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
Reviews by PatYoda:
Photo of PatYoda
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear orange brown color with a small but persistent head. Smell is mixed berries with a dry champagne-like quality. Very interesting! There is also some bready malt there. In the taste, the berries really come out. This is the first non-fruit beer I've ever had that had such a pronounced berry taste. The sweetness of the berries and malt is balanced out by an extreme prickly dryness which dominates the finish. Alcohol is also slightly noticeable but in a good way. Mouthfeel is very nice as well, but it could maybe use a bit more body. This sample is much better than the one I had a few months ago, so it appears that age has done it well. A very bold offering and definitely of the most interesting beers (which I mean in a really, really good way) I have had in awhile.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a nice medium brown with a little orange tint to it with a real nice creamy,rocky head that sticks very well,not much of an aroma some light fruitiness and alcohol smell to it.Taste is nice and and almost whisky-like with some dried fruit flavors with a dryish finish.A real nice beer from a brewery I like to drink from when in Buffalo visiting the future in-laws.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a La Fin goblet

Smells almost like candy fruity, like overly fruity/sweet/chewy/sticky kids candy. Floral hop aroma. Hops are very up front for a barley wine in my view. And while they rest on a malt body, little sweetness, light viscosity. More of that fruit, and a creamy butter that starts to be a little unpleasant just as the hops kick it out and leave a pretty dry finish. The bitterness of the hops does away with the butter just before it becomes obtrusive. Mouthfeel is creamy from the butter, prickly from the hops, and full from the malt. This is a one a night at most kinda beer for me. An interesting and unique barley wine. Not the nightcap style thicker, sweeter, deeper Im most partial to but interesting for sure.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Druid Fluid...gotta say I love the name. This one pours from the gold foiled bottle into my glass a nice deep, cloudy brown with hints of copper and red. A half inch of creamy bubbly khaki foam emerges with strings of intricate lacing across the glass. Nice! Aromas of rich sweet caramel meld with a touch of fresh baked buttered bread upfront. There's a nice herbaceous hop aroma along with some brown sugar, molasses and a touch of dark fruit. A nice aroma, but the touch of diacetyl is a bit distracting.

First sip brings a caramelly, biscuity maltiness upfront. Fairly sweet with a swirl of buttered bread flavor sneaking in yet again. Hints of brown sugar, plums, berries and raisins. The herbal, slightly citric hop bitterness hits on the way down and helps counteract the sweetness Finishes a bit slick with a lingering rich caramel/toffee note, alcohol is well hidden. Not bad..but it seems a bit strewn about.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a slickness to it. Goes down fairly easily while still having a good chewy barleywine body. At this point I'm not left wanting to reach for another, however this has been in my cellar for a bit so I'll look out for a fresh bottle to try at other time. Thanks to dmeadows for throwing this my way.

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Photo of blitz134
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice two finger thick layer of khaki head on the pour. Reduced slowly leaving nice thick lacing behind. Amber, caramel body. Quite clear with bubbles of carbonation.

Sweet and hoppy in the nose. Caramel and some raw sugar, some raisin other dark vinuous fruit aspects. Citrus and pine hops blend in well. Someone else mentioned butterscotch and I can pick that out ever so subtly, but is probably a byproduct of the Ringwood yeast that I believe MiddleAges still uses. Pretty nice.

Definately a barleywine when you take a sip. Lots of sweet malts and residual sugars. Caramel sweet and raw sugar again. Some sweet roll underneath as well. Dark fruits, raisins. Piney and citrus hops again with a touch of resin. Similar to the smell but the strong malt backbone adds some robust bread flavors that work well. A touch of spice lingers afterwards. Alcohol is just barely noticable but well hidden.

Nice full mouthfeel with crisp carbonation. Flavor lingers for a bit and then disappears leaving behind a subtle bitterness.

This is a solid American Barleywine. Really good stuff. Fairly easy to drink but its quite filling on the stomach, although I did have a sizable dinner not too long ago.

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

A new arrival at Tully's. In a snifter the beer was a cherry amber color with a medium-sized tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Aroma of citrus and piney hops. Some caramel.

