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 Beejay
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A beautiful medium brown. Clear, with a nice just off white head on top.

S: Sweet caramel right away. A bit of maple syrup and a hint of hops in the finish.

T: Definitely focused on the malt on this. Caramel and toasted notes take over the flavor here with a slight bitterness in the finish. There is a slight floral note in the finish.

M: The carbonation definitely seems very alive, although it is not heavily carbonated. It delivers a quick blast of bubbles, then settles down into a clean and medium bodied brew.

T: Very nice. subtle and easy going. A simple and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of BBP
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A thick brown color mixed with hop orange. Good carbonation, nice head, and great lacing.

S- Floral hops and a bit of breadiness. Rather faint. Some undistinguishable fruit as well.

T- A lot of fruit flavor. Notes of apple, pear, and I want to say raisin. Somewhat light taste. A bit of a caramel sweetness.

M- A little under medium body. Creamy and smooth as well. Carbonation fits it perfectly

D- Easy to down, and a pretty good choice for people into fully natural beer. I didn't mind this, but wasn't blown away.

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Photo of MattyV
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber with a foamy off-white head that laces well. The aroma's very subdued, picking up faint hints of grain and floral hops. Caramel malt becomes more apparent in the nose as it warms. The flavour is predominantly caramel/biscuity malt and a slightly bitter finish from the floral hops. The mouthfeel is alot crisper and less creamy than I expected, but is altogether quite enjoyable.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy amber colour with a lot of carbonation showing. There is a nice size foamy and frothy beige colour head. There is some faint lacing, and the head lasts for a few minutes before it's gone.

Smell - I can smell some toasted malts, some caramel notes, and some hops.

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a nice mouth feel, the carbonation seems to be just about perfect. I can taste the hops and then the malts, then they both give way to a caramel sweetness that lasts until the finish. And the aftertaste is slight bitter and sweet. However it seems like the beer needs to be kicked up a notch. It is missing a nice medium or full bodied taste. It comes across as slightly tasteless and watery.

Drink - The beer could be promising with a few adjustments. It lacks severely in the flavour department.

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

I've seen this on the LCBO shelves for a bit now and finally decided to pick one up as it sounded interesting. Pours a golden colour that starts with fluffy white head that quickly dissipated. Smells of faint floral hops with some earthiness to it. Taste has a very mild bitterness, much less than expected. Little bit of hops and bread in the flavour. Not a bad beer, but not worth the price it is in Ontario when you can get Fuller's for cheaper.

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Photo of tubacharlie
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Soft, hazy, amber-brown color with moderate carbonation and head. Woody, caramel malt aroma with a hint of herbal fragrance.

Mellow, slightly hoppy flavor with good character and depth. Nicely balanced malts. Well crafted. A good session beer to kick back on an afternoon of cricket or football.

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Photo of prosper
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a deep golden. Very hazy, it appears to be bottle conditioned.

smells vaguely of sourdough bread - yeasty, bready, and a little tart.

Taste is pretty ordinary. Slight fruity hops, doughy malts. Not much in the way of caramel. It's OK, but nothing special. Finish is somewhat astringent.

Overall - a decent attempt, but boring. Ultimately it does nothing to endear itself

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Photo of lamergod
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle to a good old pint glass.

A: Nice one finger carbonated white head with a nice orange/copper hue with moderate carbonation.

S: Had to stick my nose into it. Nice roasty malts with some biscuty roasty malts notes. A balanced bitter hop follows with some toffee finishing.

T: Pretty much similar to the smell. No aftertaste. The beer is quite sour.

M: Very nice mouthfeel. Well balanced.

D: Very drinkably. Makes a good pint for a warm day after work.

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

Appearance: Pours out a clear, bronze-hued body with a finger of white head depositing small flecks of suds on the way down.

Smell: Light nose smelling of barley-based bread with some distant, vaguely sweetish toffee accents and notes of spicy, dried herbs.

Taste: Humble, even obsequious maltiness tasting of three-day-old bread marked with a bit of sweet toffee. Lightly spicy, herbal hop character hinting at basic black tea. Modestly bitter. A little barnyard apple comes about as it warms. Gently drying finish with those tea-like tones lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-low carbonation. Soft, easy-going mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Simple, subtle, but easy to drink, it's a satisfactory beer to wile away the time with. So about as much as anything rolling out of Wychwood aspires to be.

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have a feeling this beer would be much better fresh (as most are). After reading some reviews one reviewer nailed the color it looks like ice tea (and yes I read reviews while drinking the beer I find it helps me out). Small white head off a pretty strong pour. Not much lacing but the foam does try and stick to my glass.

Smells old, I'll have to go to the U.K and compare it...booking my flight now. Faint floral and citric hoppiness, caramel and a little buttery.

Tastes similar to the nose, hops are a little more pronounced, caramel and buttered toast (i think that's what it is). Nothing to really keep coming back to in my opinion.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tan to orange color with modest head, and a bit of haze. Nose has some black tea & herbal components, with maybe a hint of orange. On the palate the tea flavor returns with some apple cidery flavors, and a modest amount of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel with nice carbonation, and rather easy drinking.

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Photo of Naugros
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An amber orange glow comes with this hazy brew. A one finger head emerges from the pour and dissipates to a few vague floaters supported by the light carbonation.

An orange blossom scent rises from glass backed up by the promise of some sweetness once you take the first sip.

And the promise is kept at the tip of the tongue with some caramel, but it's not cloying. It's subtle and plays well with the rest of the kids in the sandbox: some bitter apple and orange esters at the roof of the mouth There is a strong lingering bitterness that lies at the back and sides of the tongue with a trace of smoke.

