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Odd One Out, Colchester

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user reviews of the Odd One Out, Colchester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

A very 'old school' pub. Good range of beers and four ciders in barrels on the bar; the two I had were well kept. Friendly locals. 8/10.
ChrisM62 - 16 May 2016 09:37
Excellent local, about 5 beers on, harwich brewing, Maldons (2), felstar porter, one other. Warm real fire and an old gas fire, friendly reception from staff and customers. Again,worth the trip out from town.
TonyMitch - 29 Apr 2015 22:27
Visited on Saturday 18th for the visit of Oldham, who actually beat the mighty U’s the day before so we sensibly decided to cut out the misery from 3pm to 4.45pm and go for a crawl of Colchester’s finest pubs starting at the Odd One Out, New Inn, Purple Dog, Foresters and saving the best beer until last in the Victoria.
Last time we visited the Oddy was January 2013 for a mate’s 40th and the obligatory U’s home defeat which we watched on teletext from the Alehouse. The Oddy is now on the wrong side of town for the football which is a shame, but I’m pleased to say nothing has changed, still the same character at the bar and the same barmaid. We had a relaxing couple to start our crawl in the sitting room like lounge bar; one was Skinners the other I can’t remember – it was cloudy but tasted fine. My mates eulogised about the coloured water masquerading as beer called Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde mild, I wasn’t having any of it but they said it was great, they followed up with a Brightlingsea Bladderwrack, which I had a taste of and was pretty good, but a touch too liquorice for me. The beer is always kept well; a dying breed this type of pub, a real old man’s respite from modern life and long may it flourish. 9/10

Monkdawallydahonk - 25 Apr 2014 08:29
Cracking place. I have used it on and off for the last twenty years or so. It is a one off and, yes, there a rules to observe but that doesn't detract from the great beers and the welcome you get.
arduis - 14 Mar 2011 09:35
Been once before the football. But it does stand in the mind due to its excellence.

Good points:
Drink is top notch, and I mean TOP NOTCH. You won't get a better pint anywhere on earth. It was so good I expected a priest to be pooring it and mumbling about Jesus.
It has no mobiles to be spoken into and no swearing.
The beer garden is very nice, and if you want to you can get away with quietly swearing down your mobile.

Bad point:
It's dingy.

Overall, if you are in Colchester and you miss this you are the biggest idiot the world has ever seen. Ever. I cannot recommend a pub more than this one. I just can't.
OldhamSheridan - 13 Mar 2011 11:05
I always enjoy a visit to this pub. Step inside the door and get transported back in time. Don't go here if you are worried about decor, super shiny toilets, bright lighting or if you want to spend the time messing about with your mobile phone, but do go here if you are passionate about decent beer and good old fashioned company. Always a great choice of quality ales. I went in on 5th Nov and the landlord John had 4 ciders and 7 beers on tap. Mauldons silver adder and Knights Porter were just a couple of the good range on offer. A very good selection of whiskies are also offered. Sensibly priced and i was offered a choice of a straight glass or a mug. A rare treat these days. Pubs like this are hard to find, and this one is as good as a pub gets
blkstar14 - 7 Nov 2010 21:29
Also to the south of Colchester town centre, and only a shortish walk away from The British Grenadier, is the unusually named Odd One Out, a rather quirky old fashioned pub that offers a good selection of real ales and has won numerous CAMRA awards over the years.

It's a narrowish L shaped bar with additional space in a lounge room on the right. It's traditionally furnished, part carpeted, part bare boards and decorated with a fine collection of old brewery mirrors. The landlord, John Parrick, completed 25 years here in February 2010 and a framed memento of this, presented by the regulars, has pride of place above the furniture in the lounge. The room on the left has a framed cricket scorecard recording the time in June 1992 when the pub cricket team - The Real Oddies - were all out for 19, on a pitch which the scorer has recorded as being "treacherous". 9 batsmen - including one John Parrick - failed to trouble the scorers.

This is a fine welcoming traditional pub, but I have to say that, in parts, the pub looks somewhat worn and neglected. Note in particular, the badly torn and worn padded seats in the left hand room. Also, many of the seats in the rather scruffy garden look a bit rusty and have clearly seen better days.

Do note the rules concerning mobile phones, dogs and "feet and legs". Infringe them at your peril.

