Traquair 900
Traquair House Brewery

Traquair 900Traquair 900
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English Barleywine
4.06 | pDev: 9.61%
Traquair House Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Traquair 900Traquair 900
Notes: Brewed once in 2007 to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Traquair House.
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by bark:
Photo of bark
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is very deep red-brown; the liquid is clear. The very low pale brown head leaves some fine lacing.

The smell reminds me of matured strong red wine. Lots of dried fruits, some nuts, and alcohol. I poured the beer while it was too cold, but after a while, it really opens up.

The taste is strong and very balanced. Mild, lightly sweet malt with some dry roasted motes blends with dried fruits (apples, apricots, raisins). The long aftertaste got dry, somewhat bitter notes of hops, some mild whiskey and hints of exotic fruits.

The carbonation is fresh, but not too strong. Lots of small fine bubbles. The liquid is smooth and a bit creamy.

“The best beer I had this year” a person said on a web forum. I don’t really agree, but this one is definitely one of the most skilfully crafted that I have had in a long time. Great, high quality stuff!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. 9% ABV. Pours a very dark mahogany color. A nice looking tan creamy head disappears after a few minutes, leaving a bit of lace.

Dark fruit, cherries in the nose. A bit vinous. Toffee malt and esthery character.

A fair amount of chocolate malt, with some residual sweetness. Dark fruit and raisins come to mind. Not much in the way of bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden for a beer of this size.

Medium body, low carbonation. An interesting, and somewhat pleasing beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown and burgundy color ale with a medium foamy head with some average retention and some light lacing. Aroma of subtle peat with some toffee malt is well balance. Taste is also a well balance mix between some toffee malt with some subtle notes of peat which is quite enjoyable. Body is quite full with a very nice creamy texture. Very well done and something I would love to have more often.

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Photo of DLucky
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Crosling
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, Mackinlay's Inn, Stockholm, Sweden. A dark ruby/burgundy colored beer with a small white head. Did not appear to be bottle conditioned. Non descriptive smells, maybe some browned red apple and brown sugar, but not much otherwise. Flavor doesn't have much complexity. Malts are sweet, caramel-like, also a bit husky. Not a lot there.

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

A deep rich mahogany color, poured into a snifter, with very little evidence of a head on top. A thin beige ring circles the glass. a sweet, almost sugary scent strikes the nose, that is followed by dried fruit fragrance. Then a dark bread scent rounds it all out. The taste is heavy on the malt, and it dominates all the way through ech taste. Bread and yeasty fuit esters come in at the end of every sip. A hearty mouthfeel at the front, it spreads itself out evenly, gradually thinning out. The warming sensation of alcohol hits the back of the throat and continues all the way down. This is definitly an english barley wine, the intense maltiness and fruitiness in the taste and the hearty feel, make this a beer to warm up to on cold rainy day.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks phyl21ca for this 2007 edition. Pours dark brown with foaming off-white head. Barleywine and sugary aroma, a little old ale in the nose. Above average mouthfeel, with caramel and inetraction of brown sugar. A simple and easy drinking beverage, with some potent alcohol. Satisfing, and sweetish but not overally.

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Photo of JanM
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark red-brown in colour. Poured with little foam and smelling of yeast, caramel and some fruit- pears maybe? The taste was rich, ather X-mas like and sweet with some licorice and with the alcohol coming on strong. As usual with this kind of beer the taste develops and gets a lot better if you leave it alone for 15-20 minutes after pouring. Another excellent beer from Traquair.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a thin, short-lived head.

Smell: Sweetish dark caramel aroma with a distinct woody component and notes of dark fruits stirred up with some booze.

Taste: Cream dark caramel and brown sugar with a reasonable amount of malty sweetness. Touch of licorice. A bit woody, some tobacco hints too. Rather fruit throughout with a taste of plump, juicy raisins. Earthy hops with a restrained bitterness. Somewhat boozy on the chewy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation. Soft mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A decent, enjoyable barleywine and isn't that all anyone was ever asking for?

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Photo of johnnieoz
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 900-year anniversary barley wine from Traquair - picked up in Östersund, Sweden, which seems just the place to get obscure Scottish beers.

