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Traquair 2020 - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020

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

127 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 28
Gots: 43 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: sitarist on 01-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superior English style barleywine. Dark colour, dark fruit, toffee, booze balanced with a subdued sweetness, cherry, fig, vanilla.Some mollasses and massive rich malts. Very drinkable, so smooth. Above average mouthfeel. I am sure ageing would make it even more amazing.Thanks again M.-P.

Sammy, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened this bottle last night to celebrate Amy's birthday. Picked these up from West Lakeview, Capone's, and Rick's. I'll give them each an assist. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a bronze brew with a bit of a garnet hue. Nice tan head sticks around for a bit and leaves a few legs on the side of the glass. The nose starts out with some dried plum and raisin plus a bit of molasses and brown-sugar sweetness. There is some sweet sherry there as well as it warms up. The flavor is mostly comprised of lingering dark fruits and cherry plus some sherry undertones along with a molasses-like sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation; there is no booze but the finish is a bit too bitter, almost tannic. Drinkability was pretty good. Not super impressed with this one right now (although I had high expectations). We'll see what it's like in a few years.

Thorpe429, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yet very dark brownish amber in color and has hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that faded away, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface along with a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has light to moderately strong aromas of dark fruits with some sweetness—smells of figs, prunes and raisins seem to stand out in particular. The smell becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits and some sweetness along with hints of molasses and toffee.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol towards the finish.
O: Considering its strength, this beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste and it’s not syrupy or cloying.

metter98, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear caramel color with a huge head that leaves a few spots of foam here and there

Smell: Caramel, fig and a hint of peat

Taste: Opens with a brown sugar and caramel flavor that adds some figgy complexity by mid-palate; after the swallow, some fusel alcohol appears, followed by a hint of smokey peat in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a touch of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Being a big fan of the House Ale, I was expecting this to be fantastic; frankly, it is just an above average English Barleywine; maybe it will get better with some age but it really lacks malty complexity right now

brentk56, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wonder how the Scottish contengency feels about creating Strong Scottish Ale that defies the style to the point that the most apt catagory would be an "English" barleywine. Though there's enough Scotch element to make me interpret this beer as a Wee Heavy to the extreme-- maybe a Wee Sumo?

Pouring an exquisitly handsome and rich mohogany hue with crimson and ruby highlights, the beer shows off its brilliant color and clarity. Lightly tanned foam builds a formitable head that falls to a delicate creme that coats the beer evenly and laces with intermitten pockets along the glass. A very sharp look.

Rich fruity and malt sweetness fill the nose with plumb, grape, dates, figs... really and nice blend of stone, dehydrated and pitted fruits. Sweetened and rounded by toffee, caramel, and molasass the fruits come to life in a very brandyish and port wine kinda way. Still a memory of Scotch Whiskeys persists with earthy notes of peat and mild phenolic smoke.

Very strong flavors of those fruits and malts swirl for a very well melded and mature taste. Rum soaked raisons, fruitcake, and ripe cherries further deepen the complexity of flavors that continue to reveal themeselves with each and every sip. Alcohol flavors dance with the smokey/peaty notes in the finish for a savory, yet thinly sweet taste.

Full and sweetly feeling early, the mouthfeel weathers the syrupy start to provide a creamy and pleasantly fatty mid palate before venturing onward to a malty dry finish and a linger of earthy Scotch and port-like fruity sweetness.

Despite its Barleywine alcohol strength, this beer is as easy to consume as any sessionable Scottish Ale, making it dangerously smooth and drinkable. Though an absolute joy to drink, the beer falls just a step off of the pace of its nearest beer- J.W. Lees Lagavulin aged ale. Sorry Scotland.

