Theakston Old Peculier | T & R Theakston Ltd.

very good
1,018 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: 1,018 |  Reviews: 585
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not an amazing ale, but always nice fresh and on form, like this pint had at the seven stars in the city of Bristol. Light amber when held up to the light. This is considered very strong in the UK but for an American it's just about right at 5.7%. Aromas of figs and caramel/toffee. the malts are very layered in this one and the hops are fruity yet subdued quite a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, drinkability remains high. A classic brew, this.

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Photo of charlatan
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not as strong as the old ales I sampled in the US this is nevertheless not a beer to be sniffed at.

It pours slightly cloudy and a peaty colour. My nose picks out a slightly sour red wine smell and a sweeter slightly chocolatey, slightly dairy smell.

It tastes very pleasant. There is an intial molasses flavour with a rather herbal hoppy flavour backing it up. Then it finishes with the taste equivalent of the dairy/chocolate smell. Lacking the potency of the other old ales I've had it might disappoint the more hardcore consumer both in terms of flavour and alcohol content but it is certainly very drinkable.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.04/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

OK, I've come to think old ale is one of my favorite styles, let's see what I think of one of the classics of the genre...

Appearance: is it bottle conditioned? little trails of yeast down the neck towards the end of the (rather rough) pour. The body is straight brown, so thick it's opaque. Head is moderately thick and quite rocky.

Aroma: caramel, wood, smoke, and a slight sweet tinge. Very nice, I can't wait to dig in.

Taste & mouthfeel: both taste and mouthfeel are a little thinner than I'd been expecting from the appearance and scent. Sip is bittersweet throughout, with a bit too much carbonation to let me really savor the malt. Slightly earthy aftertaste.

Drinkability: I could smell this beer all night, but the drinking... not so much.

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Photo of spiffylubes
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a pretty dark black, but somehow managed to look relatively...light and thin, I don't know how to describe it. Good thick tan head though. Smelled of coffee, roasted-ness, and a little sweet. Taste was very similar to the smell, with a nice sweet aftertaste. I tasted a considerable amount of roasted coffee flavor. Very smooth, but a little thin and with less aftertaste than I would have expected. I could probably drink a couple more of these, but I don't think I will.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a very good beer i was able to drink at a pub in st andrews scotland. delicius. probably my favorite beer while overseas. smelled delicious. very different from how it tastes out of a bottle in the US. a dark beer with an arrangement of flavors that i ad a hard time pinpointing. thick in tast with malt and some caramel but certainly not overdone.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark mohagany with a thick beige head that sustained the durations of consumption.
the aroma is raisony, malty, fruity.
the flavor pretty smooth, with the familiar courage family of beers flavor, mollasses, malty, hint of hop spice.
the mouthfeel is a little thin for what i would call an old ale but ti is still good.

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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 barleywinebrewer
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured black with slight reddish hues when held up to the light. Modest carbonation with a quickly dissipating head. Smell is a nice combination of molasses, chocolate, caramel and a hint of coffee. Taste is similar to the smell without a hint of the chocolate as noted in the smell. There is a nice balance of hops to keep this brew from being overly sweet. Given the smell and taste, the body of this beer proved to be a medium to thin brew. Definitely not what I wouild call thick or heavy beer. A nice beer for an occasional change of pace.

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Photo of KyleVick4
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark black, when held to a light has dark copper tones. Nice rocky creamy head and a lacing that will not die.

S: Very nice smell that has subtle hop tones but mainly carmely with hints of coffee

T: The first thing I taste is the 'peculier' difference in water, like tasting a bad tap water, but it balances well with a strong malty backbone and a hint of hops in the aftertaste. After the hops it leaves a mildly sweet taste on the palate.

M: Medium to kinda heavy bodied silky and smooth going down. A little to much carbonation in my opinion.

D: I have had several of these at a time. They all seem to grow off each other. If I drink a different beer afterwards I still get the peculierly different taste

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish/brown color. Good head that is quckly gone though it has a decent carbonation level. Subdued aroma-sweet malt with a nice coffee/treacle thing going on. Very malty flavor. Somewhat sweet. Cocoa and treacle. Slight hop bite in the finish. Terrific mouthfeel. Great balance between the flavors and body-really well done. I havnt had this in years it was always a favorite of mine. I am suprised at the low abv I always thought it was much higher. Very nice beer-well worth trying on a regular basis.

