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Duke Of Winship - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Duke Of WinshipDuke Of Winship

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

155 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 10
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Scotch Porter"

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of francisweizen
4.63/5  rDev +19.6%

On-Cask at the Blue Tusk. Damn does this brew improve on the hand-pump or what!? A dark brew, nearly black with a huge (for a handpull) head of espresso-like foam. This brew is fresh, in fact this cask was just tapped two days prior to my arrival at the tusk. The aromas scream porter, but there are scotch ale undertones as well. I detect a bit of somked peat in the aroma, as well as roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and a bit of the ole' booze as well. Taste is great. Creamy, roasty, with chocolate, caramel, and coffee notes all over the place. Wow, decadent is the word to sum up this drinking experience. Mouthfeel is cask loveliness, and drinkability is insane as well. All of this in a 20oz serving size for just $3. Man, sometimes you really have to love the 'cuse!

francisweizen, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%

Nearly opaque, deep burgandy-mahogany topped by a toasted tan head of dense foam. The Duke is an absolutely gorgeous color when backlit; it looks like a multi-faceted gemstone with sparkling ruby highlights. The cap descends unevenly, leaving softly arching fingers of lace on the upper portion of the glass.

Captivating nose of roasted barley malt, dark butterscotch, brown sugar and smoke. I don't get much peat, but this one hits all of the other requisite Scottish ale aromas dead on. One of the best of the style.

Perhaps it was the power of suggestion from reading the label, but Duke Of Winship tastes like a cross between a Scottish ale and a porter. I'm all for blurring the lines between styles, yet I can't help but feel that it was ill-advised with this beer. Don't get me wrong, it's still mighty tasty, it's just that the porter characteristics detract from what could have been a great Scottish ale.

By porter characteristics, I'm referring chiefly to the high degree of roast and, especially, to the rampant coffee flavor. The sweet, smoky, dark butterscotchiness is still present, but has to fight to stay in the game. The beer is sweet, bitter and ever so slightly sour all at once; there's a lot going on with each mouthful. The body/mouthfeel is medium-full with a lightly silky smoothness.

Duke Of Winship might have been better served (and would have been the stuff of legends) if it adhered more rigorously to the Scottish ale guidelines. It's still mighty fine beer and is one of Middle Ages's best. My thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%

The Duke pours deep brown with blood red highlights and a small bubbly head that dissipates rather quickly. Burnt chocolate, candied plums, a bit of bitter coffee and hints of citric. Wisps of smokiness waft up into my nostrils. Nice.

Smokey melding of bitter cocoa and coffee hits upfront. Rather dry with hints of dark fruits and slight undertones of buttery diacetyl. Molasses sweetness. Quite an interesting offering.

Mouthfeel is good with a nice body and small bubbly carbonation. This is not one of my favorite styles...but this one is enjoyable and I could sit down to a few. Thanks to dmeadows for the opportunity to sample this!

orbitalr0x, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%

Thanks to cmaruschak for the trade. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a medium thin off-white head that has fair retention. Thin and sticky lacing. Strong roasted malt aroma, with touches of caramel and fruit. Pretty full-bodied, and I like the style that blends characteristics of a Scotch Ale and Porter, although to be honest if I didn’t read the label I would have guessed just Scotch Ale. Nice roasty flavor with malt, dark fruit, caramel and a hint of chocolate. The finish is a little smokey and has a nice bitterness. Enjoyable brew.

Dogbrick, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of erica
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

great great beer- the Duke welcomes you with a little note on the bottle... how nice. Not to sound wrong, but The Duke is welcome in my mouth anytime! It's a dark brown, red if you hold it up to the light, a ring around the glass of tiny tan bubbles. Smells roasty like coffee with brown sugar in it, I love it! Tastes sweetish, butterscotchy, brown sugary, coffee, yeah. Slightly bitter end, like something roasted would be. Mouthfeel is lovely, fizzy enough so it doesn't get to be too much. Drinkability is good as well, yes, unfortunately I only had one bottle to split. I guess I'll just have to go back to the brewery to pet the kitty Bubbles and get more Duke!

erica, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

A nice roast porter. Am I the only one to notice the correct style? Carbonation a tad on the aggressive side, but very fresh from the brewery. Nice dark colour and roast aroma. Small head. Yes, after the fact realize what a nice nightcap this is. Scotch in the taste. Ovaltine satisfying aftertaste. Recommended.

Sammy, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

Pours a light tan, two finger-head that goes slowly leaving a good lace. Very deep amber color. Light carbonation. Medium bodied. Nose is raisiny. Starts semi-sweet with hops in the background, finishes smooth. $3.55 for a 12oz bottle from Oliver's Beverage Albany, NY.

jdhilt, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

This is the first "real" beer I have had in such a long time that I am overwhelmed by what were once daily pleasures for me in the realm of beer drinking. First of all, the beer looks quite amazing in the pint. It is almost jet black on first inspection, but look closer and there's a beautiful red tint around the edges of the glass. The head was a thick light tan, about half a finger, and receded rather quickly into an inviting ring, although with little lace. The smell is mostly roasted malts with some slight amount of hop undertones. There is also a delicate fruity burnt aroma. The taste is pleasant and warming (or maybe that's the alcohol), although some of the flavors are too unpronounced. It melds together into a nice overall taste, but its a bit sharp on the back of the palatte and I find myself wishing for a bit more malt presence. Don't mistake this for complaining, I could drink this beer all night (and I plan to). The mouthfeel is straightforward, not too thick not too thin, and plenty of small bubbles. Drinkability? Theres plenty, especially since I got it for free. Let the drinking commence.

