Wailing Wench
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Wailing WenchWailing Wench
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #78
Ranked #10,596
3.97 | pDev: 11.34%
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States
Very Good
Wailing WenchWailing Wench
Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 458 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of herbal hops, caramel malt and red fruit. Body is medium and crisp. Herbal hops, caramel malt and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and bitter. Overall it is nice brew.

Aug 29, 2016
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 650 ml. bottle with no date that I can find. Sampled on July 20, 2016.

It is nice to look at with its medium to dark brown tone and long lasting, lacing clinging tan head.

Unfortunately mine is an undated bottle as noted above and they announce "screaming with hops." Well I get mostly burnt and maybe a stale herbal quality on the nose. Maybe some musty cellar notes. Smells like a malt bomb coming.

The body is medium to heavy. Good texture.

The taste was semi-sweet and malt forward. The slightest of booze burns but maybe those are the spicy hops playing up. Mild to medium finish. I think maybe I did have a malt bomb...sadly. I bet I would like a fresher one.

Jul 20, 2016
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jsausley from North Carolina

3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Dinosaur, Syracuse.

A: Heavy and dark with brown and red tints over an amber base. Nice thick head.

S: Thick malty deliciousness with a lot of smokey aromas.

T: Roasted malt and caramel followed by scotchlike smokiness and hops. Lacks any significant fruity or citrusy notes but is full bodied and hearty. A very good beer to start your meal.

M: Thick but crisp and hoppy on the nose. Quite drinkable with a high but not overpowering ABV of 8.0%.

O: Delicious and thick, rich and colorful. Great beer.

Jul 19, 2014
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cavedave from New York

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Live review

Dark reddish amber pour, thick finger of tan head, crazy wallpaper lace. Fades to an island and ring pretty quick with the lace dripping oily legs. Nice.

Lemony citrus and caramel, hints of herbal bitter in a light/medium strength aroma.

Simple taste just like the nose, but with some spicy alcohol in there too. Light strength taste, simple and balanced. A little different bitter in the end of sip than I am used to tasting. Kinda nice, but not great.

Worst feature of this beer. Low carb., low viscosity, ho hum finish, and not the cleanest linger either.

Thought this would be a better beer than it is, still not horrible, and one that is sure to taste good with some morels and bacon grilled cheese.

May 11, 2014
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argock from Virginia

3.29/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served on-tap at Capital City Gastropub (Albany, NY).

A: Plummy amber with a short cap of off-white head and a thin rim of lacing left at the top of the glass.

S: Mild fruity malt aroma with fairly strong whiff of alcohol. Some plum, raisin, and dark fruit malt aromas. The hops are light and herbal.

T: Flavor was a big disappointment with a nondescript paper/cardboard maltiness, strong alcohol presence, and fruity raisin flavors. There was a little hops bitterness, but not nearly enough, and the alcohol presence was too strong.

M: Smooth but undercarbonated with a big body and sweetness that didn't belong.

O: Funny name but not a great beer -- too much sweetness, a little bit too much alcohol presence, some odd off-flavors. All adds up to an underwhelming beer experience.

Jul 21, 2013
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stella77artois from New York

4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

Had heard good things about this brewery, and was lucky to find some of this on a road trip. Happy I did!

A - Pours a hazy dark red-brown, shows a maroon color in the light. Small amount of carbonation noticed. Very thick and creamy, slowly dissipating head. Good looking beer.

S - Lot's of malt up front, with just a hint of fruityness, and a touch of smoke. Slightly noticeable hops, too. Not a ton going on, but it's a very nice aroma.

T - Lot's of malt up front. A unique fruit taste, I'd say grapefruit and lime. Can also notice the touch of smokiness noted in the aroma. A decent amount of quality hops. All combines very well. Just a tiny hit of alcohol in the aftertaste. Taste wise, it's not as complicated as other great Strong Ale's like Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard, but it's still a damn good tasting beer.

F - A strong beer, but it was easy to drink. Slightly thick, but was refreshing and the carbonation was quenching. Easy on the throat and stomach, too.