On my recent Saturday lunchtime visit, there were 5 real ales on, including Milestone Black Pearl and Humpty Dumpty EAPA at 4.3% and 4.5% respectively. Both these beers were priced at a very reasonable 2.74p - it's very pleasing to come to a pub like this and feel you're not being taken for a ride - and were in excellent condition.

3 ciders were offered from barrels on the bar counter. A good range of whiskies is also available.

I think this pub is well worth seeking out - but do note the late opening times between Monday to Friday
JohnBonser - 1 Sep 2010 10:07
After my visit to the Fat Cat this place was heaven. Great beer, great atmospehre and very friendly staff and customers.

Just a shame the the chippie down the road has shut
Huey - 19 Aug 2010 12:46
Odd One Out? More a one-off and a very good one at that. Friendly - felt like a local second time at the bar - good chat with landlord and barman and locals alike. Excellent range of mainly local beers (Harwich Town, Mighty Oak). Quirky, but splendid. Wouldn't complain if I had a local like it.
metrology_man - 28 Jun 2010 08:19
I rate this place - it's like a tardis back in time, what a proper pub should be like. High quality ales and cider.
kernott1 - 26 Jan 2010 12:47
I have not been in there for a few years, I used to use it, a lot, when I went to Colchester,in the late 90's.
I like the range of beer, good prices, friendly old type pub.

mmichael0 - 24 Jan 2010 00:18
This is a quality pub, sporting a good selection of real ales and cask ciders as well as an impressive variety of whiskeys. Open fireplaces, beer garden, plenty of seating. Doesn't do food, but is close enough to town for this to not matter. They do a variety of snacks and the landlord will make you a cheese roll if you ask. If you like real ales and ciders or are a fan of the single malt, then this is a great venue for a quiet drink. The landlord does have rules .. no swearing, and no mobile phone use in the lounge bar, however this just keeps the atmosphere friendly and there are plenty of town alternatives if you can't control your language! The pub is dog friendly.
I have had a variety of ales in there over the past year and never found a problem with them, they have always been in tip top condition and the pub has recently won awards from CAMRA for its ale and ciders. The last visit saw 5 differant guest ales and 4 guest ciders.
Pub opening hours are opens at 4pm, closes at 11pm

There is a poor selection of soft drink alternatives to alcohol and the bottled drinks that are stocked are kept on shelves rather then in fridges.This undoubtedly keeps the cost of the pints and spirits themselves down and benefits the majority of the customer base but may not suit everyone, For this reason I have rated this pub 9 out of 10.
mindsf99 - 17 Jan 2010 22:07
Very characterful pub a bit out of the way of the others in the town.

Alas the beer was in a bit of a bad way on my visit. Hopefully another time they'll get it right.
cobbo - 15 Dec 2009 13:12
An evening at the Crow and in a very good way. Anyone who's gone on holiday by mistake in Colchester should head here.
steppedup - 8 Dec 2009 01:35
First visit to the OOO since October/November 2007. This visit was part of a nostalgic pre Layer Road routine. The same barmaid and the same faces in the pub! Glad to see nothing has changed here.Good range of ales though the Greenjacks which I thought was off (had a sour green taste!), my mate liked so we swapped. Had the Mighty Oak Search Engine which was inoffensive but rather bland. The star pint was the Nethergate Old Growler, black, strong and with a lovely burnt bitter taste and none of the beers were as expensive as the Grenadier. 8.5/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 23 Sep 2009 13:22
My favourite pub in the town but I can see why it isn't to everyone's taste. Top landlord, best beer in the town, interesting and friendly clientele. It is a bit shabby and feels dated but in a good way. On the downside, I'm not precious about these things but the gents really needs improving. As has been said before, not for party animals but I disagree with the poster who said don't take your wife - fair enough if your wife/girlfriend prefers wine or cocktails but if, like mine, she enjoys good beer or cider then why not.
The_Elegance - 9 Jul 2009 21:58
This is a VERY traditional pub. Walking through the door is like stepping back in time 30 years.

Nice to see a pub where it's harder to find lager than it is to find ale.

