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Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery Lld

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Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
1,081 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,081 |  Reviews: 625
Photo of Bubba83
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at around 50 degrees into a snifter. The color is a deep brown cola color, extremely murky looking. Light tan head tops the body, one finger width at first, but quickly dissipating to a thin ring. Some small lacing occurs, but it's not sticky by any means.

This beer smells tremendous! There's a lot of raisin going on with lots of caramel too. Some vanilla is around the edges but never in abundance. There is also a background roastyness to it.

Caramel is apparent early on at the front of my palate, but quickly moves toward the fruity end of things. There's some definite red grape flavor here, some aspects even remind me of red wine. There's some chocolatey stuff going on in the background as the transition towards some of the roasty bitterness comes in to round the beer out.

The feel is medium-thin for the style, but well carbonated with tiny bubbles floating around after a good swirl. Coats the mouth well too, but leaves it a little chalky.

Drinkability is good for the style, a pitfall many other scotch ales have in my opinion is that they tend to be overly sugary/sweet. The roastyness hits at a nice time for balance and leaves me thinking about taking the next sip to bring some sweetness back. This is the best scotch ale I have had, and will be my benchmark for the style in the future.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I purchased this at Wegman's in Mechanicsburg. Poured chilled into a tulip from the chilled 11.2oz bottle.

A - A translucent deep walnut shade w/ garnet hue at the base as light passes through. 2 fingers of rocky ecru top the ale and lace collects on the glass.

S - Tons of toffee w/ nutty and fruity malt odors dominating. A gentle vanilla and mild peat touch of aromatic bark, light fragrance of yeast w/ gentle spice notes. The scent of toasted caramel is there mild butterscotch odors

M - A mild sweet feel w/ moderately high carbonation and subtle spiced toasted texture. A mellow alcohol element is evident in the finish

T - A great flavor of malt w/ woody and cocoa notes w/ mild butterscotch, vanilla bean tinges. The malt flavor is smooth w/ a hint of coffee and sweet caramel. The toffee-like flavor is accented by a mild pine and cinnamon element. The taste has cocoa notes and is balanced by the flavor of alcohol which makes the sweetness less than cloying.

D - This has to be the most drinkable Scotch ale IMO, a beer that is smooth for its strength and calls for repeated tastes, would pair well with many desserts like creme brulee for example

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Photo of zoso493
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a pint-glass.

Appearance: Pours a a deep coca-cola color with some amber tints where the lights hits it. Even with a vigorous pour, it still only produces a tiny had that dissipates quickly to a thin film over the beer.

Smell: Pretty interesting in the nose. Smells like green apple, molasses, cinnamon, yeast and even some earthy grains. Very impressive smell.

Taste: Tastes like a lot of dark fruits, some sweet and roasted malts and maybe a touch of chocolate. Very smooth, but no flavors are really pronounced.

Mouthfeel: Feels pretty slick and is light- to medium-bodied with little carbonation.

Drinkabillity: As it's so smooth, this beer is pretty drinkable. Not what you'd call a session beer at 7.2% ABV, but you could drink a few.

Overall, this is a solid brew. The taste kind of lets you down after the wonderful scent of the thing, but it's a pretty mellow Scotch ale that's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper with ruby tints and a small but persistent off-white head.
Very malty aroma combining caramel (crystal?), loads of toffee, some diacetyl, butterscotch, molasses and dates. Excellent.
Equally malty flavours, predominantly caramel and cookie-dough, with some of the alcohol showing through. Mild earthy hops notes are also noticeable, finishes slightly watery with a very gentle bitterness.
Nice rich body, good creamy carbonation.

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Photo of nickfl
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A very small head of light brown foam on a dark brown body with caramel colored highlights.

S - Lots of cola-like malt with light chocolate and coffee. Some fruity yeast as well, red apple, plum and a bit of cinnamon.

T - Lots of toffee malt up front with dark caramel and brown sugar. Some apple from the yeast in the middle. Cola flavor in the finish with chocolate malt and light malt bitterness.

M - Oily, medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a thick, malty, somewhat unusual beer. The malt flavor works pretty well, but the aroma is kind of weak. A nice wee-heavy, but it doesn't quite manage to justify its $5/12oz bottle price tag.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, around $3.

A: Medium brown color with a nice red accent, thin cream colored head disappears just as fast as it comes. A few globs of lacing here and there. Pretty fair looking beer, but nothing impressive.

S: A few hints of chocolate and smoke, fairly earthy, smells like an old bar, sort of, has some rum hints at it as well, pretty fair amount of booze, a few hints of caramel. Smells quite malty.

T: Pretty light in flavor compared to the nose, really doesn't have much flavor, slightly smoky, a few hints of chocolate and caramel, with a little alcohol, and a slightly bitter hop bite in the end. Has a sort of offsetting cola like flavor as well. Sort of nutty aftertaste. Really not that impressed.

M: Thin, and that really hurts this beer for me, light yet prickly carbonation. Wish this had a little more body to it.

