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Spencer Trappist Ale - Spencer Brewery

Not Rated.
Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

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

757 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 757
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 101
Gots: 196 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 757 | Reviews: 144
Reviews by Longstaff:
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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 puboflyons
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottled batch one of January 2014. Sampled on January 25, 2014.

The pour is golden with a slight haze and decent carbonation bubbling up to a white fizzy head that dissolves quickly.

The aromas include Belgian pale malts, toasted biscuit, candied sugar, pear, apple, and spices.

The body is medium and smooth.

The taste evolves from a toasted biscuit character to the "meaty" fruit character of apples and pear and the clove creeps on the back end to top it all. Very nicely done and reflects well on the original Trappist Ales from Europe.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Glass consuming light beige head, four inches strong even with a gentle 45 degree pour into a chalice shows large, soapy pockets along the vessel walls. Stubborn retention, sloppy sporadic lace lashes on the way down. Dirty rustic orange coloring, strong carbonation presence, fine misty rise while a second pour unleased large bran flakes of yeasty matter obstructing clarity with a strong nature. Spongy head texture.

S: Aroma of fresh banana bread, followed by a light musky citrus. Lightly toasted caramel sweetness, toasted cereal grains underneath.

T: Flavor of fresh banana bread, candy sugar, and toasted caramel sweetness. Spices of orange peel, ginger with a dry herbal hop flower warming. Fruitiness of canteloupe, and wet pear are highlighted with hints of fruity citrus-apple leave on the finish.

M: Creamy mouthful, softly carbonated, smooth feel.

O: Overall smooth flavor and transition, fruity, very easy drinkability with a finely soft, eloquent belgian yeastiness. Easy A beer, does the trappist name proud stateside. 4 pack worthy.

Photo of TWStandley
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appeared a light golden completely see-through color with a one finger perfectly white head.

Smelled like a bunch of bananas, some cloves, and Belgian yeast.

Taste was that of a typical Belgian ale. Nothing really unique. Pepper/bananas and yeast flavors dominated.

Mouth-feel was light and bubbly.

Overall this is decent and I am happy to have tried it. That being said, I wished it was a bit more unique tasting.

Photo of DJoe
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I really wanted to like this beer, but there was nothing very distinctive about it. It poured well, with a golden hue and 3/4 inch head, but the taste tended somewhat toward that of a witbier. Mouth-feel was dry and almost chalky. Scent was a light, with hints of citrus and pepper.

Perhaps a better brew for summer or to pair with lighter foods.

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Off white and soapy head, with little retention, slightly tan perhaps that falls to a real bubbled collar. Slightly hazy with a golden orange amber appearance with an excellent amount of middle carbonation. Not bad, slightly lifeless looking a bit but otherwise ok.

Aroma is interesting. Slightly fruity nose but with a muted caramel and honey sense and almost pepper sweetness. Some mild florailty rounds out with an almost very airy toffee and a little bit of peanut butter as well. Quite nice and unique.

Real interesting palate. Lots of controlled but very bubbly carbonation. Much of that comes in the mid palate with lots of dry wine like flavors. Finishes with a big crispness and hints of honey and brown bread. Slight hints of fruit towards tropical just a bit, with a sweet mimosa like finish, hinting with pineapple, melon and just a bit of orange.

A real interesting Belgian pale ale here, really lively too on palate feel. Not mind blowing but certainly delicious and worthy for another go!

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours really difficult, with a huge, voluminous 4-5 finger head that lasts a long time. There's a good amount of lacing, too.

This smells quite yeasty, some peach and banana, and some perfumey sort of aromas.

This is a pretty standard, run-of-the-mill Belgian golden ale. I guess the fact it's a US Trappist ale is pretty cool, but this beer has been done many times. It's quite clovey and yeasty, some banana, with peach/apricot flavors, and some soapy perfume like flavors too. There is basically no hop flavor at all.

This has a very creamy and fluffy mouthfeel, and a higher level of carbonation.

Not bad, but doesn't do a whole lot to stand out, really.

Photo of wedge
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy golden orange hued body beneath a towering head of airy eggshell froth. Bright aromas of Belgian yeast, doughiness, and subtle pale malts. Dried banana, flowers, nuts, cracked pepper, earthy husk, and clove. Flavor is equally delicate with fruity, spicy yeast, lemon, toast, earthy grass, and moderate phenolics. Very fluffy in the mouth and pleasantly dry. A nice, spicy, easy-drinking Belgian Ale.

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Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.