Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

very good
576 Reviews
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Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-31-2001

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Reviews: 576 | Ratings: 989
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of horshack7
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Radome
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
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!

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Photo of dougbassett
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a Pint glass.

A: Pours a black color forming a medium very creamy and bubbled beige head with excellent retention. A lots of creamy chunks of foam are formed and left in the glass

S: Mainly sweet and roasted with notes of flowery hops. Sweet and fruity Ale yeasts backbone

T: Sweet and roasted upfront. Roasted malts, notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits and coffee. British hops bitterness (bit citrus)

M: Medium body and carbonation. Roasted bitterness aftertaste

O: Easydrinking Ale. Very British. Recommended

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Photo of BS-
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a highball glass.

A: Very dark brown with a good golden head after a hard pour. The beer is a very deep burgundy colour when held against the light. Head melts away fairly quickly, leaving an extremely thin layer of froth with almost non-existent lacing.

S: Nutty, caramel, slightly herby, with hints of coffee

T: Malty with a hint of chocolaty sweetness. Very pleasant presence of coffee and caramel in the aftertaste. Some citrus notes can be detected too.

M: Decent to medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O: Overall a very mellow beer, perhaps a little too mellow to the point of being slightly lacking. I was expecting a bit more from an old ale, but this is a very good beer, nonetheless.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.9/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer pours black with no head or lacing. The aroma is of licorice and anise, fairly plain. The flavor leads off with anise followed by a licorice and peppery finish, ordinary. It's mouthfeel is smooth but a bit watery for the style. Theakston Old Peculier is an average beer, recommended.

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Photo of Kremlock
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep red colour with no head. no lacing

S: Caramel and more caramel.

T: Caramel dominates the palate with a med bitterness. There are hints of alcohol but it is truely well balanced with the malt and biterness.

M: Very smooth feel with just the right amount of carb.

O: Ok beer. I found it to be a bit too strong on the caramel flavour but when I had it with orange chocolate it intensified the flavour of the chocolate.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice. Poured a 3" cappuccino head with decent lifespan. The body is a burnt sienna brown color in masstone but held to the light an interesting maroon comes through. It smells complex with malts, vanilla, cocoa, and cola. The tast mirrors the smell and has a substantial malt finish. Gets yeasty in the end. Very nice over all. And it's not the beer which is "peculiar", it's a historic name.

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Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark ruby-brown with a thick light brown 2-finger head that slowly dissipates down the glass leaving a nice solid lace.

S: Caramel and dark fruit aroma with a good malty scent.

T: Slightly sweet flavor with a good malt flavor and slightly hoppy from the Fuggle hops.

M: Full body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent English Ale – lots of complex flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 9/4/12

Deep chestnut in color with a two finger cap of foam. Head retention is a thinner layer and some decent, soapy lace is left clinging to the glass.

Subtle earthy hops drift about heavier malt aromas of caramel, toffee, bread, raisins and a hint of burnt molasses. Smooth, consistent smell. Some floral hops as it warms. The flavor has a tangy bent that the aroma lacks, and it's not entirely pleasant. Beyond that is a dry tasting beer that boasts dry bread notes and toasted sugars. One plus is that the hops take a downplayed, but persistent approach toward the palate. The overall taste is a bit edgy, as is the feel, what with a medium thick body, moderate carbonation and a coating finish.

As the beer warms, the tanginess subsides some. Still, I found myself wanting something from this beer that it didn't deliver. It's solid, but I'd like to give it another shot to see if this is a bottle fluke.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into pint glass 29/8/12

A murky light brown, looks peculiar, thick even, just a short lived film and a random patch of lace
-edit second pour leaves a thick tan thumbs width of foam that leaves lots of unorganized lace, perhaps a dirty glass first try

S molasses and rum soaked raisin, figs, nutty toffee with some faint bruised banana and some other overripe dark fruits

T no bruised banana but hazelnut comes out strong and everything I smells still there, a little sweet and very malty

