Druid Fluid | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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:
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Reviews: 246 | Ratings: 337
Photo of TommyW
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy, dark amber/gold (think apple cider) with a nice sticky, white head.

S- Lots of different tropical and citrus fruits on top of some malt aromas with touches of hops and alcohol.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Variety of tropical fruit, citrus flavors from the hops, notes of caramel malts and alcohol.

M- Smooth and full feel.

D- A pretty nice American barleywine; pretty fruit-forward profile which is pretty nice.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and stimulating fruity barleywine. A bit off the beaten path for the style.

Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Simple purple label with a whimsical-magical themed design barely using cartoonish typography with the name of the brew and a magicians conic hat in the center. Lacks bottling or freshness date and any other info other than noting the style. Poured into a snifter.

A - Medium to deep amber pour with an inch head that fades quickly leaving some lacing on its way down.

S - Citric, grapefruit but mandarin probably more than anything else, with a faint caramel maltiness.

T - Fruity hoppiness, very soft, with a malty back range. There is a great unbalanced sense here that works rather well, US barleywine maybe, but it is not so much hoppy bitterness, but a grapefruit and estery flavor that carries it beyond the smell in a big and characteristic way.

M - It's a medium body with fine/soft carbonation and a smooth feel, with a tangy finish.

D - Nice fresh barleywine, makes for a good sipper but would probably be better suited for something like a tulip glass.

Notes: A bizarre barleywine... Not what I would look for typically in the style but a very enjoyable brew in its own right. For a US version it sure is hoppy but here a fruity note predominates and in a way that makes it rather drinkable.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one while at the recording studio...

A: Interesting copper / ruby color. Nice thick off-white head that never completely dies. Very good looking.

S: I can smell it all the way from here while my glass sits on the table. Smells good, but doesn't bring a whole lot new to the table. Smells hoppy with slight roasty malts following. Good, but not great.

T: Super hoppy. With a bad backend that almost tastes like cough syrup. Not too good. The hops help mask the cough syrup taste.

M: Leaves no good flavors on your tastebuds once consumed. Nothing special.

D: Nothing special in the department either.

All in all, this brew is not that great. If you enjoy very hoppy beers, then definitely try this brew once. Any more than that is not necessary. Not for me.

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Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One fingers worth of fairly standard eggnog colored head with a cluster of larger bubbles in the very center and smaller ones around the periphery... Only the slightest retention which gives way to full inviting lace that is slightly veiled in the center, through the larger bubbles referred to before remain, with a ring of foam around the froth... Some slow paced deliberate carbonation rises as it clings to the sides of the glass... An extremely murky rust colored medium brown color...

S - The aroma is quite pleasant though subdued... Sweet grape soda... Fig... Toffee... Orange... Pineapple... Raisins... A complex and enjoyable nose, and just a bit more umph would have pushed the rating higher in the

T - To begin, the taste resembles a nose almost identically (grapes, mandarin oranges, raisins, fig, grapefuit, pineapple), but as soon as the liquid leaves the tongue the hops are much more pronounced and are the sole source of any aftertaste...

M - Full bodied... Sits quite heavy on the tongue... Only a vague carbonation is present... This is where beer that's been teetering on the fence getween good and very good falls solidly back onto the good side... The mouthfeel isn't bad, I just expect much more from a barely wine... No stickiness... No creaminess... No complexity...

D - An enjoyable offering from Middle Ages (a very underrated brewery), but far from their best and far from a top tier Barleywine... Definately was not a struggle to finish, but I"m not sure this is one I would recommend or seek out given the great array of American and English Barleywines available...

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Photo of Minotaur
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

The beer pours with a thick but only mildly retentive head that leaves a nice thick lacing. The color is a light brown-deep amber with copper-yellow highlights at the bowl of the glass.
There is a medium level of carbonation.

The aroma is very thin, issuing out just a little bit of pine-grapefruit hoppiness. The sweetness that comes through is toasted and a little yeasty.

The flavor has a balance tilted slightly toward the hops. The taste is sharp with bitterness on the back and sides of the tongue, but not without a sense of overall harmony from the malts. There is a syrup quality in the taste and mouthfeel. Something a bit caramel or maple like - possibly honey - gets stronger on the tongue as the beer warms. The bitterness and hops do not make a terribly complex brew but it does provide a round and layered taste. The alcohol is present in a whiskey like vapor and heats up quickly as you move through the glass.

