Traquair 2020 | Traquair House Brewery Lld

94 Reviews
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sitarist on 01-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 141
Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This ale is nothing short of outstanding, and takes its place among my favorite all-time barley wines. Deep chestnut in color, 2020 has pronounced notes of sweet caramel and dark fruit in the nose and initial taste, followed by hints of brown sugar, honey, and vanilla spices with a smooth creamy finish. 2020 is a very well balanced beer, and the alcohol content of 10% is extremely well hidden.

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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 BardofBeer
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Traquir House has always been on my top five
list of favirite breweries. 2020 joins its siblings Traquir house Ale and Jacobite Ale as
"WORLD CLASS". I poured 2020 into a tulip glass,
it pours a deep dark mahogany color, leaving a small lacing of head on the surface of the beer and edge of the glass. Aroma is a wonderful blend of Oak, Carmel, Tofee and Plums. The wonderful full body of 2020 wraps the tounge with flavors of roast barley, black licorice,Brown Sugar, Plums and dark Malty flavours.As good as 2020 is now I cant wait to try it in 5 years and again in 10 years. 2020 is in the "life changing experiance" catagory.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 12 ounce bottle at around 50 F into a tulip glass, this beer poured a three inch thick dense ivory head that slowly faded into an espresso-like crema cap. The liquor is dark ruby, quite clear, with moderate carbonation apparent. The nose is of figs, raisins, and sherry. The same appear on the tongue, with a bit of red fruit (cherry?), caramel and toffee as well, and a honey-like sweetness that is nicely balanced by enough carbonation to keep the beer from being even close to cloying. No hint of the prodigious alcohol strength appears on the palette. The beer feels surprisingly light on the tongue, and is shockingly, and dangerously, drinkable.

Put simply, this is the best English style barley wine I have ever had. This is a world class beer, even at only a year old; a decade in a properly maintained cellar could do marvelous things to it, if one could somehow muster up the determination to lay it down for so long.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you to CruisaC for hitting me with this in the Barleywine BIF. Split with my wife into duvel tasting tulips.

a - beer poured a deep purple brown with a thin white head that didn't hang out long. very plum-like with a darker heart than rim. nice lacing.

s - very nice malt. purple fruits. makes me think of an old ale or even a doppelbock or belgian dark...that family. smells very nice...excited for a taste.

t - strong fig and nutmeg. again, dopplebocks come to mind. the booziness gives it a peppery spicy flavor. malt dominance and i love it.

m - smooth, thick, rich. not overbearing. did i say smooth? slips down really easy.

o - overall, i was very impressed. this is one that i hadn't heard of until it arrived in a BIF box and when i researched it a bit there was some good buzz on it...this one lived up to the buzz and i think is sliding under the radar a bit. very worthwhile beer (that i am pretty sure i can get locally!) that i will be drinking again. this one doesn't need any age, delicious fresh. booze is invisible. the only thing my wife said about it "this is a really good beer" and she doesn't always proclaim that and is quite the barleywine fan. so if this one impressed her, it *must* be good!

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Photo of AgentZero
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark redish color with hints of brown. Small tan head that didn't leave much on the sides as it dissipated.

S - Candied fruit, dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, I have no idea why this is called a barleywine, this has got to be a quad. No mention of barleywine on the bottle, or of anything that Traquair has written. Seems to be all 3rd parties that have dubbed it this, and I disagree. This smells like a fantastic quad.

T - Tastes like a truly awesome quad. Toffee, lots of figs, caramel, and brown sugar. Unlike Rochefort, which gives a bit of alcohol burn, the alcohol in this is buried. Tastes fantastic.

M - Smooth, medium bodied.

D - This is an awesome beer, and I am going to go buy some more, can't get enough of this stuff. One of the best surprises I've had in a while.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. Best before April 2020... Check.

Pours a dark translucent brown. Very small bright beige head, mostly a ring w/ large bubbles. Touches of lace.

A very nice aroma of dark fruits and sweet molasses. Really reminds me of a Belgian with strong candi sugar.

Taste is fantastic! Even better than the smell. Very similar to the nose. Sweetness prevails, but with layers of bitterness, dark fruits, bready malt, spices, and stinging hops. Again, very much like a Belgian. Alcohol is almost completely buried which is impressive for a 10% beer.