Taste of herbal, piney hops, with citrus. The citrus was not too tart, so mostly orange. Caramel arrived later on, and complimented the hops nicely.

This was a smooth, unaggressive barley wine, Very nicely done.

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Photo of Todd
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, thanks to sponberg for bringing the sample from NY at our last BA gathering!

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with a golden foil wrapped neck. No bottled-on info, or vintage date.

Appearance: This is an unfiltered brew. Pours a hazy dark copper beer with light ruby hues, crowned with a healthy off-white cream head -- settles to a lovely lace with plenty of stick and retention.

Smell: Subdued big malts but plenty of raw fruity aromas and apple-skin, leafy hops, slight touch of must.

Taste: Initially, this is one smooth-ass beer, full-bodied with a thick, sticky, slightly chewy mouthfeel. The beer then goes coarse with a rather unique character ... loads of raw, leafy hop flavours and feel, tart apple, apple-skin, crisp, sharp citrus snap and bitty grain edge -- Ringwood yeast all the way! Sweet tropical-like fruitiness. Malt flavours are a bit masked by this flavour experience, but pull out with woody, toasty, light roasted and burnt caramel and raw honey notes. Finish is coarse, a bit oily, bone-dry and lingers for quite a while. A bit of wet paper (oxidation) here and there too. Alcohol is well hidden (in a spooky way) but hits the brain at half-way point.

Notes: A very English-like barleywine, with very complex characters that are not typical of your US-made variety. Well worth a try if you're looking for a big beer that's different. Damn tasty!

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Photo of sponberg
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now in 22 oz. bottles, fresh from the brewery. Cooper color, poured it a half hour ago and the head's still there. Citrusy hops over whiffs of alcohol and a toffee aroma. I've smelled it a hundred times and it never gets old.

This beer, fresh, is just SO tasty. Starts with a juicy, toffee-and-apricots maltiness and a big, bracing citric bitterness alongside some alcoholic aromatics and citrus overtones. Way in the background is a rounded malt sweetness. Finishes with a grapefruit rind dipped in butterscotch toffee flavor that's just so addictive. Silky smooth mouthfeel, and a growler of this would meet its demise VERY quickly.

Get one of these from the brewery if you can - great beer and great people.

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Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dreamy reddish amber hue, you’d swear there was a shade of burgundy in there also. Good lacing for a higher alcohol brew as some tend to poop out … not this one though.

Smell: Big juicy fruit moshpit in the nostrils, getting lots of fruitiness from exotic from the esters / higher alcohols and citric from the hops … all very ripe. Add a touch of yeast, a slathering of malt sweetness and side of toffee and you have a chaotically complex aroma.

Taste: Muscular and flexed palate, full bodied and creamy smooth with an expressive light crispness. A tad chewy up front with that same juicy fruit in the aroma, toffee is pronounced a bit more as the buttery diacetyl and malt sweetness infiltrate the taste buds. Pungency from the hop build a solid bitterness to counteract against the sweetness, fruitiness falls in places both from the yeast and hops. Higher alcohols are esters with a ghost appearance of the solvent kind.

Notes: Yeah, I just want to say “juicy fruit” again. This beer does not surprise me coming from this brewery, I expected something of this greatness to come fro them.

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this 12 oz bottle at the Asheville, NC, Pop The Cap event auction on 8/14/04. Sampled on 8/26/04. This pours a clear, copper amber body with a respectable, beige head that sets at about 2 cm. Attractive, patch lacing adorns the glass.

Aroma is hoppier than I was expecting, with tart, grapefruit rind, pine cones, and some notes of sour apple cider.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a hops bite, and some warming alcohol presence.

Taste is immediately complex and assertive. Hops are almost blistering, with a dominant, citrus rind presence. Good malt backbone underneath, with some caramel and red Delicious apple flavors. Nice combination of citrus rind and caramel apple flavors produce a very tasty Barleywine.

I expected this to be more British, in style, with a malt dominance. Overall, however, this has some kickass hoppiness that prevails. Nicely complex, highly drinkable, and an excellent Barleywine. Wish I could Middle Ages brews in my area.

