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Traquair House Ale - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

861 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 861
Reviews: 570
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 107
Gots: 43 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-07-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Traquair House Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 861 | Reviews: 570 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kaimcm
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into snifter

A: deep brown/black body with ruby edges, very creamy off white head. head subsides rather quickly, no stick or lace.

S: rich malt, a touch of booze, carmelized sugar, butterscotch. as the beer warms bright fruit emerges. vinous, ala Port. barbeque, light light smoke.

T/M: soft and creamy body, good carbonation level, a little thin and weak however. lacks some weight and viscosity for a style built around tons of malt. rich malt flavors, a split second of stale/sour notes, sugar, dark fruits like raisons. touches of coffee and even the butterscotch in the nose comes through. some bbq sauce, bbq'ed meat as well. finishes a tad watery and dry with a spot of hops, a one last emergence of the stale notes.

D: enjoyable for sure but for the price a once in a while kind of treat at best.

this is a nice beer, but for the money I am let down. I would like to enjoy it again but dont see myself opting for this often when so much else is available, better, and for less.

kaimcm, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is dark mahogany with a ruby glow. Creamy head is light brown and medium-sized. Retention is somewhat weak. Aroma is of sweet caramelized earthy malt. A touch of English herbal hop rounds out the aroma. Taste is of sweet, toasty malt with a caramelized sugar sweetness. An earthy/nutty malt is also in the mix, especially the finish. Hopping is moderate and has an herbal flavor. This is very flavorful and has a nicely layered taste. However, the overall flavor seems to pale in comparison to many of the glowing reviews I've read for this beer. I'll definently give this another whirl to see if I've missed something.

Gagnonsux, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of carln26
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured brown with mild ruby highlights. It was topped by a creamy off-white head that receded quickly into the glass. The aroma is more complex than I expected. It has dark caramel, toffee, dates. I get a little raisin in this too. Even a yeast character (never found that in a Scottish Ale before). Layers of flavor. A lot of dark caramel, dates, more of the raisin. There is a mild bitterness on the finish. The yeast comes across on the finish too, just a hint of bread dough. This beer is a game changer as far as beers from Scotland are concerned. It really reminds of a Belgian Strong Ale. Smooth, full mouth feel, no heat at all. Very drinkable. By far my favorite Scottish Ale.

carln26, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer a few times, but this is my first time reviewing it. Pours ruby-tinged brown, kind of the color of apple butter, with a small head that dissipates but leaves lacing anyway. The nose is full of sweet smells -- dried fruits like raisins and dates. The palate is full of malty sweetness. The raisins make an appearance, along with a molasses-like tang resting on the very front of the tongue. Mouthfeel is thick and quite substantial, mostly what one would expect from a Scotch Ale. For the style of beer, I'd say this one is pretty drinkable, but ideally this beer is sipped slowly.

I personally love this beer. It's got a great malt profile but isn't grainy like some "malt monsters" out there. Very smooth and enjoyable.

geexploitation, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice 30% head in a pint glass, served 50f. Having spent some time with the asst. brewer during a visit to this historic house a few years ago, I know this beer is brewery-conditioned and pasteurized. I have been told explicity that the beer should last for years in this state, and have owned this bottle for at least 2. This beer is made in one of a couple of large oak tuns, though the brewery conditioning is in metal tanks.

Smell is of 'old bottled beer,' something I have smelt in both bottle-conditioned and not beers that are anywhere from 2-11 years old. some belgians are apparently immune to this but rare is the british ale that does not succumb. Frustrating, I am fairly certain this used to be bottle-conditioned 10+ years ago. The nose does clear up some with time in air.

Taste is very complex and pleasant, this is one of those cases where there are so many different tastes that my brain does not assign words to them. The wood contribution is subtle rather than dominating or overpowering, the beer has become very sweet with time.

I think that it has lost some of the complexity it had when new, but still it is a very creditable example of a traditionally-made ale.