A: At first it seems a dark ruby red, later on I note a brownish tint. The head is decent, which seems appropriate for the style.
S: Whoah. Raspberry! And then after a while, caramel. Overall, pleasant.
T: This is very malty and sweet. Different than other barley wines I've had...must be the lack of hops. Aftertaste is basically non-existent.
M: It's a pleasure to have this beer in your mouth: heavy, oily and buttery. The carbonation is present, but not overly noticeable.

Drinkability: Man, this barley wine is rocking my world. But I'll keep my cool and give it a 3.5. It's smooth and goes down like a dream, and though I'm not a huge barley wine fan, I recommend it whole-heartedly.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Cornelius, Edinburgh...

Poured a deep dark russet brown colour... creamy mocha head poured small but tight, thick and foamy then faded fairly quickly to patchy wispy covering with thick edging... some light strands of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of rich treacle sweetness mixed with dark fruits (dates, prunes, fig and raisins), toated bready (mainly fruit loaf) malts, nutmeg and faint cinnamon spices, sweet toasted nuttiness, dark chocolate and liquorice, faint trace of smoke, some of the 9% alcohol just noticeable..

Taste isn't quite as amazing as the smell... Molasses, rich alcohol (rum) soaked fruits (figs, prunes, date, some raisins also), some light smokiness comes through after the sweetness, toasted bready maltiness, malt loaf, light marsala notes, quite a lot of spiciness - pepper and nutmeg, some light medicinal notes, some soy, faint anise...

Feel - Rich and smooth... medium / full bodied...Drinkability is pretty decent even for a beer of 9% although it might become too sweet after more than bottle...

Overall - An amazingly good brew... every bit as good as i had hoped... Highly recommended.

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Photo of mcallister
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red colored with bricky accents. Pours with a very full head of off white that sticks around.

Thick with raisin aromas, port reduction of figs, chocolate, marmalade, honey, oxidation, sherry grapes, with even a hint of marsala. Some caramel and a slight hint of vanilla.

Much the same as the mouth with a alcohol showing on the finish. A creamy texture on the finish as well yet the mid palate is slightly off. Bitter on the finish also but more tannic than a hop bitterness. Raisin is prevelant but not as overwhelming as the nose would suggest, chocolate covered raisin is the key. Prunes, and dried figs with dried black and blueberries as well. A solid beer but nothing that really reaches out and grabs you. Just barely missed on this one.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, 2007 vintage, best before March 2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a cola brown color with a half inch tan head that went away quickly. There's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is very malty, it smells like caramel, raisins, molasses, and brown sugar. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but with some booze noticable. Also, the taste isn't as strong as the aroma would indicate. Mouthfeel/body is medium with low carbonation, however it seems a bit thin. It's not as rich as I expected it to be. I think the drinkability is good, it's a good sipping brew. Overall I think it's a good beer, although I think this could use some more age on it.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served in a tulip glass. The beer came out of the fridge a bit colder than I would have liked it. After a wait of 20 minutes the beer was about the way I liked it.

Appearance: The beer pours a very nice ruby coloration. The carbonation bubbles up in a lazy loose grouping. The head of the beer is a very light cream coloration. A film of lacing remains behind on my glass.

Smell: A fruity blend of raisins and cherries dipped in port wine. Chocolate, honey and vanilla dance around in the aroma.

Taste: The beer delivers a pleasing combination of the aroma. Its a bit boozey on the finish but not in a bad way. A very nice malty treat.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The mouthfeel of the beer is too thin. It has an anemic medium body. The low carbonation works well with the smooth mouthfeel. I just wish the body was a bit fatter. I like em round and big. The beer is a very solid stab at the English Barleywine style. Worthy of a glass or two.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Creamy hazelnut-taupe head with a solid body and a taut surface interrupted by large, frothy bubbles that slowly, slowly break it down, leaving behind sticky waves of lace. Body is a very dark, blackish Brazil nutshell brown that only lets a small splinter of red-sun light through along the edges.

Smell: Sweet and a bit boozy, with plenty of molasses, applesauce, vaguely coconutty rum, toffee, carob, honey, toasted wheat, yellow cake, and a hint of chocolate. A very well-developed malt base - fruity, sugary, excellent - but is that it? An imbalanced aroma, hopefully not indicative of an imbalanced flavor...

