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Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery

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Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
1,085 Ratings
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
traquair.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,490
Reviews:
626
Ratings:
1,085
pDev:
10.1%
Bros Score:
4.61
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
116
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,085 |  Reviews: 626
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky brown color with little head.

Smell - Notes of booze and butter are measured in the aroma.

Taste - My initial impression is the sweet malts with a slight grassy impression. Notes of nuts, brown sugar and sweet berries are also present. In the aftertaste, the smooth sweetness lingers.

Mouthfeel - I can't get over how smooth this is. Low carbonation allows for a long aftertaste.

Overall - This import is both special and underrated.

 475 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

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Photo of Prufrock
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pilsner.

deep brown cola color with a touch of translucence around the edges. medium off-white head that falls leaving no lacing.

sweet, malty aromas; hints of cinnamon, caramel and bread.

full bodied in the mouth with heavy maltiness. smooth, buttery sweetness with hints of caramel. little carbonation and hops to get in the way, but just enough bitterness to make it very drinkable. alcohol is well-hidden compared to other scotch ales i have tasted.

excellent beer to sip slowly and enjoy. rich and complex enough to rival any belgian ale.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%

poured into a nonic pint

A: almost no head very dark Carmel color light filmy head at rest

S: smells like peat moss, a little oak, maybe some roasted toffee a lot like watered down scotch would smell

T: Light sweet feel of watery scotch, a little burnt carmel and toffee a little barrel it's very smooth

M: soft carbonation And a little watery doesn't linger much on the tongue

O: it's pretty pleasant it's very smooth with a soft light taste that isn't overwhelming I wouldn't go out of my way for it but I'd grab it if I ever saw it again.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MacMalt
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass. It pours a dark cola with a pretty, ruby hue when held to the light, with a foamy, one-finger ecru-colored head and extensive lacing. It's a very pretty pour. It smells of earthy peat, dark chocolate, tobacco smoke, dark fruit, and spices that I can't quite identify. The taste, as might be expected, is oaky but it is also very dry. I'm not tasting the chocolate that I smelled and the dark fruit is fairly subdued although it becomes more noticeable as the ale warms in the glass. It has a very earthy, smoky taste. Although I don't discern any hops, it is dry and has a slightly bitter finish. This ale is medium-bodied and light in carbonation. I didn't notice the alcohol despite the moderate ABV of 7.2% Overall, I enjoyed this ale: it has a complex, but pleasing blend of flavors and it would pare well with a hearty meal before a fire in a Scottish pub.

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Photo of Greasy
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of diablo14
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of arizcards
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 500 ml bottle from TW Arrowhead in late January for $7.99. Best before 28 May 2026.

Beer poured brown with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is dark fruits, very nice.

Taste is figs, prunes, toffee that blends very nicely together.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a very nice beer. It is very similar to a doppelbock with the flavor profile and weight. I would recommend this brew if you like these characteristics.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was shocked to see this was advertised as an English Strong Ale, as it has all of the taste and appearance of a Scottish Ale... just like the site says. Brown pour with an off-white head. Nice aroma of caramel, smoke, and earthiness. More caramel and smoke in the taste, with some peat, toffee, and a lot of malt. Smooth taste and mouthfeel. Delicious.

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Photo of brewQ
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The tan to brown head over a red/brown body presents a very solid look.

The aroma is sweet, of dark fruits.
The taste is woody and well rounded, with malt and hops in the back. Finish is gently warming.

This is an excellent savory sipping ale- perhaps best in winter but great on a cool summer night, as well.

