Wailing Wench | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

very good
306 Reviews
Wailing WenchWailing Wench

Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HappyHourHero on 10-23-2003

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Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 454
Photo of TheBCrew
4.9/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's difficult to be subjective when it comes to reviewing my favorite beer from my favorite brewery, but I'll try my best. Currently on tap in a 5 gallon keg at home in my kegerator. Pours a gorgeous ruby color with hints of amber, very clear. Thick off-white head with lots of lacing. Aroma is intensely citrusy, again a combination of the hops (largely centenial I believe) and the ringwood yeast used at this brewery. Gentle round malt sweet in the beginning with an oily finish. Aftertaste again of citrus and hops with a nice crispness. Beautifully balanced beer that begs to be drank again and again, highly recommended!

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Photo of wailingwench
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"Consumed" at Alternative Brews, Buffalo

Foam Factor: Deep amber red tint. Nice pour with lacing on glass. Retained white head throughout the 15-20 minutes that it took me to finish a pint. This turned out to be a mistake as the evening ended early. Very early.

Skunk Factor: Deep and full hop and something almost citrus detected. Big and complex. After one, my nose told me that it was leaving before anything ugly happened. This statement was realized later.

Tongueland: I loved the taste of this so much that I didn't even order anything else. After 3 of these, my tongue mysteriously disappeared. I found my tongue at the end of the night attempting to drink straight from the tap. Bad tongue.

Gurgling factor: We need a constitutional ammendment that proclaims Wailing Wench to be used for mouthwash. Worker productivity would surely increase and corporations would not locate overseas. In addition, water coolers would be replaced in favor of wailing wench coolers. The work week would become 7 days.

Bender Factor: I was prewarned about this beer. Somehow, my cerebral prefrontal cortex did not understand that this beer is so good, it is dangerous. Makes one act like Rodney Dangerfield. WW rendered me unable to speak a complete sentence. I almost fell off my barstool. Ended up passing out on kitchen floor.

Wailing wench, I am in love with you, you naughty and nasty girl.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber served in a pint glass

What a good looking brew, clear deep amber color with a big tan head leaving nice lacing behind.

The smell is very "hopped up" for a beer of this style and color, I wanted to snort this beer. PIne and citrus aromas abound with a hint of malt/alcohol.

Most strong ales taste 'strong', but not this one!
I love the taste, completely balanced, aggresively hoppy up front, but then you can taste sweet malts, finish is a smooth warming, not an overpowering alcohol taste, which is a very good thing.

Medium bodied, smooth drinking, doesn't attack the palate with too much of anything. Even my burps taste good!

Very drinkable, I could drink this all night, but the 8% abv might have me trying to score with the chick on the label.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 fl oz brown bomber; served in a snifter.

Pours a mahogany/ruby-highlighted, russet-caramel in color. Porous and thick, inch-high tan head with great retention. Walls of sticky lacing with spots around the remainder of the snifter.

Honey and vanilla tones of sweetness that engulf a tropical fruit flavor: melon, honeydew. Slight tones of citrus hops. Hints of warming, creamy bourbon.

Vanilla and honey-filled caramel and mild toffee sweetness. The hops are light, giving tropical fruit flavors and a touch of citrus. The bitterness is full and is joined by a swarming cognac-like alcohol presence.

A light, medium bodied; smooth and remarkably balanced with the flavor dynamic.

A dynamic and and flavorful Old Ale/Double IPA. My favorite Middle Ages offering and one of my favorites from any American brewery.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE ON HOPS, this one promises hops right on the bottle and delivers a truck load, and for those of you who like carmel malt, you wont be disapointed, the 8% alcohoal is hiden well. this one makes me happy that i have taste buds. if you can get one of these take it!

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Photo of beerman599
4.74/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i had this at the connecticut real ale festival and i think it was the best beer their! hops hops hops but not overtly bitter great hop taste, hop aroma, and hop finish . some said that it was amarillo but i don't know that as fact.
hats of to tim butler and middle ages brewery for brewing a big hoppy beer thats not just about being bitter!

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Photo of stegmakk
4.73/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Regular wailing Wench is great...but this was a cask wench I had...
Appearance...Nice hazy creamy dark nutty brown with nice tan head...good retention and lacing...
Smell...Maltand piney hops mix well...but a little muted (otherwise it would have been higher)...
Taste...what can I say...superb...PERFECT balance of big hop flavor with just the right maltiness...and for 9.0% there is no alcohol taste to ruin this beautiful flavor mixture...
Mouthfeel is perfectly creamy with an added warming affect that kicks in after each sip...
Drinkability...My wife had to cut me off of the casked wench because we were late for a christmas party...I could drink this forever...
Wench beats the Bastard anyday...great brew...