M a little syrupy but creams up nicely from the bubbles, after taste is long and nutty

O solid beer with plenty of complexity, just missing a little something to put it into the world class but most worthy

I´ve heard about this one before and when I saw it at a beer bar in Mexico I knew what to do

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Photo of Dentist666
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ABV 5,6%.
Pours deep dark reddish brown beer with excellent tan head.
Smell of coffee, roasted malts and caramel.
Taste is deep, less fruits (prunes are in place), more caramel, coffee and nuts. Chewy body and moderate carbonation. Very good old ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quintessential Old Ale, and one that comes in at a reasonable abv of 5.7%. Nice dark brown pour with a moderate off-white head that sticks around and leaves some very nice lacing. Toasty aromas with some slight sherry notes. Similar taste, but a bit more complex. There is a very pleasant rounded nuttiness layered onto the light sherry notes and toasty grain. Some light sweetness, but finishes fairly dry. Very smooth and fairly creamy. An interesting beer that I remember being one of gthe best things available in Georgia before we popped the cap. Very nice still.

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Photo of Timadae
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown color with a big off-white frothy head that lingers.

Aroma is malty with a roasted edge and maybe some carmel ?? Found it somewaht closed

Taste is what you would expect slight carmel and citrus notes in the aftertaste but overall average flavours for this style of beer.

Medium body bordering on being a little thin, but with a reasonable finish that gives a bit of length.

Very drinkable but was hoping for a bit more from this Old style Ale.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown with ruby tints and shallow brown head. It leaves small dots of sliding lacing. A swirl brings back the thin head.

S: Malt, smoke, bacon, citrus, scotch, caramel.

T: Malty mellow with sweet chocolate and carmel, smoke, and a finish of hops, Old Peculier has rich coffee bean lingering finish with the hint of alcohol.

M: Smooth, mellow, creamy.

O: A great smooth ride from start to finish, Old Peculier has a wonderful flavor that just gets better as it warms. It has a rich malty flavor that reminds of whiskey, but a nice balance of hops on the finish meld well with the alcohol.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass at my hotelroom in Bath, UK.

A: Dark brown with a tan, half finger head that runs off to solve a mystery. Steadfast lacing.

S: Malts, oak, smokey, mysterious. Peculiar, of course.

T: Light coffee, malts. Almost like a porter. Dark chocolate. Dry finish.

M: Medium with med/strong carbonation.

O: Not as impressed as I thought I'd be after all the buildup. Glad I tried it, though. I like the "Ten Word" Mystery Contest they have.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very dark ruby black, with a thick light brown long lasting head and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell – Roasted malt, cola, and a touch of honey.

Taste – Sweet malts, cola, and buckwheat honey.

Mouthfeel – Somewhat thin, lightly carbonated, and very smooth.

Drinkability – This is a decent old ale, but a little weak for my taste. I think a little more booziness could have made this nicer. However, at 5.7%abv, it’s extremely drinkable.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Embossed and funky 500mL brown bottle, old-school label, a cool name and a 10-word crime novel. What more could you want?

Appearance: dark, plum-brown colour with a two-finger, thick tan head with great retention.

Aroma:  sweet and creamy at first, caramel and nuts, with further dark fruits and chocolate. A bit weak.

Taste: very smooth and palatable, with the characteristics of the nose coming forward in the flavour. Very malty and rich, not mention warm and roasty.

Aftertaste: stays for a good while, heavy biscuit and bread malts linger. Nice warming effect, can't pick the 5.7%, it's made so well.

Mouth feel: lovely, creamy body. Low-to-moderate carbonation, very palatable.

Overall: a great, fun old English beer. Wonderful :) Very smooth and palatable, with the characteristics of the nose coming forward in the flavour. Very malty and rich, not mention warm and roasty. A lovely, lovely brew, but it is still AU$110 a case of 16 x 500mL. This one, though, is well worth it.

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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 576 ratings.