Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

Theakston Old PeculierTheakston Old Peculier
1,023 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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Ratings: 1,023 |  Reviews: 587
Photo of BretSikkink
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quite dark brown, almost opaque but with some ruby red highlights. Head is a very light brown with good volume and thickness. Good retention and lacing.

Aromas include caramel, sweet toffee, and a minor astringency on the malt side, with full bodied floral hops and a touch of peppery alcohol bite on the hop side. I get some burned milk-sugar as well.

Sweet, thick malt, throws a lot of sweetness along with a bit of smoked wood. Earthy and smooth, with raw hop leaf bitterness that brings more than a little herbal character, with lingering toast.

Creamy mouthfeel with good body, finish is lightly bitter and full of herbal goodness, retaining a mild smokiness or lactic acidic flavor. Interesting dark english brew.

 730 characters

Photo of Rudgers73
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Hennepin glass. The beer and head fills it nicely to about a 1/2 inch from the brim. The head settles a bit from about an inch high to a very firm 1/4 inch of creamy foam. The smell is quite peculier (LOLOLOL!!!) with a malty roasted base and a smell that resembles either carrot or corn husk. Slight grassy hops toward the end. The taste is also interesting. It reminds me a lot of a german schwarzbier but with a little less sweetness and a little more hop presence. Bitter metallic hops follow the drink leaving a mouthfeel similar to an APA or very mild IPA. There s also a bit of an earthy porter-like effect after a few more sips. Much lighter in body than a porter, but very similar hop profile. This beer covers all the bases of several beers I've had including chocolate stout, cream porter, APA, schwarzbier, and english brown ale. It's a good thing they call it an old ale, because I have yet to have two old ales that are strikingly similar.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark sludgy brown color, not much head to begin with, forming a light tan crown quickly. Some carbonation can be seen through the murk. No real lace buildup.

Aroma hints at pumpernickel, plum, alcohol, toffee...all meshing into an elusive, hard-to-define and attractive aroma, as this style will often do.

Flavor is dark raisin, toffee, caramel, milk chocolate. Fairly bready overall with a slight sour snap in the finish. The darker, richer flavors stayed with me long after the sip. The mouthfeel is good, but I couldn't help wanting something thicker and less carbonated, considering the flavors.

This is good, but a little underwhelming. More like a mix of a porter and German dark lager than an old ale...or just not what I prefer an old ale to be (Bell's Third Coast Old Ale is still tops). I was hoping for more "oldness" from an old brewery. But still, it's solid and I'd never kick it outta my snifter.

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Photo of basica
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an English old ale style of brewing and I can't help wondering which part of it is "old".
Nothing actually taste aged in this ale; I was expecting some form of aged taste of some sort
(not that I have tasted really aged beers though) Freshness date was September this year; 2 odd
months more, in other words. Don't get me wrong, this old ale is a good beer for sure and worth
trying even for the skeptics of English ales, like myself. My Theakston Old Peculier was
purchased off the shelf at one of the Cold Storage supermarkets and I served it slightly chilled
in my Brewerkz pint glass as this one's a 50cl bottle. The Old Peculier pours our a very dark
red brown (actually pretty blackish already) with an average head with rather mild retention
which quickly reduces into a coffee like lacing. The smell is caramel and toffee like. The taste
was also caramel and generously malty; quite a party for the mouth. This taste is completely
reminiscent of Doppelbocks, surprisingly; it was at the same time mellow but the pity is that
the taste is not sufficiently rich. The body for this ale is sufficiently thick and it was silky
smooth in the mouth and when it slithers down the throat; lacks a little carbonation but still
pretty good mouthfeel on the whole. The after taste was minimal; though predominantly tasty malts.
A good ale that makes me want to try another old ale or two. Looking forward to the Thomas Hardy
Vintage Ale series. However if that is just another doppelbock taster, I guess it would be rather
disappointing; we'll see. :)

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Photo of Kulrak
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby brown with plenty of creamy tan head that clings to the glass and takes forever to fade. Smells very malty and a little chocolatey, with a hint of pepper. The taste is also very malty and sweet. There's also a little raisin there as well. A tasty brew. The mouthfeel is very creamy and heavy, excellent. Overall, it's an awesome porter, and very drinkable, especially if you're a fan of dark beers.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the Liquor Shed in Casper.

This pours from 12oz bottle a dark brown with ruby hues and a large head of offwhite foam. After a couple of minutes, it shrinks to a few islands and there's some lacing.

The smell is full of caramel malt and hints that the brew is going to be very sweet.

The taste has that caramel malt flavour up front but it's mixed with a dark fruit flavour that has a touch of tartness to it so it's not as sweet as the nose insinuated. Nice. This has a bit of chocolate and it has an almost whiskey taste to it and it combines well with the sweet and the this brew a nice balance and makes it very drinkable. The finish is a nicely balanced and the aftertaste is pretty long lasting and very good.

