Grail Ale - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Grail AleGrail Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.00% 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 135
Reviews by WesWes:
Photo of WesWes
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent maroon color with a lacey off-white head. The aroma is of Ringwood yeast, roasted, and caramel malts. The taste is outstanding. One of the best tasting beers I've ever had. There is a great balance between the pale and specialty malts along with an exceptional hop arangement. This is a medium bodied amber ale that goes down smooth and finishes strong with fruity aftertastes. This still isn't a 5.0, but I'm holding out for perfection. As far as amber ales are concerned, this is the best I've sampled so far.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep amber with a light but sticky head that leaves a nice amount of lace,aromas of butter and caramel with a big roasted malt note even for the style.The butery taste to this ale is bigger than any red I have had the yeast strain is really out there,some sweet caramel and roasted malt again as well and was expected.A very solid red although the buttery flavors get stronger as u drink more.

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Richly hued reddish amber in colour with a patchy off white stick lace.

Smell: Juicy fruit and butterscotch all over ... mild esters also.

Taste: Rich, smooth, lightly crisp and medium bodied. Malty flavours up front of toffee, grain and fruit mix with an ample slightly pungent (faint citrus) hop bitterness. Hop flavour lingers for a while with an oily and leaf taste. A mild layer of buttery diacetyl coats all the way to the drying finish.

Notes: This is a very flavourful ale using the most out of the Ringwood yeast strain to add many complexities ... even the hop profile is interesting. It does not get much better than this.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, pours a rich maple shade of amber, pungent hoppy nose, white head, leaving moderate lacing. Nicely balanced ale, hops mid level and not ever overly bitter. Toffee, bready malt underling makes this one very drinkable and pleasant to imbibe. Let it warm abit and the flavors came out nicely. Balance is the operative word. Tasty ale.

Photo of tigg924
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: one inch head, medium carbonation, hazy, amber in color

Smell: apple and toasted malt

Taste: apple, toasted malt, dark fruit, bread, tea, and small hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, high carbonation, sweet for the style

Drinkability: A very sweet and highly drinkable red ale. I like the fruit taste in here. Not outstanding, but I could have several.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. amber bottle "fresh from the castle."

Poured a wonderful clear ruby-amber in color. An aggressive pour yielded a thick and rocky tannish-colored head that still laced the glass with a patchwork quilt appearance even after it dies away. Aromas are subtle. Fruity, with some "earthy" and caramel sweetness mixed in. Flavor is a little different, presumably due to the ringwood yeast. An iced-tea flavor dominates, but there is also some caramel sweetness and mild bitterness as well. Finishes clean and just slightly on the dry and bitter side. Mouthfeel is low-medium and fairly creamy smooth. Above average drinkability but not one that I'd seek out again.

Photo of Thrasher
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Strange, and good. Dark amber with fine, layered head, bright aroma of sweet caramel. Big hunk of sweet, sugary caramel malts set askew by bitter yeast; some drying hops at the finish are the best, and least forceful, characteristic. Not sure how I feel about Ringwood yeast; it definitely makes this beer interesting but I wonder if it would be even better without. Butter, toffee flavors with some hints of earth; these sweet caramel malts are pretty overpowering. Overall feeling that I walk away with is similar to a porter, but it gets there in a completely different way. To me, this beer is calling for some smoke flavors to accompany it. I'm not a cigar man, but that could be one way to go.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber with a two finger white head. Smells of buttery grain and a slight underlying fuity sweetness.

The taste is nice. A lot of caramel malt with a little toffee and nut. Slightly sweet. Ends with slighlty dry, yet not overbearing hop finish. Mouthfeel is moderate which suits this style of ale well. A decently done ale.

Photo of tastybeer
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is murky brown with bright red-amber tones in the light. Cream colored head. Smells of juicy dark fruits, abundant buttery toffee and butterscotch, oils, and grainy toast malt. Smells drinkable. Taste is of buttery toffee malt over dark fruit. Wholesome taste and nice smooth texture. Quite drinkable; Goes down like butter.

I've become fan of this brewery after having had this beer and the Beast bitter.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

AP: A ruby red hued amber color, very vibrant. Totally clear with lots of activity. Suprisngly frothy and sticky but scattered off-white head leaves behind some intricate lacy patterns.

nose: A nutty malted barley smell. Standard for the style.

Taste: Like the smell would's a nutty/roasted malted barley dominated flavor with a semi-sweet leafy hop finish. Well balanced overall.

MF: Medium body, smooth and even feel with a decent bite too.

DA: Pretty drinkable for the style.

Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bronze/amber color sporting a rocky head that retains well. Healthy bubble activity. Stringy lace all up and down the insides of the glass.

Aroma starts with a quick blast of apples/grapes which quickly gives way to a malty caramel sweetness. Some hops mingle in there too.

Sugary sweet malt rides over all other elements. Apple, wood, and bitter hops characteristics try and shove through the caramely sweetness. Finishes crisp and a bit tart, reminding of Granny Smith apples.

Rather high carbonation, but not overdone. Things tingle and sizzle with each sip.

Definitely enjoyable, though it may lean too far on the sweet side for some palates.

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby-brown with a small beige cap.
Nose of recently scorched earth. Not burnt, but dry and toasty.
Taste begins with some semi-sweet toffee, yielding to a dehydrated raspberry, apple peel and plum essence. Fruits recede and notes of slightly burnt poppyseed bagels enter. Buttery now, as the Ringwood flexes its trademark. Completed by dry, earthy, herbal hops, with a lingering tea sensation.
Small, but complicated. A bit thin and fizzy upfront, but settles and unfolds as it heats. Likely best right around cellar temps.
Nicely done.

Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fruitiness in aroma and finish,grape and grapefruit and peach (but mostly grape) thought it to be like a pale. Aggressive carbonation detracts.Malty aftertaste. Evaporating foam on amber-orange body. Drinkable but would be better me thinks as a cask.Fresh.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy reddish amber body is topped by a short creamy ivory head that holds well and leaves some nice lace. The aroma is rich with earthy, fruity (plum, raisin, dark berries), and buttery notes (reminiscent of Ringwood yeast) above a softly caramel maltiness. The body is medium with a gently crisp and very fine natural carbonation that lightly caresses the tongue. Very English in character! The flavor expresses a richly fruity toffee maltiness up-front, and then softens into more buttery caramel notes as it crosses the palate before a firm bitterness rises just prior to the dry finish that's loaded with more berry-like fruitiness and mild notes from Goldings hops! The bitterness is solid but reigns in the malt without becoming oppressive! Well balanced! Quite impressive; and surely a beer that will win over all those who are fond of British ales.

Photo of tempest
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice tall head and kept at least a little head all the way down. Also some nice lacing. Dark orange, almost copper body with a little carbination.

Not a whole lot of smell. Malty notes and a bit of hops.

Very smooth tasting but its a little weak. Mellow malt with a slightly hoppy aftertaste, very nice.

Easy in the mouth. Not a lot of carbonation, but it doesnt feel like it's lacking.

Very drinkable. It's a good brew for when you want to sit down with and knock back a few. Nothing outrageous here, just a fine ale.

Photo of Hobbz
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appealing deep ruby color. Bold smell of alcohol and fruity esters. Taste was bitter-sweet and rich, yet without full mouthfeel (not sure this is needed for this beer, anyway). Not a beer that I would go nuts on with more than a bottle at any time, but an enjoyable glass full. Appearance and aroma were tops, with full alcohol profile and somewhat complex taste to match.

Photo of Southernbrew
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours coca-cola brown, a bit dark for a pale ale, with a big sudsy head.

Aroma is made up of mostly fruit with some caramel and biscuit flavors.

Full bodied, fairly smooth. Rich fruity flavors blend with caramel and a light spiciness. The Ringwood yeast flavors start shining through to add an interesting twist. Leaves a light dry aftertaste with a touch of caramel.

A fine pale ale, very session worthy.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tan head sits atop this very red amber brew.
Aroma of caramel malt and mild vinegar notes.

Taste shows a caramel malt backbone with hints of nut. Decent hop balance. Slight vinegar presence.

Good body to the mouthfeel.
Mellow and drinkable minus the sour notes.

Overall, a different, but solid amber ale. Thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for the bottle!

Photo of DavidGross
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked the Grail Ale. This would be a great every day beer for me if I had better access to it.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Light brown/dark copper color. Nice head with good retention. This beer pours pretty clear.

S. Caramel malt, light campfire/roast, hops are perfume-like.

T. Malt dominates at first with the caramel and biscuit. That's soon followed up by a pleasantly bitter bite from the earthy hops. The finish is very dry.

M. Medium in the mouth and high carbonation.

D. Not a great beer, but its ok. I could session this one and I especially like the dry finish.

Photo of Gmann
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark ruby brown color with a small off-white head that did not leave much lacing. The aroma is not very strong, maybe a bit of roasted malts. The taste is of toffee, a very slight buttery taste, and finishes with a roast flavor, no noticable hop character. The feel is pretty crisp for an ale, moderately bodied. Pretty good but nothing fantastic, a nice malty ale.

Photo of tone77
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, a touch of hops. Taste is the some, caramel malts up front, hop botterness kicking in at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

Photo of pbrian
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark brown, small lasting head. Sweet, candy-ish aroma: dark butterscotch, buttery Ringwood diacetyl. Flavor starts sweet, caramel tones dominate, toasted malts and that Ringwood butterscotch follow. It finishes a little dry at the very end. Overall, a flavorful ale but it stays sweet for too long, which I thought I'd never say about a Ringwood beer.

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous a thick red/amber with some patches of tan lace on the pint glass.
Aroma is some dark tropical fruits, some butterscotch and some biscuity malt.
Flavor is malty up front of with some rich, toffee, grain and dark with some slightly musty, oily and citrus hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel starts sweet then jumps to a smooth buttery coating and finishes with bittering and spicy alcohol hit.
Drinkability is nice, really needs to warm to get full benefit of fruity flavors. Coud easily come from England with this one.
Thanks to PPoitras for the Middle Ages sampler.

Photo of tonytuffnuts
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz from Kraig's Kegs.

Pours into a dark amber/ruby red body with a moist, foamy, tan head. Head's more than one finger (less than two) and laces while fading to an enduring, thin cover.

The smell's not bad. Carmel and butterscotch are followed by a weak pine-like scent. I've noticed this aroma in other Middle Ages brews, must be some spice or malt strain that they always use. Not enough hop in the smell! First and foremost, it smells like everyone's favorite: Juicy Fruit.

Taste doesn't justify the smell. It's buttery, not so sweet, but still caramel malts are there. Toffey and grains too. Still, not a great malt. There is a some bitterness, but I'm still waiting for a hoppy compliment to the malt. My complaint: it tastes like a light-bodied, watered down beer. I feel like they've got a good recipe, but the flavors are muted by a mis-proportioned excess of water.

Too watery. Too hydrating for a beer. Small bubbles for carbonation leaves the door open for a complex body, but it's not there. Good aftertaste.

Worth a try, might be down your alley. I'm glad I tried it, but if I find a M.Ages display at a store, it's not their best.

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Grail Ale from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
82 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.