Traquair House Ale
I’ve had a harder time keeping up with these posts since my day job started back up. Also, drinking and writing about beers twelve days in a row is more challenging than I had originally anticipated (and expensive). I know this is on the verge of blasphemy, yet it’s true, I don’t always feel like drinking beer when I get home. More so, I don’t feel like writing about beer twelve days in a row because I am super lazy and easily distracted from the task at hand … hey look a TV show I wanted to watch…. Where was I? Beer, right. While the date order might be a bit off I return today with the eighth beer in this little blogging adventure: Traquair House Ale. And it’s a great one to come back with.
This is the flagship beer of Traquair, the same brewery of the excellent Jacobite Ale from the last post. Traquair only brews up 600 to 700 barrels a year according to their website which makes it impressive that their bottles end up in stores so far away. I think that fact alone says a lot about the quality of the beers and their philosophy. They ferment in old oak tanks that are up to 200 years old. Impressive. The copper kettle used at Traquair was purchased in 1738. Interestingly, they still chill their beer in open coolers before pitching the yeast. This is all just a really long way of saying this is a great beer.
This is a smooth and seriously drinkable ale. Not the biggest Scotch Ale you will find at 7.2% ABV, but big enough that you’ll know it’s there and you can pick up some of that heat in the aroma. Mild dark fruits, brown sugar, thick caramel, and a medium body all greet you with each sip. The wood/oak character is fairly mild and similar what you will find in the Jacobite Ale--just a touch of vanilla. A well crafted brew.
I find a particular romantic quality with the Traquair beers. With so much history and tradition behind these beers it’s hard not to become wrapped up in the romance of it all. Traquair plays this up with the label on the House Ale. On the back there is an image of the “Bear Gates” at Traquair House. These gates have been closed since 1745 when Charles Edward Stuart passed through them during the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. I love that. And I love this beer.
Only four more beers to go. I think I should get them all done this week. No promises though.