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

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Ratings: 1,022 |  Reviews: 586
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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Photo of texashammer
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown/ruby red color with a rocky tan head. Smells of prunes, raisins, burnt fruit, bitter chocolate, espresso. Taste is chocolate at first, also plums and roasty flavors. Very rich. Medium to light in body with smooth mouth-coating characteristics too. Very yummy.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2.31/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Pours out proper dirty brown with amber edges and an off-white ring. Lacing when one shifts the glass. Smell is strongly of roasted malts, almost stout like...I don't care for the effect on an old ale.

Taste is mainly roasted malts, again...this reminds me more of a stout or a porter than the old ale that this purports to be. There are other factors involved...some grainy aspects and a slightly spicy effect from the hops but it isn't very strong and is definitely sub-average for an old ale.

Mouth on this is terrible, it's almost water like...this reminds me more of a macro beer than a micro one in this category...

Drinkability on it is decent. It's not a hard beer to drink in terms of its heaviness, but it isn't one that really draws me back for repeat sips either.

Overall, this beer was a profound disappointment and I would almost call its categorisation false advertising. I shall not be buying this one again.

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

brown bottle, old peculiar,Coca-Cola-like appearance, nice frothy head, that held up, and left web like lacing all the way through.
smell was a bit of molasses, dry raisins.
taste was light, a tea-like quality,bit of chocolate as well, very mild hop, leans toward malt.
mouthfeel was tangy, light, and crisp, bit of maltiness,
drinkability is fantastic....very nice English Ale!

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Photo of macpapi
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have always been curious about this beer. It seems as if, by price alone it should represent all that is true about old British ales. Price has always deterred me, but finding a single for a buck fifty, decided to finally essay a review.

Theakston Old Peculiar pours a nice dark brown color with a half inch, tannish head. Bubble activity is noticeable throughout the glass. Nice lacing also.

It smells malty and somewhat hoppy. Caramel and a slight buttery presence complete a balanced aroma. It has an almost candied smell. Very well balanced.

The taste is full, and reminds of roasted malt. There is little hop flavoring. It is not as sweet as the smell would seem to indicate, but the toffee flavoring is noticeable. On the whole, though a bit watery.

In the mouth T.O.P. is not the fullest or crispest of beers. But there is a hint of buttery consistency, seemingly strange and misplaced, but which works for this beer--oddly enough.

Overall this is a nice beer. Taste is its weakest attribute, through, which hurts its appeal as the most important variable. Theakston's is not bad and not tremendous on the whole, and for its price this is a problem. I will not deign to purchase a sixer. However, if someone else brings a few to a party, I would gladly help drink a couple.

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

thanks to biglove . from the bottle.poured a nice ruby brown with a light tan head. aroma a nice balane of caramel, malts, hops, got some honey as it warmed. flavor, roasted malts, caramel, a little coffee,dark fruits. as a nice mild bitterness to it would like to get my hands on more of this.

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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 hero27
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark reddish-brown color with a modest foamy, light tan head. Retention is pretty good, but a bit too oily to leave much for lacing.
Smell is caramel..malty and buttery diacetyl. Taste is much the same, and actually a bit more complex than I expected. Reminds me a lot of Fullers, actually. Mouthfeel is a little thin, in my opinion. Needs a bit more muscle, and this would be a truly great beer. Given the light(ish) mouthfeel, it lends a lot to the drinkability. I'm not a huge fan of beers from the UK, but this one was surprisingly good. A respectable and sessionable english ale.

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

Pours clear deep brown with garnet glints and a tan ring of persistant foam circles the glass in a meniscus of bubbles that leaves lace. Aroma of fuggles hops, fruity esters (plums and raisons), brown sugar and toffee - from British crystal malt and roasted malts mix with mild chocolate malt tastes. Sweet maltyness is well balanced by hop bitterness. Medium/light body and dextrinous mouthfeel from Belgian candi sugar. Warms offers a hint of butterscotch (diacetyl) and biscuit malt flavors, and some alcohol combine with slightly bitter roast grains and hops to dry finish.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pretty clear deep chestnut brown with a tan fizzy head at first pour. The head faded pretty quickly to a small wisp across the top of the beer that was sustained by a few bubbles rising.

