Duchy Originals Organic English Ale | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Duchy Originals Organic English AleDuchy Originals Organic English Ale
202 Ratings
Duchy Originals Organic English AleDuchy Originals Organic English Ale

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed for HRH The Prince of Wales's Dutchy Originals (duchyoriginals.com) with profits donated to HRH’s Charitable Foundations. Made with organic barley including some from the Home Farm at Highgrove (princeofwales.gov.uk)—the country home of HRH.

Added by rastaman on 09-29-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 180
Reviews by pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice thick sculpted bottle, and simple but classy artwork. This one pours a dark tangerine hue, like the darkest part of a peach's skin. This is slightly hazy, and the head is a really pretty and frothy three finger beige cloud that leaves tons of sticky lace on the glass. This looks great in the glass.

S - Hoppy, sandy, floral, and herbal. This is pretty malty too, with loads of buttered scone notes underneath a tea-like hop profile. The aromas here are gentle and straightforward, but really nice and pleasant.

T - This is mellowly malty, slightly sweet, and herbal. This isn't flashy or showy with big crazy flavors, but it is extremely clever but understated as I imagine a stereotypical British gentleman. Witty, clever, smart, and well spoken, but quiet and reserved. This one is tasty.

M - Lighter bodied, but well built and well rounded. This one may be the very definition of balance in terms of both hop/malt flavors and solid-but-not-beefy body. The carbonation is a bit higher than some English brews, but that only helps clean up the palate before a slightly bitter and slightly buttery finish.

D - This is a session brew of the highest order. I can imagine sitting in an old woody pub and sipping a few pints on a rainy day. Maybe with a plowman's plate loaded with stilton and some buttered crumbly bread. Good stuff.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a brilliant bronze with aminimal white head,nice rich clarity.Big fruity malts in the nose along with some caramel/biscuit,a light toastiness is in there as well.If you life malt tilted English ESB's this is for you,fruity as all get out,(green apple mainly), with a tinge of vanilla and caramel,a passing leafy hop comes in late.Its bigtime quaffable and subtle,like it should be.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is peculiarly shiny and clear, almost a bright orange, with little head.

Smell - The classic English yeast aroma is very soft on the olfactory. The bitters are incredibly leafy.

Taste - The leafy, herbal flavor dominates this ESB. The hops are leaf-like without being floral and the little malt will go unnoticed by most.

Mouthfeel - This is strikingly bitter but not obnoxiously so. It's very smooth in the mouth and would probably melt on the tongue from the cask.

Drinkability - A highly sessional English-style ESB.

Update - I caught a lot more malt in this 2009 vintage. It's a nice, drinkable ale that is still hell to look at.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle, no date.

A: medium amber body. a nice mild richness, good color, however virtually no head. a tiny speckling of bubbles here and there, a tiny dusting of sand on top. strong pour and agitation bring back very little.

S: light grain husk, herbal notes, dry hops, some over ripe fruit qualities, peach maybe.

T/M: very light body, soft carbonation. a little sugar up front, followed by the fruit from the nose, a soft prickle on the tongue mid palate. the finish shows the grainy nutty quality then finishes barely dry with a small hop presence. an unpleasant metalic quality lingers. overall, lacking both the malt and hop body that should be present for the style and fails to hold my attention.

D: super easy going. not a whole lot of flavor+light body+low alcohol= easy drinkin. not very interesting though so im pretty sure this one will be it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

Slightly hazy copper-colored brew, crowned with a very tight, slightly off-white lacing with stick and fizz--put your ear to it. Quite fragrant, floral (lilac?) and toasty in the nose, with soft herbs, blossom honey and caramels. Medium-bodied, full, with a chewy center. Lively carbonation. Fairly bitter up front--grassy and biting--with a green, leafy edge and notes of wood. Suggestions of tart forest berries. Biscuity malts, with faint notes of molasses and brown breads. Very dry overall with a strong mineral character and light metallic twang. Hints of fresh, juicy apples toward the finish, followed by some oiliness and a bone-dry, slightly puckering palate.

A top-notch example of the style, that's very sessionable and most interesting, plus it's organic, promotes sustainability and profits a worthy cause to boot. It's brewed for HRH The Prince of Wales's Duchy Originals (duchyoriginals.com), with profits donated to HRH's Charitable Foundations. Made with organic barley, including some from the Home Farm at Highgrove (princeofwales.gov.uk)--the country home of HRH.

