Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

very good
1,013 Ratings
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: 585 | Ratings: 1,013
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An ale to appreciate for flavour. Amber brown, with a nice head. A dark bear's richer taste and sour kick, scotch, malty, and bitter. Thanks Radek for sharing and OKBeer for sending. Fuller mouthfeel. A splash was accidently added to a Dogfish 2004 and improved it's flavour.

 275 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky dark brown with a 2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some candied fruit aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, slight caramel, slight dark fruits, and some herbal hops on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate that quickly fades with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good old ale but it's somewhat mild in the flavor department.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep rich looking black color. Not much light was getting through this one. The head was brown and pretty thin. The smell of the beer smell old and musty, lightly roasted and had some light grains in there too. The taste of the beer was toasted and had some lingering leather flavors in it. The far end of the aftertaste had a light sweetness to it from the malts. This reminded me of Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil a little bit. In all honesty I thought that this beer was better than the Engine oil. The mouthfeel was thinner than the engine oil brew. Overall I found this beer to be enjoyable.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very cloudy dark brown in color (close to near black) and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high creamy beige head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles floating on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of fruity yeast in the nose along with notes of dark malts.
T: The taste has a bit of sweetness with flavors of dark malts
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful without being full-bodied and for this reason is very easy to drink.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep, hearty red color. Doesn't seem to be too much aroma wise, hence it getting my lowest score. Taste wise it's very interesting... first gulp is of malts, as it goes down it has a nice sweetness to it which lingers for a while... definitely not expected. A pretty solid beer I must say, I'd definitely try it again.

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

Old Peculier is actually not that peculiar. No individual characters in aroma, texture, appearance, or taste make this beer a standout or enigma. Nevertheless, a well thought and well brewed beer. Medium flavors and aromas throughout. Some of those medium characters are: caramel, toffee, plumbs, grapes, toast, grain, yeast, and hops. It's what you'd expect per the description--plain and simple. Texture to the mouth is medium viscocity, medium carbonation, medium roundness, and medium dryness. Noticable, but not powering alcohol in the finish. A clean, well brewed beer, but a bit benal.

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Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a long-lasting tan head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Caramel, banana, butterscotch, licorice - quite malty

Taste: Starts with a rich caramel and banana flavor; by mid-palate, some earthy hop elements join in to mute the sweetness; after the swallow the sweetness of dried fruit and butterscotch kick in - worth noting that the diacetyl is intentional

Mouthfeel: Relatively thick bodied with modest carbonation

Drinkability: One of my favorite English beers; worth coming back to every now and again; glad to see it back in the market (comment added in 2011)

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into Harp pint glass in low altitude Belfast, Northern Ireland.

A: Pours a dark black, non-transparent, with a three finger head of lovely cream and fair thickness.

Sm: Chocolate. Nutty. Hoppy.

T: Nutty but simple. Strange hoppy finish isn't particularly pleasant. This is my first experience with the style, so I don't know if it's built well. There's a lovely cream taste on the open and even in the finish, but it doesn't quite balance the body, which is a bit bland. I wish I'd served it colder.

Mf: Nicely coarse yet adequately smooth and dry.

Dr: Hides its ABV well. Very cheap in Belfast. I'd like to try other beers in the style before coming back to this one.

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown almost black color with a tan, foamy, two-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of fruit and malt. It had a dry smell.

T - It tasted of rich maltiness. It was sweet and smokey.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice old ale. Very complex flavors.

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/27/2012. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, fig, banana, molasses, toast, chocolate, pepper, clove, brown bread, floral, and spicy yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and fruity notes with moderate spicy esters. Taste of caramel, raisin, fig, molasses, light banana, toast, chocolate, pepper, clove, brown bread, floral, and spicy yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, dark fruits, toast, molasses, chocolate, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of malt and fruity/spicy flavors; with a great balance of malt/fruitiness and no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale. Nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown ruby color almost liken to a prter,bicuit-like aroma.Nice sweetish malty flavor with a bit of an oily undertone.The toffeenish I expected didint come through as much as I thought though.Not to heavy but got full after two for some odd reason.A good English strong ale well worth its reputation in my mind.

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

Clear, very deep reddish and crimson-tinted brown that appears almost black from any distance. The thin but creamy ivory head holds quite well and leaves some minor lace. The nose offers a distinctly buttery and fruity aroma above some earthy hops. The body is medium/light with a very fine, moderate carbonation that leaves it smooth and creamy in the mouth. The flavor is bold, and mildly complex, with some soft buttery diacetyl, dark fruit (currant, raisin, prune) and toffee with a tinge of deep scortched molasses (that's not quite roasty). It finishes dry and lingering with a rising bitterness and a touch of alcohol. A classic that's quite unique, and well worth trying.

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

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Belgian snifter.

