Duchy Originals Organic English Ale | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Duchy Originals Organic English AleDuchy Originals Organic English Ale
Liked This Beer
3.59 w/ 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 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 MrDanno96
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky copper-orange color with a few flecks of sediment floating around. Thin ring of head around the outside of the glass. Some visible carbonation floating to the top.

S: Floral, some citrus, peaches, tangerines, and some feint hops.

T: Pretty plain, grains, grass, with a bitter hop finish that lingers. A little sweetness in the aftertaste, but surprisingly little sweetness considering the nose.

M: Light to medium bodied, lots of carbonation, a little watery at times. Fairly refreshing.

D: Overall a solid brew. It's pretty crisp and refreshing. I can picture drinking one or two on a hot summer day. I just wish there was a little more flavor to go along with the other nice characteristics.

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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 BlackHaddock
2.84/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The word ENGLISH is dropped for the home market, the brown 50ml bottle had two months before its best by date. It was poured into an 'Old Speckled Hen' badged vase shaped pint glass.

Clear, but not bright, the colour was golden brown with a reddish hint. An off-white head sat on top, thick at first then a thinner covering. The head did produce some good laceing as the glass emptied.

No huge aroma came from the beer, some hop and toffee maybe.

The taste was fairly bland, fizzy, mid-dry, the malts and hops are there but neither grabs the beer by the neck and sorts it out. The 5.0% ABV doesn't feature or show in any way, the body suffers because of that, it seemed watery and lacking in the creamy, rich stakes. Drinkable, but a mild disappointment.

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Photo of skeetermoses
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

good beer overall....personally not impressed with the whole organic thing since the whole organic thing is not that impressive since that I am not that impressed with...oh never mind. I believe this beer was much more stout than I was looking for but I truely can say that do not hold out too much for this, as you would a fat tire in oklahoma.

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Photo of bobsy
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber colour with two fingers of white head, which attractively balloons over the top of the glass. The good retention surprises me, but not as much as the chunks of foamy white lace that are left behind. I've had this beer before and don't remember it looking so good. Fairly straightforward English bitter aroma, which despite its name, places more emphasis on malt than hops. Mostly biscuit, but with a good dose of caramel and some lightly citric / herbal hopping lurking in the background.

The flavour is definitely passable, and far superior to most examples of the style, but its still not going to set the world on fire. There's a strong biscuit base throughout the beer, and the caramel comes through at the top of the palate. A touch of complexity is added by a pleasing earthiness, which keeps this beer grounded (pun intended). What is noticeable, though, is that the hopping is more prominent than you will find in a regular bitter. While this is far from IPA territory, it makes for a nice surprise, and the orange and herb notes add some interest to the tail and alleviate the beer. The body is medium, with fairly light carbonation.

For some reason, I didn't find this as drinkable as I thought it would be. By the end of the glass I was good to see it gone, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps its simply that while its better than most bitters, its still not that interesting. I've always found this style to be one of the best for the cask format, and one of the worst for the bottled. In the glass, the beer seems stripped of all vitality without the added depth that cask conditioning brings. A lot of American examples make up for this by deviating from the style, and increasing the hopping, but the English stay true to the template and the beer suffers accordingly.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A darker, more amber/red colour than I anticipated, which was a nice surprise. The head was nearly non-existent. I poured nearly the whole bottle into the glass with no threat of a looming, towering head. I let it settle for a minute to watch it, then topped it up. The head settled quickly, too, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Smells great! Reminds me of some of my other favourite beers on tap or bottled beers from a similar area.

Quite like the taste, too. There is a slight sharpness to the mid/aftertaste, but overall, it's better than good. Not exceptional or a real standout, but I will remember it as a good beer.

In the mouth, it feels pretty average. Nothing too bad, nothing too great. It's not too watery, which is good... has a hint of creaminess/stickiness which is good.

As for drinkability... good! I wouldn't pound back a bunch of them, but I'd have a few if offered the opportunity.

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

From a sturdy 500 ml brown bottle. A thick creamy cinnamon coloured head rests at great length upon a cloudy nutty amber hued body, opaque yet not impermeable to light. Lots of frothy lacing.

Aroma is sweet, a bit of citrus, toasted grains, clean and crisp.

Fantastically smooth and creamy mouthfeel, enjoyable delivery.

Toasted, nutty malt up front, dry grains in the middle, with earthy mild hops on the finish, dry and earthy aftertaste.

A smooth clean bitter, mild all around but that's what it's all about. Worth revisiting again, although not overwhelmingly memorable.

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

A recent newcomer to NSLC, I did the same thing I always did upon spying it - picked up a bottle to try it.

Pouring into a pint glass results in an opaque orange color, slightly darker than orange pop. A finger of orange tinged head was also produced, but quickly dissolved into a sporadic covering, and some minor lace.

Very slight scent of malt and yeast.

Taste starts out with a mild maltiness, has a somewhat bready center and ends with a slightly sour bitterness. Low carbonation and a slightly creamy finish round it off.

A decent ESB overall, but nothing to write home about. In comparison to other organic ales I have tried, however, this is pretty good stuff.

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Photo of sleazo
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A_Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange hue and fills up my Imperial pint glass just to the rim with a soapy off white foam. This settles in to a wispy cap a bit too quickly.

