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Traquair House Ale - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

592 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 592
Hads: 981
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 130
Gots: 86 | 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 (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Traquair House Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 592 | Hads: 981
Photo of StaveHooks
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Best by Jun 2018
500ml served in a snifter

A - Pours a very dark brown, with a small beige head.

S - Rustic caramel malt, burnt toffee, charred apples, earthy peat, deep sorghum molasses, cocoa, smoked malts, the caramel malt runs from front to back.

T - Charred caramel malt, rugged smoked tea-like bitterness, chocolate, molasses, plum fruit, burnt cereal grain, finishes smoky and bitter.

M - Incredibly smooth, full body, perfect amount of carbonation.

Dense malt profile, smokey, charred, bittersweet flavors meld with an almost perfect mouthfeel. Good drinker for a February evening.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle (2002 vintagE) served into a Samuel Smith's nonic at a tasting. 8.5% ABV. Expectations were high given its reputation. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a beige ring/floater but no head at all. Body colour is a caramel-biscuit/beautiful copper. Rich and inviting. Truly appealing.

Sm: Wood, biscuit, and heavy heavy malts. Vinegar. Boozy heat. Heavy caramel. Hints of oxidation. A unique, striking aroma. Quite strong, with evidence of poor aging.

T: Oxidation, raisin, malty sweetness, graham cracker, wood, caramel, and candi character. Very striking and unique. Time has refined it, but it's not at all at ideal age; it's been cellaring far far too long. Has some troublesome off flavours, but also some masterful ones.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and nicely thick. Carbonation holds up even after ten years. Surprisingly well put together for its age.

Dr: Drinkable but well past prime. I'd like to try it far younger; maybe at three years. Aging past five years seems like a terrible idea. I'll have to revisit this one, but there are buried elements that really strike me.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a clear honey brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down either. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of draheim
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330mL into a snifter. Pours a clear brown color w/ a thin head that dissipates to a collar.

Aroma is semi-sweet and malty with a trace of mineral. Subtle dark fruit.

Taste is fruity and subtly sweet, tempered by a hard mineral quality I can attribute only to the water. Figs, dates, raisins, toffee. Exquisite balance.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a dry, clean finish.

Overall a rock-solid beer. There's nothing flashy or showy about it, but the more time you spend with it the more you realize that it has an understated elegance. I think the key that holds everything together is the water.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A half finger of light tan head on a brown/reddish colored body.
The aroma is caramel malt and oak. It's deeper than just those two scents.
The texture is crisp, which balances the wood and caramel malt flavors. A moderate bitterness also plays against the malt to produce a balanced and nicely complex ale. Lower carbonation and medium body.
An enjoyable ale with better than normal complexity and depth.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this from the bottle into a tulip style glass. The resulting foam from the pour was about a finger and a half. The foam was pretty sticky, which lead to some decent lacing on the side of the glass. The House Ale is very dark brown; very hard to see through.

The nose off of this one is pretty minimal. I get decent nuttiness and oak off the top.

This beer is surprisingly easy to drink. I saw that this could be aged until 2018, and I thought that the beer would be thick and challenging. The body isn't thin, but it feels like a porter in texture.

In the body I got a decent amount of malt. You get more of the oak, and there is a decent presence of english hops. There is good balance to this beer.

Overall a pretty good wee heavy. This one is not nearly as over powering as most.

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Photo of Enthusiast
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was pretty dark, and the head was very thick. It almost reminded me, visually, of a stout. The head wasn’t as pronounced as a Guinness, but still pretty impressive for an ale.

This beer has tons of flavor, and a complexity that you don’t typically see. The oak barrel’s influence is obvious and appreciated. It doesn’t hit you in the face, but is more of a trailing flavor that keeps you thinking about it as you contemplate your next sip.

I found this ale to be fairly sweet, and it reminded me of a Newcastle Brown. In fact, I’d say it was one of the sweeter beers I’ve had in awhile. I may have been avoiding them, but upon review, I shouldn’t.


I truly enjoyed every drop of this elixir. I don’t remember having an Ale that was aged in oak barrels, and if you’re wondering if it makes a difference, it does. The trailing oak flavor was a perfect compliment for a cool evening in a warm bar, and I look forward to an opportunity to try it again in the near future. I strongly recommend giving this a try.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 3floyds tapered glass. Label says BB JUN 2018.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a solid sheet of surface foam. Full ring of sticky lacing.

S- Notes of mocha, caramel and a hint of booze.

T- Starts off with some roasted malt and a bit of oak, then moves into some alcohol and hop bitterness before ending with a slightly metallic flavor. Everything is well-balanced and smooth which almost results in a neutrality of flavor but, once multiple sips are taken easily, the beer's character comes through loud and clear.

