Traquair 2020
Traquair House Brewery

Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
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Traquair House Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
English Barleywine
4.18 | pDev: 7.89%
Feb 08, 2023
Jan 08, 2011
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
Notes: None
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Rated: 3.83 by smi69 from New York

Feb 08, 2023
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Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle Date: a long time ago
Palate Contaminants: sour beer

Okay, consume by "April 2020." I think I bought it five or six years ago.

Murky medium brown. All the carbonation is g-o-n-e.

Nice dark wood scent, mahogany and almond wood. I would say caramel, but I'd even decompose it into scored butter and brown sugar. (More interesting that way, too.) Catching some vanilla toward the end. Mellow and pleasant stuff, yet with reasonably good intensity.

The brown sugar is the first taste. Vanilla is still present, but the dark wood is diminished. Then there's a bitterness that's moderate, but clashes with everything else. Spice is present, but not quite to the level where it's a credit. Enough sweetness is left to balance, but I actually wish it was a bit more. Maybe it's because I left it in the fridge a year too long, maybe? Dunno.

Straight-up toasted malt really hits in the aftertaste. I can actually detect a little carbonation with a vigorous swish, but that's all. Alcohol is nicely hidden.
May 16, 2021
Rated: 4.13 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio

Jan 04, 2020
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead 5-19-2012 for $4.99. Best before April 2020; consumed 1-3-2020. Cold stored in either Da Beer Fridge or the Wine Fridge over the last 7 plus years.

Beer poured a murky brown with a surprise appearance of a head that was tan and well formed with the initial pour.

Nose is very nice, plums are dominant along with the large malt bill.

Taste follows the nose with plums being dominant along with a nice balancing floral hop. Finish is almost wine like, very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and surprisingly smooth after all these years.

Overall this has aged very well. My only regret was not buying two bottles for comparative purposes!
Jan 03, 2020
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Reviewed by AgentMunky from New York

4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort chalice.
Brewed for the new decade in 2010, intended to be consumed before the end of the decade. Here, in the darkling days of the 2010s, I consume the beer I've been cellaring for a decade.
A: Pours mostly flat, with super light head, light legs. Dark cola color with the expected sediment.
S: Rich, boozy, and sweet. Dark fruit, malt, turbinado sugar.
T: Raisins, date sugar, dark chocolate with brandied cherries. Long and powerful.
M: No effervescence at all. Smooth, sweet, and almost bland.
O: I'm admittedly emotionally invested in this beer, but it turned out not half bad! Certainly better than the JW Lees I've had (though I'm about to bust out a 2008, so perhaps I'll revise that opinion).
Dec 25, 2019
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Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
"Brewed in 2010, Enjoy Before 2020."

Crap... where did the time go?

I remember buying this off a shelf in 2010. Somehow it has come with me through 3 separate moves spanning well over 1000 miles. I know nothing about it. I don't think it's valuable. But I've kept it and it's my duty to consume it.

It pours dark with a decent amount of fizz--good retention for 9 years, considering the lack of a cork or wax seal.

The aroma is robust. I obviously don't know what this was like when it was young, but it seems to have aged well: there's still a good amount of boozy zip, but it's been softened by aged nodes of plums and raisins.

The flavor is smooth and good but a bit disappointingly simplistic. Raisins and coffee up front, like a dark Beglian strong with some age on it (which, I suspect, is exactly what this is). The middle is kissed with candi sugar, and it finishes with a combination of dry malt and aged fruit.

This maybe would have been better 3-4 years ago: the thinned out body has dulled the flavor a bit. But it's still pleasant.
Mar 22, 2019
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Reviewed by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

3.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
While I like barleywine, this isn’t the one for me. Poured in December 2018. Not sure if it didn’t age well or just isn’t my cup of, Er beeer. Wish I would have liked it.
Dec 20, 2018
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Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours with no sludge which is a good sign, a touch of a fizzy head that seems to retain around the edges of the glass, a bit of wispy lacing and great legs, dark brown color with no real light coming through.

Nose brings tons of prune and raisin dark fruits, a bit of cardboard oxidation but not much, aged soft malt effect, some caramel, raw boot strap molasses, almost rummy like dark rum, and perhaps a touch vegetal.

Taste starts with more dark fruits, again prune and raisin, a bit of fig/date too, tons more sweet flavors, syrupy, a bit of caramel, but more molasses, raw boot strap molasses, brown sugar syrup, a touch of a vegetal thing with that and hint of cardboard oxidation, no alcohol, some toasted brown malts, aged malts, caramel, a bit of a biscuity note, and faint yeast. Finishes with a touch of bitterness, fairly dry a little sticky, hint of alcohol, and lingering syrup covered prunes and raisins.

Mouth is fuller bod, a touch of alcohol late, a bit syrupy, light on the carbonation.

