Theakston Old Peculier is a go-to beer of many, being a readily available, strong dark beer. It is a staple in many seasoned beer drinkers tastes and can be used as a good marker to judge other similar beers against, that is to say that it ticks all of the necessary boxes and can be used as a good example in the dark strong beer styles.
Brewed in Masham, Yorkshire, Theakston Old Peculier is a beer which has often prompted a discussion between me and other beer drinkers. To some, this beer is the example to which all other beers should aspire. To others Theakston Old Peculier is a good average beer and then there is the discussion on how to serve it. I have yet to have had the chance to try Old Peculier on tap, but if the the bottled beer is anything to go by then it must be great.
Those who bemoan this beer as average, in my opinion, have missed a point, although it does not have some of the explosive tastes which a strong dark beer can have, it does tick all the boxes – and a beer which has little to nothing wrong with it should be savoured as much as a highly adventurous beer which has a nasty after taste or poor balance.
The nose is toffee and rich fruits leading into an initial taste of sweetness and toffee, the strong malty middle comes through with almost bready flavours then the hops kick in with a slight bitterness which rounds off the beer nicely.
The thing with Theakston Old Peculier is that it does not have any of the harsher flavours associated with dark beers. It tends much more towards the sweet and fruity flavours of a strong ale while taking the maltyness from a dark beer. This leads to a very moreish drink which should attract both those who like a strong ale and those who prefer the darker beers, while not putting of those who would normally stick to lighter bitters and strong pale ales. It is only those die hard hoppy beer drinkers who might be disappointed with Theakston Old Peulier, but even they should enjoy the balance present.
It would be remiss of me to review Theakston Old Peculier, a North Yorkshire beer without going into the subject of serving. Now this is “here be dragons” territory with some beer drinkers, for those that do not know, the “Northern Style” of serving beer is through a sparkler. This gives a thick head to the beer and some would argue that it also brings out certain characters in the beer. Now I have not yet been fortunate enough to try Theakston Old Peculier served on tap and in the northern style. But the accounts I am given are that it is very much improved. Taking into account how good this beer is from the bottle, I am inclined to think that a pint served this way would be very nice indeed.
More information on Theakston’s beer can be found at their website where you can also buy their beer, or Theakston Old Peculier is available in most supermarkets nationwide.