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Photo of Billolick
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, consumed slightly below room temp. nice foil around the cap. adds a touch of class. Pours orangey amber, moderate head/carbonation, tiny bubble film and leaves moderate lacing. Vinious, musty nose, hints of varnish. Very dry barley wine, notes of paint remover, melon, brandy, honey, biscuits (can you say complex?) very resiny hops. Grapefruit notes. Strong stuff, probably would age nicely. I'll never know, I like this stuff too much. Interesting BW, worth checking out if you enjoy this style. alot going on in this one.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Special thanks to Beerguy...just one more reason to notice Frank @ Diversified Imports is filling RI w/ some fantastic brews.
Pours a rust color w/ a half a finger of creamy, tan head...sticks around for a bit and has really attractive lace w/ nice cling.
Faint juicyfruit aromas w/ tons of carbonation in the nose...a hint of alcohol is there as well.
The taste is ok...very bitter yet very little hop flavor. Has a decent malt character, but the alcohol is quite distracting.
Mouthfeel is quite thin for the style and can't say I'd be grabbing another one of these anytime soon.
Just average IMO...for me, so many better options out there.

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Photo of Samtoberfest
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First and foremost I must say, this was my first "real" beer in my first "real" beer pub.
Entering Mahars for the first time in Albany, NY, I knew I belonged. I printed a list, not knowing what it really was, and ordered one of the first beers on the menu under the title, "Cask." Druid Fluid, be it from mere alphabetical order or not, soon became a favorite of mine. Pumped straight from the cask, it was only about 10 degrees below room temp and with far less carbonation than traditional bud light every freshly 21 year old knows all too well.
For me, the most memorable aspect of this Barleywine was the smell and mouthfeel. Dipping your nose into this ruckus pint I can only imagine is the same as cutting up a handful of hops and snorting up more of those bad-boys than Johnny Depp in the movie, "Blow." Simply, it was pungent and oh so delightful. I knew my life had changed, I just didn't realize how amazing it would be (of course not just because of the heady buzz you get from drinking just a few "real" beers!).
Of course I didn't want to sit in this trendy bar sniffing my beer for hours like some out of place tourist taking pictures of a pile of American dog shit on the sidewalk. We'd just look silly. My cheeks have never got their asses kicked so hard before in my life. It was like a trailer for "Fight Club;" I was begging for more. It was smooth, yet fierce. Every beer before now went down without much consideration, but this changed everything. I swished it around, swallowed, and then repeated. And repeated. And repeated. It was hoppy, dry, sweet, and malty all at once. The ability for a beer to be so smooth, yet so strong was a new experience for me and one I will not ever forget.
Cheers to my first "real" beer that has been in need of a review for several years now!

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Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. gold foil wrapped amber bottle. Little wizard's (er....Druid's?) hat one the label. No freshness dating.

Poured a silky smooth-looking deep amber in color. The clear concotion supports a miniscule layer of off-white head. Spotty lacing of the glass. Aromas are intense! A very up-close-and-personal blast of candied apples and apricots doused in brandy. Attempting to balance this onslaught of fruit flavor is a bit of caramel/toffee sweetness. Flavor is tasty. I'm thinking that what I am tasting is the Ringwood yeast and it imparts a distinct flavor to the beer. Different and refreshing. There is a spicy, zesty ?orange rind? flavor up front. Middle sees some more caramel sweetness show up, only to be zapped by the wizard's (damn!!...DRUID's) wand of bitterness and fusel alcohol warmth. The very end imparts a strangely different aftertaste that I'm presuming is the ringwood yeast.

A different barlewine, to be sure. But one I really enjoyed. Another success from the Middle Ages folks.

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Photo of jakester
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours an incredibly clear (the clearest barleywine I've ever seen) orangish/red with a one finger head of cream colored foam. The head falls to a coating and a ring, with decent lacing.

Aroma is huge sweet caramel, dried fruits like pears, cherries, and raisins, nice floral hops, bubblegum, and slight alcohol at the end.

