Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery

Your Rating: None

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

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-07-2000

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,489
Reviews:
626
Ratings:
1,085
pDev:
10.1%
Bros Score:
4.61
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
116
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,085 |  Reviews: 626
Photo of Jmamay22
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been excited to try this brewery and waited for the cooler weather that September brings to finally crack it open.

Traquiar's House Ale pours a dark brown similar to molasses. The head quickly dissipates to a thin creamed coffee color.

Smells of peat, lightly of smoke, caramelized sugar, dates, and a dash of spice.

Tastes of smoked sugar. A handful of peat and dark fruit. All around fairly sweet and somewhat thin in taste. No alcohol found anywhere. This one could sneak up on you.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and watery. Very light carbonation. Highly drinkable, yet delicate and softly complex.

 609 characters

Photo of Lukie
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was recommended to my parents for me, at Purvis Cellars quite a few months ago. I didn't want to open it, as I had never heard of it before, and because of the interesting "use by date". December 2016.

Pours out almost cola brown, with a small head that dissipitated into some sticky lacing on top. Looks very interesting.

Smell is of sweet malts, and bitter chocolate. There is also a herbal, or medicinal quality about it. Almost leafy like.

Really complex fruity malts. Plums, figs, caramelised apple. Almost tastes like drinking sweet tea, with a bitter finish to it. Very, very interesting.

Mouthfeel is moderate, while not too light, it has some heavier qualities, but nothing like a dark ale or stout. Again, interesting. Very drinkable for the alcohol, and a very enjoyable experience.

 802 characters

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

Appearance: Deep glossy brown, with nice head that faded into a lace.

Smell: Complex malt with slight tones of fruit and a very subtle note of alcohol.

Taste: Deep, richly complex malts, with some subtle notes of fruit balanced nicely on the tail end with just a little hop "bite". Nice oaky finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, rich and smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability: I picked this up never hearing anything about it, and I'm glad I did. A great ale one that is nicely savored and can easily be pared with cheese or red meat, maybe even try smoked cheeses and meats.

 574 characters

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

a: Deep brown body, cream colored head.

s: Figs, sweet caramel, maybe butterscotch.

t: From BA style description:
"Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort."

That explains a lot. Full, rich and complex malt dominates this brew. Caramel and butterscotch flavors show up big. Notes of oak. Tea-like hop bitterness as the description also mentions. Some fig/raisin too. Quite the experience.

m: Full body, rich and thick feel. Low carbonation suits this beer.

d: As good as I remember. A legendary beer that provides a defining example of what a Scotch Ale can and should be. Very complex, rich but delicate. A must try for beer geeks.

 693 characters

Photo of scootny
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A ruddy brown fluid poured into my tulip tumbler. A fragrant two fingered head of tight carbonation rises up and slowly fades. A touch of lace on the sides of my glass. The clarity is good and allows me to observe a distinct lack of carbonation activity.

Smell is sweet and bready. A heavy dose of dark fig like fruits and a touch of butterscotch. Alcohol and faint florals.
Malt, toffee, a hint of coffee as well.

Taste is a big malt palate with some earthy peat like smoke. Sweet burnt caramel dipped figs and a dusting of mocha powder. Gentle hops show up in the dryish finish. A clean bitter that leaves a trace of wine and alcohol and fades into graham crackers.

Moutfeel is gentle, creamy and smooth,

Drinkability oh so good. Not a chugging beer but one to sip continuously through the night, glass after glass.

 823 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, dark reddish-brown body with a slim ring of white bubbles.

Smell: Rich, complex maltiness smelling of chocolate, caramel, roast, and syrup-coated nuts along with a modicum of dried dark fruitiness and splash of spiced rum.

Taste: Dark maltiness tasting of burnt toast spread with dark caramel and chocolate. Raisiny, vinous fruitiness. Faint touch of alcohol. Rather subtle hop character yielding on a light spicy bitterness. Taste of rum raisin on the finish. Hints of maple syrup and bittering herbs in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low, fine carbonation.

Drinkability: A satisfying, malty brew that delivers both on taste and complexity, but still remains fairly easy to drink. Jacobite's up next!

 758 characters

Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color with a tan head. The nose has sweet malts, candy and figs. The taste is simply delicious. A perfect balance of bready malts, fruits, candies and ligt hops. Full body suits beer perfectly. A beautifull beer that I could enjoy most anytime.

 253 characters

Photo of daythree16
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Medium brown in color with a small head that fades quickly leaving spots of lace on the glass.

Scent of raisins, figs, and malty caramel goodness. The taste is very malty and sweet, but not too much, and there some earthy yeasty tones as well. There is also a bit of a bitter finish to the beer. No alcohol burn whatsoever.

Medium bodied with a slightly dry, bitter aftertaste. Love, love, love the malty, sweet, earthiness of this one. It may be my new favorite Scotch Ale.

 499 characters

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

Couldn't believe my eyes upon returning to California and spying this in my local (albeit upscale) liquor store / deli. Grabbed both the Jacobite and this one. Enjoyed both immensely.

