Wailing Wench | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

very good
455 Ratings
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: 455
Photo of oreo
1.38/5  rDev -65.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Got this in the partners BIF. Thanks!

Poured from the bottle into my snifter.

Looks great, deep amber with a tanish head.

Smells TERRIBLE. Smells like rotting vegetables. I think I got a bad bottle, because this was horrid.

Taste was not any better. Got tons of onion, zero hops, zero malts. Just onion and old vegetables.

Mouthfeel was ok, not too thin, right amount of carbonation.

Terrible. Would never buy this, nor would i recommend this to anyone.

If anyone has a FRESH bottle of this and would like to send it to me, perhaps my opinion would change.

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Photo of tdm168
2.54/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

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Photo of albern
2.88/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was sorely disappointed by this beer. I was hoping for much better. The beer pours a darkish ruby color with lots of frothy head and lacing. The smell is rather pungent. There are molasses, caramel aromas upfront, with some dryish hop, heavy fruit aromas in the backbone. The taste is another matter. There is very astringent and bitter hoppiness, there is also a cloying almond-vanilla extract like unpleasant taste to the beer. Some reviewers commented upon the ringwood yeast used. Perhaps this gives the beer the phenolic weirdness that I couldn't get beyond. There is plenty of crystallized caramel maltiness to this beer throughout. The hops were just too biting and overall I thought the beer to be so out of balance that I could not enjoy this on any level. The aftertaste was a bit harsh as well. This is a one and done for me.

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Photo of gotbeer
2.96/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The appearance of this beer is darker than I expected with a nice head that laces the glass quite well as you drink. It really looks good.

The smell didn't blow me away. A hint of hops, and some bread.

The taste was more like an English style IPA to me. There was a prominent citrus flavor, but not like a northwestern US IPA. There was a noticeable buttery diecytle flavor going on that clashed with the hops. I can appreciate this flavor that Ringwood yeast imparts when done right, but it didn't do it for me here. The mouthfeel was decent though.

It's an interesting brew, but maybe not my cup of tea (or glass of beer?).

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Photo of Chinon01
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Soapy head with semi-opaque deep tea color.

Smell - Clean sweet malt with some citrus

Taste - Orange tea and hoppy as an em eff. Not balanced. Some "hop juice" but mostly bitterness.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Both score low due to level of hop bitterness. Again, this is not a balanced beer.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. I noticed that the %ABV had changed to 8.0% vice the 9.0% currently listed on the site.
Had an unusually dark chestnut coloring, lots of minute carbonation and a dense off-white head that stood up well over time and left nice sheet lace.
The nose was well-hopped with strong pithy citrus and pine notes. Equally potent were the aromas of caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. Lurking underneath all that was a vaporous alcohol note.
The taste unfortunately got skewed right away as the butteriness of this brew superceded any and all other flavors. Yes, there were some decent hops traits - citrus rinds and pine needles - but nothing could stand up to the brute force of all that butterscotchy sweetness assaulting the palate. The feel was medium/full and creamy.
Man, I had to work through this brew with some effort. I pretty much detest butterscotch and the butteriness that dripped from this beer made it profoundly disappointing.

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Photo of bruachan
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this is my first MABC brew. let's go

so dark, it's like wicked dark. we'll call it mahogany or chestnut and then move on to remark about how juxtaposed the fine white head is

the aroma is at once bigtimehoppy. pine flies out of the bottle when i remove the cap, but in the glass i get big roasty notes. it's almost like an RIS in the aroma category (though wich some heavy butter aromas). doesn't taste much like it, though. actually, the flavor profile is pretty thin, as is the mouthfeel. the bitterness is mentionable, but not up to the size of the taste and aroma—imbalanced

i'm not diggin this beer. smells liks butter, weak flavor characteristics, thin. if Nosferatu and Hibernation ale are my benchmarks with which to judge this one, not even close

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Photo of sholland119
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was not a fan of this beer as has often been the case for me with this brewery. The pour is a nice clear amber with a thin tan head and some nice lacing. But it's all downhill from there for me. Way too much alcohol in the nose, and also in the taste, especially for this ABV. Unpleasantly bitter hop bite and I like hops a lot. This was a drainpour for me.


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Photo of DaveHS
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one.

A-Pours a hazy burgundy with 1 inch of rocky light khaki head. Reduces quickly, leaving spidery lacing and a deflated cap of rocky foam.

S-Smells sweet, like fig jam and prunes. A faint aroma of fruity hops.

T/M-This is hardly "screaming with hops," as the bottle advertises. Could be an older bottle. There is a moderate hop presence, mostly bitter, with some light citric presence. The main issue with this beer is that it's just too sweet. Full, sticky mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a cloying finish.

O-Kind of boring, but not bad.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.04/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a goblet. Formed a nice 1 ½ finger white head that had decent retention and left some trails of lace behind. The body is a hazy dark amber almost brown color that only traces of light through.

