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Spencer Trappist Ale - Spencer Brewery

Not Rated.
Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

808 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 808
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 104
Gots: 214 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Spencer Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-27-2013

America's first Trappist beer.

Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier ("fathers' beer" in Flemish). These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg, and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 808 | Reviews: 155
Reviews by Dope:
Photo of Dope
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First bottled batch, very fresh (released last week).

A: Pours a clear gold. Tall, fizzy off-white head. Head dissipates quickly initially, but then slows down a bit. Decent moderation, zero lacing.

S: Grassy hops, grainy malt. Light citrus (oranges) brightens it up a bit. Some cloves and black pepper from the yeast.

T: Similar to the aroma. Grassy initially with a nice sweet orange backing it up. Grainy pale malt, almost pilsner malt-esque is the best way I can describe it. Hints of cloves and pepper but only lightly. Light grassy bitternes in the crisp finish. More grass with orange peel lingers.

M: Somewhat light and smooth. Refreshing.

O: Not a bad brew. Nothing earth shattering but this IS just a 6.5% BPA. It's fairly simple but balanced and refreshing. Lightly hopped, crisp citrus, pretty standard. Nice and fresh, which is nice considering the brewery/monastery is a whole hour from me. Quite authentic for a US-based belgian-style beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of waddellc2
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not digging this one, good attempt

Photo of djbrown13
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointing. Weak for a trappist.

Photo of KornWallace
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: 11/11/14
Location: Union Plaza Liquors
Draught/Bottle: 11.2 oz Brown Bottle
Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: Orange to Golden in color. Only lightening slightly towards its edges. Unfiltered and I do see some yeast in the bottle but none poured in my glass. It's not difficult to see through the haze though. Big pillowy carbonation head that pours at more then two fingers tall and stays. Fantastic head, any sort of jostling of the glass seems to replenish it.
Aroma: "Oh Wow!" Is my first thought. Big fruity flavors strike me from the yeast. Smells of banana, cherry, clove maybe a hint of clementine. A pretty nice sweetness as well, not quite candi sugar but something close. Bready and sweet malts worm there way in the background.
Taste:The fruit aromas become more zest like in flavor. More bitter and stronger. The sugar sweetness really balances out the fruit and along with the biscuity/bready malts make up the second phase of the beers tasting. The finish moves back to the orange again and some big yeasty flavors.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied comprised of many esters and phenols dancing on the tongue thanks to the medium high to high amount if carbonation.

Notes: Be careful when pouring the beer the carbonation is very aggressive in its initial foaming. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to try this beer. The monks did a very good job and it's great to see America's first Trappist brewery has the ability to succeed and thrive.

Photo of Longstaff
2.91/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the first batch - semi rough poor kicked up a one finger head that dissapated shortly after being poured, left minimal lacing. Odd aroma of dryer sheets and dirt with a bready maltiness. Flavor falls short due to typical (for US brewers of Belgian styles) overly phenolic flavor with no nuance. Tastes more like a hefeweizen than belgian single. Made me feel good, so there's that at least. Value is out of whack.

Photo of MIrvine
2.58/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I don't like it. Sorry.

Photo of farrago
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent initial head, very loose and wispy, settles down to a loosely arrayed islands of bubbles, tannish hue with an orange tint, for lacing you get minimal splotches with not too much stick. Very cloudy, bottle stood up for days and carefully poured still yields a great deal of particulate in the liquid, warm red glow at the core but mostly a bright orange, color of pink grapefruit pulp, nothing remarkable about the visible carbonation. The nose offers biscuit crumbs, pepper, meadow grasses and earth, clove spice, the orange to lemon citrus pierces the nostrils well and allows for more flow in the attenuated apricot, apple fruit, definitely more lingering banana notes. Full-bodied, in large part due to the fluffy expansion coming from the carbonation. Lees, whipped cream, clove and caraway seed, dried honey, less peppery here. The citrus is indistinct in terms of flavors but a large presence nonetheless. Overall, the profile is too dry for you to get a lot of banana or bubblegum but they are there. Apricot, pear, green melon fruit of moderate ambition. The finish is tactful even as that active carbonation extends the mouth feel. Pleasant to sip.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle into a teku.

