Theakston Old Peculier - T & R Theakston Ltd.

Not Rated.
Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier

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very good

941 Ratings

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Ratings: 941
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 45
Gots: 53 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-31-2001)
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Ratings: 941 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of budsboy
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep, deep brown with purple highlights, creamy white head that lasted all the way down. Aroma is sweet toasted malt and some fruitiness (plum?) and a touch of smoke and coffee. Taste is malty, with hint of woodspice and chocolate. Hops are a secondary flavor, a bit of bite coming toward the swallow. Mouthfeel seems a bit thin for such a dark brew, Guinness like. Very drinkable, but I think it would be even better paired with a beef dish.

Photo of Doiv
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried this beer on tap it was so off it felt like I was drinking pure malt vinegar. Fortunately more recent tries of this ale have been better. Lets see how the bottle holds up...

Pours a dark browny ruby colour with a tan head that quickly disperses. Aroma is of roasted hops, malty and bready. There is also a very ambiguous other hint in there that I cant quite put my finger on.

Taste is rich and smoky, with a little dried fruit flavour and estery malts. Slightly yeasty, warming cinnamon aftertaste.

Mouth feel is smooth and it is very drinkable.

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

Doesn't taste like a Scotch ale to me. Smells of dark caramel and toffee, roasty barley. This lovely beer pours a thick, tan head; mouthfeel is silky but not cloying. Tastes like straight up roasted barley and malt tinged with sweetness, though the latter dissipates once you drink past the first few gulps. The finish stops the maltiness short with . . . a subtle dryness without bitterness, followed by a residue of malt aftertaste. This is a wonderful beer; I usually associate Scotch ales with a flavor that tastes like a compressed and redoubled, alchohol-forward amber ale. Granted, the Scotch ales in my experience are all American microbrew interpretations of the genre.

Photo of kbub6f
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just popping the top, I'm pretty sure this is right up my alley. Nose is sweet, chewy toffee. Head is small, tan, dense but active. The beer is dark brown and hazy. There are ruby highlights. Front is tangy, fruity toffee. Almost a little cheese in there. The chewy, dark, full, thick middle is delicious and capped off by a nice, fresh bready finish. This is just a yummy, chewy, bready toffee delight. Great.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper with hefty amounts of orange and red. The head is light milk chocolate brown in color and is large, creamy and softly pitting. It deflates slowly and deposits an adequate amount of lace in thick rings.

The aroma is complex, interesting and appealing all at once. Specifics include brown sugar, molasses, toffee, sugared pecans and roasted malt. Wow, I'm not sure that I've smelled anything quite like this before.

TOP's flavor follows its nose pretty closely, though it's thinner than expected. Perhaps I'll let it warm a little more. This stuff is damn tasty, but I can't quite figure out what makes it so. No wonder they call it Peculier. All of the same characteristics that are present in the nose are in present on the palate... with the addition of raisins and an earthy oakiness. The mouthfeel is firming up and the beer is becoming more creamy as it warms.

Theakston Old Peculier is very good beer. It's kind of odd to have an old ale weigh in at only 5.7%, but that makes it especially drinkable. The world's most sessionable old ale? Most peculiar.

Photo of krberg
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Somehow I have managed to always pass over Old Peculiar. Today I corrected that oversight.

It pours a nice dark brown with a big tan with white laced head. The colors make me think of caramely beers. I'm a bit worried because I see Scottish and Newcastle mentioned on the bottle. I know they are only the importers, but...

Smells like an English bottled beer: tangy and fruity. Still I get no indication about the beer. Samuel Smith's pulls the same trick with my nose. "Did I just get an off beer?"

Old Peculiar has a very mild sweet taste that finishes malty as hell. There is a slight bitterness through the entire sip, but it isn't pronounced enough to call this a "bitter" beer.

The initial mouthfeel is way too thin. As the CO2 escapes it thickens up decently, but lacks any distinguishing characteristics. It is exactly average.

This beer is extremely drinkable. At 5.7 ABV you could put quite a few away, but I don't know why you'd want to. While it isn't a bad beer, it is my least favorite Scotch ale so far. Why not skip this offering and find a Smuttynose Scotch ale instead. Old Peculiar never goes for the gold, it is strickly an honorable mention.

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

12ozer, purchased at Main St. Liquors, Monson, MA, as part of do-it-yourself mixed 6 pack.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, good frothy head formed on top of a mahogany-hued brew. Strong malty aroma, nice balance between of malt and hops, bits of lace being left here and there as drinking ensues. After a few mouthfuls, the bitterness starts to dominate a bit, and affects the mouthfeel, in my mind. Still very drinkable for a strong ale, an enjoyable experience.