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Photo of R_Kole
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, with best before dating of 13 oct 07. Expensive stuff at over $4 per bottle, this one pours a rich shade of reddish, dark almond amber, clear. Moderate retention is noted on the light tan head. Moderate loose and then quickly sliding lacing. Sweet green apple nose. This is a Brit style ale, on the sweet side, and a bit thin taste wise, needs some hops IMHO. The fact thats its made from organic ingrediants has a fancy label and all the proceeds go to "the Prince's of Wales Charitable Trust", doesn't make this any more then an almost decent sessioner, but not much else. I wouldn't spend over $4 for this again...

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Photo of glid02
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a light copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of pale and lightly toasted malts with good amounts of floral and slightly herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors up front are joined by herbal and spicy hop flavors that carry through until a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a decent thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished the bottle without a problem and could have this again.

Overall this is a solid beer that I think is a bit closer to an English Pale Ale. Whatever it is, it isn't great but it's worth a shot for an organic beer.

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Photo of rastaman
2.06/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Savoury barley flavour. Quite sticky mouthfeel, even a little bit cloying, some grainyness, with some resiny hops in the finish, shares a lot of same characters as other beers from Wychwood. A bit unexciting, and pretty boring in the end, i'm glad i didn't have to drink the whole bottle.

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Photo of FleeVT
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt. 0.9fl.oz brown bomber with no date into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful burnt orange/copper with a slight haze to it and a well formed white head that dwindles to a thin layer.

S: Sweet malts dominate the nose with a faint hint of hops. Nice balance.

T/M: Extremely well balanced, as an ESB should be. A bit more hoppy than the nose leads on, the sweet malts make an appearance again on the palate. Nice alcohol content with a medium body and carbonation. A bit too metallic in the aftertaste.

D: Great beer for session drinking. A nice representation, my only gripe is the aftertaste.

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Photo of zjungleist
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a nice light brown color with low to medium white head. The smell is mainly of brown sugar and malts, with a slight tang from the hops. The taste is pretty well balanced, with well rounded malty flavors, light hops, and even subtle yeast flavors. The mouthfeel is nice and crisp and certainly refreshing. This is perhaps a bit light, but tasty none the less.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Marston's pint glass. Hazy amber with a decent sized head. Head dissipates to a thin cap. Sporadic lace.

Earthy hops and dried fruit. Biscuits and sugar. It smells delicious.

Bread and fruit up front, mildly sweet, hops take over halfway through providing a very dry, tea-like bitterness. This is tasty.

Body between light and medium, with low carbonation. Low carbonation makes it feel nice and smooth in the mouth.

Smooth mouthfeel and flavours worth savouring make this a pretty drinkable bitter. Sessionable at 5%ABV.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Situation: a cold Saturday evening before a fire...
Glassware: simple pint...
Appearance: cloudy, iced tea brown body with an equally tea-like short, off-white head, befitting of the style...
Aroma: fresh nasal hops, floral and citrus but not overwhelming that are becoming of an English bitter--quite mellow, actually...
Palate: initially soft, with more than a little effervescence through the tongue--yet arousing to the point of an IPA in its body...
Taste: buttery and mild with enough hops to be a formidable reminder it is a beer I am drinkin; the aftertaste is clean but a presence nonetheless...solid
Overall: This one leaves me wanting of another to validate the experience--enjoyable and yet so swiftly gone. Was the beer that good? Or that ignorable? I will admit my sense of tast has been eluding me lately, so in all fairness, this one might need another review after a trip to the doctor's (honestly)... for now, I can say thatI'm in a better place having drained it...

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy orange amber with good carbonation creates an initial one-finger bubbly and lively tan colored head that dissiptes rather quickly to a thick rim and a scattered, bubbly covering in the center.

This one smells like a wet wheat field with black pepper, herbal hop, slightly citric sour yeastieness and a bit of grain alcohol heat at the end.

The flavor is a thin herbal wheat malt with mild spicey black pepper and tangy hops taking over quickly. This seems to evaporate on the palate to realease a mildly bitter, tangy earthiness that's very hearty and balanced out with a subtle heat.

This is a crisp light/medium bodied brew that is somewhat watery and thin. pretty refreshing though.

Not a bad organic ale from England and the proceeds go to charity I guess so that's a good thing.

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Photo of Sammy
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generous head and lacing. Fresh, The hophead dose of a double IPA in a 5% beer. Much higher IBU tasting than a typical English bitter or IPA style. Hop leaf taste, grassy, mildly astringent, some malt and bitterness in a long aftertaste. Offset was beery cheese aroma.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very orange beer, thin foamy head which quickly dissipates. Good markings down the glass.

Almost vinous nose, like a sweet white. Noticeable hops, but with a surprisingly North American citrus character.

Sourdough bread was the first thing that popped into my head. Doesn't rely too much on the malt, instead providing some fairly bitter hops for a British beer. Pine, maybe oak is the flavour I get mostly.

Nothing particularly wrong with the mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated.

