Duchy Originals Organic English Ale | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

202 Ratings
Duchy Originals Organic English AleDuchy Originals Organic English Ale

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: 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

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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 180
Photo of GLFerron
4.48/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer has quickly become one of my favourites. I am not particularly drawn to organic, but this beer has caused me to seek out others that are similar. This pours nice with and produces a 1 inch head, settling into slight fine foam. I liked that it wasn't clear, giving it a little rustic look. The hops were exceptional with a leaning towards another favourite kentish ale. Served at 41 Degrees F. The second tasted better then the first. A very satisfying beer that will earn further fans.

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Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice, clean, crisp, tasty, well-balanced, and subtle beer.

It is amber with a medium, dense, light tan head that slowly dissipates to leave a little lacing.

It smells of rich toasty grain and bread, toffee, flowers, with hints of pine and citrus.

The taste is a solid "bitter" flavour, bittersweet with beautiful sweetness and bitterness in great balance, clean, crisp. It tastes of toast with pine, hints of toffee, earth, nuts, and fruit.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 0.9fl oz brown bottle. Pours out a bit darker than I expected with no head what so ever. Slightly cloudy and almost the exact shade of brown as the bottle with a hint of red. Almost no carbonation which is how I like my English Ales.

Smell is bigger than I expected. Lots of malt and hops, reminds me of a barley wine from the smell. Fig and grass as well.

Taste is similar to the smell. Malt and raisins come through in the beginning but give way to lovely lavender and lemon grass. Although no bubbles, still lively in the mouth. Aftertaste is long as in 20 seconds or so. I would love to try this beer hand pulled at a pub. Very complex.

Two other great things going for this beer. 1) Organic 2) Profits go to charity. Drink up!

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Photo of NightINgale
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper body, with a nice frothy white head. The head retention is alright, and the lacing is quite impressive.

S - Some complex maltiness, with hints of caramel, toffee, and bread. Pretty good fruity undertones, as well as a distinctive floral hoppiness. A touch of honey sweetness and grassiness.

T - Tastes like a proper English ESB, with slightly more sweetness, and a very natural organic feel to it. Slightly earthy and grassy, with a nice bready caramel maltness to it. The finish has a good balance between the bitterness and the sweetness. Very full-flavoured and enjoyable.

M - Medium-bodied and mildly carbonated. Very smooth.

D - Quite good, this is an excellent example of the style, and it is only pleasant that it is organic as well.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky copper body with a finger of off-white head. Smells like malt and Enlish hops. Tastes malty with a fair bit of hops. Rather well-ballanced. Flavor is not overpowering... Medium bodied... Rather tasty IMO. A solid ale. Definitely see myself getting this one again...

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Photo of tmitch75
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another birthday gift from my brother, Cheers Adam!

Pours a cloudy deep amber color, quite appetizing, with decent head that dropped really quickly and left lots of lacing.

Smell is a bit muted, which is normal for the style, with sweet caramel malt and a bit of apple sweetness. Light floral hops.

Muted flavor too, sweet biscuity malt with apples and lemons followed by floral and fruity hops. A very tasty and well-balanced English ale.

Medium body with good carbonation.

Excellent and very drinkable ale, apparently His Royal Highness knows how to hire a good brewmaster.

Tasted on 6/18/08.

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Photo of danny013
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a 20 oz. pint glass. Pours a deep orange body, slightly opaque, topped with a 1 finger fluffy off-white head that slowly falls into the beer and leaves a thin top over it. Light lacing. Bottle-conditioned.

Aroma is of lightly toasted malts, earthy herbal hops, and lightly sweetened raspberries. Some malt sweetness and some bread float in and out, but is covered mostly by the others. Very nice.

Taste is balanced nicely. Up front is some delicious toasted malt flavors with a rich breadiness and some nice floral esters, mostly of raspberries and a bit of red apple. Toasted malts come through as the beer is swallowed, finishing a bit dry with an herbal hop bitterness that sits in the tongue. Faint fruity esters abound and complement the dry grains and hops, tinged with a faint malt sweetness that is rather pleasant and enjoyable. As the beer warms up some more the hops/esters gain in strength and character but leave the beer still fairly balanced.

Mouthfeel is good, a nice light-medium bodied ale with a light carbonation make this a smooth, easy drinker.

