Category Archives: Trappist beer

Stift-Engelszell–Gregorius

Back when I first started drinking weird beer, there were 7 Trappist breweries (breweries where the monks male the beer).  They were all world class.  This Austrian abbey became the 8th, and only the 2nd outside Belgium.  Now, there are 12, including 1 in the United States.

I’ve had beer from the original 7 and I concur they are the best beers in the world.  This is my first beer from Stift-Engelszell and I’ll be the judge as to their Trappistship.

First, I have to admit to being a sucker of beer gift sera, like the set in the first picture.  Box up a few beers and add a glass from the brewery and money falls from my hands.  It’s a weakness.  Regardless, this pack was something like $21 and I got two supposed Trappist beers and a glass, so I felt like I got a steal.

The second picture shows the beer after being poured.  Like the beer I had last night, it’s very dark brown and rich looking.  This beer has been aging for a while (I bought this beer a while back, before purchasing the gift set at a later time), so some of the yeast was suspended in the brown beer.

You’ll notice plenty of carbonation by the thick head and large bubbles.  The head is tan, lacks retention, and produces almost no lacing.  Each swirl brings the head back to life, but it dies within a minute and still leaves no lace.

 

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The aroma resembles an oak barrel aged beer.  There are notes of  caramel, vanilla, and alcohol, with possibly some Belgian sugar and candied dark fruits like figs, raisins, and dates.  A lot is going on, but the bourbon alcohol scent is what’s strongest.  Hops are nowhere to be found, and that’s fairly consistent with a Trappist ale.

I don’t care for the way the glass is designed.  It’s a bit hard to hold onto.  Also, the way the glass is shaped gives me the impression I may end up wearring some of the beer before the glass is empty.

Wow.  I didn’t expect such aggressive flavors.  Those mones must have used caramel malt and plenty of it.  In addition, those dark ripe fruits certainly present themselves, and red apples show as well.  Alcohol only makes an appearance in the finish, though it lingers.  The carbonation really brightens each flavor.

Each sip is smooth and creamy, at least early on.  There’s plenty of sweetness from all the fruits and the caramel malt may give way to a light touch of chocolate malt.  As the beer works it way across the palate, the heat from the 9.7% ABV evolves and the carbonation makes all those different feeling sharper.

I admit to enjoying this beer.  It resembles in many ways some of the other Trappist beers I’ve had.  While the head was slightly disappointing, the carbonation really makes this beer seem packed with so much flavor.  It’s pretty easy to drink and the alcohol is up there wear it should be.  I think we can call this a Trappist beer.