BEERchitect, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a deep, dark amber in color with a decent bit of cloudiness to it. Nice little head of white pops up and over the top, settling down into a thin, but firm coating of white that sticks to the walls decently, and evenly. Rich, deep vanilla coming through the air, enough that it was really the only thing I was detecting at first. Smooth, oak notes now coming up as well as toffee and butterscotch. Complex as could be, you could fall in and die in the aroma of this one. Then you take that first sip, and wave after wave of crashing smooth as silk flavor washes over you. Just immense and complex, it really just puts it all into perspective. Rich caramel malts that are pinned perfectly against the rich, decadent toffee and vanilla flavors. Light touch of bourbon, smooth, earthy, Sublime. There is just nothing at all about this that doesn't just scream smooth and complex.

mikesgroove, May 15, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle, Eddie.

Pours an opaque dark amber color with a finger of frothy off-white head. Intense aroma of dark fruits and caramel to this one. Some plums and almost vinous red wine notes to it. It’s also got an almost woody character to it. The flavor is sweet, but not overly so. A bit woody and vinous, maybe even tannic. Heavy flavors of plum and fruit skins. Dark sugar and molasses are also prominent. Medium to full body with low carbonation.

womencantsail, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

ygtbsm94, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

spycow, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia. Best Before End April 2020.

Appearance: Pours out a deep brownish-red body with a wispy, ivory-hued head thinning out into the appearance of a werebat in flight.

Smell: Sweet-scented nose of bread pudding immersed in a hotel pan filled with chopped quality fruits, top-shelf liquor, sugary liquids, and stray wood shavings.

Taste: Golden raisins, currants, and chewy Deglet Noor dates soaking in a sweet blend of dark caramel, treacle, almond syrup, and a few drops of Hennessy and rum. Leisurely languishing of sweet maltiness and robust fruitiness throughout. Buttery, toasty breadiness underneath. Leafy English hop character with a modest twinge of bitterness. Earthy, zesty oakiness creeks in and holds firm until the semi-sweet, lightly heated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty and a decent way to sip away a Tuesday night. Seems like the 900 given a slight bump. The fruitiness, sweetness, and light carbonation leave it tasting and feeling like something you'd find under a 'dessert drink' heading.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer intent on holding it a least for a little while,Iam glad I didnt.Poured a rich mahogany with a tinge of scarlett,a thinner but persisntent head atop.A mix of molasses,caramel/vanilla,raisin/prune,and light peaty smokiness in the nose,alot going on but it all melds well.Big chewey mouthfeel,the definition of chewey right here.Alcohol dipped stone fruit and molasses dominate the palate,it has an almost cakey feel to it.The sweetnes is kept in check pretty well with the alcohol zip providing the sweetness mainly in the finish.A complex to the hilt beer,its one of the best
barleywines I have had either from here or the UK,wonderful stuff.

oberon, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature 48º into a tulip.

Dark saturated copper crimson in the light, with a finger or two of tan foam resting on top. It settles after a few minutes leaving a delicate ring of lacing on the way down. A thin skim remains across the surface after the first few sips.

Estery and phenolic in the nose like a high gravity doppelbock, perceptible hints of alcohol and malty spice. Brown sugar and cinnamon.

Full bodied, sweet and estery with plum, raisin, and plantains fried in butter. Hints of butter toffee, sticky with brown sugar sweetness, fig jam and multigrain bread. Slightly drying in the finish from the alcohol. Body has enough carbonation to avoid being syrupy, and is simply full bodied and sweet. The 10% abv is apparent in the aroma and taste, though it doesn't overwhelm. One to take awhile with, sipping away the last days of winter.

emerge077, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany brown body topped by an initially tall but rapidly fading tan head.

The nose reminds me a whole lot of a Belgian quadrupel. Anise, dark candied fruits, ripe figs and tart plums, caramel apple, cereal grain.

Rich but pleasant on the tongue. Toffee, peat, smoke and plum are dominant. Slight berry tartness beneath, though this largely a rich, malty beer. Caramel apple comes to mind again. The smoke character came as a welcome surprise, lending a bit of balance to the initial blast of sweetness. Full-bodied and syrupy on the tongue, more earthy and peaty in the finish than bitter. Really nice stuff, and I can see how a few years of age could turn this into an absolutely brilliant beer.

largadeer, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, dark burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of rich bready malts. Some mild floral notes, too.

T - It tasted of sweet maltiness, caramel and sweet breads. There was a mild spice.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied barleywine.

