Old Ruby Ale 1905

Company info:
Waitrose Limited

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $7.50AU

Label info: ‘A deliciously robust rich blend of hops and malt, including an English barley first used in 1905 called Plumage Archer’


‘Duchy Originals fro Waitrose – At Waitrose and Duchy, we share a belief in the value of British organic food, grown and produced sustainably.
Old Ruby Ale 1905 – This traditional ale was lovingly brewed using barley from selected organic farms, including Duchy Home Farm at Highgrove’.

What the label really means: Although I wish I was informed more on the Plumage Archer, I am intrigued by it’s long history. I’m also intrigued by the fact that this is an organic brew.
A little piece of text on the back of the label reads ‘Suitable for Vegetarians’ – which is a massive relief because damn those meat beers are a divisive lot aren’t they? Many a time have I rocked up at a vegetarian house party with a case of Slaughter-House Lager on my shoulder only to be met with disapproving stares. Good to know I can bring a case of Old Ruby Ale and know I am among friends.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Very, very boring. Simple as that, boring. It looks like a wine label…particularly an ol tawny port. I just can’t warm to this one.

I give it a label rating of 3 out of 10.

AROMA: Very hoppy, breathing enticing goodness straight up my nose holes.

Taste: GLASS – There’s a delicious caramelised, roasted flavour that rises up and belts you across the kisser on the first sip. It rolls across the tongue in gentle waves of smooth deliciousness. I am really loving this and find it incredibly flavourful. It’s delicious, sweet in flavour, and thoroughly enjoyable. Pass the Duchy on the left hand side indeed!

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE –
I would suggest you stick to the glass with this brew. The Old Ruby is still good but has an ever so slight watery after taste. It loses a little of the over all experience here and not quite the experience.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this along side Johnny Cash’s ‘One’

Accompanying food: I imagine this would be well suited to pork…pork with baked apple and roast vegies. Bring it.

Best season to appreciate: It’s quite a refreshing beer that is suiting this warm weather really well. But, I see it sitting more as a Winter warmer.

All-nighter beer? Yes! I could drink this all night (if it weren’t so expensive).


  1. Radio Snivins says:

    I’ve met this beer before. Stop me if I’ve already told this tale but whilst visiting 1770 in 2003 I got on the outside of ten 1905’s and woke up in a 7-Eleven carpark, under a P76. There was speculation at the time that I’d № 2’d myself, which would have been perfectly understandable, they’re an intimidating looking vehicle, especially when viewed from the tarmac, but I can’t 10-4 said supposition, and all details are lost in the annals of history. Nine out of ten.


  2. McLean not MacLean says:

    Waitrose is actually a posh supermarker chain in the South East of England. Didn’t realise they were involved in fancy beers nowadays. Is this available in many beer shops over in Oz? I haven’t seen it. Mind you, I am driving through Berry in NSW this weekend and they have an AMAZING beer shop there. Might see if they stock it. Thanks again for the tip off Hellcat!


  3. BargeDave says:

    This beer is certainly another very fine English brew, with the complex malt and hop flavours that real English ales all seem to have. Remember to keep it out of the fridge for a while prior to opening for a fuller flavour experience.


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