Nope, that's not a misspelling! Old Peculier from the British Theakston Brewery is just as much a legend as its label says. It's been brewed for nearly 180 years, after all. That's more than enough time for this rich, malty brew to earn its street cred.
Old Peculier from Theakston Brewery, Masham, UK (Old Ale, 5.6% ABV)
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.
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.
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.
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?
Related: From the Firkin: The Return of Real Ales
(Image: Emma Christensen)