Theakston Old Peculier is a beer that takes me back to my undergraduate days in York, and I’m reviewing it this week because I’m using another bottle of it to make a stoverij (a Belgian recipe for beef in beer). The beer is a very dark red with an off-white, almost brown head that quickly reduces to just enough to cover the top of the glass. The smell is like treacle and mince pies while the taste is rich, warming and rewarding, slightly sweet, but not bitter. There are definite hints of lemon and Christmas Cake and even liquorice in the taste, though as a student, I’d have been more interested in the 5.6% ABV. It’s a beer that welcomes you home on a cold winter’s day with a great big warm hug, and it’s a beer that never fails to satisfy. Highly recommended (and if that’s not good enough, it also features in my copy of ‘1001 Beers you must try before you die‘, edited by Adrian Tierney-Jones and published by Octopus Books).
If you’ve never tried stoverij, it’s definitely worth it served with thin chips/fries, and there’s quite a good recipe here. Use a well-flavoured brown ale, or even Guinness for the best results.