Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery Lld

618 Reviews
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-07-2000

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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 1,059
Photo of Gaisgeil
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"O in the sweetest plums there's stanes,
And in the fairest beef there's banes
Rum turns ye rude, wine makes ye pale,
There's life and love and soul in ale:
Gude ale's the medicine oft spae'd of,
The very stuff that life is made of,
Dropt in a receipt from the moon,
To haud men's sinking hearts aboon."
- Robert Burns, beloved Scottish Bard. 1795.

I've been saving this ale to put me over the 100 karma mark, just the ale to do it!

This is honestly the best beer I have ever partaken of. Combined with my affinity for Scotch and complete adoration of beer, not to mention my natural propensity for anything of my land of ancestry, Scotland, all in all I would drink this every day if I had the means. So naturally I of course have a natural inclination toward really liking this beer as a result. I was quite aware of my "slight" bias in reviewing this one with my background. But in then end, with lots of thought and honest effort toward being fair and unfettered I really do love this beer as it stands alone, on it's own merit. It truly is a work of art in my book and I'm totally convinced even if blindfolded this beer would hit my beer nerves perfectly every time, sip after sip. It being Scottish is simply the icing on the cake. Truthfully, I never saw myself giving any brew all 5's, but I can't help myself, there isn't a thing I don't love about this one.

This beer pours a deep brown, with red highlights, chestnut in color, just a tad cloudy with just a bit of carbonation apparent, quite unlike many Scotch ales which tend to be much darker in color. A creamy and perfect slightly off white head accompanied with great retention, lots of lacing along the way. Nose is dark and almost musky, slight hint of smoke, reminds me of a library for some reason, old leather armchairs, fireplace, natural bound texts. Taste is wonderful, following the nose of course but with even more layers, reminded me slightly of Scotch whisky as one might expect, a bit smokey. The oak is definatly strong and present. Quite malty, only enough mild hops to balance the whole affair out perfectly. Stewed fruit, plums, maybe a little fig, a very slighty peaty nuance and a bit of vanilla. Notes of sherry are apparent toward the finish with a detectable, but not overpowering alcohol character. I also detect a slightly herbal tone as well, almost tea-like. Finish isn't overly dry, just a tad bit so. Mouthfeel is medium, but coats the palate quite well. Definatly best served slightly under room temperature, otherwise you are missing out on a lot of the complexity.

This is a gorgeous product and I was pretty sure I would adore it as much as I love the Jacobite but as it turned out I love this one even more. This brew is like the heir to the throne, while the Jacobite is more of the rebel younger brother. I will be bringing lots of this home with me during my future trip near Edinburgh. This truly leaves me a happy man.

Slàinte maith, h-uile latha, na chi 'snach fhaic! Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slàinte agus sonas!

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Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now this is a true Scottish Wee Heavy.. Very beautiful looking beer with a nice smooth smelling malt and the taste is unreal with grate tasting malts and no hop taste to speak of, Which is how a Wee Heavy is supposed to be....

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Photo of spointon
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from an 11.2oz skinny brown bottle into a stemmed globe style glass. This bottle has been in my cellar for nearly 2 years and as far as I could tell it was already 1-2 years old when I bought it back in 2007.

A= This ale poured a beautiful mahogany color that reminded me of a dark chestnut mare. There was a fair clarity to this beer that I didn't expect but certainly appreciated greatly. The head was a creamy light tan color and rose just about 1/2" before slowly settling to a skim. Only a few spots of lace formed on my glass. I was constantly struck by the beauty of this ale in the glass.

S= Wow...the nose is absolutely bursting with a beautiful marriage of sweetness and fruit. I smelled the dark ripe fruits more upfront, showing aromas of figs,raisins, and plums. The sweet malty notes built up and emerged after the fruit with a great showing of treacle and mincemeat pie. The alcohol was there in force but in no way smelled "hot" or uncomfortable. An olfactory treat for sure.

T= Incredible array and depth of flavors were displayed in this beer. My first taste sensation was of dark ripe fruits on the order of plums and dark cherries. Sort of like pie in a glass really, with pecan pie and mincemeat pie both coming to mind. The malt presence was nearly as large as the fruit character, with hints of brown sugar, treacle, carob, caramel, toffee, and maybe even a hint of butterscotch. Just incredible depth at every turn. I think I even got a few hints of chocolate and oak near the finish. The hops were there just enough to take the edge off the sweetness and combined with the alcohol to spice everthing quite pleasantly. Finish was sweet and full of a very pleasing alcohol warmth.