O - This is a damn good beer. Great tasting yet packs a good punch. Highly recommend this beer for any strong ale or extreme beer fans.

Jul 12, 2013
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Slackerville from California

3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Classified as a strong ale, Wailing Wench has a lot going on. Lots of breweries are making Cascadians and Black IPAs these days but this is a different beer. It can be summarized by a strong hop aroma, aggressive malt and ester flavors in the middle, then finishes hop bitter and alcoholic. Something for everyone and a fine beer to lay down in bottles for a few months without losing too much overall flavor.

Middle Ages has a wide range of beers with good northeast distribution in bars and 22 oz bottles. The Wench has been one of their staples for years, a great beer for those craving hops in the winter.

Jun 02, 2013
Photo of Brad007
Brad007 from Vermont

3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper with a thin but robust head into my glass. Been a while since I've had anything from this style.

Sweet at first but that gives way to a solid malt backbone that I feel is just one step down from a barleywine. It's not a DIPA like I originally though.

The flavor backs that up in spades. Nutty with just a touch of caramel, toffee and booze. Hops play second fiddle on my palate.

Mouthfeel is the same. Carbonation level is satisfying. Maintains the stance of a mean, hoppy ale despite not really being such.

Check it out. I just hope that the wench is wailing about something other than the lack of hopsplosion.

Mar 10, 2013
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TheBrewo from New York

3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of glowing ruby red. It holds a frothy, two and a half finger monster of a head, composed of tannish bubbles. They bubble away at a snail’s pace, leaving sticky, patterned lacing clinging to our glasses. There is mild haze with the last half of the bottle, and no sediment is noted, while the carbonation appears slow and light. The aroma is sweet, with red grape and apple juice sugars, fig, yeast, and sweeter, cakey malts. The latter also show notes of lightly cooked caramel, and musk. Wet woodiness comes with warmth, along with booze and black pepper. The advertised “screaming” hops are light and in the distance, in the form of grassy and herbal varieties. Our first impression was that it tastes as sweet as expected, but extraordinarily more hoppy than the nose might lead on. The flavoring opens as a battle between liquid caramel and citric hop and rind. Sugar predominates, giving syrupy sweet caramel malts, yeast, and hearty plum pudding. Booze soaked fig and plum move to the peak, until bittering soapy hops effectively cut that initial sweetness. The finish is of clean caramel, citric and soapy hops, metallics, mineral, yeast, and a final flash of that grapey sweetness from the nose. The aftertaste breathes of booze and black pepper, charcoal, light coffee malts, and big, bittering citric and resiny hops. These all mix for a warming grumble from the back of the throat following the sip. The body is fuller, and the carbonation is medium. There is great slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with a bit of a bubbly mustache from the nicely retained head. The mouth is initially cooled and thickly coated, but once that dissipates, there is a moderate astringent streak leading down the tongue. The abv is appropriate, and even a bit easy for what we’ve come to expect for the style, and the beer sips pleasantly.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the solid flavoring and the great feel to it. We were presented with a beautiful beer in coloring, and in foam, but the following taste after the invitation was robust, and as hoppy as advertised. The bitterness from the hops really dominated the finish, and you’re left with quite a different flavoring than you start with, which keeps the drinker guessing. The nose was comparatively weak, but everything else was exciting, and decidedly tasty.

Nov 05, 2012
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SouljaSaia17 from Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer for free as part of a managers special for purchasing something else. Was already on sale for $5 so Im excited to try this.

A: This beer pours a really dark amber, almost brown with a 2 inch creamy, tan head that leaves some good lacing.

S: Smell is faint, cant really get a grasp on it but from what I can tell, I get some dark fruit, a hint of caramel, bitter hops and a peppery spice.

T: The taste is bitter with hops, some dark fruit, and peppery spice at the forefront. The flavor continues with some caramel or brown sugar and ends with some dry, bready notes.

M: The feel is tart with some hop bite, quite complex but drinkable as a sipper.

O: This beer is hard to describe as it its tangy and sweet with some dry characteristics. Due to the fact of its 8% ABV, its a big beer. Only for a good price would I seek this out again, but pretty good for a one off!

