Monday, 1 August 2011

Duchy Originals from Waitrose-Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905

Holy shit, what a mouthful.  It shouldn't take a guy ten minutes to type the name of a beer.  Surely they could have cut it down a bit.

This little brew comes all the way from Oxfordshire, England.  At 5.0%, it is sold in very attractive 500ml bottles more reminiscent of port or sherry than beer.  This is a decent beer, but perhaps the most pretentious that I have encountered.  According to its label, the Old Ruby Ale features "an English barley first used in 1905 called Plumage Archer."  A portion from the proceeds from each bottle sold is donated to The Prince's Charities Foundation.  It is certified organic.  In short, I'd poured myself an uncommonly socially conscious pint.  But was it any good?

The Organic Ruby Ale wasn't quite what I was expecting.  First of all, it isn't really all that ruby.  Its colour is more of a cloudy auburn--very pretty but decidedly not red.  There is a nice amount of creamy head and it looks great in a glass.  I liked it very much at first, but by the end I was less convinced.  There was an initial hint of bitterness.  However, the body was extremely sweet, as was the finish.  It was a bit too saccharine to be drinkable.

The Organic Ruby Ale 1905 was agreeable enough, but lacking in character.  I was hoping for a more robust, full-bodied beer and was left a bit disappointed.  It was more memorable for the bottle and the impressive social credentials than the suds.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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