sediment suspending.

S- Hops, sugar, alcohol, raisin, citrus, hops, toffee. Not too complex, but interesting enough.

T- Piney bitter hops, citrus, hops, banana peel, bitter...hops. This seems to be unbalanced to me. It is a bit too hop forward and the alcohol taste seems absent for a beer of this style and strength. I'm not getting the complex flavors and fruits that others seem to pick up on this one. It seems to be missing something...

M- mouthfeel is medium if not a bit light for the style. Little carbonation, and as i near the 1/3rd mark, there is zero carbonation.

O- The high ABV is hidden very well on this one. It is very smooth and easy to drink the first half. But the second was much harder because of the bitterness. It was actually hard to finish. Not a beer I would visit again in it's current state of maturity. Perhaps a year or two in the cellar to bypass the adolescent wildness that this brew has created, will do some good for it. I do enjoy a good IPA, double IPA, etc. but I don't want my barley-wine to be this bitter. I think some extra belgian candy sugar or something would have helped to balance this out. Or, maybe this is just too young for my preference. Maybe I will pick up another bottle to put away for some time...

Photo of DrewV
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber-gold color with a solid 2-finger head that fades quickly.

S: Smells of bready yeast and fruity malts up front. Someone said "Juicyfruit", and that's exactly what it is. Very sweet smelling, very inviting. No harshness or estery alcohol in the aroma.

T: Much like the aroma, very sweet, but not cloying. Very light body and fruity flavor with an extremely mild bitterness. No alcohol detected in the taste. Maybe some grape-y flavors. Honestly, I don't get any toffee or caramel or raisin or fig. Nothing "dark" here... just mostly lighter flavors, along with a yeasty breadiness.

M: Light carbonation, medium-light body. This is an easy drinker.

O: Not bad, a decent beer overall. I can't say this strikes me as a particularly aggressive barleywine -- it's more of a Belgian IPA than a barleywine. During the course of a 22-ouncer, I got accustomed to the taste. If you're looking for an easy-drinking brew that packs a decent punch and doesn't particularly tax the palate, this is a good choice, although a bit pricey. A solid B+/A- overall.

Photo of Dope
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky, rusty red-brown. Decent white head with fluffy lacing.

S: Caramel, raisins and some fig.

T: Toasty bread and caramel. Dark fruit like raisin, fig, and prunes. Green grape juice. Touch of brown sugar. Finishes mildly bittter with earthy hop overtones.

M: Fairly heavy, a touch drying.

O: Pretty typical decent hoppy barleywine. Heavy and strong. Heavy raisin and grape, quite fruity.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe I picked this one up for around 7 bucks from Halftime Beverage.com

A - A nice clear filtered Barleywine with a dark amber color and a 1/2 inch of sticky opaque colored head. Pretty.

S - Based on the reviews surprisingly subdued but I do get a nice bit of citrus and melon hops with a touch of caramel and toffee.

T - Starts off sweet with some gram cracker and a touch of toffee. Then the hops kick in, bitter yet not as abrasive. Finish sticks to the tongue quite a bit with some hops and malt sugars.

M - For the ABV surprisingly medium bodied with a touch drying due to the bitterness. Not too dry though just enough to make me sip again.

Overall I love me a nice hoppy barleywine and this one is tasty. Almost like a clone of Backburner from Southern Tier which I also enjoyed thoroughly. Great beer.

Photo of Jeffo
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another fun beer from Irishgurl4 in our recent trade. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention. A slightly cloudy burnt orange in color with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a half wisp and ring. Only a ring remains until the end but manages to leave some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Caramel malts, sweet melon and honey notes, as well asome hoppy citrus aromas. Balanced, but not quite as bold as hoped.

TASTE: Caramel malts, toffee sweetness, as well as some piney and floral hop bitterness up front. Melon flavors and fruity sweetness at the swallow, along with a good dose of booze as well. Bolder and lingering aftertaste of caramel and melon sweetness, as well as some bitter pine and floral hops. Lots of flavor up front that is consistent the whole way through after the swallow. More impressive than the nose, and snows a good balance between sweet malts and hops.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Quite creamy on the palate, goes down smooth enough and finishes slightly sticky. Good feel and nicely creamy.

