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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 455 |  Reviews: 306
Photo of mikehartigan
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful red color, nicely clear. One finger of beautiful tan head with plenty of staying power. Nice lacing beckons for each sip.

S - Nice and hoppy. A good preview of the taste that follows.

T - I think of myself as a minor league hophead. This is a wonderful brew that feeds my passion without masking the other qualities that make a beer great. A blast of piney citrus with plenty of malty sweetness to balance it out. Each stands on its own, however. I would have preferred if they blended a bit better, but it's still fine as it is.

M - Medium body - nothing remarkable, but no complaints here.

D - At 8% abv, it's definitely not a session beer and the flavor leaves no doubt. It's a little smoother than a straight sipper, though. Two, *maybe* three pints would definitely not be out of the question, the 8% abv notwithstanding.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Blue Tusk in Syracuse.

Appearance: A dark, browner shade of ruby pint, with a great frothy head...I'm a sucker for cask ales...

Smell: Starts off weedy and green, then turns into the bouquet of fresh cut flowers, then switches to pine needles. Very nice!

Taste: High hop Beers are just fantastic on cask, the bitterness is sharp without going out of control and going harsh on you. I expected a little more body, but it's not like it was too thin either. The aftertaste is all crispy hops and builds momentum with every silky smooth sip. A very enjoyable pint!

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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 merlin48
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of OldTex29, pours a clear copper body topped by a large almond hued head. Excellent retention is complimented by huge sheet lacing.

Aroma is bold. Caramel and toffee maltiness is met by an enormous hoppiness of orange, citrus and pine. Nice!

Medium body and carbonation.

Taste is dominated by an assertive hops bitterness that is orange, pine, and grapefruit. Maltiness is equally ambitious and serves up some chewy caramel. Finishes with a citrusrind bitterness that follows into the aftertaste.

Aggressive hoppiness here borders on the American barleywine and/or DIPA category but nicely enjoyable as an American strong ale.

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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 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 bozebus17
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Beertruth for the sample.

Pours a dark reddish-orange with a good sized off-white head. This shinks into a nice thin layer of foam that leaves generous lacing around the glass.

Smells of sweet caramel and big citrusy hops. There is also a hint of a bread-like aroma.

The taste is full of bitterness. There is loads of the citrus hops that were noticeable in the scent. There is a hint of sweet fruit and not a whole lot of malt flavor to balance. The edge of the bitterness dies down a bit as it warms.

This beer wasn't quite as full-bodied as I expected. There is a nice tingling all around the mouth from this one either from the alcohol or carbonation.

I must say I really like this beer. Beertruth included it as a surprise in a trade and I'm glad he did. It isn't very balanced and I may go as far as calling it a hopbomb, but that's perfectly fine in my book. I would also suggest letting this one warm up for half an hour or so before pouring it into the glass, the flavors of an ale of this strength come out much better at warmer temps. This is a top-notch brew and I wish I could buy it around here.

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

Poured from non-dated bomber into a Goblet.

A- Amber red in color with real nice 2 finger head that dissipates quickly.

S- Smells of sweet hops with draws of alcohol. Smells quite pleasant.

T- Wow...very nice and hoppy. Has a sweetness to it in the aftertaste. Nice warming alcohol finish.

M- Thin and nicely carbonated. Swishing it arounds brings a nice foaming in the mouth.

D- At 8%, a bomber will do me nice today after a long run. I am quite impressed with this beer and ready to try more form this brewer.


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Photo of lackenhauser
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stunning chestnut color with a head that goes on forever. The whole way down the glass I need a spoon to dig thru the fluffy, tan goodness. Glad I have a mustache! Very deep floral and malty aromas. Not overly pronounced but very full and thick. Solid malt flavor with an extreme blast of hop bitterness and flavor. Nice resiny and earthy notes. Great caramel notes. Terriffic body. The resiny and slickness of the hops really comes thru on the palate. Very, very drinkable beer. Impressive.

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Photo of jackorain
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- ruby redish brown, clear, tan head, nice retention, okay lace.
S-sweet carmel malt, citrus hops, gree hops.
T-green, floral, and citrus hops abound, malty middle, there is alot of malt here, carmel, bready, and biscuit. big bitter green long finish
M-Creamy medium body, tight medium carbonation.
D-I always have trouble getting through a bomber wihtout help. But was good for a pint on tap at the blue tusk

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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 Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, I'm at the brewery, rattling off my purchases to the Middle Ages guy ringing them up, and I pull out two bottles of this: "And two Wailing Wenches." It evoked a startled glare from the large-ish, seemingly uptight woman standing with her back to me. I don't think she understood.

Got a huge tan head on the pour, and it sits atop a glossy brown/ruby rust color. Looks almost like homebrewed root beer, or some sort of carbonated iced tea. Head never entirely disappears, and the lace is abundant.

Aroma is hoppy, first and foremost, but some nice things work through it, like Dr. Pepper, anise, freshly mowed grass, and a fruity sweetness that sorta brings to mind a cinnamon-sprinkled plum. An intriguing smell that obviously leaves a lot to the imagination.

