Traquair 2020
Traquair House Brewery

Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
British Barleywine
ABV:
10%
Score:
92
Avg:
4.18 | pDev: 7.89%
Reviews:
97
Ratings:
146
From:
Traquair House Brewery
 
Scotland, United Kingdom
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  28
Gots
  47
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 146 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mynie
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.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
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.

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Photo of jlindros
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.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
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 beer...an 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.

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Photo of pat61
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
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!

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Photo of Benjamin_Stewart
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!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

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Photo of superspak
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.

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Photo of Resuin
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Says this was bottled in 2010, meant to be consumed before 2020. So as the brewer intended, despite me opening this now, it age for longer.

(A)- Pours a rather dark burnt sienna color. Produced a minimal tan frothy head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- An overall richness of caramel, honey, and a light biscuit-like yeast profile. Ever so slight hint at the beginnings of oxidation that brings out some really nice earthy leather notes and combines nicely with the honey and caramel malty sweetness.

(T)- Again, like the smell, a nice underlying sweet richness. Velvet-like honey and caramel malts. Subtle hints of leather/tobacco. As it warms some really nice bits of raisin and molasses show up that really adds another nice dimension to the overall taste of this.

(M)- A smooth and mellow carbonation level. The sweet richness in this is so nice since it does not overpower your tastebuds, but is balanced so well with the subtle beginnings of oxidation with the bits of leather and tobacco. Ever so mildly bitter that its almost not worth mentioning.

(O)- This is a great English style barleywine that does not get too sweet or boozy. I have not had this fresh to compare how it is now, but this is one of those beers for me that really shows even what about 2 years of aging can do to change how a beer is. Would it get better with more time? Hard to say since its in a really nice spot right now.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: dark, semi-turbid brown, light tan head - foam pours tall with a strong pour, medium blubby bubbles, falls rather quick, but does leave wispy swirls to the bottom and some snotty streaks of lace

S: caramel, brown sugar/black rum - cocoa powder - a little bit of whiskey? (toasted wood and grainy booze), though fairly mellow and mild - subtle hints of dark fruit...maybe a baked plum? - the chocolaty malt is quite the dominant aroma, overall

T: caramel, mild and dark vinous notes - a touch of anise woven in the back - distinctly a Traquair/Scottish flavor profile, reminiscent of their House Ale, just seemingly altered due to the higher alcohol content

M: wonderful anesthetic/sedative effect (have I eaten enough today?!) - smooth with a booze-attenuated syrupy consistency - "thin" and "light" enough - silky, but not heavy - super easy to knock back

O: very darn drinkable, of course - its construction is pleasant and solid, but arguably suffers from a little lack of depth and strained richness - as I stated, this tastes too similar to their House and Jacobite, as far as the malt profile goes (which is hardly a bad thing)

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Photo of claspada
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown color with amber hues along the edges and a small amount of frothy off-white head that dissipates to leave some lacing.

Aromas begin with intense dark fruits and caramel maltiness. Its a sweet bready, toasty maltiness but has a definitive fruity component with plums and almost vinous red wine notes.

The tastes follow the nose with copious amounts of toasted brown bread, molasses, caramelized sugars and dark fruits. The flavors are sweet, but surprisingly not overly so as many beers of the style and ABV can be. As it warms it gets a bit woody and vinous, bordering tannic, with potent plum and fruit skins.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with an expectedly lower amount of carbonation. Finish is fruity with surprisingly low perceieved alcohol.

Overall I am very impressed with this offering from Traquir as I have been with all their bottled beers. I was afraid from the appearance and the aromas that this would be too cloying sweet and alcoholic but it was neither which is a true testiment to a quality brewery. I'm not sure if this weill hold up until 2020 but I plan to try to find more in the near future to test out the theory.

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Photo of Corkpuller
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A really unique and deftly balanced beer. Profound and complex with a soft, soothing texture. The aromas shift seamlessly between fruity yeast driven esters of white grape, coconut/banana, fennel and malt driven bread pudding, chocolate and brown sugar.

