St. Joseph’s Abbey ‘Spencer’ Belgian Ale


12108868_493172990866851_5556079994212751346_n“Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish). 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.”

Served in to a snifter glass. The hazy amber appearance is capped off by a finger of beige head that gradually subsides and settles to a thin sheet with fine lacing left in it’s wake. All the traditional Belgian aromas are here – spicy clove, yeasty esters, banana runts, caramel, candy sugars, bubblegum and stewed apple. Definitely getting a creamy vanilla scent coming through and maybe the slightest suggestion of orange blossom creeping in as well. Gorgeous aroma, it’s a lot like a Hoegaarden or a Duvel. Very nice. The texture of this ale coats the entire palate. Medium-high in Co2 with a smooth and flowing feel as it glides down the throat. Body is moderate and the 6.5% ABV is discreet and unassuming. It drinks well. We get that yeasty/spicy clove character cutting through the sweet candy sugars and ripe banana on entry. A splash of sweet citrus like orange or mandarin is introduced along with a subtle earthiness as it crosses the mid. Savoury fruits like custard apple and caramelized pear then lead in to a soft, dry finish with a pinch of peppery spice on the rear. Polishing this delicious American Trappist ale off actually marks a momentous occasion for us – we have now reviewed a beer from every Trappist brewery on earth. This one was a little harder to find so if you can get your hands on one we definitely recommend. It’s full flavoured, super smooth, aromatic and dangerously drinkable. A solid offering.