D: One is enough, this beer just doesn't do it for me at all. I figured on a little bit stronger, more robust beer, but it really dies in the mouth. The nose is good, but this just comes up a bit short in my book. Won't seek out again.

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Photo of juhl31
3.12/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

-dark brown with no carb or much head at all

-malt, reminiscent of a barleywine smell

-it tastes like a watered down and flat rum and coke

-there is no carb whatsoever, which is why i might change this review. tastes like alcohol more than it needs to

-i need to try this beer again in case i got an old or bad bottle because it seems to be that way

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Photo of popery
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An extremely pleasant ale with good caramelized malt sweetness and a full character. The beer pours a deep magenta-brown with spotty lacing. The aroma is very good. There are dark stone fruits spicy rum and sweet caramel notes. The flavor is similarly good, particularly for a style that I don't always love. It's a fruity, caramel-y beer with enough bitterness to keep things balanced.

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Photo of bum732
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, decent creamy head that dissipates leaving a ring of foam on the outside. Smells of chocolate and caramel malt, some smokiness, a nice earthiness. Tastes of earthy and slightly smoky sweet malt with a nice mellow bitterness. Finishes with some faint smokiness and fairly sweet. Alcohol noticeable. Nice creamy body, very smooth.

A really nice beer, very smooth and mellow flavors. I was hoping for more to be honest, a little lackluster in the flavor. All in all, a very good wee heavy.

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

Last of the May Beer club's in me basement...

Dark...like a rich teak wood..Rich tan head, good retention..webs of lacing.

Lot's of rich dark fruit..plum, date..molassess. Some definite spiciness in there as well.

Quite nice and complex with the fark fruits and molassess blending seamlessly with a bit of ainse. Alchol warms nice but doesn't ruin the balance.

Mouth feel is full without being too thick and syrupy.

Best wee heavy I have tried to date.

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Photo of PartyBear
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red, almost black. Small amount of carbonation. Head fades very quickly, with medium lacing.

S - Strong scents of sweet liquorish. There is a noticable spiciness to it. Dark fruits, which makes the ale smell slightly like red wine.

T - Dark chocolate, with sweet malts. Dark fruits are also prominent. There is also an oaky quality to the alcohol.

M - Strong and heavy in the palete. There is an oily feel to it, and a warming alcohol.

D - Superb scotch ale, the flavours work beautifully together, and make this a beer that I will certainly be having again...and again.

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Photo of philbe311
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a major Scotch(ish) Ale fan, I've been eagerly awaiting this one...

A - Very little in the way of head... Only a thin layer fizzy laces appears before quickly fading away... A slight ring of bubbles remains around the outside portion of the glass... Very few carbonation bubbles rise throughout at a very slow pace... A very deep dark brown color... Very sleek...

S - Wonderfully sweet dark fruits... Plum... Figs... Raisins... Brown Sugar... Malt... Caramel... Toffee... Everything a good scotch ale should be, only wish it were a tad bit more assertive...

T - Taste is solid, but a slight disappointment given the stellar nose... The tastes hinted at by the nose are all their, but seem to battle one another for supremacy to the detriment of the beer... A certain smokiness emerges... A slight warmth as the alcohol rises at the finish and through the aftertaste...

M - Medium bodied... Lots of biting carbonation... Medium bodied... A little thinner and dryer than I expect for a Scotch Ale...

D - A respectable Scotch Ale, but a slight let down given the my lofty expectations...

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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 RodBurg
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a thick tan head that slowly dissipates and leaves a little lacing.

Nose is dominated by caramel malt with some fruity esters and maple syrup in the background.

Taste is very malty and sweet, but not at all unpleasant. Loads of caramel and toffee finish with a sweet and slightly bitter note. Mouthfeel is medium/heavy.

Very good. Probably the best Scotch Ale I've had.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours up a dark, golden brown color. About a fingers worth of loose, tan colored foam composes the head. Recedes quickly, but leaves a thin, sporadic covering of the surface. Lacing is good, but not very sticky.

Malt, malt, sweet lovely malt. Beautifully sweet, rich and decadent smelling nectar is in my glass. Brown sugar and caramel are well represented. Smells like there are about three barrels of dates in here, along with a barrel each of figs and raisins. Bountiful dark fruit notes. Very light hint of peat smoke and a rather large breadiness.

The malts are (thankfully, actually) toned down slightly, in the taste area. Still nicely sweet and rich, just not as overpowering as it seemed that they might be. The taste really follows the nose quite well, other than that.

Medium bodied brew with quite mild carbonation. Could definitely stand to be creamier.

Very nicely drinkable, with the 7.2%ABV very nicely hidden. A very slight warming is the only indication of it's slightly elevated abv.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an excellent beer. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Appearance- dark, almost black, opaque

Smell- dark fruit, rich aroma, beautiful

Taste- dark fruit, rich flavor

Mouthfeel- full body

Drinkability- very drinkable, I will be drinking it again. Excellent beer!

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Photo of roadhouse
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip glass, not sure of the age but on the back there is a code with an L and a notched 2.

