Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Traquair House Brewery - Jacobite Ale

ABV 8% (Bottled)

"Brewed to celebrate the anniversary of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion the ale proved to be so popular it has become a permanent addition to the range. Based on an eighteenth century recipe the ale is spiced with coriander which gives a remarkably fresh aftertaste."





The History

"Traquair House brewery, in Peeblesshire Scotland, was founded in 1965 by Peter Maxwell Stuart, 20th Laird of Traquair.  The brewery was originally an 18th century domestic brewery producing beer for the house and estate workers. It was disused some time after 1800 but the vessels and equipment remained untouched until it was rediscovered in 1965."  Check them out at: http://www.traquair.co.uk/traquair-house-brewery.

Awards

World Champion - Winter Ale World Beer Championships 1997

Gold Medal at Stockholm Beer Festival 1998

The Pour

Pours smooth and fast with very little head.  What head there is has a beige almost blue character and dissipates quickly.  Kind of disappointing, but fair dues, this isn't an imperial stout.  The beer itself is clear and very dark, but held up to the light reveals a deep red worthy of rich red wine.

Aroma

Malty and sweet.  Smells like baked desert, warm and rich.  A winter warmer from the start.  Pour into a snifter or wide rimmed glass for the best effect.  I used a Chimay glass.

Taste

Very light creamy mouth feel with very little carbonation to distract from the deeper layers of taste.  Notes of red wine, vanilla and light spice gradually appear with some mouth swooshing.  The experience is sweet with just a little hop bitterness on the finish. Definitely my kind of ale.  You can definitely detect the 8% alcohol, but only in the good balanced way you can detect it in really great Belgian beers or imperial stouts (we're not talking Labatt Ice here). 

Overall Impressions

Overall very smooth and well rounded.  None of the separate notes are jockeying too hard for position.  There is also a nice alcoholic warmth that makes this a good fire side sipper, and the warm lingering aftertaste makes it a one bottle experience to enjoy.
I would give this ale a solid B.  Nice, but not the best or most interesting winter warmer I've had.

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