Tynt Meadow | Mount Saint Bernard Abbey
It’s not everyday that a new Trappist beer appears on the shelf in Chicago. In fact, the number of Trappist breweries worldwide has recently shrunk, with the closing of Spencer in Massachusetts this year (due to it not being viable for them) and the loss of Achel last year due to the brewing monks retiring. By my count, only 10 Trappist breweries remain – none in the United States and one in England. That one in England – Mount Saint Bernard Abbey – makes only one beer – Tynt Meadow.
Mount Saint Bernard Abbey was founded in 1835 near Coalville, Leicestershire, England. Lots of things happened, including visits from William Wordsworth, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Dickens. Finally in June 2018 the monks became the first to brew Trappist beer in the United Kingdom. Since St. Bernardus already had the name Bernard, the monks decided on Tynt Meadow, named for the location the abbey was built on. And so we have Tynt Meadow, an English Strong Ale.
Tynt Meadow pours a beautiful mahogany color – orange and brown if you will. Placing it directly in the light nets you some lovely crimson hues and a semblance of your finger on the other side. A finger and a half of head forms on the pour that slowly recedes and rests at a thin layer on top of the beer. All put together it resembles a barleywine.
Aromatically Tynt Meadow features everything and more that you’d come to expect from a Trappist beer. Raisin and fig combine with Belgian candi sugar to form a lovely first sniff. Deeper sniffs reveal a big bready note and baking spices. Some apple and chocolate nose flavors even peeked their way in. A big malt aroma exists throughout any sniff. Combined, Tynt Meadow smells like a marble rye. Hopefully I won’t have to bait it.
Those bready notes remain up front and center on the palate. Malt sweetness and a raisin flavor join, but it only remains on the front half of the tongue – at first. About halfway through all the flavor drops out and Tynt Meadow finishes dry and, oddly enough, bitter. (Much like while keeping score at a baseball game, I put an asterisk next to that part, like something unexpected happened.) I honestly did not expect that much on this at all; it’s a grassy bitterness as well.
Repeated sips of Tynt Meadow and letting it sit a bit change the beer considerably. The bitterness dies down a bit after multiple sips and a honey sweetness replaces it, coating the tongue a bit and giving it some back nine flavor (although it still finishes very dry). Letting it sit out for 10 to 20 minutes and then going back to it brought a root beer/sarsaparilla palate hit, which was both interesting and surprising.
Tynt Meadow keeps things medium on the carbonation. Not much remains on the tongue after drinking due to the dry finish and bitterness. Again that changes over time as some sweet bread notes linger after a while. Although sitting at 7.4% ABV, no apparent alcohol showed up on the sip, making it a thoroughly enjoyable and easy drinker.
The easiest way to compare Tynt Meadow to anything would be our Dubbel Play show due to the similar ABVs. I don’t think it has the full flavor ride of Temperance’s Quotidienne, but it hides the alcohol better than Vintage’s Dedication. Unsurprisingly, it would probably be ranked around Westmalle’s Dubbel (which I put second on that show). So it checks out.
While this isn’t a world-beater, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find new and different Belgian beer in the states. Heck, we’re still waiting to complete our Belgian cycle of shows (if you know of any Belgian singles, email us!) And, apparently, the abbey has had supply issues with this beer, so I have no idea how Beermiscuous got their hands on some. (It looks like The Beer Temple also carries it, which is it for the Chicagoland area as far as I know.)
If you want a new Belgian Trappist beer, then Tynt Meadow will satisfy that craving. If you’re interested in Belgian Trappist beers, Tynt Meadow should be on that must-try list. It will most likely not, however, convert a non-Trappist beer person to the style, although that smooth, no apparent alcohol could convert some. Classic and solid.