1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Theakston Old Peculier - T & R Theakston Ltd.

Not Rated.
Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 948
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 46
Gots: 58 | 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 (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Theakston Old Peculier Alström Bros
Ratings: 948 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beergeek279
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
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
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
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
3.88/5  rDev -2%
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
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
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
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Jarod
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by dated: 1-26-05

This beer poured a dark garnet/amber color that was crystal clear when held to the light. The head that was produced was semi thick and a full constancy, tan/beige in color and not overly lasting. Some spotty lace present. The aromas that came out of the glass were of roasted malt, fresh floral hops, some alcohol, caramel and light fruits. Not an overbearing amount of aromas but present. The flavors were of fresh floral hop flowers, roasted malt and nuts, some coffee, earth tones, caramel, plums, and some alcohol. It left a roasted oily feel in the mouth. Semi sweet in the beginning, dry and watery near the finish. Medium bodied. Not overly impressed with this beer, good but not impressive IMO. Lots of other beers of this style out there to try before I would go back to this one. But it was drinkable.

Photo of Rumrunner
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

Pours a dark almond brown. Good beige frothy head. Decent lacing. Scents start off sour. Then some sugary molassass and caramel appear. The scents finish with a bit of bitter on the nose.

The flavors are a bit mixed. Somewhat uneven for me. A sour fruit taste leads off. Then there is a used coffee ground flavor. Good toffee and sweet caramel. A nice burnt finish.

A decent mouthfeel. A bit of a tang. Good and dry on the palate. One could drink a few in a session.

Overall a good offering. It is just too tangy and the flavors are too much of a mixed bag. I did not completely dislike this ale. There are just many I would rather have in its stead.

Photo of grynder33
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amberish color, better head than expected. Not much of any aroma on the first sniff, a little chocolate became evident on the fourth pass. The first taste had subtle cherry and chocolate competeing mildly for your attention. Overall the taste was pleasant but thin.

Photo of beerguy101
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep garnet color, small foamy head, slightly malty and sweet aroma. Full rich malt taste. Malty and subtle. Fruity, slightly nutty, some yeastiness. Mild and flavorful. Taste is very smooth. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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

Appearance: Deep ruby brown tone with a frothing tan head arising from quite a vigorous pour, nice even lattice of lacing not bad. Aroma: Contains mild chocolate with the tosted malts producing a certain musty characteristic one of those English open fermentation things I'm almost sure of, either way it's not bad at all. Taste: Semi fruit infused sweetness with a clean toasty finish of chocolate running through it, I always was turned away from this beer for the simple reason that here in WV it runs at 9 bucks a six pack not bad I am enjoying this one finishes very clean. Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy medium in body a great selection glad I found a single. Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable compared to what I thought it was going ot be like, refreshing ties all flavors together well seems like a classic English ale glad I finally gave it a shot.

Photo of nomad
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy brown and ruby color. Has a soft pillowy foam head that often falls to a well-retained sliver. Occassionally leaves spots of stain in no partcitular order.

Smells rooty, roasty, nutty, malty, but more so of dates with the former notes awash within this dark fruity goodness. Opens to some sweet, un-attenuated maltiness. Lots going on in my nose, but nothing alluring or so well brewed to win me over. Taste is complex, and I find it varying and still tough to get through after having a bunch in a couple days. Starts off tangy and tart with some barky bitterness. Smoothly transitions into subtle fruit flavors, for me closest to dates. Supported by calm and full dark malt flavors, just on the other side of a scottish ale. Short finish, quite rooty and at times rough to handle, but luckily short. Very thin mouthfeel.

A good beer, but not something I'd thirst after, especially among many of the tasty beers in the old ale range.

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

Now Quaffing: Theakston ~ Old Peculier

Pours a deep mahogany with little visibility through the glass. Head is moderate with good lacing upon recession. Aromas are sweet malty and somewhat bready/yeasty. Taste is a wonderful contrast of malt sweetness up front followed by a long mellow bitter, dry finish. Fruit flavors of grapes and plumbs are there along with an acidity that gives this beer wine-like attributes. Very smooth and easy drinking despite the abrupt dry finish. A nice beer to finish the night off with.

Photo of Seumas
3.13/5  rDev -21%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark brown body with a reddish tinge under a gigantic head that went down slowly and left some lacing. Looks terrific.

Smell – The aroma is actually kind of light, which is surprising. There’s some dark malt in there and maybe a little bit of fruity sweetness, but it’s hard to pick out.

Taste – This one is tight. The heavy, dark buttered malt is packed so firmly it’s hard to get the taste out of the glass. It’s very creamy though. There’s also some budding toffee in there along with dark chocolate flavors.

Mouthfeel – Little carbonation in accordance with the style. This one is very thick in the mouth. I didn’t get any alcohol sensation, though, which is odd for an SOA. The ABV is under 6.

