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Theakston Old Peculier - T & R Theakston Ltd.

Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

860 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 860
Reviews: 562
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.11%

Brewed by:
T & R Theakston Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-31-2001)
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Ratings: 860 | Reviews: 562 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of artoolemomo


3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which looks to have pretty good retention. The head is a light and creamy beige/tan while the body is a chestnut brown which shows as a deep burgundy with crimson in the light. Lacing tends toward sheeting at points.

Nose- Starts off very lush with deep, dark fruits. Think plums, raisins, and minor cherries. A hint of bubblegum, maybe cocoa. Some brown bread, molasses, and brown sugar as the base. Some red grapes that make it a little vinous. Candied fruits on the finish. Swirling doesn't add much to the picture.

Taste- Very reflective of the nose and I'm glad that it isn't too far removed from the aroma. Plums, cherries, and raisins on the front which moves into a light and rounded bubblegum and then light cocoa and chocolate. Some woody bitterness to the finish. Not quite as full or complex as the aroma as the malt notes seem lacking in the flavor profile. The woody bitterness that I detected on the finish seems a lot more earthy, grassy, and mineral than it did before. Some chalk to the finish. Very reminiscent of a dubbel both in taste and smell. Some brown sugar and molasses start to appear, along with a slight cinnamon on the finish. Quite vinous but never cloying. The hops on the back end contrast the rounded dark fruits of the front well. In between a good and really good beer for me. There's nothing outstanding about it but it has nice balance and is pretty much flawless.

Mouthfeel- Just south of medium bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth and has a nice dry finish.

Drinkability- Very accessible and easygoing. Low alcohol in comparison to most of the other old ales out there. This is a slight negative for me. The 4 to 5 bucks that it costs seems reasonable to me.

Overall- Good to really good beer. A little more subtle than many of the old ales I've had but this is to be expected from an English brew. Definitely worth a try to get a sense of the range of the style. Probably would not repurchase though.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 04:43:30 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of Hoppsbabo

United Kingdom (England)

4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found this baby at a new bottleshop in Noksapyeong, Seoul.

A: Almost black with a nice beige head.

S: Chocolate, caramel and fudge.

T: Reflects the nose. Like a stout with all the sensuality of a dark Belgian. It's sweet but has a dry, tart backbone. Soft fruitiness in the aftertaste, strawberries in particular. Soft liquorice. The beer now at room temperature and nearing the end I'm geting sporadic notes of grass. Also getting some dried fruit tones.

M: Almost flat but has a perfectly silky, soft effervescenve to keep it ticking over. Reminds me of Oatmeal Stout.

O: Very nice. It's flavour is something between porter and barley wine but its mouthfeel is lighter than both.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 06:56:12 | More by Hoppsbabo
Photo of geaux750


4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As I first poured this ale into my pint glass, I was under the impression this was going to be a forgettable beer. I took a swig, and as I set down the glass on the desk, I remember thinking my suspicions were confirmed. The taste started bitter, as you would expect any ale to deliver (a little too bitter, if I am to be honest). But, as I continued working at my desk, my taste buds would not let me forget the lingering bitterness that gave way to a sweet finish. I found myself reaching for the glass, taking another sip. As this deep red ale hit my tongue a second time, I realize that this beer holds a quaint little secret! Once again, I set the glass down on the desk, but, unlike the first time, I have a new respect for this delicious ale. Paying more attention to the flavor this time, I realize that this brew has a creamy, sweet caramel flavor, with a very nice lingering fruity undertone - well balanced with a mild bitterness. By the time I finish the glass, this "forgettable" beer has me craving another. Quite a pleasant surprise, I will not soon be forgetting this premium ale!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 02:42:21 | More by geaux750
Photo of Or80rowley


4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend brought this back from the

A. Dark Amber, two finger head

S. Dark fruit, raisin, prune, coco, earthy smell

T. First sweet toffee, into malty, dark fruit, nice malt, grain aftertaste

M. Crisp mouthfeel, refreshing

O. Fresh, I guess is the way to go with this one, my ratings are based on a fresh beer from brewery few days old. Aren't they always better that way!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 18:45:12 | More by Or80rowley
Photo of MattSweatshirt


3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hard pour yields a fluffy soapy light tanned head and a dark reddish orange brown body.

