Today, I am writing about Spencer Trappist Ale, a beer that I had been curious to try since I first learned about it four years ago.

Spencer Trappist Ale is brewed by the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachussetts. The brothers of St. Joseph’s follow the Rule of St. Benedict and are part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, otherwise known as the Trappist Order. The Spencer Brewery is the only certified Trappist brewery outside of Europe, and the Spencer family of beers the only certified Trappist beers produced within the United States.

Spencer Trappist Ale was the first beer released by Spencer Brewery and is the monastery’s flagship beer. It was inspired by the refectory ales or patersbiers, the table beers historically brewed for consumption by monks at meals. However, at 6.5% abv it is a tad stronger than the usual refectory ales which tend to fall in the 3.5-5.5% range.

Spencer Trappist Ale is a deep golden ale, tending toward orange, mildly hazy in appearance. Upon pouring it presented a moderate white head, that didn’t rise particularly high and very subsided, but didn’t disappear entirely.

It has a moderately hoppy nose, with notes of citrus. In the mouth, it came across as effervescent sip after sip, and quite refreshing. It had notes malt notes, a little biscuity flavor. (I mean that not in the sense of American biscuits, the breakfast item, but of imported tinned biscuits. Maybe shortbread might be a better referent.) It also has pleasantly floral notes, with light citrus and pine at the back end.

It’s a nice beer. Too bad it’s not distributed more widely.