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Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery Lld

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607 Reviews
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld
United Kingdom (Scotland)

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: 607 | Ratings: 1,033
Photo of GClarkage
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5/14/05- Purchased at a wine shop in Sonoma, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker red in color, maybe a dark cherrywood color. 1/2 inch head and light lacing.

Smell- Mainly of sweet malts and various spices.

Taste- Malt, hops, spices, fruits all blend together pretty nicely. Maybe even an oak background. Mostly a sweeter caramel flavor with some prune or plum tastes.

Mouthfeel- Maybe a tad watery on the finish, but a nice sweet flavor on the back of the tongue. Fairly thick. Low carbonation.

Drinkability- A very good brew, but a costly one. Not sure it warrants $5.50 for 11oz, but maybe for a treat, pick one up. You won't be tricked.

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Photo of alexgash
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark shoe leather brown with a small light tan head. Nose is made up of peaty, caramelly, brown sugar malts, hints of smoke, oak, sherry, and some whiskeyish alcohol. Very nice. Taste starts off with toasted caramely malts. Oak and peat moss come on as I detect a slight whiskey burn. Traces of vanilla, smoke, and grapes before a malty, yet slightly bitter finish. Medium bodied, with a little too much carbonation. A very good beer, but not my favorite Scotch Ale. In fact, I liked the Jacobite more.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous dark brown with a sturdy small beige head. Smell is malty and then a little more malty. Taste is bubbly malts with some slight bitterness. Finish is not as mellow sweet as I was anticipating. Mouthfeel was somewhat less than full, and dissapointing considering the beer's reputation. Of course, even with the slight bitterness this beer is wonderfully smooth. It was delicious. I'll have it again.

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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 cypressbob
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with a deep browny burgandy body, off white head almost tan, good retention, very creamy head

Smell, estery malt, sweet vanilla. Some hint of chocolate covered dried fruit

Taste, thick creamy malt mouthfeel, some chocolaty bitterness. This would pair really well with a nice dark chocolate. Not an overly heavy body

Fantastic, pricey (£2.50 a bottle) but well worth the money. Would work great as an after dinner beer, or with a chocolate dessert

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Photo of horndecker
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is tobacco-stained walnut, clear and intense, with a foamy latte of a head yielding mucho lace.
The nose is chocolate, pepper, leather, figs ; a hint of canteloupe (!?), and cabbage. Complex and fabulous.
The flavors are predominant malt, roasted and slightly bitter up front, along with unsweetened cocoa, and a hint of something woody and nutty.
The mouthfeel is very creamy, perhaps slightly oily, with a warming alcohol prescence.
A wonderful beer.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle, bought at Selfridge’s, London. Beautiful brown to ruby colour, good beige head. Complex aroma of oak and sandalwood, some pine too, old sherry, leather, pipe tobacco, sour cherries, prunes, hints of smoke . Flavour is woody with a pronounced roastiness, coffee notes, strong tea, hints of bitter chocolate, excellent hoppy bitterness. A truly delightful beer!

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was given as an Xmas gift and consumed on Burns' Day. Served lightly chilled in a Rapscallion goblet.

Appearance: Clear dark reddish chestnut capped by a small frothy tan head. Fades to a smallish film of bubbles that left "wee sneekit cowrin' timrous" amounts of lacings.

Smell: Intense and dark aromas of prunes, raisins, and molasses. Some smokey/peaty notes. Mild herby overtones.

Taste: Bittersweet dark malts, kinda caramelized, blended with herbacious hops. Grapefruit citrus hops on the finish. Would have like a bit more fruitiness and/or peat/smoke tastes.

Mouthfeel: Weakly medium bodied, slithgly watery. Light carbonation. Flaccid.

Drinkability: To quote the Scots Bard:
"Strong ale was ablution,
Small beer persecution,
A dram was memento mori;
But a full-flowing bowl
Was the saving his soul,
And port was celestial glory."

Traquair is neither ablution, persecution, or celestial glory. It's not quite memento mori either... not that earth-shattering. What we have is something in between all of these. It's good and worth a shot due to the sheer age of the brewery and presumably the basic recipe. Mad respek to the brewers for keeping this up. There's some strange shit going on in the Hibernia, man.. this is proof.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark reddish brown with a lovely cream colored head that almost looked nitro-pushed. Stayed pretty, great head retention and lacing.

