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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.

855 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 855
Reviews: 570
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 104
Gots: 41 | 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: 855 | Reviews: 570 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PartyBear
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red, almost black. Small amount of carbonation. Head fades very quickly, with medium lacing.

S - Strong scents of sweet liquorish. There is a noticable spiciness to it. Dark fruits, which makes the ale smell slightly like red wine.

T - Dark chocolate, with sweet malts. Dark fruits are also prominent. There is also an oaky quality to the alcohol.

M - Strong and heavy in the palete. There is an oily feel to it, and a warming alcohol.

D - Superb scotch ale, the flavours work beautifully together, and make this a beer that I will certainly be having again...and again.

PartyBear, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

rapidsequence, Aug 30, 2012
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 hopley
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A dark sweet beer, not sure I'd call it an ale. Not a huge head but nicely laced. Great mouthfeel. Not very bitter, not hoppy. At over $5 for a bottle, I 'd say you're paying a premium for uneconomical home brewing (oldest house in Scotland...) and travel across the pond. I think this is a good beer, but a little too sweet for my taste and way overpriced.

hopley, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of jmz62565
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark mahogny with a large white head. This is a great looking beer. The smell is malty, with alcohol, bananas,and some nuttyness. The taste is sweet malt with bananas and a hoppy aftertaste. Surprisingly, there is no alcohol taste,this is a smooth and creamy beer. The m/f is light and the flavors are very well balanced. This is an ale to behold. I could drink this all day. Mmmm.

jmz62565, May 31, 2006
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice sipping private beverage. Can picture sitting in Scotland and enjoying the scenery now or even a century back. Some complex flavours in a nice scotch malty brew. Rum and Chocolate, toffee, molasses,nuts Alcohol felt, bit of barley. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Sammy, May 28, 2004
Photo of hoptualBrew
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A suprising find at another Total Wine & More, 11.2oz bottle into a snifter. Cola brown with a cream off white head, shit ton of booze legs for the abv here & a small amount of lacing scatters the glass. Booze, toffee, mixed nuts, mild tobacco, dark chocolate and some dark fruits in the nose. Pretty complex nose for their house ale, I would assume their flagship here.

Big toffee & tobacco like qualities on the palate. Backbone is a ton of sweet malts & backend of a touch of booze heat. I think the body could be a bit more beefy, but that just might be my americanized palate that needs everything to be over the top. Other than the body being a bit thin for my taste, its a solid Wee Heavy. If only the price were a bit lower, (or my income a bit higher) I would go back for more & more & more & more.

hoptualBrew, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Enthusiast
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Enthusiast, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Bunnyhop
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear, dark brownish-red Ale with a thick, clingy, tan head. The smell is malty and sweet reminiscent of butterscotch,as well as, herbal. The taste is earthy, reminding me of peat, along with a roastedess, nuttiness, and slight bitter finish. As it warms (some) the taste of the alcohol becomes more prominent. The body is firm in my mouth. A surprising taste and quite drinkable.

"A handmade Ale brewed in the ancient Brew House of the oldest inhabited house in Scotland."

(source: Paradise Alley; Jacksonville, FL)

Bunnyhop, Feb 06, 2003
Photo of RedHaze
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark red/brown, with a thick two finger head that slowly faded to a nice cap. There was quite a bit of lacing.

Smell; tons of malt, caramel, some vanilla and a little bit of alcohol.

Taste; the malts are there in your face, it has a little smokiness to it, and the caramel and vanilla really come through in the finish. There's almost no hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was thick and velvety, really nice.

RedHaze, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of yen157
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head was tiny, but it was sticky and the color of old lace. The beer itself had the color of real maple syrup. Very nice malt aroma with occasional jabs of alcohol and some fruit. Rich toasted malt flavor and a surprising bitterness that started out very mild but built to quite noticeable levels by the end of the glass. Some chocolate milk was tasted somewhere along the way. Pleasant, soft mouth feel.

Unfortunately this was my second beer at the sitting, the first was Westy 12. I’m going to have to come back to this one.

yen157, Mar 21, 2003
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip

Thanks to Keanlacrosse for the gift

Pours a rather opaque garnet with a firm off-white head. Little to no lacing, but some solid retention.

The nose is of figs, candied plums, peat, biting alcohol, and some butterscotch. Pleasing aroma.

The flavor profile matches the nose. Peat up front then butterscotch and sweet, ripe fruit through the middle. The finish is earthy, dry oak, and sugary sweet. I have to be honest, the flavors and nose are really well-balanced. Nothing takes command, which in this case is very nice.

