Traquair 2020 | Traquair House Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020
143 Ratings
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery
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.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of trappistlover
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(11.2oz bottle). Pours a deep mahogany with thin off-white head. Aroma has loads of caramel malt, some smoke?, and some wood. It has a faint resemblence to a belgian quad. Not quite a quad, but some similarities by aroma. Taste is sweet with caramel again shining through and light bittering hops. Full bodied with a sticky texture. Finish is slightly bitter. A very nice beer that I would expect to age very well.

 414 characters

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Traquair 2020 | 330 ml. | 10.0% ABV | 2010 vintage

Brewer: Traquair House Brewery Lld
Style: English Barleywine
Glass: Duvel tulip

Dark mahogany with a 1/2 inch head and clusters of tiny bubbles gripping the walls of the glass.

Really nice and malty — brown sugar, oak, dark fruits, bread pudding, faint hint of scotch.

Starts with the dull taste of dark fruits (prune especially evident) and golden raisins. Mid-sip, a whiskey-like alcohol becomes apparent, which gives the finish some bite. Vanilla, caramel, oak in the background. Bittersweet finish with hints of brown sugar. It becomes much more alcoholic as it warms.

Thick and very heavy without being viscous. The alcohol and tinge of carbonation prickle the tongue on the finish.

I was apprehensive at first, not having liked barleywines in the past. But this was top notch. Very much like a less sweet version of the Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw with a little more alcoholic flair on the finish.

Would I get it again?:
Yeah, actually.

Bottled: sometime in 2010
Served: May 11, 2011

Price = ?

 1,115 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for the bottle!

Pours a dark amber-brown with a thin, creamy, off-white head. Light lacing.

Apples, pears, figs and a boozy wood character fills the aroma. Sherry notes and a bit of honey. Nice mixture of orchard fruits and a hint of vanilla. Quite enjoyable.

Smooth toffee, caramel and boozy fruits. Reminiscent of J.W. Lees. Bready, biscuit-like malts mixed with apples, a touch of grape, figs and a hint of cherry.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with low carbonation and a nice level of alcohol warmth.

Overall, a very tasty English barleywine. If you are a fan of J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale then it is definitely worth checking this beer out. Not the best I've had for the style, but still solid. A very enjoyable evening sipper.

 749 characters

Photo of abuliarose
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, revealing a rich opaque brown body under a finger of creamy-looking butter-colored head. Some bubbles and lacing. Smells soft and malty with a lot of rounded edges. Slight vanilla, very mealy, some mangosteen.

Tastes sweet and delicate with a slight alcohol presence up front which devolves into mealy caramel and soursop shake. Lots of fruitiness in the finish, similar to a scotch ale. Mouthfeel is light with a gentle carbonation that adds some tingle and some body to the otherwise just-more-viscous-than-watery consistency. For 10%, it's entirely drinkable.

Overall it's no J. W. Lees, but this brew is certainly no disappointment. I'd buy it again, maybe even to age.

 698 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. Reddish brown with some clarity. Lazy foam, but swirl-able.

Aroma is very typical of an English barleywine. Lots of rum, caramel, raisin, sweetbread. A lot of beers have a caramel aroma but these are more concentrated, and this is no exception. Notes of sweet tobacco as it warms.

Rummy and sweet, but doesn't finish as cloying as you think it might. There's some earthy bitterness at the back end, and the alcohol is probably also helping dry it out, though it's not too apparent in the taste. Bready, like a liquefied raisin bread spiked with rum and caramel.

A full bodied beer, but not syrupy.

Impressive now, but probably would be a little better a few years down the line. 2020 though? Only time will tell. But it does drink pretty well right now; there really isn't anything that needs to be tamped down by age.

I could see pairing this with bread pudding, or rum raisin or praline ice cream.

 928 characters

Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with golden ruby/mahogany edges when held to a light and a 1.5 light beige head quickly settles into a lasting ring. Thin ring and sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy, leathery malt aroma with hints of toffee, caramel biscuit and hazelnut. Subtle floral hops and faint alcohol booze but the nose is dominated by the earthy and sweet malt notes.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with a slightly creamy texture. Faint earthy hop bitterness up front that is quickly countered by the leathery and sweet malt flavors. Lots of caramel with hints of toffee, biscuit, rye and hazelnut. Slightly boozy but at 10% the ABV is very well masked resulting in a very quaffable beer.

