1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Traquair 2020 - Traquair House Brewery Lld

Not Rated.
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020

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

133 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 29
Gots: 43 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: sitarist on 01-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Traquair 2020 Alström Bros
Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deapokid
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a buttery caramel color with a soft layer of fuzz on top. Carbonation is very visible, which is surprising for the ABV, and all those bubbles make for a sticky lacing. It's reminscent of a cola in body and head.

Aromas include caramel, booze, molasses, coffee and root beer. Since it's still quite young, the alcohol presence is rather powerful and assertive.

Flavor is sweet, boasting a deep caramel maltiness, ginger, licorice and a touch of honey. Despite the sweeter notes, it's never cloying, and it balances out nicely with a concluding dryness.

Mouthfeel is delightfully smooth, much like Traquair's wee heavys, with a thin, tonic water body. The lightness in body definitely adds to the drinkability.

From the aroma, I never expected this to be drinkable whatsoever, but it definitely goes beyond expectations. I can only imaginable how nice it'll be in ten years.

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a brownish, dark-copper color. It's an intensely malty beer, loaded with melanoidins, toasty, and sweet. The aroma is alcoholic, notably deep with toasted pale malt, and enticing. Luxurious mouthfeel...it's really mouth-enveloping. Malt is the dominating characteristic of the beer, followed by alcohol as a close second. Not overpowering, however, and neither is it one dimensional. All in all, this is a fine barelywine.

Photo of chefelf
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one in the fridge for about a month before I broke down and drank it. Only 9 years short of the "best by" date.

This was probably the best barleywine style beer I've ever had. This isn't saying a lot as I have not had a ton of different barleywines. I really enjoyed it. At $8.99 a bottle it's certainly not cheap but for a special occasion and for someone who really enjoys good and interesting beers it's certainly worth the money.

I'm not sure if you can even get this anymore but if you can I'd recommend picking up a bottle. And don't wait around until April of 2020 to drink it. That's just dumb.

Photo of aepb1
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown/black body with a small tan head

S- Dark fruits, molasses and some bready malts as well as a boozy edge

T- Sweet dark fruits, toffee malts and it finishes sweet

M- Full-bodied and good carbonation, creamy and the 10% ABV is ridiculously well-hidden

D- Solid barelywine to be sure and the hidden ABV for this young is nice

Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before end April 2020. Looks like I'm just in time.

A: Blood red body. Decent white head leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Fruity and malty.

T: Intensely malty. Dark fruits and toffee. Also a hint of chocolate. Roasted notes in the aftertaste. Herbal notes from the hops. No trace of alcohol.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

D: Astonishingly easy to put down for such a big beer. An outstanding sipper.

Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown color that looks more like mahogany when held up to the light. The pour produces a nice off-white head that creates a thin ring of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is predominately malty with dark fruit and sweet caramel.

T- The taste like the aroma is big and malty up front with some sweetness and toffee flavors. The finish has some warmth from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit chewy with a perfect amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, this one is pretty tasty fresh. I can only imagine that it will just get better and better with age. Considering the high ABV, this one is amazingly drinkable. Definitely worth a try. Buy one now, save at least a few for later.

Photo of rajendra82
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I looked up the shade of red this beer pured out as, Wikipedia said Wine. The body was clear, and the head was one finger thick. Unlike most other barleywines, this one seemed to have a vigorous carbonation. The smell was very sweet, like molasses or honey almost, with just a dash of spice. The taste was very rich, reminding me of golden raisins and brown sugar. Despite the richness, this beer was actually not overly sweet, and spicy hops came through in the middle of each sip. The finish was sweet again with some peaty undertones. Thick and tongue coating, this was very velvety in the mouth. Very drinkable for a 10% ABV ale, and a fine drink 9 years before the expiration date of 2020.

Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of MasterSki, cheers Alex. Best before 2020! 11.2oz bottle into a tulip, "Judge Nought" emblazoned on the bottle.