Photo of diablo14
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

there was i time this would have been a dead set 5 all the way. its not a patch on the original. that was the beer that set me on the path of glorious english ales many moons ago. its not as good now, but unlike, say, moretti la rossa, which has gone from a great beer to a crappy one, this has gone from an outstanding beer to a very good one. still one worth giving a good going over when the chance presents itself.

classic dark ruby color and pesistent head development that looks like a beauty before its even been consumed. this is a beer i could almost say i perve on. simply gorgeous. the smell has some malts, roasty grains and a nice raisiny tinge. the flavor is full of dried fruits and malts, some nutty almond flavors, with caramel hints popping up intermittently. its not necessarily complex, but by golly its got a marvellous taste and does not skimp in this department. its not a big as it once was, but at least they have still maintain a quality level of flavor in the brew. its not too big in body, and doesnt have any carbonation to speak of. the gentle dryness you get from this is all hops baby, and how can any beer love not want that? its full, its smooth, its dry, its got it all in a nice neat little package.

maybe its because its a fond memory of mine, this brew, but even tho it has changed, its still one of the kings. ive said it before about english beers. they know how to stay well within themselves, while still giving you everything you want from a beer, and can down a few pints without being totally rotten by the end of the evening. this is a prime example. an all time great.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark translucent brown with a thick tan head. Very lacy. Smell is malty and lightly bitter and lightly metallic.

Taste is malty and sweet. Also nutty and lightly bitter like dark chocolate. A bit of alcohol burn perhaps in the finish? Caramel undertoones and lightly smoky. Very smooth with a lingering sweetness balanced slightly by that light bitterness. Did I say smooth? this one used to get me in big trouble when visiting Britain. Smooth as a mild but 50% stronger. It really sneaks up on you after a few. One of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. On cask, it's heavenly but I'll take it from the bottle anytime.

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby/maroon with a good whiteish head that does not linger.

Tart, coffee and mild hop scent, with a slight caramel candy touch.

A sip starts smooth, and then gets almost rough in the mouth, with a tart and tangy finish. Puckers the mouth, even. Malty, with a touch of what tastes like dirt.

Photo of crookedhalo
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep coppery-brown color with a thick beige to tan head. Dusty and musty malt aromas, intertwined with some traditional diacetyl-like buttery malt notes and a faint bit of hops round out a nice interpretation of an English old ale. Easily drinkable after a night out on the town. Slightest puckering tartness in the finish, but adds to it's drinkability.

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

Dark mahogany, beige head with good retention. Roasted barley leads the aroma with just a hint of caramel, earthy hops, butter, and apple esters. Flavor has surprising similarities to an abt12 - just missing some alcohol. Smooth milk chocolate flavors, lingering watery sweetness. Very good brew, I am surprised I have not heard more talk about it.

Photo of arizcards
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brownish red ale poured a nice head which dissapated quickly but is leaving a nice lacing of my pint. Nothing overly powerful smell wise but did detect some sweet malts. The taste is an interesting start of the smooth sweet malts and finishing with a slight pleasant bitterness. This is a medium bodied beer leaving a semi decent mouthfeel. Not a bad beer and would drink it again but nothing noteworthy about it.

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

A crimson-mahogany hued beer with a soda-like head that thins after a bit. Big peaty aroma with a vinous tone. Almost a bit cheese-like. Molasses, peat, and caramel make for a big sweetness on the palate. Hops are leafy, adding a little bitterness to support and staying in the background. A bit thin, but tasty. Reminds me a lot of McEwan's Scotch Ale. They are both owned by Scottish Courage... Not bad, enjoyable, but there are lots of better beers in the style. Orkney's SkullSplitter is a much better example of something like this.

Photo of BitteBier
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A murky amber brown pour with a finger's worth of uniformly foamy head with average cling. Sweet malts and caramel remind one of Scotch ales. A very interesting and pleasant mouthfeel--creamy and clean, not syrupy. A wash of mild bitterness starts at the front of the mouth and methodically crawls to the back. Creamy malts are strongest in the middle of the taste, eventually giving way to some bitterness and lightly spicy alcohol flavors. This is a pleasantly interesting and drinkable beer.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a thick light brown head that sits atop a deep, dark amber, clear beer. The aroma is sweet and has notes o f molasses, caramel and dark fruit. The taste is fairly clean compared to the rich brew that I remember that this once was. This beer is lightly sweet with almost no balancing bitterness. There seems to be a threshold level of buttery diacetyl, which, adds a bit to the complexity of this beer. There seems to be some subtle dark malt flavors that are evocative of chocolate. It is quite drinkable, but need to be served quite warm to get any of the flavors.