Flavor-wise this is far more bitter than I remember it in the Middle Ages tasting room (April 21, 2007, a date I won't soon forget, for a variety of reasons). Kicks up a grass/grapefruit astringency, while a peculiar Dr. Pepper/root beer thing shows up, as does bubblegum, black tea, and prickly dessert spices. Somewhat messy at first, but things adhere as it warms, so I recommend giving this some time out of the fridge/cellar before drinking.

Again, this seemed so much better in the tasting room, likely due to its at-the-source freshness, but letting it warm a little, and maybe letting it age longer should do a lot for it. As it is, it is very enjoyable and I look forward to trying it with some age on it.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very deep amber hue to the body with a small tan head that is starting to leave lacing already.

Piney hops and some fruity notes

Piney hops,candi plums,booze,licorice,malt,carmel.

The mouthful is creamy and smooth but once the beer hits your throat it is burn city.The booze rears its ugly head on this one.

This is a good beer but the booze takes away from it.I think thats just common with the style.I wonder how this will taste aged a few months.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to stegmakk and ampzilla for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice two finger tannish head, tons of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is slightly sweet/bitter, malty, hoppy, grapefruit, and caramel. The taste is bitter, malty, hoppy, nice touch of grapefruit, and caramel. There is a slight dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, more of an IPA to me, but what do I know.

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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 Gavage
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a copper / burgandy color with a large 3" fluffy head that sticks around a while. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: floral hops, grapefruits, hint of pine, and some sugary sweetness are pleasant and enticing.

Taste: this is one nicely hopped strong ale. Grapefruit and orange citrus, caramel, brown sugar, plums, light pepper, and a hint of alcohol. The mild pine and floral hop presence is just the right balance.

Mouthfeel: mildly heavy in body. Crisp from start to finish. Long aftertaste as the flavors remain on the tastebuds.

Drinkability: this is no way a session beer, but this beer beer you can easily drink but the well hidden alcohol can catch up to you. Find this one and give it a shot.

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Photo of plaid75
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber hue with a two finger creamy off white head. There was very good retention and excellent sticky lacing.

The smell consisted of an upfront juicy citrus hop with waves of pepper and some apricot.

The taste featured an upfront resiny hop with earthy and heavy citrus undertones. There was a rich sweet malt to support the hop dose. A very well balanced flavor.

The mouthfeel was full and spicy. No alcohol presence.

Overall an excellent strong ale. Excellent complex hop, which is gently presented. Very quaffable.

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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 drumrboy22
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber

Nice citrus, hoppy smell. Deep red color. Thick head with good retention. Very hoppy flavor, but not overpowering. Not as much hop flavor as a IIPA, but definitely more than a strong pale ale. I think it could use a little bit more of a malty backbone for balance.

A nice beer, but it didn't blow me away. Still, a quality stong ale that is pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of aaronh
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very deep copper/light mahogany body topped by a thick, creamy, tan head. The head grudgingly fades, but it clings to the glass like an obsessive lover. Aroma has nice sweet notes, but it's dominated by hop perfume. Nice pine and floral notes abound. As for the flavor, bitterness runs rampant. Pine rosin, grapefruit rind, and herbal bitterness obscures most of the malt and alcohol sweetness. A bit of heat can be felt, but that's about it. Nice if you like hop juice, but really one-dimensional. Mouthfeel is a bit thick as expected. Drinkability is great for hop\heads. Not really a session beer or one that I'd even come close to calling "quaffable", but enjoyable none the less. A solid offering for those who love hops, but the uninitiated may run from this beer 'wailing'.

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Photo of far333
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel colored, clear liquid, with an inch-high head of light beige lumpy meringue. As the head slowly settles it leaves oily rings and legs reaching up the sides of the glass.

Full aroma of tangerine and floral hops with some malty undertones.

Perhaps the hoppiest non-IPA I've had thus far. Initial flavor is citrus hops, some pine and grapefruit rind, but not overly piney. A fine malt base rides beneath, subtle caramelly malt, some brown sugar, a cherry tang, and some smoke.

Mouthfeel is initially slick,but has a quick sparkle of carbonation following shortly afterward. Good beer, pretty drinkable for the big flavor and ABV.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my Imperial pint glass. Appears a deep reddish copper with a generous inch of dense foam. Smells of perfumey, floral hops. Tastes of bitter floral hops and sweet dried prunes or raisins as well as some caramel malt. Medium in both body and carbonation. I would seek this one out again and it is rather reasonably priced for it's strength.

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

The Wench poured a deep, dark amber with an off-white head. Small polka dots of lacing fade as I get further into the glass.

The smell isn't as hoppy as I imagined it would be. Sure, they're present in a citrus form, but the malt comes out just as strong. Citrus hops, dark plums, fruit cake, alcohol, and brown sugar are all present.

The flavor is better than what I am smelling, but still not smacking me with the hops. Nicely balanced between citrus and nicely roasted malts.

Medium body with lighter carbonation. Some bitterness and alcohol in the swallow and aftertaste. Not bad...makes me want to search out another that may be fresher than this one to compare.

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

22 oz. bottle

Would like to see the I.B.U.'s on this. I've read about a lot of hops and can certainly taste them but I think that there's a great malt balance here. That or the hops have subdued because this beer may be somewhat old.

Appearance - 4.0, Smell - 4.0, Taste - 3.5, Mouthfeel -4.0 , Drinkability - 4.0

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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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