Traquair Bear Ale
Traquair House Brewery

Traquair Bear AleTraquair Bear Ale
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #139
Ranked #39,177
3.62 | pDev: 10.22%
Traquair House Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
Traquair Bear AleTraquair Bear Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle from Aldi Supermarkey (UK):
Dark caramel brown with a clear body & thin, patchy lacing on top of the beer builds up a little around the circumference but leaves a lot of bare patches in the centre.

Malty with a earthy notes coming through & plenty of bitterness. Roasted notes appear around the middle & some subdued fruits as well but the earthy smells & strong malts dominate from the off with a strong nutty aroma backing this up. There is some spice but some off-notes seemed to appear throughout as well.

Thankfully this one picks up a little in the taste department and doesn't seem to have the same seemingly off notes that the nose featured. There was a strong and quite malty flavour coming through with a nutty taste too and some lighter fruits as well. There was a nice bitterness to this one with some caramel as well but this is fairly light.

Medium bodied with low carbonation and a very smooth feel with a soft and slightly bitter and dry mouthfeel.

The aroma was quite poor but the taste was a lot better with a lot of malts and some light fruits offset with a solid bitterness throughout and the beer proved an easy one to drink and turned out a lot better than I thought it would after the nose.

Jun 23, 2014
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AgentMunky from New York

3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: A white, pitted head. Clear, wood-dark brown. Lacing on the side.

S: Caramel malt, light fruit.

T: Mm, fruity malts, light hops. Round, light sweetness tempered by a well-balanced bitterness. The aftertaste is faintly metallic, but only briefly -- then malty and nutty.

M: Meh...Pleasant. Malty. Kinda boring.

D: I found this to be a very pleasant beer. I could/would drink several of them. Not sure why the reviews are a bit low -- definitely a solid pick.

Nov 03, 2010
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear reddish amber colour, with one finger of soapy beige head, which leaves some random spotty lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells lightly of fruity malt and raisins. The taste is more fruity barley malt - dates and plum, and mild earthy hops. The carbonation is on the light side, the body decently weighty and smooth, and it finishes on the sweet side, some earthy fruit and mild hops staying after school.

A fairly tasty, but mild Scottish ale, not as much going on as I would expect coming from this brewery.

Feb 19, 2010
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at Bar Volo. Pours light brown with a small remaining off-white head. Faint aroma of barley and malt. It has a mild sourness to it, and hops in the finish, its not off. Above average mouthfeel. Not much on taste, this is avoidable but drinkable if you must.

Sep 02, 2009
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mithrascruor from California

3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark reddish-brown color. No visible carbonation; head is more of an off-white film.

Smell: Mild aroma of roasted malts and caramel.

Taste: Light flavors of caramel, roasted malts, etc. Somewhat watery, with a bit of hops in the finish. A mild flavor overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth. Virtually no carbonation.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, mellow ABV.

This has a very mild and minimal taste to it, something that caught me off guard. It would work alright as a session beer, I think. I do find it enjoyable and a good beer overall, but it really pales in comparison to its big brothers, Traquair House Ale and Jacobile Ale. Those are excellent and I'll stick to those -- sure, they are also a bit stronger and more expensive, but are worth it. Having had the Bear Ale now, I'm no longer disappointed that it isn't imported. Good, but not particularly worth seeking out.

Jul 11, 2009
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium brown body with a bubbly white head.

Smell: Malt, nut-covered nose with some light notes of spice and fruit.

Taste: Altogether nutty maltiness with a light caramel sweetness. Tiny bit of berry fruitiness. Light hops, spicy and floral, with a small amount of bitterness. Fine dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Relatively soft, smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Keenly drinkable and refreshing, due in part to it's low ABV.

Sep 20, 2008
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ATLbeerDog from Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a half liter brown bottle - Pours light brown/red but clear pale with a small almost non existent head. Smells of oak and malts. First sip is malty and spicy with a slight bitter hop presence. Finishes well. Nicely bodied slightly under carbonated

Sep 13, 2008
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lackenhauser from Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice chestnut brown color. Decent head. Low aroma-sort of metallic actually. Medium malt flavor balanced with some hop bitterness-a decent blend of the 2. Finish is slightly sweet. Good mouthfeel. Overall a decent enough effort. In my honest opinion this brewery needs to stick to "bigger" beers there are enough Scottish Ales that far outshine this one.

May 15, 2006
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charlatan from Scotland

3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Despite a nose dominated by malt which screams wholesome this mahogany brew actually has more hoppy bite than anything else I have drained in my first month here in Scotland.

This is a really well coordinated beer. The interplay between the rich malt and a herbal hop taste is grand, making me ponder mint without being able to confirm that I can really taste it. This hint of mint may well be a result of the brew's oak aging.

Definitely worth a try.

Mar 03, 2006
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Globetrotter from Virginia

3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found in a Moscow grocery store, the bottle is brown and stout, with a bulge in the neck. The label is black, gold and tan, depicting two bears holding the sides of an upended barrel. Ingredients conform to the purity law. Best before the end of August 2006, I opened it on 2/23/06.

Pours a clear reddish amber under a one finger off-white head that fades slowly, leaving nice sticky lace. The nose is very mild, with just a bit of grainy malt and increasing caramel as it warms. The mouth is very highly carbonated and surprisingly light. A mild sweet caramel opening is quickly supplanted by a substantial hoppy bitterness that is very dry at the back of the mouth. Espresso bitter builds steadily into the aftertaste, and lasts a truly long time. Very enjoyable in my book.

