Traquair House Brewery is releasing a series of Vintage Ales based on some of the extraordinary historical figures associated with the house over the past 900 years.

Brewing at Traquair ceased in the 1800s, but the brewhouse was rediscovered in 1965 and brewing was restarted by the 20th Laird of Traquair, Peter Maxwell Stuart.

Over the past 50 years, Traquair’s traditional Scottish ales, rich and dark, have won numerous awards and are exported all over the world. The brewery was voted 20th best in the world by ratebeer.com some years ago.

This new limited edition will mark the first in a series of vintage ales to be released over the coming years, based on recipes going back to some of the brews at Traquair. Each year the recipe will be slightly different, but all will continue to be fermented in oak and matured well before bottling.

The dark ruby ales resembles the first ales brewed by the Laird in the 1960s

The ales come with a shelf life of ten years which will make them perfect for gifting and collecting.

The design of the labels will reflect characters who have a close connection with Traquair or a past inhabitant. This year, two characters have been chosen: Lord William and Lady Winifred Nithsdale. Lady Nithsdale was famous for rescuing her husband from the Tower of London after he was captured in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715.

Planning an extraordinary escape, she and her servant entered his cell the night before he was due to be executed, and Lord Nithsdale slipped out disguised in her servant’s cloak. With the guards confused, she managed to return a few hours later and rescued her as well. The three then escaped to France where they lived out their lives at the exiled Stuart court.

The dark ruby ale, with an ABV of 8.5%, resembles the first ales brewed by the Laird in the 1960s. Tasting notes mention dark fruits, liquorice, caramel, and vanilla, with a lingering warm and alcoholic aftertaste. The beer pairs well with beef, venison and strong cheese.

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