Pours a dark burgundy, borderline opaque with some ruby red and lighter browns when held to some light. Finger of khaki head, leaving a ring and some light retention. Head is easily reconjured with a swift swirl. Nose of dark, rich fruits, dates, raisin, some toffee, light alcohol with some dry, vinous grape notes too. Taste is subtle and complex, rich and relatively sweet. Caramelized dark fruits are prominent. Body isn't massive and overwhelming, but adequate and pleasing. More toffee as it moves over the palate and leaves with a light bitterness, almost coffee-like. Mild alcohol note is present. Aftertaste lingers for quite some time, and carbonation is a low medium. Great drinkability, I had significant trouble putting this glass down. Frankly, I didn't.

Photo of mryuk
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a medium brown amber with almost no head at all.

smell is sweet and malty with a hint of black cherries. slight coffee scent as well.

taste is not as sweet as expected, alcoholic with a slight bitter finish.

mouth is medium bodied with almost no carbonation.

overall this was just so-so for me. seems like it is setup to age for a few years. not sure if i should get another one and throw it in the cellar to give it a chance. maybe i will be updating the review in a few years.

Photo of flannelman808
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is really a pretty one. I 3/4 in a snifter and felt like checking out the rest in a wine glass to get a better look. In a snifter I nearly thought it looked like the deepest shade of violet, though in a wine glass it shows more of a deep orange/red. good retention and seemingly good carbonation too. Slow legs but not too much sticky lacing to speak of ... maybe in a pint? lots of aging potential.

S: Brandy like on the nose, esters of dark chewy fruit. This guy has a pretty big bouquet overall with lots of complex flavors. lots of aging potential.

T: Not quite what I was expecting/hoping for on this one though I perhaps had very high expectations as this stuff is quite good. Though first Ill read out the bad ... roasted malts show up more than I would like them to. It has a charred bread quality which is a bit unwelcome, and I think hides what the fruity aroma might have provided on the palate. Sort of reminds me of maple syrup soaked pancakes. Only it would be a pretty bittersweet syrup.

M: um... good

D: quite freaking high but god damn this shit is pricy. Ef the sticker price on this stuff. I see it aging some and it will be interesting to see just how it does but frankly ... 2020? no way.

Photo of bobhits
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020 Traquair

Pours dirty amber/brown in color. Pours a strong and creamy tan head. Decent amount of carbonation hanging to the bottom of the glass.

Sweet nutty/dark fruits in the malt. A kiss of hops at the finish adding a piny finish to the nose.

Sweet caramel, a touch of candy, and just a touch of a bite to finish the beer off. There's an almost toffee like flavor but this beer doesn't go towards the burnt flavors often associated with that flavor.

Smooth, creamy, yet not overly thick or hard to drink at all. Not extremely smooth from carbonation as the 10% abv kills that. However the alcohol is virtually non existent in the taste. Rather impressive considering this beer hasn't been aged that long.

I would highly recommend seeking this beer out.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of impending
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a deep mahogany garnet, when an inch remains it's a gorgeous deep copper. Minor fleeting head barely surfaced, unexceptional lacing.

Aroma is big sweet, multitudes of dark fruit, caramel and quiet peat moss. Quadish Exceptional

Highly complex flavor, something for everyone. Sweetness not equal to the expectation from the nose. The evolution of the taste is significant. Hints of wrinkled dark fruits plucked from a brandied fruit cake. Long lasting pleasant aftertaste. Nice use of alcohol as a flavor component.

Mouthfeel is only medium, I would have enjoyed it being a bit more viscous, the low carbonation is appropriate.
cheers
jd

Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So tired...must keep going...must find beer...

Pours a scintillatingly enticing Ruby to blood red...Like a blood ruby...Isn't that a film with Bar Refaeli's boyfriend?

Not much of a head to speak of, and it pours oily thick, so this'll be a robust ale, fer sure. 10% ABV and painfully expensive at $8.99/11.2oz. bottle. YOWZA!!!

Only the faintest wisp of carbonation.

