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Druid Fluid | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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very good
246 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 246 | Ratings: 337
Photo of MVotter
4.94/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma from the freshly opened bottle: floral hops, roses actually

Aroma after the pour: citrus and floral hops, some malts ... this is going to be yummy.

The Middle Ages Druid Fluid pours into a tall pils glass a foggy copper, with a huge, tan head ... excellent retention in the lacing.

First impressions of the taste of this brew are hops. In the finish, there is a dual experience of malts and hops, providing a terrific balance in the overall taste in this barleywine.

The mouthfeel is superb; an excellent blending of carbonation and gravity ... very complimentary to the style and taste of this brew.

Middle Ages Druid Fluid is a very drinkable brew. You never know what to expect with a barleywine, but this one is very impressively balanced. In fact, it reminds me of a nicely balanced double imperial pale ale, and better than a lot of them!

My favorite barleywine so far.

Bravo, Middle Ages!

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Photo of TagoMago
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Cloudy, dark copper with a red hue. Pours with a nice head which fades to a nice creamy foam layer coating the top of the beer, providing some fine lacing.

Smell: Wow! What an aromatic brew! There is a pronounced fruitiness upfront, with some solvent-like alcohols that combine with the malts and yeast, leaving this beer with one hell of a heavenly aroma.

Taste: Full-bodied and exceptionally smooth and creamy. Malty and fruity, esthery elements are profound upfront. The beer is rather sweet from the malts, but is balanced out by the hops. A lingering hop bitterness combined with a malt sweetness lie in the finish.

Overall: This is easily one of the best American barleywines I've ever had. Simply flawless! The key word here is smooth. This is one heavenly brew from beginning to end. Highly recommended!

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Mahar's. From notes.

A: Hazy orange in my pint glass with 2 fingers of white head.

S: Definitely a lot different than the bottle. Much more complex. Cask was meant for a beer like this.

T: Again very complex. Some light hops up front. After that it was this strange wonderful taste I have never experienced before. I do not even know how to describe it. Bitterness in the finish that is cut down by the alcohol.

M: Cask carbonation. Full body that really had a nice thick feel.

D: Since I live near Mahar's I drink quite a bit of cask beer. This one blew my mind. I really am not that into Barley Wines but this was simply amazing. Probably would not have more than 2 pints a night but if they have it on cask again I am all over it.

Update: On cask this beer is simply dumb. I had it next to Old Guardian on tap and the old guardian looked like a rookie.

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Photo of EPseja
4.8/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history lived a strange race of people: the Druids. No one knows who they were, or what they were doing, but their legacy remains, hewn into the living rock... of Stonehenge... and in this fantastic beverage called Druid Fluid.

Found this bottle at Cable Beverage in Bardonia, nestled way in the back, forgotten on a low shelf. It was covered with dust. Hmm... Barleywine + dust + dark back of shelf = Good chance this was aging for a bit.

Served from a 12oz. gold foil-wrapped bottle at cellar temperature in my trusty Duvel tulip.

A - Bright toasted orange color with some minor flecks in hazy suspension. Beige head rises to just about an inch, but with a dense bubbly surface like pancakes cooking on the griddle. Lacing is craggy and chunky, forming lava-rock craters on the inside of the glass with up to 1/4 centimeter of relief in places. Incredible! Never thought I'd be measuring head horizontally...

S - Sweet floral malty hoppiness. Wonderfully orchestrated hybrid of malts and hops. Flavorful dessert breads with candied fruits. Spice cookies. Caramel honey. I could keep my nose buried in this all night.

T - The overt malty sweetness that is initially expected in the beginning is supressed just enough to allow the fragrant hoppiness to share the stage in the middle and the back of the tongue. The finish is lightly drying like a sherry, but with a touch of tartness that adds just enough dimension. Aftertaste is like dime-store candy cigarettes and Willy Wonka Bottle-Caps. A well-creafted taste journey.

M - Substantial on the way in without being syrupy. Mildly tingly on the tip of the tongue, providing a gentle numbing sensation that disappears before the next sip. Initially turns low-tide rollingly foamy in the mouth, then subsides to a slick and sensational swallow.

D - This is one incredibly crafted barleywine. Makes you think you want another until you read that it's 9+% ABV. What? That much? You'd never know. Must be Druid's magic that makes this one into the gem that it is...

And oh how they danced, the little children of Stonehenge...

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Again, thanks to shippos and clvand0 for bringing this one my way. What a great name. Druid fluid. I'm not quite sure how I feel about drinking it.