Aug 28, 2012
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aranheaney from New York

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First growler from the new Craft Beer Exchange in beautiful Wellsville, NY. (Really an A Plus mini-mart that has some renovations done, but has added a decent selection of craft bottles and cans, but eight taps with growlers to go.)

A-Amber, brown and slightly reddish, decent head that leaves nice lacing

S-some hop, lots of caramel and boozy

T-true hoppy finish, very smooth, this could easily sneak up on one...

M-very nice, smooth and balanced

O-not a Bastard, but overall very solid, nice job Middle Ages

Mar 17, 2012
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a thick, rocky off-white foam that slowly reduced to a dense cap that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Intense caramel malt and citrus hop aromas along with a buttery nut aroma. Thick, syrupy feel with light, lazy carbonation. Floral and citrus hop flavors up front that slowly fade from beginning to end with a solid, sticky sweet caramel malt backbone. Finishes pretty cleanly with light floral hop bitterness in the back of the tongue.

Mar 10, 2012
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hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was impressed by a visit to the brewery last year and would return for more bombers if I ever get a chance. This ale has aged well, but is more malt-forward than I remember it being originally.

Appearance is a dusty reddish-brown, a dark amber with a coffee-coloured head and impressive lacing. Aroma of sweet caramelized malts and bready fruit. The flavour starts with a pleasant "west coast" style hop punch, but is then surprisingly sweet before its bitter closing. A nicely dry finish lingers with an alcoholic warmth appropriate for 8% ABV.

Feb 16, 2012
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oline73 from Maryland

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a reddish dark amber with two fingers of thick, off white head that fades to a small layer on top of the pour and leave some lacing. 4

Smell: Sweet and malty with dark fruit and brown sugar. I'm picking up some warm alcohol with each whiff. 4

Taste: Just about what I would expect from the smell. Not too sweet, but I am getting brown sugar and dark fruit from the malt. The finish is bitter from hops with some alcohol and more dark fruit. 3.5

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a finish that is slick. 3.5

Overall: The bitterness in the finish is a bit much, but I'm a fan of this beer. The warm alcohol is a welcome addition to the other flavors. 3.5

Feb 14, 2012
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark, see-through copper/brown hue. Head is full and an inch high. Head leaves a lot of lacing and it also retains quite well.

S-Perfumey aroma. Floral, piney, and even citrusy via the hops. There is loads of caramel and even a bit of chocolate. Balanced and rich.

T-First and foremost is a heavy, almost oily pine and floral hop wave. This beer is quite bitter, and the bitterness becomes evident immediately. The perfumey aspect of the nose again is found in the flavor. Very rich. There is good balance brought on by the sappy brown sugar and caramel-drizzled poundcake. Very deep and flavorful with heavy flavors on both ends of the spectrum.

M-Heavy bodied. Carbonation is soft. Resiny to a point. Bitterness lasts. The sweetness seems to leave a sticky feel on the tongue.

O/D-This is a hefty beer that has its pleasantries. It reminds me of a less refined Arrogant Bastard. I enjoyed this but was not in love with it. Still, its well worth a try. I can think of a good grouping of beers I would rather spend my $6 on for a bomber, but this was still a solid, big ale.

Feb 02, 2012
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EnJeiBee from Wisconsin

3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - It poured with a transparent amber hue and a 1-finger off white head.

S - A nice sweet toffee malt bill lies underneath a slightly biting hop profile, but overall, the nose is quite muted.

T - The sweet toffee and caramel malt bill dominate the palate up front followed by a sharp bitterness reminiscent of citrus pith.

M - Medium bodied and slightly creamy on the palate

O - I think this is a great example of a balanced strong ale. It does a great job of taking the ABV up a notch and increasing the malt/hop profile to match. I don't think this one will knock anyone's socks off, but it will certainly be a contender for their "go-to big beer."

Jan 30, 2012
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SickGnar from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Warm & robust amber that is just leaning dark and a slight bit tawny. Reasonably clear but not brightly so, and with some big bubbles rising to join the huge light tan head that turns rocky as it settles to a cap that retains very well and leaves loads of great lace.