The beer has a good mouthfeel - it is full and smooth. However with the level of hop and alcohol a bit more creaminess would be beneficial. This is heavy and drinks more like liquor than beer. There is a roughness to it that some more age may smooth out. But even relatively young it is very palatable.

While the brewery lists their beers as English style ales, this is definitely closer to the American Barleywine style in the hops intensity.

Overall a good baseline Barleywine that presents a balanced example of the American style.

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Photo of scifan
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this 22 as an extra in a trade with aerozppl. Pours a very hazy, amber-ruby color with a nice off white colored head. It sticks around for a little while but settles nicely leaving some nice lacing as it quietly recedes. Smells sweet with a heavy dose of caramel. Also some piney hops help balance it out. There is some sort of "staleness" lurking back there. Can't really tell what it is but its there. I think it might be a touch to cold. The first couple of sips reveal some nice malty sweetness, and a good dose of piney bitter hops. I think its a nice balance between the two. I'm getting quite a bit of diactyl, almost sort of buttery. It's slightly off putting. Also a nice touch of alcohol. I think the carbonation level is spot on and it has a slightly creamy feel. This would have been a very good beer if not for those slightly off flavors. Maybe one day I can give it another shot.

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Photo of bort11
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In coming from mday for this year's Secret Santa

22 oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head tulip. Tall egg cream head that leaves chunks of lace left and right. Color is a dark and murky brown red.

Smell is mildly citrus from the hops, but there is still a lot of dark dried fruits coming in from the malt. Taste is pretty well balanced between the hops and the malts, but it is obviously an American Barleywine. There are some dried apricot and fig flavoring

Mouthfeel has a solid medium body, not overly thick and chewy, but no where near thin.

Had to post some Spinal Tap for this one

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 received a while back from Boatshoes in an incredible trade... thanks amigo. This is part of my ongoing, "I'm broke and drinking cellar reserve" nights... poured into my Delirium goblet.

Pours a fairly hazy darker orange... not a lot of head or retention.. and no lacing.

Nose is is mainly citric hops and minor caramel with some odd sorta Belgian phenols .... pretty EtOH hot.

Flavor is more like an aged DIPA than a standard American BW... could use more of everything especially malts.... the body is also a bit lite... needs to dial back the sugary sweetness a bit but somehow it still needs more malt depth.

Okay... by no means great.. it has nice bones, but needs alot of work to reach the potential that it is showing.


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Photo of coldmeat23
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

This pours the color of golden ochre and has some beautiful ruby/pink highlights. A thickly creamy head of off-white colored foam, about two-fingers worth, sits on top. The retention is really good and the lacing is in 'ropes' that circle the glass at each level when you take a drink.
Very good presentation.

A mild caramel malt presence, which is less than expected. A light citrus presence, due to hops, presumably. Mild yeast notes and light hints of maraschino cherries. Definitely has a sweet candy-like scent to it, it's just fairly mild.

This is an example of taking balance too far. The taste follows the nose, very well. Sadly though, everything is so equally represented in the flavor, that nothing stands out to be noticed. It's kind of like smooth jazz....sure, there's something going on there, but I don't really care...it's just kind of boring.

It's in the medium-to-full bodied range. It has a medium level of carbonation. This gives it a super smoothness, with a slight touch of creaminess.

Sure, it's very drinkable, but for me personally, I don't see the point. Maybe my expectations where just too high, but I'm letdown by this one.

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Photo of bobsy
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe this was a 2007 vintage and was brought to our barleywine tasting by Derek - thanks for sharing!

Pours a clean amber colour with a finger of off-white head that dropped to a film and left some nice streaks of lace. Big hops in the nose, and still present in force despite a couple years in Derek's basement. Mostly c-hops backed up with a string caramel base, which really puts me in mind of a double IPA, and shows the fine line between that style and American barleywines. Surprisingly for a barleywine, the malts seem a little bit weak, and not quite strong enough to balance out the hops. Caramel sweetness does its best to take down the hops, but they make it clear who rules this joint. Grapefruit and pine kiss the tongue, and this made a nice change up too some of the more malty brews. I had this back to back with a sample of 2007 Bigfoot, and there are a lot of similarities. Medium body and carbonation is about right for the style.

Perhaps another couple years will help balance this one out more, but its still enjoyable for what it is.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber with a couple of years on it brought by Derek to Rob's great barleywine tasting - thanks Derek!

Pours an amber/auburn color with lots of head and good retention still.

