If the buzz over the past few weeks is any indication, the inaugural release of the first and only Trappist ale made in the United States is tantamount to, well, the Second Coming or something equally monumental. I succumbed to the excitement, too, in part because it is coolly hyper-local. Spencer Trappist Ale is brewed at the enchanting and bucolic St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, which is just a couple of towns away from my current, and if all goes well, temporary home in Central Massachusetts and even closer to my work place. There are only ten other recognized Trappist breweries, all of them in Europe.
The Spencer Ale is a lovely golden yellow, with plenty of carbonation to create a plush, foamy cap in the glass. As a Belgian style beer, I had braced myself for a good amount of yeasty funk in both the aroma and on the palate. I was pleasantly surprised that the funkiness was low to moderate and that it was offset by bread-like yeast, fresh citrus, and peachy fruit notes. There is also some bubblegum flavor hiding behind the yeast. Medium finish, with a bare hint of sweetness and some bitterness. The very pleasant aftertaste is clean and long-lingering. Very good.
The brewers recommend that the ale be enjoyed from the specially-designed Spencer Chalice. But since the chalice is currently back ordered, I was forced to rummage through my father’s extensive and somewhat random mug and glass collection to find a suitable alternative. Obviously, the Kulmacher glass isn’t round, but at least it was thematically related.
Sounds like the Spencer Trappist Ale will be available at lots of great beer and wine stores around the state. I found it at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge for $16.49 for a four-pack.