This one pours a slightly pale copper color with a finger of head that falls to a healthy coating over the beer. The nose is really nice, with a nice blast of citrusy hops over tope of a really nice thick caramel malt. It smells really damn good. The flavor is nice. Very balanced between super fantastic grapefruity sweet hops and very mellow but pronounced caramel malt. The hop also rides on as a residual bitter, but in the best wey. No offensiveness, no harshness. All sweet hop. The feel is nice and thick, bordering on slightly syrupy. Very coating over the tongue. Shit. I just checked the ABV and it says 9.5. I would have guessed 7, just because I know its a barleywine. Wow. Not even a hint of that alcohol anywhere. This beer is dangerous...in a good way. I will need t find a way to get this beer in Kentucky again.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I also had the pleasure of this mighty brew on cask at the toad. Aged 2 years this had really come into its own. Not as raw as the bottle fresh version. Poured a hazy mahogony color with a little bit of white head. Smell was great with huge esters seeping down my nostrils and tickling my throat along with a serious bit of piney hops to balance out the huge malted notes. Taste was like drinking carbonated molassas. It was so tasty with huge rolling waves of caramel and molassas sweetness morphing into pure brown sugar coupled with a more subdued hop taste and huge notes of alcohol. This was a rare treat and perfect for the gathering.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.73/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is another great beer from Middle Ages. Druid Fluid pours a dazzling pumpkin orange color with just a bit of haziness. The head retention is flawless, leaving behind gobs of light orange lacing on the glass.

Smells of earthy hops, sweet candy, a bit of citrus, more fruits, caramel and a good amount of malt.

Tastes like a Barley Wine should (IMO). A good balance between hops, malts ,fruits and alcohol. Notes of caramel, fruits ( plums and other dark fruits), and a bit of alcohol.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my all time favorite brews. Pours a dirty tan head, holds up better than most Middle Ages. Its a cloudy dark amber beer with a slight orange hue. Smells like a sweet Worther's Original. This beer is just so damn smooth, how strong is it? Oh man, be careful, this is like liquid crack, highly addictive. There's a butterscotch-hoppyness to the taste, very interesting. Its gone! Where am I gonna score my next fix?

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to Southernbrew for this much anticipated beer. Nice dark scarlet color, with a huge, fluffy, off white head. Smell is very hoppy, with brown sugar malt, and strong traces of alcohol. Taste is very raw and peppery, also slight smoke traces. A dry flavor overall, alcohol and large hops finish dominate this experience. Mouthfeel is full and well carbonated. Slight alcohol burn.

A very good barleywine, one that could definitely be laid down for with very positive mellowing efects. Thanks again to Southernbrew for my first beer from Middle Ages, which turned out to be a fine barleywine.

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Photo of Skidz
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to shippos for this fine beer, amongst the BIF 10 delicacies he tossed my way. Cheers!

Pours out a hazy orange brown and sits a nice burnt amber in the glass with a good sized light tan head. Holds on tight and fades to a light skim and coats the glass in a fine layer of lace.

Smells bright and citrusy with vibrant tones of orange, grapefruit and pineapple. Submerged malty core lends bundles of caramel and toffee. Resiliant hop presence dumps out boatloads of fruits. Canned peaches, apple cider and golden raisins all float around in the mix.

Tastes mildly sweet up front, full malty presence. Apples, pears and faint touches of dark fruits, figs and raisins, speckle the sides. Hop bitterness is well-balanced and offers some good traces of orange rind and lemon. Caramel ensues, coating the tongue with sugary sweetness. Fades out, back into a nice hop bitterenss that linges well on into the finish. Citrus oils stick to the roof of the mouth.

Outstanding mouth presence. Smooth and buttery with extra-fine carbonation that rolls around quite well. Body is medium-full and very approachable. Fantastic.

For me, this is a near perfect barleywine. It's an all-inclusive brew, combining aspects of particular variations of IPA, with their citrusy-goodness, and a much more malt based old ale. Not only can this be consumed very easily, it can also be stored for ages! Let those hops mellow out, and you've got a nicely balanced barleywine. This particular bottle has been around in my possesion for about seven months and is very well-balanced, but still shows many signs of rich citrus hops. I need a new bottle.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
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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Photo of cokes
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed-through burgundy-orange. Ample sandy foam stays afloat for several minutes before migrating to the edges.
Nose-bursting aromas of candied apricots and and boozy pine forests.


Sugared oranges of the mandarin variety. Some juicy red apples. Peaches in heavy syrup. Sweet maraschino cherries. The whole damn fruit salad is in here.
Layered below is a chewy butter-toffee base mixed with burnt brown sugar. The Ringwood yeast works in perfect harmony with all aspects of this beer. Gets gradually drier with splinters of wood, dough balls and, quite possibly though not definitely, a ghosty bitter chocolate sensation. Finishes with a small but bitter surge of grapfruit and pine hops. Alcohol is steadfast with occasional hot flourishes, but is generally well masked.
Slippery and full within the mouth.
Really delightful stuff. And staggeringly drinkable for a baby barleywine. How much more stately can this become with age?

