Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spencer Trappist Ale



Spencer Trappist Ale


Brewed by:

Spencer Brewery

Spencer, Massachusetts, United States



Belgian Pale Ale



6.50% ABV





Commercial Description:
America's First Trappist Beer
Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish) in Belgium. These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.
(spencerbrewery.com)

General Pricing:
11.2oz 330ml  bottles: ~$18.00 4 pack

Background:
As I was reviewing some Belgian style beers I remembered that my friend Matt brought two of these bottles over the first of November. I had one with him then and managed to save this one. I almost forgot about it until now. I am a huge fan of all the Belgian styles and I’m really looking forward to dissecting this single. I actually reviewed this a few weeks ago but I’m just getting around to posting it.

Review:
Appearance
The beer pours a hazy rich golden color with copper hues and a fairly rich off white to off-white head.

Smell
The nose is amazing with pale malt aromas on that heavenly Belgian yeasty body and just a touch of citrus notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel
Ahhh, what an amazing first sip. At first I didn’t think there was much to it but by the time I got to the finish all the amazing aspects of the experience came together; let me explain.
The experience starts with some non-descript pale malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That is followed by a cleansing effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. That effervescence really masks any flavors. There is little to no hesitation at the top of the swallow. There is also a carbonation release during the swallow so all this time I was hesitant whether or not this beer had any real flavor. All of that changed on the finish when the heavens came together and provided a most delightful experience. The finish is exquisite with rich pale malt flavors followed by that classic Belgian yeasty flavor ending in notes of citrus and light spice. Believe it or not this is where you experience the smooth mouthfeel noticing that the rich pale malts leave a smooth coating over the tongue.
Wow what a fantastic experience! The simple complexity and uniqueness of style is extremely impressive. I can’t believe I’m getting this excited about a Single, Pale Ale.

This is a simple Abbey beer brewed for the monk’s everyday use. It has only been in recent years that any of these beers have made it to the retail market.    

As the beer warms it just gets more exquisite. The malt flavors are richer and the mouthfeel is smoother and creamier now that it’s less carbonated. The complexity of the ale really shows it’s self as it warms.

I kind of don’t want to finish this beer. I’m nursing it well into room temperature and it’s just fantastic.

Well, all good things must come to an end and so must this review. This was a fantastic experience.

Not to confuse this review but I simultaneously did a “Head to Head” comparison between this and yesterday’s Hardywood Singel. So before I give you my closing thoughts here is a link to that review, Spencer Trappist, HardywoodSingel Head to Head

I’m really struggling on a rating for this one. It’s a solid A+ for sure but since I gave Hardywood Singel an A and this one was so much better I feel like this should be an Outstatndaing or I should re-mark Singel an B+. On the other hand I only gave one Outstanding and that was for an aged specialty beer, Samichlaus Bier. Honestly as good as this Trappist was I’m not sure it was good enough for an Outstatnding. On the other hand this is the most exquisite beer that I have had since getting back to reviews. Chances are, if I had this first I would have given it an A+ and Single a B+ or A-. On the other hand I don’t like changing my ratings there are what I feel they should be at the time. Since I ran out of hands several hands ago what does this mean? An A+ for Spencer.

A+ | Spencer Trappist Ale is an exquisite Belgian Pale/Single, brewed with the craftsmanship of the Belgian Trappist traditions, with rich pale malt flavors, exceptional mouthfeel and complexity finishing with notes of citrus and spice.

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