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Photo of StevieW
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz small brown bottle. Simple black and white label. No freshness dating on this one. Murky bown color. Dark. Creamy bubbly beige head settled to a very thin covering. Sweet malt and fig smells. Full, some molasses as well. No earthy peat or spiciness to be found.
Taste was smooth, lots of figs, and molasses sweetness. Hints of spices, but mostly toasted malt. Maybe a hint of toasted almonds as well. I don't know what figgy pudding tastes like, but I can imagine it's something like this. Plums and other roasted plums mixed in with sweet malt flavors really explode as the beer sits.
Higher carbonation and therefore a super bubbly feel. Much more than I expected. Lots of tiny little carbonation bubbles everywhere, created an almost fuzzy feel to it.
Medium to full bodied. Good going down. I would list it more toward the Dark Strong Ale end of this category.

 878 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours very little head but doesn't diminish entirely. The beer is a clear and transparent brown with very little lacing.

Smell:
A bit of vanilla and smoked malts. Caramel malts dominate the smell with a hint of alcohol and cocoa.

Taste:
Caramel malts with a slight hint of toffee dominate the palate. In addition, there is the taste of smoked malt and a hint of money that is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel:
Nice and smooth but a little watery.

Overall:
A very good scotch ale. The ale is not as malty as other scotch ales and easily drinkable . Personally, I'd like the feeling to be a little more thick and texture.

 632 characters

Photo of atigerlife
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with light brown highlights. Small head that dissipated rather quickly.

Aroma of malts and lightly spiced dark fruits.

Taste was deep, rich and creamy. Malt is the star of this show. Some dark fruit taste and light molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy.

Overall, a wonderful glass of malty goodness. Very drinkable and the alcholol content is dangerously hidden. Quite an impressive brew.

 422 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into thistle glass. A little head becomes a ring, leaves a decent lace.

Sour, nutty nose, some date or fig.

Taste is sweet caramel malt, some toasty, some milk chocolate, raisin, a little fig.

Mouth is incredibly smooth.

A very good ale. Flavors are balanced amazingly well, and the smoothness is surprisingly. Not as cloying as many barrel-aged scotch ales can be.

 376 characters

Photo of drtth
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: As served the beer is a dark mahogany brown with a 1/8" off white head that soon recedes to a thin irregularly shaped patch of foam and a small ring around the glass. Sipping leaves little or no lacing on the glass and the small semi-circular patches and speckles of foam quickly slide back into the liquid.

Smell: The aroma is lightly yeasty with some caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, and malt character mixed in. There is no sign of the alcohol or the hops.

Taste: The flavors are reversed from the aroma in that the initial character is lightly sweet caramel and chocolate from the malt. There are hints of dark fruits. All this is then followed by the earthy musty character of the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with light carbonation and with a moderately long finish that slowly transitions from the malt to the earthy hop character and turns dry.

Drinkability: This is a quite drinkable beer, both on a sip by sip basis and in the feeling that I want more and have the intent to have more in the future.

 1,059 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep, dark appearance, showing ruby-brown when held to the light. The one-finger tan head lingers briefly and leaves a fair amount of thick rings around the glass.

Sweet notes of butterscotch and cocoa in the nose, with some faint fig-like aromas.

Full in body with a perfect level of carbonation. Balanced flavors of sweet malts, butterscotch, slight dark fruits, a bit of earthy character and slight warming alcohol round out the palate, finishing somewhat long and semi-sweet.

A wonderful sipping beer, delicious across the entire temperature range, though a bit pricey in my opinion. Still, the price of quality cannot be understated.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very interesting beer. Probably the best Scotch Ale I've had. Pours to a dark nutty brown amber color. Quite hazy, but the light still shines through. A nice creamy white head sits atop. Lacing is decent.

The smell is good, but really nothing too special. Lots of sweet caramelized malts with a nice backdrop of hops. There is a little diacetyl, but it's just enough to be pleasant.

The taste is good. Very light butter from the diacetyl, but it actually works quite well with the brew. A light peat and smoke. Very nice caramelized malt flavor. Only a hint of hops.

The mouthfeel seems very smooth, and almost flat. Still quite good though. Feels just right for what it is. Drinkability is good. I've been shying away from some of the beers available at my work since I'm unsure of their age, but this one is still cracking. I'll probably drink it in the future, and I'll definitely recommend to my mother, who loves a good Scotch Ale.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours clear dark amber with a creamy, fluffy khaki head. Leaves thin, inconsistent rings of lacing.

