1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Spencer Trappist Ale - Spencer Brewery

Not Rated.
Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

460 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 460
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 75
Gots: 81 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Spencer Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: Todd on 12-27-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 460 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Maxwell:
Photo of Maxwell
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

The beer pours a deep orange with amber highlights, like a morning sunrise. A head of gently-off-white bubbles forms above the beer, settling around a quarter of a finger’s width above the glass, and then quickly fizzling away to just a scrim. The bubbles leave a mildly thick lacing that draws its fingers up the sides of my glass, but I wish they would stick around a little longer. In body, the beer is opaque and hazy, with little to nothing coming through from the other side of the glass. There are, however, no visible particles floating around within the beer. On the nose, the beer is distinctly of Trappist origins, with the potential to also be considered a hefeweizen… Big fruity esters and phenols lather the nose in thick banana scents, like a banana smoothie; hints of pineapple can also be sensed, and touches of spicy clove and other phenols can be felt in the nostrils. Subtle bread scents do dance as ghosts in the background of the nose, but really this beer is all about the fruity esters and spicy phenols of the yeast. There does seem to be a touch of spicy booze as well, which may just be me mistaking the esters for booze, but if not then it is a little odd for the ABV. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and fruity with funky esters and spicy phenols, the middle and finish bring in a nice balancing spicy bitterness that mellows into herbal hops that are just a touch strong. Acidity also pops the mouth in the beginnings of the sip, leaving a light pucker in the lips. In flavor, the beer is again all about its yeast character. Spicy banana and pineapple smoothie molds into rich phenol clove, spice, and perhaps just a touch of Band-Aid. The finish brings out more herbal spices, mingling with herbal and grassy hops to give the beer a nice balance, though it still remains a touch too sweet, making the bitterness and spice a little harsh. The finish is a little quick for what I want it to be, but does leave a nice aftertaste of pineapple and banana esters. In the mouth, the beer feels rather odd. In body it is somewhere in the medium range, with a touch of watery thinness at its close, but in mouthfeel, the beer is thick and creamy with a touch of chewiness as well. There is a tug on the sides of the cheeks as the beer passes through the mouth, giving the beer a light grip, and the acidity certainly bites at the tongue, even after the beer has left, leaving the cheeks wet with spittle and the tongue slightly numb with spice and bitters. The mouthfeel still needs a little work in my humble opinion. Overall, I am intrigued and impressed. It is no easy task to simply step into the venerable ranks of the Trappist Breweries. Some of the highest rated beers in the world come from these breweries, but I believe Spencer has built a strong foundation to quickly catch up to its European brethren. They need to work on the head retention of the beer, for starters, and the mouthfeel and is bit off, which hurts the beers drinkability, though it does make it ideal for pairing with food. I also would like less harsh spice/bitters from the yeast and hops, and a little more of a blending of the sweet, spicy, and bitter characteristics. I wouldn’t really call this a table beer, either, as its ABV and overall body are a bit much, but it would certainly do well on a table. This beer is excellent, however, and I am just nitpicking because it is joining such an elite class of breweries. This is a fine start for the monks in Spencer, MA!

Maxwell, Jan 21, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of TimBeaulieu
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

TimBeaulieu, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

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).

lordofthewiens, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of 77apm
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

77apm, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev -1%

JakerLou, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

tigg924, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

alienlifeforcecube, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

MicroBeerMan1980, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of ccurrid
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

ccurrid, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Janeinma, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

doremite, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of justme
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

justme, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of BrewerMike
4.08/5  rDev +1%

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!

BrewerMike, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of AdamF625
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%

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.

AdamF625, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of maltyhops
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

maltyhops, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of dmachado
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

dmachado, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -1%

Griffith, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of Dan114
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Dan114, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of seakayak
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

seakayak, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of jbh26
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

jbh26, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of Tyrus
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Tyrus, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Collins
5/5  rDev +23.8%

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.

Collins, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of Bottleinfrontofme
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%

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?

Bottleinfrontofme, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of earlholman
4/5  rDev -1%

earlholman, Jul 22, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.