Bread, chocolate, dark fruit, toffee, herbal hopping. The taste follows through a little better than the nose.

Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation.

Not big on English beers, but this is nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 02:41:54 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of FLima


3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown ruby color with practically no head, but it left laces.
Nice aroma of toffee, licorice, and pepper.
Flavor with tons of licorice, spices, intense on English hops, charred wood, bread crust, figs, raisins and nuts. Dry aftertaste with an elegant bitterness.
Light body with appropriate carbonation, a bit higher than average for the style, which is good.
This beer tastes exactly what an Old Ale should taste. Very flavorful and deep, but smooth at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 01:36:47 | More by FLima
Photo of JudgeRoughneck


3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma- deeply malty with rich caramel, slight toffee, notes of dried cherry and earth, nutty with just the faintest hint of diacetyl, fresh blackberry notes, medium low grassy hop, no alcohol

Flavor- not nearly as rich as aroma would lead you to believe- nutty and toasty over solid caramel base, all medium high intensity with medium-high sweetness. Faintly woody. Light herbal hop flavor. Pear and berry esters are medium- low, no diacetyl, roasted malt dries out the finish. Bitterness is medium and balances. Lovely soft vanilla tone with just the slightest suggestion of banana comes out with warmth.

MF- medium-full bodied and smooooth on the palate, no alcohol, very slight astringency from roasted malt, medium carbonation fluffs things up a bit

APP- Beautiful crystal clear deep ruby with low off-white head. Poor retention with light lace.

OVERALL- A really lovely example of old ale that calls to mind Fullers ESB. Proof that it is possible to bet a lot of flavor without a lot of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 23:43:46 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of Kevichella

United Kingdom (England)

4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is very dark and when held up to the light glows a deep ruby. When poured from the bottle there was not a hint of a head and holding it up to the light, i could see no bubbles rising, though there was a very slight clouding.

Smells smooth and pleasant though i don't have the experience to say what it smells of.

Taste is delicious and smooth, almost chocolatey.

Feels pleasant and mostly smooth with a mild fizz.

I really liked this ale and will be getting more in next time!

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 13:50:54 | More by Kevichella
Photo of fourstringer


4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a Becker pint glass with a moderately aggressive hand. Apparently I'm about to enjoy "The Legend".

A: Rich, dark amber. Color of raisins. Nice clarity. 1 finger width of off white head that dissolves to a fine coating in about 2 minutes. Light lacing.

S: Thick malt. Dark Fruit. Raisins. Sweet bread. Pretty present nose. I like.

T: Sweet and fruity maltiness. Grape juice. Interesting. Mild English hop bitterness finishes. No alcohol noted in the taste, but provides some warmth to an empty stomach.

M: Moderate carbonation. A bit high for the style, but smooth overall. Coats the mouth. Lacks the watery body that plagues a lot of English ales.

O: Admittedly, not a huge fan of the style, but this is tasty. The distinct grape juice element is unique. Goes down very smoothly. I believe I'll have another, which is not a response I typically have to malty British beers. Good stuff.


Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 19:56:59 | More by fourstringer
Photo of StaveHooks


3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A - Pours a dark russet brown, with a foamy tan head

S - Oxidized malts, husky grain, light roasted malts, old molasses. The yeast starts coming out as it warms yielding fruit bread dough, prunes, over-ripened berries, wheat germ,

T - Creamy and bready sweetness, muted fruit with a sharp edge. English malts, burnt caramel, tea tannins, and hints of leafy green hops. Plums, berries, thin molasses, very fruity with dark bread malts and bitter tannins rounding out the finish with roasted malts lingering.

M - Straight up medium body with low to medium carbonation, lightly textured with a wet middle and a tannin dry finish.

No doubt this is brewed in England. A very traditional tasting ale with some minor oxidation flaws. But it's to be expected from an import. Nice fruit notes with some hops still hanging in there. The yeast really shows up and adds a bready doughy character. Would love to have this on cask in England.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 02:47:47 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of bum732


3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

S: Sharp raisin, sherry notes, raisin bread

L: Dark brown, off-white head that dissipates

T: Sherry and rich English malt up front. Quite fruity, with prunes and raisins. Medium earthy bitterness with some hop flavor entering the finish. Finishes quite dry with lingering earthy and slightly spicy hops.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Super drinkable with nice English flavors. A true classic and very good.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 02:54:14 | More by bum732
Photo of Justin-Wills

United Kingdom (England)

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

And lo did God come down (when there was no footy on) and speaketh to the fine chaps (and ladies) at Theakston brewery in Yorkshire. And lo did he tell them exactly what he wanted in the perfect ale, or woman (if he was to ever marry). Fruity and full bodied!