Taste: It is sweet... but not imbalanced, I don't think. Very nice, in fact, flush with ripe dark fruits - prunes and raisins, mostly, soaked in rum or Sambuca - with some honey notes, bitter burnt caramel, brown sugar, and a strange oversteeped Earl Grey tea-like bitterness in the background. Slightly herbal, reminiscent of bay leaf and star anise for some reason, with a red berry (or is it grape juice?) sweetness around the edges. Fruity, slightly nutty, not too dry and not too syrupy.

Mouthfeel: Lush, soft, smooth as hell but for a slight alcoholic heat in the finish. Surprisingly dry and well-attenuated for such a malty beer.

Drinkability: This is a bit of a letdown, considering the cost, the occasion, and how much I enjoy the ol' House ale. Certainly worth a try, and an excellent example of the style, but not as revelatory as I had hoped.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle - Pours a clear root beer color with small quickly dissipating head. Below average carbonation. Smells sweet alcohol with oat and a ton of fruit notes in the nose. First sip is super sweet and smooth with fruity flavors balanced by a matching mal backbone. Very nice, very drinkable. Excellent bitter finish. The 9% ABV is not well hidden.

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Photo of baggio
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a beer i've been looking forward to reviewing. So far, all the beers
i've tried from Traquair has been brilliant so expectations was high on this one.

A: Ruby red with no lace whatsoever.

S: Prunes, candy sugar, dark bread.

T: Soy, raisins, chocolate, dark bread, salt.

M: Filling and very sweet. Low carbonation with loooong aftertaste.

Wow. A perfectly balanced barleywine that i think will mature nicely
over the years. Highly recommended!

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Photo of seanyfo
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into Grimbergen Goblet

Bottled March 2007, best before March 2017

A- Dark mahogany with a lot of floaters. 2 finger tan head reduces very quickly to a crown. Lacing is average.

S- Slight madeira note, some toffee malt, some spice, overall malt dominant as expected with some dark rye bread.

T- Slight sweet sherry quality with subdued sweet malt character coming through, tad syrupy in the finish. Hint of alcohol heat coming through with prune like bitterness but very subdued

M- Low carbonation, a bit thin in body. Smooth

D- Definitely not the best from Traquair, thought 2010 was far better although thats a younger beer. Would be great to try fresh as this seems to be taking on a sherry quality which i doubt was there fresh which im not entirely keen on. Lost a bit of life. Not one i would seek out again or age any further.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so, an anniversary beer from Traquair. Didn't know about this one till it showed up courtesy of BWBIF 3. How's it fair:

A - rich dark brown / ruby red with a nice off white yead

S - rick dark ripe fruits, sweet malts, raisin, raisin and a slihgt hint of abv.

T - similar to the aroma, it's rich toffee, raisings and sweet malts. It reminds me of certain moonraker but drier.

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, sweet with a balance to keep it on the dry side of sweet.

D - a sipper and at 12oz it's a great serving size.

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Photo of clickpush
2.59/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lots of sediment, dark brown body, not much head though some bubbles visible. Caramel nose, woody, chocolate. Flavor is a bit oxidized and subtler than I expect from a 900th anniversary beer. Not much going on inside this bottle... wish I'd had the opportunity to try it fresh.

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Photo of beveritt
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a silk screened, 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Label has a short narrative concerning the 900 year anniversary of the Traquair House. No freshness date visible.

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 1 finger of light tan head. This settles to just a thin, incomplete coating of foam and a slight ring around the glass. The beer itself is a deep, dark brown and completely opaque. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Extremely sweet and fruity aroma, like the strawberry Red Vines. No hints of malt or hops.

Taste: Luckily, not as sweet as the smell. Still sweet malt, but at a much more reasonable level. Caramel abounds, with hints of honey. Slight acidity. Very mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation level. Body is good, but not as good as it can be for a barleywine.

Drinkability: A little leary based upon the smell, but this turned out to be a nice sipper. Not sure if this has the complexity to develop with age, but not a bad sipper now.

