Thursday, June 2, 2011

Theakston Old Peculier - Thursday, June 2nd

Beer in the UK has funny names.

I'm not talking like "Deranged Psycho Axe Murder Stout" but far more classier names.

Like Fursty Ferret.

Or Bishop's Finger.

How about a pint of Finchcock's Original?

Or Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale?

Here in Scotland, you can slake your thirst with some Ptarmigan, some Red MacGregor or a nice pint of Thrappledouser.

One could arguably say that these names aren't really weird or strange. They're more like "British weird" which is best described as "eccentric with a monocle and a refined taste for claret." Or, you could say...Peculier.

When a beer calls itself OLD Pecurlier, it better be pretty peculiar. Below is a bottle of the 5.6% Old Peculier, brewed by Theakston.

It wasn't very good, for the record.
Honestly, as peculiar names go...Old Peculier is a rather tame cop-out, don't you think? As you may note, it also says "The Legend". That's a healthy cup of competition for quaffing. Not just peculiar in a land of peculiar names but a legend on top of that?

There's a pint of the cola black mistress. Look at how she shines in the light:

I'll give it this, it's a beautiful beer. But how does it fare up?

Nose: Fairly estery. Some overripe banana. Molasses. It actually kinda smells a particularly potent/sour ester I synthesized in Organic Chem once. An oblique reference but it's definitely got a lightly sour and pungent smell to it. Other than that, pretty lightly staffed in the Smells Department.

Taste: Very biscuity. The first sip is viscous and sweet like a digestif biscuit. This fades to chicory coffee. Stone fruits in there as well: dried cherries, maybe fresh plum. They obviously use a lot of bittering hops in this bad boy. The finish is almost mouthpuckering. I'm hazarding a guess at Fuggles. It has no hop depth aside from just an amazingly astringent and bitter finish.

The more I drink through this pint, the more it grows on me. When I first started drinking it I wasn't a huge fan. The hop profile felt one dimensional, even for British beer who don't go all hop-crazy like us Yanks. But as I drink it, I'm warming up to it. Its simplicity, at first, belies the changing flavors that bubble up from below. It's fruity, malty, and dextrin-ous at the beginning but the hop profile cuts straight through it, leaving a pleasant bitterness in the back of the throat and a taste like Roman Nougat at the tip of the tongue. Would I actively seek it out? Maybe. I'd be interested to see what this Legend can do on tap but I'd have to be in the mood for it. This is not a "pint with friends" beer. This is a "pint with a book and pipe" beer. It's easy to drink for it's ABV but more than one, I think, would be pretty cloying.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about deranged psycho, but I did just have a Buried Hatchet Stout.

    I feel most beers will grow on you, especially when they are a touch higher in abv...

    Nice review.