Full body, with a big, chewy malt foundation. The carbonation is low, which makes this nice and smooth. A little bit of sugary fruit lingers, but not much.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Everything has its place. Nothing overpowering and a smooth overall feel. Rich and complex without overwhelming the palate.

ColForbinBC, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of StaveHooks
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

StaveHooks, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fellow BA claystation left this one in my fridge, and darn it all, I need a beer, so here goes. ill make it up to him. lovely pour, rich caramel color, deep dark, almost brown, with a dim red orange glow when held to the light. a quick flashing inch plus of just off white head that settles back to patchy spots, but leaves great lace. it smells dusty, timeless, ancient in some way, preindustrial, gorgeous. heavy earthen grain and a bready yeast strain that gives this a very genuine vibe, warming. there is that classic scotch ale sweetness to the taste, but it gives way to bolder roasty flavors, toffee and buttery richness, and a soil quality. its low key for its robustness, and the ale yeast on top really makes it sing. traditional and delicious, exemplar of the style. not sure ive had a wee heavy I like more. drinkably full bodied, warming booze that can be felt and not tasted. perfect for late fall. I have nothing but good things to say about this, and am now curious to try more of their beers. how cool would it be to visit this place? great beer.

StonedTrippin, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of ricke
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-05-14. Served in snifter.

A: Dark brown with big ruby hues. A 2 cm light-beige creamy head that settles after a while. Nice lacings.

S: A nice and big smell of malts, brown sugar, some chocolate and som coffee. Plenty of prominent fruity aromas. Some spices. Faint hint of alcohol. A very nice smell with plenty of depth.

T: Plenty of malts with a dense and sweet character. The malts has a slight caramel-like character, but even more so of candy sugar and brown sugar. Fudge and notes of chocolate. Tasty vinous fruits (cherries, blackberries). In the finish there is notes of wood, dry coffee notes, spicy alcohol and some herbs.

M: Rather full-bodied, soft and creamy texture. Well balanced carbonation.

D: A very tasty beer with rich aromas. Rather complex and well balanced. Has somewhat of a sophisticated expression.

ricke, May 17, 2009
Photo of prototypic
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's dark brown with a good bit of light passing through. Head is off-white and roughly two fingers. Retention was a bit short and lacing light.

Smell: Excellent smelling roasted and caramel malts roll off the top. Nice, sweet smell. Dark fruit aromas (plum and raisin) are apparent and blend well. A hint of scotch is noticeable. Hops and alcohol were not noticeable in smell.

Taste: Very good malty base. Caramel and roasted malts provide an initial sweet taste. Plum and raisin flavors blend very well. Light scotch flavor is excellent, is well integrated, and really defines the beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation is good. It's smooth and very drinkable. At 7.2%, it's relatively modest and amplifies drinkability. Overall, this is a very good beer. Definitely recommended.

prototypic, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of scottoale
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With an aggressive pour from the 330ml.brown bottle, into a Duvel tulip, a very dark red-brown with 1/2" ivory foam head that dissipates quickly to a ring and minimal lace.

Big caramel malty nose with a faint roastiness and an earthy wooden aire. Very nice smell to this, sweet and earthy ale with notes of vanilla.

Pleasantly sweet malty intro of toffee, vanilla and oak, that winds down nicely with a balanced hop finish. Nice aftertaste of vanilla and the faintest hint of alcohol.

Light-medium body that doesn't seem heavy at all for a Wee Heavy and the alcohol is masked extremely well. Very tasty and very drinkable for an ale drinker that likes a malty brew.

scottoale, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy deep brown in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that faded away, leaving delicate lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel, toasted malts and dark fruits in the nose along with some hints of oak.
T: The overall taste has some sweetness with flavors of caramel, molasses, toffee, raisins and toasted malts. The finish has some hints of peat.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and slightly thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: The beer goes down rather easy for the style because it is well balanced, relatively light in body and has its alcohol well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Some BAs will always always be positively associated with certain beers. Two that come to my mind, are ColoradoBobs and his love for Vitus, and traquairlover for, well, his love for this brewery's beers. This is a first for me, from this brewery.

Clear, deep mahogany with reddish brown highlights with a dense, light-brown that recedes to a disk, leaving some lacing. Quite nice! The nose is marvelous. A prominent peat note is present up front, but there's also plenty for dark fruit, figs in particular, along with a little bit of toast and some dark brown sugar. A little cola is present as well.

The palate opens with a blend of a moderate peaty smoky flavor with some fruit. Again, I get figs with some red delicious apple. Quite dry, there's flavors of toffee, burnt sugar and a little caramel. Drying on the finish with a blend of peat and burnt sugar, the flavors that linger are excellent. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer feels good on the palate. I really like the flavors on the finish here, flavors are wonderfully balanced. Alcohol is hardly apparent. An enjoyable beer that I will seek out again.