Feb 23, 2006
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cypressbob from Northern Ireland

3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

Pours with a brown body, some hints of ruby in there too. Tan head with fair retention

Smell, some esters, little bit biscuity on the nose. A hint of turkish delight and chocolate

Taste, some dried fruit, raisins and prunes. A little hint of bourbon biscuits

A pretty tasty ale, not up there with jacobite or house ale though

Oct 09, 2005
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sample at the Mondiale 2005: Poured a medium brown color ale with medium head with limited retention. Aroma is quite sweet with some spicy notes and some nice malt. Taste is sweeter the expected with some honey. Body is average and carbonation is low. Average Scottish ale.

Jun 06, 2005
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foamer from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before end of Sept '05

Pours a chestnut brown with a beautiful rocky, domed head that really stays. This is a looker. Lots of complex malts in the nose. Some caramel and biscuit notes. There's more there that I can't discern. Nice. Similar in the tasting. Biscuity malts dominate with some hints of caramel. Very minimal hop bitterness. Nice heavy mouthfeel with little carbonation. A very nice heavy Scottish ale. Jam-packed with malt and nice and drinkable. A very pleasant offering from the good folks at Traquair House.

Apr 19, 2005
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John from New York

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the few remaining beers carried back home from last year’s trip to Europe. Purchased (cheap) at department store/supermarket chain El Corte Ingles in Madrid, Spain in June 2003. Best by date of June 2003, enjoyed 17 July 2004. Sort of lost track of this one but it’s fared well.

Hazy amber color. Rocky, lunarscape-like tan head. Very enticing in the 20oz. pint glass. Aroma is made up of dark bready sweet malt, caramel, toffee and distinct oak. Flavors incorporate the above elements with the addition of some fruity notes - concord grape and a distinct whiskey barrel character from the oak fermenter. Tastes more like a beer of 6 or 6.5% abv rather than 5%. Very tasty and satisfying nonetheless. More and more flavorful as it approaches room temperature. Quite a drinkable Scottish ale.

Jul 20, 2004
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ark57 from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bear Ale is a reference to the Bear gates outside one of Britain’s smallest working breweries that lies in one of the wings of Scotland’s oldest house. The beer is fermented in 200 year old oak vessels. This red/brown beer has a peaty and licorice aroma. It has a nutty maltiness and is oily, and is bitter and peppery in the finish with faint whiskey notes.

Mar 16, 2004
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StevieW from Florida

3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heavy brown 500ml Euro bottle. Label depicts two bears with an old keg. Back label has the explanation of the bears that guard the gates to the Traquair House that haven't been opened since Bonnie Prince Charles walked through them in 1745. Pretty Cool Pedigree for a beer. Too bad the contents aren't nearly as interesting as the label.
Dark Copper color. Hints of ruby edges. Moderate biege head, fades fast and leaves small clumps along the top. Mostly wet grass, herbal, medicinal smells. Murky muddled aromas. Taste is medicinal with a touch of iced tea, some faint peaty, earthy tastes, not much. Mostly muddled, fuzzy earthy iced tea flavors. Really thin to light bodied, lacks the malty richness and body you would expect from a Scotch Ale. Maybe this is more authentic, and I have been warped due to some American versions, but it's just to thin and medicinal to be really enjoyable. Needs to be richer, more malty, hearty.
Purchased during my Scotland trip in June and kept refrigerated since then.

Dec 04, 2003
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RBorsato from Virginia

3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown with a low ivory ringed head (bigger bubbles than normal) which leaves little to no lace. Toasty, buttery, light woody aroma. Earthy malty toasty spicy flavor with a light woodiness. Light-medium bodied. A mediocre Scottish Ale.

Label states: "Fermented in 200 year oak vessels"

Per M.J. notes: Pale Ale malt, East Kent Goldings hops

Best Before: Mar 03
Tasted: 04/06/03

(17 oz. / 500 ml bottle)

Apr 21, 2003
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fattyre from Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beers pours a clear medium dark copper color with a moderate creamy off white head and a suprisingly thin body. The nose is of smokey malt (peat?) while the taste reasserts the peat with a mixed in maltiness and a resinous hop finish. A fairly drinkable beer but with a less than assertive "peatiness". I was suprised that this was listed as a barleywine/strong ale. The body seems awfully thin for the style

Mar 18, 2003
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Bunnyhop from Georgia

3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear, medium dark copper Scottish Ale with a moderately creamy, off-white head. The smell is malty. This beer has a very clean taste, with malt, a hint of peat, and a mild bitter finish. It is somewhat thin in my mouth though. Overall, I find this clean and drinkable, but somehow I expected more; it is a good Scottish Ale but I have had better.

(source: RealBeer Tour)

Jan 30, 2003
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Gusler from Arizona

3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A profoundly deep amber to brown color as it sets in my glass, the head perched majestically a top the beer while alive it is frothy in texture and impressive in size, after passing on it leaves a thick sheet of lace to shroud the glass. The nose mostly malt at the start, with hints of caramel, sweet and a touch of fresh plowed earth, which I find attractive. Ambrosial start, the top middling in feel and a delicate acidity and perky hop bite with the aftertaste dry and long lasting, a quite drinkable brew, but one I find lacking as I always expect more from top notch breweries than they can deliver, but that’s my problem I guess.

Dec 18, 2002
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packetknife from Idaho

3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Mild brown with no retaining head. Smells of wet branches. Let it linger on your tongue and a slight sweetness with come out with good malt. Does vaguely remind me of a isle scotch w/ water. A bit thin but very drinkable.

Jun 14, 2002
Traquair Bear Ale from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 27 ratings