Verily did Theakston brew Old Peculiar (The Legend) and lo did God stagger back up the stairs to heaven with a mighty grin on his face dreaming of lovely bar maids from the Yorkshire Dales!

This beer is truly a wonder to behold. A dark ale that's easy to drink (for me and God anyway) with lots of fruity flavour. It comes with a huge stamp of approval from me, him upstairs (though you might struggle to get confirmation if you've don't have his direct line), and many ale drinkers around the globe.

At the time of writing Aldi have it for £1.49 a bottle. The steal of the century. Buy it, drink it, love it!

Needless to say that if you haven't tried this ale, try it now.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 11:52:45 | More by Justin-Wills
Photo of Budinetz


4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint, 0.9 oz bottle, into a stout/porter glass

A- Pours a dark brown, amber color...about 30-40 Degrees SRM. pours a half inch , light tan head, with chunky lacing around the glass as I sip.

S- smells of dried fig, dates, toffee, biscuity, malty, sugarness

T- a very malty, sweet, succulent, brew. This one leaves me thirsty for more due to the low abv and the slickness on the palate

M- a bit more prickly on the tongue than some of the aged old ales or altbiers. Definitely has a nice, smooth, sweet characteristic that pairs well with many dessert dishes as well as entress

O- Hands down one of the best, sessionable, old ale style beers. At 5.7 % and low abv, you can drink this one all night and not wreck your palate, nor fall on your face :)


Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 09:37:30 | More by Budinetz
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the imported 25 oz. bottle. Sampled on June 25, 2013. I do not know if the original UK classic is the same as the one I can get here as an import in the USA but I am reviewing the import.

The pour is a beautiful looking dark brown with a slight haze and a decent beige head that lingers and laces the pint glass with each sip.

Sweet malts are emitted from the aroma right up front with brown sugar, a toffee note and a vague mustiness. But I would say "sweet" is the catch word.

The body is medium and smooth that holds its texture while swirling and then swallowing.

The taste is also incredibly sweet and malty with a low to moderate bitterness at the finish. This is the first time I have had this in about two years since it briefly left the US and it does not seem to have lost its uniqueness.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 01:09:18 | More by puboflyons
Photo of IchLiebeBier


4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark chestnut; medium head that dissipates quickly; good lacing

Aroma: Malty; dried fruit; sweet; molasses, caramel

Taste: Malty and creamy on start; roasted grains in the middle; semi-sweet nutty finish; well balanced; excellent taste

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 22:59:22 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of Cozzatoad


3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Near black with ruby hints. Head about one finger, but very nicely persistent and leaves nice amounts of lacing

S- A slight hint of roasted malts but mainly sweet with notes of caramel and brown sugar. Slight earthyness

T- Notes of dark bread, caramel, maybe liquorice, maybe chocolate, maybe a dark fruit hint. No roasted feel to speak of, just very much chewy and sweet but not too sweet, balanced by a slight earthy/leafy note

M- Full creamy mouthfeel (chewy as mentioned) with very low carbonation, just a hint of it on the tongue

O- Was not so impressed. It's an overall nice beer with decent complexity and a bit of a barleywine feel, but really just nothing outstanding

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 16:41:56 | More by Cozzatoad
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ah, finally got around to finding a bottle of this. I'm sure it's preferable on cask/draft. Still interesting for what it is - always nice to try a new malty, characterful British ale...

Dark burgundy-ruby in color, only a fleeting rise of head, appearance of density to the body (shape of the glow).... vaguely sherry-like vinous notes against a somewhat bold rich caramel and similarly potent dark stone fruit in the aromas.... immediate toffee and brown sugar flavors, with the prune-like fruit surging in from around the edges, thick caramel flavor and mild chewiness... with each sip an almost Scotch ale quality unfolds, and apparent Flemish red-like oxidized, lightly sour tinge in the aftertaste.... despite hints of syrupy chewiness initially, it lightens up enough early on not to tire the palate, though it retains a consistent bold malty, dextrinous texture, without viscosity.... little-to-no alcohol presence at any stage... not bad at all overall, though a bit of a letdown - I'll certainly try it on the pump if I ever come across it....