The aromas are sweet malts and caramel up front. The undertone aromas are earthy and bready. Nothing powerful on the nose...

The taste threw me off a little...not as sweet as the nose would suggest. It is almost as if the hop character and sweet malt character are cancelling each other out instead of coming through in waves...odd...kind of an even, burnt-bitter flavor throughout.

Medium mouth feel, slightly drying with moderate carbonation.

I finished the bomber, but was forcing the last few pours. Will try again just to make sure I didn't have a bad bottle...

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this without knowing the style as I am wont to do from time to time. I will say for some strange reason I thought it was a scotch ale heading into the brew...

A - Rich reddish dark brown ale, nice crips clear color and billowy white head.
S - Grapefruit hops dominate a malt nose that seemed to have trouble deciding on a profile. It was kind of a buttery toffee, licorice swirl.
T - Similar to the smell but with a pronounced ringwood yeast impact. It was better at room temp as the malts stepped up some and moderated the flavors a bit.
M - Medium bodied, nicely carbonated a bit raw in the melding of the flavors
D - I can see this being appealing to a spectrum of hops lovers.

One was enough for me to know it's not my cup of tea. Glad to have tried it though.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts with some sweetness finish is hoppy/malty with some bitter aftertaste. There are better double IPAs like Stoudts. $4.99 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of sacfly
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On Tap at McGraths in Harrisburg

Presented a muddy brown with red hints. Moderate tan head. Smell is orange peal and grapefruit. Spectacular aroma.

First sip is a powerful blend of orange and pine. Nice balance of bitter and sweet in the orange. Medium to heavy body. However, a harsh cheep vodka presence overcomes me in the finish. Dreadful. This was so promising but I hesitated on each sip thinking about how bad the finish was.

I ended up giving the rest to my friend who said he barely noticed it (the harsh vodka flavor) and thought it was good. My wife also thought it was OK, so I’m thinking it was a good sample, just not something I enjoy in a IIPA. Would like to taste some bottled so I can age it slightly. Maybe the vodka would die down with age?

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Photo of alexskovan
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK -- I'm a sucker for beer with pretty women on the label. I just wish the "wench" inside the bottle was as appealing as the one on the outside.

Poured clear deep amber with an off-white head that lasted. Smell was . . . HOPS! Lots and lots of hops. Taste was . . . HOPS! With some malty notes underneath, but hard to hear over the wailing of the hops.

Sorry, I'm just not this much of a hop-head. Pretty bottle though. . .

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle tried 16 Aug 2010. Thanks to K for bringing this back from her east coast trip. Served in the (512) One snifter.

Small light tan head. Minimal carbonation. Clear ruby brown color, garnet. Aroma is sweet, sugary, floral, tart fruit and a touch of ethanol. Starts lightly floral with some astringency. Fairly tannic, reminiscent of Earl Grey tea. Some jasmine. Finish is moderately bitter. Medium body, oily texture. Alcohol becomes stronger through the end.

Nothing particularly bad about this, but overall pretty average.

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Photo of jim102864
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish copper color into my Chimay goblet. Several pillars of bubbles rise in the glass. A thin layer of head ponds the surface. Nose is mildly fruity. Very clear appearance. Very evident hops in this 8 percent Old Ale. As it warms, is it parsley maybe in the nose? Definitely herbal. The bitterness in this brew drowns away any maltiness or aggressive nose. Not a very balanced brew. Good but not special.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice chestnut brown with a quite good head that sticks around as a cap throughout. Very good lacing as well. Very malty nose with quite a hit of alcohol. Fairly dry, and with some dark fruit and some sharp yeast. Taste is simarily dry with a bitter, earthy hop prsence throughout, and a fairly sharp astingency as well. It's bitter all right, but the hops are not all that pleasant. Mouthfeel is somewhat soft. Not slick, not creamy, just soft. Okay, alittle out of balance.

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Photo of beerislove
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to shippos for sending along this and just about every other offering from Middle Ages. I love this brewery’s labels, and this buxom beer-wench is no exception!

The beer pours a burnt orange with brown and purple highlights – a bit darker than I am used to. A nice firm head settles down and keeps watch over the beer, lasting just about until I am done. The aroma is a bit woody and piney, not at all fruity to me - it isn’t very powerful compared to others in the style. I am not sure what to expect so time to take a swig…

The taste is sharp and piney, but with a strong grainy malt presence that I am not expecting in this category. The piney hops continue across my tongue and throat and the resins stick there forever. This flavor just doesn’t quit. I am not loving it initially, but as I take additional sips the sheer weight of the hops crushes my taste buds and a slight dark fruit flavor begins to come through. Still, it took a while to find any, and there wasn’t much to find. Also, the mouthfeel is a bit thin for a DIPA, being more in the range of an APA/IPA.

