Spencer Trappist Ale - Spencer Brewery
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Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Maxwell:
3.95/5 rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25
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!
Serving type: bottle
01-21-2014 18:54:48 | More by Maxwell
More User Reviews:
5/5 rDev +23.8%
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.
Serving type: on-tap
07-15-2014 16:29:22 | More by Collins
3.61/5 rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25
Purchased in MA and taken home to NC for a tasting with my wife. I had it in the fridge for a at least four weeks then let it sit on the counter for an hour or so to warm up before opening. When I did, it gushed out the top. Not a good start.
A - Golden but cloudy with chunks.
S - Belgian spice with banana and black pepper. Interesting for an American brewed beer.
T - Follows the aroma with good Belgian flavors but not quite the depth of a true Belgian.
M - A huge release of fine bubbles when it hits the tongue.
O - If not for the price, I'd say a great start for a new brewery. But at $5 for an 11.2oz bottle, why would I buy this again? Price is certainly a factor in my review; especially given it's only a bit less than Orval and a bunch more than Duvel. I'll try it again sometime down the road but I'm not in a rush to do that.
Serving type: bottle
07-11-2014 19:20:22 | More by GJ40
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.
Serving type: on-tap
07-08-2014 13:11:05 | More by tigg924
4.06/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Really excited to be able to try this beer. Big props to my coworker (very soon to be former coworker) for bringing this back from Boston.
Pours kind of a clouded orange hued amber. Thin creme head. Nose is a big whiff of Belgium; in a beer kinda way. Sweet and airy. Flavor is a bit thicker and deeper than one might expect for the style. A bit bready and yeasty. Sweet, but not overly so. I could drink a lot of this. And what little I have I am drinking fairly quickly. Silky smooth feel that contributes to me just blowing through this one.
This is a very nice Belgian ale, in the traditional style, that is in a class of its own. If you have had many of the trappist brews, many things about this one will seem quite familiar.
Serving type: bottle
07-04-2014 21:10:28 | More by RblWthACoz
Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.