Traquair 2020 | Traquair House Brewery Lld

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
94 Reviews
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld
United Kingdom (Scotland) | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
94
Ratings:
140
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
9.81%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
49
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 140
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superior English style barleywine. Dark colour, dark fruit, toffee, booze balanced with a subdued sweetness, cherry, fig, vanilla.Some mollasses and massive rich malts. Very drinkable, so smooth. Above average mouthfeel. I am sure ageing would make it even more amazing.Thanks again M.-P.

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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 metter98
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yet very dark brownish amber in color and has hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that faded away, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface along with a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has light to moderately strong aromas of dark fruits with some sweetness—smells of figs, prunes and raisins seem to stand out in particular. The smell becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits and some sweetness along with hints of molasses and toffee.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol towards the finish.
O: Considering its strength, this beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste and it’s not syrupy or cloying.

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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 largadeer
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany brown body topped by an initially tall but rapidly fading tan head.

The nose reminds me a whole lot of a Belgian quadrupel. Anise, dark candied fruits, ripe figs and tart plums, caramel apple, cereal grain.

Rich but pleasant on the tongue. Toffee, peat, smoke and plum are dominant. Slight berry tartness beneath, though this largely a rich, malty beer. Caramel apple comes to mind again. The smoke character came as a welcome surprise, lending a bit of balance to the initial blast of sweetness. Full-bodied and syrupy on the tongue, more earthy and peaty in the finish than bitter. Really nice stuff, and I can see how a few years of age could turn this into an absolutely brilliant beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear caramel color with a huge head that leaves a few spots of foam here and there

Smell: Caramel, fig and a hint of peat

Taste: Opens with a brown sugar and caramel flavor that adds some figgy complexity by mid-palate; after the swallow, some fusel alcohol appears, followed by a hint of smokey peat in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a touch of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Being a big fan of the House Ale, I was expecting this to be fantastic; frankly, it is just an above average English Barleywine; maybe it will get better with some age but it really lacks malty complexity right now

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature 48º into a tulip.

Dark saturated copper crimson in the light, with a finger or two of tan foam resting on top. It settles after a few minutes leaving a delicate ring of lacing on the way down. A thin skim remains across the surface after the first few sips.

Estery and phenolic in the nose like a high gravity doppelbock, perceptible hints of alcohol and malty spice. Brown sugar and cinnamon.

Full bodied, sweet and estery with plum, raisin, and plantains fried in butter. Hints of butter toffee, sticky with brown sugar sweetness, fig jam and multigrain bread. Slightly drying in the finish from the alcohol. Body has enough carbonation to avoid being syrupy, and is simply full bodied and sweet. The 10% abv is apparent in the aroma and taste, though it doesn't overwhelm. One to take awhile with, sipping away the last days of winter.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened this bottle last night to celebrate Amy's birthday. Picked these up from West Lakeview, Capone's, and Rick's. I'll give them each an assist. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a bronze brew with a bit of a garnet hue. Nice tan head sticks around for a bit and leaves a few legs on the side of the glass. The nose starts out with some dried plum and raisin plus a bit of molasses and brown-sugar sweetness. There is some sweet sherry there as well as it warms up. The flavor is mostly comprised of lingering dark fruits and cherry plus some sherry undertones along with a molasses-like sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation; there is no booze but the finish is a bit too bitter, almost tannic. Drinkability was pretty good. Not super impressed with this one right now (although I had high expectations). We'll see what it's like in a few years.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, dark burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of rich bready malts. Some mild floral notes, too.

T - It tasted of sweet maltiness, caramel and sweet breads. There was a mild spice.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied barleywine.

D - This was good and pretty easy drinking for a barleywine. I would really like to try another one with some age on it.

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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 nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a very dark brown body with clear, amber highlights. The head settles relatively quickly and leaves little lace.

S - A thick aroma of toffee and raisin with some dark molasses notes in the background. Some fruity yeast notes of red apple and plum as well.