Overall, this beer was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be much hotter and harsh at this stage but it's already considerably mellow. Well balanced, flavorful and easy to drink. I plan on buying a bunch more of these to see how they develop over the next ten years.

 997 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 04/27/2011
Type: Expensive 11.2oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glass: Chimay Chalice

I finally spotted a bottle of this brew that I had been seeking out on the shelf in Brooklyn. The expensive price tag of $13.29 + tax was the only thing that detered me from buying multiple bottles to cellar. Figured I should sample a bottle before I blow $100 or so on 8-10 bottles for the cellar.

Poured a dark mahoghany brown in color w/ deep ruby highlights, w/ a 1/2 finger tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toffee, slight dark fruits, and breadiness. The taste was of initial spicy molasses up front, followed by sweet toffee, caramel, and a touch of dark fruit, finishing w/ very mild hop bite. Medium bodied and lush. Pretty drinkable brew fresh, age should do it well.

Overall, I am a little disappointed by this brew. With this being an English Barleywine I was expecting this to pour almost still and have very rich and sweet flavors covering a boozy astringency, like the greats(JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale and Xyauyu). Don't get me wrong, this was a fantastic beer, but it felt more like a Scotch Ale blended w/ an English Barleywine. Hopefully w/ age the carbonation will die down and the flavors will gain depth. Will probably pick up a few of these bottles because now I am interested to see how this one progresses.

 1,349 characters

Photo of oberon
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

 662 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 491 characters

Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

Pours dark for a barley wine, almost opaque mahogany, with faint copper tints around the edges. There is a decent head but it's not long for the world and recedes quickly to a thin cap.

Aroma is sweet with treacle, caramel, chocolate and tons of dark fruits with raisins and figs. There is also a huge molasses aroma with hints of bready malts.

Taste is also sweet thought there is more of a woody character up front. But after the wood comes the parade of sweet flavors. I'm getting some red apple skin, caramel and plums. The finish has a boozy heat but with plenty of molasses sweetness lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but feels really thick on the palate, heavy with sugary sweetness.

I really enjoyed this one as I like my barley wines sweet, and this is certainly sweet. Should age like a champ.

 840 characters

Photo of deapokid
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a buttery caramel color with a soft layer of fuzz on top. Carbonation is very visible, which is surprising for the ABV, and all those bubbles make for a sticky lacing. It's reminscent of a cola in body and head.

Aromas include caramel, booze, molasses, coffee and root beer. Since it's still quite young, the alcohol presence is rather powerful and assertive.

Flavor is sweet, boasting a deep caramel maltiness, ginger, licorice and a touch of honey. Despite the sweeter notes, it's never cloying, and it balances out nicely with a concluding dryness.

Mouthfeel is delightfully smooth, much like Traquair's wee heavys, with a thin, tonic water body. The lightness in body definitely adds to the drinkability.

From the aroma, I never expected this to be drinkable whatsoever, but it definitely goes beyond expectations. I can only imaginable how nice it'll be in ten years.

 882 characters

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a brownish, dark-copper color. It's an intensely malty beer, loaded with melanoidins, toasty, and sweet. The aroma is alcoholic, notably deep with toasted pale malt, and enticing. Luxurious's really mouth-enveloping. Malt is the dominating characteristic of the beer, followed by alcohol as a close second. Not overpowering, however, and neither is it one dimensional. All in all, this is a fine barelywine.

 435 characters

Photo of chefelf
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 615 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown/black body with a small tan head

S- Dark fruits, molasses and some bready malts as well as a boozy edge

T- Sweet dark fruits, toffee malts and it finishes sweet

M- Full-bodied and good carbonation, creamy and the 10% ABV is ridiculously well-hidden

D- Solid barelywine to be sure and the hidden ABV for this young is nice

 339 characters

Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before end April 2020. Looks like I'm just in time.

A: Blood red body. Decent white head leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Fruity and malty.

T: Intensely malty. Dark fruits and toffee. Also a hint of chocolate. Roasted notes in the aftertaste. Herbal notes from the hops. No trace of alcohol.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

D: Astonishingly easy to put down for such a big beer. An outstanding sipper.

