Spencer Trappist Ale | The Spencer Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
188 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
188
Ratings:
1,039
Avg:
4
pDev:
25.25%
 
 
Wants:
121
Gots:
285
For Trade:
9
Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

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.

Added by Todd on 12-27-2013

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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 1,039
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Spencer Trappist Ale has a thin-to-medium, off-white head, a fairly opaque, brilliant-orange appearance, some tan yeast chunks, suspended, throughout, and minimal lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of spiced, white bread, bread crust, subdued stone fruit, and possibly banana. Taste is of those elements, with low bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium and prickly, and Spence Trappist Ale finishes on the dry and drinkable side of it.

RJT

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Photo of bubseymour
4.66/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An outstanding Belgian Pale Ale. Nice yeasty, banana and grassy aroma with a sweet Belgiany flavor and a hop crispness to finish. Probably one of the better Belgian Pales I've had to date. How have I not sampled this beer before?

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Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle, 1/19/15, into an Orval glass.

Not bad! Very bubbly, almost champagne-like. Dry and pleasant. I bet age will be interesting on this one.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 fl oz, AD156F1 code poured into a tulip.

A - But first, gusher all over the place. Make sure you are near a sink or a receptacle for immediate pour. Cloudy, orange, hazy. Half finger head that settles to a thin lace. Most of the head ended up on my floor and the sink.

S - Sour/funk, yeast, and something off.

T - Taste brings in a well placed Belgian pale. There's a mild sour undercurrent. Some banana, yeast. Drying finish.

M - Carbonation medium, but sharp. Mellows as it warms.

O - Once you get by the gush and some of the aroma notes, you'll settle into a good tasting Belgian pale.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange pour with lasting two finger pillow of active near-white tiny bubbles. Aroma of spices - clove foremost - yeast and honey. Lots of yeasties tumbling around in the waves of carbonation bubbles, despite not pouring the last half-ounce. They are large enough to settle to the bottom of the glass. And, I'm not afraid of a little extra vitamin B. Flavor is also slightly spiced, but with a nice balanced sweetness of malt, bubblegum and mild fruity tang. Very active carbonation gives a slight bite, but finish fairly clean. Interesting stuff.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip. odd coding, 161, which might indicate a may bottling date.

pours a hazy orange color with a slightly fizzy head which disappears quite quickly. no lacing. poured carefully, but still a few floaties made it in.

nice spice and yeasty aroma, and a hint of alcohol.

taste is pretty smooth, nice blend of spice and faint fruit and the belgian yeasts

feel is just a little bit dry, slightly below medium.

all in all a decent beer. wouldnt say no to another.

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Photo of Marius
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle. Gusher. Hazy dark orange pour with a dusty white head that gives way to a thin lacing. Visible sedimentation. Smells like a doppelbock, of yeast, bananas, spices, caramel and some dark fruit. The taste follows the same notes, wirh some added strawberry jam and pine syrup. Very well balanced sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of erk0607
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Cloudy gold, minimal lacing.
S: fruity, yeast and straw.
T: same as smell... Light fruit, straw, barns, yeast overtones
F: light at first foaming up to a smooth, easy drinking beer.
O: excellent, would not hesitate to get as an easily enjoyable beer

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Photo of Mark425
4.99/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I give this beer a perfect score. With strong color, this ale achieves a full flavor spectrum beginning with a fruity scent that hits your nose the second you go to take a sip. Next is the beautiful head and the strong flavor with balanced spices that are tasted on an individual basis. All around a brilliant, brilliant beer. It's no surprise that Spencer Trappist Ale was brewed by monks - divine inspiration clearly had a role in developing this ale

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Photo of musicsherlock
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No discernible bottling date.

Pours an iridescent orange enhanced by the visible carbonation. This white head that fades quickly.

Smells of bananas, cloves and spices. Yeast?

Thick, malt forward with a good hop presence. A bit on the bitter side for a BPA yet tastes great.

Bubbly and thick, some stickyness.

Excellent BPA. I am enjoying the cloudy yeastiness as I inadvertently jostled the bottle prior to pouring.

