Grail Ale | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

134 Reviews
Grail AleGrail Ale

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-30-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 192
Photo of KTCamm
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

10/7....pours deep reddish amber with white foam. Malty caramel nose. Very subtle spice/cinnamon. Taste is a light bodied malt focused ale, touches of toffee and a smattering of bitter. Faint cream soda taste, and overall disjointed. Ok.

 237 characters

Photo of timfelix
4.46/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a very nice all purpose beer. not too heavy, not too light.
Has a nice aroma and balanced flavors. Some sweetness, tastiness and bite in moderate proportions. You won't regret drinking this one.

If told I could only drink one beer, this one would be up for consideration

 272 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a darkish-amber color with a huge head that fades quickly. I love the color of both the beer itself and the head.

A good balance of sweet, crisp malt with just a touch of floral and pine. Could be buttery as well.

Light and fluffy upfront due to the floral tone with just the right amount of sweet, buttery malt. Very flavorful for 5%. Slightly reminiscent of Roxy Rolles from a certain VT brewery but with less focus on the hops.

Lingering floral notes and buttery malt punctuate the mouthfeel. Carbonation is well-done, aiding in a clean finish.

Definitely one of the better examples of this style that I've had recently. Worth a shot.

 649 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy ruby/amber, well carbonated, actually over carbonated, four finger fluffy head makes pouring a process.

S-Caramel, toffee, malt, some spices similar to a belgain.

T-Caramel and toffee dominate, a little bit of malt. No bitterness. Some spices. Some burnt and toasted malts. Syrup as well.

M-Light, overly carbonated once again.

O-The beer seems like it could be ok, but the overbearing carbonation is too much.

 423 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice take on a red! pours a little more brown than most reds, with a brick red undertone. smells amazing, like vanilla bean but not at all sweet. flavor is well hopped and again, not at all sweet, which is common in the style. it has a certain vibe to it, like its a very old recipe (i think it actually is)... they dont make ales like this too much anymore, really distinct amongst ambers/reds. not dry like the irish ones either, it has a nice balanced finish that is devoid of any residual sugar. will definitely be drinking this one again

 542 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark red color, pretty good white head that left some sag and lace running down the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malts. That is all.

T - Tastes of sweet caramel malts. That is all. The malt flavor is quite thick and syrupy.

M - Syrupy, smooth, moderate carbonation, surprisingly hefty body for an amber.

O - This is not a bad beer, it's easy to drink. It's not a good beer or distinguishable from much else, but it was fine for what it is. Would be curious to see what this is like with a major dose of hopping.

 546 characters

Photo of soju6
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber color with a nice tan head that fades to lacing.

S: Mild malt aroma of caramel and a hint of pine.

T: Mild caramel flavor a bit of toasty malt and a mild bitterness with a clean finish.

F: Medium body, smooth with a nice balance.

O: Easy to drink a few of these without even trying. Nice change of pace beer. Another solid beer from Middle Ages.

 371 characters

Photo of tone77
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, a touch of hops. Taste is the some, caramel malts up front, hop botterness kicking in at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

 269 characters

Photo of atr2605
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a nice deep amber with a creamy tan head with above average retention
S-sweet malt, honey, slight caramel aroma. A bit of hops in the nose
T-hop bitterness up front that isn't overwhelming but keeps the malt in check. Slight toasted flavor in the finish
M-medium bodied
O-I really liked this beer. It looks and tastes great.

 332 characters

Photo of dubinsky
2.64/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Deschutes snifter.

A - Pours an incredibly dark, somewhat clear amber with a foamy two finger, bone color head. The head eventually fell leaving some nice lacing and a decent amount of foam around the edge of the glass.

S - What smell? I really am not getting much at all from this beer. Perhaps some malt, but also some skunk.

T - It starts off fruity, mostly sour apple, with a hint of brown sugar or caramel. The mid palate introduces a touch of hop presence fading out to nutty, bitter finish.

M - Very thin initially, yet it finishes of a bit creamy. Not sure how that happens. Pretty Crisp with some decent, medium carbonation.

