I’ve reviewed a Duchy Originals beer before (here) and was quite impressed with it. Duchy Originals is a brand launched by Prince Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales, and spans a huge range of products from bath foam (which I reviewed here) and this, its Organic Select Ale.
The brand is only sold online in the UK or through supermarket Waitrose so remains quite exclusive. Its products are usually organic and made with quality ingredients which mean they’re not cheap. And this is the case here, the Organic Ale isn’t much cheaper than buying a pint in the pub – it’s £2.15 in Waitrose – and it’s made from Plumage Archer barley harvested from organic farms around the UK. One of those farms is High Farm at Highgrove – the Prince’s country home.
This is a fuller-bodied (ie heavier) beer than the ‘just’ Organic Ale and is quite strong – 6.2% as opposes to 5%. And it’s immediately noticeable in the taste. It’s more flavoursome and feels more substantive. It claims to dried fruit and toffee flavours with bitter citrus notes but as anyone who has ever read one of my beer reviews will know, I find it hard to notice those flavours. I would say there’s maybe a hint of toffee but gnerally I’d say it has a nice flavour!
I suppose it’s best to compare this to its less alcoholic counterpart and should you pay the 16p extra for it? Well it’s probably worth it, I would say that’s better value than the cheaper ale as it’s stonger – the bottle is nicer (if you care about that sort of thing!) and it is more flavoursome – something to be savoured. I doubt I could drink many of them in a go though and the other ale is a little lighter and fresher.
Duchy Originals Organic Select Ale costs £2.15 for 500ml from Waitrose and is 6.2% abv.