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have you ever been in love? Do you know what true love feels like? I do. I have fallen deeply in love with a Wailing Wench. Her beauty, unmatched on the surface is much more than skin deep. A soft tan pillow of foam sits atop a beer, deep red amber in colour. She is ravashing in her pint glass. She has the most perfect smell, soft, fruity and piney.
I knew then I was falling in love.
She kissed me deeply and passionately. I can still taste her hops dancing on my toungue. The wonderful pine and fruity tastes blend in my mouth for the perfect flavour. A perfect blend of hops and malts leave nothing to be desired except more.
I am in love. Her name is Wailing Wench.

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Photo of barleyroad
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of number1bum
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed the Wench many, many times but have never reviewed, so here goes...

22oz bomber pours a chestnut brown that shows lots of ruby hues in the light. Huge frothy beige head retains exceptionally well and leaves a lot of stick. Smell is semi-sweet and super hoppy. Big floral hoppy nose, also a bit of citrus. Awesome.

Taste is also really hoppy but is superbly balanced by some cake-like sweet malt. The juicy citrus and floral hops dominate for the most part, though, leaving a little bit of bitterness in this medium to full bodied brew. Taste is just magnificent, and the mouthfeel is slick and creamy from all those hop oils. So smooth, as well.

This is a beer that really doesn't fit a standard "style," and as such probably throws some people off who don't know what they're getting into. It's a phenomenal beer if you like hops, but if you don't, treat it as you'd treat an IPA.

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Photo of pjohnston007
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this beer at the Hannaford grocery store near five corners (Vails Gate, NY).

Poured an amazing DARK crimson/amber. Gorgeous, unique color. Features a beautiful head that sticks around for a nice while.

On the first sip: hops--more than DfH 120 IPA. Hops, hops, hops.

On the 4th to last sip: sweet, hoppy goodness.

Soft, thick, friendly mouthfeel.

Beneath the (cascade?) hops, I detect vanilla and fruit (citrus?).

A much better beer than the first sip indicated. A solid brew.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First thoughts: Wow. As in WOW! Lots of beautiful hops.
Second thoughts: Hmmmm, it can't sustain itself, it'll destroy the palate.
Final thoughts: It holds up. It changes as the palate dulls, but in the end the combination of deeply caramelized malt, grassy/minty/piney/floral/citrusy hops, and buttery yeast is really nice. I drank a whole bomber and loved it straight through!

Middle Ages Wailing Wench pours a clear, deep-chestnut body with a crimson-orange glow. Here and there highlights tend towards gold, but for the most part it's almost headed to becoming a dark beer;) The frothy tan head holds remarkably well, and leaves even better lace throughout the entire glass. Very nice!

In the nose the hops rise up to meet you with notes of grass, pine, citrus, and flowers. It's quite refreshing and exciting! Beneath that, a darkly caramelized and toasty malt resides.

The flavor is both bready and hoppy upfront, with a spiciness that's reminiscent of rye; and some grassy notes make their way in as well. Notes of citrusy hops flitter to-and-fro and here-and-there with orange, grapefruit, and pineapple all checking in. It's also peppery, grassy, and spicy, yet it lands back on it's feet at the swallow with a dollop of sweet malt that brings us back to the beginning. From there a smear of buttery yeast hits the palate and gently melts as the bitterness ushers us into a bone-dry finish that lingers with a bit of pine-resin intensity (but not necessarily the harsh, resinous character that's normally found). The fruity and buttery bell of Ringwood yeast rings solidly throughout, and its supple fruity edge is more than welcome with a note of apricot and pear that seems to lend balance to the whole thing!

REALLY NICE! I wasn't expecting such a remarkably drinkable beer, but they've certainly pulled that off. Very nice!

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Photo of Phatz
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber.
This was my first beer from Middle Ages Brewing Co. and I am very impress

Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful ruby / copper color with a perfect 2 finger off white head that has great retention. Superb lacing.

Smell: Very citric hop in aroma with deep undertones of caramel sweetness. A brilliant bouquet of floral aromas and grapefruit.

Taste: Initially grapefruit, followed by toasted malty caramel flavor, a splash of white grape and a significant buttery attribute. I am having a difficult time putting it into words; its so well blended and so extremely quaffable I am flabbergasted and at a loss for words. I guess I could simply say Arrogant Bastard watch out 'cuz here is Wailing Wench. It has a strong hop presence but an equalling sweet candy attribute. Overall, and amazing brew!

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy, active hop tingle, and yet not overly carbonated. It seems to have a slick smooth fish that just cause the 8% ABV to slide right down the throat. The flavor did not seem to let any of that alcohol through.