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Photo of Buebie
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh bomber courtasy of joepais.

Poured into a surly tulip. A good frothy 2 inch off white head forms, leaving behind sticky thick lace and a very generous colar.
A hazy dull copper in color.

Aromas of sweet buscuity malt, plenty of pine and grapefruit hop bite and a buttery honey aroma. As its warmed there is a larger amount of citrus like ornage peel/ grapefruit peel aroma. Also much more pronounced in the flavor, especially lingering after the swallow.
Carbonation up front, giving way to a smooth full bodies mouthfeel.
The taste upfront is sweet and quite malty, also a good amount of hops. Continuing into a hop spiral of bitterness, that grows and grows until the hops dominate the taste into the finish. Very extrodinary hop profile here. Absolutly no alcahol picked up on this at all.
This is a terrific example of a barley wine, probably the most hoppy version I've ever had. Bordering American strong.

Very delicious brew. I very much would like many more of these.
Thanks alot Joe!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stegmakk for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tannish head which lasted forever, then some really nice islands and sticky lacing followed. The nose is sweet malty, and lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly bitter, with a nice touch of caramel. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Very drinkable, a different barleywine in my book, but very very tasty.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at the brewery tap :-) Dark ruddy amber/brown with a nice collar of khaki foam. The aroma is complex and it consists of dark fruits, caramel, roasted malts, alcohol, toffee, fresh, somewhat raw, herbal hops, and more! This is one hell of a beer. The taste is also very, very complex. I taste a sweet, juicy blast of fruit flavors up front, with a deep caramel malt backbone that also shows hints of toffee. The finish is juicy, with fresh green hops stealing the show. The mouthfeel is thick, coating and perfect, and the finish is very warming and decadent. The drinkability is also awesome for a barleywine. In fact, this is almost a "session" barleywine! Awesome stuff. Truly.

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Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
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 clvand0
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shippos for this one. Pours an amber color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma has a good caramel character with some citrus hops. The flavor is incredibly smooth for the level of alcohol. The caramel malts and the hops blend very well and make for a really enjoyable brew. Drinkability is really good, especially for the level of alcohol.

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Photo of Gusler
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ultimate delight to see, a “Barley Wine”, all murky and masculine sitting in the glass, the massive light tan head floating on that reddish-purple liquid, and the nose, “Robust”, nay I say, sinewy, lusty, vigorous are words needed to describe this beer. Fusel alcohol, over ripe pineapple, corn mash, lightly sweet and oh so pleasant an aroma for the schnozzle. Thick malt at the front, the top muscular, the finish alcohol bitter and the hops devastating in their spicy bite, potently acidic, aftertaste dry and alcohol bitter, “Oh Yeah Baby”, I love it.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Thin gold foil covers a crown cap which has the ‘Middle Ages Brewing Co. Ltd.’ Logo which in turn grasped the mouth of this 12 fluid ounce standard brown glass bottle. Main label has a purple background with a moons & stars covered sorcerers red cap which is surrounded by the words ‘Middle Ages Druid Fluid Barleywine Style Ale’. No other description, strength or Best Before date.

Appearance: Single 12 oz. pour into my Duvel goblet. A thick head quickly rises and falls, if finishes with a thick cream colored ring halo that nestles against the fluid meniscus and glass walls. Minimal but resilient lacing wrestles with finely dissolved but lazy carbonation on the swirl. Turbid rusty body phases from a LA light brown smog to glowing dark orange through to a ruddy sunset red depending on the angle of the incandescent or fluorescent light.

Nose: A very attractive nose evolves as it warms. Malts pander and eventually make way for a lovely fruit salad aroma. Sautéed pineapples, plums and diced pears all mingle with splashes of caramel and raw alcohol with hints of rum.

Taste: The soft malts and mixed fruits banner-wave in the entrance whilst the bitter hop marching band brings up the rear. The finish has a lovely alcohol soaked bitterness which lingers. Gorgeous.

Mouthfeel: Volcanic bitterness erupts in the back end and nicely balances the fruity malts and warming alcohol. Smooth yet virulent. The carbonation is just right for this one, finely dispersed and adequately supporting without taking over. alsmost perfect.

Drinkability: Soft and bold, firm yet cuddly, this one is a very nice accompaniment to the end of the night. Sits extremely well on the palate and drinks with some aplomb. Difficult to put down but very easy to 'put away'.

Overall: A cracking Barleywine, well worth trying.