The mouthfeel is silky smoth and the carbonation is on the light side; that, too, makes for some excellent drinkability. It's been a lot of years since I've had this and I don't recall liking it this much. Nothing like a more educated palate. lol

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Photo of vancurly
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruddy brown, clear. Heavy, dense beige head which lingers.

Rich aromas ofr roasted coffee, toffees, some herbal notes.

Flavours of roasted grains, chocolate biscuit. Herbaceous notes, which are slightly metallic.

Medium body, slightly sticky. Smooth finish, mild bitterness.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thin tan head on a brown body and when held to light clear very dark ruby body with brown hues.
S- Big malty body, grass hops, hints of alcohol, has a slight cardboard note to it.
T-Sweet caramel with a mix of toffee and nuts? Very interesting malt combination. Hints of some grass hops and some earthy ones also. They leave a light/medium bitterness in mouth. It is very tasty though.
M- Medium body with some light champagne carbonation.
D- Very good. I will probably buy this again and will be getting a few pints of this when I go to England in the summer.

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Photo of tanarm
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The tan colored head fades fairly quickly on this one. Held up to the light, you can see it has nice clarity, and a deep reddish-brown tone. Emits a yeasty, earthy aroma, with a light hop background. As far as the taste... caramel is the first thing I notice. Crystal malts. Fresh grain flavors. A little dryness and hop flavor in the finish. Lingers nicely even though the body is light-medium...very drinkable!

Maybe next time the head will stick around... that would help. Very nice flavors but not overpowering. Probably a good bridge beer for people afraid of dark beers. Overall this beer is very easy to like. It just begs you to have another one. And I think I will...

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. A: Very clear, dark brown with a few red tones when held up to the light, a moderate amount of head. S: Very malty, maple syrup and molasses, but augmented nicely with vague bannanas, almost a complete lack of hops. T: I’m still getting those bannanas in back of all the sweetness and maltiness. M: Low carbonation, surprisingly light. D: There’s a lot to explore here, something I will definitely buy agin.

 430 characters

Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice, a surprise dropped off by friend Eddie from London this afternoon.

A= dark chocolate-hickory-brown, nice modest head large-bubbled head which dissipated within a few minutes, leaving nice pooling and lacing. I'm surprised to see that some recent reviewers report otherwise.

S= intriguing smoky-roasted caramel and some malt, with fruity undertones and hints of liquor-scent.

T= not as strong as the appearance might allude to; somewhat nicely-mild nutty with apple undertones, hints of something like a whiskey-undertone, slightly sweet, not too bitter but adequately so, maybe some mild anise-licorice that didn't overwhelm the rest of the balanced full-taste. Rather surprisingly nice for this style.

M= lightly sweet syrup lingering but not annoying.

D= goes down easily, and at the reasonable 5.7ABV it should be quite a session beer if you're in the mood for something like this style.

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Photo of beeragent
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep brown, with no head, and no lacing. The aroma is slightly fruity, mostly a raisin smell. The taste is slight roasted malt, along with a dark raisin flavor, and a hint of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, this appears to be a sipping beer. I'm not sure what it is about the taste, but the mix, just doesnt do it for me. Its just an odd flavor.

 413 characters

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: almost black with hints of brown showing around edges, very little head that disappears almost completely
s: sweet plum smell with strong alcohol smell
t: barley taste mixed with light coffee-ish taste, but not as tasty as expected, has a sweet taste on the very back-end as well
m: burning carbonation right away, but finishes smoothly with a light to medium body
d: a decent beer at best that just didn't deliver

 421 characters

Photo of alexskovan
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish amber, clear, with a fine-grained and sturdy tan head. Understated but full and deep aroma, grains and a vinous quality. Taste is creamy on the tongue at first, then a bitter smack along with sour fruit and a savory funkyness.

A fine British ale. I wish more American craft brewers would knock it off with the bushels of little fluffy pine cones, and see if they couldn't make something like this.

 423 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a black liquid with a bit (a cm or so) of head. Aroma is a faint amount roastiness with a lot of red wine characteristics. Flavor is some roastiness with additional red wine fullness. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and somehow thick. I didn't find this very drinkable, and I didn't really enjoy this.

 300 characters

Photo of jmc44
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Peculier pours a deep, dark brown with some slight ruby hues, a thick tan head that lingers and leaves a nice lace.

Sweet malty smell, a bit of coffee, caramel, hints of raisins, perhaps a touch of vanilla. Very pleasant.

Taste is sweet and malty, with dark fruits, raisins, caramel, and coffee. Finishes a bit dry with hop bitterness, but not at all overwhelming or undesired. A slight sweetness lingers. Very nicely done.

The beer is thick and full; it's got a slight oil-like character as well.

This is one of my favorite drinking beers. Very, very well done.

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Photo of lehows
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty solid black color with a small tan head. Head disappeared completely and left little lace, but still, the beer looked good. Dense aromas of alcohol soaked fruit float float to the nose. Very rich flavors of vanilla, spice, and dark chocolate covered fruits. It's quite complex and sweet overall, with a certain hop bitterness at the end. Nice mouthfeel and fine carbonation. Drinkabilty is high considering all the flavors in this brew.