 442 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown color that looks more like mahogany when held up to the light. The pour produces a nice off-white head that creates a thin ring of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is predominately malty with dark fruit and sweet caramel.

T- The taste like the aroma is big and malty up front with some sweetness and toffee flavors. The finish has some warmth from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit chewy with a perfect amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, this one is pretty tasty fresh. I can only imagine that it will just get better and better with age. Considering the high ABV, this one is amazingly drinkable. Definitely worth a try. Buy one now, save at least a few for later.

 753 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I looked up the shade of red this beer pured out as, Wikipedia said Wine. The body was clear, and the head was one finger thick. Unlike most other barleywines, this one seemed to have a vigorous carbonation. The smell was very sweet, like molasses or honey almost, with just a dash of spice. The taste was very rich, reminding me of golden raisins and brown sugar. Despite the richness, this beer was actually not overly sweet, and spicy hops came through in the middle of each sip. The finish was sweet again with some peaty undertones. Thick and tongue coating, this was very velvety in the mouth. Very drinkable for a 10% ABV ale, and a fine drink 9 years before the expiration date of 2020.

 699 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 899 characters

Photo of mryuk
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a medium brown amber with almost no head at all.

smell is sweet and malty with a hint of black cherries. slight coffee scent as well.

taste is not as sweet as expected, alcoholic with a slight bitter finish.

mouth is medium bodied with almost no carbonation.

overall this was just so-so for me. seems like it is setup to age for a few years. not sure if i should get another one and throw it in the cellar to give it a chance. maybe i will be updating the review in a few years.

 488 characters

Photo of flannelman808
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is really a pretty one. I 3/4 in a snifter and felt like checking out the rest in a wine glass to get a better look. In a snifter I nearly thought it looked like the deepest shade of violet, though in a wine glass it shows more of a deep orange/red. good retention and seemingly good carbonation too. Slow legs but not too much sticky lacing to speak of ... maybe in a pint? lots of aging potential.

S: Brandy like on the nose, esters of dark chewy fruit. This guy has a pretty big bouquet overall with lots of complex flavors. lots of aging potential.

T: Not quite what I was expecting/hoping for on this one though I perhaps had very high expectations as this stuff is quite good. Though first Ill read out the bad ... roasted malts show up more than I would like them to. It has a charred bread quality which is a bit unwelcome, and I think hides what the fruity aroma might have provided on the palate. Sort of reminds me of maple syrup soaked pancakes. Only it would be a pretty bittersweet syrup.

M: um... good

D: quite freaking high but god damn this shit is pricy. Ef the sticker price on this stuff. I see it aging some and it will be interesting to see just how it does but frankly ... 2020? no way.

 1,222 characters

Photo of bobhits
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020 Traquair

Pours dirty amber/brown in color. Pours a strong and creamy tan head. Decent amount of carbonation hanging to the bottom of the glass.

Sweet nutty/dark fruits in the malt. A kiss of hops at the finish adding a piny finish to the nose.

Sweet caramel, a touch of candy, and just a touch of a bite to finish the beer off. There's an almost toffee like flavor but this beer doesn't go towards the burnt flavors often associated with that flavor.

Smooth, creamy, yet not overly thick or hard to drink at all. Not extremely smooth from carbonation as the 10% abv kills that. However the alcohol is virtually non existent in the taste. Rather impressive considering this beer hasn't been aged that long.

I would highly recommend seeking this beer out.

 766 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 881 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of impending
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a deep mahogany garnet, when an inch remains it's a gorgeous deep copper. Minor fleeting head barely surfaced, unexceptional lacing.

Aroma is big sweet, multitudes of dark fruit, caramel and quiet peat moss. Quadish Exceptional

Highly complex flavor, something for everyone. Sweetness not equal to the expectation from the nose. The evolution of the taste is significant. Hints of wrinkled dark fruits plucked from a brandied fruit cake. Long lasting pleasant aftertaste. Nice use of alcohol as a flavor component.

Mouthfeel is only medium, I would have enjoyed it being a bit more viscous, the low carbonation is appropriate.

 666 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 707 characters

Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 143 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.