Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Druid Fluid - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Druid FluidDruid Fluid

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

242 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 242
Hads: 326
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 38
Gots: 24 | 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.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Druid Fluid Alström Bros
Reviews: 242 | Hads: 326
Photo of jondeelee
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Druid Fluid opens with a nose that better fits an IPA than a barleywine, being ripe with pine and grapefruit hop notes. Once past these strong citrusy aromas, a base of white grape, brown sugar, and toast presents itself, but missing is the usual alcoholic sugarbomb aroma that accompanies most beers of this style.

On the tongue, the beer does prove far less hoppy than the nose would imply, beginning with a shot of brown sugar and descending quickly into a fruit ester-heavy body of figs and raisins, accompanied by a touch of port wine and a heaping mass of caramelized brown sugar and maple syrup. A good dose of fizzy white grape juice adds a champagne-like overtone near the edges, and hops make a strong presence throughout with grapefruit and pine flavors that strengthen as the brew is held in the mouth. Right at the end of the mouthful, a lovely layer of toasted pecans emerges. Unfortunately, in subsequent mouthfuls many of the more subtle and flavorful fruit esters--especially the fig and raisin--are subsumed underneath the hops, and the beer tastes more and more like an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-heavy, slightly burning the soft palate.

Overall, while the first sip of this beer was excellent, subsequent sips lost the initial potency and deliciousness of the sugars, resulting in an imbalanced beverage. Middle Ages (the brewer) does note that, when young, the beer is quite hoppy, and the malts become more pronounced as the beer ages. Perhaps this one is a good cellaring beer, then.

 1,535 characters

Photo of suspect
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

REVIEW #100!

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel Tulip glass. This beer was the first craft beer I can really remember really liking. I had this on tap at the Chapter House in Ithaca probably 10 years ago and got cut off from having any more after 4 or 5 glasses. Anyway, I figured what better beer to be #100.

A: Very nice amber color, crystal clear. Aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger head that fades to really thick, viscous lacing. Steady column of tiny bubbles stream to the top.

S: Toasted malts, sweet caramel and toffee, alcohol is most definitely present in the nose. Also picking up some fruit, fig, perhaps raisin.

T: Beautifully balanced sweet malts with the perfect amount of bitter hops. Gets better and better as it gets warmer. The alcohol is definitely present here but faded somewhat from the nose. Dark fruits round out the flavor profile and add to the complexity.

M: Perfect carbonation, medium body, the alcohol burn is not present in the feel. Lingering after taste is welcomed and leaves me going back for more.

O: Simply delicious. The craft beer i cut my teeth on and one that I will go back for over and over again. The 9.5% alcohol adds to the fun but it's the complexity of the flavor profile that makes this beer one of my favorites.

 1,274 characters

Photo of xanok
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Druid Fluid is my first offering from Middle Ages.

Bomber poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

Pours a neat hazy amber/orange/burgundy color. Bone white head and plenty of it. Hops smell kind of earthy and piney. Kind of sweet smelling overall, like candy and caramel malt. A bit pungent.

Surprisingly citrusy for a barleywine. Not what I expected at all. Caramel and sugar tastes are there, just taking a back seat to the variety of citrus hops.

This beer is extremely smooth. The hops are the show here, but they're not overly bitter. The mouthfeel is smooth with little aftertaste. Body is maybe a bit thin for the style, but that doesn't take away from it.

If there was a barleywine that was a summer beer, this would be it. Smooth and citrusy, not overly complex. If it wasn't for the high ABV, I could drink these all day.

 830 characters

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

I can finally expunge this one from my “wants” list after it had been on there for years. Thanks John. This 2009 vintage pours clear copper with tan head. The aroma is modest in strength with malts, some floral hops, pine and some tree sap. The taste is pretty smooth with pine hop resin, some spicy hops and a bit of floral hops too. Toward midway spicy hops, earthiness and a touch of roast come forward to create a near black tea like sensation. I enjoy the way this one comes together. I could sit and sip on this all night.