Body is medium full with pretty low carbonation. Gets a bit thick as you get through the glass.

A really great beer. Got a 2nd one in the cellar to try in 9 years, but sure wish I had a 3rd to drink right now.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A strangely cold day in my area. Good conditions to cook up some chili, add some bacon, and crack open a Traquair 2020 to heat myself up. On to the beer:

The beige color of the head provides a clean contrast between the foam above and the body below. Its body is very darlk red and pishing into brown's territory. Some amounts of lacing cling ot the glass. The nose caught me off-guard with its Belgian-like character; red grapes, prunes, a little booze in the aroma.

As the beer spalshes into the mouth, I knew this was a winner. Sweet dark fruity esters and a dendril of smoke and roast start it all off. But then this ale reaches a new level. The beer starts to get smokey. A splash of tobacco kicks in. Then the beer sweetens and become almost like a chocolate dessert. What an amazing transformation! Bonus points for having the alcohol dangerously hidden and remaining very easy to drink. It doesn't feel as heavy as the 10% says, but it doesn't need be in order to be outstanding.

Summing it up, Traquair 2020 is impressive beer that is ready to drink right now. The trasformation is beautiful, and it paired very well with my bacon chili.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors. Best before April 2020.

A - Pours with a half-finger of light tan foam that settles to a thin ring and some hazy film, leaving minimal lace. Semi-transparent dark ruby-brown color.

S - Firstly, this smells like a quad. Secondly, it smells like a fantastic quad in the league of the best trappist breweries. Huge nose of caramel, treacle, dark fruits, candi sugar, and only a faint whiff of alcohol.

T - Again, huge treacle and toffee, booze-soaked vinous dark fruits, figs, brown sugar. Booze is not apparent, and this somehow avoids being cloying.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, low carbonation. Goes down very easily for the style, and only the lightest bit of warmth in the back of the throat.

D - This is shockingly ready-to-go right out of the gate. It'll only get smoother over the next 10 years, but there's no shame in being impatient and drinking this right now. I split a 12oz bottle with a friend, and I'm probably going to buy a bunch more for the cellar.

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Photo of oberon
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer intent on holding it a least for a little while,Iam glad I didnt.Poured a rich mahogany with a tinge of scarlett,a thinner but persisntent head atop.A mix of molasses,caramel/vanilla,raisin/prune,and light peaty smokiness in the nose,alot going on but it all melds well.Big chewey mouthfeel,the definition of chewey right here.Alcohol dipped stone fruit and molasses dominate the palate,it has an almost cakey feel to it.The sweetnes is kept in check pretty well with the alcohol zip providing the sweetness mainly in the finish.A complex to the hilt beer,its one of the best
barleywines I have had either from here or the UK,wonderful stuff.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wonder how the Scottish contengency feels about creating Strong Scottish Ale that defies the style to the point that the most apt catagory would be an "English" barleywine. Though there's enough Scotch element to make me interpret this beer as a Wee Heavy to the extreme-- maybe a Wee Sumo?

Pouring an exquisitly handsome and rich mohogany hue with crimson and ruby highlights, the beer shows off its brilliant color and clarity. Lightly tanned foam builds a formitable head that falls to a delicate creme that coats the beer evenly and laces with intermitten pockets along the glass. A very sharp look.

Rich fruity and malt sweetness fill the nose with plumb, grape, dates, figs... really and nice blend of stone, dehydrated and pitted fruits. Sweetened and rounded by toffee, caramel, and molasass the fruits come to life in a very brandyish and port wine kinda way. Still a memory of Scotch Whiskeys persists with earthy notes of peat and mild phenolic smoke.

Very strong flavors of those fruits and malts swirl for a very well melded and mature taste. Rum soaked raisons, fruitcake, and ripe cherries further deepen the complexity of flavors that continue to reveal themeselves with each and every sip. Alcohol flavors dance with the smokey/peaty notes in the finish for a savory, yet thinly sweet taste.

Full and sweetly feeling early, the mouthfeel weathers the syrupy start to provide a creamy and pleasantly fatty mid palate before venturing onward to a malty dry finish and a linger of earthy Scotch and port-like fruity sweetness.