This brewery's products are in general excellent and worth seeking out, cask or bottle, at any opportunity.

dogfooddog, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - dark red with a thick head that doesnt dissipate very quickly to the lace, remains a film frothy on the edges

S - definite malty smell, but also hints of raisins or prunes, kind of a dried sweet fruit smell

T - very smooth, like velvet on your tongue, the raisins taste sweeter than they smell, almost like raisinets (for you foreigners Raisinets are an american candy of chocolate covered raisins) elicited a "Wow!" from both my friend and I

M - what can i say, it was like velvet on my tongue, very smooth, no bitterness or acidity

D - a good dessert, after dinner beer, easily drinkable

sinstaineddemon, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown w/ reddish character. Half-inch light foam cap, minor retention. Aroma of sweet/tangy nuttiness, caramel-like and toasty. Nose is quite weak though. The taste is of brown malt (choc/caramel) with a raisin sweetness. Slightly bitter, and toasty, very dry tasting. Medium thick with average carbonation. Alcohol not overpowering. I wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped, maybe this was a bad bottle??? The sweetness was nice but a bit funky, perhaps stale? Maybe I just don't like this style all that much. It's still worth a try, and even I might have to attempt another bottle...

bennetj17, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tan one finger head over a glowing dark mahogany body. Modest head retention and lalce. Sharp aromas of tart vinous fruit, crystal malt and a hint of smoke. Smooth is considerably more tame, but not less complex. Waves of sweet caramel malt with a background of mild plum and a smoke. Substantial tea-like bitterness. Little to no hop flavor. Medium to full-bodied, low carbonation, warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is soft with a dry finish.

The malt sweetness is nearly dead on for my taste preferences which tend to run on the malty side of things. It is a bit on the sweet side, but no where near levels of Belgian candi sugar derivation. The malt flavor itself is quite complex to boot. A beautifully crafted ale.

Shovelbum, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very interesting beer. Probably the best Scotch Ale I've had. Pours to a dark nutty brown amber color. Quite hazy, but the light still shines through. A nice creamy white head sits atop. Lacing is decent.

The smell is good, but really nothing too special. Lots of sweet caramelized malts with a nice backdrop of hops. There is a little diacetyl, but it's just enough to be pleasant.

The taste is good. Very light butter from the diacetyl, but it actually works quite well with the brew. A light peat and smoke. Very nice caramelized malt flavor. Only a hint of hops.

The mouthfeel seems very smooth, and almost flat. Still quite good though. Feels just right for what it is. Drinkability is good. I've been shying away from some of the beers available at my work since I'm unsure of their age, but this one is still cracking. I'll probably drink it in the future, and I'll definitely recommend to my mother, who loves a good Scotch Ale.

neonbrown82, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Upon decanting, this majestic ale sits in the snifter a shimmering chestnut color, with cherry red highlights. It is incredibly clear. One sense thus blown away, we have four to go.

The nose of this beer is simply out of control. Sweet and sour elements play off one another. The nose seems to share similarities with the "Noble Rot" of a fine Sauternes wine. In another context I might find this sickly sweetness off-putting, but in the Traquair House Ale it is downright captivating. Later in the experience, dark malt and alcohol enter into the picture. Second sense has been wowed.

The palate opens up sweet and fruity, showing dark fruits along with caramel and lightly toasted malt. There is a flash of tartness before bitterness and a touch of roast mingle on the finish. The substantial (though certainly not overpowering) alcohol presence establishes itself in that familiar gut-warming fashion. Three down, two to go.

For all its complexities Traquair House Ale seems to glide right down the throat, leaving enough in the slow fade of the finish to keep you pleased until you take your next sip. It thrills the mouth in the way that such fine, regal beers are wont to do. Four.

Traquair House Ale is a big time winner. It engages, challenges, evolves, and rewards. So what does it sound like? Well by my ear it sounds kind of like the ocean, but that could have just been the snifter... Oh well, four out of five ain't bad.

VoodooBrew, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of rustymoore
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is simply one of the finest ales I have tasted. Pours a murky brown almost black with minimal head and very little lacing. Smells of dry fruits such as fig, raisens and dates. Also strong caramel notes. Has a very pleasently sweet taste but not too sweet as the alcohol taste is just right. Very notable caramel and fruit notes. All around just an excellent brew.

rustymoore, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, barely opaque chestnut with a medium bone-colored head. Aroma is faint, sweet and very malty with some whisky elements. Skirts dangerously close to that all-5's territory but for the nose.

Taste is very malty, but not as sweet as a lot of Scottish ales. Woody flavors, oaky, tastes like it was probably barrel aged. Traces of molasses, some smoke, ashy, a touch of scotch and the barest hint of buttered toffee. Finishes dry with a very faint mild alcohol burn in the afters.

