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Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
580 Reviews
Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
580
Ratings:
1,005
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
14.72%
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
86
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 580 | Ratings: 1,005
Photo of biegaman
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is written in honour of my Uncle John. This bottle of Theakston Old Peculiar is stamped "best before" March 31, 2006 and was pulled from the cellar on November 28, 2016.

Theakston Old Peculiar looks black on basic inspection but actually reveals gleaming ruby shrapnel against the light. This more than a decade old beer maintains pristine clarity; there's remarkably not even a single speck of sediment to spoil this old geezer's healthy, handsome complexion. Heck, it's even still got its foam! Practically unbelievable.

The nose is a little understated but still an absolute bombshell. All kinds of figgy, fudgy richness emanates from the glass, included in which are dates, prunes, raisins, baking spices and Christmas pudding. It is reminiscent - though lacks the profundity - of another quintessential Old Ale, Thomas Hardy's. Granted, this recipe probably isn't designed to age as long...

Nevertheless, it's held up unexpectedly well. While it's showing signs of age it drinks more graceful than ever. Just as white hair totally suits certain people, some beers actually benefit from oxidization. While it's disappointing those beautiful dried fruit and toasted nut flavours are cut a little short, the oxidized, very sherry-like component isn't at all a detriment.

In fact, it's remarkable how much this bottle of Old Peculiar resembles a quality Oloroso - it shares not only that very dry, oxidated mouthfeel but also the astonishingly complex nutty and figgy flavours as well as nuances of olive, chocolate, musty spice box and a raisiny richness. Curiously, there's even an impression of oak (though it never saw the inside of a barrel).

The hops and specialty malts that went into the mash-tun have faded but remnants remain; beyond the dried fruits is actually a fairly prominent earthiness, a note like a damp forest in the fall. For this we thank the Fuggles which are notoriously grassy and leafy. And roasted barley provides a subtle bittersweet coffee-like note that persists through the finish.

Talk about a visceral, emotional drinking experience! It's rare to find such complexity and graceful aging from a beer that's only 5.6%. I opened the bottle unsure what to expect but fairly certain of disappointment - sometimes it's wonderful to be wrong. Theakston Old Peculiar will certainly go down as one of my all-time favourite finds from the cellar.

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Photo of Vader444
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour into tumbler

This takes me right back to my student days. Rich,fruity and sweet. In fact too sweet for me. Long gone are the days I could sink pint after pint of this. One is enough for this middle aged bore! Still, a very decent beer and one that I'll gladly come back to once in a while.

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Photo of bark
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown clear liquid. High beige head, no lacing.

Smooth somewhat roasted smell. Fortified wine, dried fruits and plum pudding.

Malty taste with roasted notes. Passing clean-dry bitterness. Medium body. Mulled wine and dried fruits in the aftertaste.

Strong fresh carbonation, small smooth bubbles. Light liquid.

I think this beer would gain of stronger alcohol.

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Photo of Spike
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 500ml bottle.

L: Very dark, ruby red (nearly black) with a thick, foamy, taupe head that leaves walls of lacing.

S: Raisins, molasses, light rum. Less robust than anticipated.

T: Plum, spice, toffee. Has a floral aspect that provides a nice lift and prevents the taste becoming too dense.

F: Medium to full bodied with a rich tongue coating. Slightly sticky. Light carbonation. Bitter, moderately dry finish.

O: A beautiful beer to look at and an enjoyable, slow, drinker. Rich and smooth. Excellent balance of sweet and bitter. Heaps of character. A classic English ale.

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Photo of kitschiguy
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly reddish, chocolaty brown with a very fine, big off-white head which died gradually and left lots of lacing.

Nose has lots of roasted malts - some chocolate, toffee, molasses and lots of coffee. Very nice.

Palate is much the same as the nose but with dried fruit, raisins, plums and a hint of cherry. doesn't taste sweet but bitterness is low. Nicely-balanced.

Mouth is a little thin.

This is a very nice beer. Well-balanced and complex.

Recommended.

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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.

 453 characters

Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: dark brown, clear.
Foam beige, fine-grained, dense and compact.
Aroma: dark fruit, plums fried, sweet, overripe bananas, caramel.
Taste: at first the plan goes caramel, slightly acidic, fried plums and delicate ashes.
Gentian is a clear, dry coffee. Saturation medium, perfect.

