With the demise of the brewery, probably my last bottle of this. 11.2oz, 7/22/23 which is likely a BB date, so a little past its best.
I think that I’ve always wished that this was a Belgian Strong Pale Ale rather than a simpler version, and not because I don’t appreciate the lighter touch, but because the bottle and label have the look of a beer with more gravitas to me.
Anyway, the pour is a good one with lace and retention that is better than average. Color is quite a dark golden, lightly hazed affair.
Nose has some toffee and caramel.
Tastes are sweetish grainy bread with a bitter finish. Very simple, light honey in the sweetness and some dryness in the far back-end. It’s quite mineral and earthy with a bit of fruit in there too. Perhaps some banana, perhaps some apple? It’s pretty ordinary in terms of he taste TBH, and the alcohol feels lower than even 6.5. Caramel sweetness too. On warming it smooths out a bit and becomes fuller in the mouth. A little richer.
If I’m really honest I don’t find anything wrong with the beer, but it’s pretty forgettable and ordinary too. I’ve probably had about 6-10 bottles over time, and it just doesn’t do much for me. This is one of the Spencer beers that I won’t lament much, even if I wish the brewery had managed to soldier on.