The beer pours with an opaque gold / orange coloration and a small amount of persistent head. There is a small amount of lacing as one continues to sip the beer, demarcating the size and time of each of the prior drinks.
The nose of Spencer Trappist Ale links together hints of sugar and citrus fruits with hints of cereal and malt; the first sip of the beer showcases a wide set of flavors that are reminiscent of gingerbread, brown sugar, and cloves. The beer opens up and creates a nectar; the alcohol presence here is tender enough that it provides a little bit of a sharp element with all of the smoother and velvety elements.
Larger pulls off the Spencer Trappist Ale will showcase a different set of flavors for the beer; there are hints of hops, broader malt elements, and a wholly different body than exists when smaller sips are the norm. As the beer continues to warm, there are wholly different flavors that come into prominence; I feel that much of the early sweetness that is experienced when one first drinks Spencer is modified into something much more nuanced and balanced. Tasting Spencer Trappist Ale at a variety of temperatures will provide imbibers with a broad array of experiences; this is a more formidable beer than a great many on the shelves. The Trappist tradition is refreshed through what the brewers of St. Joseph’s Abbey have done here. The beer is simply one of the best that we have experienced this year.
Spencer is the first (and so far, only) Trappist beer that is crafted in the United States. For additional information about the beer, the brewery’s story, and discussion about their unique style of beer glass, the company’s domain is a must-visit.