Waitrose Duchy Organic Select Ale / Winter Ale

Brewed at Wychwood (Marston’s)

Style: English Strong Ale
Bracknell, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 131   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.21/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 186   ABV: 6.2%
Bottle: Filtered
Contract brewed by Wychwood for Waitrose and Duchy Originals. Launched as Duchy Originals, then Duchy Originals from Waitrose; currently Waitrose Duchy.
Available exclusively in Waitrose Stores over the Winter Months, this is a higher strength winter-time beer incorporating a range of organic cereals. The recipe includes the same organic Plumage Archer barley malt as Duchy Originals Ale, but with the Home Farm’s organic rye and oats added to give complexity and fullness of flavour.
The hop grist is a blend of the organic dwarf hop First Gold, sourced from the Hereford-Worcester border; and organic Target hops grown near Paddock Wood in Kent.
The combination of these organic ingredients has given Duchy Originals Winter Ale a dark ruby colour and warming toffee flavour, with hints of fruit and spice

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john44 (3354) - SW London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 5, 2017
Bottle. Ruby coloured. Malty; roast malts, toffee, caramel, burnt sugar. Fruity (dark fruits, citrus). Hoppy; spicy peppery hops. Sweetish roast malty throughout leading to a dry slightly bitter malty finish. (2009-03)

TorbenJensen (1548) - Valby, DENMARK - OCT 11, 2015
The foam is beautiful and lasting in the glass and smells welcoming of fruits. Raisins, peach and berry meetings nose immediately, but also a little caramel malt stand out. The taste is slightly acidic because of the fruit, alcohol felt weak and suggests that we are dealing with a rather strong beer (6.2%). Caramel is clearly in the middle of the taste spectrum, while wheat malts freshness and light sweetness carries it to a hoppy long finale. I do not know exactly what types of hops used, but it is probably only English hops because it is very typical "English" in its expression. Very clean and simple in its overall appearance and the strict separation of the many flavors.

ALLOVATE (3057) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31, 2012
UPDATED: JUN 1, 2012 Tasting from 2008; labelled ’Organic Select Ale’.
Cool but not cold and into a snifter. High effervescence pushes up an inch thick and tight, creamy beige head that holds and manages a fine lace. Translucent mahogany body that has a dull sheen to it. Mixed-bag aroma of toffee brittle, dank cellar must, cherries and tart blood oranges, prunes in syrup, wood and rust, and a strong note of caramelised rhubarb. Sharp, burnt caramel flavour dominates; dark fruits and bitter citrus meld with dusty, dark, roasted malt and some rusty, metallic and earthy, floral notes late and into the swallow. The burnt sugar notes become acrid and alarmingly controlling, off-setting all else as it warms. Firm, oily body with moderate carbonation makes it a little awkward overall. Not overly off-putting, just needs some recipe tweaking in my opinion. (50cL, BB 27/04/09, The Beer Store Morley)

BlackHaddock (7586) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - MAY 14, 2012
Brown 500ml bottle (Select Ale), best before 7th Oct 08, drank 6th Aug 08. Poured (twice) into my new La Chouffe tulip glass. Good clear ruby redish brown (teak wood colour) body with a tan head that fell away from being big to being little. As I opened the bottle my nose picked up a mature Cheddar Cheese aroma. Thankfully that was replaced by a rich, peaty, hoppy, yeasty, beery, ale type smell. Plums, raisins and dried mixed fruits came to mind as I supped my way through this lovely beer. A UK beer with 6.2% is a bit high, but the alcohol doesn’t kill any flavours here. This is a well crafted beer and very drinkable. Most likely the best beer I’ve had from this brewery and a beer I would gladly offer to an American BA as a fine example of what we Brits can do, if we put our minds to it!

davidm (2081) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 8, 2012
Bottle 500ml from Purvis. Great malty beer. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, and cereal. Taste is sweet, with light bitterness, and long length. Palate is velvety, and medium bodied. Amber, with a frothy head.

Foffern (1963) - Bodø, NORWAY - JAN 5, 2012
Bottle at home. Dark amber colour. Sweet and fruity aromas with caramel. Caramel malt also in the mouth along with alcohol and some grain. Medium hop bitterness. Somewhat dry ending. An okay english strong ale, but nothing more.

Cunningham (8282) - Halden, NORWAY - OCT 27, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 31, 2012 Bottle. Amber colour with an off white head. Sweetish and fruity aroma. Rich malty and moderate sweet flavour. Light hoppy. Decent strong ale

Vignale (3988) - Malmö, SWEDEN - OCT 26, 2011
Köpt på Waitrose -09. Riktigt god med massor av toffee. En av de bättre strong alesen jag drack under englandstiden på L’abri

eyes_wide_shut (107) - Haifa, ISRAEL - SEP 8, 2011
At a tasting in Shachar’s house, thanks zvikar, 500l bottle, pours nice amber color almost without head, almost not sparkling, sweetish fruity aroma, disappointing flavor, alcoholic and sweetish aftertaste, medium body, flows, and overall an excellent aroma, but failing flavor.

POLK (2219) - Hørning, DENMARK - AUG 30, 2011
Dark copper color fine off-white head. Aroma of caramel. Flavour is fine bitter end swet.

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