FranklinPCombs, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of cbl2
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%


Pitch black with slight white head that settle rapidly leaving little to no lace.


Smoke with maple syrup and malt aromas


I don't really care for the consistency (too carbonated or something); flavors are somewhat harsh and not well balanced; overflowing with smoky character that I don't find appealing.

cbl2, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of Hefe
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

Tasted on 6/23/04 from 12 oz.

Appearance: Almost black with glints of ruby when held up to the light. Thick tan head on the initial pour, fades pretty quickly to a hint of lacing.

Smell: Mocha/espresso with a touch of sweet malt in the background.

Taste: Roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate initially, followed up by some malty-pruny sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Nice creaminess, just felt a touch thin.

Drinkability: Great dinner brew, or after dinner sipping even.

Hefe, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of necoadam
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured out a black color with a nice amount of carbonation in it. Wasn't totally black, but it was somewhat dark. Smell consisted of malts mostly combined with some coffee and chocolate as well. Some slight smokiness is there, but mostly in the backround. Taste had a porter feel to it, but did blend in with some scottish type flavors. If you read the bottle, it tries to combine the scottish elements with the porter finish. Well..ok. It does have chocolate and coffee flavors in there, but I wish it had some more smoky flavors that are in scottish ales. The finish wasn't cloying at all which I really liked about this beer. Quite a decent brew.

I must thank my boss for getting me a case of this stuff.

necoadam, Jun 04, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%

12ozer, purchased at Oliver's Beverage, Albany, NY, as part of a group of Middle Ages singles.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, dense 1/2" tan head formed, which laced excellently. Brew is quite dark, with a reddish hue when held up to the light. Heavily sweet malty aroma, almost has a slight milk tinge to it, whatever that means. Taste is stunning, the smoothness and heartiness of a porter, coupled with the sweetness and alcohol warming of my favorite style (at this point), the scotch ale. Taste did deteriorate a bit as warming occured during the drinking experience, but nothing too drastic. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent as well. A tremendous category-breaker from those wizards at Middle Ages.

ppoitras, May 22, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours a deep maroon with tight white head that kicks off some rings of lace.
Aroma of some coffee beans, dark fruits, a little bit of smoke and a biscuit profile.
Flavor of sweet malt and dark fruits cut by an espresso bitterness.
Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately sweet on the front of the palate then a smooth transition to a coffee-like bittering.
Drinkability is very nice. Interesting twist on style blending. Very nice beer.

CRJMellor, Apr 09, 2004
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

A cross between a Scottish ale and a porter and it shows in the pour of this beer a deep brown with a few red highlights not much head to speak of,aroma is earthy and fruity with a trace of bitter chocolate a good combonation in my book.Taste has a nice dried fruit flavor up front with a nice chocolate flavor that dominates with a real medicinal finish wich was unexpected.A nice beer with some complexity a nice night cap.

oberon, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of nomad
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%

Deep brown in color, this beer had a thin coffee-colored head and dripping lace. Smeled of chocolate, mocha that is almost smoky, and buttery presence all over. Its peat malt notes fit in nicely, especially against the sweet dark malt background. In all, excellent to my nose. Taste was roasty with nippy hops surrounding it, backed by a big dark malt body. Unfortunately, I detected nothing else as the roasted flavors infused with black malts were pure dominance. Sudsy mouthfeel didn’t help either.

Smelled like a great scotch ale but tasted like a mediocre porter. Better on draft maybe (?), as are many Middle Ages’ beers.

EDIT: Had a 1/2 gallon growler, still feel like its a muddled and mediocre porter.

nomad, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of Starchild
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

A deep soulless brown color filled my pint glass. Sweet roast, caramel flavors with lingering hints of hops and chocolate malt fill the mouth. This beer has a fairly straightforward character that I ascribe to most lagers. As I finished the pint, the beer became more tart and I didn’t notice any fruit qualities. I don’t really see the scotch ale in this scotch porter blend. I taste black malt more then peat flavored malt.

Starchild, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of OatmattStout
4.22/5  rDev +9%

I agree with the a few others this beer is very much like a porter but it does have the nice Scottish qualities I love. Nice head and good lacing, and really nice cherry/auburn red color when held directly in front of my desk lamp. Really nice smokey and peaty qualities and tasty toasted and mocha chocolate finish of a porter. Also does have a nice slick buttery taste tying the two together. Really suprisingly good.

OatmattStout, Nov 22, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
2.58/5  rDev -33.3%

Pours a very dark ruby-brown. Two finger off white head is highly bubbly and doesn't last long. Not much lacing.

