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Traquair House Ale - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

901 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 901
Reviews: 577
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 114
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-07-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 901 | Reviews: 577 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donniecuffs
3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ. Poured a reddish-mahogany hue, with a small off-white head, poor retention, and modest lacing. Smell very malty sweet, with some hints of dark fruit/raisin and toast. The taste confirmed a very sweet, malty, dark fruit-oriented flavor, with a modest toastiness and a sweet finish. Non-carbonated, full-bodied feel. The excessive sweetness combined with the syrup-like texture was a little overpowering for me.

Photo of gfreed
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at The Publick House, Brookline, MA. Coca-cola hues with a thin head (the beer, not the pub) and surprisingly little aroma. I pulled hard and found some butterscotch, leather, malt and vanilla. Not much smoke in either the smell or the taste; I could have used a bit more, frankly. Ditto the malt: I knew it was in there, but for some reason it just seemed diminished. Letting it warm solved most of these problems; still, I would have liked a bit more smoke and malt. Warming also brought out plenty of molasses. Definitely a sipper, this lands near the top of my Scotch Ale list.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The store I bought this from, Martin's Liquors in Mt. Laurel, NJ, has had this in stock for a few years. It may be the same bottles, since they had a good dusting present. My guess, and I can't be sure, nor do I believe any of the staff there would have a clue, is that the bottles may be as little as a year old and possibly up to three or four years old.

That said, this ale is more or less the standard by which I measure other Scotch Ales. I find American versions tend to have a bolder, weightier feel to them. Which is fine as most are pretty enjoyable. This beer, however, has a mellower, refined, regal quality to it. Expert craftsmanship.

The head isn't terribly thick, maybe a 1/4". The beer generally sits rather still with a few tiny bubbles springing up round the edges. Deep rusty copper color - whiskey-like.

Don't expect a big, generously-hopped, thick malty ale. Medium-bodied at the extreme. Drinks dangerously clean. Has a smooth, barrel-aged feel to it, similar to cask. Alcohol is nearly undetectable at any stage. Malt, caramel, and a vague brandy fruitiness are all well-balanced and extremely subtle.

Top 3 most drinkable beers I've experienced. Curse the fact it's around $6 a 11.2.

Photo of blakereik
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For me this is he pinnacle scotch ale that is readily brewed. I have had some limited brews that I enjoyed more, but this is what you will find in my fridge on a regular visit. I still favor the Belgian ales over Scot, but would never turn this ale down.

Photo of drabmuh
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is dark brown and forms a thin light brown head that break and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer is sweet smelling with nice caramel notes to the whole thing. Aroma level is appropriate and it smells good.

Beer is really creamy, very nice. Good caramel notes in the mid and late palate. Finishes completely cleanly. Beer has a medium body and some early sweet notes but its not a super malty beer. Bitterness is really low but that's expected. A really really good beer. I'm so glad I picked these up finally. I would highly recommend it and I'm trying it side by side with the Jacobite and am quite excited about that now.

Photo of Radome
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep, deep reddish-brown color. Head is tan and made of large bubbles with a slightly oily appearance.

S - A very earthy, rich malt aroma with hints of wood and butterscotch. Extremely complex.

T - Taste is also rich and earthy and all about the malt. It is unexpectedly dry, with a lack of the sweetness that I expected from the aroma. There is no sourness, but the finish is an earthy taste reminiscent of mushrooms or even soy sauce, like I have found in some poorly aged barley wines (perhaps this sample is older than is good for the beer). The alcohol is well-hidden. I don't get any roastiness.

M - Fairly thin, which enhances the drinkability. Carbonation is light, as expected for a Scottish style.

D - A good beer, but not my favorite Wee Heavy. The earthy flavors dominate the experience for me. I'd prefer a cleaner malt taste and maybe a bit of smoke, but this character is totally different.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 18 Aug 2007.

Medium sized fluffy tan head. Opaque drak chocolate brown color. Strong aroma of green bananas and cherries. Sweet cherries and toasted bread. Bready sweet and somewhat warming. Fairly flat. Surprisingly light body. Easy to drink.

A liked this a lot better than I did.

