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Duchy Originals Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905 - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
Duchy Originals Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905Duchy Originals Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905

Educational use only; do not reuse.

43 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 99
Avg: 3.36
pDev: 22.32%
Wants: 2
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wl0307 on 09-04-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 99
Photo of brendan13
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy dark orange with a 2cm slightly off white head that falls fairly quickly.
S - Light caramel malt aroma with some earthy/grassy and light citrus marmalade hop character.
T - Like the taste, a light caramel along with some dry bready notes folowed by light earthy & marmalade fruit flavours.
M - Low to medium carbonation, medium bodied with a moderate bitterness.
O - A decent enough english style pale ale.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright, coppery amber with a modest but dense white head. Gradually dissipates to a foamy ring, leaving plenty of lacing.

S: Sweet biscuit malts with slightly grassy hops. Hints of caramel, honey, and candied fruit.

T: Sweet, bready malts balanced with floral hops, plus some nice undertones of roasted malts and fresh fruit.

M: Carbonation is crisp but smooth, bolstering the somewhat light body. The finish is dry and enduring without being overpowering; it's a pleasant, floral astringency with roasty notes.

D: Very drinkable on account of the standard ABV, smooth mouthfeel, and lasting, bitter finish. A good English pale ale, on the whole.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours murky, dirty copper (SRM 15-17), with a thin clingy off-white head. Fine lace coats the Cicso fisheye pint glass while modest random carbonation percolates within.

The aroma is malty with caramel, followed by slight grass and straw.

Light bitterness is well balanced against sweetness with an earthy background. The finish is brief, modest and white bread.

A medium to light body with soft texture is accented by light carbonation. There is no presence of alcohol in this beer that finishes moderately dry.

This is one of the better organic beers I have tried. It worked well while winding down in the shade on a perfect summer day.

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Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see a different version show up, particularly one not frequently found across the globe. Light copper with rising carbonation bubbles, and grand soapy off-white head. Very mild hop aroma. Bitterness is there, reminds me of other organic bitters. Not an everyday beer for me, but not a bad one.Easy mouthfeel, with a hint of astringency.A bit too much carbonation.

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Photo of xuptygm
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Verbatim from notes: Light copper color. Looks like a decent amount of carbonation. White soapy head. Aroma is very faint, somewhat hoppy. Tastes a bit bitter, malt is nice. A little too much carbonation for me. Easy drinker. Smooth finish. Glad I tried it but I don't know if I would buy it again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased a bottle for $3.50 CDN from the LCBO. Served chilled.

Appearance - Dark orange, coppery color. 1+ fingers of ivory head that looks very dense and frothy. Some bubbles rising to the top. Sparse color left around the top of the glass.

Smell - Malty, slight dankness. Some caramel, with a light lemony aspect as well.

Taste - Fruity at first. Transitioning into a slightly earthy taste. It comes together nice and this is a good one. A bit leafy as well.

Mouthfeel - Dry finish, lowish carbonation, velvety smooth. However very light bodied and wanted a bit more weight.

Overall - A very nice beer. There's something hard to describe in the flavor profile that had me thinking that this is somewhere in between Wychwood's Wychwood and King Goblin both in taste and in enjoyment. When I cam online to see that this was actually made by Wychwood I was surprised at first and then not so much, since it seemed unlikely that another brewer could make a beer almost exactly halfway in between Wychwood and and King Goblin. Nevertheless rather enjoyed this.

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Photo of SebD
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: : It has a nice amber/ruby colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderatly and lacing is present.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet malts, floral hops, with hints of caramely and fruity notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice caramely flavour to it along with a fruitiness. The malts and the hops are well balanced and the hops also give a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice balance and is very smooth with a dry finish.

Drinkability: It's a very drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas.

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Photo of korguy123
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before Date 8/31/2011
Randomly spotted at the LCBO this week.

A- Ruby/copper colored pour. Two finger white head, slowly shrinks to thin white cap. Lacing is good.

S- Faint hops, strawberries, raisins, figs, yeast, sweet toasted malts.

T- Strawberries, cloves, somewhat prominent metal taste, earthy, grass, fresh biscuits, unripened raisins.

M- Silky and creamy. Carbonation is is light and satisfying. Very rich feeling.