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Photo of Pencible
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle. (Thanks to Will for sharing!) This poured a transparent dark mahogany with quickly dissipating tan head. It smelled like sugary caramel and toffee and honey wheat, with some subtle creamy orange and a bit of alcohol. It tasted like chocolate covered cherry with honey and molasses and oranges and cream and fresh wheat. It was watery with no carbonation, and had a sweet aftertaste. Overall this was a super sweet and succulent beer. It had fantastic complexities and subtleties that go far beyond the flavors I've captured above. It was bold and ultra clean, with well hidden alcohol, so it was super easy to drink. The body was a bit thin, but the taste was just perfect. Truly a great barleywine, which will likely continue to improve with age (peaking in another 5 years maybe?).

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Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a dark, nut brown color. There's quite a bit of light getting through producing garnet (nearly purple) highlights. The head is tan in color and modest overall. It's lucky if it reached a finger deep. Retention was short and lacing was relatively light.

Smell: The nose is very malty and full of dark fruit. Caramel malts smell sweet and strong. Some chocolate is also noted. There's a diverse range of dark fruit including plum, raisin, and a little prune. It smells very sweet. Brown sugar and molasses are secondary components, but add a great deal of depth and character. Smells like there's some very light hop aromas. Alcohol is noticeable, but isn't overly strong. This a very deep and nice smelling beer. I'm sure I'm not catching it all.

Taste: 900 is one malty, sweet beer. Caramel malts are the most prominent variety. They're sweet and give it a really solid backbone. Chocolate malts are secondary and add a little more of a sweet flavor. Prune, raisin, and plum come through very strong and are a primary feature. Brown sugar and molasses play complementary roles, but only add to a very deep roster of flavors. I'm not picking up any hop flavor here. If they're here, they're consumed by the malts. Alcohol is noted, but it's blended pretty well. It doesn't come across too strong. Finishes sweet with a nice dark fruit flavor. I'm close to pulling the "4.5" trigger here. Ultimately, it's just not quite as refined here as compared to the nose. But, it is very good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and feels a tad too thin. Carbonation is light. It is smooth, but would benefit from a more substantial body. Drinkability is good, but a little limited. It's a big beer, is a little heavy on the stomach, and is strong at 9%. Good sipping beer.

Traquair 900 is really good beer. It's a very nice English Barleywine. I like it quite a bit. The body is a little thin and throws the experience off a bit. There's little doubt it's very good beer. I'm certainly glad we see Traquair here in Ohio. I've been impressed with every single beer of theirs I've tried. Recommended.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2010 (brewed in 2007, to celebrate the 900th anniversary).

Appearance : deep red-brown, with tan foamy head.
Smell : vinous aroma and alcohol presence.
Taste and mouthfeel : dried fruits with bitter notes of hops.
Drinkability : a very good beer in the style English Barley Wine.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Dlucky who sent this bottle my way because as he said, I just had to try it. Well damn, I guess I will then. I pulled this one out and proceeded to chill it down. Served around fifty degrees and poured into a chalice. This one was consumed on 10/22/2008.

The pour was very nice, rich dark and earthen looking. Nice tones of a dark hazelnut brown with an infused look to it. Almost totally opaque, save for a few tiny glances of light in and around the back end of it. A nice tuft of tannish colored foam then rose up over the top of it and settled down nicely into a small pillow on top of the glass. Some light side glass lace capped off a very nice little show.

The aroma was very full, and nice and complex, classic old ale. Nice notes of bourbon, woodsy, oak like notes and a good touch of caramel coming off of it right away. Maybe some currant, or some other nice dark frit like vibe well underneath with the slightest touch of what could be seen as honey kissing it. The flavor was very mellow, nice and almost tasted aged, this was very well put together. Interesting blend of toffee and chocolate like flavors on top of a very bready, malt driven base that really just pushed this well into the forefront. Some light, and earthy hops in the finish were fleeting, but had enough of a punch to really push the caramel and toffee flavors across the back of the tongue towards the end. Nice push on here for sure. Smooth, with the alcohol very well hidden, this was a sipper, but by no means came off too strong. Delicate carbonation was more then enough to keep it from feeling flat, but not too much to lighten it up.

In the end, while not the best I have ever had in the style, I have to give this one a damn good recommendation. Very solid with a deep, resin filled palate. I really enjoyed this and would love to have it around on a semi regular basis.

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Traquair 900 from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 45 ratings