Drinkability: Unbelievable! I don't know what else to say. This beer is defiantly a new favorite of mine. It goes down so easy and with fineness, wow.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Beercub
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pint from the cask was fresh and the head retention was decent. Nice fresh hops in the nose, solid hop and barley taste with a nice clean bitterness at the end. A strong taste, but being on cast it was smooth and the mouthfeel was soft. An excellent solid strong ale.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Unionmade for this 22oz bottle of the Wench, indeed the first Middle Ages brew I have had the pleasure of sampling. The wailing Wench poured out crystal clear, a beautiful deep garnet color, piled with a healthy finger’s worth of beige head.
The aroma on this beer is indeed screaming with hops as loud as it can, it reeks of fresh juicy hops, and it has a lot more to offer too. Nice caramel and plum in the nose along with the dripping pine sap and citrus. Body is best described as medium bordering on the low end of strong ale heavy, perfect carbonation. Taste is a whirlwind of hop flavors, like a juicy navel orange soaked in spruce sap. Then something remarkable happens as the flavor makes a smooth but very definite transition to a sweet, fruit and nut bread malty middle. Finish wrapped up clean and dry as can be, just bitter enough to make you grab for the glass again as quick as your reflexes allow. Superbly crafted beer this one, eminently drinkable, I can only imagine the wonder it would be on tap.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the cask, at a Middle Ages event at Barcade in Williamsberg. My notes are a little sloppy, because I was heavily excited by this bear of a beer. They were serving full pints of this unfiltered ale for five bucks during happy hour. It was otherworldly.

The color appeared chestnut with a thin tan head, but the swirling sediment and low lights made it a little hard to see. The head left rings on the glass as I drank it down. The beer's smell was phenomenal; like some magical mango herb; never had a beer smell like that before. It tasted pretty much as good as it smelled., with the fruity sweetness balanced by a strong hoppy finish and a seperate bitter, slightly sour fruit that emerged late in the finish.

The Wench was extremely well balanced -- despite the heavy fruit nose and initial taste, it ended a little drier and more bitter than sweet. If I didn't know it was a strong ale, or if I were a short stumble home, I would have happily ordered a second pint, and possibly a third. Made my entire night (and my extreme hangover the next morn) entirely worth it.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to HappyHourHero for getting the ball rolling on this incredible brew... and by the way, his review is right on the money.
Appearance: Rich ruby/brown with a full, tan Middle Ages head.
Smell: Mega hops, yet also quite malty... outstanding, IPA +++
Taste: Perfect balance of huge hops, huge malt, and a loving alcohol warmth. As I've said, this is a BIG beer, but with a very well controlled intensity.
Mouthfeel is huge, chewy and an absolute delight...balance, balance, balance.
Drinkability... I finished off a whole growler over about a 2 1/2 hour period and was left a little buzzed, but wanting more. This is a must try...an outstanding example of the Imperial IPA style. More than holds it's own against Rogue I2PA...looking forward to comparing to Dreadnaught.
My understanding is that this brew has a limited availability.

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Photo of cooter
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got half of a bomber from charthepirate, and boy was I excited. He left it in the fridge since last semester, but good lord these hoppy beers don't CARE! It's the English method of preservation: put more hops than is sane.

Anyway. Strange color for an IPA: red-brown with a thin, tan head. An amazing combination of floral and fruit notes in the nose and flavor--cherry, banana, grapefruit, strawberry, mango are the strongest, in that order. Pretty even-handed, in that the taste matches the scents. Smells a bit more hoppy-sweet, tastes more hoppy-bitter, but that's almost it. Excellent balance. I can see some pine and citrus now, an enjoyable fall-leaf flavor (and almost texture!) Smells delicious and backs it up. The bitters are fantastic, very smooth and manage to be biting without being harsh. I think the malt is muted (as it should be for the style), but it's a theory that the smoothness of the brew comes from malt. A very very good example of the style, definitely meant to be savored, and ideal in a larger-than-12oz serving.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to shippos and clvand0 for the opportunity to share this beer. This pours a very deep rubied amber color, almost brown, but not quite, with a big-ass 2 finger head that falls very slowly. Holy crap. The nose on this one is gigantic. Tons of sweet grapefruit but with a very big malt sweetness as well. Wow, this smells great. The flavor is not as big as the nose. The malt is actually a little bigger than the hop, and the hop comes through as more of a spicey and sweet than just the strait up citric grapefruit. I like it. Its a sweet, malty beer but also a nice hoppy beer. I find it balanced. The feel is moderate to thick, very smooth. This is a damn nice beer. No hint of the 9% ABV anywhere at all in this one. Wow, this is worth finding.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber servd in a pint glass at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pours a dark, russet "iced tea" color, supporting a firm off-white 2" head. Great retention, craggy lacing over the duration.

Smell- Awesome integration of soapy, clean hops and aggressive malts. Notes of iron and phenols linger above the surface.