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Photo of ordybill
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy golden yellow with a thick white head. The aroma is cloves and fruit. The taste is fruity with a thick texture.

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Photo of stevoj
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Cindys Sprits in Elkrdge. Nice Belgian, beautiful fluffy head, buttery smooth. Cloudy golden body, slightly spicy, slick, chewy, smooth. Right in the ballpark. Would like to see them tackle the dubbel, tripel and quad.

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Photo of Mitchellrhen
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Rose Gold/copper with soapy white head and moderate lacing.
Aroma: Smells very fruity, mainly apples and peach.
Body: Full bodied, with a lot of carbonation.
Flavor: Starts very sweet and caramel, follows with some cider flavor and sourness, finished with a slight hop bitterness and alcohol.
Overall: I was very excited to try the only true Trappist beer from outside Europe! While it's not mind blowing, it's definitely still a great beer. At the lower end of the alcohol spectrum for typical Trappist brews, it seems rather sessionable. It's smooth and has a good flavor, it's major downfall is the very high carbonation which adds some bite that I didn't find appropriate.

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Photo of safaricook
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Copper with white fine foam. Some lacing. Gushed a little.
Aroma starts green apple that morphes into pear, later Bavaria Pretzl.
Fruity and phenolic, like pears cooked and spiked with cloves.
Aggressive fine carbonation, too much.
Fine Belgian pale ale with a nice yeast character.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden orange hue with a rocky white head and tons of lacing. Bready malts and orange, yeast, slightly spicy nose. The taste follows the nose well but with a massive amount of sweetness. It is a bit too sweet for me. Good beer but not on the same level as the other Trappists.

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Photo of The_Dude_31
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This Trappist Ale has really grown on me over the past few months. Love the carbonation and mouth feel. Is it up there with Abt 12 or the ephemeral Rochefort? No it is not, however it can stand proudly side by side with the excellent American abbey ales like North Coast's Brother Thelonious. Not as fruity as most of it's Belgian cousins, however more of a crips wheat subtle undertone of banana. All said a very good American Trappist Ale that you can tuck into for a nice mellow evening by the fire.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange beer with a one finger high, white, head.

Nose: Belgian yeast, coriander, orange, peach and sugar.
Taste: Caramel, candied sugar, yeast, grapefruit and pear.
Mouth: Medium body. Crisp carbonation. Light bitternes. Dry and bitter ending.

A good trappist but here in Europe there is a lot better Belgian beers at a lower pricetag. A nice beer to have tried but I won't by another one!

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Photo of illpass78
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a stemmed glass.

Appearance: This was kind of shaken up, but it poured a cloudy gold with a big white head.

Aroma: Fruit and candied sugars. Some peach, maybe a little tangerine. Some funk.

Taste: More fruit and candied sugars. Not complaining. Also has some yeastiness and some nice spicy quality. Pretty classic Belgian single altogether.

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard depth.

Overall: Glad to finally grab one of these. More or less a standard BPA. Enjoyable.

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Photo of philbe311
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - A standard pour produces a rich, creamy and velvety light khaki colored froth that displays respectable retention... It never really turns into lacing, rather it just settles a little... The color is a murky golden raisin / amber... Still with just a few carbonation bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass...

S - A sweet fruit forward aroma, presumably from the yeast strain... Mango... Peach... Nectarine... Golden raisins... Musky grapes... There isn't much else to the aroma, but that's okay as it is remarkably pleasant and enticing as is...

T - The fruity sweetness alluded to by the nose is missing in action... It is replaced by more traditional Belgian Pale Ale traits... Subtle yeast notes... A strong wheat presence... A light spice component...

M - Lush but dry from the get go... Smooth with little to no carbonation... No frills... Simple and straight-forward... Repeatable sip after sip...

D - Not a bad Belgian Pale Ale by any means... Actually it proves to be rather refreshing... My affection for this offering grew more with each and every sip until the end when I really wish I had another bottle... All in all it proves to be a bit more than the sum of its parts... I wasn't sure what to expect from the American Trappist brewery, but I was pleasantly surprised and can recommended with a guilt free conscious and will enjoy again in the future when presented with the opportunity...