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 21:09:17 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of PolarBear3


2.74/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 1 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours a dark brownish, ruby colour with a tanned head that dissipates to nothing. Looks like a flat coke.

S - Roasted chocolate, coffee sweet malts even a little liquorice.

T - Get lots of the roasted chocolate, coffee with a very mild bitterness at the finish

M - Medium bodied with very little carbonation

O - An average ale that lacks real flavour. Seems fairly flat and rather disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 07:24:26 | More by PolarBear3
Photo of soju6


3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with a tan head that fades slow;y to lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, bit of chocolate and dark fruits.

T: Taste of roasted malt, with dark fruit and a bit of chocolate in the background. Mild bitterness and a quite dry finish.

F: A solid mediumbody, smooth and creamy. Nice balance.

O: An enjoyable beer that goes down easy. A nice way to end the day.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 03:41:03 | More by soju6
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Belgian snifter.

A: The beer is very dark reddish-brown, with a fragile off-white head that quickly fades to a thin partial top coat and a ring. A thin lace is left on the glass when tilted

Aroma: Peculiar and hard to untangle, but sweet and featuring dark fruits, a little rip banana, dark bread, roasted malts, toffee, cinnamon and some Fuggle hops.

Taste: Nicely balanced, moderately rich, complex, and in keeping with the aroma. Sweet at the start. Very lightly bitter and smoky aftertaste, with lingering mineral water. Cinnamon again. Modest but significant hop presence.

M: Smooth with well-chosen, near-medium carbonation. The nice soft feel I associate with Belgian darks.

O: A very good, flavorful beer that will work good as both session and dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 23:35:46 | More by chinchill
Photo of T100Mark


4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint shaker glass.

Appearance - A dark ruby color. A bit murky. A head made up of very fine bubbles that disappear pretty quickly.

Smell - Big. Milk chocolate. Molasses.

Taste - Malt. Chocolate. Smooth (almost creamy). A little sweet.

Mouth - Smooth yet mildly acidic (if that makes any sense).

Overall - Don't let the look of this beer (or the name) deceive you. This beer is very drinkable. It's a beer only the English could brew. My only issue with this beer is that it seems to be completely devoid of hops (and a little lacking of character).

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 03:00:37 | More by T100Mark
Photo of bump8628


3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut brown, ecru froth forms a loose head. Molasses, treacle, brown malt, biscuit on the malt side of things. Countered by a surprisingly sharp hop bitterness along with an earthy hop punch. Slightly musty with a charred wood note. Pretty evenly balanced. I much prefer the lighter drier versions of this style and Old Peculier fits that mold. A nice English ale to sip, enjoy, but not think too much about. Glad this is back.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 03:27:57 | More by bump8628
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/27/2012. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, fig, banana, molasses, toast, chocolate, pepper, clove, brown bread, floral, and spicy yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and fruity notes with moderate spicy esters. Taste of caramel, raisin, fig, molasses, light banana, toast, chocolate, pepper, clove, brown bread, floral, and spicy yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, dark fruits, toast, molasses, chocolate, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of malt and fruity/spicy flavors; with a great balance of malt/fruitiness and no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale. Nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 05:00:08 | More by superspak
Photo of tone77


3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a cola like color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some maltiness. Taste is also mild, some malts, light hops, not overly flavorful or complex. Feels light in the mouth and overall I found this to be a mediocre beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 13:22:02 | More by tone77
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Celler temp pint glass. The colour was a really dark ruby brown edging on black, with a tan head, great lacing and retention. Awesome looking beer. The smell was mostly of complex malt, a whiff of coffee, some earthy bitterness made it in. Taste had slightly roast malt, with some aged lemon citrus, leather, really solid flavour and good complexity. Bold malty flavour with a nice earthy bitterness. Balance is excellent. Feel was very smooth, great sessionable feel to it. A really robust dark ale, lot of complex character to it and balanced really well to make really drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: cask

04-03-2013 23:14:15 | More by mick303
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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
89 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.