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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

566 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 566
Hads: 965
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 53
Gots: 66 | 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
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Reviews: 566 | Hads: 965
Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (807 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
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 (324 characters)

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
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 (683 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
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.... (1,054 characters)

Photo of PolarBear3
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
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. (403 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (812 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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). (588 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (1,198 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.3/5  rDev -16%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of Premo88
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into stout glass

L: 3/4-inch caramel head on top of dark amber beer heading toward black; slight lacing.

S: crazy malty; slight darkish fruit but not the full raisins quad-like smell; very similar to stout; more than anything, malted barley and LOTS of it

T: surprisingly clean for such a dark-fruity smell; full malt; it's like an English pale ale with the bitter sucked out; yeast and bread over the second half.

F: solid, great carbonation

O: for a beer that leans toward the Belgian strong darks/quads, I like this one much better. Through four bottles of a six-pack, I've enjoyed three very, very much. The fourth not as much, but 3 for 4 isn't bad. It's like drinking an Irish dry stout that's sweeter. For the price, it's worth a try.

I'll have to try more old ales to decide what I think of the style. This brew doesn't want to make me give up my love for the English pale ale, BUT it's awfully interesting ... like a gateway beer to Guinness. (979 characters)

Photo of WissBrauSean
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured the beer at a cold temperature, unfortunately, so I may not be experiencing the full effect of the beer. Vigorously poured it was opaque obsidian black and had a nice two finger sized brown head of various sized bubbles that settles to a ring and a full cap throughout the drink with a nice random streaking pattern of lacing.

The aroma is of dark malt sweetness with that brettanomyces kind of acidic aroma on top. Some yeast and some fuggles (one of my favorite mild english hops, not "non-magic folk" from Hairy Pitburn) are very lightly apparent. I also get a whiff of prunes. Very nice and complex yet mellow.

This beer is sweet, but not overly so like you would picture a duble or triple of Belgian fare, but in a dark but unroasted malt sweetness of a way. Within the sweetness hides notes of prunes and aloft there is a very mild bitter/sour/acidic hint that may be a mix of hops and that acidic flavor which all roll along the tongue in unison and down the gullet only to be followed by a neutral pause and then some very light hop dryness which is almost unperceptibly bitter. Although it has a mildly pronounced sweetness, factors other than hops play a roll in balancing this beer well.

Mouthfeel is sweet of course. Here I will introduce you to a word called "cloying". Cloying means to some degree, overly sweet. This beer IN NO WAY can be described as such. It's perfect. The body is full yet very drinkable and refreshing. Carbonation is mild but just enough to lift the bitter to the top and help balance the beer well. The finish is mildly dry and a tiny bit peppery from alcohol which gives a little warming effect on the way down.

All in all, I would have to say this beer is world class as well. It's not judged as so on Beer Advocate, but there is very little that I can find fault with this beer. English ales still are probably my favorite and I score them well.

Get out there and try Old Peculier! Not only is the name different, but the beer will make you say "hmmm!" Life is too short not to go "hmmm!" Don't waste it on beer that makes you go "pppttt!" (2,094 characters)

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

This beer smells surprisingly sweet- unexpected. Vanilla beans, shortbread cookies, a touch of treacle, toffee, and some old dark malts. A little swirling and warming brings out additional depth and complexity.

The flavor is really everything I hoped for, and I have waited a long time while searching for bottle. The malts are totally heading down the toffee, dark bread crust, molasses, brown sugar, and treacle avenue. There is a touch of dark fruit, but nothing that stands out as far as dark berries. More of the sugared fig/date paste than currants or blackberry. There are a few remains of earthy English hops, and these provide a fantastic bitterness to balance all the malty goodness.

The mouthfeel is just full enough, but doesn't get heavy. This is big enough to be a contemplative sipper and keep company with some of the great English Barleywines, or I can imagine ordering a few on tap (cask ideally) over a long dinner and dessert at the pub.

Conclusion: This is fantastic. Maybe I was born to drink English beer, but I just love this. It hits all the right notes for an Old ale, save for a maybe a slight lack of "tart". But who can get nit-picky with such a fantastic and iconic beer. (1,244 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to Butch for the bottle! 12 oz bottle into a plastic cup.

A: Pours a dark brown color. The head is a one finger light mocha shade.

S: The first thing I notice is a nice caramel malt backbone. Afterwards, it morphs into a slightly sweeter expression of dark fruit, molasses, and chocolate. Decent depth in the aroma.

T: The opening, midtaste, and finish at first sip is mostly earthy sourness. A bit of caramel tries to pop up before the semi-sour (not tart) finish, in a (failed) attempt to give it some depth.

M: Feels light, but not overly so. There's a good bit of carbonation which help gives the bittersweet finish a nice backbone to it. Refreshing?! Yes. Apart from the nose, it's probably my favorite feature.

O: Enjoyable aromatics, but it's just okay otherwise. Though to be fair, this isn't my style by any stretch of the imagination. (856 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a dimpled pub mug, a dark red brown with a light tan head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: sweet malt, caramel, toffee, bread

T: sweet and sour malt flavors, subtle coffee, caramel, dark fruit, raisins, robust earthyness, slight spice, some hop bitterness at the end

M: thick and rich, viscous, more carbonation than expected

O: Flavors are more subtle than American old ales. The focus is on malt with the hops only coming through at the finish. It's a filling and satisfying beer. (531 characters)

Photo of horshack7
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark brown in color with a thin light tan head.

Aroma: Spice, light mustiness, licorice, faint molasses, raisins and a good dryness in the nose.