A decent session ale.

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Photo of sullysbeer
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Malt and hops battle each other towards your sniffer. Sweet and clean. Fruity esters come through.

Appearance: Pale or a lighter copper. White head retention that spots the surface and rings the glass.

Flavor: Very dry almost missing something (body) in the begriming of the sip and just like the aroma, the malt and hops battle for a win towards your palate and in the end the hop bitterness kicks in but delicately.

Mouthfeel: Low-medium but more towards the low body. Very light on the carbonation just like a beer from a beer engine.

Overall Impression: Very delicate, clean, crisp and refreshing. A "session" beer. I could drink about 9 pints of this beer. Well brewed.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wychwood's organic ale pours a just-slightly hazy copper body beneath a heavy dollop of off white froth that holds quite well and leaves some very nice half-rings and crags of lace about the glass.

The nose is fruity (some orange, some dry apple - coming from both the hops and the yeast) and somewhat mineralish and earthy over a delicate, lightly caramel-accented malt base.

In the mouth it flows smoothly with a medium body and restrained carbonation.

Hoppy fruitiness greets you first in the flavor, followed by a more pungent, leafy character. Across the middle and into the finish it's bitter, herbal, and caramelishly malty.

Delicately balanced and teetering on falling away from flavor, this is a massively drinkable pint that could easily take you through many toasts in a night at the local.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9fl oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a nice creamy off-white head that possesses good retention and lacing. The aroma is rather faint with bready malt, some dark fruits and a touch of caramel. The taste much like the aroma is dominated by the malt with some faint metallic notes running in the background. Overall, I found this to be a pretty good brew that I wouldn't mind having again. I don't think I would want to drink more than one in a sitting as I would probably get bored with it pretty quickly. Definately worth a try.

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Photo of dgallina
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle with coded unintelligible freshness date. Pours transparent copper with insignificant film and light lace. Medium floral and leafy hops in the nose. Nice toasted caramel and biscuit malt flavors with gentle drying mineral water and hop finish. Body balances carbonation with medium creaminess. Not at all complex, but easy-drinking and enjoyable as a session beer. One of the better offerings from Wychwood.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy copper with a tinge of yellow/orange. Low foam, minimal initial lacing.

Malty smell, but other clean. Some citrus.

Taste was full of malt, with slight hops bitter, but a clean finish. Some residual hops lingered. Also picked up notes of orange.

Lively mouthfeel, medium activity from the carbonation.

Have to say, this was a damn good beer - I was quite disappointed to finish it, as it was my only one.

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Photo of basica
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have had English ales but not much; so I would still consider this one of my early forays
into the world of English ales. The Duchy Ale comes in a nice 500ml bottle with nicely
designed labels to make it look classy. This beer pours out a brownish or amber golden color
with a small head. It smells yeasty and slightly foral. The taste is mainly ale yeasty and
slightly malty and is pretty good but what was not too nice was the thin body and the overly
high level of carbonation which leads to a not-so-satisfying mouth feel. This also causes
the merely 5 ABV ale to be less significantly less drinkable. The after taste is pleasant
but does not seem to get better over time. I gave it a 6.5 instead of a 7 or 7.5 because of
the unsatisfying mouthfeel and drinkability. Frankly the taste is pretty nice and comfortably

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off I really like the label of this beer, very neat and proper looking as a beer endorsed by the prince of Wales should be.

Decanted into a pint glass the beer revealed itself to be a fine hazy orange amber colour topped with a off white head which soon turned to a thin white cap.

Bright hop and malt aromas vie for nasal supremacy with their fine scented offerings. Notes of citrus and caramel, burnt sugar and tea provide a nice nose accompanied by some floral hoppiness.

On par with the aroma the flavor is of malt sweetness in direct competition with hits hop rival. Notes of coffee and toasted bread as well as toffee delivered from the malt side of the spectrum. On the hop side of things thyme and other herbal notes provided a fine earthy character. An overall sensation of freshness gave the beer a fine refreshing quality. The body was very smooth and easy drinking. A lingering astringent finish with combined with hints of alcohol left me wanting to quaff again and again.

All in all this is a very nice easy drinking beer with a good balance of flavours. I feel more British with every sip.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark burnt orange color with a light tan head.

S: sweet caramel and fruitiness (apple) along with a dry floral british hopping.

T: The flavor had a nice dry floral bittering against a biscuity british malting. There was a fruitiness of apples, and peaches along with some zesty lemon hopping leaving a noticeable hop lacing.

M: lively from the carbonation with a medium body with a nice creaminess.

D: Drinkabibily is good, nice dry flowery hop makes for a good English ale that is good in multiples.

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Duchy Originals Organic English Ale from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 202 ratings