Peculiar | Granite Brewery & Restaurant

very good
27 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Granite Brewery & Restaurant
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A strong English ale, not too hoppy and reddish brown in colour. It is a dark, malty brew, full in taste with a sweet dry finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2003

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 46
Photo of patre_tim
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown and slightly cloudy. Moderate carbonation, topped with 2 fingers of creamy white head.

Smells of cream, brown sugar, hide, and hard water.

Tastes of coke, malts, brown sugar, slight sweetness, a hint of banana, and hard water.

Moderate body, slightly syrupy, slightly foamy.

Got in Toronto near Summerhill Subway Station, LCBO today, October 19, 2016. Drinking in at Kitchener Motel. Really ok. I say no more.

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Photo of chinchill
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On cask tap at The Henry House in Halifax.
Copper body with good clarity topped by a durable, light tan head.

Sweet and roasted grains with faint hops in the aroma.
The flavor follows. A touch more bitter than sweet.
Smooth, near medium body.
Alcohol more obvious than it should be in both the taste and the feel; especially in the taste.
Some toffee up front and again in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Jeffo
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one at the LCBO this past summer.

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 7 July 2014

APPEARANCE: A hard pour yields a one finger, medium-thick looking, creamy white head with good retention. Hazy rust brown in color with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a nice wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp with some decent lacing down the glass as it empties. Good looking.

SMELL: Malty sweet with toffee, caramel, dried dark fruits, hints of raisins and some earthy hops on the nose. Good stuff again.

TASTE: Dried fruit, raisins, caramel and sweet fruit up front. Medium but lingering finish of earthy hops, caramel, dried fruit, biscuit and raisins. Flavorful and well balanced malty sweetness. Good stuff yet again.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly lower levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a touch dry.

OVERALL: Really good brew. A nice, malt forward yet balanced, low-carbed English ale. Would definitely drink this one again. Give it a try if you enjoy the style. This one went down far too easily. Recommended.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

385ml pour at the only cafe, toronto, sep 25 2015. dark brown, off-white head. english yeasty with some banana notes. raisins. dark caramel-y malts. medium-minus mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

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Photo of EricVonStein
3.09/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

dark cloudy plum brown, golden amber when held up to the light. no head at first but the bubbles rise up to give a thin fine layer that fades out again.

on the nose, sweet raisins and prunes, a bit bready. roasted grains.

taste follows nose on this one. some raisins and prunes, toasty malts. hop bitters at the end.

mouth feel is smooth but quite watery. hardly any carbonation.

Overall a bit lack lustre. some ok flavours are there but they feel watered down, downed out. Nice balance though of sweet, malty, hopy, but doesnt draw out enough depth in any of them. Not bad but not great.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $5.00 for a 22oz bomber. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours no head that doesn't even film out. Dark brown and filtered clear

S- Not a lot here. Some malt.

T- A touch sour. Wondering if I had a bad one. No other tell tale signs of an infected beer but it is sourish.

M- A touch sour. Has low carbonation.

O- Not a big fan of Granite Brewery beers and this one continues the trend. Been to the bar a few times and enjoy the fish and chips however this beer is not for me.

Food Pairing

This ok beer would go well with...... Sushi. The light yet sweet nature of this beer would pair well to a nice dynamite roll.


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Photo of ssmack
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark reddish brown that varies from almost black at the top to dark toffee to amber at the bottom of pint glass. One and a half inch of beige head that lasted well. Some tiny carbonation bubbles. Great lacing and retention. Looks great.

A very malty aroma of toffee and cognac. Very nice.

The taste is not nearly as malty as the nose led me to expect. A quick taste of grainy crackers and then nutty roasted malts with a touch of prunes. It then opens the mouth with a cold steely taste that resolves into nuttiness and grassy bitter aftertaste. As it warms there is a sour off-taste.

A medium feel that seems to open the palette and then ends with dryness.

This ale seems to have a refined taste. I enjoyed it but wish there was a touch of the sweet toffee in the taste.

650 ml bottle from Queens Quay LCBO with bottled date July 30 2014

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Photo of biegaman
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Peculiar looks plain. And very flat. An immaculately clear mahogany tone, this beer isn't too keen to share much colour or sheen, not even when held directly into the light. With a necklace of pearl-like bubbles it looks pretty - or could were it not intent on staying so dark and concealed.

