Traquair House Ale - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

940 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 940
Reviews: 587
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 121
Gots: 73 | 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:
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: 940 | Reviews: 587
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 Sachsenfreude
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

appearance; clear yet murky brown. Light tan head with moderate retention and nice lacing.

smell; molasses and rum soaked, dried dates. Some bready malts and oak tannins...prunes, raisins, figs and sweet alcohol.

taste; woody with a clean, warm bitterness, this makes up the main backbone of flavor. Sweet dried dates with nutty malts run with the main flavor. Very warm, alcoholic burnt molasses, from start to finish. Bitterness of oak and light spruce needles hang in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel; perfect medium body with a warm, fizzy alcohol burn. Very clean and smooth with a slick swallow. Heavy in the stomach but refreshing.

drinkability; very tasty but the alcohol is no joke, quite warm but not overly hidden. The aftertaste is a little rough around the edges. This is a drinkable beer but I would sip it, snuggled by a fire.

Photo of mjohn27603
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown in color with a 1/8 " white head. Very complex and rich flavor. I detect roasted flavors with caramel and butterscotch. Sweet with a bit of bitterness. I taste some oak and sherry flavors too, the alcohol has a warming effect. Beer for sipping. You could spend a lot of time thinking of the flavors present. The bottom of the glass comes too soon to fully appreciate everything going on here.

Photo of CaptainStubing
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

1st, let me say that I was introduced to Wee Heavies with McEwan's Scotch Ale. To me, that will always be the target to aim for. Others may feel that is not the best example of the Ale to base one's opinion on, but apologies - it's how I was raised.

But this Traquair House Ale... wow! what a superb example of what a Wee Heavy SHOULD be. As Nacho Libre would say, "Let us get down to the neety greety" -

A - Beautiful coloring. Perfect shade of caramel - as dark as the bottle itself. When gently poured into a tulip it produced a rather large head - 3 fingers in height - and soft, compact foam. Dissipated quickly enough to not cause my wife (who can't stand it) not to enjoy a sip.

S - THIS is what a Wee Heavy should smell like. Gentle herbal notes, not overpowering. So gentle in fact, one might have to put their proboscis well into the glass - but it is worth the gamble.

T - Very soft. Sweet, but not sickeningly. Gentle carbonation. Slightly peaty aftertaste.

M - Light enough that it doesn't feel like cough syrup, but thick enough that it doesn't feel like an Anheuser-Busch product.

O - Just the slightest ding in my rating that has nothing to do with the beer itself - the price. At nearly $8, this isn't something I can buy often enough. But as far as the beer, if you enjoy a good Wee Heavy, this is a wonderfully delicious example.

Photo of Realale
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of rustymoore
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of nycwinter
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chalice.

A= Ruby-reddish-brown with a quickly dissapating light tan head.

S= Sweet raisins, lightly smokey, and a bit floral.

T= Extraordinary. Fruity sweet and a bit tart. A bit of a smokey caramel too. Has a light bitterness that comes on strong at the end.

M= Lighter than what I expected. Possibly because the carbonation is the perfect amount to even out the weight of the body.

D= A little pricey to drink one after the other, but very very pleasant and smooth. I sipped it at first to make it last, and continued sipping it to savor the smells and the flavors.

Photo of kcstevens
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hardly no head, semi-hard pour in to a challice. Very dark, coca-cola coloring, very little lace.
Nose: peaty, earthy, some fruity notes.
Taste: malty, peaty, and again, some fruity notes
Mouth feel: light on the carbonation, dry, tasty.
Overall: Love this beer, wished I could afford it more often. I sat and drank this, sipped this while sipping on Belvenie Scotch on the rocks, and watching NHL hockey playoffs. Doesn't get better than that.

Photo of templar316
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beutiful deep russett with a nice thick tan head, shows ruby highlights when held to the light and head keeps working throughout. A fantastic nose starting with alcohol, but softening to a great earthy nose. Woody with hints of figs and caramel. The flavor is the same way; soft malty sweetness, rolling into hop bitterness with slight alcohol afterbite. It rolls softly across the tongue leaving one ready for more. This is the Stuff!

Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear deep scarlet red color. No head or collar. No carbonation is evident. Rum, oak notes, alcohol, dark fruits like plum and cherry and some dry notes are perceived on the nose. This is one of the beers that I can tell I'm really going to like just from the nose. The flavors are subdued, mellow and very nice. Rum soaked raisins, cedar, chocolate covered cherries, bread pudding, plum and fruit cake all seem to dance on my palate here and there. From that description, this would make for a fine X-mas brew. I can't wait to try the Jacobite I've got in the fridge. Mouthfeel is slick and uncarbonated. Body is medium. Drinkability exceptional. Spendy brew, but worth it once a year or so.

