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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 454
Photo of jwinship83
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with no freshness information on it. traded to me from G311. thanks vince! drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours a beautiful translucent dark mahogany colored body with ruby red highlights and a tall khaki colored head on top. the head takes its time falling and leaves behind large globs of lacing.

S- after reading the bottle, i was hoping that there would be more of a hoppy presence in the nose. definitely grapefruit in here with some pine as well. after that i pick up on some caramel and toffee malts and a little bit of alcohol.

T- the taste starts out with some toffee and caramel malts which offer up some sweetness. after that i pick up on some ringwood yeast in the form of butterscotch. slightly faded tasting piny and grapefruit hops. a little bit of alcohol shines through, yet again.

M- the body is big and bold. the carbonation is a touch too high. there is some warming from the alcohol.

D- i think the bottle i got wasnt the freshest, but i cant be certain. i wish they would just date their bottles. id like to have a crack at a bottle i know for a fact is fresh next time so i can compare. thanks again for the beer, vince.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Chapter House in Ithaca last weekend.

Pours a tawny color with a single-finger tan head and a good bit of lacing as it goes down. Thin collar throughout. The nose carries a good amount of brown sugar plus a nice bit of citrus. Smelling this, I thought this was an ESB. Maybe so, just a very strong one. Probably more properly classified as an English Strong Ale. Flavor brings a slight bit of diacetyl and some malty sweetness. Moderate fruitiness. The hops really don't come through until the finish, which is fairly bitter. Classic ESB-type profile. Really well done.

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Photo of generallee
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt. 6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 8%. There is no freshness date.

Appearance: The body has a deep coppery amber color with a light haze. Its head rose up tall, thick and clingy. It had a light tan color and great retention. This all made for nice sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell: There is a bold mix of floral/citrusy hops and sweet malt with a hint of butterscotch and dark fruit.

Taste/Palate: It has a firm foundation of sweet fruity, bready and caramel maltiness with a slight touch of butterscotch. Blending into this is a firm backing of pungent floral citrus and earthy hop bitterness. It finishes with a sticky hop bitterness clinging to the palate. It feels firm and full bodied with just enough carbonation to keep it moving easily over the tongue.

Notes: This is definitely a well made and very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Florida9
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta love cartoon tits...

A: Dark copper. Clear. Forms about a 1/2" of thick, creamy, lightly-tan colored head. Good lacing.

S: Caramel malt and bright citrus.

T: Flavor is surprisingly light. Starts with a toasty malt base that develops into the flavors of citrus and pine. Mild-to-moderate bitterness. Long finish.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. There is a bit of fusel spice on the tongue.

D: A good, but not great beer offering a nice balance between malts and hops while allowing the alcohol to show through as well.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, no date.

appears a hazy dark amber color with massive off-white head. heads stays through drinking, and leaves a crazy amount off sticky clumps of lacing. rich piney hop aroma.

taste is dominated by hops, but balanced with some sweeter malt flavor underneath. a bit earthy, herbal. no real hint of the higher alcohol content.

medium body, average carbonation. drinks well. overall, a pretty good beer, I'd have it again.

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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 ottovon
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

shared with whiterascal.

A: pours out a clear ruby brown, with a tan head that leaves lacing down the glass.

S: smells of molasses, dark fruits, brown sugar and citrus hops. there are also hints of roasted malt, and burnt sugar. the aroma has a nice sweetness to it.

T: it has some sweetness in the front. i get brown sugar and molasses, as well as roasted malt and some fruitiness. there is some hop flavor in the finish and it finishes bitter and dry.

M: it has a medium body with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: it is a pretty good beer overall. and it hides the 8% well. i could drink multiple glasses of this, but I don't know how often I would seek this out. The aroma is the best part of this beer IMHO.

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Photo of Sam21
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date, $6.99 at Price Chopper in Hamilton, NY. Purchased in November of 2010.

Appearance - Deep ruby body with a sticky and creamy off-white head. World-class retention and lacing.

Smell - Blankets of citrus and floral hops atop a solid fruity malt backbone. Hint of caramel. Pungent and raw.