National award winning cider pub, for those who like apples. You wouldn't take the wife there, but you'd certainly have a good pint.
soulman79 - 11 May 2009 10:21
Thank goodness there is still a pub and locals which might 'discourage' the use of mobile phones and folk can enjoy proper conversation and a decent pint without the inane trivel often associated with these things. Keep up the excellent work in this truly great pub.
saintsforever - 11 Mar 2009 18:35
Fantastic place, worth travelling many miles to visit (i often do).

The landlordkeeps a continually changing selection of well kept ales (recently made CAMRA north east essex branch pub of the year I believe) and usually 4 excellent real ciders (got onto CAMRA'S best four cider pubs in Britain shortlist)

Thats only half of it though, the atmosphere is great, the oddie feels like a pub should feel and the landlord is never less than friendly, he remembered my name after about 3 visits all many months apart!. Orwell wrote about his favourite pub, called the Moon under Water, which contained everything one could ask for from a local. It of course didnt exist, a place that has everything couldn't, but for me the oddie is about as good as it gets.
hearson - 27 Feb 2009 19:59
Looks like a complete dive from the outside- it's a locals' secret and they want to keep it that way. Quite nice inside with a fireplace and beer garden. Often have very good ciders. Unfriendly staff- make sure you don't get your mobile out while you're in there or you'll be told to "take it outside" quite aggressively.
will_s - 5 Feb 2009 18:23
Cider was very good, but the reception was very hostile and the barmaid was extremely rude. Don't these people want drinkers to return? I won't be.
ETA - 12 Jan 2009 09:37

Traditional ale pub. Great range of ales and ciders. Popped in on Saturday afternoon and witnessed the pub being awarded cider pub of the year.
Rod_Hariga - 16 Nov 2008 16:18
The Odd One Out is now officially CAMRA's 'East Anglian Cider Pub Of The Year'. Always 4 real ciders available here, one of which is usually a perry.
Love_good_ale - 23 Jul 2008 19:06
Great beers & ciders, good mix of people, 'interesting' decor, lovely back garden. Quite unique, really.
Planner_21 - 16 Jul 2008 16:45
I must've been unlucky then as it sounds like other reviewers have found a better selection. Shame Col U are moving away from Layer Road as next time I visit Colchester for football, the drinking option will probably be some plastic chain pub.
DuchyBoy - 15 Apr 2008 13:14
This is the most scruffy pub in the whole of Colchester, with the pub not being decorated since 1920 -who cares.
I don't care, because the beer is served at THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE , this is one of the few pubs in Colchester that gets this right, the selection could be a little better, the Cheese rolls are recommended, at 1.10, maybe alittle overpriced but nice all the same.
The pub is run by John Parrot ,who has a great knowledge of Good British Ale. He is a nice enough guy, but has rules, and shouldn't be messed with.
manfredmann64 - 26 Mar 2008 11:24
I think it's about time I update my review as it was one of my first ones.

The Odd One Out is a lovely traditional free house. 6 hand pumped ales available today Archers 'Best' & 'Fives & Three's', Nethergate 'IPA', 3 Rivers 'Manchester IPA' Newby Wyke 'Black Squall' and Greene King 'Swing Low'. This is one of the few pubs in town where you can always be guaranteed to get at least one dark beer. 4 real ciders are available from the plastic casks further to the left of the hand pumps. Quite a number of single malt whiskeys are also available much more than any other Colchester Pub. The cheese rolls that are usually available with either onion or pickle are recommended at only 1.10.

This is a friendly community pub run by John Parrick ably assisted by Lesley. The beer is always top notch and served at the ideal temperature. John always prices up the beers depending on how much he had to buy them in at, with enough profit to run the pub. Today all the beers are still under 2.50 some more than others usually it does have a relation to the gravity as well. John advised that he will hold the prices to the pre budget ones for as long as he can.

You arrive in the pub from Mersea Rd in the lounge where 6 tables and chairs are available. In the lounge usually the real fire is lit and can be quite cosy. There are a number of stools around the bar and seating all round the outside. Some would say the seating around the outside is a bit 'tired' but it seems to suit the pub. There are two ways out side to the garden area either from the hall past the toilets or following the pub round to the left.

No music is available in here and there are some rules on the use of mobile phones. This is a good thing and I think the pub is much better for having a few rules.