Photo of pkalix
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
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!!!

Photo of JBushEsq
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perhaps one of the easiest beers I have ever had to drink - just an incredibly pleasant beer.

A: A nice dark red/brown that fades to tan at the edges.

S: Really subdued actually - the beer looks like it should really overpower, yet it doesn't. It has a nice malty sweetness.

T: Once again, it looks like it should be a real monster - yet the taste is just perfectly balanced - malty and a little sweet, with a bit of bitterness to it - yet none of this hits you over the head. Its not watery by any means, I could easily drink this all day in lieu of.

M: Not much carbonation to it, nor does it really need it

D: I could drink this all day - just perfectly balanced, not too strong, yet it has a ton of flavor.

Photo of Cervezaconcalor
4.81/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a snifter

A - Beautiful dark color with a finger high head that leaves some lacing.

S - Sweet scotch with cocoa, oak and dark fruit.

T - The dark fruit nose is the first flavor you get followed by a slightly creamy caramel, toffee and cocoa flavor with a slight bitter alcohol finish.

M - Medium and creamy in the mouth.

O - World class beer that should age well or drink great fresh. Like great food it is not overly complex with to many competing flavors but the couple of flavors that are present are just right and that is what makes it the great beer it is.

Photo of BeerSox
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Dark and nearly opaque with a thick tan colored head that lasts for a long time. Settles to a thin bubbly cap. Spotty lacing.

Heavy malts and hints of sweet dark sugar. Little bits of fruit comes in here and there, with light wisps of alcohol.

Thick and strong malt flavor brings a little bit of bread like sweetness and some caramel mixed in. Some light hop bitterness settles in the back of the mouth towar the end. Full bodied with low carbonation giving it a very creamy and smooth feel. The finish is short and smooth with a little bit of nutty flavor.

This is a very enjoyable beer, probably my favorite Scotch Ale so far. Good for a special day or just a cold winter night. Highly recommended.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours dark red, slightly cloudy. little head. very, very smooth going down, hardly notice the abv. if someone asked me to define a scotch style ale, this is what i would hand them. fruity aromas, slight hop finish, sails down the throat like Sanka down the pushcart track. but dont drive your pushcart after a few of these, even if you have your lucky egg.

Photo of Shiredave
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When I first tried Traquair House Ale 10 years or so ago, it was by far the best beer I'd ever had. I've had hundreds of beers since, and pound for pound, flavor for flavor, it still may be the best.

Deep ruby brown color, crystal clear when back lit, lazy carbonation, very dense, tiny bubble head with remarkable retention and lacing. Visualy, a work of art.

Amazing aromas - soft and very unique resulting from the 200 year old Oak fermentation vessels. Leather and hay, toffee and wet wood, melon and hints of whisky all combine to make me want to plunge my nose deeper into the glass.

Velvety smooth up front flavors of caramel malts and scorched apples mix perfectly with chalky, mildly peppery hop flavors. Medium bodied and packed full of complex fruity / earthy flavors that you wont find in any other beer. Soft and refined while still being rich and bold.

Finish is long and pleasingly bitter with warming, smokey alcohol notes. Truly outstanding and unique, hand crafted Scotch Wee Heavy.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had the greatest fortune and privilege to drink this beer from the Cask once at a UK Beer Festival. Even at 7.2% ABV, it was the first beer to sell out. Perhaps it was the uniqueness of being in Cask format, but I like to think it was because this is a bloody superb strong beer that is in 100% sheer perfect balance.
Pours with a deep brown colour, little head that soon retreats and clings to the glass edge with meniscus-like fervor. Huge Nose – wow, I could be here all day describing the aromas. Very rich, malty, chocolaty, berries, dried fruits, orange zest, light sherry and oak, and all of these are discernable in the taste, yet it has a surprisingly lightish mouth feel. Complex tastes that are very well assembled and by no means “jumbly”, but perfectly organised. It is a very accomplished, super smooth (and I don’t mean Nitro!!), very drinkable beer that belies its strength.
I prefer this to the Jacobite to be honest; it just has that bit more, Package-wise.
Another, Superb, World-Class, Scottish Strong Ale from Traquair House.
Slainte-va!

Photo of beveritt
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from an 11.2 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Man, do I wish I had a thistle. Label is simple black, white, and gold, with a picture of what I assume is a brewery and a brief description of the beer. No readily apparent freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with one finger of light tan head, thick and creamy like it was a nitro-pour. Amazing. This settles slowly, still leaving a fair amount of foam and some lacing. The beer itself is walnut brown and opaque in the middle, although you can just barely see through around the edges. Maybe a slight reddish tint. Some sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Extreme caramel aromas, much stronger and darker than normal malt, including butterscotch and molasses. Slight nuttiness.