Taste - Fruity hops begin the assault before leading into very forward toasted malt. Light caramel sweetness. The finish is hop forward with a strong grapefruit note that eventually subsides to reveal residual bitterness within a dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with creamy carbonation.

Drinkability - Easy drinking strong ale with a powerful hop bit. Alcohol is well integrated. One bomber is plenty.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful deep brown with red hues. It has a rocky thick head that seems to last forever. It also has an awesome curtain like lacing. Very attractive looking beer.

S- In the nose piney hops are immediately present though there is some malty sweetness to balance it out. Lots of grapefruit up front with toffee and caramel malts in the background.

T- Grapefruit coupled with a caramel malty sweetness. There's a lot of hop bitterness to start off with but towards the middle the caramel flavor comes through to sweeten it up a bit. The after taste is bitter and somewhat toasty an lingers for a bit.

M- Almost full bodied mouth feel. Feels very smooth. Carbonation is bordering high.

D/N- Very well done. Too bad this stuff is not readily available to me. Might make a trade in the future for a couple of bottles. I would like to see how this ages.

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Photo of PBoegel
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Should be categorized as an English Strong Ale. The east coast's secret little bastard in my opinion.

Deep reddish amber, thick creamy beige head two fingers thick. Great lacing all the way through drinking.

Aromas are a blend of very rich ripe tree fruit and resinous sappy hop oils. Lots of caramel layers and touch of chocolate and more citrus and clementine character shine through.

Flavor profile is dominated by an estery fruit character of ripe pears mixed with touches of caramel and raspberry and blackberry hop fruitiness. Alcohol is completely masked. Bitterness always comes off subdued to me in this beer (as it does with AB, can't explain, but it just does) but in general I'd always like to catch that to be more pronounced.

Mouthfeel is medium full, moderate carbonation. Finish is a touch sweet.

This is a great favorite of mine. For a strong ale, it is easily on the palate with abundance of flavor and complexity. I really need to get out to the brewery, and get a fresh case. Have to do some draft and cask reviews for this as well. I enjoy the bottle but have had it on draft several times and found the things slightly lacking in the bottle are right on in the draft version.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome label. No freshness date. Poured into a snifter. Thanks go out to mbusster88 for including this as an extra in a trade- strong work.

Pours with a fine looking two fingers of slightly off-white head. The color is the perfectly clear body is one of the best shades of ruby I have seen in a beer. I think American strong ales (when crafted well) display some of the best hues possible. Very good head retention, the layer on top of the body sticks around with attitude. This is no exception. There is some good lacing in my glass, but as always lacing hinges much on the glass itself and not on the beer- the same beer can lace beautifully in one glass and not in another due to many factors.

Upon smelling this beer I immediately think "Whoa", smells almost like a barleywine. Sweet brown sugar crusted grapefruits come to mind, as well as more subtle pineapple and evergreen sap. A healthy heap of malts supports the hoppiness from underneath contributing the sugary sweet character to the overall nose. Judging from the smell, this is going to be a good one.

Wowie, the hops hit with more bitterness than I expected, but such a rush of malts back them up with roastiness and sweet that it is alright. Big flavors. As this first hits my tongue I am sure that it is going to be out of balance in favor of hops but this isn't true as the malt really makes a good show of it. This beer is quite sweet and moderately bitter at different times in the taste experience. The hops take the pine, evergreen and pitch route in the flavor (one of my favorite manifestations of humulus lupulus in beer). The malts are harder to pin down, but sweet deeply browned sugar and a general warm toasty malt flavor are notable.

Once again I am surprised in this category. The mouthfeel is endlessly creamy and rich with a full body to back it up. Busty... you could say, like the label transcribed into a beer mouthfeel. Quite satisfying, and obviously very drinkable.

Conclusion: I feel it is becoming more and more rare to be totally surprised by a new beer. In this case however, I am happy to say that I am really surprised how good this beer is. It nailed every category and especially the mouthfeel; the best I have felt in an American strong ale. If I am ever around New York I will be seeking this one out!

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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 shamrock1343
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice head as it pours. It is a cloudy brown.

Nice hops smell

Hoppy and a little sweet

It feels very big in the mouth

I want another bottle of this beer.