Photo of bobsy
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle given to me by Fred at Mondial - cheers!

Light mahogany pour with just under a finger of off-white head that has decent retention and lacing. Smoky, peat-like aroma, with a touch of caramel and fruit. Not as sweet as I expected for a scotch ale, and far more drinkable for it. Smooth peat flavours, with a good smoked earth feel to them. This is complimented by caramel, mild fruit and a hint of wood. There's very limited hop presence, and the alcohol is nowhere to be seen. Medium body and carbonation work well.

I found this to be a decent beer, but also a little underwhelming considering its ranked in the top 10 for its style. The flavours were pleasant, but I wouldn't mind a little more intensity to them to push this to the next level. However, I was impressed with the drinkability of this one, which was far higher than any other scotch ale I've come across, and the alcohol is skillfully hidden. Decent stuff, and worth the shot, even if its not mind-blowing.

Photo of trevorjn06
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ale pours dark reddish coffee flavor. There is a thin layer of foam on the surface.

The aroma is rich with caramel and toffee and a hint of woodiness. There is a nuttiness and a slight mineral smell as well.

Flavor is rich, and follows the nose at first. There is sweet caramel and toffee though the taste is much drier than I expected, not quite as sweet. There is an earthy taste as well, could be a bit from hops but also from the brewing process I assume. The finish is slightly sweet with a bit of a mineral/metallic flavor in there. The hop bitterness is slight and comes through more as the beer exits.

Mouthfeel is medium, moderate carbonation.

Overall this beer is pretty good, rich and fairly complex. The finish leaves something to be desired however, it's a bit thin and doesn't reflect the beer well. It is very drinkable and goes down quite smooth.

Photo of jpittman80
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear dark reddish brown. Very little head from the pour, even though I tried. It fades quickly.

S - Not getting much. Maybe a little sourness? Maybe soured malts? Also, something like oak barrel. I have no idea if this is aged in oak.

T - That sour note is definitely in there. Caramel maltiness. The oak bite is there too, in the back of the tongue. Dries out nicely with minimal hops.

M - Pretty good carbonation, medium bodied. Dry finish bordering on astringent.

D - I'll get through the bottle easily enough, but I won't be craving another... maybe another Jacobite! That blows this out of the water.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml (?) bottle. top of neck is printed with: L8072 07:20

tasted in early/mid-june 2009. poured into tulip glass.

dark brown w/ dark, ruby red tint, esp. under the light. minimal sediment. 2-finger tan head, almost creamy on top. recedes to wisps and ring, some of it sudsy. decent lacing, tho at times splotchy and thin.

aroma: dark caramel maltiness blends w/ fruity cherry (dried and fresh), plum and apple. hint of spice or licorice? whiff of hops, very faint. port or sherry characters.

taste: malty w/ brown sugar notes, but drier than aroma lets on, w/ trace roast note. cheery and apple esters still peek in, before lightly grassy hop gives a mild to moderate bitterness to balance and dry things out, accompanied by light phenols and hints of spice in back.

medium body, with a crispness from phenols and a light astringency towards the finish. mild to moderate carbonation is also quite crisp, w/ light to moderate tingle, but also gives "body".

classic, well-balanced and not over-the-top like many american attempts.

Photo of udubdawg
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a dark sort of orange that borders on brown pours into the glass, topped with a half inch of creams foam. It fades immediately to an uneven cap, but sticks around for a while thereafter. Several medium sized particles have made it into the pour but it is mostly a clear glass.

rich aroma, full of pale/lightly toasty malt, a hint of something darker like roast. There is a sort of dark caramel/toffee I'm assuming is from a long boil of a portion of the wort. No hops noted though I've aged this one a little while. No diacetyl, very light earthiness. I don't recall the vinous aroma perception before but then I've usually not managed to put any age on this stuff before I go through my whole supply - it's sort of prune/fig.

More vinous notes, plenty of (dark) caramelized flavor. Dries slightly on the palate and gives a perception of roasted malt. Again it is a bit earthy, but the fruit is, to me, coming out way more than in my fresher bottles, more prune and some raisin. Not a lot of aftertaste and since it doesn't stick with me I keep drinking it...damn it, after this bottle my "stash" is empty again!