Drinkability – It went down all right, but I think there’s some potential in there. I’m going to buy a six-pack and cellar it, maybe taking one out every six months or so. I’ll update the review if there’s a noticeable change.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark ocher color with ruby tinged edging. A decent beige head formed and quickly faded to a small cap and thin patchy lacing.
Smell was of toasted caramel malt, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol sweetness.
Taste is sweet, of caramel, toffee and prunes, dates and figs. Some mild hops bitterness in the finish.
Feel was medium bodied, smooth, almost slick.
A really tasty brew. A well constructed beer with decent ABV% that disappeared all too quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed every drop.

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

This rootbeer colored beauty maintains a full beige head and a bit of trailing lace. The aroma is malty and tea-like. The rich malt has a caramel sweetness. Sharp citrus bitterness and tea-like hops are in abundance. The rich independent flavors begin the meld towards the end of the glass. Creamy and nearly oily, this brew goes down with a nice velvety smoothness.

Photo of far333
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mahogany colored with a bumpy dark beige head. Head drops quickly but leaves a sheeted coating around the glass. Nose is sweet, almost perfumey, and malty. Flavor is peculier like the name. Oddly sweet. Tastes like root beer up front, and finishes with prune juice. Hints of sweet brown sugar. Watery mouthfeel. Moderate drinkability.

Photo of edchicma
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not quite my cup of tea...Appearance was very good...but there was a raw unfinished feeling. At first smell, I thought it may have been a bad bottle...hard to describe...the smell had an odd pungency to it. Taste was ok, but not spectacular..I'm wondering if the smell prejudiced me.Mouthfeel was somewhat lighter than I expected...hints of chocolate? Easy enough to drink after I had gotten by the smell. I know this beer was rated highly by others, which shows sometimes it can be a matter of taste. All in all nowhere near as good as the Geary's Hampshire Special Ale I had just before this offering.

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

Pours out to a brilliantly clear, dark caramel with ruby accents, forming a whipped dark beige head atop medium bubbles with good retention and good lacing. Aroma is strong with very abundant notes of buttery diacetyl, toffee and burnt caramel, sweet dust and round English hops. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is very smooth and pillowy soft with a surprisingly light body. Taste begins with notes of rum, vanilla extract, distant light molasses, pipe tobacco and butterscotch. English hops contribute a round, mild bitterness which is initially prickly. Finishes warm with faint peppery alcohol, a dark grainy astringency and woody notes. A classic English ale with lots of nuances and character. Very enjoyable.

Photo of granger10
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a very small, head. Aroma of raisins and alcohol mixed together. Yum! Taste shows more complexity though. Roasted malts show strong. Caramel leads the way and is the main flavor. Raisins are there but not as strong as in the smell. Buttery toffee comes in the middle and provides a slickness to this beer. Finishes with slight hop bitterness but mainly alcohol spiced yeast. Finish lasts for a long time. Well done.

Photo of braubeater
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to admit that I was not totally floored on appearance; opaque, brownish-amber color; little head to be appreciated. Nevertheless, I think these characteristics are on par for most British ales in this category.

Aroma is surpisingly syrupy, with a very slight hint of hops. Almost no perception of maltiness, but a subtle hint of smokiness.

After a sip, the smokiness almost overcomes the hop notes, bordering on a true Scotch ale. Finish is really mellow, with a nice balance of sweetness to compliment the hops.

Mouthfeel is about average, with a slight clinginess reminiscent of molasses. Finish is nicely pronouced without any trace of subtle sugary notes experienced earlier.

I would definitely purchase more (this was my first) and I may try to replicate this flavor in the fall, if I can find a good clone recipe.

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

Had this at the Viking. Not a bad beer, but not terribly exciting either. Had a subtle, toasty scent, with a very slight raisiny smell in the background. This was also pretty much the taste. Hops were extremely restrained, but so was the malt, so they balanced. As this is made by the folks at Newcastle, it came as no surprise that it reminded me of a Newcastle Brown Ale with a slightly more toasted malt taste. As I said above, not bad, but not a whole lot going on.

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

Appearance: Beautiful garnet with average carbonation. Creamy, off-white head that settled to a dense, sticky cap. Laced very well.

Smell: Slightly metallic, and a little sour. Toasty malt dominates. Not a very odoriferous brew, but what's there is nice.

Taste: Unexpected sweetness, balanced by a well-hopped middle. Nice and creamy, with a satisfying, almost chewy, mouthfeel. The finish is perfectly hopped, with a slight leafiness breaking through the end.

Notes: Wow. I came in with no expectations one way or the other, but this was a really good beer. I won't look past this one the next time I'm in the store. A definite must-try.

Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
89 out of 100 based on 948 ratings.