Spencer Trappist Ale - Spencer Brewery

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Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

606 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 606
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 88
Gots: 130 | 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:
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)
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Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Maxwell:
Photo of Maxwell
3.95/5  rDev -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!

More User Reviews:
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 neoritter
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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 77apm
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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 alienlifeforcecube
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ccurrid
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of jefftuck47
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of timontheroad
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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 justme
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of BrewerMike
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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 alcohline_trip
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 maltyhops
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

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 dmachado
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.