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Photo of numenor1
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, not completely opaque though, with a ruby tint. Head is tan, of a goodly size and quite creamy. Laces well. The smell is dully sweet (caramel), with an obvious mineral character and has a definite fruity yeast presence. Flavor is very well integrated, a substantial, dry roasted note mixed with some dried currant, caramel and molasses. Yeast seems to lend a melon characteristic. The malts are substantial but supremely balanced by herbal, tealike hops that keep things relatively dry at all times. A definite acidic tone that serves that aim as well. Very full bodied with soft carbonation. Great beer.

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Photo of snilsen13
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours nice and smooth, dark and somewhat transluscent. Head is brown, short and creamy. Smell is sweet and safe, meaning nothing funky. The taste is not very strong, but is not offsetting. Flavors of toast and anise come to mind. The texture is a little oily, runs through the mouth evenly, but doesn't beckon to be swished about, that doens't taste right. What is really remarkable is how easy it is on the gullut, the taste buds are tantalized but not overcome with richness. The alcohol level is low enough not to limit repeated drinking and you'll be craving another and another.

Atmosphere and time of year may contribute to the goodness of this beer. I was sittling in my easy chair, with stereo playing my favorite music and the outside was cold and dark. Great for the winter or times indoors. PLan on drinking several bottles in an evening. This could even be good foilk medicine for nursing colds.

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

Appearance: Dark yet fairly transparent when held to light, head is medium, fast fading, and medium tan.

Smell: Funky, old, stale smell, slight cocoa, heavy malt.

Taste: Tart and stale, sour at first, but has a nice mix of chocolate and a slight fruitiness. Finishes fairly dry.

Drinkability: An interesting beer to say the least, not one of my favorites in the style, but good anyway.

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Photo of danielocean03
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a smooth, black with reddish hues at the corners into a pint glass, miniscule head fell quickly to light tan lacing. Smells sweetly of dried fruit, raisins and dates primarily, some malt overtones, brown sugar/molasses like sweetness almost. Tastes very much in the way that it smells, sweeter, hints of caramel present as well. Mouthfeel is good, nice and smooth, fairly thin brew. Would consider purchasing again, drinkability high, lower ABV.

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a much different beer than I am used to drinking, but I'll try to be as objective as I can with this review. The smell is a little bit like a quadrupel, with the taste of candied fruits and other additives. Also a hint of prune, which suggests the beer will go down smoothly. The taste is much like a Scottish ale with much of the same malt taste and smoothness as it goes down. There is no real presence of hops in this beer, it is mostly just the hops that dominiate.

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Photo of Derek
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been looking forward to trying this for a while... unfortunately, it wasn't quite as good as I had hoped.

A: Ruby-black, off-white head, not much retention or lace.

S: Bready, roasty malt and fruit.

T: Raisin bread, with a little fruit and nut.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate to high carbonation is a little prickly.

D: A good drinker.

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Photo of wl0307
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisiting this beer, the BB date is 30 June 2006.
A: served in a jug it pours a dark mahogany hue, coming with an effervescent beige head, spongey and rocky, slowly settling down like a souffle. Constant, gentle carbonation detected.
S: creamy, toffeeish, molasses, round nuttiness, dark maltiness upfront, pleasant and not overpowering, backed by a second layer of light-bodied dark fruitiness (longan-fruits and preserved black dates), with a hint of licorice and pleasantly sour edge. Overall the nose is semi-rich and utterly creamy, subtly complex.
T: medium-bodied and lively-textured chewy dark maltiness hits the palate upfront, bringing on board pleasant, licorice mouthfeel and rich toffee, with dark fruitiness playing the second fiddle. The creamy texture of malts lingers very well, hand in hand with a flow of herbal and lightly sour-bitterness, and more licorice's aftertaste, to balance the residual semi-sweet malty palate.
M&D: a bit thick on the palate after the initial light texture, and down the palate it gets thicker still, though not sugary. But overall this is a creamy-smooth and mellow old ale with a subtly complex flavour profile. It's better than my last bottle, and I can't wait to seek it out on draught at my local Wetherspoon pubs!!

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

The label reads a "Traditionally brewed Yorkshire Ale". A truly dark English beer, Old Peculier shows a lovely and quite dark amber, nearly brown, color in the glass, gives a thick, creamy head of tan foam, and leaves a think layer on top of the contents throughout the glass. Aroma is malty sweet, with a touch of raisin or dark cherry, possibly some molasses. Taste of this beer is nearly amazing; creamy malt with an almost unnoticable hint of dark chocolate. Very little hop flavor is present, it is preceeded with a touch of alcohol, present in the aftertaste, but overtaken by the malty sweetness.
Old Peculier is an extremely smooth, solid ale, not much carbonation, slick light to medium mouthfeel, and gives a slight tingle/burn on the sides of the tongue and cheeks. The brew is easy going, super easy to drink, and not terrible strong although it has ample flavor. This is a beer that could be drank all night long.