Apperance: Pours a somewhat murky amber color. The head is huge at three fingers high, with an off-white shade. Well, the out-of-control head is a good sign, that's for sure. It's also very fluffy, with average duration. Inconsistent splotches of lacing stick to the glass. (3.75)

Smell: Another good sign: the apple and pear notes typical of the style are nuanced within the bready nature of this beer's aroma. However, it lacks the razor-sharp balance of the Belgians: the yeasty notes have a tendency to overpower everything. I also get some candied sugar, but again, the big breadiness runs roughshod over it. (3.25)

Taste: Powerful bread notes initially wash over the palate, before a gentle flavor of sour apple appears. I also get some caramel flavors on the back end, and maybe even some banana. The flavors are decent and nicely balanced, but it's really let down by the mouthfeel (more on that later...) (3.25)

Mouthfeel: This just isn't clean or crisp enough. At first, it seems dry-finishing, but the aftertaste is heavy and sweet - and that's a no-no for the style. The effervescent carbonation is there, the mouth-filling density is there, but it still lingers on the palate too strongly. Put simply, it just isn't as effortless as it should be. (2.5)

Overall: The verdict for America's first trappist brewery is...disappointing. It's fine enough (the flavors are there), it just lacks the razor-sharp crispness I expect from a great patersbier. Still, this could be great with a few tweaks. I just know this brewery can get it right in the near future. (3)

3.16/5: Don't worry St. Joseph's Abbey, Rome wasn't built in a day

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was orange in color with a very small white head.

Fruity aroma, light citrus, a little banana. There was a bit of peppery spice. Very pleasant aroma.

Nicer taste. Some orange and banana. A clove, or peppery, flavor came next, and dominated the taste in a nice way.

Medium-bodied and dry.

Thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and the price was right ($16 for the 4 pack).

Photo of kaiyote
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a goblet. Was a little concerned when opening the bottle produced a mild gusher, but less than 1/8 of the bottle escaped in total. I just hope the rest of the pack doesn't follow suit.

Look: Pours a beautiful hazy orange, can barely see the shadow of my hand through it. Started off with a thick, 2 finger head that has slow died back to a nice capping of foam.
Smell: Dead on for a Trappist Ale. Bananas and pepper both easily detectable.
Taste: Dead in line with the smell. Yeasty, bananas and pepper. A hint of hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Infinitely drinkable.
Feel: Nice carbonation, not too heavy.
Overall: Was a serious effort to get a hold of this gem where I live, but man am I glad I went to the effort (and expense). Easily one of my top 3 Trappist ales.

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, medium carbonation, amber in color, clear

Smell: apricot, bread, and a bit of hops towards the end

Taste: clove, apricot, apple, and bread

Mouthfeel: sweet with a lightly bitter end, medium-heavy bodied and medium carbonation

Overall: A flavorful example of a Belgian pale. The beer hits most of the notes I expect in the style. I have had better in the style, but this is certainly worth a try.

Photo of Justin8mypants
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing. Just as good as any other Belgian I have had. Really a tremendous beer.

Photo of wattoclone
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Unfiltered with a cloudy golden amber appearance. The aroma is beer with some flowery hops. Taste is disappointing for a Belgian Trappist Ale. If this was an American Pale Ale expectations would be lower, but every other Trappist ale has been perfectly balanced with no bitterness on the finish. Considering it is a American brewed beer, the hoppiness and higher ABV is not surprising. As a final insult, the bottle was only 11.2 ounces and cost $6. This is acceptable for an imported beer, but give me a break, it is brewed in Massachusetts, why not 12 ounces?

Photo of simoen
2.12/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

not my kind of thee
the same rare taste like zundert trappist ale

Photo of timontheroad
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden yellow, nice two finger frothy head, very nice lacing and retention. Aroma was top-notch, with cloves, banana, bready yeast and some wonderful Belgian funk. The flavor was outstanding, with some cloves, a bit of citrus taste and those wonderful yeasty notes. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, somewhat dry, nice carbonation. Overall, the monks at Spencer Abbey's prayers were answered- and likewise mine! To be able to brew one of only a handful of Trappist brews on the planet is quite an accomplishment!

