In 1566, during her visit, Mary Queen of Scots was served a famous strong ale brewed at Traquair.
About the Traquair Brewery
Traquair House, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, dates back to 1107 AD, when it was a hunting lodge for the kings of Scotland. It has had descendants of the same family living in it from 1491 to the present day. As did many estates of the era, Traquair operated a house brewery and when Mary Queen of Scots visited in 1566, Traquair was already brewing a famous strong ale.
Some time after 1800, brewing ceased at Traquair. The original brewery equipment remained on the estate, idle, until the 20th Laird of Traquair, Peter Maxwell Stuart, discovered the recipe and restored the brewery in 1965. The copper brewkettle at Traquair is over 200 years old, and beer is made in the traditional manner -- even using oak fermenting vessels, which contribute to the deep, unique character of these beers.
Here is a video interview with the Lady of Traquair, and a tour of the brewery with the head brewer:
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Deep amber color, intense fruity taste. Fermented in wood.
Burnt amber color, full, rich, exotic taste. Fermented in wood.