A week or so ago, I was having a bad day and my fiance, surprised me by stopping by Spec's and picking up a special beer. It just so happened it was one that I had wanted to try for a while and for one reason or another had failed to pick up. When I saw it, I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to open it up for a taste. Before we get to that, a little history on the brewery.
The Brewery: At 900 years old, Traquair is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland. Back in 1107 it was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. The Traquair brewery itself was founded in 1965 within what was the house domestic brewery. Domestic brewing had ceased around 1800 until Peter Maxwell Stuart began brewing again in 1965 until his death in 1990. Now managing is his daughter Catherine Maxwell Stuart. Currently the brewery produces around 600 to 700 barrels annually, but has plans to increase production by about 20%. They make a few different types of beers: The house ale (a Scottish Ale), Jacobite (an ale spiced with coriander), Bear ale (a lighter ale at 5%), and The Laird's Liquor (a dark ale).
The Beer: This Scottish ale weighs in at 7.2% abv and pours a deep amber brown capped with a thin taupe head. On the nose there is some mild hops up front with malty sweetness, raisins and figs showing up in force on the back end. Those being most predominate on the nose. The mouthfeel is thick rich and complex. Plenty of roasted malts, bitter espresso, raisins, and surprisingly a mild bit of sour taste just at the end. Not in a bad way either. A very nice beer, one that I would give an A-. Here's what the folks over at BA had to say.