Traquair Jacobite Ale

Total Score: 8.45/10 Caramel1 Nut1 DarkFruits1 Tulipglass1

Traquair Jacobite Ale is an interesting one – history buffs will know well of the famous Jacobite Rebellions, which had the aim of restoring James VII of Scotland (and later his heirs) to the throne of England for its wholehearted brutality (mainly on the English side). However there were several alcoholic beverages to come out of the bloodshed of this era – a testament to the Scottish love of ‘a wee dram’ Drambuie is one. One of my favourite cheap single-malt whiskies: Bailie Nicol Jarvie is another, and now perhaps a third Jacobite themed favourite will be found in Traquair Jacobite Ale?

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep, dark, murky brown body with a beige head that soon enough disappears to leave (an expected given the 8% ABV) thin lace ring around the glass. Looks foreboding, and we all love foreboding [don’t we!?]. 8/10.

S: Malts dominate with a heady molasses/toffee note and some brandy thrown in. There are hints of over-ripe dark fruits, plum and prune specifically, with the added spices described on the label strangely absent in the aroma. 7/10.

T: Sweet (yet not over-sweet) from the get-go with the aforementioned molasses/toffee characters, then it follows through to bready/nutty note, and finishes with a touch of bitterness that is quite well-restrained and warranted given the profile. Some dark fruit flavours come through during a second sip, however it is the restraint of the characters that is both noted and lauded with this brew. Still didn’t detect any spices though. 9/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with a fine/dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: Easy-drinking for anything close to the 8% ABV this brew is putting out, with some decent and well-balanced molasses/toffee/bready/nutty/dark fruit characters that suit the style well. I missed the spices, but that could just be a sign of how subtle and well blended they are, otherwise this was a tasty Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale for a cold Canberra autumn day which I will doubtless encounter again in my many years drinking on this Earth. I really have the Jacobites to thank for many alcoholic beverages now… so what is it about the Jacobite Rebellion and tasty drinks? The Crimean War didn’t produce anything decent beverage-wise that I’m aware of. I guess this is a question for the ages… or historians… whatever. 9/10.

Food match: Medieval baked chicken with currants, prunes, clove, cinnamon, ginger and mace. Throw in some roasted vegetables too.

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