Beer Details: Old Peculier from Theakston Brewery, Masham, UK (Old Ale, 5.6% ABV)
Appearance: This beer pours dark brown with glints of ruby in the light. The frothy tan head settles quickly, but leaves behind lots of sticky lacing on the glass.
Aroma: A big waft of malty sweetness rises straight from the glass. It reminds me of making caramel. There's an deeper aroma of dried fruits and a touch of mineral earthiness, like wet firewood.
Taste: Warm caramel and roasted nut flavors swirl together. The fruitiness comes through more and more as you sip: dark cherries, raisins, stewed figs, and prunes. There's a spicy quality, too. I pick up nutmeg and cinnamon along with the warmth of vanilla.
There's just a touch of bitterness in the finish, which is exactly right for this style. They give a musky tea-like flavor that lingers in the back of the throat. The beer is creamy and smooth, and it goes down entirely too easily.
This is a beer that everyone can love, from folks who crave hopped-up IPAs to those who rarely drink beer. It's the Goldilocks of beers: not too sweet or too bitter, but just right.
Food Pairings: You have to drink this British ale with pub food, right? Try it with a big helping of shepherd's pie or even a plate of golden-fried fish and chips.
If you're curious about the peculiar spelling of Old Peculier's name, read about it on the brewery's website:
• A Particularly Peculiar Tale of Theakston Brewery
What do you think of this beer?
(Image: Emma Christensen)