Traquair House Ale
Traquair House Brewery
Peebleshire, Scotland, UK
The Traquair House is the oldest continually-inhabited residence in Scotland dating to 1107. It was owned by the Scottish Crown before passing to the Earls of Traquair. It is still occupied by the descendants of the Maxwell Stuart family. A brewery operated out of a separate building in the 18th century producing beers for the house and staff. It was abandoned for some 150 years before being revived by Peter Maxwell Stuart, 20th Laird of Traquair, in 1965. It is currently managed by Stuarts daughter, Catherine Maxwell Stuart and produces 600-700 barrels of beer annually, including the flagship House Ale, a subtle "Wee Heavy" with a not so subtle 7.2% ABV. Rich, peaty malts, powdery carob, and burnt caramel dominate the front end, with raisin and fig notes midpalate. Herbal flavors of anise, eucalyptus, and vanilla gradually emerge, along with a sherry-like alcohol. A citric tartness and mineraly tang builds slowly in the finish. The thinnish body and gentle carbonation make it an easy drinker, but this authentic ale rewards reflective sipping, and at about $5 for an 11.2 oz. bottle, it is a bit pricey to be throwing them back.
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