Druid Fluid | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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Druid FluidDruid Fluid
Very Good
343 Ratings
Druid FluidDruid Fluid

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-30-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 343 |  Reviews: 248
Photo of mikeg67
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, foamy white head. Aroma is of caramel malt, raisins, brown sugar and some hops. Body is full and crisp. Taste is of herbal hops, caramel malt and ripe fruit. Finish is long and hoppy. Good overall.

 254 characters

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bier82
1.78/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

What happened to this beer?! It use to be so good, picked one up at the brewery today. It smells skunked somehow, and tastes of bad stale bread. I couldn't take more than two sips of the bomber before dumping it.

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Photo of SadMachine
2.91/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Photo of Jwb1838
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Photo of mltobin
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Druid Fluid, despite being a little murky, still glows with brilliant pomegranate-coloured highlights. Impressively (and somewhat unusually) for a 9.5% barleywine, it has a thick and spongy, off-tan head that never dismantles. Hold the beer at any angle into the light and it glimmers like Christmas bobbles in a tree. Definitely get out the nice glassware for this one.

I love the sticky-sweet, figgy flavours of English Barleywines... but sometimes I love the sappy resins and festering citrus wedge notes of the American style even better. Tonight is one of those nights. The aroma still sports that familiar marmalade quality of the Old World originals albeit with less raisiny fruit and more botanical-like tree sap and tropical fruit nectar.

The palate is likewise distinguished by pine- and spruce-tinted flavours, zested and candied citrus skin (piths included) as well as a minority share of figs, dates and ripe purple plums. While the malt is deliciously gooey and smacks lightly of butterscotch, it's the leafy and lemon-accented taste of the hops that make the most lasting impression in the aftertaste.

Middle Ages doesn't put dates on their labels - it'd be a much better world if all breweries did - so I can't be sure of the exact age of this bottle, but it has spent more than a year in the cellar. Druid Fluid isn't a rough example to begin with but tonight's sample is especially mellow; there's a slight boozy, bitter hit on the end but it gives way to smooth apricot and date notes.

It's easy to be impressed by Barleywines, especially if you're new to them - they are among the richest and strongest ales out there. I first reviewed Druid Fluid over a decade ago and, a little to my surprise, I'm as impressed by it now as then. A style often associated with the winter or holiday season, it's indeed a perfectly supple, satiating accompaniment to a crackling fire.

 1,899 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Age unknown. Sampled on July 17, 2016.

The pour is a handsome looking reddish-mahogany with a lasting, soft tan tan.

The aroma is malt forward with the grittiness and sweetness of barley but a low to no hop profile. No alcohol in the aroma either. Some dark fruit.

Medium to full body. Although elements of acidity.

Abundant forward barley malt sweetness in the taste. Big bitter finale. Lingers. The booze is a little more noticeable in the flavor than in the aroma.

 499 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Harrison8
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky/opaque burgundy. Medium-thin off-white head. Fair retention. One ring of lace left behind. Sugary sweet malt in the aroma. Taste is very sweet, with continuous malt flavors being the only note. Feel is of medium consistency, and filling. Overall, a solid barleywine, but not something that draws me in for another glass.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 362 characters

Photo of WiggyKGB
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alcohline_trip
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of madelf66
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JoshWXST
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Wilson_Looker
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phurley2
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of utopiajane
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy at first then clearing. A sweet orange. Eye candy really with a fat head of creamy tan foam that lasted very well. Nose is light toffee and caramel with some crackery and breaddy scents as well. They used six different malts in this beer but they don't tell you which ones on their website. In fact I was surprised at how much beer they actually make there. In the store there are maybe 2 or 3 styles at any one time but they make many more than that. I have to say that while I was enjoying the nose on this beer I asked myself why haven't I bought any of their beer before? I think it's the labelling, no freshness dating and the shelf placement. Hops are herbal and citric but not terribly citric so I think beer has some age on it. There is a good amount of ticklish or tangy hop spice to greet the nose as well as a very firm herbal that does not outshine the malt even though it is quite prominent.

The taste really surprised me. The mouthfeel is a a creamy and smooth malt with layers of complexity that unfolds on the palate after an initial citric burst of flavor. These hops are integral to keeping the perception of lightness in the mouthfeel. The bitterness is firm but not prominent and that is just enough to give a slight flourish at the front palate while the silken malt slides gracefully to the finish. No alcohol on the palate and in the finish just a bit of warmth. As the beer warms the malt shows a bit of nuttiness. This drinks with only a bit of sweetness in the finish and plenty of hops to carry it through, nothing cloying or syrupy.

Outstanding and Excellent!

 1,600 characters

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber served at cellar temperature into a tulip glass. No freshness date indicated. Purchased while visiting the Empire State.

Appearance - Pours a dark orange nearly brown colored beer with a whoosh sound from a lot of carbonation being released upon the pour.Quite hazy and an initial finger of ivory head is poured. That recedes quickly to a thin quarter finger of foam and sparse lacing is left around the rim of the glass.

Smell - An interesting blend. Initially musty with a dry citrus aroma, papaya, mango and a little lime zest, then wallop of molasses supercharges your nose. Quite sweet with plenty of fruity and sugary esters shining through. Definitely among the most aromatic noses in a barleywine.

Taste - Starts moist and juicy with citrus falvors the mango and lime show up most prominently, then mouth puckeringly dry and bitter with some earthy hop flavors next. Then finishes with some malty flavors in the form of molasses and /or butterscotch.

Mouthfeel - Appears juicy initially but finishes mouth puckeringly dry, one of the driest beers I've ever had. Carbonation is quite expressive and body overall is reasonably light, but the dryness is the main attraction feature.

Overall - Depedning on how dry you like your beers to finish, this may fluctuate. I'm not partial to a particularly dry beer, but the flavors work together in a way that permits this. Overall reasonably easy to drink, as far as big sippers go. Taste is good and nose is substantial and a little different which is really pleasant. Not my favorite barleywine, but well-made nonetheless.

 1,591 characters

Photo of edzo22
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of melitameister
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

This bottle was purchased in the year 2000, with a big white tag around the neck "Limited Production 2000 Millennium Vintage." I have had several of them over the years. This one hid away in the cellar for too long, but it has survived and retained surprising finesse.

Gorgeous layers of mahogany color with those many years showing in rich depth. When the bottle was opened, could have sworn I had spilled turpentine for a second. But the fowl air left quickly, and the pour revealed whiffs of aged bourbon. Less complex than this beer once was, but gentle raisin, leather, ash, caramel and alcohol are melded tightly together now. Taste is initially two dimensional, with none left of the original wallop of a fresh Druid Fluid. With each sip however, the depth of its essence builds. Sweetness is not completely gone, but lush hoppy bitter cascades over the tongue, and the gentle aromas listed above all unfold in the mouth ending in rich whiskey alcohol fumes that slide up the nose and hold their delicious notes. Yumm.

This fine drink was a killer after a few years. Now, it's back a few steps from its zenith, but very surprised how much character has been retained and smoothed with age.

Nother bottle down there. Better get to it.

FOLLOW UP: May 2016 - Opened the last bottle. This beer is more than 16 years old. Can't believe it retained a bit of carbonation. I have a cellar with quite a few beers that are probably too old. For example, enjoy comparing my favorite beer, Bigfoot, over different years. But nothing in my cellar seems to be still delicious after more than 8 years. This is the exception. Wonderful. Most of Todd's description still applies.

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Photo of DoubleMalt
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of kell50
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ambruns1979
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LooseMoose1978
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Florida9
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Druid Fluid from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 343 ratings