Taste: A good malty backbone, raisins, twinge of smokiness with spice notes. Licorice, minor notes of dried dark fruit. The mouthfeel is smooth but has a light spice bread bite.

Notes: I had this for the first time quite a long time ago in a bottle then last October in England on tap now again in a bottle and it's absolutely incredible. (498 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip glass. A finger and half of head on a dark brown colored body.
The aroma is crushed grain and roasted malt. Nice.
The taste is roasted malt, some dark fruit and the mildest bitterness. Complex but not heavy.
The texture is crisp with lower carbonation and medium body.
A great ale and tasty. (304 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy very dark brown, almost black in color with some very light amounts of gentle carbonation near the surface of the beer and some dark amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense and foamy dark beige head that slowly condenses and reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark malts with some lighter notes of fruity yeasts.

T: Upfront there are some moderate to strong flavors of dark malts with just a light amount of toffee sweetness. On top of the malty flavors, there is also a moderate amount of fruity flavors likely contributed from the yeast. Light amounts of bitterness that slightly intensify as it lingers and the beer warms.

M: Just slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively smooth.

O: Since the overall ABV is not too high (as it can sometimes be in the Old Ale style) and the body is not quite as full, this beer is relatively easy to drink. There are nice flavors and the beer is not overly sweet or cloying which makes this one quite enjoyable. (1,155 characters)

Photo of Radome
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 500 ml bottle bought fresh in Spain.

A - Deep mahogany brown, not quite black. Where light penetrates at the edges of the glass it appears slightly cloudy. Tan head is creamy and thick but quickly fades to a thin layer with thick, sticky lacing.

S - Aromas are muddled and more muted than I remember. I get biscuit-like malt, brown sugar with a hint of carmelization, figs. No overt hops, but an earthy note must be from them. Fruity yeast note.

T - Flavors are similar to aromas. Mostly brown sugar but some other flavors add complexity. Chocolate milk, cinnamon, prunes. No hops. Combination of flavors works better together than it sounds.

M - Low hops bitterness; no alcohol burn. Carbonation is a bit harsh and adds a carbonic bite.

O - I remember this as a much smoother and stronger beer when I discovered it in the early '90s, especially when I had it in Europe at that time. On draught it was nearly a religious experience! This bottled version is not nearly the beer I remember. (1,008 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1623rd Review on BA
Bottle to Alchemist stemless

2012 Bottle

App- This was more like a light porter to me. It had some good dark browns but was also a bit lighter all around in the glass. I noticed a good depth of center and then a good 2 finger brown head. No cling or lace.

Smell- This to me wasnt really an old ale. Missing the malty backbone. This was sweet with a licorice and caramel note behind it. A bit too thin on the aromatics. A little bit of wheat.

Taste- I dont wanna classify this an old ale. This was more like a dark mild or a small hoppy porter. I think a lot of what I like about an old ale is that big rich malt base with some caramel on the backend.

Mouth- Way too light on the body. Thin and a bit watery. The carbonation was a small carbonation with a bit of prickly anise and malts.

Drink- Well I had higher hopes for this one and it just didnt pan out. Cant win em all. Just not what I was thinking it was and then blended too many styles together for me. (991 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ooooo, Old Ale! This is a style I've never tried before. I expect it will be similar to English Pale Ale... but older. In any case the 10 word novel on the back of the bottle was mildly entertaining: "Picked off one by one. Four... Three... Two... It's You!"... yeahhh, let's drink this brew.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deep seal brown clear body with a non-existent head, it was beige as I recall.

S: Darkest of dark fruits; figs, dates and macerated sour cherries. There is an overtone of toffee, much like in a sticky date pudding, with butter and a dram of whiskey thrown in. Essentially it has the aroma of a Christmas cake.

T: Confirmed: Christmas cake extravaganza! The flavours are upfront toffee sugar, dark fruit and cake/bread mid-palate, finishing with an alcohol hit and some herbal medicinal bitters. It's a deep, dark, brooding ale, perfectly befitting the theme of mystery/crime writing.

M: Bit oily to drink, with a medium body and light carbonation.

D: Quite a tasty brew we have here. The flavours are big (as long as you drink it room temp like the Poms), and there is an almost Belgian tripel flavour profile going on, minus bubblegum with sticky date/earthy characters instead. Compared to the nearest brew I've tried with these flavours (Hook Norton Twelve Days)- this one beats it easily. Price-wise is a different story, however the trade-off still brings this ale out on top. I want another.

Food match: Complimenting this with a Christmas cake would be a real treat. Main course- char-grilled pork ribs, roast kale, and grilled Mediterranean vegetables, yes! (1,614 characters)

Photo of dougbassett
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die" -- I believe this is #4 for me.

Just looks amazing, a dark mahogany brown pour with a slightly tan head that lingers. A sweet nose of brandied cherries and brown sugar, I'd have liked it to have been a little stronger but still, nice and evocative. Things are unfortunately not as evocative tastewise, I get mainly pure brandy and hops with a touch of malt underlying it all. It does have a nice resilient mouthfeel that seems suitable to the style.

Something of a disappointment for me though I certainly don't hate it -- it's just a bit too restrained for me and what I expect out of this style. Maybe it was the bottle, I don't know. (692 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber brown, a little hazy with some nice tight head that leaves lacing on the sides of glass. Smells of molasses and dark fruit such as dark cherries & apricot. Has some brown sugar notes and some melanoidin malt character. Tastes just like in the nose. Noble hop bitterness in nose with ample bitterness in taste. Feels heavy & thick for a relatively low ABV by today's standards. Feels chewy, almost like a meal within itself. Great tasting old ale. Wish I had more of this in the dead of winter. (512 characters)

Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.