past few weeks, I’ve been on a
Belgian beer kick, specifically Trappist and Abbey beers, brewed of
course by monks. I’ve enjoyed
Chimay Blue and Red (though I thought the White wasn’t
all that good in a bottle) and St. Bernardus’ famous
Abt 12 and Prior 8, along with some American-style Quads (Barrel of
Monks’ line-up in Boca Raton, FL;
Boulevard Brewing’s The Sixth
Glass; and Brooklyn Local 2).
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. Joseph’s
Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. (I won’t
go into the whole Trappist vs. Abbey beers.)
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. Joseph’s 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.
it’s a blonde ale, and has a
slightly higher alcohol content (similar ABV to a dubbel), it’s
really close to a ‘singel,’
or Enkel, but also commonly known as a
Patersbier. This beer isn’t
usually sold, and the monks drink it and has an ABV of less than 6%.
That’s why I’m
a little surprised this one pushes nearly 7%!
pretty much all Belgian Trappist beers I’ve
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, I’ve 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.
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 they’ve been sampling other
famous Trappist beers, in the styles of Dubbel, Trippel, and Quad.