MF= Medium bodied with a small but constant carbonation release. This ale was soft on my tongue and felt silkier with each sip. Really top notch.

D= Though this is a sipper, and it unabashedly shows its alcohol, it never felt like a "big" beer and was never hot in any way. I could easily drink quite a few of these on a long Sunday afternoon/evening by a fire or in a comfortable chair reading a book. I am glad I saved this bottle for so long and will now dedicate myself to laying many more bottles down.

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Photo of BierManVA
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bier is as close to perfection as I have had. It is an amazing brew. The aroma and of flavor is of old wood. Malty and extremely smooth, it is obviously made with incredible quality, love and time.

The feeling of happiness that overcomes you while quaffing this bier is quite surreal.

The only downside, the price. Over $5.00 for 330ml is really not too much considering the quality, but leaves you wishing you could stock an ample supply.


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Photo of Offa
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is outstanding, complex, rich, yet highly drinkable and amazingly light.

It is extremely dark ruby-red-brown, almost black, with red highlights and a small-medium, dense, creamy tan head that is long-lasting, slowly shrinking to a thin, wispy top. it leaves some nice lace.

The aroma is at first more alcoholic and winey but soon develops a drier, more toasty-chocolaty, porter-like quality. It has fermented plums, fruit, apple, light chocolate, dark, toasted bread crust, prunes, and a light earthy-leafy quality.

The taste has similar qualities and is wonderful. It's zesty, lively, and complex, very full of flavour but all restrained and nothing overpowers the other qualities or the drinkability. It is on the dryish side despite a light port and fermented plum/raisin character, with toastiness, quitwe a bit of black pepper and licorice, some chocolate and a faint leafy and earthy quality. It has a dryish, toasty, lightly bitter, zesty finish.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.94/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- deep dark red with garnet highlights, looks black from afar. head is incredibly dense and creamy and fizzles loudly like a belgian. not much lace though until i give it a swirl. even after that nothing sticks and foam recedes to a thin, albeit dense, ring.

S- nose is all at once amazing. soft and nutty,sweet and fruity. caramel, toffee, praline, hazelnut, pecan, and peach pit, raisin, fig, date, apricot, mango, banana, all on the sweeter less dry side. big melon and toffee aromas, namely cantaloupe and skor bar, vanilla, and creamy milk chocolate covered marshmallow. brown sugar, cedar, sandalwood, roses, daffodil, raisin and black grape. one intensely multi-faceted and complex aroma right here.

T- sublime malt profile, sweet and milk chocolate with a touch of cappuccino, raisin, prune, date, and fig. a little peaty-ness is evident but not enough to call this one smokey. fine by me. some smokiness does appear in the aftertaste. earthy hop presence glides over damp bark and soil malt flavors. tastes like the woods after a good rain. all the fruity notes from the aroma all culminated into a bundle of malty perfection. tastes like lilies covered in brown sugar syrup. some oaky characteristics, but creamy vanilla and sandalwood override any barrel undertones. this tastes... so good i wish i could give it a 6. i picture falling leaves and moist scottish hillsides and a glimmer of sunshine barely peeking through the clouds. there's an herbal savory/tart flavor that makes itself known near the finish, which is dry and woody and nutty and earthy and perfectly balanced. dried fruit favor and english hops linger on the palate for quite some time with a hint of floral and pineapple alcohol.

MF- tight zesty carbonation helps accentuate its juicy european body. finely milled grainy feel, very substantial and more than satisfactory. leaves my cheeks feeling like apple juice and wood, very pleasurable and sippy.

D- so very glad i found this ale and worth way more than the $4.75usd i paid for it. i could have paid double that and still been happy. every aspect of this beer is so magnificent that i feel bad giving the look such a respectively low score over something as meager as retention and lace, but it is what it is. this here is perfection in a thistle glass. i could drink this brew in indefinite quantities and i could get a case from my distributor tomorrow and chug pints and not feel a penny's worth of shame for it. pencils down, test complete, the best scotch ale in the land of the world and the earth and all the universe because i'm certain that extraterrestrials don't wear kilts, let alone comprehend the art of brewing such a fine, fine ale. laddy.

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Photo of brentk56
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep brown with a white head - not a big one, but one that lasts throughout, leaving nice lacing on the side of the glass

Smell: Chocolate, caramel, figs - just wonderful. I could smell it all night.

