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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 merlin48
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz classy looking little bottle with foiled cap. Pours into a tumbler a clear, dark, copper amber with a moderate tan head that quickly collapses into sheets of lacing. Minutes later, only some rings remain. Aroma is toffee and molasses upfront, then a melange of everything else. Burnt campfire wood, some rum soaked raisins and figs, some butternut, some vague spices, and some other strange notes that are impossible to describe. To me, there are notes of soapsuds here, as well. Mouthfeel is easygoing, with low carbonation and medium body. Tatse is about as complex as the nose. Toffee, molasses, leather, wood ash, and just enough hops bitterness to keep it all in harmony. Very reminiscent of a fine Scotch ale. Alcohol is well concealed. My only complaint with this one is the small bottle. I could easily enjoy a bomber of this at a sitting in front of the fireplace. An excellent old ale here!

merlin48, Feb 06, 2004
Photo of Realale
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous mahogany-tinged deep brown. Lovely extremely fine beige cap leaves nice lacing.

Incredible nose of rich cakey treacley malt. Soaring whisky-like notes and some dried fruits cherry, prune, raisins, and a touch of citrus. Simply stunning.

Lighter in the mouth than the nose would lead one to expect, but still rich doughy malt aplenty. Lots of dark treacle notes as well. Touch of ruminess, but no alcohol apparent. Finish is long and malty and the only place hops are really evident, and then only as a balance to the malt.

Very soft bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Carbonation level is enough to keep it from being cloying, and actually manages to make it almost refreshing. A classic for good reason. Incredibly drinkable for what it is. Great stuff. Glad to have this old favorite for my 200th review.

Realale, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A heavy pour reluctantly gives up a small, creamy, dense head. The beer is ever-so-slightly hazy and a dark, red/brown. Spotty lacing. Wow. Hella nutty chocolate nose. Bready with a touch of grapes. Roasty! grains in the front. A smooth, sweet, fruity-chocolate middle with more roasty grains in the finish. Bitter chocolate. Warming alcohol. It is a nice, nutty, roasty, sweet, malty beer. Chocolatey smooth with pleasant warming alcohol, yet little alcohol taste. I would drink this all winter if I could get it here.

kbub6f, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely chesnut body with a smallish off-white head and moderately effective lacing. The look is great and is followed by a decently full nose that is full of dried fruit and malting.

The flavor is quite malty and gives the kind of rich fruit sense that one might get from a rum-laden fruitcake. There is small licorice sense that is hinted as well. Delicious and rich to a fault.

Good smooth feel but with definite edge in the finish. Good, but not great drinkability.

AtLagerHeads, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of dannyvee
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served at cellar temperature in my trusty chimay chalice. poured a clear deep copper with not much head to speak of, just a rim of white foam clinging to the edge of the glass. aromas of caramel, malt, a touch of chocolate and earth.
body is full and carbonation light. first sips give a fruity maltiness with an alcohol bite in the back of the throat. pleasant caramel sweetness with a creamy, nutty finish.
all in all a great brew for this 15 degree boston evening.

dannyvee, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured clear amber with ruby tinges. Small bubbly head that disappeared immediatly. Sweet complex aromas of roast malt, brandy soaked fruit, burnt sugar and a hint of licorice. There was also a faint tartness(yeast?) at the end.
Flavor was not as sweet or complex as the aroma. Bready dark malt, macerated fruits of all colors, caramel and a tangy/bitter finish.
Thin to medium bodied in the mouth. A highly drinkable beer.

rkhaze, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chestnut with dark purple and heavy burgundy melted inside. Fast pour devoloped very little head just a ring around the glass. Slippery lacing fell apart which was a sad moment.

Smells insanely strong! Smells of sweet dark fruits covered in sugar and soaked in alcohol. I also noted some barnwood, brown sugar, molasses, spoiled plums, figs, malts and loads of alcohol. At first scent I assumed this was about 9%. It smells strong but wonderful. I can't wait for the first sip!

Seeking more flavor on this one! It's good but seems a little under-carbonated and lacking some juicy dark fruit flavors that I was hoping for after smelling it. Loads of caramel with some fruits. Some woodiness in the finish that leaves my mouth feeling sticky and hoping for more. Nice lingering aftertaste of juicy hop bitterness.

Has a smooth mouthfeel but light bodied.

Not bad but certainly not what I was expecting.

Crosling, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep coppery chestnut color with a pillowy tan head. Dark crystal malt aroma and a peaty earthiness (compost pile) mixed with a healthy yeast smell, too. Caramelly sweet with the same earthiness coming through in the taste. A little bit of vinous hop character, but predominantly malty. Alcohol noticable but masked with malty goodness. Best Scotch ale in the world, hands down. The quality of a Belgian trappist, only from Scotland. Enjoy at 55-60 degrees.

crookedhalo, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours deep amber brown with just a smidge of head rimming the surface of the beer. That rim of head stays with the beer but does not lace the glass.

