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  1. Theakston Old Peculier
    Theakston Old Peculier

    Theakston's has been around since 1827, and Old Peculier has been brewed since at least 1890--and probably long before that. So it is in fact, not just style, a fairly old ale. You have a sense of traveling back in time when you pour out a bottle. It is thick and viscous, and froths into a nice head in the manner you imagine medieval ales might have. I held it up to the sunlight, which refracted dimly and murkily only through the narrowest part of the glass. It's mostly an opaque brown, but under summer sunlight, it has a cloudy, dark amber-brown color, similar to iced tea. The aroma is bready and hearty, much as the beer looks. Fruity notes waft up with raisin and plum. There is one additional quality that I could only identify after I tasted it--we'll come to that in a moment.
    I bet many people don't notice the odd spelling of the beer, or forget it once they take their first sip. It's a strange beer. First of all, it's rather thick in a way most commercial beers aren't. It is sweetish and estery, and again, I picked up a plum note. I suspected--and later confirmed--that sugar was employed, for it had that characteristic estery quality that seems to come mainly from fermented sugar. However, here again the main identifying quality about Old Peculier is a bit of funkiness. It's not like the funkiness you'd find in a Belgian or even an Irish stout, and it took me a long time before I could figure out how to describe it.
    Rye is by itself not a sour grain, but when bakers make rye bread, they generally use the sourdough method of adding a little old dough that's gotten a bit of lactic-acid funkiness to it. Thus are most ryes varying degrees of sour.
    Eventually, I came to discover that this is what Old Peculier reminds me of--liquid rye bread. It's dark and hearty and slightly sweet, but it's predominant characteristic is that "peculiar" note--a little bit of sourness like old dough.
    So, perhaps we need to revise our definition of old ales, or at least tip our hat to the depth of meaning in this curious style, of which Old Peculier remains the world standard.

     Old Peculier is possibly one of the country’s most well-known and loved ales. This unique, beautiful brew is often imitated but never matched and is sold literally all over the world. With countless awards to its credit, it is something of which every Briton can be very proud and is the epitome of the greatest of British brewing tradition. In the early years of the modern brewing era, about two hundred years ago, many brewers produced a dark, strong ‘stock’ beer in the winter months, to provide a base amount of fermented beer to add to beers brewed in the rather more volatile months of the summer. Old Peculier probably owes its origins to this. The name pays tribute to the unique ecclesiastical status of Masham as a ‘Court of the Peculier’ and is also reference to the strong characteristic of the beer! For many years it was affectionately referred to as Yorkshire’s ‘Lunatic’s Broth’.

    Old Peculier is a beautiful, yet very simple beer, brewed using a very generous blend of finest pale, crystal and roasted barley with two bitter hops combined with the majestic and noble ‘Fuggle’ hop to produce a beer of awesome full-bodied flavour with subtle cherry and rich fruit overtones. It tastes superb when accompanied by rich stews, strong cheeses and sweet puddings.

  2. 4 Pines Pale Ale
    4 Pines Pale Ale
      Copper - amber, hazy. Aroma: fruity with hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Palate: upfront fruity notes are balanced by sound malt weight and lively bitterness.
    WILLIE SIMPSON, Good Living

    A beer crammed with four varieties of American hop and a hefty malt bill that results in a deep amber beer with a touch of ruby. The hops give you aromas of pine and grapefruit before the malt gives way to a solid bitter finish. CRAFTYPINT.COM
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