As you've seen in a previous post dear reader, some beers claim to be king of brews. The most obvious claim to the crown is from Budweiser (one I have yet to review), and also from said previous post, König Pilsener, which claims some degree of, well, regality ("König" meaning King).

That's all well and good to have a claim to royalty by name, but this ale has a literal claim in its very pedigree - the company "Duchy Originals" was set up by The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and some of this beer's ingredients are grown on his organic farm, Highgrove.

While you'd think that this beer might make one prone to developing large ears and a taste for older women, what it won't do is sour your taste buds.

And for this week to help me review this ale, I was ("was" because I drank this on Sunday) pleased to have been joined by one of my oldest dearest friends (dating back many years yonder). I will summarize our views and in-depth thoughts (*snort*), and you'll not only be enlightened, but you'll also know if two strangers you've never met came to any kind of consensus.

First, let me enlighten you with what is written on the back of the bottle (but imagine reading it with an English accent, perhaps a la Stewie Griffin or some old English butler):

"Duchy Originals Ale has been brewed in the traditional way, [meaning what??] using a blend of the finest aroma hops and malt made from Plumage Archer barley..." blah blah etc. something... Anyway. Review time!

We both agreed that it came with a bottle cap that required a bottle opener.

Check. So far, so good.

Colour wise, this ale showed itself to be a dark amber, bronze if you will. Check check.

Two for two! If only the Leafs could achieve even this (if you lived in Canada, you'd understand).

Nose wise, my friend didn't note too much (perhaps because he was more interested in drinking), but I observed that it had a somewhat malty nose, which was fresh and light, and inviting. As I also noted in yet another previous post, I am dubious when it comes to ales, but these recent ones have perhaps turned me around to them...

Taste time, my comrade declared that it was not overly bitter for an ale (bitterness something he likes, to an extent), and is tasty, and not pungent, nor was its aftertaste too heavy.

I too concurred. I found it distinct, in that it was malty and hoppy, but blended to a very smooth degree to present a quite tasty drink. It leaves the mouth and gives a reverberation of the tastes, but in a genteel way (can an aftertaste be genteel?).

We pretty much had a good consensus on this drink; the taste was approachable and agreeable, and we both appreciated the half pint sized bottle, so you get a good deal for your money.

In the end, our ratings were slightly different; had he graded it 3 (of 4) or higher, it meant to him that he'd go out of his way and buy it; he couldn't give it that high a grade. I agree with him on that scale. I probably would not go out of my way to buy it either, but we both gave a nod to the fact that if we were given a bottle at a social gathering, we'd definitely not say no, and we'd enjoy this ale again.

So! While this beer has not usurped the sceptre as Lord and Master of Beers from whomever holds it (if anyone), it stands up to its princely label by being noble and respectful. I bow to thee Duchy Originals Organic Ale...but God Save the Queen!

DDD's rating: **3/4 of 4
Matt's rating: *** of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$3.35 (US$3.15).


LCBO #26971
Beer, Ale
5.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: 3
Made in: England, United Kingdom
By: The Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd.

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