Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

very good
583 Reviews
Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier

Brewed by:
T & R Theakston Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

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: 583 | Ratings: 1,012
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 ThreePistols
4.97/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky dark ruby color. Weak head from bottle with little lace. Fruity, caramel and roasted aroma. Soft rich malty, fruity taste of dried fruit like dates and raisins and a hint of molasses with a slight roasted finish. Finishes dry. I enjoyed the slick mouthfeel. I especially enjoyed the numbing of my lips and face like it was of a higher ABV content than listed. Short lasting yet good aftertaste. Very clean and nicely balanced, humble yet classy. Very quaffable. Cheers!

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Photo of Murph
4.94/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I had high expectations for this brew and it blew my expectations away. Pours a nice brownish/amber with a creamy head that sinks, with a nice lace holding all the way down. Incredible malty caramel smell. Smooth, creamy malty flavor. Caramel and light,earthy hops blend for great balance in this medium/full bodied brew. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel and incredibly drinkable. Drinking this is such a great experience that it is hard for me to even put th glass down to end my sip. Awesome beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of lenlo
4.88/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely sublime on cask! Smooth and rich, like black velvet running down your throat. Complex flavor, notes of burned sugar, but without being overly sweet. Well balanced and eminently drinkable.

(Much less impressive on bottle. Short and crippled. "Dead.")

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Photo of Offa
4.85/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is another beer which I have enjoyed for some years and only recently discovered I had not reviewed here yet. I added a review over the weekend bu, apparently due to the database problems, it has vanished.

This is wonderful, complex, and full-bodied without being heavy.

Almost black but actually very dark red-brown, it has a small-medium pale tan head that thins very slowly. It leaves a little slightly weak lace.

The aroma is rich and earthy like freshly cut, wet wood, with hints of leaves,toast.

The taste is full, complex, balanced and extremely smooth. It has rich, but restrained and balanced notes of fresh, wet wood, earth, ldry leaves, chocolate, dry toast, licorice, and a little dark fruitiness. It is lightly sweet with just enough bitterness to balance it and round out the taste, before a long, dryish finish with toast, fruit, and wood. The palate is full but lively, with faint oiliness but just enough to add a fuller feel without actually making it oily or slick.

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Photo of Hawthorne
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old P is something very special. As a malt fanatic, this brew quickly became one of my favorites. The Beer's greatest flaw would be its availability but that only makes the heart grow founder.
Pours a deep brown with a beautiful head which lingered nicely for a while before it settled to the rim. The initial taste is a smooth malty sensation that will have you going back for more and the finish just reinforces what can only be described as an immideiate affection. I love this beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A fine example of the style, extremely drinkable. I recommend enjoying this ale with fish and chips in the right surroundings: your local english pub. It is malty and strong while not overpowering. It has a pleasant finish and the color is dark and inviting. This ale is delightful in every way

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Photo of garymuchow
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a complex aroma with initial sweet and heavy malt (with some caramel), with qualities of fruitiness (with a red wine type aroma) and seems like alcohol aroma too. Interesting and good. Thinnish head that stays okay. Deep dark brown to red (garnet). After the initial burst of malt, the alcohol seems most evident to me, but not excessive or overwhelming. Taste has many of the same complexities as the aroma, yet remains smooth. A bit of nuttiness to the flavor. Sweetness to the malt, but not so excessive that it tastes like cough syrup (my biggest gripe with malty styles). Nice dryness to the finish with a short but pleasant aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full and rich. This really is quite an impressive beer.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Where to begin with this one. I've been looking for Old Peculier for a couple of years--ever since Paul (thanks for the tip, Paul) told me about it. He'd gone to England and said he loved it. I took it as a challenge to find it in the US, but when I contacted the Theakston brewery directly, I was told it was no longer exported to the US.

So imagine my surprise when I walk into Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley today and find it in the refrigerator case. The kid stocking shelves said it had just come in off the truck this week. It's back. So I bought a 6'er on the spot.

It pours ebony black with rich mahogany highlights in the glass, soft carbonation and a nice (1/4 inch or so) tan foam head that disappeared but left a tiny bit of lacing on the glass. Somewhat roasted (rich, nutty) malt smell in the nose with an initial taste that was both sweet and a tad bitter. The nutty roasted malt richness evolved into a residual sweetness (though definitely balanced and not cloying) and finally ends with that hint of dark-chocolate-like bitterness. As the glass warmed, a wonderful caramel taste comes through--especially toward the end. With absolutely no unpleasant astringent or aftertastes.