Aroma: Some rich dark caramel malts along with some toasty Munich type aromas are present. There also seems to be a bit of a "soapy" smell to it that I can't explain. There may be a tad of raisin in here hiding out too.

Taste: Really deep and rich chocolaty flavor that really hides well in the aroma. I didn't expect this from the aroma, but the flavor is much more robust than I had suspected. There are definitely some toasty notes here to mix with the caramel, but the chocolate that I picked up in the nose is reserved in the flavor. The beer finishes pretty balanced with the hops playing as important a role in the balance as the roast to make this beer finish slightly toward the sweet side of the equation.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer, and one that is surprising to the senses. The aroma is really mild while the flavor is assertive. The alcohol percent is deceptive as this beer has a lot more flavor than the majority in its ABV% compared to its counterparts. Compared to the majority of Old Ales, it is very restrained, but this is a beer that you have to drink on it's own merit. An excellent brew!

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

poured a deep copper color with modest off-white head. Smell is of caramel with toasted notes. Taste is incredible with an extraordinary note of caramel toasted malt. Mouthfeel is a continuation of the caramel with a slight dryness. This is truly an incredible beer.

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Photo of Naes
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a very dark brown with reddish hues around the edges. The head is large and tan in color.

Its aroma is faint, but consists of alcohol and malts.

The flavor is mildly malty and contains traces of smoke. A little bit of hop bitterness also surfaces in the finish.

Mouth feel is light and the carbonation is mild.

This one is a bit watery, but an easy drink.

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Photo of UncleFlip
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks like weak coffee, and there's no real head, even given my aggressive pour. Just a collection of large clear bubbles on one side of my glass mug.

The smell is dark and fruity, with a variety of aromas poking out- port, dark chocolate, raisins, and a fruity hoppiness. The one that keeps coming back to me is the port. I love that smell.

The flavour is thin at first, sort of a watery malty flavour with a sort of spicy bittersweet chocolate that hits in the back of the mouth. Shortly into it, a rasin-like flavour kicks in, then some cold coffee overtones, and a dark spicy flavour on the center of the tongue to take it out.. I expected a more full-bodied flavour, but seeing how thin this one looks, I guss I shouldn't be surprised.

There's a tight fizziness that bursts up front and fades, then it is somewhat thin after. There's a slight filminess after the swallow.

Better than average drinakability, but with every sip I take, I want something a little heartier. Perhaps I'm just not the biggest on this style. I'd have one or two, then move on to something else.

Be well

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Photo of NEhophead
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, yet not quite intact lightly tan head. Some condensed lace that has trouble sticking. Deep auburn/light brown in color.

Very sweet caramel and toffee aromatics. Light oak and mustiness as well. Milk chocolate malt character.

Sweet milk chocolate and toffee. Some vinous and fruity esters: plum, grape, apple, and even pear. A biscuit-like malt character that is pleasant with the on-going milk chocolate flavor. A touch of bitterness followed by a creamy caramel aftertaste.

Medium bodied; creamy and smooth on the palate.

Some pretty good flavors going on here, but more comparable to a black & tan rather than an Old Ale. Definitely the lightest version of the style I've ever tried at 5.7%.

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

A peculiar way to spell peculiar. Appearance is a transparent dark copper with a foamy coffee head leaving cascading lace. Aroma is ethanol, plums, towering toasted malts – plus some hops that give off esters as it warms. Initial taste is a combination of the grapefruit hops, other fruit (currants), malt and is very complex. Body is thin to medium = refreshing.

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Photo of malty
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-tinged dark ruby red with a beige head. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Notes of creamy figs (vanilla) and doughy carmel roasted malts. All the scents are very fresh and alive.

Flavors of mildy spiced raisins and figs imbedded in soft lightly roasted malts. A hint of caramel that's quickly submersed into a pleasant foundation of very clean and balanced dark malts.