OVERALL: A quality barleywine with a solid malt base and enough hops to give it enough charecter. Well balanced and enjoyable. The nose needs a little more pep to move this one up a class, but the feel is good and the flavor is there and in all the right places. Worth checking out if you see it, and one I'll probably be on the lookout for when on holiday in the States. Thanks again for this one Irishgurl4.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new arrival at Tully's. In a snifter the beer was a cherry amber color with a medium-sized tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Aroma of citrus and piney hops. Some caramel.

Taste of herbal, piney hops, with citrus. The citrus was not too tart, so mostly orange. Caramel arrived later on, and complimented the hops nicely.

This was a smooth, unaggressive barley wine, Very nicely done.

Photo of xnicknj
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a slightly hazed copper color with some golden hues. Thick frothy white head bubbles up, retaining nicely while leaving thick webbed patches of lacing.

A bit of piny bitterness in the nose with a dash of citrus. Some lemon and orange peel with a nice helping of bready tones. Caramel sweetness and a dash of alcohol warmth.

Booming wave of bitter hops with pine and some sticky notes. Orange and lemon peel with a splash of citrusy juiciness. A little sweet towards the middle with plenty of caramel and bread crust. Thick backbone with some hints of burnt sugar and sweetness. Finishes a little boozy and bitter.

Fuller medium body, nicely carbonated, sticky and chewy on the tongue with a bit of creaminess. This is a nice hoppy barleywine - I'd drink it again.

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into an Ommegang tulip. No date on the bottle.

Look- Clear rosy copper-amber hue with a big, craggy head that clings to the sides of the glass and leaves a tight lacy web with a foamy ring near the top of the glass as it falls oh-so-slowly. A moderate amount of carbonation is apparent thanks to the rising bubbles.

Smell- A bright fruit arrangement hits the nose from the start- strawberries, mango, and pineapple come to mind. More subdued are dates and other dried stone fruits, along with caramelized sugar, some sort of spice (nutmeg?), and a faint alcohol presence. Agitation brings out the darker fruits and alcohol a bit, along with a stronger citrusy bite.

Taste- Rather tame after the aroma, though the sweet/tart fruitiness is still the driving force. Starts off snappy, like pineapple, switching over to sweeter apple and banana before it rolls into the darker, tannic, preserved fruits like dates and prunes. A faint bready/yeasty undercurrent is present, but never emerges on its own in any significant way. The aftertaste is light, oaky, and reminiscent of candied pears. As the bottle warms, the overall feeling does as well, with the fresh bread flavor transitioning to more of an aromatic hardwood and a light buttery flavor makes an appearance in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Slick/oily with light to moderate carbonation, This is a relatively heavy brew that still goes down smooth. Lightly acidic up front, and the touch of bitter dryness it leaves on the tongue is just enough to urge for another sip, without being cloying despite the sweetness. Drinks like raw milk- creamy, oily, and slightly bitter- it's unique and personally I think it's fantastic.

Overall- I really have to say that this is one the easiest-drinking full-bodied beers I've had to date, and the rather high ABV coupled with the complex character and drinkability makes this one a dangerous indulgence. Hats off to Middle Ages once again.

Photo of tbeckett
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Bear World in Watertown.

A - Light brown or dark orange colour. Hazy with a single finger light brown head. A nice pour. Film of retention with gentle lace.

S - Smells of raisins, citrus hops, dark sugar, some booze.

T - Slight citrus hops, booze, raisins, sugars.

M - Nice carbonation, full body and a sugar/hoppy finish.

O/D - Overly sweet with not enough dark fruit character. Well hopped but could use less booze. OK.

Photo of billab914
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not exactly sure on the vintage of this one. I believe I purchased it in 2010 though. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a caramel brown color with a thin but bubbly white head to it.

The aroma shows some grapefruit and citrus rind qualities to it with a little lemon showing through. I get a bit of malty, caramel, and candied fruit flavor to it as well. The malty, barleywine character seemed a little overshadowed in it.

