Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

very good
1,022 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,022 |  Reviews: 586
Photo of Mandrake
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep blood red, quite clear, with a medium tan head that builds to nearly two fingers before dissipating slightly, though retention is good. Leaves some lacing. Small is quite sweet, but a bit subdued, with fruity notes of cherry and plum, caramel, and a minor nutty note. Taste is more assertive, touching many of the same bases. The vinous note is puzzling, and I'm not quite sure what I'm tasting beyond the fact that it's intriguing and pleasant. Mouthfeel seems a shade thin, but still warming, and drinkability is rather better than I'd expected. An impressive and unique offering.

 595 characters

Photo of Dizzy
2.82/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark reddish brown with off white head which dissipates quickly into a thin film. Aroma is malty, smells like dark fruits, maybe raisins and slightly roasted. Taste is mostly malty with some roasted flavor and hop bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel. In my opionion, this beer is too sweet. There just ins't enough roasted flavor, hops or alcohol to balance the sweetness.

 371 characters

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

Ahh, Theakston’s old Peculiar. I got turned onto this one by a friend saying it was one of his favorite beers. High praise for an unusual style.

Pours a deep burnt red into my glass, with a tight, inch tall tan head. The ale isn’t quite opaque, but it’s close. Drinking it leaves some soapy lacing down all sides of the glass.

I stick my nose in and alcohol, figs, and unidentified fruit spring from the glass. Roasted malts too, nearly a porter smell. There’s a yeasty tartness that underlies everything in the smell and gives it a bit of sharpness.

Well, this certainly tastes unique. This has some burnt flavors reminiscent of a stout or porter, but is a lot lighter and with more fruit flavors. There’s a bitterness but it doesn’t really translate into a hoppy flavor. I taste hints of coffee, prunes, and vague (apple?) tartness wrapped up in a noticeable alcohol bite. I note a slight earthy saltiness too, not entirely unpleasant, just different. It’s dry, crisp, and warming and has a lighter mouthfeel than you may expect.

Old Peculiar is certainly that – a tasty, rather complex and unique beer. In fact it paired wonderfully with a hearty beef chili, but maybe that’s just me. In fact, the more I drink this, the more it grows on me. While I won’t claim that it’s my favorite beer, it’s good enough to warrant the purchase of another six pack… or several.

 1,391 characters

Photo of wolffman17
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep brown-burgundy. The head is creamy and leaves a fair amount of lace on the glass.
Sweet malt aroma that really comes out with a few swirls of the glass. I smell dark fruit and grapes with some toffee also.
It doesn't taste as full-flavored as I was expecting, but it's not disappointing. It's sweet with a suprising bitterness that adds a good balance. This is smooth and dry.
The relatively low ABV makes it highly drinkable. I found it to be unexpectedly thirst quenching. An all-around good beer.

 528 characters

Photo of Phocion
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a thick frothy dark-beige head, which settles into a thin, creamy layer with medium lacing around the glass.

The aroma is overwhelmed by very strong, complex malts. Toffee, molasses, and caramel. Thick and sweet.

More balanced and a bit more mellow than the nose. Strong malts are still there, but with the addition of raisins and just enough fruity hops for balance.

I was in the mood for something rich and creamy tonight, and this hit the spot perfectly. Thick mouthfeel (especially as it warms), but not overwhelming. A little too sweet for me to drink all night, but one or two of these here and there is always a treat. Would definitely recommend.

 707 characters

Photo of strattor
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark, btu not opaque ruby-brown with a thick, fizzy tan colored head.

Light caramel aroma with sweet malts coming through.

Flavor is pretty sweet, with just barely noticeable roasted malt flavors, remniscent of burnt toast. However the flavor is a little lighter than I had hoped.

Mouthfeel is also a little light, but with a slightly oily feel that that glides over the tongue nicely.

Nothing offensive here, but no great shakes either. I could take it or leave it.

 487 characters

Photo of hanco005
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, with 3009N 07 on the neck label, poured into a pint glass

A—pours solid brownish black with a wispy tan head that fades away immediately, just a thin sheet remains,

S—caramel, very sweet, a little nutty, some over ripe fruit, very fragrant and inviting

T—bittersweet dark chocolate, some over ripe fruits, malty, very good flavor and I am enjoying sipping on this one.

M—dry, medium bodied, good carbonation

D—very drinkable and I would have this again. Perhaps a session for this old ale, if you can imagine that.

 549 characters

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

I have tried Old Peculier several times previously. This review was from a 12 oz. bottle purchased at Riverside Wine Merchants (North Bergen, NJ).

Appearance - Very dark reddish-brown, almost opaque. Dark and foamy head, fades somewhat quickly. Very strong lacing, practically pasted to glass. Inviting.

Smell - Complex. Toffee, chocolate, roasted malt, figs. A lot of stuff going on.

Taste - Interesting. Biscuits, toffee, a little but of fig and chocolate. Again, quite complex. Mildly warming. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat thick and chewy. Mild carbonation. Lingering aftertaste, but not in a bad way.