O - This beer is "ok". Its drinkable but definitely not something i would recommend or try again. The smell of this beer really set a low standard for me and everything positive i tasted and felt was the only thing to drive this into a positive territory.

 927 characters

Photo of ksimons
2.61/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-pours a dark ruby amber with a fingers worth of cream colored head that sticks to the edge of the glass

S-very light malts and caramel

T-malts and caramel sweetness and a hint of hops bitterness

M-light body, moderate carbonation

Overall I am not that impressed, seems to be lacking in all areas, might be better with food because on its own it isn't doing much, would not drink again

 390 characters

Photo of Franz4
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, no freshness info

A- Nice amber color with an offwhite head and minimal lacing.

S- nose is slightly bready/biscuity with a touch of a bitter pine note in the background.

T- more bitter than the nose, maltiness takes a back seat.

M- I feel like this is overcarbonated, doesn't go down smooth, "refreshing" isn't a word that I'd use to describe this beer.

O- I'm a little disappointed with this one, I think it'd be better with wings or other highly flavorful food.

 508 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a beige cap; a strand or two of lace is left behind

Smell: Caramel and light fruit; not as much butterscotch as I was expecting, but it smells very English

Taste: Opens with a caramel apple flavor that add some earthy bitterness by mid-palate; although the brown sugar sweetness lingers well after the swallow, the earthy bitter flavors kick up a notch as well to balance out the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but rather highly carbonated

Drinkability: Carbonation issues aside, this is a surprisingly good amber that drinks more like an ESB

Thanks, sliverX, for the opportunity

 627 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, nuts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit and nuts. Then a mild but complementary hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is decent beer worth drinking for a while.

 709 characters

Photo of brew3crew
2.23/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

had during a middle ages tasting.
A-kind of like a clear red with white head
S-toasted malt, but it is very faint
T-Tastes like an ale, more so than an amber.
M-wanted to get it down as fast as possible
D-took me a while to finish it because it is not very good tasting

 269 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tannish brown with some light reddish hues. A good amount of white head. Smells bitter and malty. Not much good on the tongue. Bitter amber malts. Not particularly good mouthfeel. So so overall. I would definitely not drink this again. A pour repersentwation of the style

 279 characters

Photo of lovindahops
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a dark amber that has a white head of foam that lingers ever so slightly at the top of the brew.

S- more MA patented scents of apples, bananas, and caramel. A real good scent that leaves my mouth watering

T- a tad tangy with the butter diactyel and the same apple taste and dryness at the end. It's very flavorful for an american amber. Sweet and dry

M- crisp and good flavor on the tongue

D- MA absolutely rocks! Grail ale is another delicious brew from them. The ringwood yeast is evident in this brew and it is absolutely sessionable at 5%. I could drink these all day and night

 589 characters

Photo of TheHopMonster
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep red with a very decent white head and sticky lace. Slow carbonation bubbles rise to the surface, It doesn't look over carbonated.

Smells of grapefruit and a very distinct cascade hop aroma. Fruity essences are definitely dominate with slight alcohol esters.

Exactly what I expect. Very distinct hop characteristics and they definitely used Cascade and/or Centennial hops for bittering and aroma. Very satisfying malty finish with the taste of the citrusy hops still lingering in your mouth.

Great Ale with a excellent balance between hop bitterness and toasty Malts.

 574 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear reddish brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige coloured head. There is a lot of carbonation and there is some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for a short while before it was gone.

Smell - lots of malts, caramel, chocolate, port/cask wood

Taste & Mouth - There is a lot of carbonation on the tongue and the beer feels dry and fizzy. I can taste lots of malt flavour mixed with an earthiness, caramel, and hops. There are also some fruity esters and the beer finishes with a slightly bitter malty/hop aftertaste.

Drink - An okay tasting that beer that would probably benefit from a slight decrease in carbonation. It's too fizzy to session in my opinion.

 741 characters

Photo of mbusster88
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark amber, brown color. Head is tan but hardly sticks around. Some carbonation on the glass but not much. Good lacing.

S: Some malt characters, bread and toffee mostly. After that not to much going on in the nose. Very subtle hints of hops but that's reaching for it.

