Druid Fluid - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Druid FluidDruid Fluid

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BA SCORE
87
very good

316 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 316
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 36
Gots: 20 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-30-2001)
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Ratings: 316 | Reviews: 243 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Maybe their best brew. Barleywine it is also major hoppy and ringwood yeast and Candylike malting. Very drinkable and satisfying. Was fresh off the line served up by Old Marcus and cheers to him for this. Must get more. even a tad of bitterness in aftertaste as opposed to too much sweetness. Could be interesting iff ageable. Unique and to be enjoyed by all but the harshest palate.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While every aspect of this beer was indead "Good" I can't help but wonder if it really is a "Barleywine" or if maybe its some kind of strange hybrid of styles.

Pours a nice clear orange color, white head, decent retention.

Smell is of malt, citrusy hops, and... banana? Strange but very interesting as well as inviting.

Taste is along the same lines. Moderate hop bite (just right in my opinion), a touch of hop flavor/spice (strange for a barleywine), a slight hint of alcohol, and a decent amount of malt sweetness. Theres also that odd banana quality here again. Not quite as odd as the Behemoth Blonde though.

Medium body, ample CO2, quite drinkable.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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 djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot nectar color with a modest head that quickly descned but manages to splash a lot of lace

Smell: Toffee and juicy fruit gum, with a hint of piney hops

Taste: Opens with a lot of toffee, stone fruit and juicy fruit gum flavors; while there is diacetyl in there, it is not as bothersome as in some other beers from this brewery; some piney hop flavors also arrive by mid-palate; after the swallow, a nicely balanced blend of hoppy and malty flavors lingers through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very well balanced between the malt, the fruit and the bitterness, with a thinner body than would be expected; this bottle has a year or two of age on it and is drinking nicely; it's not a barleywine in the classic sense however

Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
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 Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a copper-brown color ale with a medium dark head with excellent retention. Aroma of strong malty sweetness with subtle alcohol notes is clearly evident. Taste has a real creamy feel to it with some malt but everything seems to be covered by strong bitter hops. Body is full and even though taste has a warming feel to it you cannot detect the alcohol. Good barleywine overall but I guess I prefer them without too many hops and more malt presence or again maybe I should have aged the bottle a bit more.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusky orange with more than a little red, like a not quite ripe tomato. While the amount of visible carbonation isn't excessive, it's more than I'm used to seeing in a barleywine. The head is a fetching shade of orangish beige and fills at least one third of the glass after the pour. As well, it deposits more lace than any 9.5%'er in recent memory.

I've been spoiled by some truly incredible barleywine noses lately. This one is merely good. Remarkably enough, orange liqueur (Cointreau) is the dominant aroma and is supported by a solid slab of sticky caramel. I like it well enough. A little more complexity would be nice though.

Druid Fluid is more impressive on the palate, but I can't quite pull the trigger on the higher score. The flavor is several-dimensional, as opposed to multi-dimensional, which makes it a dimension or two short of the best versions. The flavor profile, like the nose, is dominated by candied orange peel. As a consequence, the triple sec/Cointreau comparison still applies. Brown sugar-coated candied cherries are a contributor as well. Thankfully, Ringwood yeast is nearly undetectable.

This beer is listed above as an American barleywine (presumably hoppier) and on the Middle Ages website as an English-style barleywine (presumably maltier). I don't think it fits comfortably into either category. Let's just call it a style tweener.

The mouthfeel makes DF one of the lightest barleywines that I've had yet. I keep expecting it to firm up, to viscosify with warming, but it refuses to play along. That's okay, they don't all need to be mouth monsters. This mouthfeel is much more in keeping with the flavor profile anyway.

Druid Fluid is a friendly sort of barleywine and would be a great beer to introduce the uninitiated to the style. I'm enjoying the fruitiness and the easy drinkability, but there are a whole host of other versions that I'd reach for first. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one in a trade a while back as I had been dying to try it for quite some time. Stored in my fridge until it was time, this one was shared with a couple of friends. Served in a snifter at a slightly chilled room temperature. Consumed on 08/23/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich amber color coming out of the bottle. Nice notes of orange swirling and a good bit of haze and cloudiness surrounding it. Nice carbonation could be seen trough the haze and the overall head was at least two inches high before settling back down to earth.

