Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Beer Review - Spencer Trappist Ale

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.

The beer is a cloudy golden/orange with yeasty aroma and a substantial fluffy white head,  The brewers describe the flavor of the beer as full bodied with fruity accents, light hops and dry finish.  We can agree with that to an extent.  All of the panel of tasters describe the flavor as a yeast bomb with the yeast drowning out the accompanying flavors needed to make it a great beer.  It is quite one dimensional.  The fruity accents are much like that of a person born in a foreign land that has lived in the U.S. for most of their life.  You kind of hear an accent in the background when they speak but are not really sure what you are hearing.  Perhaps it is just a speech impediment, and you are afraid to bring it up.  The fruit flavor is their, but hard to identify, or even locate.  It is mildly hoppy and as described, it has a dry finish.  All of the 5 panelist describe the beer as 'something is missing'.

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.

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