Pours a very nice looking chestnut brown color with a one inch light tan head that retains well for a bit but falls to a skim after a few minutes.

Aroma is full of lovely malt and fruit - a malt fiend's dream. Lots of dark fruit character of the best kind, a bunch of raisins, fig, plum, and cherry. There is also a sweet bready note in there. Splendidly delightful is the only way to describe the smell of this nectar.

Taste begins with an onslaught of dark fruit character, again I get plums, raisin, fig, and cherry. It's not as sweet as the aroma suggested, but there is a certain brown sugary tinge to it. After that there is a distinct chocolate flavor that actually tastes like some 70%. With the fruit lingering on it's delicious. There also seems to be a slight woody flavor in the finish, but it's not exactly oaky because it lacks the vanilla note. Also a bit of an earthy bitterness in the linger.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not exactly creamy but it goes down smoothly. So delicious that it's highly drinkable.

I can't believe I've just now got around to trying this. Now I want to get more for some aging (especially after reading spointon's review!). Highly recommend this beer if you lean towards the maltier side of things.

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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 Pencible
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy dark mahogany with a bit of light tan head. It smelled like dark and rich molasses, honey wheat, buttery toffee, and caramel, with a bit of creamy yeast. It tasted like earthy molasses, rich buttery toffee, nutty malts, and bready yeast, with a bit of chocolate covered cherry. It was somewhat thick with some smooth carbonation, and had a sweet aftertaste. Overall this was one of the best smelling beers ever, and it tasted great and had great body too. It hid the alcohol well also, so it was very easy to drink. What a great beer! Maybe my favorite Scotch ale (better than Skull Splitter), and I really like that style. Plus, this seems to have great potential for aging. I can only imagine how sweet and rich the malty flavors would become!

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

Requested that a local wine/cigar/beer shop bring this in...and they did. Awesome.

A - deeep mahogany. visible by holding up to light source. poured finger head.

S - perfection. sweet, warm, malty, caramel, spices, my vocab isnt big enough to describe

T/M - sooo smooth. big malt up front. warming but alcohol isnt detectable. as beer warms spices are more up front. taste fills mouth, lingers. yum

D - maybe a bit sweet to drink all night but with a beer tasting this good, hell, go for it.

looking forward to jacobite.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: sits dark brown with an amber hue

Smell: very rich, malty aroma with great dark fruit, caramel and alcohol presence.

Taste: great balance of maltiness, caramel and dark fruit. not too rich on the tongue but not too mellow either. alcohol makes a pretty bold statement throught, esp after a few sips into it. somewhat sweet finish

Mouthfeel: low carbonation. low-full body.

Notes: just a great wee heavy. one of my favorites. excellent faithfulnes to the style.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Vigorous pour yields 1.5 inch head, very dark brown to black body, thin bubbled thick lacing.

S - Earthy, mossy, some malt present.

T - Sweet and bitter, herbal in some respects, a little chalky on the tongue.

M - Medium body, carb is very thin bodied and creamy, fair enough balance.

D - Like it, but not a session.

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

poured a dark brown, small head that doesn't last long
decent nose, but not real impressive, i get dark fruits, bread, maybe a touch of brown sugar.
Taste is a bit simple, nowhere near as complex as i was looking for. Dark fruits again, bread, some vague sweetness,
mouthfeel is way thin.
this beer is ok, but not as good as i thought it would be.

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Photo of ricke
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-05-14. Served in snifter.

A: Dark brown with big ruby hues. A 2 cm light-beige creamy head that settles after a while. Nice lacings.

S: A nice and big smell of malts, brown sugar, some chocolate and som coffee. Plenty of prominent fruity aromas. Some spices. Faint hint of alcohol. A very nice smell with plenty of depth.

T: Plenty of malts with a dense and sweet character. The malts has a slight caramel-like character, but even more so of candy sugar and brown sugar. Fudge and notes of chocolate. Tasty vinous fruits (cherries, blackberries). In the finish there is notes of wood, dry coffee notes, spicy alcohol and some herbs.

M: Rather full-bodied, soft and creamy texture. Well balanced carbonation.

D: A very tasty beer with rich aromas. Rather complex and well balanced. Has somewhat of a sophisticated expression.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with lots of red-orange highlighting. Head is pretty average, about one inch initially, but leaves a damn fine bit of lacing all the way down.

The nose is fairly straightforward, but nice: toast, dark fruits, sweetness of caramel and toffee, with a hint of alcohol and pepper.

Taste is just right, with lots of caramel, malty sweetness, fruits on the dark, ripe side, and side-notes of diacetyl, smoke, and chocolate. Hops are hardly around but for a fruity, piney twinge that mingles nicely with the oaken character.

Not much by way of bubbling, with some good chewiness going on. Not overly large so as to kill drinkability - this is just about right. Middle of the road between complexity and balance. The finish coats the mouth just enough to not get annoying, and helps those flavors really sink in.

It does remind me of my brief travels through Scotland - it tastes like most of the "dark" ales you can find in that country, but much, much better. Great beer, no matter the place.

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Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 1,081 ratings
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