Overall, a very well crafted and balanced ale. A fair amount of depth and it certainly opens up the more it warms. All organic and the profits are donated to charity, so that is certainly something as well. I enjoyed this beer, and it will definitely be getting this somewhat regularly to savor and enjoy. I do wish it was available in 6-packs instead of only singles. Check it out!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice representation of they style, and also nice to see a beer that is both organic and whose sale contributes to charity. Pours a slightly hazy amber with a good head that fades to a thin cap and leaves some lacing. Looks true to style. Smells earthy, slightly coppery, quite rounded, and with somenice soft hops intermingling with the firm, light malt. Taste is similar. Very well integrated and balanced and with more of the typical metallic earthiness, soft hops, and roundedness. Mouthfeel is soft but with a subtle bite at the eend. Very drinkable and quite nice indeed.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(500 ml bottle, bought in Denmark). Amber colour, moderate head. Lovely hoppy aroma, hints of heather, tobacco and spices. Flavour is nutty and biscuity, a hint of toffee but not really sweet, good bitterness which lingers in the aftertaste. Very nice.

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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 Amalak
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had out of a bottle, I think it was a 16 oz'er.
A- It's orange in color, basically opaque with lots of small bubbles that leave a good, foamy, tan head and some lacing.
S- It has a barley scent ot it, fairly strong.
T- It has a thick alcohol taste to it. It's carbonated, malty...actually very malty, rich beer.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark copper color with a healthy white head. Aroma is light toasty pale malt, no off aromas.

Taste is more roasty crystal malt with a very light touch on the hops. More on the dry side with a soft hop flavor rather than bitterness coming through, maybe even a few esters. Some very mild diacetyl emerges after a while and the flavor fills out more as it approaches room temp.

Mouthfeel is medium, crisp and clean. Not terribly complex but very satisfying, not even a hint of off flavors. An organic beer that is head and shoulders above other organics I've tried.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy amber with little head, and there is very little head retention. This beer has a pronounced caramel flavor, with some very faint sweetness underneath. It tastes mainly of caramel with very little carbonation. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, and I could see this being a pretty good session beer.

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Photo of phishgator
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Large, thick foamy head, very dense and compact, it stays the entire time of the session. The aroma is of fresh English hops (earthy). The hint of field grass comes to mind. The taste is definitely a bitter. Buttery malt is sweetly smooth throughout. There are hops, but they are mild compared to our APA. The mouthfeel is a constant mild metallic twang. The bottle went down easy and I was ready for another, but that didn't happen.

I would have to say that I thought this was one the better examples of an ESB or Bitter that I've had to date. Highly recommend trying it!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber color...ample froth atop...

Aroma: a creamy thing, light, yeasty, zesty, a bit of bready malt...

Taste: sweetish, fruitish, a spank of hops, nicely bitter, juicy,tasty, yum...Medium bodied, sufficient malt, a touch of caramel there, very much delicious.

Here's an organic ale I can stand up and salute. Very tasty, not just noble, but well worth the drinking. If you want to go organic, here's the perfect place.


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Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a near clear copper colored ale with a somewhat skimpy white head.

Smell is extremely herbal with the buttery scent of Ringwood yeast. Additional aromas of toasted grain, saddle leather and tea.

Flavor begins slightly sweet with a fairly buttery flavor and drying herbal hop finish. As you drink it this becomes spicy and even more herbal. The tobacco flavor of fuggles comes out fairly strongly here. Toasted grain flavor gives a taste effect not unlike buttered wheat toast. Strongly herbal hop flavor very much like medicine.

Mouthfeel is quite full.

This is one of those ales for which it is greater than the sum of its parts. If you detest Ringwood yeast as some do then do not buy this ale you will be very angry. If you like Ringwood yeast then you will probably love this.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- warm hazy coppery orange with a dense beige foam with a nice bubbly layer on top. the bubbles recede leaving bumps and humps of lace looming over the nice pancake batter of a head.

S- i've recently become acclimated to the characteristic aroma of quality organic english ale and this one is no different save for a pronounced fruitiness along with the fresh cereal barley. figs, dates, and strawberries, sandalwood, cedar, oak, and the faintest trace of alcohol are all pushed along on a wave of fresh grain.

T- taste lacks the certain fruitiness of the aroma and is drier, dustier, huskier, like drinking liquid cereal. while not nearly as complex or appealing as the nose, it is difficult to argue with the taste of toasted fresh cereal. it's one of the most appealing tastes on the planet. their website states that they use a 'plumage archer' barley cultivated over a century ago one their own farm which is undoubtedly responsible for the unique clean toasty flavor. as it warms, a bit of strawberry comes out as well and inhaling on the sip produces an overall pleasant experience. complexities fade quickly though, and the finish is nothing more than exceptionally clean malted barley and earthy british hops.

MF- nice medium body but some more heft would be welcome here to give the feeling of sustenance to go along with the taste. the feeling of a thin juice is quickly notched down by somewhat aggressive carbonation causing a viscous feeling on the lips then a direct wateriness on the swallow.