 451 characters

Photo of brdc
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't understand the reason, but it looks to me I had a different beer than most reviewers....
It is a very good looking dark brown brew, with a reddish hue. The head is thick and foamy, creamy and it stays for a long time, eventually leaving a nice coating.
The smell is delicious, sugary and malty, with caramel, strong vanilla, coffee and mild hops somewhere in there.
Perhaps given the strong smell and beautfiul presentation, I expected something spectacular.
The taste is good, don't get me wrong, but does not match the nose at all. Body is medium to thin, or at least thinner than I expected. The pleasant taste is also rather mild when I expected a powerful, robustly malted brew. There is malt sweetness, and is mostly bittersweet chocolate and caramels with some balancing hoppiness.
Easy and pleasant to drink, but mildly disappointing given the thin mouth - I prefer it heavier on the malts, and the national "equivalent" from Bell's I had for comparison on the same night beats it easily.

 1,009 characters

Photo of letsgopens
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Theakston's Old Peculiar is a yorkshire old ale with a deep brown, slightly amber hue. The head recedes from a milky foam to a light scattered lace in a couple of minutes.

The aroma is malty and sweet with roasty light coca.

The flavor is heavily malty with soft vanillia and molasses tones that resonate throughout the palate to a sweet roasted aroma.

Overall, a very enjoyable after dinner beer due to its mellow flavor and mouth feel. I enjoyed the entire bottle but wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This strikes me much more as an English Dark Ale than and Old Ale.
Anyway, poured a dark amber with reddish tinges to it. Soft off-white half finger head that melts to a film of tiny, tan lacing.
Aromas are rich...vanilla, butter, and earth comes to mind.
The taste has raw vanilla faintly in it, British toasted amber malt, and the dry tingle of British hops.
Mouthfeel is tingly from the tiny carbonation.
Nice, heavy, rich Dark Ale.

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Photo of Stephen63
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark brown almost black, good head that remained throughout

S - Pleasant fruity aroma.

T - Upfront rich and fruity. Less so on the finish with little bitterness.

M - Light carbonation, however became a little disappointing as it felt a bit thin in body.

D - Probably a beer to be drunk as a half pint as quite heavy. Two pints would be more than enough for me.

Reviewed the beer as a bottle serving about two weeks ago and though the cask is good, perhaps expected a little more.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British pub glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown, with ruby highlights when held against the light. Head is large on an agressive pour, but bubbles are enormous and the head sadly collapses very quickly to only a desultory ring around the surface. Carbonation appears moderate.

S: Distinctive vanilla notes hit the nose immediately, followed by soft wood and a hint of molasses. No hops noticeable, which is fully appropriate for the style.

T: Again a noticeable and distinctive vanilla note dominates upfront, with a sweetness that is offset by soft earthy and wood notes. There is a slight dryness in the finish, which lingers, perhaps contributed by English style hops.

M: This is a smooth beer, with perhaps just a tad bit too much carbonation which tingles the tongue distractingly. Medium bodied.

D: The sweetness, distinctive flavor and strength make this an unsessionable beer. I enjoy the entrie glass, but one in an evening is ample.

Overall: This is a classic English old ale, and it deserves its reputation as a world class beer. Better head retention and a lighter touch with the carbonation would made it a truly outstanding beer. Those of the American interpretations that stay away from additions of American hops often surpass this one, though. I wonder what this would be like from a hand-pulled cask?

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Photo of slyke
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Peculier pours dark garnet with a thin, but sticky off-white head.

The aroma and taste both have notes of wood and molasses.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a strong malt character.

Drinkability is good. It would be quite easy to enjoy two or three of these at a sitting. Recommended.

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Photo of BBM
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark, deep brown into a pint glass. Little-to-no head, but perhaps due to the cold temperature at which it was stored. The nose was not very strong; just slight hints of brown sugar, and bready notes.

Unfamiliar with what style this beer was as I was drinking it, I had myself convinced it was a porter. It certainly has many characteristics of your English porter. It has a big malt backbone with toffee and buttery notes, accompanied by slight hints of chocolate and raw coffee beans. There's a musty finish to the beer that lingers just long enough.

Mouthfeel was medium, with a clean finish. There's a good chance you can drink a few of these at a time. It's highly drinkable. And recommended if you like old ales or English porters.

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Photo of ekfinn
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured a very dark color which appeared black until I turned on a brighter lamp. The head is a light tan with not a lot of foam, and minimal lacing. The smell is very sweet-- sugary, with some overtones of fruit (mildly bananas and dates).

Initial mouthfeel is thinner, alcohol not apparent. The complexity of flavors don't really come out until a moment after swallowing. It leaves a very sweet aftertaste in the mouth. It reminds me of a porter, but only much sweeter.

Overall, very nice brew.

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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 1,023 ratings
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