I tasted Middle Ages at the mini GABF in Baltimore in the late 90s. I was in Syracuse last summer I bought this at Wegmans. It is a lovely beer.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of a middle ages tasting. Poured next to the double wench

A-amber in color quite a little bit of head. Leaves rings all the way through
S-smells sweet and hoppy at the same time.
T-tastes sweet and malty. Grows on you as it warms up
M-smooth and medium bodied
D-seems to be a reoccuring theme here but it is really nice and drinkable

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp clear orangeish red. A good amount off-white head with great lacing. Smells hoppy and malty. A nice balance on the nose. Tastes A bit too sweet on the tongue. Some light bitterness on the pallette. Smooth and full bodied. A fairly decent strong ale but overall not outstanding. Pales in comparison to th double wench

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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 codewarrior
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber poured into a tulip pint

Last bottle from a good christmas present (didn't last long with family around), and what a way to finish.

L: Clear oak with red and orange hints. Ample head with great lacing and retention.

S: Thick caramel sweetness with lots of booze behind. Evolves into a rich sweet lingering finish.

T: Well-balanced for the caramel sundae sweetness up front. Good amount of XX bitter style dry hops behind to balance. Taste is ultimately a bit thin, but not terribly so.

F: Syrupy, but a touch thin. Carbonation is light, but good.

D: Easy drinking, if a bit of a sipper.

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Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a deep mohoghany color with a creamy off-white head just covering the top of the beer. The head scattered across the top after a minute or so, but left some decent lacing. I liked the color a lot.

The first thing I notice in the aroma is the hoppy, citrus flavors coming through. It's not nearly as bold as say a DIPA, but it's noticeable. It also has a pretty big malt presence to it with some toffee and caramel coming through. Very flavorful but also relatively balanced aroma overall.

The taste shows off a lot of hoppy and malty flavors as well. A moderate hoppy, grapefruit,citrus comes through along with the malty, toffee flavors. It has just a bit of a roasty flavor to it as well. It finishes on the bitter side with more of the grapefruit coming out.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a bit below average. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some nice flavors to it overall. Everything came together and worked pretty well. It showed off some nice hoppy and malty flavors throughout drinking it. Very enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of ewright
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter and chalice for my wife and I to share. A thick finger of coarse bubbles formed from a moderate pour. This receded to a thick ring with a decent amount of foam clinging to the side of the glass.

The beer is a clear, dark brown, almost mahogany with traces of burnt orange color. The aroma is rather hop forward, as the bottle promises. Fairly strong spearmint notes with just a hint of caramel sweetness in the background.

Fresh from the fridge, the bitterness dominates the flavor. A lot of herbal characteristics in this one; again there's spearmint, but also a touch of rosemary in the aftertaste ... you know, you pluck a fresh rosemary leaf and pop it in your mouth. Not so much the flavor, but the odd aftertaste it leaves. This beer has a bit of that.

As it warms up a bit, there's a little more malt showing through, but not much. I get a faint note of dark fruit; maybe that's plum ... hard to tell. Definitely a hop forward beer. There's enough body for this to feel nice on the tongue, but also enough carbonation to keep it from being cloying. It's somewhat of a smooth creamy texture.

This is an interesting beer. With less hops, it could be an English barleywine. With more malt (and hops to compensate) it could be an American barleywine. It's too dark to be an imperial amber, a la Nugget Nectar. I guess Strong Ale is a fitting classification, but it drinks a point or two less ABV than its listed 8%. A pretty solid beer that is going nicely with a bowl of dry roasted peanuts.

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Photo of huxcrunner
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a-about two fingers of tan head with excellent retention, good lacing, and a rich brown color with redish undertones

s-aromas are among the best, great combination of smells of hops and malt. Hops smell is strong but doesnt really over power

t-this beer taste excellent, it is full bodied and a just the right amount of bite from the hops. The aftertaste of this beer is oh so pleasant

m-full body feel and is very smooth

d-robust flavors and smoothness of this beer along with good combination of malt and hops make this a great beer to enjoy, and is one of the best Ive had

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- Dark copper with red highlights and a thick, off white head that sticks around. Lots of lacing as I drink it.

Smell- Nice mellow hop aroma accompanied with roasted malts. I also get a hard candy smell.