D - This was good and pretty easy drinking for a barleywine. I would really like to try another one with some age on it.

zeff80, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 brown bottle with a best before date of April 2020.

LOOK: Hazed tawny hue, good lacing on the glass

SMELL: Figs, apple butter, Christmas pudding, slightly boozy alcohol, faint spice, vegtal hop, caramel

TASTE: Smooth, thick creaminess, very malty, caramel, nutty, grainy, earthy, leafy hops, mild twang, slow escalating alcohol warmth, figs, cotton candy, green peppercorn, biscuity, semi-sweet finish

Damn, wish I had grabbed two bottles to see where this one goes eight years later. Certainly great enough to pop open now. A solid sip.

Jason, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was dumb and didn't buy this about 6 months ago when I had my first chance. So I see a single bottle and snatch it up without hesitation farther down the road. And now I'm cracking open the only bottle I'll probably ever get. I feel like I'm about to hear the theme song for the "real men of genius" any second now.

This beer is smooth. Very well made. I don't really get a high amount of distinct character, but the thing that I think about while I drink it is that it's a true barleywine. It's a shame I don't have more to let rest for a while to see how they develop as I am certain it would be interesting to see. I guess that's what I can say most about this: that it is well enough made to let age and develop into something genuinely serious.

RblWthACoz, May 09, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a very dark brown body with clear, amber highlights. The head settles relatively quickly and leaves little lace.

S - A thick aroma of toffee and raisin with some dark molasses notes in the background. Some fruity yeast notes of red apple and plum as well.

T - Sweet, thick sugary notes up front with a lot of plum and caramel. Red apple notes creep up in the middle and the caramel malt becomes even more pronounced. The beer finishes with a slight hint of molasses and a touch of smoke that play with the plum and caramel as they linger on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Big and sugary, this beer seems like it could use a bit of age to really come together. It isn't harsh or boozy, despite its high abv, but the malt is sticky sweet and kind of one dimensional. The caramel character and fruity yeast dominate with just a touch of molasses for depth and almost none of the rich toffee that characterizes better examples of the style. It is clearly meant to be aged and I expect that sometime between now and its drink by date of 2020, it will have become something more than it is today.

nickfl, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors. Best before April 2020.

A - Pours with a half-finger of light tan foam that settles to a thin ring and some hazy film, leaving minimal lace. Semi-transparent dark ruby-brown color.

S - Firstly, this smells like a quad. Secondly, it smells like a fantastic quad in the league of the best trappist breweries. Huge nose of caramel, treacle, dark fruits, candi sugar, and only a faint whiff of alcohol.

T - Again, huge treacle and toffee, booze-soaked vinous dark fruits, figs, brown sugar. Booze is not apparent, and this somehow avoids being cloying.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, low carbonation. Goes down very easily for the style, and only the lightest bit of warmth in the back of the throat.

D - This is shockingly ready-to-go right out of the gate. It'll only get smoother over the next 10 years, but there's no shame in being impatient and drinking this right now. I split a 12oz bottle with a friend, and I'm probably going to buy a bunch more for the cellar.

MasterSki, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Artois glass. Beer is dark brown / ruby and clear with a thin brown head that leaves no lacing on the glass, carbonation low, looks like a beer.

Aroma is super malty with a hint of ethanol.

Beer is sweet and mildly spicy. Medium in body, sweetness from the ethanol, a warming palate overall. The finish is mildly dry with a little bit of bitterness from the roast. Really nice beer if you like maltiness, which I do. I'd have it again if it were priced slightly lower.

drabmuh, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter. Decided to pick this one up at Whole Foods the other day and decided to try it now as it looks like the reviews for it are already pretty good. Cost was $9 for a 11.2 oz. bottle.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one and a half fingers of light tan head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruits, figs, sweet fruit, sugar, and bready malts. The smell is sweeter than the taste; lots of sugar and sweet fruit.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, figs, dates, dark fruits, sugar, bready malts, and light alcohol. I enjoyed the taste a little bit more than the smell. It's not quite as sweet.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body. Awesome feel for a barleywine and goes down pretty easy for 10% ABV.

d - Overall I thought this was a pretty good English barleywine, but it didn't blow me away. I enjoyed the smell and the taste but the only thing I found really great about this beer was the mouthfeel. The smell is very sweet so maybe with some time on it it would be better; I would guess this will hold up well over the next few years. Personally I wouldn't purchase this one again based soley on the price, but would certainly like to try again sometime if someone else bought a bottle.

mdfb79, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby brown color where light easily passes. Modest but thick, long-lasting head that leaves a ring of lace after each sip.