Compared to just about all the other brews that night this one stands out for the strength of the hops still remaining. Lots of citrus in the nose and taste, lemons, oranges, grapefruit rind, pine resin, grassy - all balanced by a sticky sweet caramel backing that tries hard (and probably fails a little) to keep up to the hops and the alcohol bite in the back. This almost feels like it falls into DIPA territory. For a couple of years on it, it's a nice surprise and lets me know it could take a few more fine. Delicious, though ultimately a little unbalanced. Tasty though!

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Photo of Derek
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cellared for 2 years.

A: Copper with an off-white head, very little head with a thin ring of retention.

S: Caramel, grapefruit rind, pine, plenty of alcohol.

T: The alcohol is really upfront (surprising for its strength & aging), grapefruit rind, pine & caramel. Good bitterness.

M: Incredibly dry.

D: It doesn't have the malt or the hops (due to aging?) to back up the alcohol in this beast.

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Photo of BarrelO
2.24/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Ruby red body with a decent enough head. Things start to go downhill with the smell, which combines a highly artificial candy-like aroma with citrus hops. The flavor profile is similar, with the hops barely balancing out the rather gross candy flavors. Needless to say, this was a huge disappointment. Probably the worst barleywine I've ever had.

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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 rhinos00
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. 2008 Vintage.

A- Pours a lighter amber color with great clarity. Produced two fingers width of off-white head. Reduced to a frothy ring throughout consumption.

S- Candied, sugar malts dominate the front of the nose. Little bit of dark fruit in there as well. Not that bad of an aroma, just a little too one dimensional.

T- Much like the aroma. Candied malts yield somewhat of a fruit like flavor. This is the predominant taste and is followed by plenty of hops bitterness. Once again, there was no complexity here. Very straight forward.

M- Body lacked, especially for a barleywine nearing 10% abv. Medium bodied, decent carbonation, but wasn't as viscous as I had hoped for.

D- Very easy to drink. Nothing offensive in this beer to hinder its drinkability.

Overall, solid above average barleywine. Could have used a lot more complexity as nothing in this beer challenged the palate. Still, not too shabby for an every day beer.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with a very nice rocky head. Huge plus points for the cool head, especially on a barleywine. A little lighter than Old Guardian/Old Horizontal, which I've had in the past couple days.

Aroma is way more hop-centric too. Nose is full of American hops, but falls short of the lupulin intensity of a double IPA and is balanced out with some British crystal malt.

Taste is sweet, but more like table sugar than unfermented wort. Some slight Belgian type candy sweetness to it. Hop flavor is a mixture of American pine and British floral flavors. A little astringent and the bite from the alcohol isn't completely clean.. a little grainy on the tongue. A bit of juicy hops as well.. Amarillo/Centennial? Devoid of grapefruit though.. interesting combination.

I think this should be a little dryer to get the mouthfeel right and the juicy-hop addition, whatever it is, clashes with the pine. Could've been a nice and clean American Barleywine but it's a weird British/American mixture. Good flavor all around tho.. I think I just have creative differences. Of the 3 barleywines I bought the other day, this is my favorite.

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Photo of mikel52588
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a dogfish head signature glass; it has a cloudy dark amber hue with golden highlights and about a finger length head that has high retention; leaves a soapy spider lacing that slowly slides down the glass.

Smell: The scent is zesty and fruity; there is a nice bittersweet combination filling the aroma; at times the barley really stands out; while at other times it has a sweet wine scent

Taste: Caramel Malts upfront; citrus and fruit flavors follow, and it finishes with a dry wine taste. As it warms it grows much bitter

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy; however, it has a touch of dryness from the wine flavor; and it has a medium body; aftertaste is not too bad and doesn't linger too long

Drinkability: Very drinkable for its high content; it goes down smooth and has a very complex flavor. I recommend at least one try of my hometown brew.

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Photo of craftaholic
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a snifter and has a nice cloudy reddish mahogany with a finger length head that has a decent range of retention and a nice line of lacing and a pond of blotching in the middle.

Smell: The barley thats expected is there and in heavy amounts right off the bat and accompanied by many different characteristics.There is a nice doughy characteristic with a nice sweet tart hint of strawberries and other assorted berries in there as well as floral notes of rose and some slight grapefruit. Alcohol is present but not overpoweringly so.

Taste: There is a large amounts of esters from peach to apricot as well as some faint citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. The barley is also there but so is the large amount of floral flavors, tastes much like imbibing rose petals. The finish is slightly sweet but in a non artificial way.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth much like a bourbon without the alcohol bite. Medium bodied and slightly carbonated. Overall very nice and leaves your mouth coated with a refreshing smooth barley/berry combo aftertaste.