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Photo of murphysbleachers
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review that I've submitted to bear with me, (I've spent so much time reading other peoples reviews that I feel like I almost owe it to the site to start adding and not just taking). Purchased at Foremost liquor on Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Six Pack. 12 oz bottle. Been in my fridge for about a month before I made my way to it. The head forms quickly (had to watch my pour a bit) and fades quickly leaving residue on the cup. There is a rich malty smell. Rich like fortified wine (port), but without the alcohol to it. Get a little dried fruit too. I'm not terribly familiar with the style (just starting to get into the English, always been more of a Belgian guy), but this is great. A little bitterness in the aftertaste. Sweet and malty upfront. I've only had a couple of old ales before, but this one is easily the best I've had. It has a richness to it, while at the same time being incredibly drinkable. I didn't expect this to go down so easy. Being my first review, I'm looking for something to be more critical about, but I'm just too busy drinking more of this beer.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A proper U.K. ale. Pours a deep, dark ruby-brown, with a 1.5 finger head that laces the glass a bit. Smell is of caramel and malt with a bit of yeast, some faint floral notes.

Taste is more like a Marzen than a dark ale. Toffee-caramel sweet with that nutty hazlenut flavor. Some spicy hoppyness follows up. A good bit of British yeast balanced with some hops. Mouthfeel is a little phenolic with a tinge of spice and ample carbonation. Very drinkable for the style. Preferable in the fall on a cool day.

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Photo of Higravity
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice red-brown color with an off-white head. Smells of british yeast and a spicey hop that hit first followed by waves of long boil malt complexes. Lovely taste if a little too yeasty, the maltyness is meet well by the earthy hops and a nice nutty dry finish. It has a good balance of thick to thin that I think would improve on tap.
Overall I think this is a beauty of craftmanship, balance well struck but the price kills it, not worth the $10 a six, but maybe good for a pint on tap.

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Photo of Melchizedek
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep brown in the pour--hold it up to the light, and you can see that it's actually a clear dark red, with a smallish but respectable light tan head.

There's a lot going on in the aroma: a little vinous, but there's a nicely balanced malt dark-fruit tone with some bready stuff backing it up. In the mouth--yum! Honey-caramel sweetness followed quickly by a distinct balancing hop bitterness, then a little spicy, wine-like alcohol. There's a definite woody background character, and combined with fruity notes (fig, maybe pomegranate), it comes across bubblegum-like. Body is medium, smooth carbonation, and it's just a touch drying, with notes of toast in the finish.

What a treat--it's hard to pin down what exactly it tastes like, but at the same time as it's remarkably complex, this is a delicious, well-balanced, enjoyable brew that one might easily enjoy several of in a sitting. If this is representative of the Old Ale style, I definitely need to do some exploring--I've already found a favorite.

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

I really enjoyed this beer and have decided to look more into the old ale style after this fine beer. The appearance is very brown but not cloudy with an off white head and some lacing. The smell is robust and malty and sweet. The taste abounds with dark fruity tastes and brown sugary sweetness. It leans toward the raisin end of the spectrum and doesn’t have much of a hop taste. It is nicely restrained in its sweetness, and I find the flavor excellent. It has a very long caramelly finish. This is a superbly drinkable beer.

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Photo of Smittysguinness
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It just breaks my heart to have to keep drinking beer. What a shame.

I was first introduced to this beer when my wife (who at the time was "just" my girlfriend) and I were on vacation in London. Great story...not for BA though.

I was pleased to find it pretty easily here in the States (kudos to my favorite beer store, Oades Big 10). My head is still full of so many happy memories of London, that I figured this beer would do the trick.

Oh, it sure does. Deep brown, so brown it's almost red. It leaves about an inch or so head that's off-white. I smelled molasses, and when I tatsed it, it was just like I remembered. Some molasses, chocolate, dried fruit...currants or raisins...pretty complex overall. Not too hoppy, malt well-balanced so it's not sweet like an Oktoberfest.

Mouthfeel was a bit watery, but not too heavy or watered-down like a macro. Excellent beer overall.

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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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Theakston Old Peculier from T & R Theakston Ltd.
3.94 out of 5 based on 1,018 ratings.
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