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Traquair House Ale - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

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913 Ratings

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Ratings: 913
Reviews: 582
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 114
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
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.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 913 | Reviews: 582 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LairdChisholm
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an opaque chestnut brown color. There is a small, off white head that has sub par retention. Despite this, there is more significant lacing than I would expect. There is also a good amount of carbonation fizzing to the top.

S - There are sweet malts, hazel nut, and caramel. Maybe a little bit of maple too. Very nice, but it would be nicer if it was stronger.

T - I might be crazy, but i feel like this Ale keeps changing on me. At first, I thought there was some hazel nut and vanilla and that was it. But now, as I continue to sip on this ale more, the more complex it gets. Now, there is still notes of vanilla, and hazel nut behind a heavy malt back bone, but there is also, figs, grapes, and plum and caramel. There is also a chocolate after taste with some caramel and butterscotch . The only things that makes this taste a wee less than perfect is that the flavors could just a wee bit more pronounced.

M - Wonderful amount of carbonation. A wee bit too watery though, other than that it is perfect.

D - Easiest Scotch Ale to drink ever. Enough said.

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

Poured into a goblet. Brewed in the oldest inhabited house in Scotland? That is impressive.

Pours with minimal head, this beer looks thick. What head is present is off-white and fades away to a ring around the glass. Body is dark crimson with shades of tobacco brown showing, depending on the light. Some lacing despite the minimalistic head.

Smells of rich complex toasted and roasted malts. Caramelized sugars pair with withered tea-like hops to crown the head of malts. Complex, roasty, and inviting.

Slightly burnt caramel drizzled over roasted malts served garnished with whole grain toast and black tea bitterness. This taste is rich. The malts are strong and assertive, but somehow remain subtle. Traquair House Ale is never in you face, but has a strong current of flavors. Withered hops keep things in balance, and add a drying character that propels this Scotch Ale past much of the competition.

As full bodied as it can be without being syrupy. Wonderful, though this heavy mouthfeel is kept in check by a little carbonation bite that prickles nicely. Needless to say this is a very drinkable ale.

Conclusion: I expected greatness and was not disappointed. This is a great Scottish beer. I backpacked 95 miles in the highlands of Scotland when I was 16 and drank my first beer on that trip. Become of that experience my love for beer is connected with my love for Scotland, and this ale brings the two together in a lovely way. Drink this if you haven't yet.

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

A - Poured a brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt thats a little smokey with some dark fruit

T - Like the smell starts off sweet then the dark fruit comes out ends with a nice smokey finish

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is quite possibly the best Scotch Ale that I've had so far its excellent taste makes this one very easy to drink worth hunting down to give a try sometime

Photo of chinchill
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2? oz. bottle served (3x) in 6oz. glass

A - dark, slightly reddish, amber

S. slightly smokey, but much less so than many Scottish ales.

M - a bit lighter than suggested by the appearance.

Tasty, interesting, and highly drinkable.

Outstanding! A must try ale from a small Scottich brewery.

Photo of GilGarp
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle served cool into a globe glass.

Deep dark red color with good clarity evident on the pour. No head so no lace.

Aroma is sweet and smokey, a little fruity and earthy.

Flavor is rich and robust. Fruit, peat, caramel malts, and mild roasty qualities.

Mouthfeel is smooth, low in carbonation, and warms as it goes down.

Overall a very enjoyable Scotch Ale. Recommended.

Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are very sweet and malty. Burnt brown sugar and a hint of molasses and dried fruit.

Wow this tastes great. Great sweet alcohol blended with dark sugars. Raisins and figs support the fruit taste. Sweet and malty with dark sugars. Nice complexity and rich flavor.

This beer is so so smooth and so silky, this beer is a wonder on the palate. The alcohol is warming and lovely. This one is meant to be sipped, savored and enjoyed thoroughly. One will do and each sip is better then the next. Well worth the expenditure and should be searched out. Top 5 Scottish style ales I have ever had hands down.

Photo of velosuds
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a too damn small 330ml (11.2oz) bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at John's Market for $5.99.

A-Pours a gorgeous deep amber/dark mahogany, almost brown with about a one finger cream colored head. Lacing is disappointingly absent.

S-Butterscotch or caramelized brown sugar and fruity malts with a slight hop profile. Alcohol is also an inviting aromatic presence.

T-Malty with a hint of raisins, figs, and the warming taste of alcohol. Almost makes want to wear a kilt. Taste definitely reveals its complexities as it warms. The bottle is just too damn small, and expensive. But this tastes wonderful.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. A definite sipper.

D-Very nice for the wee heavy style. Wish it were more affordable. I like SkullSplitter better since it is much better priced.

Photo of Zimbo
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an adult's drink. It isn't some indulged adolescent Triple Imperial 360 Minute IPA repeatedly kicking you in the head for your attention.
Sadly,Traquair House Ale is often misunderstood by an impatient, unfocused and witless palate which misses its compexity and subtlety. Best to sample it over the long haul after multiple tastings before boking out any rash judgements and making an arse of yourself.