The aroma was very interesting, and much different then anything I had seen in the style before. Lots of spices and bread like notes here, reminded me a lot of a strong winter warmer. Tons of malt, with just the slightest bit of lemon like citric going on in the background. The flavor was a malt bomb, lots of grain and bread like notes, hints of peppery spices and what almost seemed to be like a Rye like flavor in the finish. Some light fruit notes, raisins maybe, something with a bit of a twang to it. Interesting medium bodied feel was more then decent and actually really helped to show off the flavors here. Hops came through in the finish with a very nice note of pine and orange peel that dried out the flavor before leaving behind a nice bit of pepper like spice. Great sipper here as I really enjoyed every last drop and it seemed to get better as it warmed.

Overall I thought this was very good. Very different for the style and something that I thought was well sought for. I would have no issue trying this one again, in fact I would actually try and seek it out.

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a nice medium brown with a little orange tint to it with a real nice creamy,rocky head that sticks very well,not much of an aroma some light fruitiness and alcohol smell to it.Taste is nice and and almost whisky-like with some dried fruit flavors with a dryish finish.A real nice beer from a brewery I like to drink from when in Buffalo visiting the future in-laws.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.86/5  rDev -1%
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 zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head of foam. The head had small bubbles and left little to no lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, maple, brown sugar and slightly floral.

T - Lots of sweet caramel, brown sugar and bready malts. There is a mild bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a very dry finish.

D - This is an okay barleywine. It definitely leans toward the sweeter side of the spectrum. Thanks to given2flybrewing for sharing.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A long-standing, cooled bottle leaves a solid cake of yeast at the bottom and an almost perfectly clear deep-amber/copper body that displays orange and golden highlights when held to the light. The short, creamy, off-white head holds quite well and maintains a thin but solid surface covering throughout the entire glass. Some cobweb lacing is left from the inital head, and transient clumps and spots of lace come and go with each sip.

Bold, leafy, somewhat piney, and mildly grassy hops appear in the nose over a juicy fruitiness (apples, plums, dried fruits, cherry) and deep-caramel maltiness. Some mineral character and a very light touch of buttery diacetyl rounds it out quite nicely!

The body is medium/full. It's creamy in the mouth, and soft and smooth across the palate with a very fine and moderate natural carbonation that's very English in nature.

The flavor delivers more fruit and less hop flavor than the aroma suggests. It starts with the big juicy fruit that the aroma exhibits (apple, apricot, plum, cherry, almost pineapple but not so sour); followed by some soft, buttery caramel and mineral character as it warms; and finishes with leafy/piney hop flavors, a bold bitterness, some dry, woody characater, and a touch of mildly peppery alcohol. The aftertaste is a long and winding road where the different flavors previously encountered reappear again and again at different points. Most complex, and quite enjoyable - and the Ringwood yeast really stands out here!

Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dreamy reddish amber hue, you’d swear there was a shade of burgundy in there also. Good lacing for a higher alcohol brew as some tend to poop out … not this one though.

Smell: Big juicy fruit moshpit in the nostrils, getting lots of fruitiness from exotic from the esters / higher alcohols and citric from the hops … all very ripe. Add a touch of yeast, a slathering of malt sweetness and side of toffee and you have a chaotically complex aroma.

Taste: Muscular and flexed palate, full bodied and creamy smooth with an expressive light crispness. A tad chewy up front with that same juicy fruit in the aroma, toffee is pronounced a bit more as the buttery diacetyl and malt sweetness infiltrate the taste buds. Pungency from the hop build a solid bitterness to counteract against the sweetness, fruitiness falls in places both from the yeast and hops. Higher alcohols are esters with a ghost appearance of the solvent kind.

