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Traquair House Ale | Traquair House Brewery Lld

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610 Reviews
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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Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 1,039
Photo of fizzyfred
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft head that dissipates quickly. Nice and deep amber, mohagony color. Has a deep malt character and a beautiful aroma. The initial taste seems dry with a slight alcohol warming. Later, there is a delicious nutty, biscuit flavor that lingers. Nothing overpowering, but very complex. This beer has a smooth and deep body, but not too thick. The sweetness is perfectly balanced by the alcohol, hops and carbonation. This is an amazing beer on its own, I can only imagine pairing it with a good meal.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2008.

Appearance : in shades of red brown (quite light), with tan foam head (not persistent).
Smell : aromas of malt, slightly woody, vanilla flavor.
Taste and mouthfeel : the vinous of malt and hops in the mouth is powerful, malty with hazelnut nuances, peppery.
The return of malt and vanilla taste extends back fun.
Drinkability : a very good beer in the style Scotch ale (served 10°C-13°C).

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Photo of sentomaster
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, although I've had the flavors imprinted on my brain like the sun burning into your retina.

Aroma- Light chocolate/toffee and sweet licorice. Worthers butterscoth candies. Floral, a bit earthy and light fruity notes- apple and pear maybe. Like heaven all up in your nose.

Taste- Follows the nose. Chewy soft bread in front with powdered chocolate/soft toffee sweetness following, but in great moderation and balance. Light floral and fruity notes appear and lead into an earthy, slightly smoky finish that lingers and lingers. If you pause for a minute you can hear children laughing and dolphins chirping among waves. Small twangy snap near the end where the bready flavors subside and the minimal alcohol spiciness mixes with the floral.

This is a brew for the ages. A masterpiece not to be taken for granted. Bathe in it's glory and craftsmanship and you will know there is greatness in man.

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Photo of dahlen22
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After years of passing this one over because of the 5.99 price for 12 ounces, and I mean YEARS, I finally gave it a go.

Appearance: Deep dark brown color with a small head.

Aroma: Malty and some figs.

Taste: The taste is smooth with abundant malts, some dark fruits, then figs and oak in the aftertaste with just a hint of spice. The 7.2 is well hidden under the complex flavors.

Overall: This is an exceptional ale. Another great offering from Scotland, which in my opinion, has great beers for such a small country. This is a smooth but complex ale to be sipped and savored any time of year. Cheers!!

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

Appearance – Pours a deep chocolate brown with a touch of red hue when light is behind it. The head is white and quickly disperses into a ring around the top of the beer.

Smell – First thing that hit my nose was scotch…a good start in my books. This was followed by toffee, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, touches of roasted malt, and an almost earthy sensation. This beer seems to be full of dark sweet malts and smells absolutely amazing.

Taste – Tastes just like it smells. Unlike many I’ve had the smell did not advertise something that wasn’t quite there. Amazing scotch flavor with that sweet toffee malt kick in this one. Alcohol is very present as well with a subtle raisin flavor. Just plain great.

Mouthfeel – Carbonation is low as I like it and the consistency is super heavy. It’s very viscous which I find pleasureable.

Drinkability – Rock solid drinkability here. I can sip at this beer easily although more than one might be a little much.

This beer is top notch. Traquair House has really reinforced my liking for the Scotch Ale making it among my favorite styles. Truly a great brew.

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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.

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Photo of runningjoke
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This pours dark brown wiyh reddish tones. The head that manages to form dissapates quickly.
Smells of caramel, toffee, mincemeat, vanilla.
Malty flavor of dark fruit, bread, somewhat earhty on the finish with alcohol esthers following.
Very thin mouthfeel, and the flavor does not linger. Ultimately, easy to drink.
I only feel that the body of the beer needs to be amped up a bit, but an exceptional beer otherwise.

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Photo of MJR
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an extremely dark garnet with as much clarity as you can get with this dark of a red. A light tan head starts at around a finger thick and quickly shrinks to a small cap. Great lacing on my thistle-shaped glass.

Smell: Fantastic aroma of sweet fruits, toffee, dark chocolate, and Christmas figgy pudding. A touch of smoke hides just under the surface. There's a bit of spiciness in there too.

Taste: Spicy and sweet with a nice undercurrent of alcohol warmth. There's lots of rich chocolate, along with a nice dose of dark fruits. That figgy pudding note that appeared in the smell is here in spades. A touch of roasted malt. Smoke floats under the other flavors, revealing itself here and there... Finishes with a warming alcohol touch, as well as a hint of bitterness, probably from the grain, rather than the hops used. Very rich and complex...

Mouthfeel: Rich and chewy with a thick, round mouthfeel. There's a solid alcohol feel that's there the entire time, and it makes the finish a bit dry.

Drinkability: Remarkable for it's strength...while it's good now, I can't wait for winter to come again so I can enjoy this one by a roaring fireplace, while laughing at the bitter cold outside.

While it seems a bit pricey at almost $5 for a small bottle, it's well worth it.