Mouthfeel is superb with a light-med. body which is very creamy and finely carbonated. A nice dry finish.

Drinkability is high. ABV is not noticable. Creamy mouthfeel is a rel delight.

Overall a sturdy and consistent Old Ale. The water in Masham lends itself to the inherent beauty of this ale - just like the Blacksheep brews. Good ale with classic well-balanced flavors.

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

This beer pours a golden brown with a light brown head. The head appears thick and fluffly, fading slowly leaving thin laces. It smells malty, with hints of caramel. It also has a faint aroma of plumbs and chocolate. It tastes of toasted malts with a slight chocolate flavor. It has a sweet taste, with very little hop bitterness. It goes down smooth leaving a slightly fruity aftertaste. The flavor of this beer in not overly aggressive. It is well carbonated. This beer might make a good session beer. It is low in alcohol, and the taste is smooth and mild. This beer is definately worth a try.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml Bottle bought in Sainsburys.

Pours quite a reddish brown / mahogany colour. Head is quite thin and dark cream in colour.

Very nice aroma of fruit (plums??), toffee and some chocolate. Nice amount of maltiness too.

Taste – fruity, toasted caramel with a very nice malty sweetness.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a medium body…

Excellent English ale – extremely drinkable. One of my all time favourite beers… could drink this all night !!

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

Undated 12oz poured into a pint.

Brown to reddish brown around the edges. One finger head of tan foam that has retention and sticks.

Smells like toffee, floral hops and some suagary fruits. Suggestions of grape bubblegum.

Smooth malt and a slight hop twinge make up the taste. Finishes very clean with an almost creamy mouthfeel. A nice dark session beer.

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

Imagine sitting by the fire on Christmas Eve and you grab an Old Peculier from the snow. You pour it and find a nice, red/brown color with a thick, brown head on top. You catch a whiff of cinnamon and some sort of berry, maybe more than one type so you can't quite distinguish what it is.

The first taste gives you a malty, chocolatey tast with some subtle black licorice hints. Very smooth, you savor the taste and feel in your mouth. The berry smell isn't in the taste so it doesn't get to you as being too sweet. This is good.

This one might be put in with the winter brews packages but it is one that I'd hoist year round. Here's to the holidays!

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

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

An aggressive pour gives a nice thick foamy brown head on top of a dark, almost-black amber colored beer. Upon first glance, I could almost think this was a stout, until noticing the deep reddish tinge on the bottom of the glass. Very nice presentation, including a nice, classic-lined bottle.

The nose has a strong fruit character to it, nicely balanced between apples and generic "fruitiness", and some malty bitterness mixed in for good measure. Inviting to be sure, but not a lot of complexity to get lost in.

Taste is better, more complex, with the aforementioned apples reaching the tongue first, then fading away and giving in to a dry maltiness. Bitterness is left upon the tongue to sit for a few minutes, until after a few moments it leaves just a pleasant memory on the palate. Enjoyable, would probably go well with breaded chicken or fish dishes.

Mouthfeel is a bit more watery than I'd like, although that's really more of a nit to pick than anything else. Overall foamy goodness here in the mouthfeel, and a swish around the mouth is pleasant, but the carbonation seems a bit overdone and it's not quite as nice as I'd like.

Overall drinkability is pretty positive, as I'm sure I could put away a few of these if it came right down to it. Quite a decent beer, although nothing that makes me yearn for more, and I'm looking forward to trying it as a dinner beer sometime in the future -- it'll probably work well with grilled steaks or chicken tenders.

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Photo of mynie
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice color no head. Very deep, dark red that I mistook for black.

Very rich aroma of fruit and malt. Some espresso in there, as well.

Candy sweet fruit upfront moving into a more bitter malt middle and an ending of coffee and chocolate. It's like mixing your Fruity Pebbles with your Coco Pebbles and somehow having it work.

The firm body and great drinkability make this one prime session ale. If I ever see this little baby on tap I'm ordering a pitcher.

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