Wailing Wench | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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Wailing WenchWailing Wench
Very Good
458 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 |  Reviews: 306
Photo of Boilermaker88
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
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The taste unfortunately got skewed right away as the butteriness of this brew superceded any and all other flavors.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 mentor
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two and a half dark tan head over a crystal clear red-brown liquid. Smells hoppy citrus/pine, caramel, chocolate, toffee, vanilla, alcohol. Buttery. Dark, almost oaky, smell. Intriguing. Tastes unlike any other IPA I've ever had. Hops are light compared to most IPAs. They taste mostly piney with some citrus character. Bitter is gentle, but seems more because of an acrid sting from carbonation and a sour tang. What's that sour tang?...it's caramelly, but it's as if the caramel was left in the sun and spoiled in some way. Maybe like the sugar and oils separated. Butterscotch, bordering on flat out butter. A little bit mediciney. Wet sugary sweet finish with an underlying grassy co-humulone hop roughness. This beer is balanced mostly toward the malt, but the hop flavor and bitter are noticable and keep the beer interesting. Md body but slick and buttery in the mouth. The oily feel just hangs there and keeps the flavor hanging around. Moderately carbonated with amazing lacing on the inside of the glass.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a small sample of this from a distributor at Brookline Liquors. She noted it was the east coast's answer to Arrogant Bastad. I liked it there and decided to pick up a bottle to give it a propper tasting and review.

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber in a tulip glass the beer was a dark mohogany/brown color. A slightly off-white head formed about two-fingers thick. Very nice lacing rimmed the glass the whole way down throughout the sample.

The smell was slight toffee and caramel with figs and prune in the nose. No hops in the nose the despite its presence proclaimed on the lable. Slight smell of alcohol as well.

The tasted was very malty upfront but this quickly gave way to an intense bitter hop character. Not overpowering, but very prominant and well balanced for the style and other flavors. Slight alcoholic warming and some roasted flavors as well. Some coffee and nut, perhaps fig in the taste as well. Each sip had a bitter crispness to it, but it was well in check with ample maltiness as well. Indeed if this is the east's answer to Arrogant Bastard, it was well done.

Moderate mouthfeel with a hint of carbonation.

Very drinkable and enjoyable. No overpowingly alcoholic, and all flavors and aromas are balanced well. One I'll go back to indeed.

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Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red/brown, clear and with a big off white head, good lacing. Smell is very citrusy, piney, nice malt, light floral hoppiness, some malty sweetness. Taste is very strong deep malt, piney and floral middle, some alcohol and a clean bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is low, very warming, bitter burn in the finish. Very tasty beer. Thanks DrJay.

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Photo of DrJay
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep ruby red with a big, fluffy, light tan head. Excellent lacing and very good head retention. Strong citrus/grapefruit and pine hop aroma with plenty of malt for balance. Pronounced bitterness with a full malt backbone. Caramel sweetness, pine and citrusy hops round out the flavour. Finishes on the dry side with a lingering bitterness and a hint of alcohol warmth. Smooth carbonation, a little on the low side, which makes it very easy to drink. A bit creamy as well. Great beer with lots of hops, but malt balance keeps it in check. A definite winner.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber, nearly brown beer. Has a big creamy beige head with a good lace. The aroma starts with a somewhat fruity sweetness followed by a pungent grapefruit hop background. At first the hops bite your tongue. Then a smooth roasted malt charater slides thru followed by a dry grapefruit hop bitterness. Yum.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twentytwo ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Deep auburn hue, lovely thick beige coloured head. Retains well & leaves good patchy lace behind.

Resinous - notes of spruce & pine. Good bit of fruit playing in the background.

Wave of lush flavours. A touch of biscuity malt, some great fruit & tons of American hops. Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Delightful.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is perfect - clear ruby with a long lasting cream colored head and great lacing. Smell is interesting. Ringwood yeast is there. It has a very winey smell as well - don't know if this bottle is still good, but it's all I've got, so I'll rereview it if it turns out I have a bad bottle. The taste is sweet caramel and buttery up front, with some very strong bittering hops in the finish. The wine from the smell is completely gone. Alcohol and medicinal aspect is very noticeable, which knocks it down a couple notches. The mouthfeel stands out in this beer - it has that nice smooth creaminess that I look for in a Double IPA. Overall, I started liking this more and more as I finished the bottle, and maybe I'm being unfair because I'm not used to English IPAs, but it just seems kind of weird to me. Not something that I would crave for sure.