There's a lot going on and the aspect of the beer changes after you stop drinking. The flavors above do not hit all at once, but wait their turn to confound you. However, it still stays crisp and only the aftertaste stays around to taunt you.

This is a bit too bitter for my American palate. I did enjoy this beer, but more than one would be out of the question. I have many more Belgians lying in wait to satisfy my need for sour.

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Photo of mooseisloose
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 500 ml bottle at LCBO. Cool barley and hop art illustrated on the bottle, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top yields a funky aging cheese smell with a metallic twinge. Pours to a gold colour with a slight reddish tint. The head is off white and fades quickly. Taste is quite basic, good malt backbone, bitterness starts slow then builds into a dull bitter aftertaste. No big hop bite, actually quite balanced. I was expecting more, kind of disappointed. Not a brew I would seek out in the future. Basic by all means. On the second pour out of the bottle this beer improved dramatically, it is on target for the style, but in my opinion still just an average brew.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt orange colour with a translucent cloud in the brew. Slow bead trickles up, head is decent but thin, dissipates leaving a film on top, but some nice, thick off-white lace around the glass. Nice-looking English brew.

Nose is fairly interesting. Very funky, resiny for the most part, but a good malty backbone. A thick, caramel-style malt aroma and a lot of almost rank sweetness, kind of like rotting fruit - papaya and banana come to mind. A little bit of sourness gives fruit for thought. A curious nose, can't say I love it though.

Taste is very mild, and borders on bland. Starts with a gentle malt flavour, hints of brown sugar and caramel, then gives off some fruity hints that aren't very sweet, kind of tart actually, with notes of banana and even mango, a bit underripe in character. Leaves a lingering metallic flavour with hints of green tea at the back. Not really sure what to make of this, it's kind of refreshing but it's a bit too bland to really excite the palate, just a bit lacking in flavour really.

Feels fluid with a bit of dryness on the back, kind of crisp but not quite enough.

Not an offensive brew, fairly easy drinking, just a bit dull.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red-orange colour, with a slightly ribboned-white head of cludgy foam. Lacing is eccentric, but stays fresh enough. Looks nominal at best, but the colour is ripe. Head certainly needs some lovin'.

Wood shavings on the nose are perceptible, with a rufous aroma of dark caramel to backlight it. The wood and pine characters are most dominant, and it freshens up perspicaciously. It almost hints at acidity in an incoherent way, but it's very pleasant overall. I like it.

Quite smooth on the palate, with a round caramel cannoliness. Some partial hop resin partway through spears the glutinous nature of the rest, and the example I had was served too cold, which somewhat benumbs the feel. It's a little emaciated on the palate - it doesn't have the full-bodied and strikingly preternatural bent of the nose, but it's pleasant enough.

Very drinkable, all things considered, with enough interest to keep me titillated. It's not a beer that is going to cause me apoplexy or fanaticism, but it's smooth, easy-drinking and inoffensive.

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Photo of seand
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange amber with a medium amount of white head. Just a little bit of head around the edges retains, leaving just a few small dots of lacing.

S: Slightly sweet, mild hops, and a little earthy. No real dominant aroma.

T: Balanced and simple bitter. Slightly sweet, finishing with very mild hops.

M: Light to medium carbonation, medium body, slightly sticky sweetness.

D: Drinks pretty easily, as you'd expect for a bitter.

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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 vancurly
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Am I drinking the same beer ? It has the same bottle & label, but it is nowhere near "ruby" coloured, nor ESB in style. Not sure if someone on the bottling line has stuffed up, but the beer I'm drinking is nothing like previous posters, nor the label description.

Anyway, I review it as it comes. BB 31/7/2010.

a) Pours a slightly hazy orange amber. Very slight bubble, with offwhite pillowy head that hangs around.

s) Big marmalade hit, then backed up by the rest of the citrus family.. lime, lemon, cumquat. Some breadcrusts in there also, to remind me that there is malt in ale.

f) A pale imitation of the nose. Maybe a bit biscuity. Medium to light bitterness.

m) Quite light. Although a full-palate mouthfeel, this is still very light.

d) I could sit on the nose for hours. Once in the mouth, down it goes and I'm reaching for more.

The bottles I have are not ESB.... certainly a fine EPA, but I don't get the attributes of previous posters. But I do get a fair ale, regardless. Not bad, Your Highness.

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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 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 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 atis
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It said simply ALE on the bottle, probably because I bought it in England.

Pours clear amber with thin white head, some lacing. Aroma is mild malt, some citrus and what seemed to be yeast.

Taste is biting fruity floral bitterness, slightly sour towards the finish and long lasting bittery aftertaste, seemed also a bit salty. Mouthfeel is light-medium with considerable prickly biting carbonation.

Overall, quite enjoyable beer.

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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 OttoBomb
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass (January 4, 2010). Rear label says "Best before: 30 Sept, 2010" so it's fresh. This was a Christmas gift from my dad, thanks to Pops!

Eyes: Pours an impressive ruby red color, the liquid is fully see through with no haze. Two solid fingers of fluffy foam that dissipates quickly. Lacing recedes quickly also.

Nose: Overall the aroma isn't very strong, you really need to stick your nose up close to smell it, but it's quite nice. There is nice fruity malt character, natural cereals, and a light burnt caramel presence also. An undertone of hops resonates overall.

Tongue: Tastes of lightly toasted malt and bready notes. Finishes with a light citrus, hoppy character. Smooth and crisp.

Mouth: Almost no carbonation in this one, with the surface almost completely devoid of foam throughout. The texture is crisp and finished well.

Libation: Very smooth, clean, and drinkable. The flavor profile is not as complex as I'd like, but it's quite good for the style. I'd be interested in trying the other Duchy organics if not necessarily this one again. It's very sessionable and I guess the organic aspect is good also.

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