The aroma has oxidative notes similar to those found in a sherry or port, and also compares to the latter in terms of its presence of dried fruitiness; raisins factor heavily into this bouquet. There is another kind of sweetness too, a fleeting butterscotch- or toffee-like note that smells like a dried out confection or a fruit cake found in the 'day old' bin at the bakery.

The palate replays much of the same, affording the drinker a necessary extension to place these vague and mild flavours. Dried cherries, scorched toffee, candied nuts, and a trace of browned butter are added to the revised list. The taste, however, it must be said, is dull as a butter-knife.

I'm not sure what's keeping all these inherently sweet flavours (dried fruits and confection) from leading to a cloying, overly sweet mouthfeel (especially in the absence of such a feeble malt bill) but the ale is fairly dry and concludes with a faint peatiness and a coffee bean-like roast so brief as to almost seem as though it were imagined. There's no texture on the finish.

Like any Ontario beer drinker in the early 00's (or the two decades prior) I was weaned onto craft beer by Granite Brewery, back when that was one of the only games in town. At that time Peculiar was about as rich and complex as beer got in Toronto - how far we've come. Sadly, while I still maintain fond memories of this Old Ale, it hasn't translated well from cask to the bottle.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bomber Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, grains, caramel, vinegar?

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, grains, and caramel/molasses. I can also taste a bit of vinegar/apples and hops.

Overall - The odd tart/lactic/vinegar flavour threw me off with this one. Just wasn't doing it for me. Wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 650 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: pours a clear chestnut brown with two fingers of foamy white head that breaks quickly leaving some lacing and a thin film of foam.

S: malts, some floral notes, a touch of anise and some fruity hops.

T: malts... Lots of malts. Hops come in on the end, but the malts dominate.

M: medium carbonation and a dry finish.

O: the maltiness of this beer lets you know right up front that this is a British style ale. The flavor and body are just screaming pub ale to me, and I would happily have a pint or two again if offered.

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Photo of peensteen
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear-reddish brown colour, one finger of white head, some lace. Smell i s a nice mix of toasted grainy malts, fruity with a bit of nutty chocolate, light roast, biscuity with a little floral-fruity hops. Taste is malty with toasty grains, light hop bitterness. Lightly carbonated, light-medium body. This is pretty good but not terribly interesting though, would not pass up if offered but not somethign worth seeking out.

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Photo of Antikythera
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a beautiful clear red-brown like strong tea. Very little head even when poured at home.

Smell: hoppy, nutty, and sweet.

Taste: as above, rich and a bit caramelly/toasty. The hops are distinguishable but not bitter until the end when the last few mouthfuls have warmed up in your hand.

Mouthfeel: creamy, silky. Not too thin at all.

Drinkability: surprisingly easy for a beer this dark. One of my all-time favourites.

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Photo of liamt07
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, served in a nonic pint.

Poured a dark ruby, bordering on burgundy with a tan head and good retention/solid lacing. Nose has some soft toffee, sweet tobacco, bit of smoke and roastiness. Taste has more caramel/toffee, with a gentle bitterness underlying. Dark bread, with some toast and roastiness to the malts. Great mouthfeel, full. Good drink, something to check out.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint on cask at Volo. Arrives a nice rich loamy brown with almost no head even after an aggressive cask pour. Nose is caramel and toast, a hint of weird sweet note that borders on solventy.

A really nice pint that is made for cask. Light grassy bitterness with a pleasant hop bite in the finish but this not about the hops. Cocoa, earth, a hint of rust, caramel, toast. Light flavored but nuanced and pleasant. The almost complete lack of carbonation suits it as the mouthfeel is creamy and pleasing, drawing out the flavor. An easy pint to finish and I would gladly have another.

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Photo of jbonapar
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Favorite Beer froma great Pub Brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A Close Second to Propeller for Nova Scotian Beer.

A nice amber/dark pour with a sweet but subtle head. Nice lacing around the glass, looks great in a pub!

Smell is wonderfull, hops, dry malt with some nice mineral eart.

Love the taste of this beer. Dry but sweet, dense but light. A nice caramel undertone which i feel balances the fuggle hops that are used in the mix. Just fantastic. A great beer to have with some banger's and mash.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a clear deep dark mahogany hue, with a single finger of creamy off-white head, which leaves a thin ring of lace as it recedes. It smells of dry roasted malt, some orchard fruitiness, and light earthy hops. The taste is roasted caramel malt, a light coffee/chocolate essence, and more terra-hops. The carbonation is average, the body full and kind of mealy, in the pitted fruit way, and it finishes slightly sweet, some of that fruit rounding things out.