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

This is an adult's drink. It isn't some indulged adolescent Triple Imperial 360 Minute IPA repeatedly kicking you in the head for your attention.
Sadly,Traquair House Ale is often misunderstood by an impatient, unfocused and witless palate which misses its compexity and subtlety. Best to sample it over the long haul after multiple tastings before boking out any rash judgements and making an arse of yourself.

Restrained yet rich, deep brown and earthy with hints of caramel and wood all combine to make a seemless beer worthy of contemplation. Nothing else survives today which so denonstrates Sandy Hunter's capacity, vision and genius.

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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.

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

One year in the cellar.

Poured into a snifter, a beautiful, dark brew with some copper highlights, topped by a creamy, fluffy brown head with some retention and lacing. When held against hte light, it is just beautiful.

Toasted malts, toffee, choclate, fruits, even lightly smoked.
Minimally carbonated, landing a smooth, silky texture that feels great on the tongue.
Malted, fruity, sweetish but not excessively sweet. The same toffee, chocolate, lightly smoked flavors, vinous at times. Delicious.
Increadibly easy to drink, a remarkable brew bordering the exceptional. Not a session beer, though.

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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.

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Photo of Landar
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma 11/12
Sweet malts and caramel with strong plums and a hint of raisins. Very malty. No hops or diacetyl whatsoever.
As it warms the plums and raisins come out more and balance the malts and caramel out.

Appearance 3/3
Dark reddish-brown but just light enough to see through. Completely clear. Large foamy off-white almost tan head with long lasting retention. A thick layer of foam sticks to the side of the glass and stays there.

Flavor 18/20
Rich sweet malts and strong sugary caramel. A hint of nutiness as the sweet malt/caramel starts to fade at the finish. Just at the finish hints of plum and raisin present themselves. Medium-dry finish with a alcohol warmth in the aftertaste. The alcohol warmth lingers as the malt sweetness fades and gives way to the plums and raisins until nothing is left but the alcohol warmth and a hint of raisins on the tongue. As it warms it becomes a bit watery and becomes very salty, which starts to push out the other flavors.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Medium-high carbonation. Medium-dry finish. A littly thick. Smooth. Warm alcohol finish that lingers pleasantly.

Overall Impression 9/10
Excellent beer for this category. It could use less salt in the taste and a touch of smoke or peat in the taste and aroma to balance it out.
Toning down the carbonation just a touch would be advisable - but it could easily just have been the particular bottle I purchased.


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Photo of gregb13
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sipping on this one after an evening dip in the spa. To start with, it looks like absolute perfection in the glass; tiny bubbles streaming up the vessel, meeting the beautifully compact, beige cream head. Nose is a bouquet of dark fruit and bittersweet caramel. Taste is more of the same, with a little sweet booze. Goes down very smoothly. A great evening sipper.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Upon decanting, this majestic ale sits in the snifter a shimmering chestnut color, with cherry red highlights. It is incredibly clear. One sense thus blown away, we have four to go.

The nose of this beer is simply out of control. Sweet and sour elements play off one another. The nose seems to share similarities with the "Noble Rot" of a fine Sauternes wine. In another context I might find this sickly sweetness off-putting, but in the Traquair House Ale it is downright captivating. Later in the experience, dark malt and alcohol enter into the picture. Second sense has been wowed.

The palate opens up sweet and fruity, showing dark fruits along with caramel and lightly toasted malt. There is a flash of tartness before bitterness and a touch of roast mingle on the finish. The substantial (though certainly not overpowering) alcohol presence establishes itself in that familiar gut-warming fashion. Three down, two to go.

For all its complexities Traquair House Ale seems to glide right down the throat, leaving enough in the slow fade of the finish to keep you pleased until you take your next sip. It thrills the mouth in the way that such fine, regal beers are wont to do. Four.

Traquair House Ale is a big time winner. It engages, challenges, evolves, and rewards. So what does it sound like? Well by my ear it sounds kind of like the ocean, but that could have just been the snifter... Oh well, four out of five ain't bad.

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

Pours a tan one finger head over a glowing dark mahogany body. Modest head retention and lalce. Sharp aromas of tart vinous fruit, crystal malt and a hint of smoke. Smooth is considerably more tame, but not less complex. Waves of sweet caramel malt with a background of mild plum and a smoke. Substantial tea-like bitterness. Little to no hop flavor. Medium to full-bodied, low carbonation, warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is soft with a dry finish.

The malt sweetness is nearly dead on for my taste preferences which tend to run on the malty side of things. It is a bit on the sweet side, but no where near levels of Belgian candi sugar derivation. The malt flavor itself is quite complex to boot. A beautifully crafted ale.

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

The store I bought this from, Martin's Liquors in Mt. Laurel, NJ, has had this in stock for a few years. It may be the same bottles, since they had a good dusting present. My guess, and I can't be sure, nor do I believe any of the staff there would have a clue, is that the bottles may be as little as a year old and possibly up to three or four years old.

That said, this ale is more or less the standard by which I measure other Scotch Ales. I find American versions tend to have a bolder, weightier feel to them. Which is fine as most are pretty enjoyable. This beer, however, has a mellower, refined, regal quality to it. Expert craftsmanship.

