Duchy Originals Organic English Ale | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

180 Reviews
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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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 202
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 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 drpimento
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice bitter. Got this bottle at Sam's in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Poured with a medium tan head that settled down to a partial thin cover and a little lace. Color is a clear nice medium honey amber. Aroma is tropical fruits at first then a little hoppy, malty, and burnt sugar. Flavor's very similar, but more dominant burnt sugar, and hops. Good carbonation and mouth. Nice bittersweet finish. Session beer.

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Photo of Shadman
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

picked this up during a 'pilgramge' to Willow Park liquor store in Calgary

Very impressive looking ale...vibrant copper-orange almost glows...slightly hazy with an impressive head and tons of lacing

Very nice aroma of rich caramel malt and floral hop.

Taste is a bit of a letdown. Somewhat musty and thin up front. Some nice diactyl near the middle and that tea-like bitterness/dryness one expects from a Brit ale.

Could be fuller given the ABV, but certainly smooth.

Doesn't quite pull the entire package together as well as some ESB's...still worth a try.

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Photo of gfreed
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Medium dark-brown in color, similar to cloudy iced tea, with a tan head. Somewhat smoky aroma along with some yeasty background and a small amount of fruit. The taste was boozier than I expected given the style and the ABV, and the alcohol covered up most of the flavor. Some malt managed to sneak through, but not enough flavor of any kind managed to survive. There are better British ales available in the U.S.

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Photo of dudecandle
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into pint glass:

A: Very good. Nice, medium-dark golden-brown color with a finger's head. Head dissipated quickly, left some loose bubbles on top. Good lacing.

S: Hoppy, subtle orange peel, buttery, bready, sweet malt kicks in as it warms up.

T: Black tea bitterness, modestly herbal and peppery. A bit burnt. Light apple finish.

M: Dry.

D: This is a beer that you can either drink nice and quickly or let it sit and let it open itself up. Not too complex, but everything comes together very well.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden orangeish color with minimal head, fine lacing on the top.

Smells of light citrus and apples, and some grains.

It's a refreshing taste. The fruits come out to play with the grains and the malt, by the end I was convinced light green apples was the dominant fruit taste but there were certainly others. Slight hop taste in the finish. Creamy, slightly light body.

I could definitely drink another of these and at 5% it's certainly not going to affect me too adversely. Nice light summer beer - nothing too complex going on.

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Photo of deaconoflove
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ap. Poured a pint bottle into an ordinary water glass since that's all I have. Looks a bit cloudy, an amber golden color with a decent head at first. It fades quickly.
Sm. It smells really good! Can't tell if it's barley grain, maybe a little orange or citrus.
Ta. Very mild, tastes great! Tiny little orange flavor with nice bitterness at the end.
Mf. Light carbonation and maybe a little thin.
Dr. It doesn't have an outstanding or unusual flavor/taste, but it's very good and goes down very easily. I could drink this often.

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Photo of cerveza5150
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy/amber/burnt orange. Soapy aggressive head that foams up on the pour, and then retreats to think lacing around the glass. Moderate carbonation

S: First hit on the nose was of pear, followed by a slight caramel/toffee scent. Actually smells pretty damn good and is a good example of this style of English ESB in my opinion.

T: Fruity pear/apple taste fades into the toffee I smelled on the nose and is washed clean by the slightly astringent hops. No pine or citrus here, just good old English bittering hops. Good example of the style.

M: Like in all the other reviews, I thought this was a think, but then again, I think these ales, especially the ones I've tried from England, are meant to be a little thin. One drawback to the thin nature of the ale is the fact that the carbonation overpowers the palate as it warms inside my mouth.

D: Nice, enjoyable ale. Not the most spectacular, but a nice change of pace. I'd buy this again!!

Overall:This is something I could see having on the golf course on a nice Spring afternoon. Light enough to drink while being active, yet interesting enough to remember. The fact that it's organic, uses barely grown on the Prince of Wales' home farm, and goes to charity makes it a keeper in my book!

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.02/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 04/02/2009 (Bottle):

Pours a cloudy orange red body, dark. Foamy whitish colored head, diminishing. Sweet fruit aroma. Very dusty musty English smelling aroma. Watery, not carbonated honey taste. Sweet tasting but not sickly palate, or taste. Very English tasting.

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

A: Hazy orange color. Cream colored head that diminished quickly.

S: Mild sweet, fruity malt aromas with some peppery hops.

T: Lightly sweet grain flavors upfront, apple/pear coming through in the middle, finishing with mild earthy,spicey hops light bitterness at the end. Very nice balance.

M: Decent carbonation with a medium light body.

D: Easy drinker, Nicely balanced ale.

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Photo of rhenning
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt,0.9 oz bottle, purchased for 4.39 USD and poured into Allagash chalice glass.

Pours a mostly clear amber with orange hues and just a bit of haze, 1.5 fingers of white head, which persists and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smells of bubblegum candy, sweet malt, nuts and apple cider.

Initial taste of malt and apple fades into a bit of champagne yeast and a hint of black tea, pear, and a clean, barely bitter hop finish. A clean-tasting beer with well-balanced flavors that are not overly complex nor offensive.

