Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
1,085 Ratings
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,085 |  Reviews: 626
Photo of WhiteOak
3.31/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Cola brown, just transparent. Very little head, settling to a top clear of foam.

S- A faint, simple, barely perceptible smell of malt with a weak note of dark dried fruit.

T- A one dimensional malt flavor, slightly nutty with fig. Very pleasant but uninspiring.

M,D- One the fuller side of medium bodied, with a nice feel, this House Ale has a good level of drinkability.

 377 characters

Photo of kcstevens
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hardly no head, semi-hard pour in to a challice. Very dark, coca-cola coloring, very little lace.
Nose: peaty, earthy, some fruity notes.
Taste: malty, peaty, and again, some fruity notes
Mouth feel: light on the carbonation, dry, tasty.
Overall: Love this beer, wished I could afford it more often. I sat and drank this, sipped this while sipping on Belvenie Scotch on the rocks, and watching NHL hockey playoffs. Doesn't get better than that.

 456 characters

Photo of Rayek
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a thistle.

A: Very deep copper with nice clarity. A soapy cream cap is fairly short lived as it recedes to a thin film. Leaves tiny bits of lace.

S: Very dark. Caramelized sugars dominate the nose with aromas of molasses, caramel and toffee. A hint of raw earth and tobacco counterbalance the sweetness. Alcohol adds a very mild tingle.

T: Malty is the theme here. The dark sugars from the nose flow into the flavor nicely. Molasses and bittersweet toffee start things out. Bitterness is earthy and has a nice black tea flavor. Gets a touch acidic in the finish.

M: The medium heavy body is dense and chewy, but could stand a little less of the soft, tingling carbonation.

D: Scotch Ale is one of my favorite styles for a reason. I really liked this beer and would happily revisit it.

 802 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark brown color with about a half inch off-white head that didn't stick around for too long. However, there's a lot of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is toffee, peat, butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. It tastes like dark fruit (plums), butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, bready malt, and some peat. Good malty aroma and taste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and a bit rich and slick, and has good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good too, it's smooth and easy to drink. Overall I think this is a good brew, and it's a very good Scotch Ale. I'd buy this again for sure.

 632 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an impenetrable deep chestnut, although the head is quite small even on a hard pour. Spotty lacing as I make my way down the snifter.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, light caramel, molasses, and hints of diacetyl are what I notice immediately. Everything is well integrated, though a bit lacking in the deeper caramelized malts that I would expect from such a noted Scotch Ale producer.

T: A bit of a letdown after the nose. Not nearly as complex, as a bit of roasted nutty caramel takes over the beer, leaving a bit of lingering bitterness. Hints of butter.

M: Quite thin, especially for the style and alcohol content. This has the mouthfeel of a light Scottish Ale rather than the big boy that it's supposed to be. Fairly low carbonation. Not much of an alcohol bite at all.

D: Quite drinkable given the lack of alcohol presence in the taste, and the general smooth drinkability that comes from a thinner mouthfeel and low carbonation.

 944 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown and boggy in the glass, a hard pour yielding a bubbly mass that leaves some hideouts of patchy bubbles and a nice filmy surface rendering a decent spotting of lace.

Aroma is rich and delicious. Intoxicating notes of malt, berries, peat, and caramel. Not too strong, but absolutely what I want out of a scotch ale.

Taste follows with strength and an amazing display of flavor for the style. I've had other scotch ales that were great, but this one is entirely a benchmark, true to form. Full grains with a delicate sweetness of faint berry and sweetened wet grains. A good dose of earthiness renders a slaty mineral quality and more sweet caramel and fertile soil, maybe even the quintessential scottish peat. Dark, firm and round, nostalgia aside, this beer is everything I imagine a scottish ale to embody.

Smooth and medium in body, though stiff and formidable all the same. Drinks well. Not your every day go-to beer for diving into, but this may well be one of my all-time favorite beers, especially for its representation of one of my fondest styles. Lacking little, overdone in nothing, nearly perfect for style by sweetness, balance, malt, and depth.