Restrained yet rich, deep brown and earthy with hints of caramel and wood all combine to make a seemless beer worthy of contemplation. Nothing else survives today which so denonstrates Sandy Hunter's capacity, vision and genius.

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

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter type of glass. Body is dark, dark brown - crimson when backlit - with a small tan head. No real lace.

S: Roasted malt and fruity sweetness, with more fruit becoming evident as it warms (also a touch of peat smoke as it warms, though I could've been imagining that given the power of suggestion; this is a Scotch Ale, after all). Touch of alcohol too - rum, I think.

T: Dark fruit - figs, raisins and plums. Slightly burnt toast. Finishes clean with a hint of lingering smoke and a mild drying bitterness that doesn't overwhelm, but rather provides nice balance to the malty sweetness. At times I'm reminded of birch beer. Slight warming is felt in the belly.

M: Medium-bodied in heft, though lighter on the finish than expected.

D: Very good. At $6 a bottle (small bottle) I won't be buying this regularly, but it was definitely worth trying.

Photo of mlazzaro
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle

A - Really interesting color. Dark transparent cherry brown, below a cream colored, frothy head.

S - Boozie aroma. Some caramel malt notes.

T - Smooth. Definitely a little boozie in the mouthfeel. I taste some scotch flavors; either from Scotch barrels or from the peat naturally in water of Scotland. My palate wasn't used to this beer at first. I didn't know what to think of it. It does seem to get better as you drink on. I'm quite enjoy it towards the end of my glass. Also I am picking up some smoked malt flavors, maybe cherry smoked malt. Complex beer, good stuff.

M+D - I couldn't drink it all night, but it's an interesting brew. Worth trying if you like smoked strong ales.

a unique scotchie brown ale

Photo of hustlesworth
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- deep dark red with garnet highlights, looks black from afar. head is incredibly dense and creamy and fizzles loudly like a belgian. not much lace though until i give it a swirl. even after that nothing sticks and foam recedes to a thin, albeit dense, ring.

S- nose is all at once amazing. soft and nutty,sweet and fruity. caramel, toffee, praline, hazelnut, pecan, and peach pit, raisin, fig, date, apricot, mango, banana, all on the sweeter less dry side. big melon and toffee aromas, namely cantaloupe and skor bar, vanilla, and creamy milk chocolate covered marshmallow. brown sugar, cedar, sandalwood, roses, daffodil, raisin and black grape. one intensely multi-faceted and complex aroma right here.

T- sublime malt profile, sweet and milk chocolate with a touch of cappuccino, raisin, prune, date, and fig. a little peaty-ness is evident but not enough to call this one smokey. fine by me. some smokiness does appear in the aftertaste. earthy hop presence glides over damp bark and soil malt flavors. tastes like the woods after a good rain. all the fruity notes from the aroma all culminated into a bundle of malty perfection. tastes like lilies covered in brown sugar syrup. some oaky characteristics, but creamy vanilla and sandalwood override any barrel undertones. this tastes... so good i wish i could give it a 6. i picture falling leaves and moist scottish hillsides and a glimmer of sunshine barely peeking through the clouds. there's an herbal savory/tart flavor that makes itself known near the finish, which is dry and woody and nutty and earthy and perfectly balanced. dried fruit favor and english hops linger on the palate for quite some time with a hint of floral and pineapple alcohol.

MF- tight zesty carbonation helps accentuate its juicy european body. finely milled grainy feel, very substantial and more than satisfactory. leaves my cheeks feeling like apple juice and wood, very pleasurable and sippy.

D- so very glad i found this ale and worth way more than the $4.75usd i paid for it. i could have paid double that and still been happy. every aspect of this beer is so magnificent that i feel bad giving the look such a respectively low score over something as meager as retention and lace, but it is what it is. this here is perfection in a thistle glass. i could drink this brew in indefinite quantities and i could get a case from my distributor tomorrow and chug pints and not feel a penny's worth of shame for it. pencils down, test complete, the best scotch ale in the land of the world and the earth and all the universe because i'm certain that extraterrestrials don't wear kilts, let alone comprehend the art of brewing such a fine, fine ale. laddy.

Photo of Long813
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best Before: Dec 2017
From: Premier Wine & Spirits

A: Dark brown body with very little off white head. Lacing is minimal.

S: Caramel, sugar maybe some notes of vanilla. Pretty mellow aroma with obvious alcohol notes.

T: Roasted malts, caramel and brown sugar. It's alright, but nothing spectacular.

M: Medium bodied and low carbonation. The texture is watery and the aftertaste consists of sugar. Alcohol comes through quite a bit.

D: Decent brew, but not that amazing. Can't wait to try out the other one.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.32/5  rDev -20.6%
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
4.16/5  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
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
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
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
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
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
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
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
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
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
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
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
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
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
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
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 913 ratings.