D- Good sipper to enjoy the tastes. Would definitely go great with some red meat to pair this nicely.

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Photo of wl0307
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in a 500ml brown bottle, purchased at the Waitrose supermarket, this new product in the Duchy Originals range is said to use "an English barley first used in 1905 called Plumage Archer", now sourced from organic farms including "Duchy Home Farm in Highgrove". BB 31/08/2011, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark reddish amber in colour, good clarity, coming with a moderately thick off-white froth settling to a thin sheet to last, on top of a constant feed of fine fizz.
S: the aroma upfront is lightly peppery & ripe berry/plum-ish in terms of hop-malt mixture, like a premium bitter, autumny style; on the side are notes of green apples, a bit of dust, and rather light and refreshingly sweet notes of pale and semi-caramely malts. Pleasant, not complex.
T: very smooth, a swallow of decent pale malts, mildly sour-sweet fruitiness is ensued by well-lingering biscuity undertones with the English-pale-malt-plus-yeastiness' trademark "dirty-cloth"-like edge (very much like the same brand's Duchy Original Organic Ale, cask version), as well as a faintly peppery note of hops. "Undemanding" in the finish, in terms of hoppiness, bitterness, and overall flavour complexity; nonetheless, an interestingly dry-ish palate like a well-fermented pale ale lingers well, along with more pleasure provided by the quality malts.
M&D: softly carbonated, medium-bodied, this is all in all a very drinkable Pale Ale type of English Bitter - not so hoppy+bitter as one's standard Bitter or Best Bitter, not so fruity+malty as a Premium Bitter, but more along the lines of Marston's Pedigree, Sam Smith's OBB, or even Wadworth's 6X, in my opinion. The aftertaste is particularly enjoyable (the best selling point of this product), thanks partly to the conditioning kit (using the Brakspear's double-drop system?) and partly to, I presume, the old-ish malt, "Plumage Archer".

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Photo of travolta
3.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Quickly dissipating head, tight spotted lacing. raspberry lambic color.

Nose: Raspberry and strawberry, lemon and lime.

Taste: Great mouthfeel with some bitterness and sweetness mixing together. Dark fruits and hops with a malty background.

NotesL This is unique. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, of a slightly different sort than the usual Duchy Organic Ale that I see kicking around. After all the resurgent foorfarah in the press lately about the antiquated royal family, the beer before me coincidentally appears to be the result of Prince Charles' association with the Waitrose chain of UK supermarkets, and one of their stores happens to be across from the Wychwood brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire...just sayin'...

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of creamy foamy off-white head, which leaves a near-solid coating of lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of sharp biscuity pale malt, mild tangy orchard fruit, and bitter leafy hops. The taste is more biscuity cereal malt, some indeterminate fruit sweetness, a soft, earthy yeastiness, and mellow, leafy noble hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight, smooth, and pillow-soft. It finishes still sweet and bready, with a tugging substantial earthy hoppiness.

A pretty decent English pale ale, the hops at least willing to show up, but overall, still a stiff upper-lip, there's a good chap, kind of affair.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium bronze amber with a thin off-white head that dissipates to a thin film and ring around the glass with slippery light lacing. Nice bready malt aroma; pretty much just quite malty. Flavor is also similarly malty, biscuit and a lightly bready, somewhat attenuated and simple. A hint of light grassy hops in the finish. Light to medium bodied. A typical Wychwood English ale, with very nice flavor, but very light, almost watered down. This one got me hoping with the rich malt aroma, but the taste left me wishing for more of what is here. Nice malt, but simple and a bit bland.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From my tasting notes...

A - Pours a nice amber colour, finger of head with decent retention, sporadic sticky lacing, and some fine visible body carbonation.

S - Some leafy biscuit malts with sweet caramel, though slightly bitter and metallic.

T - More of an earthy herbal hop off the top followed by a bready caramel malt on the finish. Bitter hops linger on finish, making for a nice hop / malt balance, though nothing outstanding.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

D - Overall, a very tasty amber ale offering a nice hop / malt balance with some nice bitterness that lingers. Flavourful UK offering and worth a try, though not to be interpreted as anything mind blowing.