Like I said. Wow. Excellent drinking. No wonder The Bro's gave it an A. A bit rich for every day drinking, but it could be a regular indeed.

Postscript: The British really know how to do classy. The new bottles (the BA photo is an older one) are works of art, smooth clear brown glass with a carefully placed label with a new gold foil on black design. It resembles a high-end scotch bottle and says something about the quality of what you will find inside. A lot of craft brewers could learn something there, as I've seen labels placed sideways or wrinkled. I know it's nit-picky, but I think there is something to be said for paying attention to detail and your corporate image.

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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 AmishT
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter

A - Dark crimson, with a big tan foamy head that doesn't retain long, but that may be due to the wide area of the snifter and the style. Gorgeous color.

S - Whoa, very complex malty smell. Bold dark fruit character and faint alcohol aroma; almost smells like red wine. I'm just blown away by the nose on this ale

T - Delicious sweet malt flavor right off the bat - butterscotch and caramel. Just prior to a pleasant, but mild hoppy finish, the dark fruits and alcohol that I detected in the nose make their presence. Putting it simply, it's great -- I need to stop typing and keep drinking

M - Very smooth. The carbonation goes very well with the rich malty flavor.

D - It's not surprise that a beer that tastes this good is very drinkable. Only drawback is that I'll be sad when it's gone

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Photo of Daredevil
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is probably the most legendary old ale ... strangly could not find it on tab in Yorkshire when visiting this autumn ... it's soft and oily, lightly smoky, malty, hints of milk chocolate paired with raisins and dried blackcurrant, very smooth and sustaining ... this has everything a brew needs to offer pleasure and delight ....

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Photo of bierman2000
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

what can I say except yummy.. this beer is a great strong ale even if it's only 5.7 ABV. Dark opaque brown/black with a roasty character and chocolate flavor. One of England's best almost borders on a porter in color and strength but more complex. Well worth seeking out nd can be enjoyed anytime.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle. Clear garnet hue, tan head leaves a nice lace. Awesome black currant, vinous smell. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Earthy, black currant, dark tree fruit malt taste. Finishes with a fermented fruit, alcohol flavor on the breath. One of my all time favorite brews from the Big Island.

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Photo of tlinner
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers I've had yet. Dark copper/brown with a creamy head. The smell is as enticing as anything I've ever encountered: a kind of warm, rich molasses and malt combo that just makes your mouth water. Taste is similar to some Belgian ales, Chimay Red coming immediately to mind (that's a good thing, btw): very "deep", with hints of butter and dried fruit. The 5.7 ABV is amazing considering the complexity and richness. Absolutely a must-drink.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very nice deep brown color and has a nice chunky tan head that dissipated quickly. Decent lace is left in my glass after every sip. It smells of chocolate and sweet malts... Nirvana... It has a very good dark malt flavor and has little hop bite, if any at all until the very end. The body is a bit thin, but it has that creaminess that all British ales seem to have. Maybe it's the water? Who knows, but I like it. I could drink a sixer of these no problem and perhaps more if I wanted to indulge in a drunken binge. This is by far the best Scotch ale that I have ever tried.

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Photo of eweneek83
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours a dark brown, almost mollasses. A thick foamy head that dissipates kinda quickly.

Smell - Raisiny sweet bread smell, doughy with a smooth English malt smell too. Smells really great.

Taste - Comes on really creamy with a perfect malty brown sugar-like taste. A tiny bit of alcohol but balanced well with the jerk-worthy malts and toasty sweet crisp taste. Still really smooth.

Mouthfeel - just enough carbonation to carry the smooth texture of this rich but simple beer down the gullet so sweetly and quickly, you'll wonder where all the OP has gone.... very peculier indeed.

Drinkability - exceptional. This stuff makes you want to get another drink as soon as the first sip leaves. One of the most drinkable beers I've ever tried. This would be an amazing session brew!

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I look forward to a six-pack of this every holiday season, this and Ayinger's Celebrator Dobblebock. A GREAT winter treat.

A: Dark nut-brown color with mahogany with a modest tan head with decent-enough lacing.