 1,173 characters

Photo of movingtrain
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one has been cellaring for three years now, so I thought it was time to give it a shot.

Sample size: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a small snifter.

Pours a dark brownish-red. There's a light cream lacing around the sides of the glass, but not much carbonation contributing to any head retention going on at all.

Upon first whiff, there are some fruity tones...grapes, and a bit of cider. Within that, there are some vanilla notes, chocolate, a touch of smoke, wet wood, and hard candy.

The taste is remarkable...this beer has held up well. Very light on the palate, but full of flavor. Cherry notes, vanilla, caramelized sugars, orchard fruit, and bready malts.

This beer is exceptionally drinkable. It has a light body that is full of flavor. It is a bit on the sweeter side, but not overly fruity. Traquair House Ale seems very well-balanced and is quite delicious.

 875 characters

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Traquair House Ale. 11.2 oz. 7.20% ABV

Pours a Coca Cola brown with a thin, quickly disappearing off-white head. I'm not really impressed one way or the other

Caramel, toffee, leather -- smells a bit like old shoe? -- and sweet malts. There's also a hint of spicy alcohol. Despite the description, it is a pleasing sweet smell.

Upfront spicy character and a fat and chewy sweet malt. Ripe fruit -- mostly plums and dates -- come forward. Butterscotch, carob, toasted malt, and mocha round out the middle. An interesting collection of spices is emptied on the palate towards the end. As it mingles with some final hop bitterness, it incites a tingling sensation and leaves an herbal aftertaste. As the hop character fades, mellow oaky notes settle. The whole experience is quick, but quite complex. Earthy tones dominate throughout.

Carbonation is low, but it has a good bite at the end. It's full, but not viscous in body.

Highly drinkable. It's mellow, with an oaky, smokey, earthy undertone that gives it gravity. The fruits and spices impart complexity.

Notes (to self): Try more beer in the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style and re-evaluate the review.

 1,208 characters

Photo of raoulduke37
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"From the oldest inhabited house in Scotland." Sitting in my tasting glass, it's a beautiful dark brown color contrasted with a foamy cap, resting right on top. This gives off a distinctly doughy, almost cinnamon-bread aroma, subtle yet distinct, like a good bakery. The scotch ale taste is refined. It's very well balanced, with caramel, bready, and raisiny sweetness. Slight hints of roasted coffee as well. This would go well with a cinnamon roll or something sweet and crumbly. Goes down easy, with a slight hop kiss and leaves you wanting more. I was inspired to drink this one from Traquairlover's username. I now understand why he chose that. Can't wait to try the Jacobite sitting in my fridge!

 702 characters

Photo of Infamous7100
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A dark carmel color, nearly opaque. Very little head despite the aggressive pour. Minimal lacing.
S: Very sweet. You can tell this is packed with malts. Hints of carmel and some dark fruits like that of a Belgian dark ale.
T: A perfect balance of hops and malts. It is sweet, but the hops come through at the end to smooth this out. All kinds of malts as the smell indicated, perhaps some roastiness as well.
M: Medium bodied, but sticky and a little chewy. As previously stated, this is smooth and aftertaste is pleasurable.
D: High marks here. Even at 7.2%, this is one you could have a couple of if you happen to have a few on hand. Easy drinking and very tasty.

 668 characters

Photo of colts9016
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A non existent head after trying a hard pour. There is some foamy ivory rings around the glass trying to be a head. The color of the beer is dark mahogany color to almost opaque. The clarity of the beer is opaque.

Nose: A rich heavy malt beer there is a peaty, earthy, sea fresh mist, a light phenol, light solvent, wood, some floral notes and some melanoid in the back.

Taste: A rich heavy malt beer, heavy peat, earth, and wood flavor. There is a light phenols, solvent, floral notes, and melanoid.

Mouth feel: A good carbonation, astringent, slightly hot and tad dry. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium.

Overall: This is a really good beer great flavor wonderful profile and very easy to drink. I really like this scotch ale.

