Beer: Jacobite Ale
Brewery: Traquair House Brewery
Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
8% ABV / N/A IBU
Traquair House is steeped in tradition – the Scottish brewery’s House Ale is brewed with nearly 300 (!!) year old equipment and fermented in oak barrels. Traquair’s slightly boozier, coriander-spiked riff on that, Jacobite Ale, is definitely worth walking 500 more miles and havering a bit for. What initially presents as a fairly standard issue scotch ale reveals itself to be much, much more. Especially with the complex aroma that smells a little fruity and a little malty, plus a little bit of spicy burn at the back of the palette from the coriander. As a “wee heavy,” one pint of this is guaranteed to make you heavily wee. OK, I totally made that up, but the original Scottish slang for “vomit” was “bock,” which is no one’s favorite type of beer in Scotland.
Anyway, when I dream, well I know I’m gonna dream about these magic oak barrels that impart an flavor/smokiness that perfectly compliments the strong, full-bodied beer and never overtakes it. Subtlety is not a thing with barrel-aged and oaked beers in 2018 (looking at you, Oaked Arrogant Bastard), but Jacobite Ale has a light touch in that department. Ironic, I suppose, considering that the beer takes its name from a series of civil uprisings – following the Glorious Revolution, but preceding the Cenobite movement – staged to break the ironclad rule of a monarchy serving no man’s interest. Jacobite Ale is a revolution against bad suds. To paraphrase Mike Myers, if it’s not this Scotch Ale, it’s crap.