Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery Lld

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,067 Ratings
Traquair House AleTraquair House Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld
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
Ratings:
1,067
Reviews:
619
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
10.1%
 
 
Wants:
141
Gots:
113
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,067 |  Reviews: 619
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.

 1,057 characters

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!

 265 characters

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.

 1,365 characters

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.

 2,237 characters

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!

 764 characters

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.

 526 characters

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.

 471 characters

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.

 324 characters

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.

 348 characters

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.

 849 characters

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.

 1,004 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like the label. This little 220ml bottle looks like a mini wine bottle.
Ours a deep mahogany brown with practically no head.

Aroma is a bit of dark fruit (date/fig) and a bit of spicy alcohol fusals.

Getting some brown sugar/molassas, some rich dark fruit, toffee burnt flavors, and a nice full body. Bit of spice is reminiscent of honey and cinnamon. SOme brandy/bourbon type alcohol is present here. A delightful brew, and i'm very glad to have discovered it on the shelf.

This is perhaps not what I would consider to be a scotch/wee brew, perhaps I'd consider it a 'WeeTripel'!

Yum.

 593 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown with some red elements with a foamy head that was more the result of a vigorous pour than the carbonation in the beer. Dissipated very quickly, minimal lacing.

Scents of some syrupy malt, sweet caramel, alcohol, raisins. Deep rich aromas.

This is what you'd expect it to be. Some good brown sugar, booze kick, caramel, nice toasted malt qualities, dried fruit, light bitterness. Terrific.

Mouth coating, light carbonation, a bit sticky in the mouth.

I wouldn't call this one a chugger, but a damn drinkable beer. Rich, complex, and sippable -- not big sips, but many of them in quick succession. Very worthy.

 631 characters

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

Poured into a chalice.

A= Ruby-reddish-brown with a quickly dissapating light tan head.

S= Sweet raisins, lightly smokey, and a bit floral.

T= Extraordinary. Fruity sweet and a bit tart. A bit of a smokey caramel too. Has a light bitterness that comes on strong at the end.

M= Lighter than what I expected. Possibly because the carbonation is the perfect amount to even out the weight of the body.

D= A little pricey to drink one after the other, but very very pleasant and smooth. I sipped it at first to make it last, and continued sipping it to savor the smells and the flavors.

 588 characters

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

This is a great beer. Point out. I stumbled onto this beer some time ago simply because of the label. What I came to find is a fantastic beer and I promptly went back and bought quite a bit more.

Poured from bottle at cellar temp into tulip glass produces a short-lived two centimeter fizzing head that quickly reduces to a sheen around it's edges over a nearly black, ruby color. Scent of sweet malt and a bit of carmel in the nose with a background of floral. Taste is of the same with less floral, full malt and sweet with only the slightest amount of bitterness toward the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and quite exceptional.

Overall (obviously) I rate this highly and I'm happy to have found it...having not paid much attention previously, it appears it won some awards last year and I can see why.

 809 characters

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally picked up a bottle of this at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a nice light brown color with a one-finger espresso-colored head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of creamy toasted malt with light hints of toffee and caramel.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth toasted malt flavors start things off, giving way to mild toffee flavors and ending with earthy peat flavors.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also great. I drank my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is a very tasty beer that's true to the style. Definitely worth a shot.

 683 characters

Photo of katan
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a pint

A - A dark amber hue - certainly not extremely opaque. Head formation is quick and off-white. Lots of carbonation present. Appears to be highly filtered.

S - A combination of sweet barley malt tones and some phenolic hints as well. Some hints of oxidation exist in there as well.

T - Starts off rather flat with a mostly roasted malt flavor - some kind of specialty. Mid-stream starts to show bitterness, but no additional flavors develop. Finishes with a much more over malt sweetness and yet grainy astringency. No hops on the tongue or the aftertaste.

M - Moderate body - has some creaminess and body to it driven both by its high sugar content and higher carbonation. Does leave a clinging film on the tongue.

D - Seems very drinkable - easily quaffable. ABV is higher than average. Higher than normal sweetness does cause some palette fatigue. Carbonation is making it a hair filling.

A reasonable substitute for Old Chub when I can't get it.

 980 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle with no freshness or best by date.

A- pours a murky, cola colored brown body with a sparse cream colored crown of a head.

S- very subtle. somewhat smoky, very earthy/peaty. small amount of alcohol is detectable.

T- very smooth and complex. lots of earthy notes and a little bit of smoke. sweet malts in here as well. lots of dark fruits which i wasnt expecting. figs, plums, cherries, and raisins/tobacco.