T/M: The first taste is dry and very balanced. Great bready malt going on. But also that hop character and some dryness. Good caramel and toffee comes through here as well. Very smooth and decent body, although no very heavy.

D: Very drinkable beer! This one has good character and is well put together. The appearance lacks but not a big deal. I would suggest picking this up.

 695 characters

Photo of CaptYellow
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every beer I have from Middle Ages is excellent. This is one style I don't particularly care for, but Middle Ages has again made it enjoyable to try.

A: Amber/orange. It's clarity reminds me of a precious jewel. Pours a two-finger head which dissipates to a ring at the edge.

S: A wonderful malty character.

T: Taste the sweet malts. And yet the hops are also apparent. The two seem to balance so perfectly with the malts given the limelight. Aftertaste isn't overwhelming but reminds of the good beer just enjoyed

M: Medium.

D: High. I stepped away from my beer and the aftertaste was compelling me to go back for it. Delicious. I wish I had more than one.

Overall: Would I buy it again? I don't know- it's not my style but it was great. Worth the price? Definitely, it's a steal. So many beers cost more and deliver much less. This was less than $1.50 a bottle. Recommend it? If a person likes amber ale, this is one to go out of the way to get. Would I share it? This may be too good to share. :)

 1,006 characters

Photo of capaneus
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(A) buckwheat honey...or burnt amber. Not much head, and what there is recedes almost immediately leaving nearly no lacing. pretty color, but not much of a visual display. should've poured this into my pint glass instead of my goblet so YMMV.

(S) distinct woodsy smell reminiscent of brandy with a very mild hop note. i'd definitely agree with the "apple" suggested by the previous reviewer. not super enticing, but somewhat interesting.

(T) very woodsy and earthy with a prominent nuttiness - i dig. the fruity apple smell is nonexistent on the tongue. the hops are gorgeously balanced in this brew, but the finish is surprisingly dry...i'd prefer just a hint of sweetness to bring the malty character out more.

(M) really enjoy this lively, prickly medium-bodied brew. more alcohol warming than you would expect for a beer at this ABV - very nice.

(D) probably wouldn't drink a lot of these at once, but i enjoyed sipping on this one. if i were looking for locally produced american ambers though, i'd probably pick CASCAZILLA over this. good beer, no doubt.

 1,064 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: one inch head, medium carbonation, hazy, amber in color

Smell: apple and toasted malt

Taste: apple, toasted malt, dark fruit, bread, tea, and small hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, high carbonation, sweet for the style

Drinkability: A very sweet and highly drinkable red ale. I like the fruit taste in here. Not outstanding, but I could have several.

 364 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brew poured to a deep amber color with a monsterous light tan head that had good retention and left a lot of lacing. Buscuit and Caramel seem to rule the aromas of this brew and give a sweet scent. The flavors here are pretty close to what I was expecting based on the nose but there is also some bready and toasted notes. Slight hop flavor there that goes well. This is well balanced beer, not my favorite offering from Middle Ages but it's a fairly good brew.

 461 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now I've had Holy Grail Ale before, but this is a little different. However, it's still named after one of my fav movies, so I have to try it. Saw it sitting in a local store in single 12oz bottles, so I had to grab one. I would be a fool not to!

A: Pours a semi light almost 1 finger head with some thickness. A rosy maroon brown colored beer with quite a bit of haze presents itself under the light head, and barely lets any light through.

N: A very sweet caramel aroma with some sweet malts and fruity aromas. It's got quite a bock style aroma with syrupy and malty aromas. Some dark fruits come out, like fig and some other similar fruits.

T: Taste is somewhat of a winter warmer. It's got its thick malt and syrupy sweetness, but also has some nutty flavors, nutmeg and spice, and more fruits. More fig and other dark fruits, and slight roasted malts lay in the background. The spices are a little too prevalent.

M: Semi thick, quite a bit of carbonation.

F: Finishes a little drier, but still has quite a bit of those spice and nut flavors. Winter warmer or Xmas ale like flavors. The syrupy feel seems to stick around a bit too. However, it also has a nice crisp ale like flavor that helps the finish, and they all seem to fade and don't outweigh their welcome.

 1,275 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Grail Ale from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.63 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.