Smelled tart fruitiness as soon as I poured it. Oak, buttery toffee, port-wine, which became stronger as I drank.

Oak, cognac, port-wine, caramel, apples and prunes, smokey malt. Each drink seems to bring one of the aforementioned traits to the front of the palette, the others blending in an almost subliminal way. A bit sweet, hops and smokey grains helped with this.

I've tried quite a few beers aged in uncoated oak vessels, but Traquair House Ale has by far the strongest oak flavors and smells, which I found unrelenting by the time the beer was done. Amazing things going on, a juggling act of flavors, but not one I'll be back for any time soon.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting array of fruitiness that comes off as not just complex but intriguing.
Poured with a nice creamy firm one inch head. Amber of brown and reds. A rather dirty color. Somewhat clear.
Dessert like in its fruitiness (figs?), but not cloy or excessively sweet. Tickles the top of the tongue with a sweetness, then more of an overall fruitiness finishing with a mild dryness that is moderate in taste and length.
Appropriately flat and smooth. Moderately thick. Not very rich.
Good. Interesting. Enjoyable. Expensive.
Thanks to Todd (my brother-in-law) for this sample.

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Photo of Guinness4me
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Muddy, red with hints of gold, this beer poured darker than I expected with a beige, welcoming head.

The smell was rich in peat with a musty, grape-like edge.

This beer started dry and smoky and hid the alcohol until a slight burn kicked in the back of my throat. Tastes like a slightly carbonated merlot?

Surprisingly smooth and pleasant on the tongue. I found it lightly carbonated which I feel brought out more of the malt flavor.

I could do some damage to this beer, but not before it did some serious damage to me at 7.20%.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A handmade brew in the oldest inhabited house in Scotland; 7.2% ABV. (I read about this place in a travel book recently- I need to go there!). I recently tried the sister product, the Jacobite Ale, and really enjoyed it, so I came to this one with great anticipation.

Pours a deep chocolate brown with slight amber/ruby tint, and a thin but dense (small bubbles) off-white head. A beauty. Aroma is rich, with chocolate, molassas, and dark, heavy, brandied fruits. Very nice.

Flavor- this isn't as descriptive/objective as I would like, but my finest compliment to this beer is that it reminds me a lot of the flavor profile of Rochefort 10. Not that it tastes the same, but the wonderful fond feelings of richness and complexity are there. A little sharper, and with a greater spice profile than the Belgians. Is that coriander?

This is a heavy brew, and because of it the mouthfeel is almost too big and strong, and drinkability is lower on the scale.

Overall 9for me), a very good brew, but one to have occasionally only.

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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 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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Photo of dgallina
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery chestnut with giant tan head which subsides quickly, but leaves a creamy film and good lace. Smells of caramel malts on a slightly smoky, hoppy, and spicy alcohol base. Starts with an initial bitter hop kick, develops dark rummy fruits balanced with sweet, toasted and smoky malts, and finishes with a bone dry flowery hop bitterness. Stupendously creamy and well-balanced in the mouth. Easy to drink, but quite heady. A superbly balanced and tasty brew.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this baby up in Hawaii and hand carried it back to Texas.
Aroma: Light malt, peat, maple syrup, and smoke smells all blend into an inviting mix.
Appearance: Deep brown with clear edges. A thin collar of off-white graced the first pour, no head at all on the second.
Flavor: Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. Nowhere near that in the mouthfeel, but that is the main taste that I just couldn’t get past for a long time. As I struggled to find more, I experienced some of the malt/peat smoke and a bit of spice and alcohol tastes, and a mild hop finish, but the main flavor I experienced was: Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
Mouthfeel: Medium body that left a light coat that quickly faded to memory.
Overall Impression: Great Beer! The chocolate I so strongly tasted really fits into a great Scottish ale. I can see why this one is rated so highly.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich brown with a red tinge and a thick white head that stuck around for awhile. The aroma was of rich sweet malt with a mineral quality to it. The taste has a very complex malt flavor that has hints of smoked malt mixed in with sweet carmelized grains and a touch of hop bitterness linger in the end with the smoke. The surprising effect of this beer is to have a sweet smoky malt flavor which masks the bitterness of the hops until the very end of the taste when the malt goes away to leave only the smoke and the hops. Finishes dry with a mild smooth carbontion that allows the flavor to be expressed very well. Nice to have once in awhile the high alcohol prevents one from having too many of these in a row. An excellent example of a historic brew which has survived the ages.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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

