Spencer American Trappist Ale - 6.5% ABV
We are beer snobs. You probably know that by now. And what beers do we consider the best beers made? C'mon, you know, the snobbiest of the snobby beers. That's right, the Trappist beers, which are produced by the 11 Trappist breweries. 6 in Belgium, 2 in the Netherlands, one in Austria, one in Italy and the last in ..... Spencer, Massechusetts!?! Who knew their was a Trappist brewery in the frigging U.S.?!? Knot eye.
The brothers from the St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massechusetts, which just released it's first beer, spent 2 years touring the Trappist breweries in Europe, learning the craft of craft beers from their European brethren. The last, and longest, stop on their tour was at the Abbey of Sint Sixtus, where the acclaimed Westvleteren ales are produced and if this beer is even close to what Westvleteren produces then we have us a big win. Our opinion is that there is not a single beer produced by Trappists which is not incredible. Well, up to now that was our opinion.
Their website says that their recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier in Belgium. These beers are session beers for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. This one is .... interesting. The overpowering flavor driver to the beer is the live yeast, whose flavors overpower everything else. Being unfiltered and unpasteurized the yeast continues to add flavor and aroma even after bottled.
While the beer is pretty good it does not come close to the magnificence that we have come to expect with other Trappist beers. We will give it this caveat, it is a great first try.
Spencer Trappist Ale is produced by the St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Mass.