S: Rich in complexity, but strength is a little lacking. Definitely some diacetyl in this one – butterscotch, toffee, & roasty caramel. Blending in are rich malty bread crust, dark fruits and doughy & toasty notes. Hops are quite shy with just some hints of resin, pine, & rind. Warming just slightly increases strength on everything except the hops.

T: Now here are the hops. Lots of pine & resin up front (minimal dankness) that fade to herbal and grassy in the middle with some grapefruit pith and rind coming out. Finish is more pine and resin that lingers and lingers. Malts are mostly toasty, crusty, bready with hints of caramel & roast. Diacetyl / butterscotch is less forward than in the nose and adds a nice layer of dimension to this big lady. Malty sweetness increases as it warms & the toasty / bready pale malt aspect rounds out more. Overall, it has a sort of hop jam thickly spread on lightly buttered toast impression.

M: Solidly medium plus. Carbonation is just adequate to the task of balancing the heft. Starts off with a hint of a soft & rich feel – almost smooth with a touch of sweetness. But this is almost immediately crushed by robust hop character tannins & oils, and a very firm – but agreeable – hop drying. A bit of chewy dextrins in the background. Mild spreading alcohol warmth.

D: A big, rich, and firmly hoppy ale. Very approachable for its robustness of flavor. Yet although it does not flaunt its abv, it is obviously hefty. Very much a sipper – with both pleasant and aggressive aspects. A great brew for relaxing on a cold day. Superbly rich and enjoyable.

Jan 08, 2012
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barleyroad from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is amber with a nice foam with good color. Smell has the right blend of hops and malt. This beer has nice mix of hops and malt that is felt on the tongue. Mouthfeel is good there is a slight lingering, but nothing that take away from the taste. Overall this is a fridge worthy beer. Get some and have a few peanuts and enjoy. Oh have this with some Old Bay Wings, you will not regret that.

Jan 05, 2012
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in a recent trade with STEG. Thanks man!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Drunk right before the Double Wench

APPEARANCE: Pour yields a huge, medium looking, fluffy, four finger, off-white head with great retention. A hazy rosewood red with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full foam cap and leaves sheets of lacing all over the glass. Full foam cap remains until the end and leaves gobs of lacing down the glass. Good looking brew.

SMELL: Yeasty and hoppy stuff. Spicy notes for sure, with pepper and some sweet bready malt. Piney and grassy hops, lots of them, with soapy notes and some green fruits. Apples and pears mostly. Smells like a hoppy double or triple. Interesting.

TASTE: Definitely a hoppy double-triple combo. Bready and grainy malts give way to sweet caramel and spicy yeast and pepper notes through the middle into the finish. Sweet green fruit, piney and floral hops, and plenty of spicy bitterness linger nicely. Spicy and hoppy, with a bold and lingering aftertaste.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. A little prickly on the palate, but goes down fine and finishes quite dry. A tough of heat as well.

OVERALL: This was pretty enjoyable really. Made me think of an American hopped Belgian double – triple blend. Perhaps a bit too much heat for the ABV, but regardless, this was a flavorful, interesting and enjoyable brew that I’m glad to have tried. Thanks again for picking this up for me STEG.

Dec 15, 2011
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tdm168 from Pennsylvania

2.54/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Hoyt for bringing this one back from NY with him.

Pours a deep copper-amber with thick, dense, foamy white head that has great retention. The nose is very faint; it smells like of very faint hops and a little like wet dog. The taste has some faint maltyness up front followed by a moderate hop bitterness. There are some off notes here - diacetyl, cream, yeast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes dry.

The off flavors and weird smell really ruined this one for me. The malt and hops don't shine through, and each sip is another dimension in odd, yeasty flavors.

Dec 04, 2011
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of JoeyBeerBelly. Thanks Joe!

This pours a very murky dark red with a 2 finger head of foam and looks to have good lacing.

