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1001 beers to try before you die: Theakston’s Old Peculier

Hey guys,

After a bit of a break I am back to talk about another beer from the grand book of 1,001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die. Today’s review is from the UK and is Theakston’s Old Peculier.

This beer, at least in Australia comes in bottles of the 500 ml description only and weigh in at 5.6% which is the equivalent of 2.2 standard drinks. Often called an old ale and cited as a classic “Yorkshire Ale” because of the Theakston’s origins in Masham which is in North Yorkshire where the Theakstons started brewing in 1827. As with any families there are going to be fights and such was the case with Theakstons. 

After Theakstons was bought by the Scottish and Newcastle Brewing, Paul Theakston split from the family to establish the other famous Yorkshire brewery, Black Sheep Brewery in 1991. Still good things do happen in the beer ownership world sometimes and in 2003 the other 4 Theakston brothers regained control of the brewery and now represent the fifth generation of Theakston’s at Theakstons.

  Anyway enough about distant Yorkshire families and on to the reason you came here and the reason I go most places, for the beer.

Old Peculier tumbles into your glass in a dark treacle brown which has glimpses of ruby in it when you hold it up to the light. This is quickly followed with an almost overpowering sweet malt smell. I could be overstating that because I have been on the hoppy beers lately and the malt could have hit me with a punch that I have not felt for a while. Either way don’t expect a big floral bouquet shoved up your nostrils with this beer. If it is not in your nose it is certainly not going to be on your tongue so don’t expect this to be a hoppy beer.

The head on the beer is almost non existent and what is there hang around the edges of the glass before dissipating away into the ether. On the taste buds it has a big front end, much like an oversized bonnet on your car but it finishes with a back end like a Volkswagen Bugs bootspace. This is not to say it’s not a good and in fact it is a very enjoyable beer. amongst the upfront sweetness there is a little sort of crunchy flavour which smoothed out pretty quickly. I also got a faint touch of some porty flavours, this made me wonder if they upped the alcohol percentage by 2 or 3% whether this would make a great cellering beer. I will leave that to the Theakstons though, I haven’t been part of a 200-year-old brewing dynasty so they would probably know better than I.

Just before I sign out, another interesting and, in my opinion cool, fact about the Old Peculier is that they sponsor a crime writing festival in Harrogate, if you are interested last years winner was Lee Child. 

Till next time beer drinkers, Proust!


PS O and enjoy your easter.

Credits: Alastair Gilmour, “Theakstons” from The Oxford Companion to Beer, Pg 791






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