 532 characters

Photo of Samtoberfest
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First and foremost I must say, this was my first "real" beer in my first "real" beer pub.
Entering Mahars for the first time in Albany, NY, I knew I belonged. I printed a list, not knowing what it really was, and ordered one of the first beers on the menu under the title, "Cask." Druid Fluid, be it from mere alphabetical order or not, soon became a favorite of mine. Pumped straight from the cask, it was only about 10 degrees below room temp and with far less carbonation than traditional bud light every freshly 21 year old knows all too well.
For me, the most memorable aspect of this Barleywine was the smell and mouthfeel. Dipping your nose into this ruckus pint I can only imagine is the same as cutting up a handful of hops and snorting up more of those bad-boys than Johnny Depp in the movie, "Blow." Simply, it was pungent and oh so delightful. I knew my life had changed, I just didn't realize how amazing it would be (of course not just because of the heady buzz you get from drinking just a few "real" beers!).
Of course I didn't want to sit in this trendy bar sniffing my beer for hours like some out of place tourist taking pictures of a pile of American dog shit on the sidewalk. We'd just look silly. My cheeks have never got their asses kicked so hard before in my life. It was like a trailer for "Fight Club;" I was begging for more. It was smooth, yet fierce. Every beer before now went down without much consideration, but this changed everything. I swished it around, swallowed, and then repeated. And repeated. And repeated. It was hoppy, dry, sweet, and malty all at once. The ability for a beer to be so smooth, yet so strong was a new experience for me and one I will not ever forget.
Cheers to my first "real" beer that has been in need of a review for several years now!

 1,807 characters

Photo of oline73
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of neorunner
3.01/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blind Beer #4 - http://flic.kr/p/9oFbSg

Thanks to Kevin (shrek806) for sending me this beer in round #4 of the Blind Beer BIF.

I remembered to remove the wax first this time. Much better result. Poured the 22oz bottle into my New Holand tulip. Amber brown in color, this beer has a slightly yellow head. Aroma is a mix of malt and hops, maybe some rye in the mix? Flavor is a blend of amber and crystal malts with a decent carmelized back end. Hops are citrusy and leave a dry feeling on the top of your mouth.

Gonna go with an IPA on this one.

The reveal - Middle Ages Druid Fluid Barleywine. Going with the trend I've noticed from this brewery, its a bit underwhelming for the style. I'm enjoying the beer, and its well constructed but I'd consider it more an IPA or RyePA even.

 784 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an Dark brown color with orange hues. It has a thick fluffy off-white head. Lots of retention on this one with a good amount of lacing.

S- Aromatic piny hops with a bit a caramel malts in the background. Hops dominate the nose.

T- Lots of caramel sweetness with bitter piny/citrus hops. Also picking up some nutty characters. Simple but very pronounced flavors.

M- Medium bodied, soft, smooth. Well carbonated. Feels light and crisp.

D/N- Wow. This is an excellent American Barley Wine. Simple yet very flavorful. Balanced just right. I will seek more of this. ISO Druid Fluid...

 593 characters

Photo of brew3crew
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had during a middle ages tasting.
A-pours an orangish beer thats head quickly disappears
S-more hops than I expect from a barelywine. Malts follow
T-some sweetness from thw malts and bitterness from the hops
M-well balanced, smooth and medium bodied
D-Cannot taste the alcohol at all. This,brewery knows how to hide it

So not attempt to gargle, apparently it foams

 365 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dish orange. A good amount of white head. Lots of great lacing. Smells hoppy and bitter. Tastes very bitter. The hop characteristics are pretty minimal. The malt backbone is fairly subpar. Well carbonated but overall not very good.

Got awkward when Carl tried to gargle it.... It's hard to gargle foam he says.

 324 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 496 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 973 characters

Photo of Lukafer
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alleykatking, been wanting to try this for a while!

Pours murky orange, thin orangeish head which quickly fades.  Smells are plum, other dark fruits, alcohol and some brown sugar.   Tastes pretty much like it smells, plums, some hops, very sweet.   Mouthfeel is sticky, low carb, kinda chewy.  Good stuff, really glad I got to try it.

 352 characters

Photo of mountdew1
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a orangey/lite caramel brown. Had a thin dirty white head that clung slightly with small streams of carbonation rising from the bottom. Aroma was overly sweet, slightly hoppy, and slighty fruity. Taste was hoppy up front, slight bitterness, with some sweetness to finish. Mellowed out over time, became balanced as the beer warmed up. Felt ok in the mouth. Coated nicely, and well carbonated. Alcohol was slightly hidden which was nice, and it was pleasant to drink.

 512 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a verk dark amber brown color with very thin lacing and no carbonation.