Drinkability - A little filling to be a session beer, but for such a complex taste, it's extremely drinkable. Nice after a light meal.

Old Peculier has a lot of different aromas and flavors that work well together, leading to a very drinkable ale. Worth seeking out; definitely recommended.

 916 characters

Photo of JayTheFinn
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this a few times, but it was a while ago. I wanna say I even had one when I was up in Yorkshire on vacation a couple years ago. Don't remember. None the less I just had one out of the bottom at the Victoria Pub in Ventura, California. It was very good indeed!

A - Good dark rich looking body with a smallish but steady head.
S - Malty scents of black currant. Smells like it'll be sweet.
T - Fantastic taste of roasty dark malts. Yes it's a bit sweet, but not overbearing. It's just a good all around tasty beverage, reminiscent of a stout.
M - Full mouthfeel.
D - This one is right up my alley! Very drinkable!

 627 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a fine looking brew. Mahogany brown body, topped by a creamy tan head that sticks nicely to the side of the glass.

Smell is a bit toasty, chocolaty, caramel, and a smidge of bittering hops. Not too bad at all. Smells like it's going to be a sweet tasting brew.

Yeah, a bit sweet, but it lacks depth. A bit watery tasting. This is an ale? Tastes like a macrobrewery's attempt at a bock to me. Not too impressive. Not bad at all, but not fantastic.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery, and the drinkability is affected by the lack of depth and complexity in the taste

 578 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
2.37/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Strong malty aroma. Poured to a dark brown with trace of ruby, and a slight, tan head that diminished soon after. Taste was very strong malt and chocolate, and very fizzy. Left a dry, bitter (not good) finish. Don't know how this scores so high with a lot of raters, but I'm unimpressed with this one.

 301 characters

Photo of tneel
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try this for the first time and I was not dissapointed. I bought a bottle of it at a local beer bar. It has a dark color and a nice head. Drinks very smoothly with slight caramel taste to it. Very well made and something that I could drink on a regular basis.

It should be noted that this is the first Old Ale that I have tried. But I did really enjoy it and if you ever have the chance you should try one.

 426 characters

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)

 612 characters

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

An old favorite, this one leaves its 12 ounce glass home, and pours dark, plummy amber, with a long lasting dark tan film head, leaving respectable fine splotchy lacing. Nose is of light sweet malt with perhaps a hint of rum. This is a rich malty brew, notes of musty malts, plummy ripe fruits and again a hint of wood/smokey rum in the background. Fine after dinner sipper. Classic old style ale.

 397 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've heard much about this beer and have been wanting to try it for a long when I saw it at Bottleworks in Seattle, I grabbed it. Maybe I should have grabbed two....

Nice dark ruby colour with a frothy khaki head. Almost mahogany. Nice dark malt smell with a pleasant hint of sourness. Hints of raisins, plums. Very, very faint vinous hints.

Tastes malty with a fruit sourness that is not at all bad. Like a scotch ale without the smokiness or peat hints. Certainly tastes like an old, matured ale. Fresh sourdough hints come through. Complex bread and fruit combinations with a gentle, but omnipresent malt taste.

My only complaint is that this suffers perhaps from a very slight case of overcarbonation. The rich flavour and body leaves me wanting more but at the same time present this as a sipping beer. Sessionable, but only if you want your sessions to last awhile!

 890 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a pint glass. The beer was dark ruby reddish brown with a nice but thin tan head. There wasn't much of an aroma that I could notice, maybe just a sweetish smell. The flavor was pretty good though, malty sweet with a touch of hops in the after-taste.

I guess this is an old ale I like, and it's authentic English old ale too. I like this better than the American interpretations I've had which are a little too robust.

 452 characters

Photo of kohoutek
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle purchased at Bello Vino in Ann Arbor. The neck label has a code "3009N 07".

Nice garnet color with rubescent light transfer. Light caramel head with soft, delicate lace and a permanent layer of fine, velvety bubbles. Supple, sinuous carbonation. Fresh toffee aromas, baked bread and shortbread cookies. Fruity pear and apple esters provide a freshness that beckons another sip. Flinty mineral beauty with flirtatious balanced acidity. Nice dry flecks of Yorkshire bounty - dancing with soft, herbal East Kent Goldings. This beer is a lesson in integration - a tutorial in balanced, subtle harmony. Perilously drinkable and quite refreshing for a beer that is malty and approaches 6%.

Highly recommended.

 722 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out somewhere between ruby and dark brown. Not so dense that I can't see my fingers through the other end of the glass. Tannish head is billowing at first then subsides and leaves some clinging lacing. Smell is mostly dried fruit, mainly prunes, with noble hop aromas in the background. Some buttery notes and a faint cry of light roast coffee. Flavor is of sweet, rich malt, dried fruits, ripe fruits, with a noble hop finish. Nice lingering dried fruit and honey flavors. Mouthfeel is really creamy and smooth, but I expect more body from the style. Out of the few old ales I've had, this is definately the only one that has had any sessionable properties.

