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Iron Duke - Wellington County Brewery

Not Rated.
Iron DukeIron Duke

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 9
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wellington County Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Originally a seasonal brew, Iron Duke is Wellington’s winter warmer with the character of barley wine. An excellent dessert beer.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pootz
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-evaluated 26/07/04

Poured a clear deep red cola color, mildly effervescent, the cap lasted a very short life but the lace andring then hang in for the ride
.
Subtle smells of raisins, fruits and sweet malt odors....slight hint of nutty-spice.
Taste...not as complex as I've been lead to believe but a really well carafted ale. Starts a with a real rich mouth full of dried fruit- malts up front..full bodied... raisin bread malty tones with some spice tastes...but it does lack the sharp hop astringency in the finish some crave...but that's ok by me...I like it....finish is long with a sweet- sour -bready after taste and a mild alcohol discernment. The whole swallow comes off as tastfully sweet, rich without hop over balance and with a nice alcohol warming in the finish... Has become a standard ale of mine. ...great brew!

True hop heads may be not be able to dig deep into this one....but for me...I like it as a drinkable brew...a micro ale that doesn't make you endure rough edges to get your hop hit at the expence of a great pronounced blend of malts.

pootz, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of drinkininthewood
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like this brewery alot.

Served from a brown 341 twist off bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep red color, small tan head diminishes quickly leaving some lace and a small layer of foam.

S- Nice malt aromas, a little roasty, slightly fruity, some toffee.

T- Very nice flavor. Roasty malts, some fruit - plums/raisins, slightly caramel with some toffee notes as well. Nice hop profile(fuggles maybe?) Fairly sweet and fruity off the start with a bitter dry finish.

M- light in body but not watery. Carbonation is light.

D- Lots of flavor, light in body, and incredibly drinkable. Alcohol hides itself pretty good which can be dangerous.

Overall i love this beer! Tones of flavor and awesome drinkability. Very enjoyable. An excellent brew from an excellent brewery>highly recommended.

drinkininthewood, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of CRJMellor
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this beer about 2 years ago on a trip to Toronto and just getting around to writing the review.

Pours a dark reddish brown topped by very little head. Small amount of lace left on the side of the glass. Strong aroma dark fruit, prunes or figs and maybe a hint of chocolate.
Flavors of prunes, caramel with some high velocity sugar or molasses for some extra sweetness. Very little, in fact no bitterness. Finishes a little abruptly, expected a little more length with color and aroma. Mouthfeel starts sort of syrupy and then again finishes a little-bit watery but does not distract from overall drinkability that much.

CRJMellor, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of bryehn
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nut brown-ruby colour with a frothy tan head that didn't last long or lace, but did get retained as a collar.

The aroma of Iron Duke (there's a poop joke in there I'm sure) is one that I find rich and complex. Its nutty, sweet and malty, with strong dark fruit tones and a hint of spice.

The taste is very similar, it's got a sweet and nutty flavour and the dark fruit aroma characterizes itself as cherry to me. I get a roasted chocolate or coffee-like bitterness that balances things out on the back end.

Considering its rich characteristics and ABV, I find this beer goes down easily. I do think its a bit thin, but it does have a weighty creaminess and medium carbonation.

I've tried five beers from Wellington and this is without a doubt my favourite. Almost perfect as a Winter beer, but drinkable enough that I'd try it in the warmer months too.

bryehn, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341ml bottle into my shaker glass. The ale appears a hazed chestnut color with about a finger of light ecru foam. Nose and flavors are of caramel, candy, toasted bread, toffee, chocolate and cherries. Decently carbonated with a nearly full body for its style. Worth trying if you come across a bottle or two.

ClockworkOrange, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of jrenihan
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On cask at Volo.

The room is rather dark, but the beer appears to be amber in colour. A typical cask-like bubbly head on top.

Nose contains toffee, and a bit of smoke. A bit faint, but pleasant enough.

Taste contains caramel, toffee, some smoke and a bit of a burnt flavour. A bit reminiscent of whisky, actually (only sightly). A bit on the bitter side. with some earthy and grassy hops present.

Medium bodied, low natural carbonation. Nice cask feel.

Overall, pretty good. A pleasant beer, nothing to search out. Haven't had this in a bottle for a long time, so I can't say whether it is better in cask or not, but it seemed like the cask treatment worked well.

jrenihan, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Iron Duke has a colour something like a bosc pear that's been heavily bruised; it is a murky, deep brown and, needless to say, not all that attractive. It's gloomy tone obscures virtually all highlights and clarity, imparting a dreadfully dreary complexion. Its head is sturdy but incomplete.