Flavor is great sweet caramel malt, dried fruits like above, fairly strong hop bitterness, some bubblegum, and I swear some spice I can't identify, which adds a nice touch. This is mighty tasty. Aftertaste is sweet, hoppy, spicy, fruity, and some warmth at the end.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with soft to medium carbonation. Back of the throat and tongue curl a little from hop[ bitterness. Finish dries out nicely.

This is incredibly drinkable for a barleywine. Dangerous. There is some flavor here that is really nice; I never tasted it in a barleywine before. Alcohol very well hidden. Highly recommended.

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

I could not resist reviewing this beer on the Winter Solstice. Pours a good head. The nose is all ringwood since it is a Middle Ages brew. Malty with a bit of hops to it. It has a good mouthfeel and is easy to drink for a barleywine. A solid brew. Cheers.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Druid Fluid opens with a nose that better fits an IPA than a barleywine, being ripe with pine and grapefruit hop notes. Once past these strong citrusy aromas, a base of white grape, brown sugar, and toast presents itself, but missing is the usual alcoholic sugarbomb aroma that accompanies most beers of this style.

On the tongue, the beer does prove far less hoppy than the nose would imply, beginning with a shot of brown sugar and descending quickly into a fruit ester-heavy body of figs and raisins, accompanied by a touch of port wine and a heaping mass of caramelized brown sugar and maple syrup. A good dose of fizzy white grape juice adds a champagne-like overtone near the edges, and hops make a strong presence throughout with grapefruit and pine flavors that strengthen as the brew is held in the mouth. Right at the end of the mouthful, a lovely layer of toasted pecans emerges. Unfortunately, in subsequent mouthfuls many of the more subtle and flavorful fruit esters--especially the fig and raisin--are subsumed underneath the hops, and the beer tastes more and more like an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-heavy, slightly burning the soft palate.

Overall, while the first sip of this beer was excellent, subsequent sips lost the initial potency and deliciousness of the sugars, resulting in an imbalanced beverage. Middle Ages (the brewer) does note that, when young, the beer is quite hoppy, and the malts become more pronounced as the beer ages. Perhaps this one is a good cellaring beer, then.

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Photo of juicebox
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of yankeeheel
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold foil removed, cap blasted off the bottle with much force. Have no idea how old this is, which would be nice to know. Really nice shade of amber/garnet. Smells slightly estery and floral. Classic underbelly of malt in the vapors. Highly hoppy. I assume this is the intention? Very IPA like with a nicely sweet undercurrent of fruity malt. Raisin, clove, pepper and sugar dance behind the hop veil. It's pretty well balanced but the over-hopped barleywine's just aren't my thing. Still a great beer.

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Photo of nnthom266
1.5/5  rDev -61.5%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first barleywine; I rated it a year ago almost to the day, during the beginning of my beer career. It was one of my first forays into unfamiliar styles. Now that I got a bottle for my brother to try, I'll take a few sips and give it a full review.

Poured into over-sized wine glass (in lieu of the snifters I left at school). Hazy orange/brown with a thick white head that receded slowly into a film of foam with delicate lacing and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge.
Smells of bready, nutty malt, slightly buttery with some crisp earthy bitter hops rising on a puff of booze.
Taste follows nose...crackery, nutty malt, slight diacetyl or other, with some crisp earthy piney hops pinching off the finish and leaving some sticky malt and bitterness left over at the end. Slight alcohol presence, pretty well hidden.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and medium-full.
Overall, seems an entry-level barleywine as I imagined it was. But except for the odd butteryness, it's appropriate for the style and well done, just not mind-blowing.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Semi-clouded copper hue with an off white cream colored head leaves fine specks of lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma: Great English style malts here blended with an edge of pine cone and orange peel thrown in for good measures, the nose is very peculiar but the creamy edge and citrus profile brings it together. Taste: Very sweet creaminess in the flavor some candi sugar is here creating alot of sweetness, but at the same time there's a load of hopes here fighting it out for the balance of sweet and bitterness. Who will prevail, well I'm not sorry to say that a draw was found due to the pure awesome mix that each caramel sugary malts and pine cone orange citrus hops add here to the complexity. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mild carbonation goes down without any cloying edges. Drinkability: Beware of the alcohol goes down quite smoothly here.

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Photo of richkrull
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

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