Not the most over-the-top old ale, but it's really tasty, nevertheless.

 739 characters

Photo of jongillin
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an excellent example of the style. It has a deep red color that is almost black. In fact in low light it appears exactly that. It has a nice white head that will dissipate over the course of the beer. The head is small but certainly adds to the effect nicely.

The smell is strong with malts, but coffee and sweet caramel like notes are also present and easy to pick up.

After the first sip it becomes obvious that this is a rich and complex beer. It has sort of a slight buttery flavor to it. However, I found that the malts were sweet and really dominating the forward flavor. But, if you let it sit in your mouth you will find a wide range of flavors. Chocolate and caramel are present and the finish is smooth and sweet.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. This gives the beer a really drinkable quality and the carbonation is medium but the buttery texture of the mouthfeel helps to balance it out and it goes down easy. Really a great beer.

 967 characters

Photo of haz77
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours very dark brown/red with a creamy tan head. Low carbonation.

S - Roast malts, coffee, alcohol, caramel.

T - Creamy at first, then gets earthy with mild bitterness and caramel, coffee and vanilla.

M - Smooth with a medium body. Low carbonation

D - Fairly easy to drink and an interesting beer.

 314 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very Peculiar beer. I haven't every had one just like this before. The closest thing was Weyerbacher Black hole but this beer just plain unique.

Appearance: This beer looks both dark brown and dark red depending on the light. It had a *very* small tan head that disappeared quickly and no lacing. The carbonation is very low as well.

Smell: Black licorice, cherry and cola. some sweet caramel malts and gentle sugar scents are very enticing. There is also some plum and toffee in the nose.

Taste: This beer seems to drink like cherry cola that is very lightly carbonated. mmm. Tasty. It is hard to describe the taste here. It is malty and fruity, and simply *VERY* easy to drink! There seems to be a hint of birch and a hint of chocolate and very little hop. I must also admit (this is a bit gross I guess) this beer gave be some of the best tasting burps ever :) It has a very pleasant almost chocolate hint to the aftertaste. Very sessionable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Smooth. There is a slightly sharp poke (to make sure you are awake) right before the swallow, but the rest of the beer is very malty smooth.

Drinkability: This beer is so incredibly quaffable and easy going. It is very unique to me but certainly sessionable (even at 5.70 ABV).

Hope this is helpful.

 1,307 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been eyeing this one for a while. Once I drink that Fuller's Vintage I've got in the cellar and this bad boy, that'll be it for the easily available top 25 UK brews on the list. Now it's time to hunker down and find the rest of those homeboys.
Dark, thick body with minimal head but impressive lacing, so I guess that's a wash. A whiff of the nose reveals malt and hops and a brisk freshness, all wafting along with a strong, smoky flavor. Most unusual but intriquing.
Taste is delightful, with a fruity, smoky, finish and a nicely balanced malt and hops combination. Round, easy to drink flavor and refreshing, easy mouthfeel. The taste is soaked with mellow hop flavor that makes this beer cake to put down.
This is a typically English beer and as solid as the Sunday Times. Will be picking up another sixer soon.

 824 characters

Photo of PatYoda
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle is at least a year old. It pours a cola color with not a whole lot of head and doesn't leave much lacing.

The smell is too faint for my liking. Some sugary sweetness and cocoa are there, along with a coffee aroma. In the taste, the sweetness is a bit more complex as it throws in some brown sugar and a milky sweetness without that lactic bitterness. Kind of interestsing. The finish leaves you wishing for a bit more punch, as the minute amount of hop bitterness washes it down with a faint herbal quality. Tastes minerally as well. Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on here. The flavor is complex enough in itself to be interesting, but overall this is way too restrained and subdued for my liking. The mouthfeel is also very thin, almost watery. I won't be purchasing this one again.

 814 characters

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

Pours a deep, dark chestnut brown with ruby highlights. Nice creamy tan head and bubbly lacing. Toasted malty sweet aroma - smooth, creamy, and nutty...a bit earthy. Rich and deceptively simple malt profile - sweet at first with rounded fruits (banana) and toffee. Smooth, medium-full mouthfeel with low carbnation.

Pretty unique and not as strong as other examples of the style. This is something you can drink anytime of the year, especially with a meal. Solid.

 466 characters

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

Highs: Solid ale flavor
Lows: None

Pours deep reddish brown with a huge fluffy brown head that slowly fades away leaving plenty of lacing. Nose is fairly typical of an ale with heavy malt and yeast present. Slight sorghum taste followed by a suble bitter malts with perhaps a hint of alcohol at the end. Mouth is watery and refreshing and lightly carbonated. Finish is mildly bitter. Drinkability is good; you could definitely toss back a few of these.

Overall: An excellent ale, recommended. This is probably the most enjoyable ale I’ve tried to date.

 561 characters

Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,022 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.