1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of korguy123
korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

10-02-2010 21:29:54 | More by korguy123
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

08-16-2010 21:52:31 | More by kwjd
Photo of cratez
cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%

341ml bottle from a 6 pack purchased at The Beer Store.

A: dark ruby brown with one finger of frothy, cream coloured head. Gobs of lacing decorate the pint glass.
S: light nuttiness, raisins, sherry, a bit floral, some metal, brown sugar, and vinous, port like aromas.
T: dried fruits, toffee, roasted and chocolate malts, red grapes, caramel bitterness, parched cocoa finish with a warming, alcoholic edge.
M: silky, fullish medium, high carbonation for the style, lasting bittersweet dryness.
D: a dangerously quaffable, malt-forward English strong ale. Marvelous.

06-24-2010 04:25:19 | More by cratez
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

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

06-19-2010 02:01:08 | More by sholland119
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
Photo of ChrisCage
ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +11%

A- I gave this a moderately hard pour into my glass. The color is walnut and is slightly hazy when held to the light. It didn't have a real thick head but it was frothy and settles into a ring around the glass. There is some fine sticky lacing that clings to my glass and the carbonation looks to be of fine bubbles.

S- This has a rich, nutty aroma that is somewhat roasted. There is a detectable wood aged smell that is a milder version of a dark rum or whisky...somewhat toffee like, somewhat woodsy. There is some noticeable dark fruit in the aroma, like dates or plums. Mild hops are on the the finish as well.

T- Again, the flavor is very nice and rich. There is sweet roasted malts on the palate right up front and a very detectable oaked wood character right throughout the middle. The higher alcohol, while hidden quite well in the full flavor, does provide just a hint of a zip that makes this taste like a wood aged rum, with the toffee richness included.

M- This beer has a nice medium full body and is buttery smooth, as the carbonation is not really heavy and is fine on the palate. Very well rounded feel and I really have a sense of enjoying a real authentic warm, relaxing smooth drinking beer!

D- While I wouldn't normally want to have several of this style of beer, simply due to the richness of it, I'd have no problem throwing back a few of these....this beer really is a true joy! It's balanced, flavorful, and has the right amount of warmth. I will definitely be purchasing this brew again in the future!

02-26-2010 03:59:15 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of bigjeffro44
bigjeffro44

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

appearance,
dark amber in colour. with a creamy off white head. about half inch thick. lacing was slight.

Smell,
toasted malt, caramel and fruit and spice notes.

taste,
lots of toasted malt/nutty flavors, with hints of fruit.

mouthfeel
very pleasant, nice carbonation slight bitterness.

drinkabillity
very smooth, yet bold. highly recommended.

01-12-2010 21:38:40 | More by bigjeffro44
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Stopped by the brewery today for some holiday gift getting - snapped up a six pack of the Duke, probably my favorite from Welly!

Pours a nice dark brown, a bit of amber when held to the light. A half inch of head, thick ring around the glass. Looks good.

The smell is terrific, very complex and inviting. Roasted malts, grapes, coffee, Black Forest cake.

The taste is also very enjoyable: the usual brown ale suspects, with a strong bitterness to the finish.

A highly drinkable ale, perfect for the winter weather. One of the better dark ales in this part of the province!

12-13-2009 01:57:47 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of cfrancis
cfrancis

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

11-12-2009 02:56:04 | More by cfrancis
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 TheHammer
TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +11%

Appearance - Came in a bottle with a picture of the Iron Duke, Arthur Wellesley, the first duke of Wellington on it. Ahh the wonders of wikipedia, I suppose a fitting tribute given the brewery name. Not much head on this one, about a finger's worth but what I did get seemed to both sustain and lace decently. The beer itself is a nice dark brown color with red highlights with clear signs of carbonation and quite clear despite how dark it is.

Smell - Definite roasted chestnut and almond smell with undertones of biscuit, sweet malts and light chocolate and a hint of cherries and plums. Very complex and nice, my only qualm is that it could be a little bit stronger.

Taste - Very nice and complex, starts with nice caramel taste with a little bit of a fruity sensation. It then transitions seamlessly to roasted malts with a touch of chocolate bitterness and then ends with a nice touch of bitter but sweet herbal hops where the chestnuts make an appearance. Very nice, although I feel that the bitterness could be reigned in slightly.