Low carb, medium mouthfeel - I'd like it a touch higher. I have to hide this beer from myself to keep from drinking it.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a tan head. The aroma is alcohol, dark fruit and caramel malt. The flavor is caramel, peet smoke and dark fruit. The beer tastes a lot like a slightly smokey scotch whisky. Medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

Photo of Overlord
2.15/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly ruddy cola brown. Small off-white foam head. Leave some froth on the edges and top of the liquid.

Slight off-malt notes in the aroma. Kind of a bit weird, actually.

Taste is bad. Slightly sickly sweet, rancid malt with an offputting ... spoiled nuts ... ? aftertaste. Really tough getting through once glass of it. Maybe a faint hint of earthiness in the aftertaste. Kind of like dirt.

Bland mouthfeel. Not good.

Photo of levifunk
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - very murky appearance. low carbonation

s - fruity! weird smell actually, super sweet.

t - Raisens/prunes. other than that, somewhat of a thin palate.

m - medium body, so i would have liked it to be a bit heavier, but otherwise good.

o - good. better than the jacobite, but again over priced.

Photo of klikger
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4 oz. pour served in a Port/Lost Abbey taster

A - Crazy - very dark red, extremely cloudy and greying near the top, with a thin transparent layer at the top; no head

S - Brown sugar, raisins, figs, and caramel

T - Very malty, with a touch of white raisins, grapes, and a distinct yeasty element.

M - No carbonation; rather dull

D - I could drink more; it's not overly sweet, which is a good sign for me when drinking this style

I enjoyed this, but I wasn't blown away. For $6, I could buy 4 or 5 Lake Louie Warped Speeds...the economist in me is unsatisfied with this purchase.

Photo of WhiteOak
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Cola brown, just transparent. Very little head, settling to a top clear of foam.

S- A faint, simple, barely perceptible smell of malt with a weak note of dark dried fruit.

T- A one dimensional malt flavor, slightly nutty with fig. Very pleasant but uninspiring.

M,D- One the fuller side of medium bodied, with a nice feel, this House Ale has a good level of drinkability.

Photo of kcstevens
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hardly no head, semi-hard pour in to a challice. Very dark, coca-cola coloring, very little lace.
Nose: peaty, earthy, some fruity notes.
Taste: malty, peaty, and again, some fruity notes
Mouth feel: light on the carbonation, dry, tasty.
Overall: Love this beer, wished I could afford it more often. I sat and drank this, sipped this while sipping on Belvenie Scotch on the rocks, and watching NHL hockey playoffs. Doesn't get better than that.

Photo of Rayek
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a thistle.

A: Very deep copper with nice clarity. A soapy cream cap is fairly short lived as it recedes to a thin film. Leaves tiny bits of lace.

S: Very dark. Caramelized sugars dominate the nose with aromas of molasses, caramel and toffee. A hint of raw earth and tobacco counterbalance the sweetness. Alcohol adds a very mild tingle.

T: Malty is the theme here. The dark sugars from the nose flow into the flavor nicely. Molasses and bittersweet toffee start things out. Bitterness is earthy and has a nice black tea flavor. Gets a touch acidic in the finish.

M: The medium heavy body is dense and chewy, but could stand a little less of the soft, tingling carbonation.

D: Scotch Ale is one of my favorite styles for a reason. I really liked this beer and would happily revisit it.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark brown color with about a half inch off-white head that didn't stick around for too long. However, there's a lot of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is toffee, peat, butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. It tastes like dark fruit (plums), butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, bready malt, and some peat. Good malty aroma and taste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and a bit rich and slick, and has good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good too, it's smooth and easy to drink. Overall I think this is a good brew, and it's a very good Scotch Ale. I'd buy this again for sure.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an impenetrable deep chestnut, although the head is quite small even on a hard pour. Spotty lacing as I make my way down the snifter.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, light caramel, molasses, and hints of diacetyl are what I notice immediately. Everything is well integrated, though a bit lacking in the deeper caramelized malts that I would expect from such a noted Scotch Ale producer.

