Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Sprecher Series: Part One ... the Enkel

My wonderful family and I took a little road trip across the Midwestern United States.  The trip took us through Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Chicago, Illinois.  However, our destination was Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where there happens to be a Sprecher Brewpub.  

We stopped by the brewpub for lunch and to sample some of the beers.  As we left, I picked up a four pack of Sprecher beers.   The four pack was the brewery's Belgian series.  The series includes an Enkel, a Dubbel and Tripel and a Quadrupel.  

It is the first time that I have seen a brewery package the beers in a Belgian series, so I decided that I would do a beer review for each one.  The Sprecher Series.  This is the first review, which is of the first beer in the series.  The beer is the "Belgian Enkel."

This, of course, leads me to a question: just what is an "Enkel."  As it turns out, an "Enkel" is the first in the series of beers brewed by Trappist Monks.  It is a light beer, made using the monks' basic recipe.  It is much lighter than the other beers in the series, such as the dubbel and the tripel.  Those latter beers are more well known because, as it turns out, Trappist Monks do not brew or sell Enkels anymore.   Instead, the monks brew beers like the Blonde (La Trappe) or the 6 (Rochefort).  Even if they did brew an Enkel, the monks would keep the beer for their own consumption, making an Enkel basically a patersbier.  

Sprecher's Enkel pours a bright, hay color, wiht a thin, milky foam.  That foam provides a persistent haze or cloud over the surface of the beer.  The aromatic elements are principally malty in character.  Light bread or biscuit notes, but little more.  The lightness carries through to the body of the beer, whose taste carries through the malt.  The taste of the beer does go beyond the traditional malt elements.  There are some notes of flowers or fresh grass in the flavor of the beer.  These additional notes provide some complexity in what is an otherwise straight forward beer, low ABV (5.3%) beer.

Overall, this beer is a good example of that first step in the Belgian progression.  It is definitely good for someone who likes a light, easy-to-drink beer.  The reviews of the other beers in Sprecher's Series will be forthcoming.  Until then ...


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