The head isn't terribly thick, maybe a 1/4". The beer generally sits rather still with a few tiny bubbles springing up round the edges. Deep rusty copper color - whiskey-like.

Don't expect a big, generously-hopped, thick malty ale. Medium-bodied at the extreme. Drinks dangerously clean. Has a smooth, barrel-aged feel to it, similar to cask. Alcohol is nearly undetectable at any stage. Malt, caramel, and a vague brandy fruitiness are all well-balanced and extremely subtle.

Top 3 most drinkable beers I've experienced. Curse the fact it's around $6 a 11.2.

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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 BeerResearcher
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous rich impenetrable cordovan with ruby hues. The fading beige/tan head with varying sized bubbles leaves a sliding lace. Citrusy hop, sweet malt and toffee aromas last awhile. An alcohol fume fades after a couple of whiffs. The full malty body provides a complex array of flavors of plums, butterscotch, coffee and blended Scotch. Citrus hops, a trace of mint candy sweetness and a slightly resinous camphor taste contribute to an ale just bursting with multi-directional flavors. This is a wonderful ale! What took me so long to try it?

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

I've horded this beer that's been safely stored in my beer fridge for 6 months and was sort of waiting for a special occasion to drink it. In this case it's to celebrate New Beer Sunday week 100).

Pours a chill hazed dull copper bronze color with a uniform tight 1'4" cream colored head. The liquid of this beer takes on a bright ruby tone when held against my 60-watt soft white light bulb. It seems to literally change color when held directly against the light.

After a few brisk swirls, which build the head back up to 1/2", I bury my nose into my Gulpener Korenwolf 10 oz. tumbler glass. Sweet notes of almonds soaked in Amaretto (very nutty!) and toasted malts are first in the scent order. A couple more swirls evoke figs and caramel apples. This baby's blossoming with sweet gushing dark fruits and caramel/toffee all over the place.

Everything I discovered in the scent category holds very true in the flavors as well. An elegant and interesting dryness wraps-up the taste experience nicely. The dryness tastes and feels like freshly cracked walnuts. The alcohol is ever-so-slightly warming and not fusel or apparent at all.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied and the low carbonation level holds very true to style. A long flavorful dry finish caps things off.

Drinkability is way, way high. It's a good thing this stuff runs $5.00/11.2 oz. bottle or I'd be stocking up.

Overall this ale holds up to it's famous heritage. I can't remember a better smelling ale from the bottle in a very long time (I'd give it a '6' if I could). The dryness makes this otherwise sweet and sometimes cloying style really stand alone in the originality category. I bet it's going to be very difficult, if not impossible to find a finer wee heavy in my neck of the woods. I'm very grateful and glad I got to try this.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Wonka
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml
7.2% alc. vol
Marked on back label: L 1

Appearance – two-finger thick, fluffy off-white head that peels back to just cover the body midway then dissapears; brown/red, slightly opaque body; lace isn’t impressive

Smell – big malts; dates, nut, wood, raisin

Taste – malts (dark fruit, molasses, nut) dominate but the hops never leave; aftertaste is perfectly tolerable

Mouthfeel – elegantly smooth light carbonation (5.0) with a bit of stickiness to close (erase 0.5)

Drinkability – smoothness is in the house

Wow. Now that’s special. Buy now.

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Photo of gonger
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best.
Proper pour into pint pub glass produces 2 finger head which soon dissipates to thin pancake that remains leaving delicate lacing down the sides of the glass. Flavors of raisins, plums, prunes, cider, and cherry chocolate. Perfect mouth-feel. Love the aftertaste. Alter the serving temperature a bit to discover different flavors. Experiment a bit. It's worth it.

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Photo of BKotch
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion, the best Scottish ale out there. Pricey, but worth every penny. Perfect balance; the model for the style. Any time you see this one available, grab it. That might actually be its greatest problem -- lack of availability. It used to be available in Texas, then pulled out, came back, and now it's gone again.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color with a pillowy off white two finger head. Nice amount of lacing is left behind. Has the look of a "hearty" brew.

Smell: Some light oakyness, maybe some smoke. Spicy and peaty with some layered malts. Also some powdered sugar and possibly violets.

Taste: This enigma is complex. Such a large succession of layers and flavors. This will be very challenging to describe but ill do my best. Oak and smoke are up front with a small amount of spicy pepper-like acidity. A chain of about three to four different malt flavors stacked one on top of the other present themself in the middle along with some smoked peat. In the back I am getting soft and fluffy suggestions of maple syrup, powdered sugar, coffee and alcohol. Has a subtle, tart root-like component to its flavor as well. Absolutley amazing and astonishingly complex.

Mouthfeel: This beer is soo very soft and gentle. The carbonation that is present turns into this very light manifestation of cream as you drink and vanishes all together when you swallow. Very smooth with a medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This may be my new favorite beer. Utterly delicious and easy to drink. The 7.2% abv does not get in the way at all. The finest Scotch ale that has ever graced my lips. The people at Traquair are true artisans and if it wasn't so expensive I would treat myself to this one regularly.


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Traquair House Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld
4.16 out of 5 based on 1,039 ratings.
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