Large, very porter-ish aromas. Lots of deep molasses and dark fruit, like fig. I also get touches of chocolate, but dark baker's chocolate. Very nice even in its mostly one-dimensional aspects.

Whoa my sweet baby jesus, what the heck is going on here. Flavor is like a cannon shot!!! It's a blazing fireflash of huge, robust malt components. So much going on it's almost not possible to describe. It's like smashing a bowl of figs together with a sack of barley grain and lighting them on fire briefly. Then taking the burned remnants and making a strong tea out of them, then chilling them. It's got enormous potential, which is why they say lay it down for a few years. The middle softens a lot and some sweetness crawls around in your mouth. Then the finish comes and lays some bitterness on your slab of bread and tells you "here, eat this." This will be amazing in a couple years. Right now it's a conundrum in that I know it's good beer, but it's crazy powerful.

What I like most: The crazy, robust blast of flavors.

What I like least: The price and fact I have to sit on it for a few years to really enjoy it.

Verdict: Fantastic and will only get better over the next few years. Find and cellar, mis amigas...

Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of Chico1985
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been keeping an eye out for this one for the last month or so, found some a few days ago.

Pours very dark red/brown, off-white head becomes a thick ring and cap pretty quick, leaves some lacing.

Brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, and a tiny bit of booze in the scent. Nice but doesn't really smell like a barleywine...

Taste mostly follows the nose, definitely reminds me of a scotch ale or old ale more than a barleywine for sure. Brown sugar, toffee/caramel, molasses, some toasty malts and dark fruit. It is pretty sweet but not cloying. Some grassy hops. The flavors, although nice enough, seem muted, there isn't much depth.

Very smooth, full mouthfeel. Alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden although it starts to show more as it warms.

Good, but nowhere near $10/bottle good. I bought another bottle to age though this drinks pretty well right now.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of Aiptasia
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled while fishing, direct from the bottle. It's a beautiful thing. My first taste of a Scotch ale.

A: I can only rate it as good, as I sampled it directly from the bottle. From what I could note, the beer had some froth along the 12 oz. neck and was a nice rich deep dark color.

S: The smell was imediately noticed, nice rich chestnut, pine hops and sweet dark caramel.

T: Similar to the smell, nutty and semi-sweet. Not as sweet as Belgians but very pleasant on the pallete. Pine hops back it up nicely. Well balanced.

M: Full bodied but with a dry finish. This beer is in your face then finishes dry. Low carbonation and not overly fizzy.

D: Very drinkable. I really enjoyed this one. It goes down very smoothly and the alcohol is well masked. High alcohol content = very dangerous. Pace yourself with this beer.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Expensive 11.2oz bottle pours garnet - amber with thin tan head. The aroma has an even mix of spices, toffee, black strap molasses, prunes, cherries, figs and sweet molasses. This smells like this beer has great potential with some age and also smells great right now. The taste is very good right now and makes me wish this was cheaper so I can buy more. I get prunes, sweet dates and then boysenberry mixing with molasses. It picks up spiciness midway and ends with sweet prunes, a touch of caramel candy and slick sweet molasses all in the forefront. This is easy drinkin' stuff for a beer that is meant to be aged. Yum!

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into my De Struise glass... The body is a medium brown with lots of red, semi-clear. A light tan head rises several fingers and stays with great retention. Ok lacing... Great aroma that reminds me a sweeter trappist quad. Tons of brown sugar, candi sugar, light spice, lots of caramel. A touch too light and sweet, but otherwise pretty outstanding... The taste is almost as good, but loses some points. Light toffee, dark fruits, chalky middle, and a touch of alcohol on the finish. A little boring, not as sweet as the nose, so not as drinkable or enjoyable. Not the depth of a good quad...the feel is pretty smooth, easy to drink, with a warm finish when you swallow...Super easy to drink right now. This is supposed to be able to age another 10 years. This is ready to roll now, might not hold up the 10.

Good not great, but worth drinking.

Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery Lld
93 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.