Photo of Beersignal
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep walnut brown showing burgundy highlights with no particulate matter in suspention. Initial rich and generous foam dissipates somewhat quickly to a thinnish film that leaves very fine lace clinging to the glass. Smelled rich and malty with chocolate, spice (nutmeg and cinnamon mostly), ripe fruit and diacetyl notes of butter and nuts. A solidly structured beer supported by malt and molasses which are joined by a slight ''horse blanket'' character and black fruit tastes. Finishes on this sourness and a mild but well defined bitterness leaving you wanting another sip 'til it's all gone. I'm now looking for a place which serves this on tap.

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Fullers pint glass. Clear mahogany that is a distinct ruby when held to the light. One finger beige head with staying power and moderate lacing. Aroma is a bit subdued with hops, toffee, and some peppery spices. Mouthfeels is initially thick and creamy, finishes dry and exuberating. Taste is bitter/tart at the beginning, then the walnuts and toffee take over. Overall, an excellent execution of well balanced malty caramel and hops bitterness. Reminds me more of an excellent ESB than a Porter. This is my first Theakston, but it is one of the more drinkable British ales I've come across. Excellent drinkability.

Photo of beergeek279
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color was a dark amber with a nice white head. The smell was a nice sweet malt. The taste was a very light malt sweetness with very little hoppiness. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin. Drinkability-wise, could have a couple.

Not as good an old ale as some of the ones I've had recently, but was a servicable beer. I'd probably have one in the future.

Photo of TAMU99
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Brown porter that pours a medium tan head with some staying power.
Strong scents of chocolate and coffee.
Great taste. Bold choclate malts, coffee tones with carmel underpinnings. Slight hoppy aftertaste.
Nice lace down the glass with a rich, smooth feel.
Very drinkable. A good solid beer.
I liked this one a lot - good for cooking and cold nights.

Photo of aaronh
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always though of this as a robust porter. Don't know why.

Dark brown with a thin, fine-bubbled cream colored head. Great coffee, chocolate and sweet fruity aromas greet the nose and draw you into the beer. The flavor is sweet caramel balanced by bitter roasted malt and a decent hop bitterness. The finish is exceptionally dry. The mouthfeel is hearty, with light carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, but eh dryness seems to detract just a bit for me.

Photo of Hobbz
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic English ("strong") ale.
It's been years since I have had this one! (the last time may have been on-tap in Stowe, Vermont at Pickwick's Pub).
The other day I picked it out of the beer listing at a joint where I had just had three other lighter, lager beers. Perfect timing and positioning!! Wow, what great flavors.

The dark beer poured into my glass had very little head and had a sweet aroma. The taste was complex: sweet malts with a slight woody and roasted background, augmented with a molasses presence (brewing licorice?). I also found the mouthfeel and its drinkability well-suited to drink alone or mixed with others before or afterwards.

Photo of GreenCard
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date: 31/7/03...

Appearance: dark mahogany, sudsy transformation w/ OK retention, some lace

Aroma: roasty maltiness, prunes, wisps of hops, and something slightly vegetal

Flavor: smooth malt flavor rounded out by a roasty twang, woody hop notes, tasty bitterness from the dark grains and the hops, a hint of something like molasses (treacle?), rather dryish finish w/ a roasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, crisp carbonation, slightly acidic

Overall Impression: Haven't had one of these in a long time. Tried it when I was fairly new to "beer geekdom" and really liked it. Classic beer. Easy to drink and deliciously interesting to boot. However, it's funny to me that a 5.6% abv beer is considered a "strong ale". I know that's attributed to English law, but over here in Belgium, of course, 5.6% is "normal strength".

Photo of silks636
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Dark mahogany color with a thick foamy tan head. Smells heavily of caramel with notes of floral hops and roasted coffee. Starts with a buttery caramel that builds into a richer chocolate malt flavor. A flash of fruit and grain appears as it finishes with a lingering toasted malt. Good hop presence throughtout provides an adequate balance. Mouthfeel is smooth to slightly creamy.

Nothing fancy or pretentious, just a damn good drinking beer. Definitely one to check out if the opportunity arises.

Photo of HardTarget
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: The smell of dark bread, with alcohol, and a hint of peat? Mild esters noted.
Appearance: Black, that showed a deep amber red when backlit. Clear, with a creamy light tan head that lasted a while
Flavor: Clean taste with malt and hints of smoke. Great balance with the malt being dominant, but not heavy handed. I let the beer sit for a while and the carbonation died off, but still left a bubbly and dry aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium, with a very clean finish.
Overall Impression: Not particularly one of my favorite styles, but this beer has me thinking I should explore some more. I liked this. Drinkability is solid, the dry finish and clean taste makes it hard to put down.

Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
89 out of 100 based on 941 ratings.