Traquair House Ale
Traquair House Brewery

Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #8
Ranked #2,304
4.17 | pDev: 10.07%
Traquair House Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
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Reviews: 644 | Ratings: 1,138 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Oct 20, 2002
More User Reviews:
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep crimson-dark bronze with orange accents at the periphery; a truly stunning color when run through with sunlight. The cap is small in size and pale brown sugar in color. It doesn't appear as if much lace will be forthcoming, but the rest more than makes up for it. This beer isn't a stunner, but it's definitely a looker.

The nose fits the style to a 'T'. My only (admittedly minor) complaint is that it could be a tad more complex. I smell heavily toasted dark malt, along with more than a little dark fruitiness. I expect some smoke and/or peat with my Scotch ales, but don't pick up any here.

Traquair House Ale tastes remarkably like it smells... 'cept better. There's a more than solid malt undercarriage that provides flavors of dark butterscotch, treacle and even cocoa. As in the nose, dark fruits are front and center, with sticky dates, dried figs and raisins leading the way. There's now a wee bit of smoke and a pinch of peat that limns this portrait of a classic wee heavy.

I can also appreciate just a whisper of well-integrated alcohol that isn't bothersome in the least. Port wine notes weave in and out; or at least they would be port wine-like if they were more concentrated and more forceful. The mouthfeel is in the upper ranges of medium with a light (just right) degree of mouthcoating. That ever so slight syrupiness promotes appreciation of the deep flavor profile long after the swallow.

Traquair House Ale is the second best wee heavy (Belhaven) to ever cross my lips. I love this style and I wish more breweries would dedicate themselves to making just such a rich, complex, traditional Scotch ale as the one I just consumed. If you love this style as well, this one should be on your short list of 'must tries'.

May 24, 2005
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Tucquan from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2016-11-10 in Columbia, PA from a 500ml bottle

A - Clear ruby-brown with a 1-finger tan head that drops quickly leaving little lace.

S - Figs, sweet-smelling toasted brown bread with apple butter and caramel. Rich.

T - Figs, dates, caramel, oak, toasted brown bread (no char), brown sugar, mocha and earthy spice. These flavors linger nicely into the finish, which presents some mild-moderate bitterness for balance. As the beer warms, the flavors continue to bloom with more emphasis on the barrel characteristics.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Thinner than I expected for a Wee Heavy but seems right for this brew. Finishes on the dry side.

O - This is elegant, sophisticated and a pleasure to drink.

Nov 10, 2016
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MaineBrewing from Maine

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a dark mahogany, held to light revealed a brilliant clear ruby. Had was 1.5 fingers and dimished to a nice frothy cap.

S - aroma is very sweet, lots of molasses, toffee, buttery, slight canvas.

T - really complex malt forward flavor that has a surprising amount of Bittering hops to even it out. The complex malt is greatly enjoyable with tons of candi sugar, molasses, toffee, and raisin notes. The Bittering hops are spot on for what's needed to support the heavy malt character, surprisingly for something from Scotland, would have figured it would be more subdued. I also feared diacetyl, I sensed some in the nose, however the taste was clean and it's presence was only slight. Oak was also very slight but was present and played well this balanced brew.

M - mouthfeel is on par for the style, ample carbonation.

O - overall a great example of the style, looks amazing and the complex smooth malt flavor is accentuated well with ample hop bitterness. Very drinkable, but still complex and enjoyable.

Jul 25, 2014
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Feb 05, 2006
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vande from Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

Mar 20, 2013
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mdaschaf from Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 28, 2015
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4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was pretty dark, and the head was very thick. It almost reminded me, visually, of a stout. The head wasn’t as pronounced as a Guinness, but still pretty impressive for an ale.

This beer has tons of flavor, and a complexity that you don’t typically see. The oak barrel’s influence is obvious and appreciated. It doesn’t hit you in the face, but is more of a trailing flavor that keeps you thinking about it as you contemplate your next sip.

I found this ale to be fairly sweet, and it reminded me of a Newcastle Brown. In fact, I’d say it was one of the sweeter beers I’ve had in awhile. I may have been avoiding them, but upon review, I shouldn’t.


I truly enjoyed every drop of this elixir. I don’t remember having an Ale that was aged in oak barrels, and if you’re wondering if it makes a difference, it does. The trailing oak flavor was a perfect compliment for a cool evening in a warm bar, and I look forward to an opportunity to try it again in the near future. I strongly recommend giving this a try.

Dec 28, 2012
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mentor from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle obtained from John's Grocery (Iowa City) in summer 2004, cellared for a year, and consumed in June 2005. Freshness notch on the label was 2004. Pours a thin layer of tan foam that quickly settled to a ring around the glass. The beer is cloudy and ruby-brown in color. Smells of alcohol, raisins and chocolate. The taste is thick malty, with some alcohol and a late sweet chocolate rising. The aftertaste is chocolate that then fades leaving a sweet malt left behind. Thick and bready. Caramel toffee is strong-almost to the point of having a twang. Warmed it has a woody quality and the raisiny/toffee flavor is sweeter and hangs around as a nice aftertaste. The alcohol is tamer and places a nice dry on the side tastebuds to temper the malt sweet. All around, a good beer. Thick mouthfeel and mild carbonation. No lacing on the inside of the glass.

Jun 22, 2005
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klikger from Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4 oz. pour served in a Port/Lost Abbey taster

A - Crazy - very dark red, extremely cloudy and greying near the top, with a thin transparent layer at the top; no head

S - Brown sugar, raisins, figs, and caramel

T - Very malty, with a touch of white raisins, grapes, and a distinct yeasty element.