S: Ahh - sweet malts! Smells welcoming! Dark fruit notes of fig, raisin, plum and chocolate. Light brown sugar and molasses add more to the sweet element.

T: Malts of rum, raisin, fig and sweet molasses. A really smooth, pleasant and robust flavor profile. Will always remind me of Christmas. Slightly carbonated. Smooth & drinkable.

M: good, solid body. Smooth!

D: a great beer to have conversing with friends and a pipe. Ah - the good times!

The old nut brown ale that's a real looked-forward-to treat! Love this stuff! Highly recommended!

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark, dark brown in color; ruby when held to light. Thick, creamy tan head that retains well and settles nicely over the top of a beer. The head isn't as tall as one would expect in a pint glass, but the wide base of the snifter forces it to expand over a wider area.

S: Wonderfully complex aroma. I'm getting a lot of dark fruity notes from the sweet malt. Faintly detect a hint of earthy muskiness in the background. Incredibly rich, full, and inviting.

T&M: The taste is just as, if not more, complex than the aroma. Unreal smoothness, with a perfect balance between sweet fruity malts, roasted malt, and a slight hop background to even things out. This stuff tastes fantastic. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, but the smoothness is unreal. Hardly any carbonation, but enough to tickle your tongue and release those wonderfully complex flavors. Mouthcoating is good, and the finish is malty and sweet.

D: This stuff is excellent. Low ABV makes it sessionable. It's not really heavy at all for such a dark beer. The malty sweetness of the beer is incredible. This one would be wonderful after dinner or when hanging out with some friends. I could drink this stuff all night. This is one of my father's favorite brews and I see why.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Ruby red with low carbonation, topped with 2 fingers of beige foamy head.

Amazing nose of dark malty cherries, a hint of liquorice and tar.

Cherries, dark malts, a hint of dark wood notes.

Light body, moderate carbonation. Very smooth.

Amazing brew. Light but complex and rich. Love it! Got in Bangkok Villa Market over 6 months ago. This one has travelled with me on an epic journey to Harbin and back to Chiang Mai. Drank Feb 1st, 2016.

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Photo of RedBeerHead
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark amber/brown. The head is rather light in both color and weight and it settles quickly. There is a sweet taste initially, followed by a slight bitter aftertaste. Nice, balanced malt flavor. Good drink-ability, definitely a good one for a hot day. Very good, simple ale.

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Photo of miked396
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer - great appearance, a complex and unique taste. I'm not good enough at this to quite put my finger on exactly what I'm tasting or why it's so appealing, but it is! It's hard to find this many places, so it's always a welcome surprise when I come across it. Always leaves me motivated for a future buy

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Photo of mdagnew
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml Bottle bought in Sainsburys.

Pours quite a reddish brown / mahogany colour. Head is quite thin and dark cream in colour.

Very nice aroma of fruit (plums??), toffee and some chocolate. Nice amount of maltiness too.

Taste – fruity, toasted caramel with a very nice malty sweetness.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a medium body…

Excellent English ale – extremely drinkable. One of my all time favourite beers… could drink this all night !!

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Photo of GimmeAles
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An even pour produces a 1 finger head which receded to a pronounced ring in the glass above a lovely, dark rosewood body. Moderate to light lacing. I get a vague sense this just isn’t as fresh as it could be – would that I could sample it in Merry ‘Ole England.

Nice caramely, biscuity aroma. Notes of toasted nuts as well with hints of chocolate and gossamerr fruity esters woven throughout. Very English, indeed.

The taste brings this all together in a subtle harmony. Additional notes of toasted bread crust accentuate the nutty, toffee-like sweetness. A drying, plum-skin bitterness balances the luxurious malt presence, making for effortless quaffability. Hints of cocoa-powder and smoke are in the finish.

Like the embers of a dying fire, this one gives a slow, even, comforting warmth, not from the alcohol, but from its color, balance and general richness. Tales of its stature on cask leave me day-dreaming of finding myself in a Yorkshire pub someday.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a dark reddish brown color with a good sized frothy tan head. The aroma is very malty with a touch of alcohol. The dark fruit smells are glorious. Smells like en EPA mixed with a dark belgian ale. Hops come though in the taste to balance out the malt. There is an interesting earthiness to this brew. Moderate feel and incredible drinkability. At 5.7% I think I would drink this as a session beer.

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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,012 ratings.
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