If I was forced to blind guess the style of this beer I would have trouble. It's equal parts Barley wine, quad and porter. That is not to say that it lacks focus. I really like it.

The mouth feel is surprisingly light with just enough alcohol kick. Not at all solventy.

My bottle shows no sign of oxidation and actually drinks fairly young. I see no problem for this to age 10 years.

I will be buying 6 bottles.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into duvel glass.

Appearance: brown body with a cranberry red hue. Almost 2 fingers of offwhite head that drops to a thin cap.

Smell: The nose is sweet, fruity, spicy, and vinous. Almost reminicent of a Wee Heavy beer minus the smoke.

Taste: Low end of moderately sweet malt profile that goes right into a strong fruity note about the middle of the beer. Hints of brown sugar, candied sugar, and caramel; but its even more fruity than the beer is malty sweet. I am getting a mixture of raisins, prunes, red apples, red grapes, pears, and white grapes. The beer finishes with an estery, vinous, and spicy, alcohol burn that is a touch stronger than subtle yet not quite to the moderate level.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This drinks pretty easy for a 10% ABV beer. A touch of heat from the beer, but thats to be expected within the style/ABV that this beer proclaims to be affixed to.

Overall: This is a nice beer, but I can't say its an english barleywine. Its so much more fruity than it is malty sweet; so it reminds me more of a Scottish Wee Heavy especially in the flavor profile of the beer. More caramel, toffee notes is to my liking for an english barleywine. I speculate that since this beer was made in scotland the yeast strand from that beer region imparts the fruity flavors and nose found in this beer that are similiar to a Scottish Wee Heavy style beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Label says brewed in 2010.

A- Pours a dark brown somewhat opaque color with a 1/4 inch tan head that quickly dissolves and becomes a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Light surface foam and unimpressive lacing.

S- Soft roast in the nose with notes of milk chocolate and traces of oxidation. Some alcohol plus some sherry-like sweetness.

T- Smooth roast leaning toward the nuttier side of things with less oxidation sensed than in the aroma. Alcohol is very subdued allowing for multiple sips in a short time-span. More notes of sherry plus some cocoa. Hardly any hop bitterness.

M- Creamy, slick and deep. Low carbonation and a hefty body.

O- Glad I didn't let this go any longer since there are clearly signs of oxidation. The label implies that it can be aged up until 2020 but I beg to differ since there's not enough alcohol. And, although the English barleywines aren't traditionally more hop forward, there isn't enough hop content for my taste.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small notes oak and peet, with a light roast and notes of caramel. In the taste, a small alcohol presence, and nice roast, and a pleasant caramel presence. A small bite and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry oak and small alcohol presence in the aftertaste. A bit alcoholic, but a nice sipper.

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Photo of shleepy
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle info snifter glasses. Bought at Whole Foods in San Ramon, CA.

A: A good, brown color. Small-medium off-white head.

S: Molasses, and either oakiness, a spice, or both.

T: Hot alcohols come though, just a little bit. A lightly (hazel)nutty sweetness. Does not finish clean because of the alcohol.

M: Fairly heavy-bodied. Low-medium carbonation.

O: I remember liking the House Ale more. I think this one is too high ABV to be very enjoyable.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Mahogany brown color. Clear. Small head.
S: Strong toffee. Licorice. Bourbon, which makes me suspect that it has been aged in barrels. Molasses. Baked bread. Figs. Some alcohol. More intense than the house Traquair which I found to be more fruity.
T: Alcohol quite noticeable up front. Mollasses-like sweetness. Caramel. Finishes with a raw grain astringency.
M: Full body. Medium carbonation. Creamy, like a toffee candy.
O: An interesting, complex beer, but not as drinkable as the lighter version, which has more balance.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was dumb and didn't buy this about 6 months ago when I had my first chance. So I see a single bottle and snatch it up without hesitation farther down the road. And now I'm cracking open the only bottle I'll probably ever get. I feel like I'm about to hear the theme song for the "real men of genius" any second now.