A: The beer is very dark reddish-brown, with a fragile off-white head that quickly fades to a thin partial top coat and a ring. A thin lace is left on the glass when tilted

Aroma: Peculiar and hard to untangle, but sweet and featuring dark fruits, a little rip banana, dark bread, roasted malts, toffee, cinnamon and some Fuggle hops.

Taste: Nicely balanced, moderately rich, complex, and in keeping with the aroma. Sweet at the start. Very lightly bitter and smoky aftertaste, with lingering mineral water. Cinnamon again. Modest but significant hop presence.

M: Smooth with well-chosen, near-medium carbonation. The nice soft feel I associate with Belgian darks.

O: A very good, flavorful beer that will work good as both session and dessert beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, roasted malts, caramel and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced and starts with sweet flavors of caramel, nuts and dark fruits. The malt character is hearty is hearty but not too heavy. There's a good hops presence for the style. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean for a style that is normally a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very good, flavorful beer with some substance that is worth drinking for a long time.

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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 BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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

Poured a ruddy brown with a chunky tan head. Dropped to a slight head. Some lacing present

Smell: Slight fruitiness

Taste: sweetness, some nutiness, and treacle flavors. Some molassess hints. Too sweet on the finish

MF: Slighltly prickly and thin

Drinkable enough. Inclined to think I got a bad bottle, but here in the middle of the country I seem to find a lot of "bad bottles" from across the pond. Call'em as I taste them. This was great over in the UK. cask or bottle. I'd say worth a try despite my rating. If the only thing I knew about this beer was this bottle that would be a different story!

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown color with a thin beige head. A touch of lace coats the glass.

Malty aroma featuring carmelized sugar and maple syrup. Similar to a toffee candy bar.

Very sweet taste with a touch of burnt sugar. This is a rich beer with a low carbonation. The hop bitterness appears after the swallow. The aftertaste is shortlived.

Seems to be a cross between a brown ale and a Scottish ale. Not particularly noteable, but pleasant anyway.

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

This is one of my all time favorite dark English beers, when I lived in Savannah GA for three years this is one of the beers I could always find on a regular basis.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter, which was woefully undersized for the bottle. 12 oz. is a strange bottle size for an import and it caught me and my snifter off guard.

Appearance - A very slow pour filled it to the brim with a dome-shaped cream-colored head. Dark brown body as it pours, but ends up being nearly opaque in the glass. Only a few flecks of red light shimmer through when held up.

Smell - It's not the highest gravity old ale, so its lack of aroma by comparison takes some forgiving. A good whiff gathers some toffee and burnt sugar aromas with a nice dose of fruitiness. There's a weak English hop flavor back there too, which isn't as nice as the rest.

Taste - A good deal more flavorful than the aroma belies. Toffee and burnt sugar dominate the initial flavors, but it quickly turns earthy and even grassy. A strong hop bitterness in the finish with a distinctly "English" flair.

Mouthfeel - Well, it's only 5.7%, so it's light bodied for an old ale. Not disappointingly so, but still light. It's not slick and it doesn't retain flavors well. It feels a bit watery and a bit over-bitter.

Overall - It's 150 times more flavorful than most English ales and I remember this being a breath of fresh air when I found it in England (ironic?). With access to over-the-top old ales in the US, it's easy to see how this one would pale in comparison to bourbon-barrel treatments of 15% ABV malt bombs. Not that either concept of an old ale is bad. This one delivers remarkably well in the categories that really matter, which allows it to hold its own.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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

Bottle courtesy of Mrs mixylplik3, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a clear dark brown color with ruby highlights when held to light. Decent head and great lace on the way down. Smells of caramel, dark brown sugar, melanoids, dark fruits. This could be a dopplebock the way it smells. Taste is thick, sweet, and filled with dark sugars and fruits. Caramel and other burnt sugar vies for attention from raisins, prunes, and a hint of earth and minerals. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a thick chewy mouthfeel. Surprisingly good lower alcohol old ale. I enjoyed this, thanks MJ.

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Photo of tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After seeing this classic in BA magazine I had to go out and get one.

Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue (almost plum-like) with 1/4" of very dense, soft off white head that quickly fades. The nose has notes of dark fruit - raisins and dates, yeast, caramel, and deep malts. The taste is sweet at first with notes of dark fruit and a hint of red apples, then it gets a little maltier with some chewy caramel notes, and finishes with a nice hop bite that lingers on the palate for a second. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, rich, smooth, but a little heavily carbonated.

Well, it wasn't as delicious as some of the other Old Ales I've had, but this was the one that got me into the style in the first place. It's still delicious and worth looking into.

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

Pours an extremely dark brown. Nose is almost like smoky wood. Touch of caramel in there. Flavor is extremely smooth. A bit lighter than some old ales out there, but still carries a nice slight woody character to it. Smooth caramel flavor there. More like, caramel out of the heart of a tree. Feel has a nice level of carbonation and a good liquid feel. Overall this one is very drinkable. Not the most complex old ale by any means, but definitely smooth and well made.

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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,013 ratings.
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