Drinkability: Goes down almost too smooth for its own good, could use a bigger body and maybe even a bit more carb.

Overall: First barleywine so nothing to compare it too but it is quite balanced between the malt, bitter and floral backbone. Would love to see how this would do with some age.

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Photo of asabreed
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A hazy, semi-murky and beautiful thick orange-copper-brown color. Huge creamy, soapy white head that likes to stick around well above the body and as good lace-ring retention around the sides of the glass.

Smell: Seems more like an English style than an American, which I like about it. There's more fruit esters and doughiness mixed in with the bitterness of the hops. Lots of ripe strawberry and green apple. A bit of funkiness. But somehow it seems like the potential comes to fruition more than the actual bouquet, as if there's something that's not letting all the aromas come out. Or it could have to do with the balance of it, though I'm not sure what's exactly lacking or not coming to the forefront. Still pleasant overall.

Taste: Again, the taste here is more like an English style than American. It's not overhopped, yet the bitterness is certainly present and makes itself known as far as the citrus rind hops go. The fruit esters are pleasant here too, but there's almost a sourness, Lambic-like, that seems a little odd, yet it does bring a bit of funkiness to it that's decent. There just seems to be something very slightly off here, and I don't know what it is. Maybe the bottle's not as fresh as it could be? Either way, above average, but has potential to be so much better.

Mouthfeel: Hugely rich and creamy and velvety. Perhaps the best thing about the beer.

Drinkability: I'd like to try this again in the future, especially for the $5 or $6 price tag, but based on this experience, I wouldn't rush out to get it. Still looking to try more Middle Ages beers, which should be fairly easy now based on my location.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this beer back home from my last trip to the brewery in Syracuse earlier this year. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a DuClaw Devil's Milk snifter. Beer was copper in color with a one-finger, off-white, creamy head. Very little carbonation and light lacing.

Aroma was sugar, caramel, malt, candy apple, moderate hops.

Taste was on the sweet side. Notes of caramel and raisins, with a fairly bitter finish.

Pretty good barleywine. Very well balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of damienblack
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a huge fan of American BWines on the whole, they tend to be too hoppy for me. I like mine sweeter, like the English style. But this one might be my favorite to date. Poured reddish burgundy in appearance, a tranquil head topped off by some foamy lacing. Big hops on the scent, and I thought, this is going to be quite bitter. But to the contrary, while the hops were present, they took a backdoor to the fruity sweetness, augmenting the malt bomb. I could taste their effects, but they were super smooth, and the result was very drinkable. Almost like Mirror Mirror's little brother, from the sample of that I had before. It's not the biggest or most amazing barleywine, but was quite balanced for me, and balance while still retaining flavor is what I look for in these beers.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber poured into a weizen glass.

P- Brass Rail

A- a large 4 finger head rises to the top of my glass. Very foamy and hangs around for a good 5 minutes before subsiding. a copper red type of color.

S- smell of sweet roses and other floral smells. also get some hints of grapefruit and some sort of berry (maybe raspberry or huckelberry).

T- strong floral flavor. It actually feels like i am biting into a rose petal. Alcohol is quite present as well. I do get some of the grapefruit and the berry but it is hidden pretty well.

M- a flower explosion in the mouth can be good or bad. This is good but overpowering at times. This will attribut to...

D- ... Putting more than one of these down would be tough, not to mention how toasted one would be. Not very drinkable but it does go down.

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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 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 ccrida
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber I picked up in Boston 7-8 months ago and cellared since. Poured into my Delirum snifter, Druid Fluid is bronze with a large, amber tinged off-white head that leaves very heavy lace.

Smell is rich, caramel and vanilla, apricots as well. Pretty robust without tiring.

Taste is also rather estery (I attribute the apricot/peach notes to English ale yeast), with some fading citrus hops notes and rich sweet caramel malts. A unique character to it, I like the richness, it's got those English BW flavors but it clearly dialed up a notch or two. This has the softened edges of an aged beer but still a really full flavor. Quite enjoyable, although the sour citrus is a bit much with the esters.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied, a bit drying and spicy on the finish is really the only indication of the ABV.

Drinkability is good, this is tasty and rich, but smooth and not overwhelming. I'm really digging it, and am glad I busted it out after an epic blue bird day skiing the glacier on Mt. Hood!

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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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