S_The nose begins with some caramel malt and shifts into a minor citrus hop note.

T_The taste is more of the same. Caramel malt fades into a decent orange/tangerine hoppiness. The finish supplies a nice dose of minerals which prevent the package from becoming cloying. A vague fruitness permeates the entire package.

M_Slightly creamy with a low soft carbonation. Well suited for the style.

D_ESB is a style I really like when done well. Duchy Originals is a good but not great example of it. The hop variety (not sure which ones) seem somewhat out of place here. Still an enjoyable brew and worth a shot.

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

500ml bottle into straight pint glass.

A perfectly decent bitter. And "Suitable for Vegetarians" , unlike most beer, which contains meat. Maybe it's just my anti-Monarchist views and dislike for Charlie's architectural meddling, and even worse, his new age nonsense, but we really should not be buying this. It's okay to shoplift it though.

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Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish/brown with a thin tan head. Smell is of ripe fruit, a hint of sourness, and an English yeast strain. Taste is malty up front, with a grape like middle, and a earthy bitterness. A touch of sourness and saltyness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation levels, appropriate to the style. Drinkability is very good, a good example of an English Ale, though there are better examples out there, this one is worth trying.

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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 ecoastman
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle bought in Ontario only says "Ale" (not "English Ale").

Drinkability - While not outstanding, I really enjoyed this beer. If the price is right I'll be sure to pick up a few more. Kudos to the organic and charitable efforts.

Appearance - A slightly hazy dark golden red beer with a good head to start. The head recedes quickly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell - Not much to smell but it is a very clean beer. Hops are detectably prominant.

Taste - Fits the style: Low carbonation, medium bitterness and good hops for the finish which lingers with very light diacetyl butterscotch and citric notes. No outstanding flavour but a good beer.

Mouthfeel - Good body and moderate-low carbonation as it should have.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange amber with a nice creamy white head, some nice lacing.

Smell bready, some grapefruit citrus notes and a bit of yeast and a subtle hop aroma.

Tastes kind of bready, and sour, almost like sourdough. With some nice citrusiness and a weird taste I can't put my finger on, sort of dusty, something I find with all organic beers. Has a slightly bitter aftertaste from the hops.

A nice creamy mouthfeel and somewhat drinkable, although I wouldn't buy this again.

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Photo of choyhosoi
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass

The appearance as I poured this one was a cloudy brown with a thin head that dissolved quickly. It had a faint scent of sugary bread like an old cake. The taste was very smooth and very drinkable. Overall this was a good ale that is worth trying if you happen to come across it.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial pint into Fuller's glass...

Not a whole lot to say about this one. Caramel, butterscotch color that rings slightly flat. Not a great deal of head or lacing, but for style that's not much of a beef.

Scent is slightly metallic; inert English malts along with noble grassy hops. Calm and cool, but not quite substantial.

Collar matches the cuff...very mild malt and hop profile for this one. Drinks a little cooler than expected with a slight iron tinge. Comforting but not overwhelming.

Moderately spritely palate feel for an ESB. Hops and malt are playing the roles of the 2 polite chipmunks...Chip & Dale? from the Looney Tunes...neither one wants to pass through the door first. Finish is equally mellow.

This is OK. Not awesome, not horrible...OK. Drinks easily enough; nothing I'll seek out actively but I don't mind it too terribly much.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber with a nice, frothy white head, with some respectable head retention and lacing.

Smell is faint caramelized malt with a weak aroma of indistinguishable hops and just the slightest of slight hint of musty yeast.

Taste is a juicy toffee malt with a medium-to-light body and a moderate amount of mildly citrus hops to balance it out. This beer definitely lacks any real depth and I'm struggling to find much to say about it other than it's an enjoyable beer that might have the potential to be a great beer if everything was amped up a bit.

This isn't my favorite beer of all time to be sure, but it's hard to make a strong case against it.

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Photo of EatsTacos
3.81/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO, into a pint glass at cellar temperature

Pours a beautiful dark copper yellow with hints of ruby red. THe head is thick and creamy and the eventual lace is all over the glass.

Aromas of baked bread, cookie dough, light caramel malt, toffee, hops are subtle, fruit

Taste begins fruity and sweet; ripe red apples, toasted brown bread, hops are mostly aromatic in this beer which I think is intentional.

The finish is quite bitter and quenching, and pretty dry which makes this beer very drinkable for myself

This is almost full bodied, creamy, with a low carbonation.

The fact that its organic doesn't really matter much to me, but what this beer lacks in overall complexity it makes up for in mouthfeel and in its bitter dry finish. This is not a bad session beer, but nothing really to get too excited about.

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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 nickfl
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy amber body with one finger of white head. The foam settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Musty english hops and lots of fruity yeast. Moderate biscuit malt and notes of apple and plum.

T - Somewhat malty, but not particularly sweet. Toasty flavors in the middle with some hop flavors and a hint of brown sugar. The finish is pretty clean with moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, low carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - A pretty average english ale, perhaps a bit on the dry side. There is nothing to complain about here; it is a bit dull, but that is really par for the style.

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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 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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Duchy Originals Organic English Ale from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 39.1% out of 100 with 202 ratings
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