The aroma leaves a resounding sweetness in the nostrils - turbinado sugar and a fruitiness that resembles some kind of raisin/prune hybrid. There is a superficial semblance to port attributed not only to the fortified-wine notes but also a musty woodiness. Though more vivid on the palate, the beer's spiced Christmas cake-like persona is introduced via smell.

Iron Duke has the flavour (and nearly the texture) of a chunky oatmeal-walnut-raisin cookie. There are also notes of dried cranberry and plum pudding. Maybe some cocoa. The mouthfeel is thick and calls extra malt reinforcements to duty in the finish; each sip is like a beer bear-hug.

Though no alcohol is present, the beer can taste stronger than it actually is (6.5%). It has the requisite levels of richness and warmth to qualify as a 'winter warmer' (which the brewery claims it to be), though it borrows heavily the roasty and nutty characteristics of brown ales as well as the fortified fruitiness of a barley wine. It doesn't fit neatly into any one category.

Iron Duke's long tenure in the Ontario marketplace speaks to its quality and distinctiveness as well as its ability to engage new craft beer drinkers without losing the interest of deeply-ingrained ones. This is a great recipe that the brewery is rightly proud to now offer year-round.

biegaman, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of cfrancis
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby cola colour with a thin head. Aroma is gorgeous, it's almost like sticking your nose into a good whisky or bourbon bottle. Oak, spice malt in the aroma. Taste is great, with a great spicy aftertaste. Full flavour and mouthfeel with a little bitterness. Great beer, glad I bought a 6'er.

cfrancis, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of Antikythera
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass.

a: I thought this would be like a stout, but it's not that dark at all. It's the colour of strong brewed tea, and a bit cloudy. Foamy head settles down but sticks to the glass in layers. I can see how much I drank in each mouthful by the high water lines on the glass.

s: nothing special. A bit of that odd proteiny smell that I don't like, but there's not enough of that to be disagreeable.

t: pretty mellow for such a dark beer. A little nutty and a little sweet.

m: a bit overcarbonated, but that goes away and leaves a pleasantly slippery feeling.

o: good stuff. If I want something dark this is one of my favourite local options, especially for the price point.

Antikythera, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of traumaqueen
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

traumaqueen, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of kwjd
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 6 pack of this yesterday at the brewery store. Pours a dark amber-brown colour with thin off-white head and with traces of lacing. Smells of boozy raisin and cherry. Taste has mild bitterness, with sweet booziness as well. Even though the head isn't very big, this is well carbonated. Quite a nice English style ale.

kwjd, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of slitherySOB
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, amber brown colour beneath a two finger, white cloud head. Lace sticks to the glass like a bride's garter. Fresh fruit smell. Raisins, plums, dates, cherries, figs and prunes twirls around with the malt. It's safe to assume no hops were used in the making of this beer. Tastes like it smells, with a bit more freshness. Kind of softer, more chewy mouthfeel. I'll buy it again, and again, and again, but I won't have alot in one sitting.

slitherySOB, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of Absumaster
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this beer at the brewery and took it back to Holland. Color is dark brown, almost black and the beer has a thin foam layer.

Smell is strange, a bit green like DMS, but I an not really sure. At least some sulfur. I can also smell the maltiness.

Taste is malty and roasted/burned like chocolate. There is not much bitterness, but enough to make this beer enjoyable. Wow, this almost tastes like a red wine, remarkable for this alcohol percentage. The yeastprofile is clean. Body is medium.

Absumaster, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of ManekiNeko
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350 mL bottle served chilled in a water goblet-esque glass. Something with a widish brim.

Appearance: Hazy reddish brown topped by a smallish offwhite head. Head dissipates to a film rather abruptly and left little lacing. The temp or soapy residue on the glass may be to blame for this, though.

Smell: Strong aromas of roasted malts and prunes. Very reminiscent of a Scotch Ale or a Wee Heavy. Precious little hopping. I was expecting something more hoppy, but that's probably due to all my previous exposures to the style being American interpretations. Still, it's not an overly complex smell.

Taste: Dark fruits like raisins and prunes with a undergirding of roasted caramel malts. Same comment about hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and robustly bodied. Alcohol very well masked.

Drinkability: Pretty decently drinkable. Had I had this blind, I would've thought it was a Scottish Ale or a Wee Heavy. Something for the Yanks to remember when trying this. Still, a darn fine beer. That it's, as one other reviewer notes, their flagship beer says volumes about the brewery,

ManekiNeko, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of Stocean1
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a half finger poorly retained head leaving almost no collar, minimal patchy lacing, dark brown in color with ruby highlights

Scent is caramel toffee, dark fruit, sweet dark bread

Taste follows the nose with a faint dark chocolate note and some earthy hops

Very smooth and refreshing for the style, there is little carbonation with a light medium body, mild bitterness in the finish. Has a watery quality to it when swirled in the glass which does not generate any suds whatsoever. Almost seems like a session brew

A decent brew that with a more experienced palate is not as big as I remember it but still holds up well.

