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: 120
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 feloniousmonk
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: a beautiful, bright brown body, showing reddish at the sides. Head is slim, and of a tannish hue. Aroma: something else!
The fruit of the vine is on good display in this nose, massive fruit up in here, but it's a sophisticated, complex mix: dates, figs, grapes, a bit o' nuts, earth, wood, and a touch of pepper here and there.
On palate, it arrives in full promise, a fine blend of hop and malt, bitter and sweet seem to patch up any differences, make amends, and create a perfect coupling. Hops continue a pretty, spicy ride upon the tongue, all the while backed up by solid and tasty, sweet malt.
Wherever this is the House Ale, I'm coming over more often! Big thanks to JohnnyDuvel for the trade!

Photo of smcolw
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle bubbles over when opened. It did not produce a large head, though. Some spots of lace on the glass. The liquid is dark, ruby-amber color. Light shines through and appears clear.

The smell is of toasted English toffee and undercooked sweet caramel. Light milk chocolate in the background.

Full flavored with sweet milked cocoa malt flavor. There's a dollop of bittering hop in the swallow, but this is a tale of delicious, near cake-like chocolate malt taste. Rich bodied with a low carbonation level.

Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is dark brown and forms a thin light brown head that break and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer is sweet smelling with nice caramel notes to the whole thing. Aroma level is appropriate and it smells good.

Beer is really creamy, very nice. Good caramel notes in the mid and late palate. Finishes completely cleanly. Beer has a medium body and some early sweet notes but its not a super malty beer. Bitterness is really low but that's expected. A really really good beer. I'm so glad I picked these up finally. I would highly recommend it and I'm trying it side by side with the Jacobite and am quite excited about that now.

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with amber highlights near the top. The thin head soon becomes a lasting swirling patch.

The smell is of oak, figs and nuts. A nice, inviting, earthy aroma.

The taste is of sweet malt - oak, figs and nuts, with hints of pepper and butterscotch. The earthy, bready hops becomes more noticeable as the drink progresses. The malt stays in front, but it has a great balance, especially for the style. The alcohol is barely noticeable, if at all. It has a long, dry, finish.

The medium-to-full body holds up well. It has a nice texture.
This is a very nice "sipping" brew. It has a unique, complex taste. I highly recommended this one.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 6/2018. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, pear, apple, molasses, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, oak, light vanilla, light clove, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes with moderate oak presence;and good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, pear, apple, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, toffee, oak, light clove, light vanilla, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering flavors of raisin, plum, pear, apple, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, toffee, oak, light clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast flavors with light-moderate oak presence; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome scotch ale! All around great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors with light-moderate oak presence; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of chinchill
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2? oz. bottle served (3x) in 6oz. glass

A - dark, slightly reddish, amber

S. slightly smokey, but much less so than many Scottish ales.

M - a bit lighter than suggested by the appearance.

Tasty, interesting, and highly drinkable.

Outstanding! A must try ale from a small Scottich brewery.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thin off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of crystal malts and roated barley. The taste is good. It is an extremely smooth beer for having such a high abv. . It has a crisp malty flavor with a dry slightly warm finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine old ale. It has good aroma and flavor along with a smooth finish; a good drinker.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very lightly hazy deep reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts, caramel, toffee, and dark fruits (fig). Hints of oak and brown sugar.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts with light to moderate amounts of caramel and toffee malts adding some light sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of dark fruit (fig), brown sugar, and oak + peat. Light amounts of earthy bitterness in the finish which fades pretty quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy upfront with a light amount of alcohol warming and just a touch of thinness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink with lighter mouthfeel and well hidden alcohol. Very enjoyable and a nice example of the style. Overall, well balanced.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a tan head. The aroma is alcohol, dark fruit and caramel malt. The flavor is caramel, peet smoke and dark fruit. The beer tastes a lot like a slightly smokey scotch whisky. Medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pub glass. The brew pours brown in color with 2 fingers worth of tan head. When held to the light, the beer shows excellent clarity with an amber to mahogany look about it. The cap recedes slowly maintaining a finger of froth atop with some patches of lacing sticking to the glass.