A pretty sturdy full-flavoured beer, I could see the appeal of having this as an old standby.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear dark ruby with a big ole creamy head. Looks good.

S - Roasty and fruity, with red fruits and a caramel aroma.

T - Again, fruity - prunes, raisins... that sort of thing. Slight toast and very sweet. Almost sugary.

M - Body is heavy and low carbonation, giving a smooth creamy texture.

D - A little too sweet for my taste, but otherwise not bad.

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Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Granite Brewery in Toronto. Deep ruby red liquid underneath a huge rocky head. Beautiful to look at. Aroma and flavour both have strong caramel and chocolate notes. This beer is also pleasantly smooth and fresh tasting. A very sessionable drink.

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Photo of Mandrake
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from a hand pump not two feet from my seat, this beer pours out a beautiful deep red with brownish hints and a light tan head that settles out from a foamy body and lasts very well, leaving solid lacing. Some light citrusy hops come on top of a deep and resiny malt base. Almost an old ale, but well classified, I think, as an English strong. The complexity showing with the very moderate ABV is impressive. Coffee and piles of thick caramel, sticky and sweet. Taste only improves upon the promise held in the scent. Vinous notes pour forth, the hoppiness showing well in a balancing role, but not distracting from the real show, the strong malts and barleywine character. Nuttiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, typical for cask, plenty of body though, and quite warming. Drinkability is excellent. My favourite Granite brew, just great.

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Photo of grub
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sampled on cask as part of the volo cask days 2006. thanks to ralph and all involved for putting together an awesome fest.

this was the bourbon barrel aged version prepared for this year's volo cask days.

pours a nice ruby colour with a thin head.

aroma is great. nice and malty with a great oaky vanilla punch. slightly sweet.

taste is great. slightly sweet malty base. nice oaky vanilla character from the barrel that is balanced and meshes really well with the base peculiar. slight bitterness and lingering sweetness in the finish. no trace of alcohol.

mouthfeel is ok. decent body and low carbonation.

drinkability is good. well balanced and low alcohol presence make it very drinkable.

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Photo of DrJay
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was the whiskey barrel aged offering at Volo Cask Days. There was a faint smoke aroma in addition to the regular malty profile. The barrel added a bit of whiskey sweetness to the flavour, as well as a sharp smokiness that was a bit out of balance. It was great to see the brewer trying something new with a long established product. Hopefully we'll see this one again.

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Photo of Derek
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Whiskey barrel aged for the Volo Cask Ale event on Oct. 22, 2005.

A: Dark, brownish-black.

S: Very little odour, just a little malt.

T: Very well rounded malt flavours, but could use a little more fruity flavour (in the british tradition). Not much bitterness (slighty sweet), but finishes dry. Certainly unique.

M: Light to moderate body (very little carbonation from the cask, as expected).

D: Quite good.

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Photo of TerryW
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Made the trek down to the brewery to try this (and a few others) out first hand.

Handsome red brown with a tight, even head. Good lacing throughout. Appetizing nose with malt and hops both distinctly present. Nice grapefruit citrus aroma from the hops.

Similarly nice balance of malt and hop to drink this one. love the grapefruit hp character, nicely pronounced malt up front. Some roastiness adds another dimension.

Enjoyable overall, I preferred this to the bottle version. Nice compliment to an enjoyable meal on site.

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Photo of baiser
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown body, with a thin white cap. Aroma is floral, toffee, grain, a tad minty and citrusy. Taste was excellent. Great balance. Strong on the malts, fruity, toffee, some chocolate. Balanced by a nice hop bitterness, dry after taste. Smooth, creamy and easy drinking. Great cask ale.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a diminutive tan head that leaves nice lace. The aroma is of raisins and fig newtons. The taste is full on chocolate malts, quite sweet with little hop character. Theres a figgy, plummy almost vinous character that emerges in the middle. Theres an underlying pixie stix sweetness through out. A slight hop bitterness makes itself present in the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and subtly carbonated.

This is a nice Canadian ale closely based on Old Peculier from the UK. Its a little to sweet from me and the malts a little too plummy.

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Peculiar from Granite Brewery & Restaurant
3.76 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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