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Photo of stevoj
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours as black as a stout, but with a red tinted foamy head. Taste is smooth and woody. Smells of coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel seems watery, but also feels right. For a heavier British beer, this goes down smooth.

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Photo of Spiceboy
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this several years ago, but still remember it as easily a Top 5 of All-time. Just wish I could find it again as it's been MIA(Missing-in-Action) in the Mid-Atlantic region(USA). Will keep it #5 on my list until I can try it again to compare to the other (4) on my list;)

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature from 500ml bottle into pint mug.

L) Red-tinged black, opaque. No head, only a few bubbles.

S) Warm dark caramel malts. Vague hints of spices, almost like black pepper.

T) Hint of Coca-Cola sweetness first, then a depth of lightly roasted malt, finished off with a touch of bitterness. Three distinct aspects all balance one another, with none dominating.

F) Mouthfeel is lighter than the ABV. Quite fizzy for the style. Very easy drinking.

O) Very easy drinking strong ale. Included in a 4 for £6 offer from Morrisons, so good value and recommended.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is darker, with a slightly less full-body but a better head. (Compared with Marston's Owd Rodger - another Burton Ale) the sweetness has moved down into just a hint in the undertone, with dark fruit coming forward, and hints of darker malt, appearing with some crispy bitterness at the end.

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Photo of vinicole
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown. Thin but long lasting beige head.
Malt nose. Very fruity.
Tastes if light malt and chocolate. More sweet than bitter.
Very smooth.
It was 40 years ago that I first sampled this beer. Still tastes good.

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Photo of drmeto
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L:
-pours a clear dark brown with copper tinges and a medium to big,frothy,cream-coloured head
-low carbonation visible
S:
-earthy,caramel,chocolate,plums,toffee
T:
-caramel,plums,raisins,chocolate,nutty,toffee
F:
-low to medium carbonation
-light, slightly watery body
O:
Pretty good Old ale.

 293 characters

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

From bottle, Pours a dark brown colour with no head. Low carbonation and full body. Aroma Lots of caramel, chocolate and coffee. Taste pretty much the same as the aroma.

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Photo of cab4514
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I bought it thinking it would be a stout, but was pleasantly surprised and fell in love with it. My only complaint is I don't know where I can get it anymore.

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Photo of hopley
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - 4.5 - Jet solid black ruby, ever so slightly opaque - ruby red. Nice small lacy off white head that retains thick syrupy bubbles.
Smell - - 4.0 - Can't get much but smells like a watered-down stout, "watered-down" not meant to be derogatory.
Taste 4.5 - Creamy thick and solid. Very highly tasty. Tastes more like an old ale as it is billed, not like a stout that I thought it was.
Feel - 4.5 - Creamy thick and solid - nice thick solid creamy mouth feel...
Overall - 4.5 - This beer is a real treat, look forward to drinking it again.

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Photo of Decko
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - dark brown with creamy forth head which didn't stay. Some lacing. S - malt and coffee but with another scent that's reminiscent of wine or port. T - sweet maltiness with coffee roast overtones dominate the taste. A nice dry finish balances that a little. M - good carbonation and full-ish body. O - really enjoyable beer, my first old ale. I like the balance of it but a couple would probably be enough and the sweetness might be a little much. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of WGO
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Almost black with ruby tinges. Billowing tan coloured head. Looks very appealing.
Not much hop presence in the aroma, more bready, biscuity malts. Aroma is subtle maybe too subtle.
Taste is Choclate, bit of burnt coffee. Maybe some toffee too. Slightly astringent. Carbonation is low leading to quiet a full bodied beer.
Overall very nice, would try again but not rave about it.

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Photo of interzen
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle (BBE November 2015) into a nonic pint glass

Look: Pour it into the glass and it's damn near opaque - hold it up to the light and it's a deep, ruby red.

Smell: definitely a dark fruit vibe - blackcurrants and so forth - with a bit of spiciness on top. No hops to speak of, and the malts aren't particularly up-front.

Taste: Smooth malts with a hint of spice, with hops and the dark fruits coming through at the end. OP packs quite a few flavours, none of which really dominate.

Feel: Surprisingly smooth - at first sniff you'd think this would taste like fruity paint stripper, but no. It's eminently drinkable.