The aroma is rich and inviting with caramel malt sweetness that gives way to some notes of chocolate and mild fruity hints of raisins, plums, prunes and dates. As the brew warms up, there is a brighter citrus inclusion almost like coriander mixed with mild herbal hops. The hop quality mixed with the alcohol makes for more of a fruit and floral kick that was completely absent from this brew's nose while it was colder.

The taste follows through with what you would expect based on the aroma. Initial flavors of caramel and toffee malt hint lightly towards chocolate. More sips focus more and more on fruity alcohol notes with mild flavoring of prunes mixed with a bit of musty chocolate to coffee. Some citrus is present which is the first indication of hops that draws out some stale fruit flavors of raisins and a bit of earth. This is an enjoyable tasting brew but it has some unexpected twists and turns going on it without the antcipated smoked character one might expect in the style.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking for over 7%. I am glad I finally got around to trying this and I would probably reach for it again if given the chance. Overall, not a bad brew it is worth giving a try.

Photo of GClarkage
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5/14/05- Purchased at a wine shop in Sonoma, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker red in color, maybe a dark cherrywood color. 1/2 inch head and light lacing.

Smell- Mainly of sweet malts and various spices.

Taste- Malt, hops, spices, fruits all blend together pretty nicely. Maybe even an oak background. Mostly a sweeter caramel flavor with some prune or plum tastes.

Mouthfeel- Maybe a tad watery on the finish, but a nice sweet flavor on the back of the tongue. Fairly thick. Low carbonation.

Drinkability- A very good brew, but a costly one. Not sure it warrants $5.50 for 11oz, but maybe for a treat, pick one up. You won't be tricked.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown, with a creamy wisp of head, soft lace, looks great in a goblet.

S: Dark malt, burnt brown sugar and peat smoke.

T: Heavy on the molasses, figgy pudding and dark Scottish malt. Notes of smoke and sea salt, definitely has a whisky type flavour in there. Dark bread, delicious.

M: Soft carbonation, very smooth, the sweetness is there, but really doesn't become cloying.

D: The Stuarts have made a classic, James I would be proud, everything is here in balance. Just wish it wasn't so expensive, I can't believe this it the first time I've had this beer in 4 years.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this beer home from Las Vegas last year, strange to bring a Scottish beer back to the UK, but we don't see Traquair House beers around here!

330ml bottle poured into a 'Hoegaarden Grand Cru' stemmed tulip.

Lovely dark brown/reddy colour, tan coloured tightly knitted foamy head. The head left some good lacing on the glass, so condition of the beer was good.

Dark chocolate smells come from the beer, coffee esters also in the mix for my nose.

The flavours followed the smells, chocolate and coffee, with the coffee being the dominant one this time. The alcohol content is just below the surface, but can just about he found as the mouth dries after each sip. Not as sweet as I thought it might be, or expected after the first sniff. This ia a well balanced brew for a Wee Heavy.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Traquair House Ale

Appearance: A lighter brown, murky look. Looks like a 60-90 shilling ale by the shade and old standard.

Smell: Aroma of pumpernickel bread. Small roast, and stewed noble hops.

Taste: Real nice peaty scotch style malting. Robust and full malt body. Tea like hops with a slight tang. Mild but lasting presence and bitterness. Mostly malty and slightly roasted, in the finish some smoke.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, even feel, well carbonated.

Overall: A well done brew, which has come from the ancient brewhouse in the oldest inhabited house in Scotland to my glass. Proof that history can be tasty.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Trios in Denver. The waitress insisted that I drink it from the bottle. Luckily I ignored her.
Pours a dark reddish/rust color. The room was dark so I can't expand. One finger head, some staying power.
Smells of sweet malt, pears and some earthy herbs. Can't quite place it. A little spice to stay the sweet.
Taste; very nice. A slight hint of yeast and biscuit. Some soft fruit and red plum flavors. Not as sweet as it smells. Little hops, but enough.
A very drinkable brew. I like it.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love a good scotch ale, so after thoroughly enjoying Traquair Jacobite, I look forward to the original. On to the beer:

The head was dissapointing on top this light ruby borwn colored beer; small and fizzy. Still good to look at though. Mild sweetness and peat in the aroma. Suggestions of chocolate covered fruit. The taste is a little ambiguous to judge. It's not as diverse as Jacobite, but it's a very smooth beer that isn't heavy on the palate. Earthy caramel notes mixed with a breath of smoke and peat. There's also a touch of wooden cask in the taste. As it warms (and this is a key part to the beer), yeast comes in to add another dimension to the aroma and flavor. Consume liberally if you want; it's too easy to drink from.