M- Creamy and semi-thick. Medium-full body and medium carbonation.

O- This is quite wonderful. Pricey but mostly worth it due to the high drinkability. Traquair continues to be solid in my book.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, this really isn't a style that I'm a big fan of. That said, this is a tasty beverage.

A: Pours a murky almost pond scum like brown color with a thin light brown head. Not the best color in the world, but once it's in the glass, becomes a deep mahogany color that looks a lot better.

S: Probably the best thing about this beer. A rich and complex dark fruit aroma. Fig jam, toffee, black raisins, light butterscotch, fruitcake and golden raisin. Really nice.

T: Opens with a modest dark fruit flavor and a touch of booze. Toasted oak, a faint peatiness, raisin and some faint burnt brown sugar. Finish leaves just a trace of warmth with a touch of oak. Alongside Dieu du Ciel's Equinoxe du Printemps, one of the best scotch ales I've had.

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Photo of endovelico
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let me say first and foremost, this is not a particularly unique or complex beer.

Don't get me wrong! It will definitely challenge your palate and depending on your sensitivity to given aromatic compounds and Qualia you might get anything from caramel, raisins, honey and peat to darker fuller flavors such as ripe grapes, chocolate, cherry, anise and even some ash (On the nose or tongue).

My problems with it, is that it lack the boldness and fullness you get from other beers of the style (the almost candy-ish and boozy notes) and the lack of depth, as it feels like you're having a beer that can't get itself to develop expression as it warms up and gets oxygenated. Having said that however, this beer is still a treat on the tongue, standing out as challenging, elegant, and most importantly extremely sessionable.

Finally and what I've yet to mention is what makes this beer remarkable. Like I've already hinted at, this beer isn't the best at any particular aspect even within it's own style. This beer does however, carry alot of 'soul'. It might seem like over-romantization, but it's something that i really struggle to put into words. It just feels like it was made with the purpose of capturing a specific frame of existence, and that it somehow perfectly captures it. I personally find it hard not to wonder off to a roadside tavern in the Scottish coastland. It really IS an experience like one of the bros pointed out.

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into nonic

A: dark brown, cola color with striking creamy tan head, seems fairly viscous, little carbonation present int he glass, great lacing

S: dark fruit, cinnamon, bitter chocolate, slightly alcoholic, licorice

T: wow, this is good. char and chocolate blend into a fruity center, cherry like, a bit of a hit of alcohol, then finishes bittersweet with mineral overtones

M: lively with carbonation with a strong dry and tannic finish. this is a no nonsense beer.

O: Excellent, balances the dark and sweet tones in a very grown up manner.

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Photo of frankiepop
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a healthy looking wee heavy Scottish ale. Nice head with a little staying power. But the aroma is something to write home about. A sweet malty strong aroma hits me and tells me I am going to drink something special. I think this smell is the best part of this brew.

A low carbonation delivers a slow rich smoooth beer that lingers on your tongue with a not too sweet caramel malty flavors. One of the best in its genre.

Drink this beer to John Cage's Finnegan's Wake as i write this on what is John's 100 birthday? Wow. Sleep well my dear departed sweet man.

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Photo of Mediczod
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an outstanding Scotch Ale. Dark amber, head fades fast. Smells of malt, peat, toffee and scotch. Lightly bitter with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Very smooth. One of the better Scotch Ales out there. I hesitated at spending $7.25 for a bottle of it, but it was worth every penny. I'm buying this one again!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a cloudy dark mahogany amber. Thin, meduim tan head with good retention and lacing. Nice aroma of caramel, dark dried fruit, light vanilla; earthy. Flavor follows with well integrated caramel malt, toffee, dark dried fruit, light vanilla and a hint of smoke and mustiness. An unexpectedly dry finish and somewhat more subdued flavor than I expected, but nicely balanced and pleasant. Medium bodied, but has a light creaminess that gives an excellent mout feel. A very nice scotch ale from a great traditional brewer.

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Photo of bump8628
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not many good Scotch Ales available here, but this one of them. Pours mahogany with a thin, loose ecru head. Rich caramel and toffee, subtle mustiness like mossy decomposing wood, nice spicy oak note, vanilla and toasted nuts. Balanced bitterness, with an earthy hop flavor, slightly metallic mineral note on the finish. This is a relatively young bottle and is already super mellow. I like the new 500ml format as opposed to the old 330ml bottles.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle bought at Bottle Revolution a while back. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: Very dark amber-ruby-brown. Off white head that mostly fades quickly, but leaves a bit floating on top. Just some spots of lacing.

Smell: Rich and malty with lots of caramel and raisin aromas. A little smoke and earth. Tiny hint of cinnamon? Complex.