The aroma is pure heaven. Smoky, malty, caramel aromas are a delight for the senses. Chocolate is also present.

The flavor is not able to back up the promise of the aroma. A smoky chocolate flavor becomes dry slightly bitter chocolate in the finish. The more time that passes the drier the finish becomes leading to a pleasant smoky coffee aftertaste after a few moments.

The body is medium with a low carbonation. The 7.2% ABV is not present except in a slight warming.

11.2 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a very drak brown/mohagany pour with a minimal off-white head.

Smell: The nose is sweet with licorice & molasses. Hints of caramel. Also some dark fruits such as plum & grape. Port like and warm.

Taste: The sweetness is toned down here. Nice maltiness and very light hints of molaases and plum. Light roasted flavour here as well. A warm alcohol kick makes it a great sipper. A complex & mature beer with fine underlyimg flavours that don't overpower the palate.

Mouthfeel: Lively and and fullfilling. Soem bubbliness without being "full".

Drinkability: A great ale. This is my perfect winter warmer or fireplace sipping drink. A classic.

Popsinc, Dec 10, 2003
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a small light brown head that left a good amount of lacing. Brownish amber in color, with a little light passing through. The aroma of chocolate and sweet malt. Mildly bitter coco flavor combines with a light maltiness, and hardly any hops. All in all a smooth, well balanced beer.

HappyHourHero, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a of a chestnut brown, no real head appeared as I poured it slowly into a 10 oz tulip, just a few big bubbles, no real lace either. Aroma is all malts, loads of caramel, sweet, dark, with a earthy undertone of tobacco and wet wood. Taste is super mellow of caramel, dark toffee, some dark fruit notes of plum and banana, the malts are provided all over the place, but not thick, more so of a very clean and softly calming chewyness, thinnish to the point of becoming non-existent really. Not very flavorful. Some notes of hazelnut and molasses poke through as it warms but nothing sticks out really. Kinda boring and plain. Feel is a bit thin, the front of this is like water, nothing there, but luckily it picks up some and renders some light heft over the middle and has a smooth lightly sticky, calm, malty sweet finish that doesn't last all that long. Not something I'd buy again, nearly forgetable.

tavernjef, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of DagFishHead
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy brown-amber body. Thin, multi-bubbled, bone-white head fades fairly quickly (but doesn't vanish) with minimal lace.
Smell: Wow.. this is beautiful. Obvious malt, but with a woody/casky hint of whisky, peet, lightly-roasted malt smoke.
Taste: Not as stale tasting as some other old ales. Good balance of sweet and bitter elements. A simple, pleasing taste.
Mouthfeel: Light carbonation is appropriate. Creamy malt, silky, alcohol stays in the background.
Drinkability: Agree with other reviewers...make sure the chill is off before this is served. Slightly cold, it's thin and blah... let it warm and the character explodes. Pricey... but a great way to treat yourself. Best example of the style I've ever had.

DagFishHead, Nov 02, 2003
Photo of moulefrite
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perfect chestnut brown color-almost murky to the eye with a very minimal but fine veil of foam that lingers throughout, and puffs up quickly with added swirling. Wonderful warm, almost spirit like in the nose with cinnamon, raisin, and vanillla-some chocolate as well. Lovely bitter/fruity hop bite showing dried fruit, bitter chocolate and malt-nicely spicy in a very warming way. Medium bodied and creamy-the finish is long,warm and memorable. A very decent drink!

moulefrite, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of grynder33
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sat very dark in the glass with little visible activity, wonderful champagne like aroma,lots of nice flavors happening, especially molasses and currant, because of its low carbonation, it had the smoothest of all possible textures, loses a little bit of its sweetness as it goes along, lots of setiment on bottom of glass. Wonderful stuff, a little pricey and the next morning I had some intestinal problems that I couldn't blame on anything but the beer.

grynder33, Oct 16, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark burgundy color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and peaty. A medium bodied Scottish ale. Malts are chocolate. Plums and other dark fruit sort of dominate the flavors. There is also a touch of soy sauce amongst the smoke and peat. Hints of the 7.2 % alcohol sneak through at time. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is a little bit thin and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter

beerguy101, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of nomad
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown wood color,with a very small head but it left serious stain off of thick lace. Not too shabby. Smell was very rich, with oak, dark, grainy, and roasty notes, but altogether of a serious scotch ale strength of sweetness - love those unattentuated sugars aged at Scottish low temperatures. Tasted of fruity malt, but opened to wonderful woody bitterness accompanied by bark-like dryness - rough at an elevated level, though amazing to taste. Had some strange sweet and roasted nutty notes as well, and a body that came across a bit winey in a moderate way. Ends with some very spicy like a well-ground black pepper. Thin mouthfeel which is nice given the bitter roast flavors but also seemingly strange for a scotch ale or strong/old ale.