 806 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 Luk13
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Bobsy. Aroma is molasses, banana, whiskey and spices (cinnamon, cloves). Flavor is bready, brown sugar, a little too sweet for me. Palate is quite full for the style with soft carbonation. Not exceptionnal but I'm glad I tried it as I don't often have the opportunity to tatse this style.

 307 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Color is dark brown, but easy enough to see shades of red. Sitting atop is a sickly white head that sputters out rather quickly. Appearance improved as the glass emptied and the beer became more transparent and colorful.

S: initial aroma is old beer and dark malt, but when given an opportunity to air out, the smell becomes very earthy with a nice sweet caramel touch. The combination of these scents at one point gave me a kind of cake frosting smell, and later a waffles with butterworth's (caramel) syrup smell.

T: Mild chocolate malt, with a little caramel and raisin character and a light smokiness. Very smooth flavor and not overly sweet like some in the style. Just a touch of bitterness on the finish.

M: Light, bordering on thin, with a moderate level of large bubble carbonation.

This was a very smooth and graceful Scotch Ale, maybe the best tasting example I've had. Could drink several more easily. Would recommend.

 937 characters

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

Pours with moderate carbonation, producing a tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Its color is a very dark ruby or reddish-gold, and on the palate it is velvety smooth, very rich. You can taste a hint of the 7.2% ABV on the tongue, as well as the slightest suggestion of peat smoke. The finish is dry, enticing you to take another sip. Absolutely true to the style, one of the classic Strong Scotch ales in the world today.

 466 characters

Photo of JosephLondon
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

What a treat this has been! I know this bottle is at least a year and a half old. I am certain this beer ceased being distributed to Texas over a year ago. There is no telling how long it has been on the shelf prior to its distribution being halted.

The appearance is nearly flawless; poured a one-finger head with great retention. It eventually melted to a thin layer in the center of the glass with thick build-up along the rim. The foam clings to the glass when tilted and when raised back to even level, the bubbles fight as they crawl their way back to the crown of the beer.

In the nose I detect sour marshmallow, almond, some type of tea maybe, black cherry tea.

The taste is wonderful, but I suspect it has mellowed quite a bit in its age and has lost its robust, full-flavored character. The taste is now mild with hints of brown sugar, some red wine, but mostly the black cherry tea mentioned in the nose.

The feel is under-carbonated but silky. It leaves the mouth somewhat moist and wanting another drink.

I had to pace myself in drinking this one to allow it to warm. I could have dusted this one quickly and reached for another.

 1,147 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to a tulip glass, looks dark brown in color until it's held to the light and then it's a really nice, clear, burgundy brown color, almost like a raisin. The tan one pinky head goes away very quickly to an even lacing around the glass, mild carbonation.

Smells of lightly boozed plum, figs, prunes, bread. Also picking up hints of candied toffee and butterscotch.

Taste isn't anything like I expected judging by the nose. I expected more of a warm booziness which is pretty much non-existant. Has nuances of raisin, sour plums and dark fruit. As I work through the bottle, the beer becomes a mildly tart. An underlying flavor is a subdued chocolate with everything else piling on top of it.

Texture is very smooth and medium bodied, drinkability is very high.

I'm mad at myself because I purchased this bottle about two months ago and judging by the other reviewers, I'm not experiencing the same nuances, no telling how long it sat on the shelf in the store before sitting for an additional two months in my beer cellar. Because it lacks complexity and shows signs of sourness, something tells me this would have been a different experience had it been a fresher bottle or on tap. I'm dissapointed. (Mainly in myself.) This deserves a second review with a fresh batch.

 1,292 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown, with a creamy wisp of head, soft lace, looks great in a goblet.

S: Dark malt, burnt brown sugar and peat smoke.

T: Heavy on the molasses, figgy pudding and dark Scottish malt. Notes of smoke and sea salt, definitely has a whisky type flavour in there. Dark bread, delicious.