Mouthfeel - The aftertaste of this beer is quite pleasant, as the sweetness does a lot for it however it does linger a bit too long. However this stuff is a smooth as silk going down, despite having a slight dry taste at the end. The beer itself is a bit light on the carbonation and the lack of head also penalizes it somewhat.

Drinkability - If this stuff is 6.5% it's certainly hard to tell. This stuff is dangerous man, as the alcohol isn't noticeable. It is exceptionally light on the gut, goes down smoothly. If it wasn't slightly dry at the end and a bit more refreshing, it would be perfect.

Final Thoughts - This beer is exceptionally good, and even more so given it's price (at about $12 for a six). If you live in Ontario, you owe it to yourself to try this beer. I was very impressed by this beer, and I think after I polish off the remaining four I have, I will partake of this brewery again. Definitely worth picking up a six or even a twelve pack.

04-07-2009 03:29:52 | More by TheHammer
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 vikingmike
vikingmike

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

I picked this up completely randomly at an Ontario Beer Store.

Appearance: Hazy caramel. It looks like a proper English ale.

Smell: Fragrant candied fruit and marzipan (almonds and sugar).

Taste: Excellent. Entirely different from the smell. More of a burnt toffee taste with a solid alcohol backbone.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth

Drinkability: This is an outstanding beer that I'm slightly upset I discovered so late. I could easily session a few of these.

02-10-2009 22:35:51 | More by vikingmike
Photo of EatsTacos
EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured a dark brown into a tall pilsner glass. Creamy mocha head with not a lot of retention and a small amount of lacing.

Aroma is roasted malty, chestnuts, toasted bread, biscuits.

The taste begins with a sweet caramel malt that fades into a bready, roasted grain. Chocolate and expresso, roasted coffee beans. The hops are herbal and bitter. Very smooth and drinkable. The end is bitter and nutty. Delicious.

Medium to heavy body with a low crisp carbonation. Very smooth beer.

I've never had a beer I didn't enjoy from this brewery, and I'd love to try this one on tap or cask..

11-11-2008 04:27:00 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

That's in Durham right? Pours a chestnut brown color with decent clarity. A very soft off white head with good retention and limited lace. Both didn't last through the tasting though.

The nose is malty with very distinct caramel and toffee notes. Really come out and are very perceivable. A nice toasted and a hint of roasted grains as well. Minor yeast as well as figs notes but overall very smooth. A slight earth hop noses and hints of woody and vanilla characteristic.

The taste is more toned down than the nose. The maltiness is still evident with more caramel flavors coming out. Toffee is still present but lighter and more in tune with a more toasted/bready flavor. A noticeable chocolate flavors as well. There is more of a yeast presence that is a bit off but not over bearing. Some esters plums, prunes. Finish with a slight earthy note and hints of molasses.

The body is more moderate than full. A light carbonation. Overall a good beer with a fantastic nose and minor flaws in the taste. Very enjoyable, thanks to DrJay for the extra.

06-09-2008 15:52:47 | More by Oxymoron
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 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 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 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 thaichile
thaichile

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%

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.

04-28-2007 11:47:03 | More by thaichile
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 Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

08-19-2006 16:48:16 | More by Absumaster
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

08-02-2006 00:13:12 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

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.

07-29-2006 00:13:29 | More by Derek
Photo of trevorwideman
trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

Sampled at the Woolwich Arms and Arrow in Guelph...

Poured into a pint glass. Lovely dark colour, not quite opaque, shades of purple and ruby, slightly cola like. Not much of a head results, but a ring persists with a bit of lacing to the bottom of the glass. Smell is hearty with a generous roasted malt character. Toffee and caramel notes, some coffee and an underpinning of hops. Not too sweet, which is something I tend to worry about.

Taste packs a real punch. Nutty malts give way to a not overbearing caramel sweetness, great espresso type roasted character. Light hoppiness is definitely overshadowed by the intense and punchy malt characteristics of this brew. Nonetheless adds a refreshing character to something I'd normally consider an Autumn/Winter brew. Hearty body and soft mouthfeel make this brew slide down very easily and due to its exceptional flavour would make a great session brew. I'm proud to have been born in Wellington County if this is the kind of brew coming from my old stomping grounds. Cheers!

07-13-2006 20:50:48 | More by trevorwideman
Iron Duke from Wellington County Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.