A nice Scottish brew, not quite as powerful taste wise as Belhaven's Wee Heavy. Very similar, but the maltiness is not quite so dominant. A bit more bitter than Wee Heavy.

It pours a deep, muddy brown with slighlty off-white head that disappears quickly but leaves lingering traces.

Sadly, yet another one my liquor board has decided to stop carrying. Hopefully it, and stuff from Belhaven will return next fall.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep, dark ruby color with almost no head at first, but after it sits for a moment, it builds up to about a half a finger. Pleasantly fruity, malty aroma. Thick malt flavor, rather oaky, with rich fruity esters and a certain nutty breadness. Bitterness is moderately high but low hop flavor: emphasis is on other flavors. Tartness develops in the long finish. Creamy, chewy mouthfeel.

A complex and interesting beer.

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Photo of Rio
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep, reddish brown color with a bit of head that disappeared before too long. A spicy hint to the aroma, rounded out with a nice, heavy sweetness.

Nice heavy malty base, fruity flavors, with a bit of a creamy sweetness I can't quite identify. A tiny bit of an alcohol flavor, but the alcohol is much more apparent in the warm feel, creamy and smoouth and with a bit of a hop bite to round it out.

Excellent, excellent brew. Great just to sit and sip, wonderful flavors, and leaves you very warm. Definitely worth the four and a half bucks for the bottle.

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Photo of walleye
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured a muddy amber with no head. aroma, like a port wine, malts, caramels, honey , black licorice with a hint of alcohol some smoke. flavor 1st sip did nothing 2nd sip I let it linger around in the mouth for a little while than the flavors came out. yum. sweet chocolate, honey, malts, port wine, caramel, a little bit of coffee.

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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 cerevisiaephilus
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is about the best brown I've ever seen. Its doesn't even attempt to be black, but it sure does a hell of a job being brown. Really perfect carbonation and head for the style. Just a tight off white cap of fuzz that just does enough to cover the liquid. The yeast is very floculant. Very clear beer for being bottle conditioned. Survived the car trip back earlier this afternoon with only a couple hours in fridge to settle out. I don't think the car ride phased it as the yeast was so firmly planted to the bottom of the bottle when I inspected it after pouring.

Really wild nose on this beer! Not sure how to describe it. Smells like spicy milk chocolate with just a touch of caramel in there.

Nice flavor. Very nice. Get some deep caramel flavors and some of that spicy chocolate that was in the nose. Not sure if this is brewed with chocolate malt or not, but it sure tastes like chocolate! Which is odd coming from such a caramel brown colored beer. Get some astringency in the finish, I might call it hop bitterness if I didn't know better. I mean, I bet there aren't a whole lot of hops that go in to this brew. Just a touch of astringency here under the tongue maybe from the chocolate malts or even just a toach of black patent or roast barley?

Mouthfeel is ok, but I could stand to have it beefed up a touch. I mean, this is a big tasting beer, might as well have a bigger mouthfeel to carry it.

Pretty freakin' drinkable if it weren't for the 4$ price tag for a single. Really goes down smooth for a 7%+ beer.

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Photo of soper2000
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A sharp looking label, that's for sure. Pours with virtually no head save for a little white on the top that quickly retreats to the rings of my glass. The brew itself is a nice brown/deep copper color. Aroma is super strong. Rich malty notes fill the room. A bit of chocolate is noticable as well. The malt is very rich in this beer but it does not dominate. A little bit of spiciness adds a nice balance. There is also a little bit of smokiness present in the finish. Very rich and drinkable. Would be very nice after Thanksgiving dinner. I'll be buying this one again.

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Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
4.16 out of 5 based on 1,033 ratings.
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