The smell has a bitter/sweet thing going on but not in that proportion. The sweet part is very much fruit like, getting sugar as well, brown I'd say. The bitterness was piney at first whiff but that fruity sweetness has since taken over and dominates.

Well, the taste is sure different, so was the smell btw.
Again, there's a base of a sweet fruity taste with brown sugar, the bitterness is there but hard for me to *pin* down. Loads of buttery notes as well. It's kind of weird actually, but I'm enjoying it. Yes, I am.

I'd say it's medium bodied with the carbonation on the light side; the mouthfeel isn't all that good but it's tasty and easy to drink so I give it a thumbs up. Nice.different.sort of.beer.

Nov 09, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out with an explosive amount of head, I tried pouring slowly into two glasses and got no where with it... So I gave it some time to settle and eventually I got to look at the nice yellow body this beer has. The smell of yeast, malts and hops all show up in this one. The taste was quite nice, it had a really nice balance from start to finish. The mouthfeel was drinkable and easy to put down. Overall this brew wouldn't have gotten my attention without the girl on the label, but I'm happy to have got a bottle. It's enjoyable.

Sep 02, 2011
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beer2day from North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This tastes as much to me an imperial red as a strong ale.

Dark brown pour with caramel and red tints. Strong 2-finger dense medium cream head with excellent retention. Still a full 1/2 finger of rich, thick creamy bubbles at the bottom of the glass. Nice lace rings. Well done.

Nose is bread malt, dried tart fruit, and light yeast. Cherries and plums try to come out over the rich bready malt, but the malt wins.

Taste is very rich. Thick dried fruit with the above mentioned cherries and plums come on strong at first, giving way to a thick dry sour fruit finish finish. Enough strawberry licorice here to suggest an imperial red. Alcohol definitely packs a punch.

Feel is very, very thick. This has to be a calorie packed beer.

Overall, surprisingly good for the cheesy label. I'd get it again.

Aug 27, 2011
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FosterJM from California

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

722nd Review on BA
Bottle to Mug

Thanks mjtiernan for this one!!

App- A big mix of browns and ambers and a little gold on the bottom. A nice one and half finger head. Big sheets of cling and a batter like layer of head remains.

Smell- There was a lot of hops in the glass. A nice malt under note and a bit of a candy dark sugar.

Taste- A nice hoppy beer with a big flavor of sweetness and some malts. A little like liquid burnt sugar.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation with a damp candy flavor.

Drink- A huge mix of beer in this glass. Hoppy, citrus, malty, sugary. Bold a bit unbalanced but it works. I am glad to have had this and even more glad to have a double wench to ogle!!

Aug 19, 2011
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Complex, aggressive, and balance are the quentessential halmarks to the success of this larger-than-life beer. Resiny hops and intense maltiness take turns battling for attention.

Pouring a dense mohogany color, the beer carries a medium haze while releaseing the carbonation that ammounts to a thick and froathy foam stance of ivory-white froath. Lacing is evident all along the glass.

Aromas of deep malts resemble Cracker Jack candies, peanut brittle (without the peanuts), nearly scorched caramels, toffee, barley malt, medium buttered toast, walnuts, and light chocolate. Hoppy counterparts include citrus piths, grapefruit, pine resin, and orange marmelade. All swirl with a varying scent that alternates malt/hops with each visit to the rim of the glass.

Flavors favor the malt sweetness first, with the caramel and brown sugar hitting the tongue with a rich and bready sweetness reminescent of sugar cookies and toffee. Grapefruit, orange, and pine flavors accompany the sweetness at mid palate, but then as the malts weaken a bit, the hop flavors turn to a resiny bitterness with elements of fresh cut grasses and sharp citrus pith growning late.

Rich and bold throughout, the early dense creaminess fades nicely into a toasty dry mid palate that welcome the dryness and bitterness from hops to usher in a malty-dry finish with the light linger of oiliness into the aftertaste.

The strenght of malt, alcohol, and hops; but in superb balance imediately remind me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale except with a less pronounced in-your-face resiny hop bitterness. Still, a delightful beer for those who prefer strength and balance.

Jul 06, 2011
Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 458 ratings