T: A bit of a letdown after the nose. Not nearly as complex, as a bit of roasted nutty caramel takes over the beer, leaving a bit of lingering bitterness. Hints of butter.

M: Quite thin, especially for the style and alcohol content. This has the mouthfeel of a light Scottish Ale rather than the big boy that it's supposed to be. Fairly low carbonation. Not much of an alcohol bite at all.

D: Quite drinkable given the lack of alcohol presence in the taste, and the general smooth drinkability that comes from a thinner mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown and boggy in the glass, a hard pour yielding a bubbly mass that leaves some hideouts of patchy bubbles and a nice filmy surface rendering a decent spotting of lace.

Aroma is rich and delicious. Intoxicating notes of malt, berries, peat, and caramel. Not too strong, but absolutely what I want out of a scotch ale.

Taste follows with strength and an amazing display of flavor for the style. I've had other scotch ales that were great, but this one is entirely a benchmark, true to form. Full grains with a delicate sweetness of faint berry and sweetened wet grains. A good dose of earthiness renders a slaty mineral quality and more sweet caramel and fertile soil, maybe even the quintessential scottish peat. Dark, firm and round, nostalgia aside, this beer is everything I imagine a scottish ale to embody.

Smooth and medium in body, though stiff and formidable all the same. Drinks well. Not your every day go-to beer for diving into, but this may well be one of my all-time favorite beers, especially for its representation of one of my fondest styles. Lacking little, overdone in nothing, nearly perfect for style by sweetness, balance, malt, and depth.

Photo of movingtrain
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one has been cellaring for three years now, so I thought it was time to give it a shot.

Sample size: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a small snifter.

Pours a dark brownish-red. There's a light cream lacing around the sides of the glass, but not much carbonation contributing to any head retention going on at all.

Upon first whiff, there are some fruity tones...grapes, and a bit of cider. Within that, there are some vanilla notes, chocolate, a touch of smoke, wet wood, and hard candy.

The taste is remarkable...this beer has held up well. Very light on the palate, but full of flavor. Cherry notes, vanilla, caramelized sugars, orchard fruit, and bready malts.

This beer is exceptionally drinkable. It has a light body that is full of flavor. It is a bit on the sweeter side, but not overly fruity. Traquair House Ale seems very well-balanced and is quite delicious.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Traquair House Ale. 11.2 oz. 7.20% ABV

Appearance:
Pours a Coca Cola brown with a thin, quickly disappearing off-white head. I'm not really impressed one way or the other

Aroma:
Caramel, toffee, leather -- smells a bit like old shoe? -- and sweet malts. There's also a hint of spicy alcohol. Despite the description, it is a pleasing sweet smell.

Taste:
Upfront spicy character and a fat and chewy sweet malt. Ripe fruit -- mostly plums and dates -- come forward. Butterscotch, carob, toasted malt, and mocha round out the middle. An interesting collection of spices is emptied on the palate towards the end. As it mingles with some final hop bitterness, it incites a tingling sensation and leaves an herbal aftertaste. As the hop character fades, mellow oaky notes settle. The whole experience is quick, but quite complex. Earthy tones dominate throughout.

Mouthfeel:
Carbonation is low, but it has a good bite at the end. It's full, but not viscous in body.

Drinkability:
Highly drinkable. It's mellow, with an oaky, smokey, earthy undertone that gives it gravity. The fruits and spices impart complexity.

Notes (to self): Try more beer in the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style and re-evaluate the review.

Photo of raoulduke37
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"From the oldest inhabited house in Scotland." Sitting in my tasting glass, it's a beautiful dark brown color contrasted with a foamy cap, resting right on top. This gives off a distinctly doughy, almost cinnamon-bread aroma, subtle yet distinct, like a good bakery. The scotch ale taste is refined. It's very well balanced, with caramel, bready, and raisiny sweetness. Slight hints of roasted coffee as well. This would go well with a cinnamon roll or something sweet and crumbly. Goes down easy, with a slight hop kiss and leaves you wanting more. I was inspired to drink this one from Traquairlover's username. I now understand why he chose that. Can't wait to try the Jacobite sitting in my fridge!

Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.