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Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark ruby copper with a 1 inch off white head. Chunky scatterings of lacing.
Smell is of rich, caramel malts followed by flowery hops. Ringwood yeast is evident. Seemed a bit too hoppy until I poured the last portion of the bottle into the glass.
Taste is very flowery with a smooth, buttery caramel that helps to balance it out.
Mouthfeel is creamy with plenty of flowery hops and caramel with the lingering taste crawling slowly from the front to the back of the tongue with a slight pepper bite.
Do yourself a favor and let this one warm up slightly. The smell and taste become more rounded.

Finger licking good.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber with a frothy almost tan head which rose extremely tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was piney and citrusy and grassy with hop aromas overtaking the head. As the head fell a slight soapy aroma was detectable followed by malty goodness and Ringwood diacetyl.

The flavor was malty and strongly hoppy with citrusy hops in the background and earthy and grassy hops in the forefront with the piney hops. Intertwined in that was the Ringwood yeast diacetyl, but the hops kept that at bay. The malt presence did not compare to the hop presence but did contain some caramel goodness.

The finish was dry with lasting bittering hops long into the aftertaste. The body was almost medium full and well done. Middle Ages has used Ringwood since the beginning of time. They might try a new strain every now and again to cut back on the butter. A nice and very bitter beer with nice hop flavor carried throughout and into the finish which distracts from the butter.

22 ounce bottle purchased at Green's on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, GA.

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Photo of bditty187
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The clear liquid is dark amber in hue with some gold in the mix and even some bronze. I really like the color of this beer, it is deeper then I was expecting and thus pleasant to look at. Beige head, at the apex the foam was two fingers in height. Head retention was decent, it faded to a soapy cap, the liquid wasn’t exposed for along while. Even though there wasn’t any subsequent lacing with beverage is eye-candy.

The first sniff was Ringwood yeast and plenty of it! The tone and direction of this beer has been determined. It is buttery with butterscotch. It is earthy with vanilla. There is also assertive hoppiness that produces an inviting mixture of dank marijuana, pine, and citrus aromas. Then, Bam! At the finish is a kiss of popcorn. Where is the malt? Are those traces of caramel mixed in with the popcorn? The potency is moderate but the nose says all I need it too. I find the aromas inviting, there is enough complexity to intrigue me.

The palate is milder than I was expecting but it is plenty tasty. The Ringwood yeast is more of an undercurrent then the nose led me to believe. Still, the finish is very buttery/butterscotchy/popcorny. The hop bitterness is restrained but strong enough to stop the sweetness of the malt and yeasty flavors. The hops offer some piney flavors, some citrus, and some earthiness. There really needs to be more hops in the mix, there needs to be more assertive flavors and more outright bitterness. None of the flavors are cutting through the butter. This beer is way too sweet for a DIPA. Is this really a DIPA? English Strong Ale is what I would say. The alcohol is well hidden, bravo. I’m not saying this beer isn’t tasty and it is plenty flavorful but I feel like it is lacking something extra.

Almost full in body, the carbonation is moderately low but very fitting for this beer. I love the long aftertaste… I bet it would be tasty with a grilled pepper jack and sharp cheddar sandwich on rye bread. Drool…

I want to drink this beer again, I bet the next time I have it I will like it more. But the fact I really want to try this beer again speaks to its “wantability,” which in my mind is better then drinkability. The palate might not have jived (totally) with me today. Still it was a good quaff. Thank you shippos for adding this bomber to the Secret Bunny Exchange.

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Photo of Suds
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’d been sitting on this bottle for a short time, and wasn’t particularly excited about it. I should have been…this is phenomenal stuff. I suppose the label, with its renaissance-style redhead is worth noting. Pours a mahogany color with a creamy white head. Floral and strong hops smell (resin-like American hops) that’s fairly well balanced with a sweet malt aroma. From the first taste, a serious grapefruit and pine flavor springs forward. They’re tempered by a caramel sweetness and an almost tangy aftertaste. It’s not a dry beer, and that really helps balance things. Rather full bodied and very easy to drink.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to HappyHourHero for this one.
Finally getting around to this bomber...served at cellar temperature.
Pours a real dark bronze color w/ two full fingers of cloud-like tan beige head. Lacing is thick, foamy, and has nice sustaining qualities.
Aromas filled w/ caramel, butterscotch, fruity hops just begging for attention...amazing they can get lost in the plethora of scents going on here.
The taste is fantastic...a malt bomb w/ plenty of hops to keep its definition as a double. Despite all the malt, this one is not sweet at all. It's mouthfeel is fairly thick, but average for its style IMO. Nothing lingering here...just a very refreshing, bitter finish.
Alcohol does make an appearance in the end, but does not distract from the experience...actually, keeps you cogniscent of drinking too much of this gem.
Has to be one of the most drinkable IIPA's I have tried to date...gets better and better as it warms up.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transparent dark titian with a crimson influence that becomes apparent with backlighting. A darker DIPA one is not likely to find. A dense mass of golden ecru foam occupies the top half of the glass and looks as if it won't give ground willingly. It isn't nearly as sticky as it looked immediately after the pour and doesn't deposit as much lace as I had hoped.