Mouthfeel is extraordinarily smooth, frighteningly smooth, deceptively drinkable. I'm not even a third of the way through the glass and it's already the best Scottish ale I've ever had. If this weren't so blasted expensive (nearly $6 *per* 12-oz bottle), it would be a fridge staple.

assurbanipaul, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of Globetrotter
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in a Moscow grocery store, the bottle is 33cl brown, with a long thin neck covered in dark blue foil and a parchment colored label featuring a Victorian-style house. Ingredients conform to the purity law. Best before December 2014 (!), I opened it on 2/18/06.

Pours a clear caramel color under a thin light beige head that barely musters 1/2 finger, then retreats to film and collar, leaving a smattering of lace spots. Caramel and roasted nut dominate the nose, with lots of barley malt in the background. The mouth is very prickly and quite heavy with syrup. Honey and nuts greet the palate, with some alcohol and a bit of mild dry hops. As it warms, plum and grape also emerge. And the bitterness strengthens. Nice and complex, but one is probably enough.

Globetrotter, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, murky brown, beyond opaque but for mahogany flairs. A finger of off-white head shrinks to a sheen of surface froth. Drips of lacing filigree the inside of the glass.

The aroma is rather subdued, but bears cherry, sherry, berries, and a nutty earthiness. A backdraft of alcohol mingles with a masked sweetness.

Upon tasting, there comes a thick, grounded roasted malt presence that tends wotward sweet, but only briefly, before a tangy, vinous character lays across the tongue. More mellow nuttiness and then a slightly sour doughiness glide through, and then comes a dry but othertwise uneventful finish. It's maybe a tad stodgy...or not...but it's basic, traditional, rich, and damned good.

Bordering closely on heavy bodied, it feels syrupy, though minus any cloying sweetness. It dries and drops away promptly.


It's a glass of stalwart tradition, earthen and staid, rich and graceful, fitted like a well-worn favorite sweater. It's a warm, cozy British friend, easy to enjoy. There's no need for quantity, but the one or two you have are mighty fine in themselves. So, sure, one tonight...and then one another night as well, real soon.

Foxman, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, approaching an opaque almost black color that shows a clear beer as I pour it into my glass. The head is frothy and a light brown color, which dissapears to a ring of foam with a dusting of a light layer on top. The aroma is fairly rich, in a fairly thin way, if that makes any sense. The aroma reminds me of fermented dates, some definite toffee and coffee, and a ligthly sour note that reminds me of tamarind.

The taste of this beer is lightly tart up front, with a rich malt character that has notes of toasted malt, a dry biscuit-like note with lots of rich toffee on top. The taste is quite light up front, which is what I expected. The taste is fairly dry, which seems to accentuate the tart tamarind notes. I really like the malt notes in this beer, they are rich and satisfying despite the beer being light; something that seems to be missed on this side of the pond.

Gueuzedude, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Deep chestnut with just a hint of red. A three inch head rolls and expands from the beer, settling to a thin mat in a few minutes. Lacing is stretchy and spotty.

Smell- Huge, gigantic malts and a blend of leather and fruit... not unlike a well structured Old Ale. Some alcohol strength shows in the aroma. The faintest notes of smoke and beef jerky as it opens up.

Taste- Rich, dark malt flavors slowly give way to sweet, booze soaked fig-like fruits... very big indeed, even for a wee-heavy. The hop bitterness is showcased, mildly, in the finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Relatively quiet in the mouth, even with some gentle swishing the bubbles don't seem to want to emerge. Surprisingly thin as the beer gradually warms, but certainly big in flavor and warmth. A bolder and more full-flavored alternative to some of our more available Scotch Ales.

yelterdow, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I don't know how good this bottle is, it seems to have set there for about a year. Pours a beautiful head that slowly dissapates leaving a little lacing behind. Color is bright and dark amber to brown. Smells very nutty and creamy, very nice. It has a very bready taste and aftertaste. Taste is a little creamy, nutty, and smooth. It has a coffee undertone and a slight hint of smoke. It's also slightly sweet and malty. It has a smooth mouthfeel that's a little watery.

Erdinger2003, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep mahogany crystal clear body with a gentle carbonation. The head is a smooth thick foam of tan with a slight tint of red.

