Friday, April 17, 2015

Spencer Trappist Ale -- Heath McKnight Guest Post

Spencer Trappist Ale Review

The past few weeks, Ive been on a Belgian beer kick, specifically Trappist and Abbey beers, brewed of course by monks. Ive enjoyed Chimay Blue and Red (though I thought the White wasnt all that good in a bottle) and St. Bernardusfamous Abt 12 and Prior 8, along with some American-style Quads (Barrel of Monksline-up in Boca Raton, FL; Boulevard Brewings The Sixth Glass; and Brooklyn Local 2).

Im partial to the Trappist and Abbey beers, and the 10 Trappist monasteries brewing beer are mostly in Europe (6 in Belgium, 1 in Austria, and 2 in the Netherlands), and one in the United States, the Spencer Trappist Ale, brewed by the monks at St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. (I wont go into the whole Trappist vs. Abbey beers.)

My buddy was able to grab a couple of bottles of the Spencer Trappist Ale, which is a blonde ale with 6.5% ABV. According to Wikipedia, the monks at St. Josephs Abbey made preserves, but started looking at brewing beer to pay the bills. They did their research and went to the Trappist breweries in Europe, and were told to brew one beer for a few years. This is that beer.

Though its a blonde ale, and has a slightly higher alcohol content (similar ABV to a dubbel), its really close to a singel,or Enkel, but also commonly known as a Patersbier. This beer isnt usually sold, and the monks drink it and has an ABV of less than 6%. Thats why Im a little surprised this one pushes nearly 7%!

Like pretty much all Belgian Trappist beers Ive had, it pours a nice head, nice yellow color. For a Patersbier, you can taste that higher alcohol content vs. a more mellow one. Keep in mind, Ive only had one other one at Barrel of Monks in Boca Raton, and it had 4.5% ABV, much milder. Anyway, the Spencer had some nice fruity flavors, plus some honey and good carbonation. Good beer.

The price for a 4-pack is about $15 to $16, which is steep, but imported Trappist beers can cost about $20 to $22 for a 4-pack. The brewery just announced there will be 750 fluid ounce bottles coming soon, but no details on a firm date yet. Also, on their Facebook page, they said theyve been sampling other famous Trappist beers, in the styles of Dubbel, Trippel, and Quad.

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