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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: 8
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 biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

04-29-2013 21:37:00 | More by biegaman
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

3.83/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

01-08-2004 04:02:29 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of bryehn
bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

01-31-2011 18:12:59 | More by bryehn
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

10-07-2009 02:36:53 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Many thanks to northyorksammy for getting a bottle of this into my grubby little paws. Poured from a brown 750 ml capped bottle, best before date marked on the back label (making this one a month before it's over the hill).

A thin fizzle of off-white head on the pour that disappears just as quickly. Aside from that it is a very appealing dark woody brown, but becomes a stunning cherry oak hue when held up to direct light. I could gaze upon that for a very long time... Uh, where was I?

The aroma possesses a faint sweet butter-rum character, as well as date/prune/raisin notes.

The flavour starts out quite mellow at first, light diactyl that gets stronger the longer it is held in the mouth, getting sweeter to almost a preserved current and cherry flavour on the finish, and then more diacytl on the aftertaste, like a full circle. Much milder than I had been expecting from this strong ale.

Mouthfeel is light but not swilly, very smooth over the palate and down the throat. Quite an easy drinker for the style, would do well as an after-dinner drink, especially after grilled meat, or even pasta.

My first sample of a Wellington beer and I am impressed, they will do right with this as their flagship beer.

04-04-2004 21:44:11 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

341 mL bottle from a six-pack. I got this mostly because it was on sale, which I noticed in a moment of serendipity because the logo happened to be pretty close to eye level on that 'wall of brands' at the Beer Store.

Pours a lovely deep-hued brownish-bronze colour, topped with two fingers of light-beige head, smooth and dense. Decent retention; it recedes over the next few minutes, leaving behind a thin, creamy cap and lots of lacing. Very malty aroma, with lots of toffee and biscuity malts, and hints of vanilla and dates. A little too saccharine for my tastes, but still generally pleasant.

Straightforward flavour with restrained intensity; pretty much what I expect from most English-style ales. There is a backbone of brown sugar, toffee and toasted biscuit malts, with a slightly nutty feel to them, and a few hints of dark fruit as well. I can't complain about this being too sweet, because it does actually have a nice, slightly roasty finish that provides some crucial dryness to balance it out. Pleasant bittersweet aftertaste that encourages further sipping. Medium-bodied, and quite smooth with its mild carbonation. Quite drinkable for the ABV.

Final Grade: 3.85, a B+. I have met the Iron Duke, and it was an unexpectedly satisfying experience. This is a highly quaffable strong ale that I would happily recommend to others. Sort of reminds me of Innis and Gunn-style scotch ales, without the woodiness - probably more appropriate for autumn or winter than this time of year, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

[Updated June 19 2014]

Another six-pack picked up at the local TBS. A little out of season, but this is still a solid English-style strong ale that is sure to pique the interest of palates that prefer the malty side of things. I wish they'd start putting this in tallboy cans, because as much as I enjoy this beer I'd like to have the option of grabbing a can or two rather than an entire sixer. Give this one a shot, as it's easily one of the best brews in the Wellington portfolio.

07-14-2012 17:21:19 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

03-14-2004 06:40:11 | More by pootz
Photo of drinkininthewood
drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

06-22-2007 00:04:16 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of stoutman
stoutman

Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -1%

Honey and peanuty aromas. Brown in color with a diminishing tan head. Quite sweet in the nose with some added floral nose that adds to the sweetness. Mild fruits and nuts mix about when swilling. Very simple. Very drinkable. Quite tasty with a mild alcohol finish.

01-31-2006 00:15:29 | More by stoutman
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

This beer was part of a trade with Grub. Thanks Grub for the beer! The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a chestnut brown. The head was about a finger and a half high. The head was a tan biege coloration.

Smell: The beer has a toasted nutty caramel malty lead. This gives way to a pleasing fruity cherry and plum flavor.

