Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Spencer Trappist Ale - Spencer Brewery

Not Rated.
Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

152 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 152
Hads: 902
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 109
Gots: 254 | FT: 11
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.
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 152 | Hads: 902
Reviews by Khutso:
Photo of Khutso
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #90 (July 2014):

Dry, Yeast, Bubblegum, Crackers

An American Trappist beer that is Belgian inspired, we had hoped for something that would separate this beer from their brothers overseas. The ale has all the attributes of a Belgian Pale Ale though nothing really pops out to wow our palates. You’ll want to get this beer if you feel and need to support the Abbey though in the realm of Belgian beer this lands around the middle of the pack.

STYLE: Belgian Pale Ale | ABV: 6.5% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round (535 characters)

Photo of waddellc2
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not digging this one, good attempt (34 characters)

Photo of djbrown13
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointing. Weak for a trappist. (35 characters)

Photo of KornWallace
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (1,462 characters)

Photo of Longstaff
2.91/5  rDev -28%
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. (418 characters)

Photo of MIrvine
2.58/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I don't like it. Sorry. (23 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,164 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
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 (1,673 characters)

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of neoritter
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
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). (394 characters)

Photo of Afroman
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pja786
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great, but an expensive beer (28 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at Novare Res in a Spencer tulip. Golden orange with a thick head. The head resolves to a wispy sticky lace. The nose is soft, spice banana all the typical Belgian trapping styles. This beer is softer than most trapping of the style, I would imagine this is due to draft vs bottle though a ltitle under carbonated. Very nice flavor flavor easily passes as a trappist, which it is but due to its American Heritage it might be critcized. Slick mouth, wheat almost chewy. Definitely malt sweet with yeast being the heavy lifter. Nice (545 characters)

Photo of 77apm
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev -1%

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

Photo of kaiyote
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (810 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (426 characters)

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Prospero
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.