Mouthfeel is okay -- not downright watery but feels a bit thin. It's thirst-quenching, though, and not at all sticky.

High marks for drinkability. I could definitely handle this one as a session beer on a warm day. Wish I had another bottle.

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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 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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Photo of DoctorDog
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 1 pt. 0.9 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Hazy copper color. Pours with a massive tan/off white head, which fades fairly quickly to a thin cap. Moderate lacing noted.

S- Slightly fruity, with some notes of bread and minerals.

T- Slight fruitiness on the front. A bit of subdued toffee/malty sweetness. Bitterness is fairly low. Not a standout, but decent.

M- Quite light, and slightly watery.

D- This seems like it would be a very sessionable beer. Low ABV%, decent but subdued flavors, and a light feel.

Future outlook: This was OK and completely unoffensive, but there are too many much better choices to pick from to go back to this one by choice.

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Photo of auburngrad82
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A- Slightly cloudy orange color with cream colored head. Some, but not much, lacing.

S- Slight flora aroma.

T- Nice clean tast. Fruit and floral overtones. Hoppiness is evident but not to the point of bitterness.

M- Nice balance.

D- Pretty decent beer that I would buy again.

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

Reviewed on 6/23/08. Bottle. Pours an orange/brown, just a small ring of white head. Aroma of honey, pear, raisin, and apple juice. Flavor of wheat, lots of apple, tartness. Sweet, light body, very simple and mellow. This beer is subtle, not in your face with flavor, which is why I liked it a lot. Tasty and light. Delicious.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Split and poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear bronze with a one-finger white head of average retention, leaves a ring of foamy white lace after it fades away. Carbonation is fine-bubbled and relatively quick.

Aroma: Doughy caramel is this beer's most prominent aroma by bar, though there are a handful of fruity esters - that traditional English tart apple comes to the nose as it warms - along with a few faint spicy notes.

Taste: Similar to the nose, though with slightly more fruits. The doughy caramel is pretty strong here, though more than countered by pears, sour apples, faint hints of cherry. It's very earthy, toasty, though still sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied, smooth, with little carbonation that results in a bit of unevenness.

Drinkability: An interesting beer, glad I was given the opportunity to try it. Fairly solid, though a little heavy on the fruity esters for my tastes (is that just an unavoidable English thing?). Nice that it's organic, too, and the alcohol is both manageable and well hidden, so it's solidly drinkable.

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Photo of Morbo
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dull hazy copper with a one finger beige head that doesn't stick around. The nose is pretty nice, some toasty/caramel maltiness with green apple tartness. Hay and earthy/floral hops are hanging out in the background. The flavors seem a bit muted, biscuity malts with a lemongrass twang and a lingering earthy bitterness. Medium in body without much carbonation, so it is rather smooth going down and finishes long and dry. Smooth, mild, and refreshing but lacking a bit in flavor.

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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 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 canucklehead
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark gold almost brown colour with a tight head. The nose is fairly malty with some hops in the background. Nice to see the use of organic elements in this beer. This is malt forward drinking ale with some complexity. Let it warm up and enjoy with food. The mouthfeel is full bodied and makes you want another bottle. Nice beer.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Okay, my bottle only says "Duchy Originals Organic Ale" but based on the label and the ABV, this is probably the one.

Decent golden-copper body with a fair bit of head that thins out fairly quick. Smell is reminiscent of Fuller's ESB but a little bit hoppier and with a slight sour, metallic tinge.

A fairly balanced ESB, but a bit on the bitter side. The malts are good, but the hops give this a fairly acidic, bitter character. This comes off more as a strong ale than a bitter. Noticeable alcohol warmth.

Nice carbonation, but a strong alcohol character and a noticeable aftertaste on this one. Regardless, a good beer and worth buying again.

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

No complaints with this refreshing ale. Duchy's appealing bottle, the charity thing, and the fact that the barley is organic set the stage for a pleasant quenching brew. It's hard for me to get excited about this particular English ale - there's others I enjoy a lot more, but I'd buy it again. It's another one of those that would please someone rounding turn one (maybe turn two) in beer appreciation. Gotta earn those stripes one step at a time. Duchy's produced a decent brew here.

Not a classic,
No, not quite.
Just hops and malt
All done right.

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

Handsome 500 ml whiskey-style curvy bottle poured into a pint nonic glass yields a hazy reddish notes of copper-amber body capped with a thick finger of loose-bubbled pale ecru foam. Scattered patches of fine lacing mark the drink's passing.

Smell is clean and refreshing with crisp notes of savory-sweet malt and floral, earthy English hops.

Taste is malty and dry, then malty and sweet, malty with a bit of caramel... malty on many levels, suffice it to say, but the hops are not outshone here so much as they seem willing accept a complementary role, bringing herbal, earthy balance and a touch of bitterness to keep the drink nicely in kilter. Smooth, polite malt flavors are supported nicely by a minerally backbone, and a touch of orange makes itself known as the drink warms.

The drink is light-medium bodied and smooth with a slightly astringent finish reminiscent of strong black tea. The beer features very good drinkability, and is a particularly excellent pairing with a link of spicy pork sausage on wheat bread with yellow mustard.

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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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