Taste: The beer taste like it smells. The toasted nutty caramel is well complemented by the fruityness. The alcohol is a bit boisterous; however, I think the alcohol lends the beer a spiceir flair.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is slightly shy of full bodied. The beer has low carbonation. The alcohol is a bit boisterous in the mouth but I like it. This is a dam fine beer. I could see drinking many of these at a time. This is my first Wellington Brew and I wish I had more. I can hardly wait to aquire more of these beers. Thanks again Grub for a great beer drinking experience.

09-12-2006 12:43:33 | More by nlmartin
Photo of atomicbolt
atomicbolt

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

6-pack I got for my birthday - thanks, dad! :)

Dark brown-reddish colour with a creamy, light beige head - nice. To the smell, there's caramel, smokiness, spice, nuts - not as much of an alcohol smell as I expected, considering this weighs in at 6.5%.

The taste is quite smooth and pleasant. Fruits, caramel, roasted coffee, all very well-balanced. A bit of a bitter bite in the aftertaste which provides a nice kick, but again, without the strong alcohol taste I was expecting either. Very drinkable, but watch out about having too many of these, they can definitely sneak up on you.

Overall, it's easy to fall in love with this beer, and with the brewery in general. Hats off to Wellington for continuing to make quality English ales and not succumbing to the lure of the bargain bin.

05-24-2008 21:58:56 | More by atomicbolt
Photo of Antilochus
Antilochus

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured from a 341mL bottle (in a six pack) purchased at a Kingston, Ontario Beer Store. Appearance is reddish brown opaque, descending along the glass to translucent reddish brown. The head is tan, slowly dissipating to a thin cream with lace. Aromas are roasted malts & sweetish dark fruits, with slight burnt sugar. As it warmed alcohol became noticeable, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is immediately medium viscosity, with low carbonation. Taste was sweet and roasted/burnt overall, with smalt, cherry, prune, and a bit of spice. Alcohol not as noticeable as I expected, very enjoyable. Decent drinkability, but at 6.50% abv probably not sessionable.

11-19-2007 00:20:53 | More by Antilochus
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

12oz bottle from a sixer purchased at the Beer Store. Pours a dark brown with glowing ruby glinting throughout. Finger of khaki cream head which has good retention, still has a creamy topping like icing on a cake. Pretty.

Nose has an earthy roast, toffee, dark fruits, rye bread, caramel. Flavor is smooth and relaxed, unfortunately not aided by a slightly thin body. Dark fruits, roast, earth, a slight mineral note, fruit bread, some sweetness in the body and a dry finish, brown sugar, creamy mouthfeel though a little thin, not a hint of any ABV. Perhaps not the most sexy beer but (aside from how it looks) but it's well made and a good example of the Englsh style it represents.

06-22-2011 23:50:44 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of beckerboots
beckerboots

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured to a very deep amber with a hurried array of oversized bubbles that should not be that evident in a 6.5% ABV. Had an almost mesmerizing hint of dried fruit that carried the sweetness to the next level. Little bitterness or bite in the mouth as the sweetness retarded the palate. Certainly not as strong as the "Iron Duke" implies, but definitely a likeable product from an authentic Canadian micro.

05-13-2004 20:39:09 | More by beckerboots
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

A - Clear copper red. Head is creamy tan and very sticky.

S - Hmm. Slight cheesiness? Floral and fruity. Some crispness as well. I think I'd have to call this a strong, pungent aroma.

T - Big sweet, bock-like malts. Light toastedness and coffee. Hope bring in the finish and clean up the palette. A touch of tart fruit.

M - Smooth and creamy, big full body.

D - Very tasty. Drinkable, but not in huge quantities. Not a session beer. Maybe a 1 or 2 a night beer, with food.

06-11-2006 00:54:13 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of fisherman34
fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

Dark brown body with a small but a lasting head. Nice malty brown bread aromas. The flavors are mainly caramel and bready malts, along with a subtle fruity note. Medium bodied, whcih is surprising considering the aroma and flavor profile (expected heavier). A touch of alcohol on the finish. Not the most complicated or subtle beer out there, but a solid performer indeed.