The Christmas draw and birthday night are both very good.
Love_good_ale - 16 Mar 2008 03:15
Homely traditional feel, warming & hospitable, friendly chatty atmosphere of a proper pub. Nice careworn bar, decorated with breweriana trays, comfortable rooms to either side, gas fire & real fire with glowing coals, Elgoods Cambridge, Archers Best, Nethergate Old Growler, Brandon Wee Drop o Mischief, Brains SA Gold, plus 4 cider kegs on bar. Looks like DuchyBoy was most unlucky on his visit, you sure you got the right pub DB?
trainman - 9 Mar 2008 16:50
I came expecting a fabulous range of ales after reading the comments on this site. Was faced with a rather boring selection including Fullers, Banks and the inevitable Greene King offering. Nothing wrong with the pub (it's tatty but has a certain charm) and the beer was well-poured but some more exciting offerings on tap wouldn't go amiss.
DuchyBoy - 7 Nov 2007 09:11
Go in - it's scruffy but does the best pint in Colchester. You won't regret it.
pablos13 - 1 Nov 2007 12:30
Certainly is the best Pub I have been to for quality beer and unpretentious surroundings. Run by John Parrick, as ace as his beer and supported by his wife who I trained with back in the 1980's. Pity I only drink coffee these days, gettin' old!
Norelle - 1 Nov 2007 11:15
Should I try this place? It looks a mess from outside, but locals have told me it serves a meen ale.
beerbarber - 28 Oct 2007 01:15
Harsh anonymous 27/07/2007

What would be wrong with that anyway?
I'd like to see a wireless get in there or a ringing mobile..Or worse get answered. Nothing wrong with some rules.

This is a proper pub for real drinkers.

At least you can still rely on this pub to provide a constant dark ale....unlike the overweight moggy (F/C) where twice none have been available on my visits.

Good to see John the landlord back on fine form tonight.

This was Colchester's first major real ale pub and its definitely still in the premier league.

Dark_Broody_Mild_Lover - 6 Oct 2007 01:06
If you've ever seen BBC1's "Goodnight Sweetheart" then you'll know what I'm on about. I walked in and it was like going back to the 1940's. Vera Lynn was being played on a transister radio, everyone was over 60, got told off for ordering lager and it smelt funny. Surprised I wasn't asked to pay in 'old' money!
anonymous - 27 Jul 2007 13:27
I found that the inside of the pub was a bit smelly, but I went and sat outside anyway! The ales were superb, and so nice to see proper ciders in a pub! No music unfortunately, but good friendly conversation in abundance!
Yevad - 26 Jul 2007 10:23
Always a good choice here for whatever your ale needs (light/amber/dark). Usually at least one of each and 2 or 3 real ciders. I think it is a much nicer place now in these smoke free times. There is a beer garden if you do however fancy one.

Love_good_ale - 25 Jul 2007 00:13
This is great to see. I spent my university years in Colchester and this was a great pub then (around 20 years ago, in the days when Tolly Cobbold had a few very good pubs in the Colchester/Wivenhoe area.))

Glad to see it remains on good form.

Will be back one day............
Norealaleinorpington - 3 Jul 2007 15:59
Still the best pub in Colchester. The beer quality is second to none(including the Balck Cat)
anonymous - 15 Apr 2007 17:08
This is, without doubt, the best pub in Colchester! I frequented it between 1989-1996 and met many gr8 people, John Parrot being one of them. Murdo
murdomacleod - 12 Feb 2007 22:31
One of the best pubs I have ever been too loads of choice, and great atmosphere. The only downside is that its hard to find.
Lazmac - 27 Nov 2006 23:48
Top Top Pub!

Found this gem of a pub by accident about 5 years ago and fell in love with it straight away. John the landlord has lots of strange rules but they all go to making this pub so unique and the best in Colchester. The best bunch of characters you will find in Essex.
I moved away from Colchester in the summer and miss it like crazy.

If you are in the pub at anytime, pass my regards to Paul the busker who will be found propping up the bar most evenings...