Photo of BrewerMike
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice copper, golden color with soft, white head that dissipates quicker than I would wish. Smell of faint banana, some clove, yeast, bread. Taste is very nice. Clean maltiness, bananas, clove, bread, Belgian yeast. Very nicely balanced. Very soft and smooth, making it extremely drinkable. Not extremely complex but tasty and enjoyable. The dry aftertaste made me want to keep taking sips. A great example of the style. Brought me back to Belgium for sure!

Photo of azorie
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap. Need to try the bottle. hop forward, cloudy orange beer. well do a better review after I find some more. Nice rich mouthfeel. Orange and malty taste on tap...etc etc

Photo of AdamF625
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- golden and orange, hazy, thin white head, and a bubbly lacing.
S- spices, yeast, orange zest
T- close to the nose with the Belgian esque spice and coriander flavors. Light malt flavors. Banana and cloves.
M- Thin body with plenty of carbonation. Bubbles roll over the tongue plesently. Very clean finish.
O- I will admit this is not my favorite style of beer. There is nothing really that stands out. A bit too dull for me.

Photo of tastybeer
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glowing orange color with a lovely large white head that fades rather quickly too a 1/4" foam top. Aroma is soapy flowers, banana, coriander, lemon candy in the background... All the elements nicely working together. Taste is sweet, peppery spice, floral, zesty, bready grains, slightly tart, and creamy and fluffy in texture. Good stuff. I'm excited about the first US Trappist brewery!

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not a fan of the style, the Ale was too wheat like for me.

Photo of Collins
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

During a trip from my native Philadelphia to Spencer, I had the opportunity to try Spencer Trappist Ale on tap at the Black and White Restaurant near Saint Joseph's Abbey. The experience was a rare treat. I was overwhelmed by the light yeasty aroma . I thought I could smell a light citrus or almost clove smell. A beautiful amber, cloudy color.The taste was superb- dry, and better than any other Belgian I've tried. I found my way to a local Spirits shop where I bought two cases to take home. This my friends, will be an ale that will be around for the ages.

Photo of Bottleinfrontofme
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snagged the last 4 pack at my local brew shop. I was anxious to imbibe as this brewery has been written about locally for quite some time.

A: Beautiful color; very fine champagne carbonation. Pour carefully. Fantastic head. You could shave with it.

T: More subtle bananas, got the cloves, citrus tones and very slight sour yeast flavors. Clean, lively, spicy and an expected freshness, well behaved. There are slight earthy, pepper tones on the finish, could not put my finger on it. Not the best finish. Something just seemed a little off... not a big deal...

M: Wonderful fine effervescent, very smooth. Clean, medium body. Your mouth will thank you.

O: A fine example of the simple yet complex Belgian. Really pricy...$$$ What impressed me the most is this is their first release. Nice job!

This experience has left me to contemplate leaving all my worldly possessions behind and join the monks in Spencer... Do you get free ale for living the simple life?

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy pale orange. Nice white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Very yeasty. Phenolic. Belgian sweetness. Herbal.

Taste - Very phenolic. Herbal hops. Doughy malt flavor. Bitter in the back.

Mouthfeel - Overcarbonated. Yeasty. Bitter.

Overall - Well made, but nothing special.

Photo of tkelley
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A -- Pale bronze body. Very clear. Nice white head. Very little lacing but good retention.

N -- Very yeasty. Clove over banana. Peppery and a light hop backside.

T -- Yeasty when it was out of the fridge, more malty and lightly hoppy as it warms up. Apricots or other similar fruits. Again, more clove than banana. Really tasty.

M -- Surprisingly smooth. Not as much carbonation as I thought there might be.

O -- Ive been looking forward to this beer for a very long time. It's reminiscent of Orval. It's really good. Met the expectations.

Cheers!

Photo of apasternak
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Doesn't hold up next to Belgian trappists, but an American first!

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Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 808 ratings.