6. Theakston’s Old Peculier

Masham in North Yorkshire is a tiny market town that lives and breathes beer, perhaps almost literally. With two significant breweries – the Black Sheep brewery, and its older brother, Theakston – between a population of barely over 1,200 people, the air must be potent with the aromas of the brewing process.

Masham’s most famous export is unquestionably Theakston’s Old Peculier, a genuine legend which will be deeply familiar to most beer lovers, myself included.


Old Peculier absolutely must be served at room temperature to really appreciate its depth and complexity. This is a thick, dark, strong Old Ale with roasty, toasty and smoky fruit flavours and a respectable 5.6% ABV.

There is nothing wimpy about this beer whatsoever, but it’s remarkably easy drinking, as the hop flavours are subtle enough to avoid a lot of bitterness, quite in contrast to something like an IPA. It’s really quite moreish, but I think Old Peculier is a perfect beer to be slowly savoured by the fire.

Best of all Old Peculier is available almost everywhere. I found this bottle in the least glamorous of convenience stores. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last!

Facts and Figures

Brewery: T&R Theakston Ltd, Masham, North Yorkshire, England
Style: Old Ales, Barley Wines and Vintage Ales
ABV: 5.6%
Found at: Costcutter, Norwood Road, London SE24
Dispense: 500ml Bottle

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