M- light bodied and thin. low level of carbonation. very smooth and clean.

D- easy to finish and left me wanting to reach for another. a little pricey to be drinking more than one of in a sitting. something ill check out again, but not for a while.

 674 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Dark brown with amber and reddish highlights when held to a lamp. Pours with a mild head that recedes quickly into a collar around the drink, with no lacing down the glass.

S: Smoke, roasted and caramel and toffee malts, cherries, figs, and a very light alcohol nose. Nice and rich aroma.

T: The taste is a bit off. Following the nose, the initial taste is smoke, with noticeable malt character in the roast, caramel, and toffee varieties. By the mid-taste, only the toffee is left, combining with cherry and fig flavors to produce a sweet, but not overbearing, flavor. The finish is all toffee with a very light alcohol warmth on the way down.

M: In the first few sips it feels medium-bodied and slightly chewy, but later it becomes increasingly watery, resulting in a thin and watered-down feel, like drinking Coke wherein the ice has long melted. An unpleasant sensation.

D: I'm beginning to move away from scotch ales and wee heavies, and this one really isn't going to draw me back. If I were still into the style I'd acknowledge that it is mid-range, but the watery mouthfeel is one heck of a drawback.

 1,149 characters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 590 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3 year old bottle aged in the cellar...
Appears a dense, dark brown with a fluffy, light tan head that quickly fades into a mild cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of toffee, smoke, roasted malts, with a ripe fruitiness that seems to liven up the smokey notes that seem to be a bit too much in my face...though it was expected from this one.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with notes of raisins, grapes, nuts, cocoa, and dried figs swirling around the palate.
Mouthfeel is malty, yet bitter with some "scotch" like delicacies along the tongue, leading to slick ending.

 601 characters

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

A: pours a deep rich mahogany color with a nice tan colored head on top. good retention rate, with a moderate amount of lacing.

S: huge malty nose. some nice red licorice notes, hints of clove and a light banana tone. some earthy notes...almost oak-like.

T: wonderful flavors. this is what a wee heavy should taste like. robust malts supply the major caramel notes to this. light hints of licorice, clove, and some light banana flavors. small notes of pipe tobacco also come into play.

M: relatively smooth, especially for the higher ABV. medium bodied. solid carbonation level. great palate.

 596 characters

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

Paid $5.49 for a 11.2 oz bottle from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into a large snifter.

Leaves a quarter inch rather fizzy off white head after a fairly aggressive pour. This dissipates to almost nothing immediately. Very dark brown, nearly opaque. Decent lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Candy and sweet malts blend together quite nicely for an almost belgian styled treat. Red licorice and dark fruits nicely fermented in oak barrels? Some alcohol present. A unique, well balanced, clean smelling brew.

The taste brings on a more smoky malt profile. All around, a very well balanced, fairly complex brew. Alcohol could be better hidden.

Medium to full body, little carbonation. Some lingering aftertaste of malt and alcohol.

 727 characters

Photo of Tone
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, cloudy amber color. 1/3 inch head of a off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet chocolate, and strong malts. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy. Bitter mouth feel, that is still very smooth and slightly chewy. Average carbonation levels are present. Tastes of strong malt up front and then quickly the alcohol flavors dominate. A slight hop kick is noticeable in the finish. Overall, a very smooth beer with lots of strong malt characteristics. I'd feel very confident in recommending this brew.

 552 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For no apparent reason I've overlooked this one for a while. Looks promising though, so here goes. A dark reddish-brown pour is completed with a nice two-finger, light tan head that disappears quickly. A smattering of lace is left behind. Aroma is complex, with plenty of cherries, figs, sweet malts, yeast, caramel and dark chocolates. A slight booziness wafts up in the middle of it all. More dark chocolates, subtle cherries, toasted malts and a faint bit of spice (perhaps nutmeg) all fill the palate. While not quite as bold as the smell, the taste is almost perfectly balanced. The mouth-feel is weighted more toward the medium than the heavy, and it goes down smooth and maybe even a little bit creamy. There's a pretty good pop of bubbles upon a good shake, which evinces good carbonation and keeps things from being too heavy on the way down. The alcohol content, while not huge by any means, helps keep the beer interesting, as its not overwhelming, but definitely noticeable. This is the best beer I've had from the UK. A quick bit of internet research reveals that this brew is an 18th century recipe which was discovered in the 1960's. We could only hope more of these lost gems could be rediscovered, as that would make for some very tasty brews from the Isles.

 1,275 characters

Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
4.16 out of 5 based on 1,067 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More