I was wondering if I was ever going to experience the wonder others have had with this brew, and it came towards the last minute. And what a treat it was. Give it some time to warm after pulling it from the fridge and you too will experience the goodness of what others have had.

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smooth and sweet, almost juicy save for the balancing bitter kick at the end. It appears a dark amber without head retention. Rich caramel aroma with a hint of peat and earth. The flavor is semi-dry caramel grains with a mild, herbal bit of hops at the end. This is a very subtle beer and it hides it's strength well. However, I'd like a little more flavor out of a 7%+ Scotch Ale. Worth a try for the great drinkability.

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A nice light caramel evenly pinhead sized head is presented of about three fingers. Tight in appearance, almost creamy, solid as a rock. Body is a clear dark brown amber with some pinhead carbonation on the sides. Good sticky lacing too while drinking.

Nose is a light toast malt, but also very barleywine like smelling. Extremely fruity and sense of smoke. Grape like sweetness as well.

Woah this was very unexpected. Velvety thick body, with a light palate. Palate fills with malt and light smoke. Sensations of grilled meats and sausage come to mind. Light toast and mild char.

Overall an impressive display of light and bold from taste to feel. Very impressive, and an interesting unique Scotch Ale. I am drinking this by a fire with snow outside and I can't think of a better time to do so.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a thin head. No lacing to speak of. Not a pretty beer. The aroma is complex and winey with the alcohol noticeable but not dominant, and with top notes of dry malt and brandied dark fruits with some sherry notes there as well. The flavor has more of that malty winey flavor, more dark fruit, a touch of woodiness and attenuated raisin and sweet sherry flavors. There is a little nutty spiciness on the finish and a rich creaminess in the mouthfeel, although the beer is slightly thinner than you might have guessed it would be. Quite drinkable, but best as an after dinner sipper. This beers was one of my early favorites maybe 20 years ago,and its nice to see that it still impresses after all these years. Great brew.

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a completely opaque very dark chestnut brown color with a thick frothy 1.5 finger tan head. Decent retention but slowly fades into a lasting ring after a bit. Sporadic spots of lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of hazelnut, chocolate and leathery malts. Very earthy with a nice alcohol scent.

Roasted chocolate malt flavor with some caramel sweetness and subtle hop bitterness. Estery dark fruit notes, mostly plum and berries with some chestnut/hazelnut notes and slight alcohol warmth. Kind of a barleywine brown ale hybrid.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into an over-sized thistle. No bottle date.

Appearance - Deep brown with some reddish flecks. Looks a bit murky, but clearer on closer inspection. A bit of a head and some decent lacing down the sides.

Smell - Butterscotch and toffee. Really, that's pretty much it. It's exactly how a scotch ale should smell, I suppose.

Taste - A more complex flavor profile, but not inherently better. Definitely a butterscotch flavor throughout. Toffee and caramel malts as well, but it has a strong hop bitterness in the finish that rounds out the flavor into a pleasant brew.

Mouthfeel - Slick on the mouth, but not thick. Very oily tasting but still with a decent carbonation to it.

Overall - A solid scotch ale. No frills. Traditionally made and traditional tasting. Well made on all counts.

Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3 year old bottle aged in the cellar...
Appears a dense, dark brown with a fluffy, light tan head that quickly fades into a mild cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of toffee, smoke, roasted malts, with a ripe fruitiness that seems to liven up the smokey notes that seem to be a bit too much in my face...though it was expected from this one.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with notes of raisins, grapes, nuts, cocoa, and dried figs swirling around the palate.
Mouthfeel is malty, yet bitter with some "scotch" like delicacies along the tongue, leading to slick ending.

Photo of Zorro
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a clear deeply brown colored ale with a minimal head formation.

Smell is sweet but also with a sharp sour wine aroma. Scent of grapes and smoke.