D- pros and cons, but nonetheless a tasty very clean beer with a non offensive profile. i bet the prince drinks this out of the bottle when he scoops up some bitches and goes sailing.

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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 kmpitz2
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice golden color with a finger and a half of tight head that falls to just under a finger over the beer. Clarity is good and bubbles release from the bottom every few seconds. Nose is pretty subtle. I get solid toasty British malt base with a light earthy hop and very slight fruity character. Smells nice. Flavor is okay. The same characteristics from the nose are here, but there is also a slight metallic character. First to hit is an incredible toasty malt character, lightly grainy, but very tasty. This is followed by crisp and clean bittering from noble hops. The finish is a nice combination of toastyness and very light bitter. The metallic taste from the first sip is not carrying through in the rest of the beer. Enjoyable. Feel is moderate with very light carbonation. Keeps drinking very easy. I think this is a solid brew. Not as good as some of the bitters I have had off a hand-pull, but from a bottle, I'd have this one again. A nice bitter.

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Photo of steveh
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Little something new to start the weekend.

Hmm, bottle gushered on opening -- never a great sign.

A -- Discounting appearance points for the gusher otherwise, hazy, copper/orange color with a thick, light tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

S -- Somewhat watery up front with some spiciness back. Some nice English malt character with a swirl.

T -- Sweet, caramelly malts up front, fruity character in the middle -- peach or tangerine-like, with a touch of spicy hops in the finish. There's a pleasant spicy bitterness throughout that just sets off the malty sweetness. Nothing suffered from the cause of the gusher other than a vague sour fruitiness in the aftertaste, but it's not off-putting, so it could be just as much from yeast as from contamination.

M -- Very smooth and soft mouthfeel with a light-medium body and dry finish, very nice. Bottle-conditioning gives this brew a nice cask-like character.

D -- Highly drinkable due to character and flavor, and the 5% makes this sessionable enough for a few imperial pints.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$4,28 Sherlock's Barrett Pkwy Marietta, Ga. USA
I don't know why this has received such negative ratings, as I rather enjoyed it. It poured a red copper colour with a two-finger sand coloured head that died down to a frosty blanket in a few seconds. Smell was both sweet malt and nice, earthy hops. The sweet malts had a warm toasted grain smell to them with a bit of English toffee, almost reminding me of an English Barleywine. Almost. The taste was rather sweet, as well, at first, then turning pleasantly bitter. I rather enjoyed this ale; much more than I thought I would, actually, based on other reviews. I would likely buy this again.

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Photo of CNeilP09
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great package, classy label. Rich amber copper color. crisp foamy head that hangs around for a good long while. not much to the nose, a touch of florals, a bit of citric acid. surpreme maltiness, hoppiness finishes the sip with a dryness that brings it all together. you could drink this beer all day long. great beer.

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Photo of funkengruven
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up out of curiousity, this poured a nice dark clear amber with some head on top that subsided, leaving a lot of lacing. Smell has a nice malt and hop nose, East Kent Goldings I believe. Flavor is hoppy, making this a nice bitter brew, I do find however in the finish it falls a little thin. In the end it really doesn't negatively affect this brew.

This Ale is typical of it's style, everything that should be there, is there. A solid choice.

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Photo of bruachan
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked up this classy-looking bottle at arrowine. sculpted neck and the labels are gilt-edged. class, no frills graphics

great malt aromas: equal parts sweet and roasty. there's some floral hops in there too, and an ever so slight hint of aging

there's a touch of chocolate at the very start of each sip, but otherwise nothing that heavily roasted. at first i thought it tasted too dry and weak, but as the beers has warmed it has seemed more and more complex. the malt flavors have more hops to compete with than their aroma counterparts. smooth with an agreeable, yet assertive bitterness

i have a tendency to slant my gazes in beer stores toward the american and belgian brews, but it's nice to grab a good ESB like this periodically

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Photo of uno99
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from bottle to pint glass. not much head goin on here. very average appearence, but who really cares.

S: Probably the best thing about this beer! Very complex and sweet. I actually smelled the hoppyness first after I poured it, but it becomes more malty as things settle down. excellent roasty qualities. some good ol' yeast in there too

T: brings back memories for me of sitting in an english pub, poundin them back with my uncle. this is an excellently balanced beer. love the malts and the hops.

M: crisp, astringient finish. a little sticky afterwards but deserving of a 4.0 for sure

D: A great bitter any time of day/year. excellently priced if you live in ontario as well.

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Duchy Originals Organic English Ale from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.59 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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