09-04-2005 00:30:17 | More by fisherman34
Photo of mrnobody
mrnobody

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

341 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark amber with 2 fingers of beige head which recedes to a ring leaving some lacing.

S: Smells malty, fruity, spicy and slightly metallic.

T: The flavour is rich and malty but also fruity and with a nice hoppy finish.

M: Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel but not heavy. The carbonation is spot on.

D: The drinkability is very high. I'd say this is a very tasty traditional winter warmer (unspiced).

01-21-2011 03:14:40 | More by mrnobody
Photo of Wintermute
Wintermute

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Good clarity. It appears dark brown at first but with a little more light, definite amber tones appear. Light brown head with a mixture of large and medium bubbles. Head dissipates fairly quickly leaving a light skim on the top of the beer that lasts throughout. It may have just been the glass, but there was only a little lace left on the sides of the glass (I seem to remember more lace last time I had it).
Malt dominates the smell, but there are some hops there too. Maybe some citrus in the hops. It's tough to tell because the malt dominates. There's a faint caramel sweet smell and also that dried fruit smell (Dried tamarind comes to mind). There's also roasted grains and even a little bit of alcohol can be detected in the smell.
It tasted pretty much like it smells. Starts out malty and but finishes fairly dry considering how malty it is. There's both alcohol tones and bitterness in the finish. It's not a strong bitterness, but it does linger a bit. Fairly well balanced.

09-12-2004 02:38:42 | More by Wintermute
Photo of ikats
ikats

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Iron Duke pours very dark brown color with nice tan head that dissipates into a thin cover. Initial lacing is good, but slowly dissappears off the sides of the glass. Aroma is very sweet - dried fruits, prunes mainly, with some caramel. Same for the taste except with an addition of alcohol. The taste of alcohol is present, but not too strong. Mouthfeel is initially sweet, but lightens up considerably. All in all a very enjoyable, not too complex beer for a relaxing evening.

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

07-30-2005 04:34:23 | More by ikats
Photo of ludachris
ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

Courtesy of TheHammer, thanks Marky Mark.
Pours a nice chestnut brown with a little over a finger of off white head that quickly boils down to a ring that follows the beer down until the end of the glass. Minimal lacing.
Smell of roasted malts, toffee, and a hint of caramel. Subtly complex; very nice.
Some nice chewy malt upfront. Chocolate, buscuit and a bit of toffee. Finishes off with a nice dry hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel is excellent. Decent amount of carbonation and very smooth. The higher ABV is masked very well. Definately sessionable.

Overall, a great brew. This is only my second Wellingtons, the first being the SPA, and ive been impressed with both. Apparently 6ers of these go under 12 bucks. Definately worth the money. Can't wait to have another.

04-05-2009 03:18:57 | More by ludachris
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

On cask at C'est What. Dark brown body with a minimal tan coloured head, which lingers around for much of the duration. A sweet chocolate smell in the aroma jives with some fruity esters. The flavour shows much of the same, but with more of an emphasis on the fruity end mixed in with caramel. The alcohol packs a nice kick, and although it does not dominate, it does become more apparent in the aftertaste. Fairly full bodied and easy cask drinking. A very decent beer.

02-22-2008 19:59:34 | More by bobsy
Photo of RedAleMan
RedAleMan

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%

11-21-2011 01:18:30 | More by RedAleMan
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%

03-08-2014 01:20:52 | More by andrenaline
Photo of Pmicdee
Pmicdee

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%

09-12-2013 22:51:58 | More by Pmicdee
Photo of Shadman
Shadman

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%

Pours a dark walnut/mahogany with a nice off white head and good gobs o' lacing.

Lot's of boozy dried fruit , hint of molasses toffee and just a hint of woodsmoke.

Smooth, albeit bland start, most of the flavours don't arrive until @ least 3 steamboats after taking a swig. Rum raisin to start, followed by slight nutty dark toffee. Finish is slightly oaky and dry.

Touch watery @ first, but a lower carbonation works as the body is still medium to slightly full.

A very drinkable ESA.

05-07-2010 03:46:23 | More by Shadman
Iron Duke from Wellington County Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.