Thanks to ericaweizen for the chance to try my second Middle Ages brew!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: a light plummy color, between red and violet, qute lovely, with a perfunctory, 1/4" off-whitish head.
Aroma: big fruit, but mildly hoppy, strong booze.
Taste: well-rounded, with prominent fruitiness, but bending towards an inoffensive malty vein, though still flowering with herbal, even vegetal associations. Quite a lot going in this flavor, though relatively mild on the palate. As we go, still bursting with a winey character, very bright fruit, extraordinarily flavorful, but not too harsh, not too brash. Just right, mellow and so very tasty.
As a lover of the barleywine style, I'd say, even at, what? 9.5%?, it fills an important niche, the "session strong ale." Potent, but not punishing. Well, maybe you couldn't have too many at once, but it feels like you could attempt it!
Big thanks to McCall for this one!

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Photo of dfillius
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed while camping on the Saco River, ME. Cooled the bottle in the river, poured into a quart canning jar.
A: Moderate pour yields 3 fingers of light tannish-cream pillowy beautiful head. Clear peach crimson liquid. Very nice looking.
S: Nice hoppiness with caramel and peat notes. This is like a very hoppy scotch ale. Slight metallic notes detract.
T: Great malt character has good sweetness. No alcohol at first but it arrives to the party later. Some chocolate notes. Great bitterness is restrained but substantive.
M: Bitter, slightly warm. One of the best mouthfeels from a barleywine I've had due to low heat. Hearty body.
D: High. This is a fine Barleywine with a dynamic well mixed flavor. I'd order another and buy again.

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Photo of putnam
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Crackling fruity aromas of maraschino cherry, apricots and bananas greet the nose from this reddish orange, frothy liquid.
Cocoa and vanilla appear there as well before the resinous, bitter seed flavors of the mid-palate appear. These are fresh, rustic, and ripe flavors. Even the wood is sweet! It contributes bitter cola and vanilla elements to the interminable finish.
Palm leaves, coconut and red berries decorate monsterous, enduring bitterness.

Thanks to Todd!

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Photo of scotorum
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another bomber I bought almost fourteen months ago and cellared for later. This is later.

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Clear amber with a two inch tall offwhite head which receded rather quickly to even surface foam and nearly solid lacing.

s: Ripe fruit.

t; Initial fruit flavor over a mnedium caramel malt base. The latter becomes more prominent and dominant as it warms (initially served at 48 degrees F). Sweetish to dry finish. High ABV is amazingly well hidden.

m: Very silky smooth, some carbonation tingle.

o: A wonderful fluid! If this was not 9.5% ABV I could drink it all night. Dunno if the aging helped it, it is more malty than most barleywines I have had, but I sure enjoyed it, one of the best I've had in some time!

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into an Ommegang tulip. No date on the bottle.

Look- Clear rosy copper-amber hue with a big, craggy head that clings to the sides of the glass and leaves a tight lacy web with a foamy ring near the top of the glass as it falls oh-so-slowly. A moderate amount of carbonation is apparent thanks to the rising bubbles.

Smell- A bright fruit arrangement hits the nose from the start- strawberries, mango, and pineapple come to mind. More subdued are dates and other dried stone fruits, along with caramelized sugar, some sort of spice (nutmeg?), and a faint alcohol presence. Agitation brings out the darker fruits and alcohol a bit, along with a stronger citrusy bite.

Taste- Rather tame after the aroma, though the sweet/tart fruitiness is still the driving force. Starts off snappy, like pineapple, switching over to sweeter apple and banana before it rolls into the darker, tannic, preserved fruits like dates and prunes. A faint bready/yeasty undercurrent is present, but never emerges on its own in any significant way. The aftertaste is light, oaky, and reminiscent of candied pears. As the bottle warms, the overall feeling does as well, with the fresh bread flavor transitioning to more of an aromatic hardwood and a light buttery flavor makes an appearance in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Slick/oily with light to moderate carbonation, This is a relatively heavy brew that still goes down smooth. Lightly acidic up front, and the touch of bitter dryness it leaves on the tongue is just enough to urge for another sip, without being cloying despite the sweetness. Drinks like raw milk- creamy, oily, and slightly bitter- it's unique and personally I think it's fantastic.

Overall- I really have to say that this is one the easiest-drinking full-bodied beers I've had to date, and the rather high ABV coupled with the complex character and drinkability makes this one a dangerous indulgence. Hats off to Middle Ages once again.

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Photo of Dartswizard
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is great barley wine "style" ale !!!
First thing noticed out of the bottle is the wonderful color, a rich reddish amber, the next observation is the smooth flowing almost silky looking head that stayed the entire first pint while leaving perfect lacing.
The nose is typical of English ale and ever so present in this fine example of an American barley wine the hoppiness is the main event in this beer, very similar to that in the I.P.A.’s that I love so much
This is not for anyone who does not like a hoppy beer. Please if you want to experience a great example of an American barley wine please try this one. As I am indulging in my second pint while writing this I must conclude my review so I can further enjoy this marvelous brew.

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Druid Fluid from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.91 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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