S - Smells of pungent brown sugar, some acidic caramel/toffee malt (not a good sign), molasses, dark fruits, and some spice. The nose is not at all inviting, I'm wondering if this is a bad bottle, if so, I will review this again at a later date.

T - Definite estery character with some underlying permeating booze effervescence. Burnt toffee, very small traces of tart sour apples (again, not a good sign), oaky tannins, some toffee/caramel, and mild pine hopping on the back side.

M - Medium chewy body and leaves a lingering pine hop bitterness on the tongue with a coating of the estery malt.

D - I'm not at all impressed with this beer. Being this is the first time I've had it, I'm hoping it's a skunky bottle. If not, this isn't something I'd expect from Middle Ages.

 860 characters

Photo of CaptYellow
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange; brownish-orange at the centre; red hues when held to the light. Faintest whisps at the edges.

S: Sweetness from the malt.

M: Creamy.

T: Hops upfront, malt in middle, hops in aftertaste. As I drank it, the bitterness took a back-seat and I enjoyed it more. I let two people try it: the first said it tasted purple and the next said it tasted like grapes to him. As I continued to drink it, it did seem to have the puckering effect that drinking grapes does.

D: High in alcohol so it could be expected to drink much. I did finish the bomber fairly quickly however.

O: For the price, there are other beers I'd rather buy. It's not the best barleywine I've ever had, and as I'm not a hophead, I don't think I'd care to buy this one again. Nor recommend for the style.

 779 characters

Photo of alkchrios
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells of candy and sugar. very sweet.. less hoppy aroma yet a stronger alcohol scent. tastes of dried apricots and burnt caramel...very buttery. this brew is rather dry to the pallet.. clean finish but not much residue on the ol' taste buds. Good beer.. ot great but worth a try.

 280 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber was $7.99 at Hoosick Beverage in Troy, NY. Poured into a standard pint glass, served refrigerator temp.

Mostly clear orange-brown brew becomes orange-red against a light. 1" of frothy head settles slowly to a thick beige layer and leaves chunky lacing. Continues to generate abundant lace until the end. Nose is dominated by a great dose of pine and candied orange rind hops, then honey, biscuit, some florals. Smell is thick and sweet, like pez candy and honey. Taste is a great mix of candy sweetness, mixed citrus notes fronted by orange rind, biscuit, some boozy notes, pine, florals, hints of caramel. Bitter sweet, very tasty. Makes me think of lemoncello liquor. Tropical fruits, mango and coconut, come out as it breathes. Finish is fairly long and resiny. Still tasting pine several minutes later. Mouthfeel is viscous, carbonation on the high end but it is soft and not overbearing. Alcohol mildly apparent but blends well with everything else so it is not offensive. Overall an awesome brew, very enjoyable.

 1,031 characters

Photo of TonyReaves
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from Wegman's down in Syracuse.

Pours a deep red with ample head. Smells sweet like brown sugar and fruit but with big piney overtones.

Taste is a lot of alcohol right in the opening- more than I'd like. After that, intense breadiness and some straw, which was surprising for such a big beer. It had a sharp, hoppy finish. I wouldn't call this a dry beer, but it's dry for the style.

Not as heavy on the palate as some barley wines. One of the more drinkable barleywines I'e ever had, although the alcohol is pretty strong.

I didn't love it, but I'll probably pick up another bottle next time I'm in Syracuse.

 621 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks DmanGTR

A: A muddy brownish red.. like river water. Decent off white head, but this disappears quickly.

S: Sweet burnt caramel, brown sugar, and hops! The hops are earthy and mellow in the background.

T: Burnt carmel is first. Followed by an aggressive burst of earthy hops. it ends with brown sugar and carmel.

M: Syrupy, but not overly so.. nice carbonation. The carbonation is fine and high, which balances out a little of the thickness.

D: Very nice. Not sure if it is a new favorite for the style, but still very enjoyable. Going to get some cheese to pair, and enjoy the hell out of it!

 606 characters

Photo of TommyW
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy, dark amber/gold (think apple cider) with a nice sticky, white head.

S- Lots of different tropical and citrus fruits on top of some malt aromas with touches of hops and alcohol.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Variety of tropical fruit, citrus flavors from the hops, notes of caramel malts and alcohol.

M- Smooth and full feel.

D- A pretty nice American barleywine; pretty fruit-forward profile which is pretty nice.

 429 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and stimulating fruity barleywine. A bit off the beaten path for the style.

Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Simple purple label with a whimsical-magical themed design barely using cartoonish typography with the name of the brew and a magicians conic hat in the center. Lacks bottling or freshness date and any other info other than noting the style. Poured into a snifter.

A - Medium to deep amber pour with an inch head that fades quickly leaving some lacing on its way down.

S - Citric, grapefruit but mandarin probably more than anything else, with a faint caramel maltiness.

T - Fruity hoppiness, very soft, with a malty back range. There is a great unbalanced sense here that works rather well, US barleywine maybe, but it is not so much hoppy bitterness, but a grapefruit and estery flavor that carries it beyond the smell in a big and characteristic way.

M - It's a medium body with fine/soft carbonation and a smooth feel, with a tangy finish.

D - Nice fresh barleywine, makes for a good sipper but would probably be better suited for something like a tulip glass.

Notes: A bizarre barleywine... Not what I would look for typically in the style but a very enjoyable brew in its own right. For a US version it sure is hoppy but here a fruity note predominates and in a way that makes it rather drinkable.

 1,320 characters

Photo of steve8robin
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one while at the recording studio...

A: Interesting copper / ruby color. Nice thick off-white head that never completely dies. Very good looking.

S: I can smell it all the way from here while my glass sits on the table. Smells good, but doesn't bring a whole lot new to the table. Smells hoppy with slight roasty malts following. Good, but not great.

T: Super hoppy. With a bad backend that almost tastes like cough syrup. Not too good. The hops help mask the cough syrup taste.

M: Leaves no good flavors on your tastebuds once consumed. Nothing special.

D: Nothing special in the department either.

All in all, this brew is not that great. If you enjoy very hoppy beers, then definitely try this brew once. Any more than that is not necessary. Not for me.

 771 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One fingers worth of fairly standard eggnog colored head with a cluster of larger bubbles in the very center and smaller ones around the periphery... Only the slightest retention which gives way to full inviting lace that is slightly veiled in the center, through the larger bubbles referred to before remain, with a ring of foam around the froth... Some slow paced deliberate carbonation rises as it clings to the sides of the glass... An extremely murky rust colored medium brown color...

S - The aroma is quite pleasant though subdued... Sweet grape soda... Fig... Toffee... Orange... Pineapple... Raisins... A complex and enjoyable nose, and just a bit more umph would have pushed the rating higher in the

T - To begin, the taste resembles a nose almost identically (grapes, mandarin oranges, raisins, fig, grapefuit, pineapple), but as soon as the liquid leaves the tongue the hops are much more pronounced and are the sole source of any aftertaste...

M - Full bodied... Sits quite heavy on the tongue... Only a vague carbonation is present... This is where beer that's been teetering on the fence getween good and very good falls solidly back onto the good side... The mouthfeel isn't bad, I just expect much more from a barely wine... No stickiness... No creaminess... No complexity...

D - An enjoyable offering from Middle Ages (a very underrated brewery), but far from their best and far from a top tier Barleywine... Definately was not a struggle to finish, but I"m not sure this is one I would recommend or seek out given the great array of American and English Barleywines available...

 1,609 characters

Photo of Minotaur
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

The beer pours with a thick but only mildly retentive head that leaves a nice thick lacing. The color is a light brown-deep amber with copper-yellow highlights at the bowl of the glass.
There is a medium level of carbonation.

The aroma is very thin, issuing out just a little bit of pine-grapefruit hoppiness. The sweetness that comes through is toasted and a little yeasty.

The flavor has a balance tilted slightly toward the hops. The taste is sharp with bitterness on the back and sides of the tongue, but not without a sense of overall harmony from the malts. There is a syrup quality in the taste and mouthfeel. Something a bit caramel or maple like - possibly honey - gets stronger on the tongue as the beer warms. The bitterness and hops do not make a terribly complex brew but it does provide a round and layered taste. The alcohol is present in a whiskey like vapor and heats up quickly as you move through the glass.

The beer has a good mouthfeel - it is full and smooth. However with the level of hop and alcohol a bit more creaminess would be beneficial. This is heavy and drinks more like liquor than beer. There is a roughness to it that some more age may smooth out. But even relatively young it is very palatable.

While the brewery lists their beers as English style ales, this is definitely closer to the American Barleywine style in the hops intensity.

Overall a good baseline Barleywine that presents a balanced example of the American style.

 1,506 characters

Druid Fluid from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.