MrGillyboy - 20 Nov 2006 18:21
This pub is frankly what real drinking is all about and is an absolute joy.If there is a finer place in the whole of Essex i will be extremely suprised.Quality ales drunk by real people in proper surroundings and to tamper with this place would be a crime.
we have lost too many of these pubs lets not lose this one.
saintsforever - 29 Oct 2006 14:19
I think I first visited this pub in 1984 but I can't be sure. It has changed very little since and that is, in my opinion, a very powerful thing. In the intevening period Colchester has seen the onslaught of the chain-pub-circuit, binge-drinking culture that has overtaken so many British town centres but the Oddie remains a haven for those that like a quiet drink and a chat. Beer choice and quality are excellent and although the decor does polarise opinion it defines the place and what it stands for.
oxo - 28 Oct 2006 02:11
The decor for this pub is the charm . Fantastic range of ales plus , if I'm not mistaken , the only ColU venue that offers Red Stripe on draught !! Do pop in2 the men's loos ... as I dare any1 to have a number two , as the trap is partially encased in glass/window panelling !!! MMMMMMmmmm
tortoise68 - 27 Sep 2006 13:20
Would have to say that in my opinion the Jurys still out regarding the Oddy.

Ive recently been of the opinion that this pub has gone very much downhill, certainly in regards to its beer quality.

Dcor is definitely tired at best some, I guess, would call it quaint.

This long established Colchester Freehouse will have to try VERY hard if it is to fight off competition from the New kid on the Block Fat Cat, recently opened in Butt Road.

Having visited the FC, I know which one I prefer!
BlueArmy0 - 14 Sep 2006 01:29
I regret only one thing with this pub and that's that, at the end of the day, I'll have to get in my car and go home.

I think one day I'll have to come to Colchester by train just so I can stay all day!

A perfect pub.
Biggles - 24 Aug 2006 10:15
When ever sit down with friends and think of all the fine or not so fine pubs i have ever had a drink in, we always come back to this. It is unchangeing in its appearence, and the quality of its beer. A perfect place to have a pint.
anonymous - 23 Aug 2006 17:03
A lovely old fashioned pub where time seems to have stood still. Half a dozen or so ales in excellent condition plus several real ciders. I intended to have one or two before moving on to some other pubs closer to the station, but it felt so comfortable with locals chatting and making me welcome that I stayed until it was time for my train.
Rich66 - 20 Aug 2006 11:20
This pub was my regular for over 10 years, even though I lived 8 miles away. The choice of beer in Colchester is second to none, and the quality is usually very good. People are usually friendly. Treat the tatty decor as part of the charm!
nobbynobnob - 12 Jun 2006 17:12
Is a good pub but omg please sort the gas thing out, was afraid to smoke unless the whole place blew up!! Was a year or so ago though so apologies if it has been sorted John. Lovely barmaid too.
jojo85 - 2 May 2006 14:14
Brilliant pub for an ale-drinker such as myself, a wide range of good ales, regional ciders, and so on. Very nice. A welcoming feel to the place, with nice staff, a range of papers, and no music.

sleb - 11 Apr 2006 15:35
Quite simply the best real ale pub for miles.
Please keep away as I want it all to myself
anonymous - 11 Dec 2005 21:31
Unbeatable for good bitter, conversation and atmosphere. No music or distractions apart from a huge selection of newspapers and magazines, friendly staff and a complete lack of 'attitude'. If this is what the 1950s were like, great shame that they've gone from other pubs.
pablos13 - 6 Aug 2005 14:25
Top ale Pub which does have a dated feel about it inside. However the beer is excellent and the welcome friendly. It's also far enough from the town centre to keep its character rather than been just another crummy town boozer.
ahscum - 30 May 2005 13:56
Excellent ales and a proper pub. John the landlord knows how to keep and serve his beer. It has a good atmosphere and friendly staff and clientele.
smurfy33 - 8 Oct 2004 15:56
The best pub in Colchester for real ale.

Basic pub, A1 beer, More bottles of Whisky than I have ever seen in one room.
richard Morley - 1 Sep 2004 14:27
This pub is like stepping into the past, the 1950's or so. Excellent range of ales, no juke box, no pub food, no mobile phones, no tv, no swearing. It has been voted as CAMRA's pub of the year too many times it is getting embarassing for them. It is Colchester's best kept secret for old boys with flat caps. Definitely not for the party animals or yobs.
sdapeze - - 27 Aug 2003 16:23
This pub is fantastic with the best-kept ale in miles. No food and no frills, just excellent beer. Not one for party animals though...
Nick Allen - 20 Jun 2003 16:48

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