Wailing Wench has a quintessential DIPA nose of brown sugary, caramel-drizzled, candied white grapefruit. The Middle Ages butteriness is present in spades, but it becomes more of a butterscotchiness in this case and adds rather than detracts. That characteristic sets it apart from most of its peers and it's a better nose because of that distinctiveness.

This is a different DIPA to be sure. The flavor profile is slanted too heavily toward malt, with caramel, and even carob, occupying too large a percentage of my taste buds and denying them their hoppy fix. That isn't to say that this Wench isn't hoppy, it's just to say that she isn't hoppy enough. The bitter citrus pith doesn't have a chance to stand out given the abundant caramel malt and the (now more bothersome) diacetyl. If I was the brewmaster, I'd bury the diacetyl under a withering hop onslaught.

I feel as if I've being too hard on WW. Although it fails to follow my preferred path for hoppy beer in general and DIPAs in particular, it's still a pleasant enough experience. The body is no more than medium in heft with a slightly slick mouthcoating and a low degree of carbonation. It's fairly well-cloaked for 9%; I would have guessed lower. As it warms, however, some fusel alcohols do become noticeable.

Wailing Wench definitely does not 'scream with hops' as the fetching, cleavage intensive, redheaded serving wench on the label claims. If it did, I'd like it more than I do. As noted, it's still good stuff and I'll have fond memories once it's gone. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bomber.

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Photo of Truh
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Made the acquaintance of a harlot with this one on 4/1/2005, no joke. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Big top, three ring circus of river’s hydraulic head that settles with a circular Petri dish of lace. Glowing mahogany hue with total clarity and yet possessing an odd thickness with no action. Real kind hop juice green on nose with a mossy alcohol present and a very light butterscotch. Hop bitter hits right from the get-go on the mouth followed by a mix of tart lemon zest, cinnamon earthiness, and light woody characteristics. In a style that still seeks to define itself, this is more than a fine example.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a beautiful dark brown rubyish with dissipating head. smells hoppy with mild citrus and outdoor earthy notes. appearance is great. taste hits first with hops, the double ipa thing. continues with a belgianesque sweetness and dark fruit sourness which confuses the style. unique for a double ipa... leaves a real smoky aftertaste that rounds out an odd, different brew.