S-Caramel, toasted hazelnuts, raw honey, chocolate milk.

T/M-Medium bodied with light, chewy carbonation. Soft hazelnut/nutella sweetness, accompanied by flavors of whole wheat toast and candied figs. The finish is soft, with a lingering delicate caramel sweetness.

O-A classic scotch ale.

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Photo of santanas95
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nearly opaque, with a hint of rednes if I held it up to the light. Moderate head and carbonation, left a bit of lacing.... I din't pay much attention as the smell distracted me. At first the aroma was a bit harsh of alcohol, then it calmed down to sweet malts and a caramel / toffee.
upfront the taste was smooth and malty with hints of caramel and... plum? raisin?.. some sort of fruit that made it all the more inviting. Nice little alcohol kick on the back end of the taste.
Nice alcohol warming and balance of carbonation and bitterness. Overall smooth.
I could drink this again and again. Easily quaffed brew with nothing to detract from it.

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Photo of Portertime
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a fan of the Wee Heavy style. I don't see it too often.

Appearance: A deep, rich cola brown with garnet notes, ample lacing and a fair head.

Smell: A dark fruit, heavy malt smell of a good Scotch Ale with hints of sea salted butterscotch.

Taste: fully malted with an alcohol warmth. More dark fruits and a butterscotch ribbon with a nice spicey hop balance.

Mouthfeel: Sticks to the palate with that alcohol spiceness.

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Photo of Rainintheface
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: mahogany with red and a minimal white head which rings the glass

S: plum, cherries, shoe polish, light smoke and butterscotch. Aroma is nice but it took awhile to pick up what I was smelling

T: oaky, molasses, butterscotch and an underlying dark fruit taste

M: full mouthfeel, sweet and a little viscous with a dryish finish

D: great beer. I'll have again. It made for a nice Sunday night sipper

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Photo of seanyfo
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a Leffe Chalice

A: Dark mahogany brown, almost cant seen through when holding up to the light. Tan creamy 3 finger head, produces a lot of brussels lace.

S: Spices are more apparent here than any other wee heavy i have had. Nutmeg? Cinnamon? Not sure, lots of sweet caramel and nuts anyways

T: A sublte smoked roasted quality here. Balanced with a delicate nutty christmas cake sweetness in the finish .Lots of sweet flavours stay on the tongue in the aftertaste. Lots of character

M: . Low carbonation, thick and creamy, sticky even!

D: This is a real winter beer for me, drinking it in May and i still enjoy it. A fantastic example of the style. Lots of great flavours and lingering character in the taste. Definitely one to note.

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Photo of packetknife
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The only thing I don't quite understand how to take/do/rank is the appearance of smell of great beers that aren't stouts. Anyhow.

A medium to dark brown with slight yellow tones when put to the light. The head was minimal but held until the bottom, even though it was a bit sparse. Smelled a bit sweet but not too much there. The taste has great malts, solid sweetness, a bit of acid residue, a bit of smoke. Bloody smooth and very drinkable for a 7+. It was good enough to be a desert beer while not reminding you of a sweet tooth.

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Photo of gueuzegeek
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened this one after opening a July 1, 1996 Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock. My friend commented that that reminded him of Traquair house ale, which I just happened to have in my fridge as well. We opened this to compare. I must note, the bottle is from a case purchased of untold age, as the label (green writing on cream color label), as we were told, has not been been around since the early 90s. It poured a nice chestnut brown color, with the certainty of a fig aroma. There was not really a head to be seen. This is certainly a special beer for it to hold up so well over time. The taste was a rather sweet and current-like. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth and full. I must say, the Reichelbrau was a tad richer tasting, but that may be because this was old and possibly not kept in ideal conditions.

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Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 1,085 ratings
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