Stocean1, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of Popsinc
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep mohagany pour. Lively tan head. The nose is highlighted by sticky sweet molasses and toffee. Tastes starts off with some nice malt sweetness. Again, some molasses & black licorice and some hops come through mid sip. Dry-ish finish. Lingering malts and toffee. Some alcohol warmth. Fairly lively mouthfeel. Nice fuzziness to it. Decent drinkability but geared more for a sipping beer, or cool weather companion. Alot of great things about this beer but nothing that wowed me.

Popsinc, May 02, 2005
Photo of Derek
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Chestnut-garnet; pours with a tan head, quickly dissipates, hardly leaves any lace.

S: Malty (bread, nut & toffee), alcohol, prune and a little pepper.

T: Burnt caramel, earth, pepper and nut (but also a nutshell-like bitterness, though not nearly as much as the SPA, which I really don't like); some prunes and black-strap molases; alcohol is fairly assertive. There's only a hint of British fruity-ester flavour, I think it would benefit from a little more (like in the County & Imperial).

M: Body is on the high side of moderate, but it's really well attenuated & finishes kind of dry. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Fairly flavourful & potent, but I'm not particularly fond of the flavours. It's good, but not sessionable.

Derek, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of sholland119
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to grub for the opportunity to try this one.

A-Pours a muddy off brown with a thin white head and no lacing.

S-Candy sugar, brown sugar and sweet malt, chocolate syrup and chocolate covered cherries.

T-Sweet dried fruit, milk chocolate and rum soaked raisins.

M-Light bodied and a bit light on the carbonation.

D-A pleasant easy drinker.

HV

sholland119, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of RBorsato
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color (copper-red to a light source) with a nice light brown head. Malty toasty biscuity aroma and a very light chocolate aroma. Nutty malty flavor with a hint of alcohol. Medium bodied but leans full. This beer is good but just not a stand-out.

[11.5 oz bottle]

RBorsato, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cask

Appearance - The beer pours a clear dark brown colour with a small frothy beige head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing due to the darkness and there is some pretty nice lacing. The head lasted for 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, caramel/toffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a low level of carbonation and I can taste lots of malts, chocolate, and some dark fruits. There is also a but of a nuttiness to it. It ends with a sweet malty aftertaste.

Drink - Was happy to get a chance to try this from a fresh cask. It's definitely one of Wellingtons better offerings and I'd have it again.

spinrsx, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rather quaffable English Ale. Pours out to a deep cherry mahogany color with a medium head of dense off-white foam. Low carbonation. Aromas of roasted malts and sweet dark fruits. Taste is medium bodied, but still quite flavorful. Nuts, malt, sweet grain, earthy wood notes, dark fruits and cherries, figs, dates. Wow. I've got to say it's quite complex. Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, yet not overly dense or thick. Drinkability is pretty good. Special thanks again goes out to Derek for the sample. Recommended.

Frozensoul327, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of korguy123
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz screw off bottle. No BB date into snifter.
Was purchased as part of the Fall OCB 6er.

A- Opaque rich chocolate/burgandy pour. Two finger off white head. Ruby red when held to the light. Almost like a dark merlot. Faint carbonation bubbles scurrying up sides of glass.

S- Strawberries, cherries, milk chocolate, bitter hop presence. Chewy caramel, nice biscuity malts, faint coffee.

T- Slight metallic taste, figs and raisins, faint brown sugar. Fresh bitter hops are a nice kick in the teeth. Tart taste that I can't quite put my fingers on.

M- Drying bitter finish, the carbonation overshadows the tastes a bit too much.

Well worth trying once. The metallic taste became a bit off putting by the end of the glass.

korguy123, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of phamda
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

phamda, Jul 09, 2012
Photo of thaichile
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coffee brown with no head and absolutely no carbonation. Nose is roasty. Flavor is openly sweet with some kind of fruit in the deep recesses of this one. Although this was a dark brew, I didn’t get a lot of those burnt offerings but rather roasted hazelnuts. This greatly remininded me of a barleywine, with its viscosity, sweetness, and limited carbonation. This brew improved as it warmed. I thought at times it was a little thin, but overall a good one. Thanks to dherling for the bottle.

thaichile, Apr 28, 2007
Iron Duke from Wellington County Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.