Taste: This tastes exactly like what it is, concentrated beer. The intensity of caramel and molasses flavors is amazing. Very little bitterness, but a long lasting brown sugar sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is thick and viscous; incredible.

Drinkability: I have seen this particular beer sitting on many store shelves and just recently picked one up to try. Man, what was I thinking. Being a malt-head, this is exactly what I like, a relatively big beer with tremendously complex malt flavors. Very good.

Photo of Beguiler
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an ale to be savored not devoured. If you keep this in the fridge make sure that you let warm up to the proper serving tempature. There you will find all of the subtle tastes come out, if not this will far from impress you. This is an ale that I like to end my tastings with because if I start the evening with it very few ales can follow it.
The color is wonderful dark amber shade with a nose that to me has an almost gingerbread smell (but that is just me). The only compliant that I can find with Traquair is that the bottle is to small. I would love to find it in 750 ml bottles.

Photo of putnam
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alright, I'm really going to try to retire this year and move to the Traquair house. It is beer paradise. This is a clinic in balance. I had this fear of Scotch Ales that was based on some experiences with some overly sweet, alcoholic versions. This is like a great Burgundy wine, expressive of the place from which it emerged and where it was aged. Stony with notes of overripe cherries, strawberries, caramel, coffee, baked pear, chocolate-orange sauce, linden leaf, and dune grass. Do not miss this beer.

Photo of afinepilsner
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2oz brown bottle

Traquair House Ale was red/brown in color with a thick off-white head that settled to a thin layer in a minute or so. There was quite a bit of lacing. The nose was very malty. This beer just had an wonderful complex malt flavor. It was medium bodied and delicious. A must try.

Photo of canucklehead
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the classiest beer in this style by far. The marriage of malt and hops with the smooth finish puts this in that top shelf beer club which lesser brews only aspire to. Belhaven Wee Heavy is a great beer but it lacks the refined complexity of this beer. It uses diplomacy rather than the club to bring its point across which is why it is a special beer to be savoured.

Photo of Wobbly
4.86/5  rDev +16.3%

Probably the best wee heavy I have ever tried. No U.S. example (even those from Founders and Stone and the like) can match it, in my opinion. Where I live it is pricey, so I only get it once or twice a year. A great beer for the holidays.

Photo of hyuga
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, mysterious, and rich looking. Reddish brown color that's hard to notice without close inspection. Pours a small head that settles quickly, but leaves enough behind for satisfaction. Rich, roasted aroma of malty sweetness. Very earthy. With a taste, the first of the many flavors that hit me is a roasted coffee-like flavor. Then butterscotch sweetness rolls around. Mostly malty, very rich, earthy, and chewy. Just a slight hop bitterness that makes it perfectly rounded. Very complex flavors here. You can definitely see, smell, and taste the work that went into this fine ale. All of it just says "handcrafted". Absolutely top-notch, and worth every penny of the steep price in my opinion. Unfortunately, the price also makes it just an occasional treat for me, but it's definitely worth the wait to savor another.

Photo of Knuckles
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is truly magnificent. I don't know any other way to describe it.

The appearance is deceptive. The color of almost any other scotch ale, with a bit more insistent head than you might expect. 7.2% is nothing to sneeze at, but still a good 2% less than most wee heavy's I have at my disposal around here. All of them with a slightly darker appearance (perhaps the peated malts make the difference.

Smell: Oh my freakin' god, it's like I'm taking a bath in a whisky barrel. Good christ what a nose. This isn't a beer I smell, it's heaven.

Taste: Remarkably light. Served cold, the whisky character truly doesn't come out in the taste, but let that beauty warm and those incredible oakey flavors run wild with the malts across your tongue. Good god, it's like goddam "Misty of Chincoteague" with freakin' beer. Never did finish that goddam book. I'll finish the beer.

Mouthfeel: Again, cold it isn't that impressive. Once it warms however...yow. It's Salma Hayek's pants (if I could drink them).

Drinkability: I'm giving this a 4.5 as this is one badass muthaf**** of a 7.2% beer. I love it, but couldn't session the crap out of it like I can with beers like Fat Bastard (the closest comparison I can come up with). The nose on this, along with the complexity of flavors that arise once it warms to room temperature make this one imposing, and difficult to session, scotch ale. But jesus eatin' beans, it's an amazing beer (and the highest rating I've given yet).

Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 940 ratings.