T - Sweet, thick sugary notes up front with a lot of plum and caramel. Red apple notes creep up in the middle and the caramel malt becomes even more pronounced. The beer finishes with a slight hint of molasses and a touch of smoke that play with the plum and caramel as they linger on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Big and sugary, this beer seems like it could use a bit of age to really come together. It isn't harsh or boozy, despite its high abv, but the malt is sticky sweet and kind of one dimensional. The caramel character and fruity yeast dominate with just a touch of molasses for depth and almost none of the rich toffee that characterizes better examples of the style. It is clearly meant to be aged and I expect that sometime between now and its drink by date of 2020, it will have become something more than it is today.

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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 ChainGangGuy
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia. Best Before End April 2020.

Appearance: Pours out a deep brownish-red body with a wispy, ivory-hued head thinning out into the appearance of a werebat in flight.

Smell: Sweet-scented nose of bread pudding immersed in a hotel pan filled with chopped quality fruits, top-shelf liquor, sugary liquids, and stray wood shavings.

Taste: Golden raisins, currants, and chewy Deglet Noor dates soaking in a sweet blend of dark caramel, treacle, almond syrup, and a few drops of Hennessy and rum. Leisurely languishing of sweet maltiness and robust fruitiness throughout. Buttery, toasty breadiness underneath. Leafy English hop character with a modest twinge of bitterness. Earthy, zesty oakiness creeks in and holds firm until the semi-sweet, lightly heated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty and a decent way to sip away a Tuesday night. Seems like the 900 given a slight bump. The fruitiness, sweetness, and light carbonation leave it tasting and feeling like something you'd find under a 'dessert drink' heading.

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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 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 womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle, Eddie.

Pours an opaque dark amber color with a finger of frothy off-white head. Intense aroma of dark fruits and caramel to this one. Some plums and almost vinous red wine notes to it. It’s also got an almost woody character to it. The flavor is sweet, but not overly so. A bit woody and vinous, maybe even tannic. Heavy flavors of plum and fruit skins. Dark sugar and molasses are also prominent. Medium to full body with low carbonation.

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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 smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby brown color where light easily passes. Modest but thick, long-lasting head that leaves a ring of lace after each sip.

Strong, rich maple syrup and caramel smells. Very sweet, like freshly made toffee.

Strong malt sugar flavor, reminds me of taffy for some reason. The alcohol is very present, but not overwhelming. Rich body, naturally, but the low carbonation makes nearly oily. Notes of vanilla and flat cola.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter. Decided to pick this one up at Whole Foods the other day and decided to try it now as it looks like the reviews for it are already pretty good. Cost was $9 for a 11.2 oz. bottle.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one and a half fingers of light tan head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruits, figs, sweet fruit, sugar, and bready malts. The smell is sweeter than the taste; lots of sugar and sweet fruit.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, figs, dates, dark fruits, sugar, bready malts, and light alcohol. I enjoyed the taste a little bit more than the smell. It's not quite as sweet.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body. Awesome feel for a barleywine and goes down pretty easy for 10% ABV.

d - Overall I thought this was a pretty good English barleywine, but it didn't blow me away. I enjoyed the smell and the taste but the only thing I found really great about this beer was the mouthfeel. The smell is very sweet so maybe with some time on it it would be better; I would guess this will hold up well over the next few years. Personally I wouldn't purchase this one again based soley on the price, but would certainly like to try again sometime if someone else bought a bottle.

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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 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 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 drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Artois glass. Beer is dark brown / ruby and clear with a thin brown head that leaves no lacing on the glass, carbonation low, looks like a beer.

Aroma is super malty with a hint of ethanol.

Beer is sweet and mildly spicy. Medium in body, sweetness from the ethanol, a warming palate overall. The finish is mildly dry with a little bit of bitterness from the roast. Really nice beer if you like maltiness, which I do. I'd have it again if it were priced slightly lower.

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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 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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Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery Lld
92 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.
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