Overall pretty good, not really what I was expecting, although for a Scottish brewery I could see it. Never had it fresh so not sure how that affected it but def the aged malt affect, bit of oxidation, very little booze, but loads of fruit which was really not what I expected.
Mar 05, 2018
Rated: 3.98 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

Apr 08, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by bigred89 from Maryland

Mar 11, 2017
Rated: 4 by calcnerd from Pennsylvania

Oct 10, 2016
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Reviewed by BedetheVenerable from Missouri

4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured into my Corsendonk stemmed tulip, this shows a deep, bright polished walnut hue with some big flaky sediment in suspension and a nice, beige cap. Nose is chock-full of dark, nearly burnt caramel, toasty brown bread, and perhaps a hint of something sherry-like? Nice, rich, and sweet. On the palate, this is a gentleman’s estate ‘keeping’ beer from Edwardian times. Ok, so I don’t know what that even means, but I picture Lord Grantham w/a nip bottle of this in a brandy snifter in his library next to a roaring fire. Big, rich, toasty caramel notes from start to finish, with toasted malt, and intense dark dried fruit notes (dates, mostly). Alcohol is well-integrated and warming, and this might be cloying, but for a sneaky, silky smooth, firm bitterness on the back end. Warming brings slight nutty accents. The depth here isn’t crazy, but the intensity is very good, as are the flavors...classic, pure, defines the character of strong Scotch ale. From the sgrong caramel flavor, I’m wondering if this didn’t get a long boil. As I recall this was expensive (maybe as much as $9.99/bottle at Arena) but it’s very, very good. Classic, traditional, Old-World. Pricey, yes, and not tons of depth, but well-crafted, and trades a lack of complexity for serious intensity and purity of flavor.
May 17, 2016
Rated: 4 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Jan 26, 2016
Rated: 4 by heysuz from Indiana

Jan 26, 2016
Rated: 3.9 by markcp from Iowa

Aug 31, 2015
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Reviewed by pat61 from Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
From tasting notes. L: Poured from a bottle into a thistle glass producing a lacy 2” tan foam collar over a brilliant chestnut column. S: Fresh bread crust and some plum aromas. T: Rich malt with caramel, fresh bread crust, plum. F: Medium full body, medium low carbonation and less warming than one would expect from 10% abv. O: A very fine barleywine with a strong Scotts character.
Aug 13, 2015
Rated: 4.16 by uturn from Florida

Apr 19, 2015
Rated: 3.8 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Mar 25, 2015
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Reviewed by bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
11.2 ounce bottle, brewed in 2010, best before end April 2020. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy copper/brown color with maybe a 1/4 inch light tan head that fizzled away somewhat quickly. There's a decent amount of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like caramel, toffee, dark fruit (raisins, figs, plums), brown sugar, and some dark bread. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some peatiness, wood and some sherry flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and has low/moderate carbonation. I thought this was a good brew, I'm glad I drank this now. Not sure how good this will be in 2020, but I only had one bottle and didn't want to wait any longer to drink it. If there's any more bottles of this lying around, it's worth buying and drinking!
Feb 15, 2015
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Reviewed by Benjamin_Stewart from Kentucky

4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Rich malty flavor with a slightly higher bitterness than other ales of this style. I think it is the perfect Scotch Wee Heavy. One of my favorite brews. Slainte!
Dec 27, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by atone315 from Wisconsin

Nov 23, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by zor567 from Indiana

Nov 09, 2014
Rated: 4 by bnes09 from Illinois

Nov 04, 2014
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Reviewed by UCLABrewN84 from California

4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
Brewed in 2010. Best before end April 2020.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, candied dark fruit, molasses, tobacco, and tawny port aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, dark fruit, tawny port, molasses, and tobacco flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great aromas and flavors that remind me of a nice tawny port.

Serving type: bottle.
Oct 18, 2014
Rated: 4.4 by Eastern_Red from Pennsylvania

Oct 04, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by BeersAndBears from Georgia

Sep 10, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Vivs85 from New York

Aug 27, 2014
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Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
330 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/16/2010. Pours very hazy/cloudy dark brown color with a small dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, light herbal/wood, and toast/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, light cherry, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, light herbal/wood, and toast/yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, light cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, light herbal/wood, and toast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with almost no warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English barelywine. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
Jul 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by Gonzoillini from Illinois

Jun 11, 2014
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Reviewed by Resuin from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a goblet. Bottle states that this was brewed in 2010 and is best by 2020.

Appearance: Pours a deep raisin/brown and gives a one finger tan head that fizzles away quickly to a rim around the glass. Some carbonation can still be seen floating to the surface when held up to the light.

Smell: Toasted malts, licorice, dark chocolate fudge, peat, must, light coffee, vanilla, sugar coated raisins. Fairly complex, big aroma with stout/barleywine influences.

Taste: Big sugar coated raisins, caramel, roasted malts, licorice, some woody/earthy tones. Although there are a lot of sweet flavors, they are rather subdued which is nice. Not overly sweet. Well balanced.

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation (but enough) with a medium to thick body. Finish is smooth. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall: This is a tasty barleywine that has mellowed nicely in the 4 years since bottling. I'd be interested in trying one 5 years from now as well, but I could see it losing its carb by then. Definitely tasty right now.
May 21, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Craigory from South Carolina

Apr 24, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by beernads from Florida

Mar 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by wyatt13 from Illinois

Mar 23, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by TWStandley from Massachusetts

Dec 15, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by JMBSH from Colorado

Dec 11, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by MontereyBay831 from California

Sep 28, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by pathman from Ohio

Jul 14, 2013
Rated: 4 by derkfromwi from Wisconsin

Jul 12, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by mpenning13 from Ohio

Jul 10, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by Odysseyalien from New Jersey

Apr 01, 2013
Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 151 ratings