DefenCorps, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of crwills
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasant brown with caramel highlights. Decent head, but it fades fast (may have been too cold).

Aroma is typical, sweet and malty, tiffee, coffee, and some mild chocolate in there too.

Tastes very smooth and malty, with coffee notes and some burnt wood or caramel. Great, creamy mouthfeel, makes it pleasant with simple food. Nice mildly bitter aftertaste with a hint of brown sugar.

crwills, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of n00tz
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish brown nearly bronze body. Light tan head stacked 2 fingers high on pour. Excited carbonation. Slight lacing.

S - Malty cream and some smoke. Grainy (barley) with some floral hops and a bit of added peppery spice.

T - Smoky cream malts, floral hops and slight pepper. Nothing intense, every bit as balanced as picked up in the scent.

M - Medium bodied, layered presentation. Clears the palate and burps as a cream ale. Delightful.

D - Pretty easy to drink. Great at 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit.

n00tz, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of sfreshnock
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights. Thick off white head from somewhat aggressive pour, dissipates quickly with splotchy lacing. Sour cherries and hints of malt in the nose. Alcohol taste is next to none, i believe this is due to colder fermentation temps and cold conditioning. The pleasant sour flavor hits the tongue and is washed over by a fig like maltiness. A mild sourness remains begging for another sip. I was not expecting this beer to be as dry and thin in the mouth. The lingering sourness along with the low alcohol perception and dryness make this incredibly drinkable. Top on my list of Scottish Ales.

sfreshnock, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of Cwrw
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has been in Alberta for a couple months now, but I have only now found this in Calgary. Finally! The House Ale is in a 330ml bottle with a black and soft-white label showing Traquair House. Black foil around the neck. Very simple, very...dark. Traquair House looks delightful--what a quaint little brewery. On to the wee one here.

Pop goes the plain black cap, and alcoholic rum-soaked cherries waft up through the neck. Mmm. There is a beauty in a wee heavy unlike any other style, and this is no exception: rich dark chestnut hue, with less ruby than some others of the style I have had. Hints of red but mostly an ebony tea-like colour. I got only a thinnish head from the beer, but what was there was nice and tight, dusty white colouration. Fine tiny bubbles and quick-moving lace. A respectable looking wee heavy. Plenty of sweet candy and red licorice at first on the nose, then some herbal aromas reminiscent of pine(somewhat akin to some of the Heather Ale beers). Alcohol is fairly detectable. Then lots of prunes and rum and brown sugar. There is also a creamy milk note that renders the aroma extremely appetising. A unique malt/hop combination here too: the malts are very grainy, but the hopping makes it seem very floral--like sweet flowers. The malts dominate as they should though, adding a myriad of smells like raisins, sweet chocolate, maple syrup and caramel. Lovely aroma. The taste falls a little short for me from what I was expecting. At first there are all sorts of lovely sugar-laden fruits and plenty of alcohol. I think it is the end where the beer leaves a very dry, dusty charcoal feel, rather than following up on the sweet smoothness before it. Too the body seems to thin out at the end. Not too say that the beer is without taste. Plenty of woody hop character, dry dark malts, and chocolate and coffee up front. Almonds, licorice, oak, and some vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium-carbonated and very smooth. Very easy to drink, this is. However I find it too dry for the style. Still lovely, but not as good as I had hoped. Have another? Why yes, thank you.

Cwrw, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of Brabander
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer from my best buddy in Scotland, good old Craig (Zimbo). Thanks a lot my friend.

What a nice beer this one is. Poured in my Struise glassthe beer looks sensational. Deepdarkbrown with i lightbrown head with millions of tiny bubbles. This is one of the best heads i have ever seen.

A good and inviting smell, the barley malt is super balanced. Very soft taste and the alcohol is not noticable at all.

A very good house ale. Thanks again Graig! Send me more of this house...

Brabander, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Seanstoppable
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before date of December 2017.

Pours a mahogany color. Mostly opaque, but getting towards transparent near the edges. Half a finger of head, with a crown.

Slight scent of toffee and maybe a hint of chocolate.

Certainly very sweet to start. More chocolatey than the Jacobite, which turns into more of a toffee flavor. No real boozy quality that is occasionally present in other Scotch Ales. Certainly feels lighter than most scotch ales I have sampled, which tend to start at 8.0% ABV.

Overall, this was pretty good. As close to a sessionable Scotch Ale as I have ever tried. Maybe not quite as complex as, for example, the Jacobite, but still quite good.

Seanstoppable, Jun 09, 2011
Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 855 ratings.