Taste- Alcohol is one of the first things I taste. After that it has that hard candy taste that I got in the smell. It is difficult for me to describe. The hops are definitely there as well. I think this needs to warm up a bit. After it warmed up the alcohol really came out and the malts became a lot more predominate.

Mouthfeel- Good mouth feel. Heavy and sticky.

Drinkability- I don't think I would go past one here. It is an ok beer but I kinda want something a little more interesting.

I am glad I got to try this, but don't think I would choose it a second time if I saw it on the shelf.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of bmwfan1987, thanks Curt! Pours a lightly hazed, deep reddish-copper color with a bubbly tan head. Retention is just ok and leaves some spots of lace. Easily in my top 5 favorite beer names and labels, love it.

Strong, earthy hop aroma complimented by a burnt caramel maltiness. Lots of alcohol, and even some nuttiness. A lot going on here. Burnt biscuit bottoms.

Strong, earthy and rough hoppy flavors abound. If there were an English strong ale, this would fit well. Has some bubblegum yeastiness that balances some of the burnt malty flavors. Hops are pretty unique, grassy and earthy...floral even. The Wench is a bit rough around the edges but makes for a fun one night stand. Very flavorful. Mouthfeel is not necessarily smooth and creamy, but it is certainly full. Reminds me of a cross between Hairy Eyeball and Arrogant Bastard with more of an English hop flavor. Pretty tasty beverage.

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Photo of claspada
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are strong and initially offputting, earthy/herbal hops with some slight caramely/bready sweetness added from the malt. There's this soapiness quality I can't put my finger on.

The taste has lots of hop and malt flavors throughout. Luckily the saapiness is nowhere to be found. The hops come with flavors of grapefruit, pine, grassiness, with some slight resin, but they are soon supplanted with a wave of sweetness from the large amount of caramel malts. Behind all of that is a bit of a buttery flavor, in an enjoyable way though. The mouthfeel is pretty full and slightly slick and coating.

Overall this was a solid beer that I am very glad I traveled into lower Manhattan to find it, along with a few other gems obviously. A really solid example of an English style strong ale, my favorite style, which I feel isn't crafted enough in this country.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber into an imperial pilsner glass.

A: Dark, ruby amber color with a huge, fluffy head of off-white foam. Good clarity and vibrant, dark mahogany coloring. Leaves a decent amount of lace as well.

S: Full-on bouquet of spicy, floral hops and tropical fruits with a hint of rich, caramel sweetness.

T: Sweet and complex malt flavor up front accompanied quickly by a mouthful of coating, bittersweet hops. Hints of citrus fruits, berry, plum and apple make up the rich malt profile with resinous and slightly hot hop notes to wash it away. A nice sipping brew with plenty of hops to add to the character.

M: Big, sweet and prickly mouthfeel on this full-bodied ale.

D: A very hop-centric strong ale with great attention paid to the malty details as well. The 8% ABV is not that noticeable through the strong, fruity malt flavors and dulls even further as the hops subside a bit and the brew warms. Complex and enjoyable; good for a disguised hop fix as well.

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Photo of palma
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One reason I keep buying this beer is because my wife gets a kick out of the lable.

Appearance: Ruby color body. Large rocky beige head. Head morphs into a more smooth hilly appearance. Head lasts forever. Look is on par with the likes of a world class dark Belgian ale.

Aroma: Pungent citrusy hops. Light whiffs of alcohol covered up by a sweet malty aroma. Dark fruit like cherry and plum in the nose as well.

Taste: this is definitely a strong ale on the verge of Double IPA hoppyness. Hefty malty backbone with caramel and dark fruit notes throughout tries to balance out the super strong hop profile but just barely succeeds. This beer is a hop bomb. Do not be fooled by the color. Complexity comes from looking for that thick malt backbone while being smashed over the head with American hops. Once you think you've found it you realize you're getting nailed with alpha acids. So why not another sip and go for it again?

Mouthfeel is sticky and chewy from the big malt profile. Just what you want to see in a big beer. Smooth enough, and more.

Definitely a beer to savor. Yet I don't think it would be completely out of the question to put this in a pint glass and pound a couple. The malt backbone and complexity makes it drinkable enough.

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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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