Strong, rich maple syrup and caramel smells. Very sweet, like freshly made toffee.

Strong malt sugar flavor, reminds me of taffy for some reason. The alcohol is very present, but not overwhelming. Rich body, naturally, but the low carbonation makes nearly oily. Notes of vanilla and flat cola.

smcolw, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled December 2011
A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber that shows a brilliantly clear, rich amber hue when held up to the light as well as carbonation bubbles viscously struggling to rise up through the beer. As I pour this deeply caramelized sugar notes are noticeable as well as an earthy, coriander like spiciness that really seems to be more of a nutty note as my nose adjusts. Notes of caramel brittle, touches of toffee, a nutty sweet maltiness as well as a frutiness that reminds me of dates and perhaps a touch of raisins are noticeable up front; this really does sort of remind me of some sort of nut & caramel candy, perhaps a nut brittle of some sort. At first there seemed to be an ever so slight vegetal note to this beer, but that seems to have dissipated pretty quickly.

Rich feeling as it first hits my palate, but not nearly as much as I was expecting, a bubbly carbonation keeps this moving along, even providing a touch of carbonic bite in the finish. A hint of dark malt, sort of grain husk astringency is lightly noticed in the finish, there is also perhaps a touch of herbal character and bitterness in the finish. The beer is viscous and certainly has a certain heft to it as it lumbers across the palate; this suggest at the sweetness that is so pervasive in this beer; it isn’t quite cloyingly sweet and the sweetness is not simplistic as there is a lot of caramel, chewy-nutty malt complexity, definite caramelized biscuit character, as well as a more toffee like note at times. There is a subdued fruitiness here that suggests at dates and perhaps some raisin like notes (though the latter seems a little bit of a stretch. There is a touch of spiciness and heat from the alcohol in the finish, though for a beer of this strength it is certainly quite smooth. This suggests at a rich, almost oxidized character (though I don’t think this is strictly true) that reminds me of sherry in some ways (the nutty notes also help with this).

This is quite tasty, definitely an appropriate, cold weather sipping beer. I could see this aging quite elegantly for a couple years, though I don’t think this would be in peak condition come 2020.

Gueuzedude, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

beernads, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with golden ruby/mahogany edges when held to a light and a 1.5 light beige head quickly settles into a lasting ring. Thin ring and sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy, leathery malt aroma with hints of toffee, caramel biscuit and hazelnut. Subtle floral hops and faint alcohol booze but the nose is dominated by the earthy and sweet malt notes.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with a slightly creamy texture. Faint earthy hop bitterness up front that is quickly countered by the leathery and sweet malt flavors. Lots of caramel with hints of toffee, biscuit, rye and hazelnut. Slightly boozy but at 10% the ABV is very well masked resulting in a very quaffable beer.

Overall, this beer was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be much hotter and harsh at this stage but it's already considerably mellow. Well balanced, flavorful and easy to drink. I plan on buying a bunch more of these to see how they develop over the next ten years.

corby112, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep chestnutt color with red hues leaving a dirty white cap and lingering bubbles

S: English malts, some dark cherries, toffee and some sherry

T: Very nice. Has an extremely nice clean taste with prnounced dark cherry, underlying cocoa, some sherry notes, light elements of dark fruits, toffee and light booze ending with a nice bitternes

M: Nice medium to big body, well carbonated, extremely smooth on the feel, lots of flavor

O: Nice, clean and memorable English Barleywine courtesy of Thorpe429

barleywinefiend, Feb 08, 2012
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Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.