Less tha vigorous pour yields a small white head on top of a dark brown body that is clear when held up to a light. No lacing throughout the session, perhaps I didn't let it warm up enough.

Lots of malts with some carmel on the nose, I like where this is going.

Oh my. Beautiful malt structure. Complex and a joy to discover. Just a hint of bitterness keeps the malts in check. Wonderfully done.

Mouthfeel surprisingly light (not in a bad way) and crisp. I wish the flavor would linger a little bit longer.

Super drinkable. I've had two beers from Traquair and both have been world class. If you see this do not hesitate to try it!

 820 characters

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

I love a good scotch ale, so after thoroughly enjoying Traquair Jacobite, I look forward to the original. On to the beer:

The head was dissapointing on top this light ruby borwn colored beer; small and fizzy. Still good to look at though. Mild sweetness and peat in the aroma. Suggestions of chocolate covered fruit. The taste is a little ambiguous to judge. It's not as diverse as Jacobite, but it's a very smooth beer that isn't heavy on the palate. Earthy caramel notes mixed with a breath of smoke and peat. There's also a touch of wooden cask in the taste. As it warms (and this is a key part to the beer), yeast comes in to add another dimension to the aroma and flavor. Consume liberally if you want; it's too easy to drink from.

I was wondering if I was ever going to experience the wonder others have had with this brew, and it came towards the last minute. And what a treat it was. Give it some time to warm after pulling it from the fridge and you too will experience the goodness of what others have had.

 1,019 characters

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

11.2 oz. bottle > small snifter

The color is an intense red high-lighted amber, good carbonation with a thick and frothy, tan colored crown that rises 2" full with a slow dissipation and eventually leaves only a small covering of foam.

The second I opened the bottle I got a big whiff of pungent sweet malt. Even with a gentle pour the aroma bursts out of the glass! There's...licorice, brown sugar, brown rice, malted wheat, musty, earthy notes of hops. I spent a good amount of time enjoying this aroma. It was actually my favorite aspect of this beer.

As I suspected from the robust aroma the malt complexity is very impressive indeed. It's bold, rich and as complex as you could imagine for this great style. The malt flavor's includes, brown sugar sweetness, figs, only mildly sweet red grapes. The balance is achieved with an amazing array of earthy, herbal flavor's like charred wheat and peet moss. The hops are musty and grassy which leads to a oak-barrel aging flavor, not smokey, but woody. The heat comes on right at the end and gives light impressions of Scottish highland Whiskey. The finish is woody and mildly bitter. Very well-rounded.

This has a medium feel, plenty of crispness, but aslo mellow and hefty going down, finishes sharp due to the heat.

Summery in one word: Quality.

 1,310 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one has been cellared for a little over a year as I've been wanting to see how the time affected it. This pours a murky dark brown with little head or lace. The nose is interesting, with a heavy blanket of smoked dark malts with notes of butterscotch and caramel and a charcoal.

Good complexity throughout the sip with a smoky, malty backbone, some mildly spicy hops, and a velvety smooth texture. Some extant alcohol, but I find it complimentary. Almost no carbonation at all. Very relaxed and mellow overall, a nice sipper.

 532 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle. Pours a light brown with red highlights. It has a fizzy off-white head that quickly diminishes.

The aroma is sweet caramel and buttery toffee malts, peat, cola and a little alcohol.

The flavor is sweet caramel and butterscotch malts, some dark fruits, a little smoke and a subdued bitter alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed with this one - it's very subdued. I'll take an Old Chub over this any day.

 486 characters

Photo of gangofmorlocks
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. Dark cola brown with thin head and very little lacing. Very little carbonation.

The aroma was all malts. Roasted malts? Almost 'bocky'. Nothing too complex.

This is the first Scotch Ale that I've had in awhile. I've tried a few before. But my palate wasn't as refined. Pretty tasty. Though I didn't get much complexity out of this. A little vanilla. Some toffee and caramel notes. I could taste a little diacetyl. A little wood in the finish.

Maybe it was a touch old? Wasn't as rich or robust as I would've imagined. But very drinkable.

I would definitely buy another bottle.

 603 characters

Photo of Yesac
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Caramel color, no head. Small ring around the glass.

S - Smokey, scotch, grapes/dark fruits

T- Dark caramel taste with hints of vanilla. Almost like a wine or juice because it's so smooth and complex.

M - Very thin, malty

D - High drinkability.

Excellent Beer!

 272 characters

Photo of brendan13
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a pint glass with a dark red/brown body and a centimetre or so of beige head that falls away fairly quickly.
S - A nice mixture of dark fruit, cocoa & some warming alcoholic phenols.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with a bit of a sweet caramel touch as well.
M - A creamy, smooth medium bodied beer with fairly low carbonation.
D - A nice beer. Not something I'd drink often but every now and then would be fine.

 439 characters

Photo of ralree
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Really Murky brown with just a slight head and decent lacing. The head dies down almost immediately.