Overall: Theakstons are a local (to me) brewery and Old Peculier can often be found on draught hereabouts. It's a bit heavy to be a session beer, unless your plan is to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. More of a 'sipping' beer - the sort of thing that you can enjoy in front of a blazing fire at the back-end of the year. Rather like now, in fact. Recommended.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: September 19, 2014... GLASSWARE: Wychwood Hobgoblin stange...OCCASION: a long week ends... APPEARANCE: dark burgundy body; thick, creamy brown head that sits resiliently atop its pint; lacing is patterned... AROMA: robust raisin and black currants wake up the nostrils; malts are smoky and substantial, semisweet and aggressive... PALATE: surprisingly smooth, buttery and lactic--carbonated and warming, with a run-like draw.....TASTE: immediate butterscotch licks the tastebuds; vanilla, dough and peat constitute a promising profile...OVERALL as expected, a unique, classic profile that impresses with its sweet complexity...a beer to savor....

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Photo of safaricook
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%

My first old ale to prove. And what a nice one. Very gentle flavors but towards perfection. Sweet toffee in the nose with a more robust coffee undertone. Smooth and creamy. The roasted barley coming stronger in the taste and with sweet vanilla more than toffee. A lingering gentle sourness dominating the bitterness. Beautiful on a end of summer night on my Amsterdam balcony overlooking a silent gracht.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%

Poured from a half liter while sitting in my temp apartment in London. Life's good...
Brown with red tint in the light. I didn't give it the best pour, but a reasonably thick cream colored head with some staying power.
Nose...virtually none at all. I took a break and smelled some fresh air from the window and came back for another wiff, but again almost nothing. I read some of the other reviews on this beer talking about toffee, brown bread, etc notes...sorry, they forgot to put that in this one. I went to the bathroom and came back for one last smell (even tried to stick my nose down into the bottle), but no. This is a fresh beer BTW judging by the label (I am in London after all).
Moving on, I was ready to be disappointed with a flavorless brew, but was very happy with the taste. Creamy, coffee, toffee...all that good stuff. I mean, it isn't a stout or something, but really a full flavorful beer. Nice finish without off flavors coming out.
Lovely beer. Might have another now.

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Photo of ElegantRose
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally, this beer was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and is not one of those usual beers that one might see in a store. My interest piqued, I opened it, and I have been pleasantly surprised ever since.

This delicious ale from the U.K. has a unique, special taste made using (among others) Fuggle hops and deep roasting of the barley. There is a hint of licorice-like sweetness at the end of every sip, which adds a bit of complexity to this beer.

The deep roasting of the barley and what appears to be the unfiltered choice for this beer give the appearance of what appears to be a cross between a porter and a stout. I am loving the lingering, semi-sweet finish as it is ultimately quite palatable.

The smell actually reminds me a little of a quad, with that (near) smoky, deep, inherent sweetness on the nose.

Also, there is a little interesting story on the neck of the beer which describes a little of the history, which dates back to the 12th century.

I will be enjoying this beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a murky very dark brown, with a half inch head- recedes quickly- and a lot of foamy, almost soapy-looking lacing.

The smell is honestly a little weak. I smell some caramel malt, some chocolate, and leather.

The taste is more complex, but still a little weak. I'm confounded by the concept of a nearly "session old ale" at 5.6% ABV. The lower ABV seems to have dulled the flavors here that could be a lot stronger and fuller. I've always associated old ales as a cousin of the barleywine, and this shows that it's not always so close. There's some cocoa powder, grape skin, oak, grassy hop bitterness, classic fruity English yeast flavor, musty leather, with a slight sour-ish twang near the end. There is strong flavor at the front and back of each sip- it seems slightly watery in the middle- there's something missing.

Medium bodied, could be a little thicker, I think. A slow sipper.

This was interesting, but fell a tiny bit short for me. It had a lot of potential, but this just isn't the style of old ale I like.

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

A. Served in a small goblet. Thin coffee in color with decent,bread colored thin sustained lacing
S. Malty smell
T. Nice dark malt taste. Bread and toffee notes predominate. Do get a metallic taste.
M. Surprising thin for the pour. Light on the carbonation might be attributing to this.
O. Not a bad beer. Would order again versus the various boring beers, but can probably find a nicer dark beer out there.

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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,005 ratings.
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