The taste begins fruity and smoky with a deep caramel candy flavor. There is a faint grape flavor here and a fairly large amount of butter in the taste. Faintly grassy and bitter this doesn't really taste much like Scottish Ale.

Mouthfeel is OK.

This one has thoroughly disappointed me. Buttery mess of a beer.

Photo of wl0307
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting this ale nearly 5 years since my first encounter, this bottle's BB date is... DEC. 2017! Served cool in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: super dark russet brown hue with mahogany shines, coming with a moderate carbonated body and a nicely lingering beige frothy head.
S: very different from the Wee Heavy tasted immediately before this - Orkney Skullsplitter - the aroma here is not so pronounced in its overripe-fruit departments; it's low-profiled, more distinctive with a clear highlight of the yeastiness, comprising touches of cheese, salty-sweet butterscotch and a yeasty-maltiness not unlike a robust and estery Belgian dark ale. The sour hint of Chinese herbed prunes provides a suitable balancer with the yeasty hints as well as with the rich yet underlying flow of overripe fruitiness (prunes, apples, and figs mainly).
T: a clean entry of faintly raisiny, sour black dates and black-sugary dark malts comes not sweet at all and pretty understated in taste actually, then the flavour seamlessly ventures into a slightly herbal and bitter aftertaste backed by a distinctive edge of wood-barrel ageing. In the finish, black sugar and a touch of dried herbs are coupled with a rather... "tannic"-chewy palate as of sour-yeastiness or wood-barrel ageing. Somehow, the complexity is not so... great in this bottle, but the overall impression is still all positive.
M&D: fine and smooth on the carbonation, the body is medium at most, and it drinks absolutely light for a 7.2%abv. ale, although it does lack a kind of "soul" (or a really soft palate) that is the key to a "live" British ale. Compared with my first encounter almost 5 years ago, I'd say (just like with Orkney's Skullsplitter) this ale can't give me that "oomph" effect anymore; but before I get to taste the cask-version (should it be available), I'd still revisit this unique and special ale whenever possible. The balance and integrity are the strengths of this ale, no doubt about it.

* Tasting Date: 13/10/05
Obtained this bottle from the London branch of the Royal Mile Whiskies Shop. BB date: DEC. 2014!!! Gosh, for a beer at just 7.2%abv. to boast this level of longevity takes incredible courage as well as unlimited self-confidence I think...
4.5 A: served in a big tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a very dark, elegant ruby hue, with an initially thick beige head slowly dissipating and settling down to a thin layer of tight froth - looking very elegant for a British bottled beers~~
5 S: the nose is incredibly malty and complex - profoundly sweet, but not intrusive, syrupy dark maltiness prevails along with a complex dark-fruit aroma mixed of preserved sweet date, plum jam and huge juicy raisins; plus a barley-candyish texture smelling so thick and delicious enough to eat... also at present is butterscotch note, or that profound buttery note of, guess what, Scottish shortbread... Overall, creamy, rich, rounded, laced with so many dark fruits while avoiding being overly sweet and thick; if only some exotic Belgian yeasts were used this beer could smell more complex and satisfying than a great bunch of Belgian strong dark ales!
4.5 T: full-bodied and almost oily-smooth texture of dark-maltiness and an intense flow of dark-fruitiness make a big entrance, bringing on board lots of buttery toffee, a tinge of roastiness, caramelised sugar, a rounded, bittersweet walnuty flavour, leaving a slowly intensifying dryish-bitterness as well as a mildly spicy-bitter touch developing at the deep end of the tongue; a slightly syrupy mouthfeel is left in the end, but not OTT, and the alc. touch is very restrained, only emerging deep down the throat at the very last, rather than from the beginning.
4.5 M: creamy, silky-smooth texture throughout; actually it tastes much much lighter and delicate for a 7.2%abv. malty brew... at the same time, the body is rich enough to buttress the full-flavour, and helps achieve a nice balance on the palate.
4.5 D: overall, this is an ultra-elegant beer with so much to offer - neither something you'd wish to savour every day, nor even for the second bottle on the same night - because it's so precious and rare, worth great patience until having next sip, and next bottle. Reviewing it "within style", I give it such high score over here, to reflect the fact that though this is just my second bottle of Wee Heavy, I already love it so much. Highly recommended!

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