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Theakston Old Peculier - T & R Theakston Ltd.

Not Rated.
Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

572 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 572
Hads: 978
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 58
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-31-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Theakston Old Peculier Alström Bros
Reviews: 572 | Hads: 978
Photo of dacrza1
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: September 19, 2014... GLASSWARE: Wychwood Hobgoblin stange...OCCASION: a long week ends... APPEARANCE: dark burgundy body; thick, creamy brown head that sits resiliently atop its pint; lacing is patterned... AROMA: robust raisin and black currants wake up the nostrils; malts are smoky and substantial, semisweet and aggressive... PALATE: surprisingly smooth, buttery and lactic--carbonated and warming, with a run-like draw.....TASTE: immediate butterscotch licks the tastebuds; vanilla, dough and peat constitute a promising profile...OVERALL as expected, a unique, classic profile that impresses with its sweet complexity...a beer to savor....

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Photo of safaricook
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%

My first old ale to prove. And what a nice one. Very gentle flavors but towards perfection. Sweet toffee in the nose with a more robust coffee undertone. Smooth and creamy. The roasted barley coming stronger in the taste and with sweet vanilla more than toffee. A lingering gentle sourness dominating the bitterness. Beautiful on a end of summer night on my Amsterdam balcony overlooking a silent gracht.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%

Poured from a half liter while sitting in my temp apartment in London. Life's good...
Brown with red tint in the light. I didn't give it the best pour, but a reasonably thick cream colored head with some staying power.
Nose...virtually none at all. I took a break and smelled some fresh air from the window and came back for another wiff, but again almost nothing. I read some of the other reviews on this beer talking about toffee, brown bread, etc notes...sorry, they forgot to put that in this one. I went to the bathroom and came back for one last smell (even tried to stick my nose down into the bottle), but no. This is a fresh beer BTW judging by the label (I am in London after all).
Moving on, I was ready to be disappointed with a flavorless brew, but was very happy with the taste. Creamy, coffee, toffee...all that good stuff. I mean, it isn't a stout or something, but really a full flavorful beer. Nice finish without off flavors coming out.
Lovely beer. Might have another now.

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Photo of ElegantRose
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally, this beer was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and is not one of those usual beers that one might see in a store. My interest piqued, I opened it, and I have been pleasantly surprised ever since.

This delicious ale from the U.K. has a unique, special taste made using (among others) Fuggle hops and deep roasting of the barley. There is a hint of licorice-like sweetness at the end of every sip, which adds a bit of complexity to this beer.

The deep roasting of the barley and what appears to be the unfiltered choice for this beer give the appearance of what appears to be a cross between a porter and a stout. I am loving the lingering, semi-sweet finish as it is ultimately quite palatable.

The smell actually reminds me a little of a quad, with that (near) smoky, deep, inherent sweetness on the nose.

Also, there is a little interesting story on the neck of the beer which describes a little of the history, which dates back to the 12th century.

I will be enjoying this beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a murky very dark brown, with a half inch head- recedes quickly- and a lot of foamy, almost soapy-looking lacing.

The smell is honestly a little weak. I smell some caramel malt, some chocolate, and leather.

The taste is more complex, but still a little weak. I'm confounded by the concept of a nearly "session old ale" at 5.6% ABV. The lower ABV seems to have dulled the flavors here that could be a lot stronger and fuller. I've always associated old ales as a cousin of the barleywine, and this shows that it's not always so close. There's some cocoa powder, grape skin, oak, grassy hop bitterness, classic fruity English yeast flavor, musty leather, with a slight sour-ish twang near the end. There is strong flavor at the front and back of each sip- it seems slightly watery in the middle- there's something missing.

Medium bodied, could be a little thicker, I think. A slow sipper.

This was interesting, but fell a tiny bit short for me. It had a lot of potential, but this just isn't the style of old ale I like.

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Photo of uspbacchus
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Served in a small goblet. Thin coffee in color with decent,bread colored thin sustained lacing
S. Malty smell
T. Nice dark malt taste. Bread and toffee notes predominate. Do get a metallic taste.
M. Surprising thin for the pour. Light on the carbonation might be attributing to this.
O. Not a bad beer. Would order again versus the various boring beers, but can probably find a nicer dark beer out there.

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Photo of antott0523
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with a faint ruby tone. Thick beige head upon pouring that dissipated to a thin head with minor lace.

Smell: Mild notes of iron. Tart notes of cranberry, with some sweeter notes of malt and grain bread. The alcohol comes through slightly.

Taste: Notes of dried fruit including apricot, raisins and cranberries. Faint metallic notes on the finish. Pleasant amount of alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Moderate amount of carbonation. Relatively thin.

Overall: This a solid beer. It has some nice dried fruit flavors and scents.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.49/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stemmed tulip. Code L027 KE 02:47

There are not many readily available old ales, but this is probably one of them. A classic old ale that I believe has trouble keeping up with the new breed of old ales. Still a worthy beer for one’s cellar. The aroma is definitely where this beer falls short for me. 3.75

A – Pours a brownish amber but dark brown opaque in the glass with a three-finger rocky head. Good head retention. Average lacing. Head easily brought back with a good swirl of the glass. Good carbonation as well. – 3.75

S – Fruit, raisins, vinous but more towards grape juice, some sweetness – 3

T – Malty, slightly sweet, oaky with some minor lactic notes. – 3.5

MF – Medium light body, semi-dry finish, a bit minerally, some velvetiness in the start, but overall too thin. – 3.75

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Photo of geaux750
4.02/5  rDev +2%
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!

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Photo of Or80rowley
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of FLima
3.91/5  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.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Kevichella
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
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!

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Photo of fourstringer
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
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.


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Photo of StaveHooks
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of bum732
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Justin-Wills
5/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
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 :)


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Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
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

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.11/5  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....

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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.