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Photo of shamus
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This looks gorgeous. A deep red beer as described by the word "Ruby" I suppose. The head vanished rather quickly into a thin dishwater type layer. The smell was inviting, but this tastes a bit too much of butterscotch and treacle for me. Even so it has a very sharp tinny bitterness to it. An adequate product but nothing to rave about.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber with moderately dense, but fizzy, popping head.

S - Nose has some citrus and some grass, hints of metalllic caramel.

T - Well balanced flavour. Some fruit, some caramel, some decent hopping. Not too dry nor sweet. A little bit of toastiness.

M - Maybe a bit on the light side, not quite watery, but could definitely use some more body.

D - Very drinkable brew.

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Photo of karait95
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Color is amber reddish it is a nice presentation with a medium carbonation and it has a withe head that presents a medium retention also, with small bubbles that forms a permanent layer on top of the beer.

S: Some malts concentration, not other intense aromas can be easily detected.

T: Very classic flavor, full of malts and with some hops, also it should contain some classic English ingredients like maybe some fruits.

M: Some sweetness at the beginning not a disgusting or difficult sensation that is well balanced and then changes into a bittersweet medium and at last a more bitter ending that last good enough. Body sensation is between medium and thin.

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Photo of decimator
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass.
ABV 5%

A - Poured a clear copper with a 1cm white head. Some lacing is produced.

S - Caramel sweetness, earthy, floral, and fruity.

T - Light caramel, mild fruity tang and a good hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Smooth, creamy, and a persistent bitter aftertaste.

D - A good Pale Ale. Not a stand out but no complaints either.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint bottle from the LCBO; best before April 30th 2013. I used to be a big fan of English pale ales, but in the last few years my interests have drifted elsewhere - and in the last few months specifically, I've barely tried any new EPAs at all. This one was on sale, so it was as good a time as any to tick it off.

Pours an attractive clear copper-amber colour, generating a bit more than a finger of foamy off-white head. Fairly good retention, with decent smears of lacing left behind in its wake. The aroma is nice, but pretty standard for the style - bready, biscuity pale malts, fruity peach or apricot notes, with maybe a brush of floral, grassy hops.

Decent flavor that meets most of my prerequisites for the style - biscuity malts and light toffee sweetness, with some fruity esters of apples, pears, or perhaps some other sort of orchard fruit. Light, leafy, earthy bitterness toward the finish from the English-style hops. Good balance between hops and malts for a relatively pleasant, bittersweet flavour. On the light side of medium-bodied, very smooth with soft carbonation. Quite drinkable.

This is a decent, relatively simple brew that is mild, balanced, and overall quite refreshing - a respectable EPA, for sure, with a good, strong flavour profile for a 5%er. I'm enjoying this pint, and I may enjoy another one in the future.

[Updated August 31 2014]

Another bottle, grabbed mostly because I wanted to drink something I hadn't had in a few years. This isn't bad for an organic beer, but it's overpriced and finding a better English ale for less money isn't very difficult. Balanced flavours, with some mild English hoppage and orchard fruit sweetness - a little bland. I don't think I'd spend money on this one again.

Final Grade: 3.46, a B-.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale copper colour with a creamy stark-white foam head. Very good retention and equal lacing.

S: Toffee, biscuit, nutty, herbal element, orange-grapefruit citrus, and lemon zest. Quite refreshing and appealing, albeit a little subdued.

T: Biscuit-like malt and toffee with a refreshing citrus hop element that's quite subtle. Floral aspects poke through. Detecting an appealing slight earthy (grassy) funkyness.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Oily character with a robustness and lingering deep bitterness. Very good considering the ABV.

D: I enjoyed this english pale ale quite a bit. Will be keeping an eye out for other Wychwood Brewery offerings.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic. Clear copper-amber brew, leaves about a half inch of foamy head, which recedes to a thin ring after a few minutes. A thin layer of patchy lacing graces the very top of the pour line.

Nose is very typical English pale - pale malts, biscuit, fruit, tea-leaf hops, caramel, slight metallic edge.

Taste isn't too far off, and reminds me of a slightly better made EPA. Caramel, tea, biscuit, dry finish.

Decent body, carbonation a little higher than I'm used to for the style, but actually I tend to like mine a touch more carbonated so I'm okay there.