S- The smell of dark toasted malt is slightly sweet with a peat note in the sweetness. There is a faint smoke in the finish that has notes of cherries.

T- The taste of dark malts have some chocolate and earthy notes. The finish has a faint chocolate covered cherries with a smoky note and a little peppery bite. As it warms the cherry notes become more of a sweet oak flavor.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with some creaminess in the texture.

D- This beer really caught me by surprise. It has nice earthy sweet malts with some notes of cherries that really compliment the other flavors.

rhoadsrage, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spiced raisins, dates and a good bit of alcohol and peat in the aroma. Poured rum brown with a sliver of a white head. Molasses-like texture and the flavors of bourbon spiced bread pudding. Very malty and full. The alcohol flavors actually would lead me to believe it was 10% rather than 7.2% but I have noticed many Scottish brews often taste more alcoholic than they actually are. it is kind of the inverse of the Belgian trademark of masking alcohol.

Jredner, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of masikon
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark hue of red, very attractive when held to light as the ruby tones emerge. Head was ok and didn't last long, leaving a ring and some patchwork. Nose was malty and full, a slight hint of fruitiness as well which gave me a strong impression of apples? Taste was unexpectedly clean and pure, full of rich robust maltiness with just barely enough bitterness to balance things out. Alcohol was actually less forward than expected...probably because I am trying this after a Rochefort 10, maybe not the best combination but I couldn't help it. Overall a really nice beer which is deserving of all the acclaim, however as others have said, cost is completely prohibitive for me....over 5 bucks for a 12 oz. bottle. Unfortunately I probably won't have this one again very soon due to the cost although I have no doubt that this is an expensive beer to produce.

masikon, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pilsner.

deep brown cola color with a touch of translucence around the edges. medium off-white head that falls leaving no lacing.

sweet, malty aromas; hints of cinnamon, caramel and bread.

full bodied in the mouth with heavy maltiness. smooth, buttery sweetness with hints of caramel. little carbonation and hops to get in the way, but just enough bitterness to make it very drinkable. alcohol is well-hidden compared to other scotch ales i have tasted.

excellent beer to sip slowly and enjoy. rich and complex enough to rival any belgian ale.

Prufrock, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of hero27
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle. Black foil covering the neck.

Pours a deep reddish-brown. The beige head is modest and too oily to leave much for lace. The aroma is mostly malts, caramel, and alcohol...and is fairly faint. Very sweet earthy malt character & acrid hop bitterness with an alcoholic chaser. I remember this being better last time I tried it, but this was a fairly fresh bottle. Not bad, but certainly not worth the $5 price tag for me.

hero27, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium mahogony brown color with a small snow-white head, a number of slow-rising streams of carbonation, and excellent lacing.

Aroma: Profoundly sweet, with caramel, molasses, and brown sugar, I could not detect any hop presence at all.

Taste: Sweet, with a bitter coffee note, dark fruit, rich malt, caramel. Finishes with a bitter chocolate and earth note, a mild flourish of medicinal hops and alcohol. The palette of flavors offered is quite rich.

Mouth feel: Very smooth and full, with soft carbonation, and a strikingly dry finish.

Drinkability/notes: A perplexingly complex and superb beer, well worth the effort to find. Thanks to Hardtarget for sharing this.

Pegasus, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of charlottebeerguy
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 11.2 oz brown bottle into a tulip glass

Beer pours a deep crimson color with a 1inch whitish head

Smell indicates sweet malts and fruits pears, possibly apples, also some citrus hops

Taste of caramel and apples, a faint trace of hops coming through, with a bit of minerals on the finish.

This a medium bodied scottish ale smooth but bitter a nice balance of both.

I wouldnt drink this all the time but a nice change of pace.

charlottebeerguy, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice head and lacing. mostly islands and ring lacing. dark.

butterscotch is the prevailing taste and smell.

Alcohol comes through rather abrubtly and the malts are gloriously deep and sweet. Some dark fruits creep in the picture towards the middle ell: Figgy, a little butterscotch, sweet and spicy alcohol and a malty nose that has depth to it.

quite chewy in the mouth. some bready malted characteristics. just a touch of alcohol again and light sweet fruity finish. I would drink this regularly but for the price i'm one and done.

DogFood11, Dec 18, 2005
Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 861 ratings.