Breweries "Visited"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Unicorns, Princes, and Beer

Beer #334 Traquair Jacobite / Traquair House Brewery, Peeblesshire, Scotland

For the past week or two, I've noticed a very unusual sign on my way to work.  It's shaped like a campaign sign, and has the phrase "LET GO" arching across a rainbow, with what appears to be a full moon in the background.  Now, I admit I don't care for politics or politicians, but I can't imagine this is a campaign sign.  Unless of course, a unicorn was running for State Representative, which completely sucks, because I probably should have voted for that unicorn.
Safety first; I pulled over to snap this shot
Interesting.... but let's move in for a closer look....

As if this wasn't strange enough?
There appears to be a line of dogs, or maybe wolves standing on the rainbow, with the last one howling at the moon.  What the hell?  If you want my professional medical opinion, someone needs to consider the effects of acid on their brain.  If anyone has any idea what this ridiculous sign is supposed to mean, PLEASE let me know as soon as possible.  I'm curious.

Anyway, enough unicorn politics, let's get down to business.  Today's beer is the Traquair Jacobite, a Scotch ale flavored with coriander from Traquair House Brewery.  In the glass, you see a dark chestnut color, with a wispy off white head.  The aroma is of stone fruits, and the taste brings you hints of molasses, plums, raisins, and a lightly toasted malt, with a bit of citrus and a bit of spice.  Definitely an interesting beer, and if you see this on the shelf, certainly go ahead and pick one up.  Good fall or winter beer.
Unicorn free since the 1700's
You guys know that for as much as I appreciate the newer breweries furthering the craft beer industry, I really love the history behind some of the old world breweries.  This one qualifies, as the Traquair House is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, built back in 1107 as a hunting lodge for royalty.  Now, the brewery only started up in the 18th century, mainly providing beer for the family and workers on the estate.  It stopped production some time in the 1800's, and the equipment sat unused until 1965, when it was rediscovered. If you're a history geek, please take a moment and read the detailed history of this house (and brewery) on their website.  You won't be disappointed.

Thing to Think About Today:
Like magic, I heard a song today and immediately realized I had a connection with this beer.  Somebody follow me, I'm about to wander:  One of the royal visitors to Traquair House was Prince Charles Edward Stuart.  He was better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, or simply the Bonnie Prince.  He was also part of the family that owned the property, and upon his leaving, the Earl of Traquair vowed that a giant gate to the property (adorned with bears) would remained closed until a Stuart again sat on the throne of England.  That was back in 1738, and those gates remain closed to this day.  Now THAT is how you hold a grudge, folks.

Still with me?  Okay, let's keep the connection going.  Today I heard the song Can't Tell Me Nothing by Kanye West pop up on the iPod.  What does he have to do with anything?  In this version of the video, the hilarious Zach Galifinakis plays the role of Kanye, spitting game and....well, working on the farm.  His sidekick in the video (and I have no idea why) is none other than folk-indie rocker Will Oldham, better known on stage as... wait for it.... Bonnie Prince Billy.  Bonnie Prince Charles, meet Bonnie Prince Billy.

THERE.  I've tied a prince from the 1700's to a contemporary musician via a Kanye West video which (quite frankly) inexplicably stars comedy giant Zach Galifinakis and some clog dancing farm girls.  People, my work here is done!  Like the sign says, it's time to LET GO.

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