Taste: Very complex with malts predominating as you would expect. Everything well-balanced, from the chocolatey sweetness of the malt to the warmth of the alcohol. Long-lasting flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a bit of carbonation

Drinkability: Truly an exceptional Scottish Ale. Deserving of its accolades.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well , well well ..Im just a daddy and i bought this among others to celebrate her arrival.
I really dunno what glass to pour this into so I finally chose myChimay Glas, turned out to be a good choice as in the chalice the beer looks most excellent stuff a deep smoky red with a nice sized tannish head that dissapates to the most fantastic ring and lace all over the glass..great.
The smell of this excellent ale is strong, but it materfuly balanced between the strong dark fruitness and a lighter smoky chocolaty aroma.
Ahh what an amazing taste to this brew..tastes like the best Rum christmas pudding ever with the added extras of dark chocolate and black espresso chocolate..and this taste stays around to visit for a while..very nice.
Very very good feeling on the taste buds..this is "A-1" stuff all round.
Only modesty prevents me giving this beer the 5 , 5s..yes it would get excellent drinkablity..but who could afford to drink many?

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Photo of spacecommander
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I no longer drink but far and away the best I ever had was the Traquair house ale. I've tried just about every thing available until 3 years ago. This was FAR and away the best ale I ever had. Second place was McEwan's Scotch Ale. Most beers are like a entree - this is a dessert. An expensive and well worth is dessert.

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Photo of mrquartetman
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A heavy looking beer, dark in color, with a big head.

S: Very malty, with hints of molasses, fruity. Highly inviting.

T: A big, sweetish, malt flavor, like an aperitif. Excellent

M: Dense, toasty, stays on the tongue all the way through the follow.

D: One of the great beers to drink. One of those great malty, deep beers one wants to drink as a session beer, which would fairly quickly get one into trouble - just as the price would quickly deplete a checking account.

The web site describes this ale as sherry-like, which gets at the very mellow fruitiness and depth of this ale.

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Photo of badgustav
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Color is a lovely deep red-brown, little head but light lacing
Aroma - sweet, dark fruit, plum especially. Malty with no hopiness
Flavor - world class. Rich, malty, with notes of raisin and plum, oak on the dry, slightly bitter finish
Feel - medium mouthfeel, lightly coats the tongue then fades away

Really enjoyed this beer, would love to have more!

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, barely opaque chestnut with a medium bone-colored head. Aroma is faint, sweet and very malty with some whisky elements. Skirts dangerously close to that all-5's territory but for the nose.

Taste is very malty, but not as sweet as a lot of Scottish ales. Woody flavors, oaky, tastes like it was probably barrel aged. Traces of molasses, some smoke, ashy, a touch of scotch and the barest hint of buttered toffee. Finishes dry with a very faint mild alcohol burn in the afters.

Mouthfeel is extraordinarily smooth, frighteningly smooth, deceptively drinkable. I'm not even a third of the way through the glass and it's already the best Scottish ale I've ever had. If this weren't so blasted expensive (nearly $6 *per* 12-oz bottle), it would be a fridge staple.

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Photo of hyuga
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of Knuckles
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
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).

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark red-brown color that has a bit of a glow to it. The tan head is creamy and dense, eventually becoming a thick film, which leaves lace on the glass.

Smell: Wonderful malty smell with some great caramel or butterscotch undertones.

Taste: Lightly-roasted malts and slightly sweet undertones. Nice fruits as well. Finishes with an earthy smoky & buttery taste. Well-balanced and has an appropriate complexity.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied and exceptionally smooth. Has a great subdued carbonation, and leaves a slightly buttery feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: It's strong, though the alcohol taste isn't present. Very drinkable, though probably best not to have more than a couple.

This is a really great beer! Certainly amongst my favorites. A bit difficult to find, but if you do find a bottle, try it! A wonderful beer to savor.

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Photo of Hachiman
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very dark reddish brown with an attractive 1cm off-white head that dissipates quickly. Delicate lacing.

Dark, complex aroma suggesting figs, christmas pudding, dark malt.

Extremely smooth for such a dark ale. No bitterness at all, yet no other single flavor predominates. Instead, suggestions of dried fruit, roasted malt. Good sipper, asks to be savored and appreciated.

Mouthfeel is a little light, watery because of low carbonation. Long-lasting aftertaste of earth/peat in the upper throat. Slight stickiness on the lips.

Overall, very impressive.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.86/5  rDev +16.8%

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.

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Photo of beveritt
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of Beguiler
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of putnam
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of afinepilsner
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
4.16 out of 5 based on 1,059 ratings.
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