Taste: As with the aroma, very nice malty flavors. A bit more peat and smoke in the taste, as well as some alcohol-- more than expected for a 7% beer. The alcohol at the end washes away some of the malty finish, which is a shame. Some roasty bitterness at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Really only medium, as the alcohol flavor makes it finish a bit too clean and dry.

Overall: A very good wee heavy. As above, a bit too much alcohol flavor-- burns like a 9 or 10% beer. Nice complexity of aroma and flavor.

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3.04/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle. Snifter glass. Enjoyed on agt´12. Dark brown in color. Light beige head shows not much retention. Yeast, floral & herbal fragrances, caramel & toasted malt aromas & hints of anise to the nose. Gentle warming alcohol at firs sip rounded by toasted flavor. Medium body. Moderate to high carbonation. Oily to watery texture. Dark fruits in the middle, slightly chocolate touch & subtle anise notes. Dry malty finish. Sweet & alcoholic aftertaste.

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Photo of sommersb
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 08-24-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 330ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Thistle
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Appearance: Big tan head sits on this dark, red-brown and clear beer. Both head retention and lacing are good.

Smell: Aromas are quite complex and have a definite wow-factor! Cherries, wood/oak, whiskey, caramels, toffee, dark fruits and licorice all come to mind. A delight to smell...

Taste: Very malty and of dark breads, plus woody notes, vanilla, smoke and tobacco. Light and earthy bitterness is present as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth-drinking with moderate carbonation levels. The body is between medium and full, with an aftertaste that is lightly sweet and bready, with a slight sour aspect, such as with rye bread.

Overall an excellent beer; a rich nightcap with a warming alcohol affect.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber to brown color forming a thin but persistent white to yellow head. Few lacings left in he glass

S: Mainly sweet and roasted. Notes of toffee, dark chocolate, caramel malts, dark fruit esters, mainly raisins. Sweet grains

T: Rich taste. Again, a sweet toffee and roasted upfront with notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, wood, burned toffee. Excellent rosted bitterness

M: Medium bodied. Molasses. Medium to low carbonation. Toffee and roasted bitterness in the aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Complex. Great Scottish Ale

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Photo of pkalix
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. beautiful dark ruby, garnet with little lacing, but toffee smell. one of my all time favorites and after the chimay blue and duvel, it brings an awesome balance to my tatsebuds. the website says it's a 'winter ale' but it tastes great in the summer warm. a good scotch on the side almost sounds very complimentary... i'm a happy man tonight!!!

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep garnet with clingy creamy vellum head that fades fast.
Whiskey barrel, dates, smoked meat, and soil - deep nose.
Cocoa, rum cake, fig jam with touches of toffee and treacle and a hint of smoke and a touch of sherry (vanilla) with no real hops other than balancing bitterness.
Apple compote ending and rugelach (dark fruit, spice, pastry) ending.
Medium, silky smooth, some clingy sugars but surprisingly light overall.

This has been in the cellar 3 years - one the of first from when I started collecting beers, in fact - and patience means this is like sipping satin, approaching Trappist Quad levels of smoothness. Nothing sharp about it, no burn, everything perfectly melded. No exaggeration to say it drinks like a port, in depth, feel and flavor profile. So very worth the wait.

Deeper, smoother, more complex and drier than Jacobite.

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Photo of Cheesebubble
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma of this beer is intriguing, as it suggests a blend of many flavours at work. An interesting, somewhat complex taste. Noticed the hint of raisin that others mentioned in the flavour. A pleasant surprise that goes down quite nicely. A good, smooth scotch ale (and no overt alcohol taste which is appreciated).

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Photo of heygeebee
3.16/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany. One finger head dies to film, with no real lace,

Moderate Aromas - roast malts, dark chocolate with hops in mix

Taste is less assertive, somewhat watery, roast malts. Smoke elements roast/burnt toffee.

Mouthfeel light, almost too light

Overall ok - however must also admit - not my given preferred style. Have tried to review objectively but find difficult.

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Photo of beergoot
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/mahogany red color with a thin bone-white head.

Great roasted malt aroma; hints of currants and fermented raisins; molasses, caramel, and toffee; gentle roasted grains...

Rich, sweet taste. Very robust; emphasis on the caramel sweetness. Excellent bitterness sneaks up for the finish, providing a wonderful, lingering counterpoint to the malt sugars.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel; sweet and clean.

A very clean, robust tasting dark ale. Well-balanced with excellent depth, complexity, and richness to satisfy a wide-range of dark ale aficionados. Highly recommended.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish in color with a tan like head. In the aroma, roasty, notes of chocolate and a small earth and alcohol. In the taste, a small roast, earthy, and a small alcohol bite. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry earth and alcohol in the aftertaste. This was the beer that changed my life and I cannot believe it took me this long to review it!

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Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.