M: Soft carbonation, very smooth, the sweetness is there, but really doesn't become cloying.

D: The Stuarts have made a classic, James I would be proud, everything is here in balance. Just wish it wasn't so expensive, I can't believe this it the first time I've had this beer in 4 years.

 600 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue chalice jan14 2010

A deep maroon with two fingers worth of head that quickly fall to a thick 1/4in film leaving a few patches of lace

S lots of burnt sugar and molasses with a little raisin

T as it smells but heavy on molasses, licorice, a pleasant smokey earthy flavor and a little dark fruit. I will admit I was impressed by this beer quite a bit going on

M a little slick, it coats your mouth and foams up a bit in your mouth

D no problems with this beer and for the strength it's pretty easy to down, tasting great doesn't hurt its cause either

Nice beer a little sweet but nothing that takes away from its good characteristics. This beer is worth looking for try it if you ever get a chance

 735 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

P- Barley's and Hops in Pittsburgh
rec. by owner

A- a murky red mahogany color. a red tint to the half finger head that leaves a sticky circle on my pint. more i loko at the color its like a dark brown mixed some red (plum) color.

S- lots going on here: toffee, plum, nuts, brown sugar and a hint of vanilla bean. This is a very aromatic beer and i cant wait to taste it. The smell and the aromas mix quite well together.

T- this is very nice. the smell matches the exact flavor to a T. Great blends and magnificently smooth on all accounts.

M- creamy and heavy with alcohol but leaves a warm coating all the way down the throat.

D- this beer lives up to the hype. goes down easy and smooth. I could drink a case of this in a week. I would def recommend this for the those who like micros.

 795 characters

Photo of Dawkfan
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a brown/plum hue with 1 finger of tan head that's gone before I put the bottle back down, no lace.

S- This is one of the best smelling beers I've ever had, I can't keep my nose out of it for fear that the taste won't live up to the nose. Oodles of toffee, caramel, and chocolate. There's some raisins and vanilla as well, with just a touch of peat malt. This smells like something I'd want to smother my ice cream with.

T- No! What could of been. The flavors here are really dialed down. Still has a nice flavor profile though, just like the nose.

M- Medium body, nice and smooth. Really soft as well which I wasn't expecting.

D- This could of been a world class brew if the taste was more pronounced, still an excellent beer that I'll be revisiting very shortly.

 776 characters

Photo of SargeC
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy brown colored brew. Extremely thin, short lived head.

Smell: Smoky Malt. Toffee, brown sugar, berry and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet cherry and smoky malt with vanilla and a finishing alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied brew. Creamy and smooth. Very dense.

Drinkablity: A classic brew, very satisfying. Rich and flavorful.

 341 characters

Photo of dsoft
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shockingly found this at a local liqour store 5 min. from my house. wonderful caramel flavor along with deft sweetness. can tell alcohol is present, but balances the before mentioned flavors excellently. On my way back to the store for a few more....delicious!!

 261 characters

Photo of jbowers56
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown hue with some coppery/red tones as the light peeks through. Great head, was about 2 fingers at first pour and settles to a good layer.

Fantastic nose. Really great. Get notes of sweet fruits, pudding, malt and other great stuff.

Caramel, dried fruits are the first things on the palate. Fairly full bodied. A bit of alcohol warmth and then... wow maybe a kind of roasted malt chocalatey/coffee like taste at the end. Beautiful.

It's a Traquair beer. It feels amazing in the mouth. Slightly chewy, but has just enough carbonation to lift it a little.

I'd sip on this, as the full, sweet flavours dont really lend themselves well to drinking quickly at all. Still highly drinkable though.

 701 characters

Photo of kbm
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours thin amber/ruby with good head with nice head retention and nice lacing.

Smell: maltiness and spices little bit of vanilla.

Taste: I had to check to see if I had water in my glass because this tastes like a water down wee heavy... There's nothing heavy about it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing just don't expect a malt bomb wee heavy.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: low carbonation and totally gulpable.

 426 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.