S: Rich roasted caramel malt with backgrounds of vanilla. Smells great.

T: Smoky caramel malt, a touch of banana, vanilla, with a bit of raisin in the background.

M: Easy on the palate. Carbonation is a little low. Non-astringent.

D: Goes down easy, and is a joy to drink. Not too heavy, so one can knock back a few no problem.

 436 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a deep auburn/copper color with a tan, bubbly, two-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled very grassy, smoky and a little earthy. Some roasty malt notes, too.

T - This is a pretty malty beer with a nice bittersweet character. Subtle hop flavors come through.

M - It was soft, smooth and somewhat creamy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a nice ale. Good malt taste.

 409 characters

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

330 ml bottle poured into my DFH pint glass yields a rich, glowing, clear red-copper body capped with a thick finger of fine pale tan foam that recedes to a ring, but leaves a few wisps of lacing.

Smell is smoky, peaty and malty, with juicy notes of raisins and plums, with savory, earthy hops.

Taste is exceptionally juicy and well-balanced with smooth flavors of dark fruits, sweet light-bodied caramel, light biscuity malt, and a simple, proportionally dry, smoky bitterness that, after some negotiation with the fruits, gets the final statement.

Excellent drinkability is another shining feature among many in this, a truly outstanding beer.

 648 characters

Photo of toutaboutstout
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Forms an 1/8th of an inch head. The apprearance is exactly what I look for in a beer(deep garnet). Thats not important though. The smell is very nutty and smokey. This seems to always be a good sign. The taste is exceptional...earthy, and smokey.

This will be a repeat buy for me.

 281 characters

Photo of Damian
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from an 11.2 fl. oz./330 ml bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA

Poured a clear, crimson-mahogany. The frothy, one-finger, off-white head quickly faded to a clingy film. Spotty lacing clung to the sides of the glass on each sip.

The aroma was earthy and peaty. Malty rich and sweet with spicy alcohol notes. Bready and bourbony. Some oak characteristics were noticeable as well. As the beer warmed, the aroma really opened up. Sweet toffee and brown sugar notes came out strong.

The flavor profile was complex yet rather thin. Malty rich with some dominating woody flavors. Earthy and quite tannic. Whiskey-like alcohol notes appeared immediately and lasted until the finish. Some fruitiness was noticeable in the center. The finish was also woody with lingering mineral notes and a touch of alcohol warmth. Some British bittering hops came through as well. Very dry overall.

Mouthfeel was medium/light bodied and creamy with a very fine, mild carbonation. The liquid was nearly flat by the end of the glass.

Drinkability was decent. While many aspects of this beer were interesting, I found the overall flavor profile to be a bit harsh in some aspects yet lacking intensity in others. At 7.2% ABV, the alcohol was not hidden but nor was it offensive. Toward the end of the glass however, it had become much more apparent. This is definitely a sipping beer.

This beer makes no bones about it origins. I feel like I am tasting peat smoked malts in every sip. Even though this scotch ale may not be as extreme as some of its stateside cousins, it is very true to the style.

 1,596 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red with a short whitish head. laces nicely. Smells sweet and fruity and malty. Notes of truffles, figs, dates, strawberries, cherries and liquor. Very inviting...smells fantastic. Surprizingly unassertive flavor that doesn't live up to the smell. Subdued clean and peaty malt. reserved fruitiness. alcohol noticeable as a warming sensation on the finish. hints of blackcurrant, chocolate. thinner than i expected. Not the experience i though it would be, but reasonably tasty nonetheless.

 507 characters

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

330 ml bottle poured into my Delirum snifter, the Traquair House Ale is a hazy dark brown with a small, wispy light tan collar with wispy skim.

Smell is rich and malty, with some prune like fruitiness.

Taste is very good, full of flavor. I can't believe I haven't got around to ever having this beer before, wow. Great caramel malt, very smooth and super rich, but overly cloying or too heavy - just a wee bit heavy! I like a hint of smoke in my wee heavies, which this could use more of.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, with a medium body.

Drinkability is high, but this is one to sip an savor. It gets a bit thick though towards the end of the glass, and I'm not sure I'd enjoy a second glass as much.

 706 characters

Photo of IPAcraig
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I havent had this beer since I was in Scotland two years ago. I actually picked this beer up in Amsterdam last Summer.

Poured into a snifter to reveal a glorious cream head over the top of a blackish brown body. Very nice looking, but lacking in lace.

Sweet malt with a huge aroma of cream. Rich and smooth.

What else do you need in a wee heavy. Huge malt, touch of alcohol, and a slightly bitter finish.

I love this beer. A fine example of a great style.

 459 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut brown color with a rather small head that settled into a sparse cap. The aroma is of brown bread, a bit buttery and nutty; some light wine like smells as well. The taste is of bready malt, hints of raisins, slight buttery, finishes with a smooth & mellow nutty malt flavor. The feel is well bodied with fizzy carbonation, finishes silky smooth. A very well constructed brew. The feel and finish of this brew is excellent.

 443 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.