Saturday, February 22, 2014

Of Monks and Ale.

Last week I was happy to find my local beer purveyor had in stock the new Spencer Trappist Ale.  This is the first Trappist Ale brewed in the USA and even more amazing, it's brewed right here in Massachusetts.

Spencer Trappist Ale

Only since December 10th, 2013 has the Abbey been making ale, it is certified as the first Trappist brewery in the United States.  This is the same Abbey that makes the delicious Trappist Preserves line of jams and jellies.  Those monks keep themselves busy!

The Spencer Trappist Ale is a blonde and comes in at 6.5%.  It's not cheap, a 4 pack was nearly $20, so I settled for one 12oz bottle for $4.95 (I believe, it was about $5).

I would say that it's good, but it's not $20 good.  I'm glad I got to try some, but also glad I didn't shell out for the 4 pack.  I found the ale to be nicely crisp, fruity and maybe a hint of citrus, although that last bit was disagreed upon by the folks I shared it with.  It's a good introduction to Trappist ales, if that's something you are not familiar with.  I do hope that after the novelty dies down that maybe the price will too, because otherwise, I won't be drinking this very often.  
It's worth trying, certainly, and I do want to support a local industry...but, it's not cheap.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Brew Blast: Moa Brewing

I ran into this beer at the store I pop into on my way home from work, when I need to refresh my beer reserves.  It caught my eye because it was called Moa, since I've been to the land of Moa, beautiful New Zealand, I was intrigued (it's also got an eye catching black label and Moa embossed on the glass).

Moa Brewing: St. Josephs

St. Josephs is a Belgian style tripel, it's 9.5% alcohol and ran me $5.95 for a 12.7 oz corked bottle.  It's got a beautiful golden hazyness and creamy head.  It's a solid Belgian tripel style, tangy and sweet and a bit bitter.  It's very easy to drink, but this is also not a "I'm at a bbq!" kind of easy to drink.  I wish I could describe it better but my taste buds are not up to the task of such refinery.  It's a very affordable fancy beer, it's very tasty.  Now just trust your Uncle Good and go out and buy some!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Brew Blast: Old Fezziwig

I've been saving the two precious bottles of Old Fezziwig for a couple of weeks, I meant to have one on Christmas, but was too full after finishing a bottle of St. Bernardus.  Then I meant to have one at New Years, but never got around to it then either.
Well, today was a snow day so I decided not to wait any longer because if I blink again, it'll be Spring.

Samuel Adams: Old Fezziwig Ale

The last of the Sam Adams Winter Mix pack, this is one of my favorites.  I think it's just about become a tradition for me, a tasty festively spiced ale that tastes of Christmas.

Orange peel, cinnamon and ginger, oh my.  The alcohol percentage is 5.9%.  It's crisp and refreshing and somehow warming.  It's something I can easily imagine the titular character serving up at his Christmas party.  I think part of the appeal of Old Fezziwig is that it's limited, you only get 2 so you have to be sure to enjoy them.  I guess you can buy as many mix packs as you want, but that seems to cheapen the idea.  I like that I can only have a little bit a year, it makes it special and it makes me appreciate the ale that much more.
So, yeah, tradition.  Delicious tradition.

Happy New Year!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brew Blast: Cherry Chocolate Bock

I'm back again with more beer!  

Samuel Adams Cherry Chocolate Bock

This is another special seasonal from Sam Adams that you can find in this years Winter Mix pack.  It seems that this year the brewers at Sam Adams decided to add cherries to their usual chocolate bock and the result is as tasty as you'd imagine.

It smells like maraschino cherries and tastes a bit like a cherry cordial.  It's not as sweet as you might expect from that description, I'm guessing since they used cocoa nibs instead of full on chocolate.  It's very smooth and goes down easily.

The whole mix pack usually runs around $13-$15, but there's generally one 2 of each beer.  Luckily this year is, so far, filled with lots of tasty treats, unluckily, you only get 2 per box and no way to get it otherwise, unless you find a pub with it on tap.  The bock also is an average 5%, nothing wrong with that.