Despite its Barleywine alcohol strength, this beer is as easy to consume as any sessionable Scottish Ale, making it dangerously smooth and drinkable. Though an absolute joy to drink, the beer falls just a step off of the pace of its nearest beer- J.W. Lees Lagavulin aged ale. Sorry Scotland.

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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 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 mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a deep, dark amber in color with a decent bit of cloudiness to it. Nice little head of white pops up and over the top, settling down into a thin, but firm coating of white that sticks to the walls decently, and evenly. Rich, deep vanilla coming through the air, enough that it was really the only thing I was detecting at first. Smooth, oak notes now coming up as well as toffee and butterscotch. Complex as could be, you could fall in and die in the aroma of this one. Then you take that first sip, and wave after wave of crashing smooth as silk flavor washes over you. Just immense and complex, it really just puts it all into perspective. Rich caramel malts that are pinned perfectly against the rich, decadent toffee and vanilla flavors. Light touch of bourbon, smooth, earthy, Sublime. There is just nothing at all about this that doesn't just scream smooth and complex.

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Photo of Aiptasia
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled while fishing, direct from the bottle. It's a beautiful thing. My first taste of a Scotch ale.

A: I can only rate it as good, as I sampled it directly from the bottle. From what I could note, the beer had some froth along the 12 oz. neck and was a nice rich deep dark color.

S: The smell was imediately noticed, nice rich chestnut, pine hops and sweet dark caramel.

T: Similar to the smell, nutty and semi-sweet. Not as sweet as Belgians but very pleasant on the pallete. Pine hops back it up nicely. Well balanced.

M: Full bodied but with a dry finish. This beer is in your face then finishes dry. Low carbonation and not overly fizzy.

D: Very drinkable. I really enjoyed this one. It goes down very smoothly and the alcohol is well masked. High alcohol content = very dangerous. Pace yourself with this beer.

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Photo of Beejay
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed a bottle of the Traquair 2020. Apparently this is the same beer as the 2010, but is re-labeled for the US Market.

A: A beautiful brilliantly clear copper red. A very pretty looking beer indeed. The head is small and slightly tan, this dissipates into a layer of thin foam and large bubbles. It looks glorious in the glass.

S: A bit of booze. Sweet with caramel, and bready notes. perhaps a little raison. A hint of booze in here as well.

T: Rich and malty, with a huge bread and raison flavor. The finish is sweet syrup and roasted grain. Roasty, sweet and delicious. There is a touch of booze, but that is to be expected.

M: Full bodied, syrupy, and a nice level of carbonation.

D: This beer is pretty great. Full of flavor and a bit of booze.. there is a lingering roasted grain bitterness that finishes this out.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Scottish English Barleywine that is fantastic. Pours a deep, rich burnt mahogany, scarlet rims on the edge. Off-tan head is dense and loose at the same time. Lacing is spotty. Looks great.

Aroma is rich. Figs, leather, chocolate, overripe black plum, coffee, toffee. The many characteristics give it depth, yet it's not one of those beers you're gonna smell from across the room.

Leather and toffee up front in the flavors. Rum, or port, soaked grilled peaches, plum, raisins in the middle. It has a tannin quality to it that helps absorb the thicker flavors, like chocolate and coffee. Somewhat smoky.

Rich up front feel, it levels off to a thinner finish. Alcohol is 10%? I don't get that at all. Perhaps a bit warming, but very nicely hidden.

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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 wethorseblanket
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Dan - way to go.

Pours a ruby red, crimson brown with a tinsy tiny head. Picking up caramel, earth, mossy dirt, malt and booze. Complex wine character, wood, rich malts, molasses and brown sugar. Deep, heavy, ripples and waves of intensity. Quite surprised by this one. Enjoyed every drop. Where can I get more of this? Should cellar amoung the best of them.