Taste- A near perfect balance of hops and malts create a delicious, memorable drinking experience. A crisp, clean hop bite complements the big, bold malts wonderfully.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A smooth, slick, rolling, perfectly effervescent beer in the mouth. Absolutely spot on for this style. So well done that I can't wait to pin this against Arrogant Bastard in a tasting.

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

Pours a clear, rusty red with a tall off-white head of thick froth. Bold, pungent hop resin aroma - fruity, florally - melds with rich diacetyl and some brown sugar. Fat piney hops hit the tongue first followed by more of the fruity variety. Slight soft buttery notes tie the hops to a solid sweetened malt profile. More dry than bitter - solid, smooth mouthfeel coats the mouth.

One of my favorites from Middle Ages. Ringwood yeast is present, of course, and it works quite well with this beer. Lots and lots of delicious hop flavors. Damn drinkable too for its strength.

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

Tasted on-tap 9/25/06 at Tria Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.
Advertised as 8%.

Beautiful mahogany color with a nice tan head. Prominent spruce and pine hop aromas and flavors. Very robust and malty with lots of hops to balance. A solid nicely balanced Strong Ale without overdoing the alcohol level. Full-medium bodied with a spruce/pine hop finish.

Interesting that this beer doesn't really use the citrusy hops which makes it nice and unique in my book. A must try and a re-buy (if I can ever find it. :-(

Per MA website: 8% ABV

($5.50 / Pint)

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Photo of twilight
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nonick Pint

Man, when does the hop worship ever stop? This was a rough assault on the palate. Malty sweetness in the background, but the overpowering aroma and taste was pure hop goodness. Color was reddish in a dark bar, but very very attractive. The taste was hoppy, and slightly astringent and roasty, but ultimately, with a big, bold hop flavor. Great mouthfeel, as the taste just takes over your mouth and coats it. I would probably end the night on this one (as I did last night), because the intensity of the hops and the high abv leave one with such a warm feeling.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours from it's 22oz vessel a surprisingly deep garnet red. A huge fluff of ivory head erupts on the pour, at least three fingers high, settling ever so slowly. Very dark, even for an east coast IPA. Excellent head retention, leaving gobs of lace sheeting down the glass.
The aroma is actually very well balanced. Sweet, caramelized malt forms a foundation for a lime green forest of american hop goodness. Heaps of pine sap, very oily and sticky smelling. A pervasive ester undertone creates a fruity blanket between the hops and malt. Plenty of pear, cidery apple and some sweet white grape. Soft buttery notes, adding a silky, even soft sweetness. A good deal of grapefruit and orange citrus notes from the hops. Very enticing.
The flavor opens with a caramel malt flavor, big and sweet. Apple and pear notes are immediately apparent, a thorough fruitiness to the entire sip. A tint of diacetyl butteriness throughout, more apparent up front before the hops take over. The hops enter in early, oily and citric at first, blasting into the finish with a sappy, pine laden bitterness. Adequate balance, allowing the hops to shine while still featuring the malt in a supporting role throughout the pint. A touch of booze in the swallow, adding an alcoholic tang to the finish. The hopping is so thick and oily it almost creates a sweetness of it's own. The malt maintains a hold on the palate with toasty, caramel sweetness. Perhaps a bit of chocolate. Some herbal, vegetal bitterness, akin to broccoli rob, lingering in the sticky aftertaste. Very full bodied, with a milder, english styled carbonation. A syrupy, almost greasy mouthfeel, absolutely overladen with hop oil. Awesome.
A well done double IPA. The balance is very even, allowing a solid drinkability, despite it's 8% strength. The hop profile is excellent, featuring the sticky pine sap flavor I've come to love in american grown varieties, namely amarillo. I love the fact that you can actually taste the malt all the way through, despite the hop attack. I'd certainly buy another bottle, maybe even a case to last until the next batch comes out.

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Photo of EPseja
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served form a 22oz. bomber in a snifter at between cellar and fridge temperature.

A - Translucent medium brown/rust color with bright orange highlights. Big, fluffy tan head that's brimming with hop oils. Head retention is very good, and lacing is sticky and comes in sheets.

S - Sweet soda bread and crisp, piny hoppiness. Apricot juiciness and fragrant florals.

T - Candy sugar sweetness and a bready maltiness like cookies that quickly moves into a fruit-juicy hop middle, and then to a drying, hop-laden, fresh, green finish.

M - Slick, with a nice viscosity that's not too syrupy. Creamy and commanding once it settles in; rolling over every taste bud. Swallow is thick and substantial. So good.

D - This beer hides the "Strong" in its style very well. Add that to the delicious smell and taste, and factor in the great mouthfeel, and you've got yourself one wickedly drinkable beer.

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Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.96 out of 5 based on 454 ratings.
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