The taste has a bitter, citrus rind flavor up front with a little bit of a lemony, candied orange flavored hoppiness to it. In the finish is where the malty sweetness starts to come out with some caramel and toffee notes to it. Some hoppy, grapefruit, bitterness lingers in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty decent and drinkable beer of the style, but the malty, barleywine characteristics just didn't really stand out to me. It was good, but just not a beer that really stood out in the style for me.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Color is a dark amber brown color that looks clear, dense finger of cap on top.
There is no date on this bottle but i have to guess by the aroma that this one has a year or two on it, very rounded and mellow. The aroma is some sweet malts like caramel and some brown sugars, and a hint of brightness in a citrus way.
The flavors give the same impression that either this is a very malty american barleywine or there is time on this one, could be either.
Flavors include the typical caramel malts and toffee and whatnot, but they have no depth or richness to them, and nothing to back them up. There is no alcohol presence either, this one is pretty one dimensional.
Mouthfeel is a bit dryer then most barleywines.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmpizzo for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brown with a 1 inch fizzy beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, alcohol, and some citrus zest. Taste is of biscuit-like malt, alcohol, and some pine and citrus zest hops. Mild hop bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a slightly fizzy carbonation level with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good hop-forward barleywine from Middle Ages. Lots of pine and citrus zest nicely balanced with the malt.

Photo of FosterJM
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

747th Review on BA
Bottle to snifter
22oz
No date

Thanks to mjtiernan for this bottle.

App- Orange juice mixed with maple syrup brown. A one finger head that falls very quickly. A ring of bubbles around the edges. Very similar to the Monster 2009 I had the other day.

Smell- A little dank spice to this one. Deeper malts with a softer citrus on the edges of the aromatics. A little hop bitter as well.

Taste- Overall this was a very malty barleywine. A little spice like the nose adds to the taste with some muggy flavored orange. At the same time has a taste of being a little stringy and grainy but a little subdued. Smoothness comes in with some liquid caramel notes or toffee, whatever you want to call it. I have trouble between the two.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little combo of spice and bitter remain. Some pepper notes for some reason. I liked it.

Drink- Pretty tasty. A more malt forward with a little over bitter. More smooth and big than some BW's lately. A nice balance between the flavors.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Butterscotch and dark fruits, balanced with a mix of earthy hop bitterness and alcohol. This beer review could stop right there. The clean and crisp individual flavors are well defined and very descript.

Druid Fluid pours with a heavy decantment while building a froathy ivory-stained foam stance. Brilliant clarity of deep amber or garnet colors allow for a myjestic bright glow. The creamy lightly weighted head allows for several heavy coats of lace which adorn the glass as the beer fades. It's difficult to fault much about this beer's appearance.

Diving the nose into the glass delivers a hugely malted scent of toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch, molasses, and maple. But the esters of rum-soaked grapes, plumbs, raisons, dates, and figs offer roundness and complexity to the otherwise one-dimensional sweetness. Appreciative hop nuances of grasses, pine, and tea-like herbs offer a much needed earthy component along with a soft pipe tobacco scent.

Flavors reveal both a schizophrenic and blend of styles of beer that's difficult to asses and yet celebrated at the same time. English-like maltiness and sweetness rate allows for a toffe-rich and biscotti character to rise with a soft buttery overlay that's allowed and sometimes celebrated by Brittish ales. Even the flavor of the hop balance is earthy, spicy, and somewhat grassy with elements of pine, spruce, and sweet fresh tobacco. But then the hop rates of bitterness becomes somewhat resiny like the proportions found in American-style Barleywines. And then the moderate attenuation pulls back the veil and reveals a sweeter English Ale-like sweetness that chases the hops in finish.

Full bodied and rich to the core, the beer's residual sweetness gives great creamy texture and a sticky sweet feel that pushes right up against the fence of cloying. But then the reprieve of hop dryness with alcoholic warmth and a slight pull back of malty-dryness delivers a finish of partial sweetness and pleasant hop bite that has a less-than-expected linger into the next sip.

An overall delicious beer that I somehow want to find flaw in the buttery/butterscotch flavor. But without that, this beer would be quite banal.

Photo of leansean88
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Big ol' bottle for this guy. Cloudy, amber pour with a thin lacy head.

S - Colorful aroma of hops and fruits.

T - Malt, hops, various fruity tastes. Really comes alive on the tongue. Finishes nicely too.

M - Pretty nice, crisp feeling. Sort of overpowers the sinuses. I dunno.

O - It's not too bad. Not as good as I remember it being when my buddy let me have a sip of it. Certainly filling, and not a bad taste. But I can't see myself paying this much for what I get. Thankfully, this round was a gift.

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Druid Fluid from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 322 ratings.