Saturday, December 8, 2012

Traquair House Brewery Lld - Traquair House Ale

Traquiar House Ale is one of those beers that I had seen on the shelves for a long time, but had never tried. I'd heard great things about it, wasn't particularly turned off by the label, and picked it up and looked it over multiple times, but it always ended up back on the shelf. Maybe it was because something "more exciting" always caught my eye, or maybe it was because I'm not the hugest fan of Scotch Ales, but I was always a little hesitant to get this beer. Then my friend, Brian, brought a bottle of it to my house during a tasting we had for my birthday.

It's worth noting that this beer is brewed in Scotland. In a really, really old house. Dating back to 1107, the Traquair House was originally a hunting lodge for royalty, and has seen it's fair share of history through the years. It also holds the designation being the of oldest inhabited house in all of Scotland. A brewery that brewed beer for the workers of the house was in place in the 18th century, but went out of production until the 1960s, when the 20th Laird of Traquair opened what is today the Traquiar House Brewery. Today, the brewery still uses traditional methods and water that comes from a spring on the estate. Traquair House Ale is their flagship beer.

Traquair House Ale pours a ruddy brown color that almost looks more like pond scum on the pour than beer. However, once the beer settles in the glass, it becomes a much more attractive deep mahogany color with a thin light brown head. The smell is unquestionably the best part of this beer, and is full of a rich and complex dark fruit aroma. I picked up great notes of fig jam, toffee, black raisins, fruitcake, golden raisin and a faint aroma of butterscotch.

The taste opens on a dense dark fruit note with just a touch of booze. Toasted oak, a faint peatiness, raisin and burnt brown sugar emerge soon after. The finish leaves just a touch of warmness and a touch of oak. Like I said, this isn't my favorite style, but this beer absolutely kills it. Alongside Dieu du Ciel's Equinoxe du Printemps, this is one of the best scotch ales I've ever had and one I'd definitely like to revisit in the future.

Final Grade: A-

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 46


  1. love this beer. just stumbled across this blog, while we may taste things a lot differently, we share a lot of the same final opinions on the beers! cheers

    1. Yeah, based on the way my palate responded to most other Scotch ales, I didn't think I'd like this one, but it was really tasty. I'm going to have to give this style more of a chance. Thanks for the comment!