Notes: Yeah, I just want to say “juicy fruit” again. This beer does not surprise me coming from this brewery, I expected something of this greatness to come fro them.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Semi-clouded copper hue with an off white cream colored head leaves fine specks of lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma: Great English style malts here blended with an edge of pine cone and orange peel thrown in for good measures, the nose is very peculiar but the creamy edge and citrus profile brings it together. Taste: Very sweet creaminess in the flavor some candi sugar is here creating alot of sweetness, but at the same time there's a load of hopes here fighting it out for the balance of sweet and bitterness. Who will prevail, well I'm not sorry to say that a draw was found due to the pure awesome mix that each caramel sugary malts and pine cone orange citrus hops add here to the complexity. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mild carbonation goes down without any cloying edges. Drinkability: Beware of the alcohol goes down quite smoothly here.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark amber color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, citrus, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is malty and sweet up front with flavors of caramel and citrus. I've had this beer sitting for about a year, so the hops presence is a little subdued but it's still strong and more than enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer with some strength that it worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fizzy bubbly 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over hazy rosy copper orange color. The head leaves a slight lacing.

Nose of malts, sweet malts, some caramel, maple, candy, and hints of dark fruits. A slight hint of earthy hops.

Taste is somewhat rich, fairly sweet, with lots of dark malts again, a touch of roast, toffee, caramel, maple, candy apple like, more fruits, a bit of a peppery taste too, slightly creamy and syrupy, with a bit of earthy bittering hops. It also has a slight minterality flavor to it. Finish stays semi sweet but dries a bit, it also brings a bit of tingly booze and warmth. The sweet syrupy flavors linger for a while.

Mouth is medium to heavier bodied with a little syrupy texture, and decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK, some warming and tingly booze take away a bit, and it is on the sweet side but very tolerable on that end. A very slight stickiness on the finish but that is very good compared to most barleywines.

Photo of oline73
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber, iced team like color with a half finger of fluffy white head that goes away pretty quickly.

Smell: Mildly sweet like brown sugar with some dark fruit, I'm picking up raisins. There is some alcohol present at the very end.

Taste: Sweet malt with hints of brown sugar and dark fruit. There is a lot of bitterness in the finish as well as some hot alcohol. The bitterness in the finish seems to hide some of the other flavors, which is too bad.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly mild carbonation. The finish is somewhat dry.

Overall: The bitter finish is way too overpowering. I would like a little bit more balance from this beer. I don't think I'm going to try to find it again.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: a light plummy color, between red and violet, qute lovely, with a perfunctory, 1/4" off-whitish head.
Aroma: big fruit, but mildly hoppy, strong booze.
Taste: well-rounded, with prominent fruitiness, but bending towards an inoffensive malty vein, though still flowering with herbal, even vegetal associations. Quite a lot going in this flavor, though relatively mild on the palate. As we go, still bursting with a winey character, very bright fruit, extraordinarily flavorful, but not too harsh, not too brash. Just right, mellow and so very tasty.
As a lover of the barleywine style, I'd say, even at, what? 9.5%?, it fills an important niche, the "session strong ale." Potent, but not punishing. Well, maybe you couldn't have too many at once, but it feels like you could attempt it!
Big thanks to McCall for this one!

Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a nice head that remains and laces. The aroma is of fruity Ringwood yeast, hops, and multiple malts. The taste is extremely smooth with a little warming, but overall good balance between hops and malts. The body is medium. It's not at all hard to swallow like some barley wines. The beer is very drinkable. An excellant choice, but not as good as Bigfoot Barley Wine.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick three-finger head that fades very slowly, but leaves pleasant ring lace on the side of the glass. Dark amber with a tinge of orange. Clear.

I just finished a very hoppy IPA and the aroma difference is dramatic. I cannot detect any hop. Instead, I smell strong malt sugars--almost like maple sugar candy.

The flavor is surprisingly balanced. Still, this is boldy malty brew, but there is enough hop to prevent it from becoming to coyingly sweet. Deceptively, it lacks the typical alcohol feel for a brew with this much punch, although I would describe it as warming. Very heavy body, but matches this with a liberal amount of carbonation.

This may be one of my favorite barley wines, but that might be because I enjoy the subtlety of the flavors whereas I find most BW's to be one-trick ponies of sweet malt. This isn't the brandy-like experience that one often gets from a true BW, but still I found this to be delicious.

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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Druid Fluid from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
87 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.