Overall I was expecting better from a highly rated beer and brewery. Perhaps it is personal taste, but I like a DIPA to be a step between IPA and Barleywine family (juicier & fruitier than IPA, but not all the way to a thick sipping beer like barleywine). I can’t argue that it is a highly hopped beer, it just lacks any inspiration of artistry in its construction. There is no complexity to its flavors and it lacks that juicy, hoppy chewiness that I love oh so much. I would call this average at best, and for the same price I can enjoy beautiful examples of the style like Maharaja, Big A, and Hercules. Given the high rating this beer holds I would certainly be willing to try again as I may have just tried a bad batch, but something tells me it just isn’t a great DIPA.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of sweet malt and some bitter hops, plus a really an odd smell of curdled milk? Slight diacetyl. Flavor is more similar to an ASA with lots of malt and a bitter finish. Decent, nothing great but certainly drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was looking for something big the other night and this one proclaimed to be screaming hop, so I had to try it. Bomber served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/23/2010.

The pour was very nice, rich looking dark amber in color with a towering head of off white that just peaked out above the rim of the glass. Settling down gently it left a good bit of side lacing along the glass and a nice, dark menacing look to it. Aroma is a bit muted, definitly not screaming anything. Caramel malts up front, light touches of bready tones, hints of an earthy, piney hop presence, but nothing huge about it at all. This carries over almost exactly into the flavor. Caramel and bready tones dominate here from the very first sip. Light touches of hops come in towards the finish, with a slight drying to the palate and a little bit of a bite, but nothing sharp or striking about it. Really full feel though, almost chewy as I sip on it, and that may have very well been the best part. Alcohol was fairly well hidden and it had the potential to be a creeper.

Overall I am not sure what to make of this one. If it did not label itself o be soo hoppy I might have liked it a little more, but it set a bar I dont feel it reached.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this along with Druid Fluid because i'd heard that middle ages brewed a good beer. Poured dark fudge caramel brown with very little head. Alcohol and fairly strong buttery odor. the smell is kind of worrying....diactyl? Thick alco-malt flavor with lots of hop bitterness and oily-ness. some residual buttery flavor but this is swamped out to some extent by the large hop load in the beer. Its overall a bit unbalanced with the flavors not really coming together particularly well. Not really all that impressive of a beer but its certainly a big beer and not awful by any means.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 24oz brown pop top bottle with nice (if kinda goofy) medieval-themed label...thanks much to K.D. for bringing this one all the way back from NYC for me! This was being saved to be enjoyed for the MUFC/Chelsea Community Shield game. Let's go Red Devils!

Appearance: Really pretty dark amber/garnet-tinged beer with a beautiful thick, sticky, whipped-cream head with great retention and some nice lacing

Smell: The label says "screaming with hops"...the aromas support this statement; this is ALL about the hops. Sharp and aggressive citrus and spicy/herbaceous character. Maybe just a touch of sweet alcohol in the background, but the malt character (light caramel) stays well in the back. There is an odd sweetness here as well that I can't quite put my finger on...

Taste: Big, bold, herbaceous hop character and massive bitterness assaults the palate right off. Light citrus hop flavors in the background as well, like sweet orange peel, but the herbaceous tones are much more evident. Not too much of a malt presence, a bit surprising actually, (though there is some juicy fruitiness) though there is just a bit of dry biscuit towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full-bodied, big with slippery alcoholic smoothness

Drinkability: One bomber is plenty

Conclusion: Not something I'd drink all the time, but nice to try now and again; this one's bold, brash, and makes no excuses for what it is, which is (IMO) a bit over the top. The sweetness is just a little bit cloying and a bit more depth would be appreciated.

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Photo of argock
3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Possibly one of the most ’leading’ bottles I’ve seen in a while. Looking past that, I open the bottle, and whew lots of hops. (This is a bottle from a trade so I’m unsure of the age, but it’s been with me for at least 4 months.) So I can just imagine how this would have been fresh.

Hoppy and big this brew is really interesting for a IIPA, I’ve yet to see a IIPA this dark. Very flavorful and while not my favorite style, it is something a lot of hopheads would enjoy.

Thanks to BeerBeing for this and many other great brews!!!

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Photo of brentk56
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy chestnut color that almost looks dirty; on top of the liquid sites a huge, rocky head and as I refill the pint glass, I am mindful to give this one a careful pour lest it come out all foamy; plenty of lacing, however, but you have to let it sit awhile

Smell: Butterscotch dominant, with some grapefruit pith underneath; also some fusel alcohol sneaking through, in a rum soaked raisin sort of way

Taste: Opens with a caramel fruitcake element, so suited to the winter season; after the swallow, the alcohol comes through with whiskey tones; there are clearly some pithy hops in there, too, but they are overshadowed by the other flavors; also, the Ringwood yeast buttery flavors are just annoying

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but over-carbonated; plenty of warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Just too many negatives here, between the fusel alcohol, the Ringwood yeast and the overcarbonation

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Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.96 out of 5 based on 455 ratings.
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