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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)
View: Beers (7) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 860 | Reviews: 562 | Show All Ratings:
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
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at my local though albeit really too cold at first. I hope this review does it justice.

Good dense nose of a quarter inch fine sandy tan coloured head. Nice patches of orangy red at the bottom but otherwise a slight haze brown to black colour.

For what it is (and was) the body is relatively lightish but deep dense slightly malt ending with earth and an a final note of bitterness.

Still clings to your ribs as it always did but this lacks the richness and stuffing I vividly remember over twenty years ago. The result of being 'decanted' around a number of breweries over time I would suspect.

Serving type: cask

03-06-2012 13:46:32 | More by Zimbo
Photo of mattipt

United Kingdom (England)

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark ruby colour. Thin head with little lacing.

S - Caramely sweetness of malts. Very appealing smell with a hint of winyness.

T - Sweet caramel again. Not much hop but instead a lovely sweetness of malt.

M - Smooth and pleasant in the mouth.

D - Nice, mature and balanced. It's not the most complex beer, and it doesn't (didn't) make a great session beer, but this is a decent, reliable old ale.

Serving type: cask

01-29-2011 23:58:15 | More by mattipt
Photo of AgentMunky


2.93/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

A: Dark, dark ruby. Creamy head tries to cling to to the sides of the glass.

S: Slightly fruity sour.

T: Hrm. Peculiar. Sour, watery, and not that great. The endtaste is a little creamy-sweet with a citrus tinge. The aftertaste is bland but mildly bitter.

M: Not bad. Smooth and tart.

D: Smooth and plain; it's alright. Ultimately, it's too odd and not to my taste.

Serving type: cask

11-06-2010 19:37:13 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at The Courtfield, Earl's Court, London.

Pours brown-red with a tan film that puckers and sheets. Petrol, leather and catbox nose. Sour nut bread, treacle and stinging tart berry malts, red fruit middle and holiday cake spice hops to end. Medium, chewy, some burn.

Can't really say if it's just the style is tough to get your head around, or if this cattle pen of a pub can't pull a good pint.

Either way, not an easy one to drink.

Serving type: cask

08-05-2010 16:04:19 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of drpimento


2.45/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Geez, don't want to be a nay sayer here, but that's the way of it. Had some of my friends and it was no great shakes. Had a small, short lived head with no lace. Very dark cherry wood color. Light malt nose. Flavor's about the same with some distinct hop. Thin body with ok carbonation. Slight buttery finish. Hint of alcohol. Bottle version was much better.

Serving type: cask

01-15-2010 23:13:11 | More by drpimento
Photo of JohnfromDublin


4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off, I have had this beer from a bottle before and was not all that impressed. This review is of a cask pint that I had recently in Whitelocks pub, Leeds, Yorkshire, UK.

And what a terrific pint it was. The appearence was a a ruby red brown colour with a thin but lasting off-white head. Smelled of warming malts, and subdued dark fruits. The taste was something I could best describe as a mellow doppelbock with the silkiest mouthfeel you could imagine. It really was a smooth mellow ale, with the alcohol (listed as 5.6% on the pump clip) well disguised. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: cask

11-19-2009 16:32:24 | More by JohnfromDublin
Photo of lenlo


4.9/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely sublime on cask! Smooth and rich, like black velvet running down your throat. Complex flavor, notes of burned sugar, but without being overly sweet. Well balanced and eminently drinkable.

(Much less impressive on bottle. Short and crippled. "Dead.")

Serving type: cask

11-22-2008 20:51:23 | More by lenlo
Photo of Stephen63

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark brown almost black, good head that remained throughout

S - Pleasant fruity aroma.

T - Upfront rich and fruity. Less so on the finish with little bitterness.

M - Light carbonation, however became a little disappointing as it felt a bit thin in body.

D - Probably a beer to be drunk as a half pint as quite heavy. Two pints would be more than enough for me.

Reviewed the beer as a bottle serving about two weeks ago and though the cask is good, perhaps expected a little more.

Serving type: cask

02-27-2007 20:41:07 | More by Stephen63
Photo of francisweizen


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

Not an amazing ale, but always nice fresh and on form, like this pint had at the seven stars in the city of Bristol. Light amber when held up to the light. This is considered very strong in the UK but for an American it's just about right at 5.7%. Aromas of figs and caramel/toffee. the malts are very layered in this one and the hops are fruity yet subdued quite a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, drinkability remains high. A classic brew, this.

Serving type: cask

03-16-2006 15:24:05 | More by francisweizen
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the NI CAMRA festival

Pours with a very dark, brown body, little light penetraion, light foamy head forms, slightly cloudy, slight head but little retention

Smell, malty and thick, warming alcohol aroma

Taste, thick and smooth, malty and slight sweetness, light carbonation

A great cask ale....this is a fantastic beer

Serving type: cask

11-20-2004 20:12:55 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Seumas

Ontario (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Peculier is odd in being one of the few ales I know that I've always found to taste better from the bottle than it does on cask.

I think its the carbonation in the bottled product drying out the beer, which improves taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. This is an ale that I have so loved in the bottle that I have dragged case after case of it home whenever the Liquor Control Board brought it into Ontario. It's also an ale that has never failed to disappoint me when I tryed it on cask. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it's overly sweet and (oddly) slightly thin on cask. [2006-11-18: Maybe it was just that the body has changed, over the years. My overall rating hasn't changed, but now I discover that the bottled product seems to have thinned down, as well - at least that imported to Waltham MA.]

There's still the lovely aroma and flavour of Christmas pudding, but not as rich and dry [though now thin] as it is from the bottle.

Serving type: cask

09-10-2003 04:06:00 | More by Seumas
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

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

Cask review from 03SEP04...

On cask at The Museum Tavern in London, I had 3 of these as "dessert" one afternoon after lunch, and another 3 to close the place on my last night in town. Old Pec had a deep mahogany color with some ruby/garnet highlights glimmering through. A rich, tan head topped things off, though it thinned quickly and left lovely Belgian lacing down the glass. Nose has intriguing hints of dark fruit. Not quite medium bodied though it was casky-smooth over the palate. A light sweetness is first present in the flavor plus an undercurrent of fruit in a dark way, like currants or raisins. At the very finish there seems to be a slight vinous quality to things. Nice stuff! Much, much better fresh from the cask than in bottles shipped across the pond. Cheers!!

overall: 4.15
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4

*** ***

Bottle review from 22JUN02...
Nice dark chestnut color, with some ruby hues peeking through. Very fine, thin head, with very little lacing. Pick up some dark fruit aromas in the nose, along with some caramel malt. Feel it's body is rather thin, but still nice over the tongue. Mild malt flavors meld with dark-fruit notes, and a subtle hop presence at the end gives a nice, dry finish. It really needs a touch more of a lot, imho.... head, body, malt character.... A decent bier overall, but I wouldn't seek it out.

(4.0/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5 - 3.60)


Serving type: cask

06-22-2002 16:54:43 | More by Bierman9
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
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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
89 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.