Traquair 2020
Traquair House Brewery

Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
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Traquair House Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
Barleywine - English
4.18 | pDev: 7.89%
May 16, 2021
Jan 08, 2011
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
Notes: None
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Photo of Zythophile
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

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
4.13 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio on Jan 04, 2020
Photo of arizcards
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by arizcards from North Carolina

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
Photo of AgentMunky
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5
by AgentMunky from New York

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
Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
by mynie from Maryland

"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
Photo of Korbynlehr
3.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
by Korbynlehr from Kentucky

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
Photo of jlindros
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jlindros from Massachusetts

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
3.98 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin on Apr 08, 2017
4.25 by bigred89 from Maryland on Mar 11, 2017
4 by calcnerd from Pennsylvania on Oct 10, 2016
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by BedetheVenerable from Missouri

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
4 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Jan 26, 2016
4 by heysuz from Indiana on Jan 26, 2016
3.9 by markcp from Iowa on Aug 31, 2015
Photo of pat61
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by pat61 from Minnesota

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
4.16 by uturn from Florida on Apr 19, 2015
3.8 by westcoastbeerlvr from California on Mar 25, 2015
Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by bluejacket74 from Ohio

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
Photo of Benjamin_Stewart
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by Benjamin_Stewart from Kentucky

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
4.25 by atone315 from Wisconsin on Nov 23, 2014
4.5 by zor567 from Indiana on Nov 09, 2014
4 by bnes09 from Illinois on Nov 04, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
by UCLABrewN84 from California

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
4.4 by Eastern_Red from Pennsylvania on Oct 04, 2014
3.5 by BeersAndBears from Georgia on Sep 10, 2014
4.25 by Vivs85 from New York on Aug 27, 2014
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by superspak from North Carolina

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
4 by Gonzoillini from Illinois on Jun 11, 2014
Photo of Resuin
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Resuin from Massachusetts

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
3.75 by Craigory from South Carolina on Apr 24, 2014
3.75 by beernads from Florida on Mar 26, 2014
4 by wyatt13 from Illinois on Mar 23, 2014
3.75 by TWStandley from Massachusetts on Dec 15, 2013
3.75 by JMBSH from Colorado on Dec 11, 2013
3.75 by MontereyBay831 from California on Sep 28, 2013
4.5 by pathman from Ohio on Jul 14, 2013
4 by derkfromwi from Wisconsin on Jul 12, 2013
4.25 by mpenning13 from Ohio on Jul 10, 2013
4.5 by Odysseyalien from New Jersey on Apr 01, 2013
4.25 by straightlambic from California on Mar 29, 2013
Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 150 ratings