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Photo of Stimack
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to try this brew on cask last evening. Funny thing is, the first time I ever had this brew was last week and then I find it on cask! Brew was poured to a amber color, had pretty good clarity and a nice sized tan/white head that had good retention. The aromas seem to be similar to the bottled offering. Definite hop aromas, more pine than citrus but they are both there. Over all it is a real nice aromatic brew. The brew has a dominant hop taste that really comes out about midway through and leaves a hop feel on your tongue for a while. Can notice some malt like characteristics but it seems to come and go quickly once the hop taste hits. Over all it is very good, but think I liked the bottled version a bit more. A beer I would get in an instance at any time!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah...review 400!! This seems like a good enough brew to sample for the occasion.
I am sampling a room temp 22 oz bottle in a snifter/chalice. THe beer pours a deep chestnut color, much darker than I expected upon opening the bottle. A fluffy off white head foams up 1 cm and floats effortlessly on the surface. The head fades gradually to a thin surface layer that remains throughout sampling. Aroma is a complex mix of hops: pine, grass, and mostly grapefruity citrus scents. The first sip reveals a creamy texture and fine gentle carbonation. Flavor is briefly toffee and some dark fruit (plums) but this is quickly overwhelmed by piney and grapefruit hops. Now the hops are strong, but not burn your tongue strong, so dont expect it. I think the hops are just about perfect strength, and dont make the beer overly bitter,but I am not a hophead either. Very smooth brew that is easy to drink. No hint of the abv anywhere.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Features an off-white head over clear deep red liquid. Fresh and flowery hop nose, some malt sweetness, phenols and alcohol notes too. Great hop bitterness tasted along with slight sulphur/buttery/phenolic notes probably attributed to the Ringwood yeast character. Finishes very hoppy with a long and drawn out hop fade and some alcohol at the end. Very good, a great ale for those who love hoppy and potent brews such as myself!
Thanks to HappyHourHero for this one too.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber.
Cast a dark crimson hue, with prodigious foam, creamy-toned, nesting on top, looking very nice.
Aroma, big, bold hops, dark fruits, with malty undertones, smells more old ale-ish than IPA-like. Unusual, actually, I've sniffed this before, but can't recall where...probably certain English ales. Rubbery. Buttery? Oaky. Vanillaish. Odd, but likable.
taste: smooth, easy-drinking, with a medium body, and a long, soft, fruity finish. I'm not getting the hops I expected, though...they aren't screaming in my mouth, that's for sure. Perhaps the ringwood yeast has taken over this beer? Just doesn't taste much like an IPA at all. the 8% listed on the label doesn't stand out in the least. As a tasty, smooth English-style ale, yeah, it's got it going on...but as a wild, bellowing hop monster, it doesn't cut it...at least not this bottle.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red color, looks much like the Druid Fluid I had yesterday. Nice white greamy head. This beer seems to radiate with hops, ju solid tangy floral wall when you get any where near the glass. Taste is all over the place with hops bitterness, but I believe it is missing somesweetness, a very dry, somewhat smokey/sour DIPA. If it cut back on these flavors I believe this has the stength and the hotness of the chick on the label to be an elite DIPA. Still very good, and I thank Southernbrew for the final beer from his wonderful Georgia sampler.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber and red with a light tan head that leavesa sheen of lace.
Aroma of darker fruits, semi-sweet chocolate and that trademark fruitiness.
Flavor has strong caramel and fruitiness backed up by a gritty pine and resin bitterness. Not as sweet as a lot of this style but very enjoyable.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with high residual sweetness and some resiny bitterness.
Drinkability is good. Very interesting take on the style. Ringwood stands out in a very good way with this beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting label on this one to say the least. The Wench pours a deep brownish red with a nice two finger khaki head. This is one super dark double IPA that leaves nice lacing as the head recedes. Big piney/citirc hop nose with an interesting buttery caramel background.

First sip hits upfront with a nice bitter sticky pine hoppiness along with hints of citrus fruit. It's very well balanced with a nice caramel maltiness, accentuated by warm buttery notes. A damn fine double IPA that seperates itself from the pack.

There's a very nice body here along with a smooth, creamy taste that goes down easily. I could have a couple of bombers of this on the weekend and be content. Kudos to Middle Ages and to dmeadows for allowing me the opportunity to sample this one.

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Photo of krberg
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just have to say how much I hate Wailing Wench's label. It looks like a drunken, sex-obsessed, college student's 3rd project for a photoshop class. It is downright embarassing to buy sometimes.

Big cream head on a rich red, almost brown brew. It is a beautiful color that reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, and therefore quality.

Huge hop nose. Centennial? Challenger? I am almost positive it is one of those two. There is a good scent of the malt as well. It livens up the hops with its sweetness.

Beautiful. Not very bitter. Mostly flavor and aroma hops. Enough bitterness for balance. Very malty. Rich caramel like flavor is the backbone here. No fusel flavor. This is one of the best balanced DIPAs I have had yet.

The mouthfeel is truly exceptional. Very soft carbonation for a bottled beer. Especially for one that isn't bottle conditioned. It is the closest to a cask I've ever had.

I feel as if I could make this a session beer. Sure its 8%, but I drinks so nicely, that it would be hard to follow this act. If Wailing Wench was a 5-6 percenter, I would give it a 5 for drinkability.

Over all WW is a superb beer. A triumph for Middle Ages. It easily ranks in my top 20 bottled and top 10 on cask. Seek this beer out.

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Photo of clvand0
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shippos for bringing this one my way. 22oz bottle with an attractive and busty wench on the front. Nice. Pours a darker color than expected. It's almost a standard brown/amber color. Has a tall head that has good retention and leaves a nice amount of lacing behind on the glass. Huge aroma. The aroma is very mostly a grapefruity hop aroma, but there is a bit of malt hiding back there too. The flavor is not nearly as hoppy strong as the aroma would suggest. It's surprisingly well balanced as the malty goodness was hiding in the aroma, but it's right there in the flavor. The hop flavor adds a citrus/grapefruit feel to things and it finishes strong. Very well made. Drinkability is great for a Double IPA. Mouthfeel is right where it should be. No trace of the 9% alcohol.

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Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 458 ratings