This beer is smooth. Very well made. I don't really get a high amount of distinct character, but the thing that I think about while I drink it is that it's a true barleywine. It's a shame I don't have more to let rest for a while to see how they develop as I am certain it would be interesting to see. I guess that's what I can say most about this: that it is well enough made to let age and develop into something genuinely serious.

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Photo of jtingue
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Deep, but clear, mahogany red in color. Pours with one and a half fingers of head that stick around for quite a while. Some lacing on the side of the glass, but nothing spectacular.

Smell. Very fruity, as one would expect, with very ripe prune and raisin. Joining the fruit is some substantial molasses like sweetness. A slight metallic astringency is there in the background along with some alcohol.

Taste. Starts out with sweet, estery, fruits, again with prune and raisin. Some huge, candy like sweetness cuts the fruits and overwhelms the palate. Some slight detection of alcohol, but just enough to warm it up a bit and not to cause any sort of burn. Some of that metallicness come through here as well, not sure quite how else to describe it. The finish sees the return of some of the fruits, along with a minimal amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Thick in body with light carbonation, but enough to give it a very creamy mouthfeel. The warming of the alcohol, as stated before, contributes in a good way.

For me this one is quite enjoyable, maybe not worth the 12 dollars I paid for it, but still enjoyable. I wish I could expound more on the metallic note, but I cant really describe it. That is the only hickup in the beer, for me. This does have 2 years of age on it however, so who knows how it was stored...

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

11.2 brown bottle with a best before date of April 2020.

LOOK: Hazed tawny hue, good lacing on the glass

SMELL: Figs, apple butter, Christmas pudding, slightly boozy alcohol, faint spice, vegtal hop, caramel

TASTE: Smooth, thick creaminess, very malty, caramel, nutty, grainy, earthy, leafy hops, mild twang, slow escalating alcohol warmth, figs, cotton candy, green peppercorn, biscuity, semi-sweet finish

Damn, wish I had grabbed two bottles to see where this one goes eight years later. Certainly great enough to pop open now. A solid sip.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep garnet body with flecks of red in the light. Nice off-white head. Small, but appropriate. Mostly wisps of bubbles after a few moments. Some foam does cling to the glass, surprisingly, especially as I swirl it.

Smell - Rich, molasses flavors dominant. Good dark fruits almost as strong. A touch metallic at the end of the nose. Smells really nice, aside from a touch of impurity.

Taste - The sweetness comes through a bit more, but it's not too much. The molasses flavor is a nice complement to the fruitier aspects. There's a lingering bitterness that manifests itself as a bit earthy, but adds a nice backdrop for the malts. As it warms, there's a distinct diacetyl flavor in the finish. A bit of the scotch ale coming through? It shouldn't be there, I suppose, but I don't mind it.

Mouthfeel - Remarkably light for a 10% barleywine. Not what I expected. Too light, really, as the flavors drop off and almost nothing lingers on the palate. Makes me want to drink it faster, but it's still not a light beer.

Overall - Good flavors. I don't see this improving with age, despite its name. Even with a nice flavor, it lacks the depth to be truly delicious.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a very deep reddish brown amber, appearing brown at the edges. Thin fine off-white head that dissipated quickly with light lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and some dark fruits. Flavor is strong, rich malt, sweet and caramel. Some dark fruits. Not complex, but very rich in malt flavor. Neither too sweet nor dry. Medium to heavy bodied. Pleasant and I look forward to see how this ages.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown and ruby read body under a light colored head, bubbles dancing up from the bottom as the lacey head fades

Smell: Malty sugars and baked bread give way to fruity notes, specifically figs which fade into a caramel finish

Taste: Fruity caramel and complex sugars and malts predominate, with hints of bubblegum and dark cherries, which give way to other dark fruits and an acerbic finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, flows on the tongue with a supportive carbonation finish, I wish this was a bit thicker in the body.

Overall: Interesting beer, seems like it has been diluted down a bit, I think if it were a bit more concentrated it would have a better chance of being at the peak in 2020, as it stand now, I don't think that will be the case

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Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 146 ratings