M - No carbonation; rather dull

D - I could drink more; it's not overly sweet, which is a good sign for me when drinking this style

I enjoyed this, but I wasn't blown away. For $6, I could buy 4 or 5 Lake Louie Warped Speeds...the economist in me is unsatisfied with this purchase.

May 15, 2010
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linnymtu from Michigan

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 31, 2015
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Nayr from Hawaii

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Apr 06, 2013
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NearerMyBeerToMe from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Headless pour... just a thin white ring around the collar, and zero carbonation. Still, what lace there is slides down the glass lethargically after a thinnish swirl. Beer is rosewood in color with bright, nearly cherry red highlights. First aromatic impressions suggest cocoa powder with a dry, mealy nosefeel. Date-like sweetness emerges to drag the nose into a bog of malt. Licorice liqueur whispers in the finish, which is clean and airy, if brief. And boy, does it taste good. Flavors of spoiled walnuts are balanced with the leafy bittersweetness of sasparilla; these presently merge with a forceful body of black pepper and moist tobacco. The last warm sips are quite whiskyish, as of peat and smoked cereal chaff. Mouthfeel is light and creamy, with an uncarbonated yet tingly finish; slightly astringent. Hard to stop sipping, what with the light body and full flavor. This might go well with peanut brittle and cigarillos, but is probably best as a nightcap. Very relaxing.

Dec 09, 2004
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illidurit from California

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Dark brown but clearly not black. Transparent if held to bright light. Thin ecru head fades quickly, little lacing. Aroma is stewed dark fruit with a dark toastiness and sweet grapes. Flavor is raisiny with caramel maltiness and a touch of the smoke and peat that was conspicuously absent from the aroma. Medium body and a sticky finish. Nothing outstanding but a very solid and traditional beer. More of a standard-setter than a boundary-breaker.

Nov 11, 2008
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jpittman80 from Florida

3.38/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear dark reddish brown. Very little head from the pour, even though I tried. It fades quickly.

S - Not getting much. Maybe a little sourness? Maybe soured malts? Also, something like oak barrel. I have no idea if this is aged in oak.

T - That sour note is definitely in there. Caramel maltiness. The oak bite is there too, in the back of the tongue. Dries out nicely with minimal hops.

M - Pretty good carbonation, medium bodied. Dry finish bordering on astringent.

D - I'll get through the bottle easily enough, but I won't be craving another... maybe another Jacobite! That blows this out of the water.

Jun 05, 2010
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JNForsyth from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Feb 29, 2016
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EPseja from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 330ml bottle in a pint glass at a "wee" bit below cellar temperature. Bad pun intended.

A - Pours a very gently hazed brown color with ruby highlights, pushing up a nice, tan inch-plus marshmallowy head. Lacing is spotty, but visible and head retention is good around the edges, but only a thin film in the middle.

S - Assertive toastiness with a sweetness beneath that can be attributed to both the hops and the roasted malt. Hints of dark cherry are also observed.

T - Understated sweetness up front, with a somewhat cordial-like alcohol presence, minus the typical burn. It is here that there is a slight metallic tinge noted as well. Malts round out in the middle, presenting a decent toasted quality, albeit subdued, along with that cherry character found in the nose. The finish brings in a very slight yeastiness that this overshadowed by a nice hop quality that leaves you somewhat dry. Aftertaste is mildly bitter and pleasant. Very "English" tasting, almost like a kicked up bitter.

M - A bit watery on the way in, but gaining excellent presence as it swells in the mouth and leaves a tingle on the tongue. Finish is throat coating and filling.

D - There is no doubt that this beer possesses a superb balance, but for my tastes, I prefer a more robust malt character from my Scotch Ales. Still, this is definitely quite drinkable, well crafted and if you're not careful to read, you might just miss the big ABV.

Feb 03, 2007
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matthewfuchs from Pennsylvania

4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottled poured into snifter. bad pour, producing little head. smelled of caramel and subtle vanilla raisin. tasted a smooth caramel/molasses. very warming in the mouth, aftertaste was sweet but not syrup. great beer to drink slightly warmer than normal, and would be great during a winter snowstorm.

Aug 20, 2007
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Janderson91 from Alabama

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first scotch ale, poured into a Dogfish signature glass. A little over $5 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

A - Pours a dark purplish brown color with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly to a thin splotchy layer on top. Leaves little patches of lacing all around the glass.

S - Smell is incredibly complex. Some peat is present as I would expect from a Scottish brew, with some dark fruits and maybe even some cola. Great nose on this beer.

T - Taste consists of some sweet malt and a lot of dark fruits and even some grapes for me. The peat that was evident earlier on the nose shows itself again in the taste, it's fantastic.

M - I found this beer to be just a little on the thin side but it's only a slight drawback, I love this beer.

D - Drinkability was great. A little too good considering the price and the fact that I wanted to down it too quickly.

Jan 18, 2011
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Nunya from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aug 25, 2018
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rkhaze from California

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured clear amber with ruby tinges. Small bubbly head that disappeared immediatly. Sweet complex aromas of roast malt, brandy soaked fruit, burnt sugar and a hint of licorice. There was also a faint tartness(yeast?) at the end.
Flavor was not as sweet or complex as the aroma. Bready dark malt, macerated fruits of all colors, caramel and a tangy/bitter finish.
Thin to medium bodied in the mouth. A highly drinkable beer.

Jan 06, 2004
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nygannon from California

5/5  rDev +19.9%

Aug 03, 2013
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morrowd3 from Vermont

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 30, 2017
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StoutSnob40 from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Feb 01, 2014
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uturn from Florida

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Oct 30, 2014
Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1138 ratings