The smell is mostly alcohol with a little bit of smoke. The taste is totally dominated by the smoke, with the alcohol not far behind. Malt profile is not all that dark, but the alcohol masks it's flavor, making it taste darker than it really is. Slighlty overcarbonated for a beer that is trying to be an old ale and/or porter.

yankeeheel, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of DagFishHead
4.22/5  rDev +9%

Appearance is fantastic and so typical of MA brews. Very dark brown/ruby color. Luscious, lingering tan head with plenty of lace.
You can get lost in the smell of this beer. The initial ABV sting soon passes, followed by lots of malt, then a barrage of fruity, hoppy and even smokey elements.
Taste is loaded with malt. To me the label describes this perfectly as a blend of Scottish (even old ale) and Porter styles. Nice combination... like a very strong porter.
Mouthfeel is lush, carbonation feel surprisingly low given how much head is generated and retained. Very enjoyable, though.
Drinkability: Make sure you always have a couple of these stashed away for when you have a hankering for an interesting blend of ale styles.

DagFishHead, Oct 23, 2003
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%

Sweet butterscotch smell, nice and strong, that's my Middle Ages. Light brown head fades pretty quick. This beer is pretty damn dark, its up there with the stouts. This one is pretty carbonated, it makes your tongue tingle on its way down. Rich in flavor, with sweet hints of butterscotch, roasted barley, and just a smidgen of bitter coffee aftertase.
Its good out of the bottle, but on tap it seems that the flavors play nice together, making it more interesting. If you are in an area that has bottles of MA, make the effort and find a bar where you can pick up ther growler, its worth it.

HappyHourHero, Oct 22, 2003
Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

The beer pours a dark burgandy color with a light tan head that stays strong. The aroma is an intense mixture of Ringwood yeast, roasted barley, chocolate malts, and patent malts; truly excellant. The taste is very unique. You get that buttery feeling as it goes down, but there is that dark grain element that adds such complexity to the palate. It does have a lot of porter qualities to it, but I like a beer that is willing to push to envelope a little. The mouthfeel is fine, although it is medium to heavily bodied. This one is a pleasure to drink. I think I'll have another.

WesWes, Jun 29, 2003
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%

Ahh it got cold again so I have been relagated to drinking the warming ales. The Duke poured a regal brown with a huge crowning cafe au lait head. This receded into a very intricate and sticky lace It was very porter like in appearence with no light seeping through the glass. The smell was also very porterish, with sweet chocolate malts and burned currant flavors. It was bordering cloying in the nose, but not quite. The taste had a very interesting thing going on. There were some real huge robust porter flavors of toffee and coffee with seriously roasted malts, but it mellowed into a much more scottish ale type bear towards the end of the taste with blood red cherry and burned sugar fruits. There was just a touch of hops towards the finish. The Scotch qualities improved the further down it got with a much more warming mellow scotch flavor appearing. The mouthfeel was all ale with bubbley carbonation that was a little too fizzy. I would like a more flat mouthfeel, but not creamy like a malty stout or porter. More like a dubbel. This beer is, however, recomended. I am only just getting into the scottish styles.

GreatPondBrewer, Jun 12, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
4.83/5  rDev +24.8%

Wow. This beer is great even before tasting it. A nice khaki-colored head settles to a thing layer and provides excellent lacing. The beer is a deep dark brown color. Not completely opaque. I was lost in the smell, just breathing it in an enjoying it, and I lost control and had to sip it. Oak, berries, and chocolate aromas. Smokey, too. Tastes very smooth. Some chocolate and burnt flavors. Creamy and the aftertaste is lighter than expected. Wonderful beer.

dwarbi, May 23, 2003
Photo of sponberg
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%

Deep reddish brown with a cream colored head. Really great nose - well attenuated diacetyl, peat, chocolatey, hints of roastiness.

One of my "have it around the house at all times" brews - the flavor starts out with malty sweetness, some chocolate and peaty/smoky notes, just enough roasted malt to balance, not at all cloying, with very well hidden alcohol. The hops come into play more at the end, and there's a good clean bitterness underlying the whole thing. Moderate to chewy mouthfeel, and the drinkability soars when it's cold outside (but that's just me). Ages nicely, too - a six month old sample, if well stored, is slightly drier and more peaty. The Duke on the label is smiling with good reason.

If you ever see this beer available on cask, run (don't walk) to try it. One of the better hand-pulled pints I've ever had.

sponberg, Apr 08, 2003
Photo of Brent
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

This is a heck of a well-crafted beer. It describes itself as a hybred Scotch ale and porter. To me, it fits in the robust porter section of the beer spectrum - but with a brew as tasty as this, who cares what we call it? Pours a soy-sauce black. Held up to the light - it glows a rich walnut red-brown. Aroma hints of baker's chocolate. Mouthfeel is substantial with a malty heft. Dark chocolate and mocha coffee flavors hang at the back of the tongue, refusing to release until the bitterness fades to an echo. By then, the next drink is on the way. The more I drank this, the better I liked it. Would be a fantastic accompanyment to a hearty stew or soup.

A salute to Syrbeer for introducing me to The Duke.

Brent, Mar 08, 2003
Duke Of Winship from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
87 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.