I appreciate the organic/charitable nature of the brew, and this variation of the Duchy line is going down well, but there's not a whole lot separating this from others of the style.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a light copper or golden-ish with lot's of carbonation leading to a fluffy one finger, white head. Tremendous lacing sticking to the glass the whole way and a quarter-finger cap of soapy head remaining. Bright.

S - Lot's of nice caramel mingling with subtle English hops. Lovely balance in the aroma. Smells a little like a cracker with a tropical fruit spread on it or something. Quite biscuity, butterscotchy, and fruity. Very inviting, but not powerful.

T - Largely the same. Quite complex for its abv. Quite biscuity up front and slightly sweet, fading to a fruity character, finishing sweet, yet balanced with a mild, fruity bitterness. There's also a sort of appley, fruity note there too, keeping it a little lighter. Sort of soapy and metallic as well; largely the reason this is held back.

M - Medium bodied with a significant amount of carbonation. Carbonation stands out as it's probably more than I'm used to for the style.

D - I could have a number of these in a pub but it's not something I will be seeking out as a sessionable ale any time soon. A tasty beer, just not what I'm looking for to have alot of.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a very cloudy orange-red color....quite nice to look at and quite unique in my opinion. There appears to be above average carbonation rising to the top, and as far as the head goes, unfortunately there is little to be desired here, as there isn't much going on to start and it fizzles out rather quickly. There really isn't much lacing going on here either which isn't what I was hoping for either. Outside of the brilliant coloration, the overall appearance isn't anything to get overly excited about.

S- The aromas are smooth and subtle, with barley malt noticed right up front, which has caramel notes. There are also some yeast and fruity esters present, primarily of banana peel and perhaps some citrus notes...orange comes to mind, but is is definitely in the background. The end has some mild hop aroma which really rounds out the overall aroma profile.

T- Well the flavors are actually a lot more muted overall than I has expecting! It isn't offensive by any means but I really feel that it is missing it's "oomph". It's balanced between the malt and bitterness on the finish, but there isn't much substance in between...it's actually quite clean tasting. The malt is noted, with muted flavors of caramel/toffee, followed by clean barley grain. The hop profile seems hidden on the finish, leaving my palate without any real sense of what I just have tasted...

M- This brew has a light-medium mouthfeel to it, and the carbonation is plentiful, but very fine, which really leaves the overall feel smooth and creamy....I'm guessing due to the suspended yeast within the liquid. As mentioned before, this is very clean overall and is pleasant enough on the palate flavor-wise, but it seems like it is missing something.

O- I would say that this is a very highly drinkable brew, as it's probably one of the mildest English Pale Ales that I've ever had. I would actually quite enjoy drinking several of these in a row and think this makes a superb Ale to enjoy in hot weather, or as an easy going beer to enjoy anytime. I will probably get this again at some point and recommend trying it...just a little disappointed in the somewhat uninspired take on the style overall.

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Photo of Rutager
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Arron for this one!

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy amber-orange with a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Sweet grains, caramel, a little citrus fruits and some grassy hops.

Taste. Sweet malts, caramel, a little bit of mixed citrus juice, a little bitter with some grassy hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body with medium carbonation.

Ovrall. Not bad. Nothing about it really stands out for me, but nothing offensive either. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark amber. The off white head is very foamy and soap lather like. The lace and retention are both decent.

Mild aromas of roast caramel malts. Minute floral hop aromas. The nose is pretty lacking in this one sadly.

Dark malt flavours give a nice nutty toasted taste. An underlying sweetness mixes well with the roasted notes keeping any astringency in check. Decent hopping manifests in the finish.
The body is smooth and creamy while also being light and slightly watery. The carbonation is fairly low.

Not a bad beer but the aroma was fairly disappointing.

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Photo of paxkey
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out amber with ruby highlights. small head is gone quickly. very little carbonation that i can detect. looks inviting.

i smell hops and malt. a little piney. smells amazing.

bitter, with bready malt on the finish. more carbonation than i expected based on the appearance. also more bitterness then i expected. its fantastic.

the hops and bitterness do not overpower the malt, a fine balance is achieved.

very drinkable, the bitterness begs for more sipping. a winner.

just revisited this and not really impressed. the beer is probably the same but i think my palate at this tasting is much different. a very boring average beer . gonna keep up the original review but alter the score to reflect my new opinion.

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Duchy Originals Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905 from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
78 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.