Quite a tart finish once you have a hold on it. Good but a bit to handle.

nomad, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This seemed to be a dark copper coloured beer with no head to be seen, really, except for a few bubble. The vintage is unknown on this bottle, so we must also take that into account. This was a nice smelling beer that has some very sweet and boozy aromas of fruits, spices, and licorice. This reminded me of Kwak quite a bit, except this was a bit more complex and not as easy-drinking. The mouthfeel was very thick and rich and the drinkability was pretty good as well.

Nice.

francisweizen, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of bditty187
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown hued with old cherry hints, slightly hazy. Big bubbles construct a short-lived beige head, which fades quickly to a soapy residue, does last for the entire consumption. Didn’t lace. Lovely nose, strong & stable with whiffs of chocolate, roasted malt, sweet alcohol, brandy, and dark fruits. Mildly potent. Fruits and alcohol, sweet maltiness, dull hops bitterness, dry chocolate lightly tickles the palate. Great roasted malt aftertaste! Tremendously balanced... an amazing feet in brewing! Slow, smooth carbonation. Medium-full mouthfeel. A great beer to quaff. This is a great Old Ale… it is “apples and oranges” but Traquair Jacobite is a great deal better. So if there is a choice between the two beers I am taking Jacobite. This one is still recommended.

bditty187, Sep 24, 2003
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice brown with a slight reddish hue with a light head,aroma is sweet and malty with some oaky aromas as well.Taste is rich and malty with alcohol notes.Some dried fruit flavors linger with some definent oak hints as well.Incredibly well made a nice beer to savor before bed.

oberon, Sep 17, 2003
Photo of gueuzegeek
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened this one after opening a July 1, 1996 Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock. My friend commented that that reminded him of Traquair house ale, which I just happened to have in my fridge as well. We opened this to compare. I must note, the bottle is from a case purchased of untold age, as the label (green writing on cream color label), as we were told, has not been been around since the early 90s. It poured a nice chestnut brown color, with the certainty of a fig aroma. There was not really a head to be seen. This is certainly a special beer for it to hold up so well over time. The taste was a rather sweet and current-like. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth and full. I must say, the Reichelbrau was a tad richer tasting, but that may be because this was old and possibly not kept in ideal conditions.

gueuzegeek, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Dark brown body with a good head that dissipated slowly.

Smell – The dark fruit aromas come on strong and right away with this one. Dates, plums, and raisins are easy to pick up. The fig smell along with a faint yeasty scent reminds me of a Fig Newton. However you describe it, this one is serious.

Taste – This is especially complex. In fact, it has a new facet of the taste that I’ve never had before. I’ll call it the pre-game show.

The pre-game show has a lot to do with the aroma. The taste splits the fruits in half, sending the lighter ones in first that I missed when rating the smell. There’s some spicy apple, a tinge of banana, and artificial sugars. This is followed by the dark malt and yeast flavors, which are understated. The big part of the taste, the dark fruits from the aroma, brings up the rear of the body. The finish is a dash of alcohol and coffee.

All very confusing. This would be a great one to discuss at a brewpub.

Mouthfeel – A little bit of carbonation, but mostly the smoothness sticks out. How they got all of these flavors to work together so well I’ll never know.

Drinkability – This is a lot of fun to drink. You’d have to be dead not to enjoy it.

Update: I sampled this again in 2004. It was as complex as I remember it before. I picked up a lot more chocolate and coffee. I’m not changing any of the ratings but once again highly recommend this offering from Traquair House.

RoyalT, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of clvand0
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark brown color much like some of the Belgian abbey ales. It had a small and quickly dissipating head and left little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very fruity - again, like some of the better Belgian abbey ales - the aroma of malt is also present. The flavor is very full and has lots of character. The flavor of some sweet fruit (maybe grapes) is very apparent. My only gripe is that it tastes very tart. After the head died down, there was no carbonation left in the drink, which made it pretty smooth. Pretty decent beer. A little tart, but good none-the-less.

clvand0, Jul 26, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep brown, almost black color with one finger of light caramel foam that fades away to a small collar. There is a tiny bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is a rich nutty aroma, with hints of coffee and toffee. The smell really pumped me up for the taste. The taste is a smooth roasted malt and alcohol mix. Not too much hops present, but who needs it with this sweet caramel and roasted nutty flavor. The body is heavy, yet smooth. The drinkability is also pretty nice for 7.2%. A big thanks to brewdlyhooked13 for this fine ale!

SheepNutz, Jul 23, 2003
Photo of kmo1030
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this house ale is a beautiful rich ruby brown with a very pale thin head. it smells somewhat buttery with a hint of fruit, maybe grapes. the taste is something between a tangy chocolate and toffee. something a little walnutty there too...and again, like the smell, something reminiscent of fruit, but i can't put my finger on it, really, really nice though. good thick mouthfeel, with more carbonation than i expected. overall a real treat, that i'll definitely be trying again (so expensive though).

kmo1030, Jun 22, 2003
Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 861 ratings.