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear and golden amber (SRM 5). Gem clear while yeast remains in the bottle. A modest, short lived, fine white head and lace in a Westvleteren Chalice. Once yeast is added, the beer turns cloudy orange.

Strong fruit aromas up front include ripe pear. The middle is dominated by light caramel with simple spicy yeast. Generally speaking, the aroma is delicate and elegant.

Without the yeast, the flavor is crisp and fruity with an earthy sweetness. The earthiness and sweetness are more pronounced once the yeast is added. Yeast also adds banana bread and light spices. The finish is light and lingering.

Palate is dominated by explosive, fine carbonation. The body is medium with light alcohol and a satin texture. Soft astringency and crispness were also noticed. Yeast smooth's out the palate.

This is a relaxing beer for a warm, dry day.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spencer Brewery "Spencer Trappist Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, production coded but without freshness dating
$1.99 @ Wegmans, King of Prussia, PA

Being a bottle-conditioned beer, the appearance of the Spencer Trappist Ale depends upon how long the bottle's sat undisturbed, and how carefully you pour it. Additionally, the flavor will change a bit depending upon how much yeast you add. I personally prefer the yeast, so I allowed quite a bit of yeast to be transferred over, and it's a cloudy deep-golden orange in color beneath a full head of off-white froth. Except for the color of the head it looks very much like a here-weizen, and the head retention and lacing are similar as well. Steady streams of fine bubbles can be seen rising in great numbers, adding to the head, and keeping it consistently full. Long streaks and smears of sticky lacing are left with each sip, and overall it's an impressive looking glass of beer.

The aroma expresses clove, black pepper, a general "spiciness" that might actually be coming from coriander, sugar, banana, and wheat. As it warms some herbal hops become apparent.

The first sip reveals its carbonation with a gentle bristle across the tongue. It's not quite at here-weizen levels, but it's close... probably 2.6 volumes CO2/liter. The body is medium with a bit of a dextrinous edge that makes it appear slightly fuller than it actually is.

In the flavor it's sweet upfront with rock candy, clove/bubblegum, and a hint of banana. Some earthiness and herbal and leafy hops appear across the middle and into the swallow. There's a fair amount of bitterness to it, but its also got a fair amount of malty sweetness, and the peppery spice combines with the carbonic acid of the CO2 to add a little zest and help balance the sweet malt. It finishes surprisingly dry with a spritz of alcohol that helps to strip away the maltiness, and notes of herbs, a "woody spiciness" that flickers with coriander and pepper, and some background crushed granite.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a 8 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on December 18, 2015. Look is golden-hued, thick white head and lingering lacing. Smell is fruit. Taste is fruit and some bitter hop notes. Feel is full in body and dry in the finish.

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Photo of Zorro
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden colored ale with a tall white colored head.

Smells strongly of apples and coriander. Scents of ash and cinnamon.

Starts out semi-sweet and a little spicy with an apple butter taste. Medium level of bitterness. Fair amount of wood taste and some pepper with the coriander.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a decent if overpriced ale.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml format bottled in May of 2014.

Spencer Trappist Ale looks nice coming out of the bottle, it pours a lovely golden color with a thumb's worth of head that breaks down to a fine white wisp of foam on the top of the beer. The smell is typical of a Belgian ale, yeasts, malts, fruity and cloves. Taste carries the nose through, but some of the strength of the yeast and fruits seem muted and the finish is a bit more bitter than expected. The feel is medium with a higher amount of carbonation.

All in all, not bad, I think that as this recipe matures this will become a very nice beer. I would be interested to read a Belgian review or two to see their thoughts.

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Photo of stortore
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark gold, mostly clear, with a quickly dissipating head, not much lacing. Last bottle of a four pack and it gushed a little. Think one of the others did, too. Smell is strongly Belgian yeast, also light malt, straw, grain, some black pepper on the pour. Taste is also yeast forward, a little more malt than the nose, more wheat or grain, a little caramel, slight lemon, a little earthy hop bitterness. Dry, crisp, good body, slightly harsh for the style.

This is a pretty traditional Belgian pale- which is a good thing to say for an American Trappist brew, enjoyable and easy drinking. Worth a try.

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Spencer Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.