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Photo of Gobigvt7
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened 1/26/2012. Brewed in 2010. Poured into an 8oz snifter.

a - thin, quickly dissipating white head. A nice amber caramel color.

s - smells a little hot, honey, wet malts, straw. Smells English.

t - bit-o-honey, booze, strong toffee, burnt sugar, and medium sweetness. if there were ever hops here, they are long since hidden by time. Some bitterness from the burned notes. Lingering roasty coffee and butter toffee. The aftertaste might be the best part about it!

m - mildly cloying but not syrupy, definitely hot. very low carbonation.

o - I'm glad I sat on this for almost 2 years. The burnt sugar malty characteristics and aftertastes are stunning and delicious. I feel warm and fuzzy. I wish I'd saved two!

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Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of MasterSki, cheers Alex. Best before 2020! 11.2oz bottle into a tulip, "Judge Nought" emblazoned on the bottle.

Pours a dark burgundy, borderline opaque with some ruby red and lighter browns when held to some light. Finger of khaki head, leaving a ring and some light retention. Head is easily reconjured with a swift swirl. Nose of dark, rich fruits, dates, raisin, some toffee, light alcohol with some dry, vinous grape notes too. Taste is subtle and complex, rich and relatively sweet. Caramelized dark fruits are prominent. Body isn't massive and overwhelming, but adequate and pleasing. More toffee as it moves over the palate and leaves with a light bitterness, almost coffee-like. Mild alcohol note is present. Aftertaste lingers for quite some time, and carbonation is a low medium. Great drinkability, I had significant trouble putting this glass down. Frankly, I didn't.

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Photo of philbe311
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Just shy of two finger's worth of audibly fizzy light-to-medium tan colored compact smooth slightly creamy froth... Modest retention gives way to a lopsided veil of lacing and a moderate color... The color is aubergine... A bit of light leaks in along the top edges of the glass... Just a couple of small sluggish carbonation bubbles can be seen at the top of the glass...

S - A rich and robust nose... Loaded with malty goodness... Dark fruit bursting at the seems... Plums... Raisins... Fig... Loaded with caramel and toffee as well... A touch of brown sugar... Very nice... Very appealing...

T - Grape juice... Raisins... Figs... Dates... Plums... Perhaps some raspberries as well... Brown sugar... Touches of caramel and toffee... A mild booziness... Fairly complex...

M - Medium to full bodied... Dense... Very minimal carbonation... A bit chalky... Some stickiness...

D - A very nice English Barleywine... This one is a sipper of the malt bomb... An excellent brew to sip and unwind at the end of a long winter day... It will be interesting to revisit this one in 2020 and see how it actually ages...

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Photo of Proteus93
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having had another Traquair product some time back, I was intrigued by these bottles and had long pondered it. These days, though, I am more likely to lean towards a traditional stand-by than I am to venture into new things for a greater price. I was fortunate in that our local Whole Foods cut beer prices by 40% as they move, and I made a point of finally getting a bottle!

A: The beer leaves the bottle a rich copper hue, filling the glass with a colour like burnt honey. It's topped with a modest 3/4 finger of head that recedes and holds at about half a finger tall--rich, creamy, and dense.

S: The nose is dominated by caramel, and a modest fruitiness of dark fruit... raisin or possibly some hints of plum come to mind.

T: The sweetness is very apparent in the flavour; it's something of a brown sugar and dark fruit--black currant, raisin. There's almost a burnt quality to it, though it's very modest and makes for a very harmonious blend of flavours. Some hints of vanilla, presumably a result of the time in the oak casks, are noted. They seem rather subdued, but that's about right. On the last few drops, I picked up on just a little anise.

M + D: As it warms, the alcohol notes are a little more apparent. though it's a wildly drinkable 10%. About 3/4 of a bottle in, it becomes more apparent as I begin to feel the 'looseness' of the alcohol content. A very pleasant experience, and I think getting one more bottle (especially if any are left at sale price) would be in order to try cellaring.

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

I had this one in the fridge for about a month before I broke down and drank it. Only 9 years short of the "best by" date.

This was probably the best barleywine style beer I've ever had. This isn't saying a lot as I have not had a ton of different barleywines. I really enjoyed it. At $8.99 a bottle it's certainly not cheap but for a special occasion and for someone who really enjoys good and interesting beers it's certainly worth the money.

I'm not sure if you can even get this anymore but if you can I'd recommend picking up a bottle. And don't wait around until April of 2020 to drink it. That's just dumb.

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Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery Lld
4.18 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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