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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

150 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 150
Hads: 896
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 110
Gots: 254 | FT: 12
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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Reviews: 150 | Hads: 896
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, white grape juice, grape jelly, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grape jelly, white grape juice, earth, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is a worthy American addition to the Trappist line-up.

Serving type: bottle. (591 characters)

Photo of nmann08
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, pours a hazy golden orange color with a big full fizzy off white head. Very active carbonation, lots of bubbles and some sediment in the glass.

The smell is floral, yeast, faint fruit, a little biscuit.

The flavor is light fruity notes, yeast, biscuit, american citrus hops and belgian hop content, leaving a light bitterness. The mouthfeel is a little light, crisp, and active carbonation going down.

Overall, this is pretty tasty. Would love to drink regularly. (485 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy and very dark golden yellow in color, having a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of yeast are present in the nose along with associated notes of banana.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is very yeasty and has underlying flavors of bananas and spices.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting Belgian Pale Ale in the the yeast profile is very reminiscent of that what you would would expect from a hefeweizen with the banana-like aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle (730 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really really stoked this is finally a reality in colorado. how cool to have an american trappist operation, and their story is really neat as well, big fan of the project in general, long before i tasted the beer. the beer itself is presented really well too, love the glassware and the packaging, even the price point is awesome for what it is. it has a lot of haze to it, thick looking for a pale beer, honey colored and heady as any of the belgian trappist beers as far as i am concerned, looks great, and authentic. maybe a little less delicate than some of its peers, but thats the american way right? the nose is sweet like a tripel, and the yeast is really cool belgian for sure, but tamer on the fruited elements, more of a wine thing without the acidity. i get some apricot in the taste, maybe dried apricot, and some wheat malt thats fresh and like, not threshed out or something, like more of the plant, organic and richer, more textured, its cool. the yeast flavors the beer the most though for sure. carbonation is awesome, but i am afraid there is a lot more sweetness happening in it than i care for, i could never drink more than three or four glasses of this before it became unbearable. i wish they fermented it out another percent or so, then this would be so so so good. it feels a little thick too, and with the sugar its a lot, but the carbonation is correctly effervescent, and the flavors all marry up well. i hope they do some other varietals, but this is a way cool introduction to the market, really stoked to have them here! (1,553 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clouded, orange-gold body with a meagerly-sized, whitish head.

Smell: A bit sweetish, a bit spicy, with touches of clove buds and sugar-dosed orchard fruit juices, also some banana and a background hint of chewing gum.

Taste: Wheat malt, mainly, with a doughy quality to it, but also a little hint of fine-quality saltine. Moderate powdered sugar sweetness. Chiclets and 'nanas, as with the nose, as well as the phenolic spiciness along with some apple and pear. Subtly bitter. Fruity, gently spicy and heavily carbonated through the gassy, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Well-carbonated with a sprightly quality about it.

Overall: It's good. (746 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Finally!!! I don't think I've waited for a beer longer than this. I think it was like 3-4 years ago when Dan Paquette spoke at a homebrew club meeting and told us this was in the works. I moved out to Spencer a few months later, and since then have had my nose against the glass waiting for it, and it's finally here. Hopefully they make more than just this one style.

The beer seemed like it was a bit too excited too (and too carbonated) as it rises up the top pretty quickly and gushes out a bit, causing a little mess as I can't get it into the glass quick enough, but forms a big fluffy foamy head, very foamy like, airy and bubblyand fades pretty quickly from the 2+ fingers to about 1/2 a finger of true thick head and mild spotty lacing, over a hazy blond orange color with a hint of an amber hue.

Nose brings more of the typical Belgian yeast, a little bit of a yeast funk (not wild kind, just yeasty), some nice mild phenols and esters, hints of spices, mild bready cracker notes with a hint of a citrus zest, a nice sweet blond malt base with a bit of candy like sweet malts, hint of candi sugar like sweetness with the phenols, a bit wheaty and doughy. The phenols and sweetness trick you into thinking there is more booze than there really is.

Taste starts with a lot more Belgian blond characters, almost as if I'm sitting at a table on a veranda in Belgium again, reminds me a bit of the Brugge Halve Maan blond. A mild sweetness comes in with a nice Belgian blonde flavor, blonde malts, mild wheaty and crackery, actually gets quite wheaty as it goes, little doughy as well but not much, and hint of a candi sugar sweetness. That candi note brings more phenols with it, mild tasty phenols with hints of esters and spices, as well as a hint of of orange citrus zest and grassy notes. A bit yeasty as well, and a bit of a light grassy bitterness, that really pops off the tongue with the big carbonation. Finish is dry somehow, but a little sticky, fair bitterness with more orange zest, mild phenols and spices, bit more blonde malt and candi lingering.

Mouth is med bod, lots of carbonation and the big bubble but still popping fluffy carbonation from the bottle conditioning, but a bit too much carbonation.

Overall pretty good, nothing too crazy or amazing, but for a blonde ale pretty nice. Like I mentioned before I have been waiting a very long time for this, and it's finally here, and is able to remind me of being in Belgium, so a nice beer at that. very drinkable, a bit too wheaty, but still tasty, everything well balanced, a nice spring or summer beer for sure. I hope they bring a quad or big beer at some point. (2,656 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 8/14/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains strong Belgian yeast, caramelized malts along with touches of spices, bananas and other fruits.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, bananas, apples and spices. Then some breadiness comes in from flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but creates a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet then somehow transitions into a nice mild tartness.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty and very complex, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid and flavorful beer to drink for a long time. (932 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive foam but not a spew. Attractive amber brew with a fine-grained head. Delightful creamy mouthfeel, which somehow seems appropriate for a Belgian-style brew.

Warm and malty. This has a friendlier kind of yeasty flavor than the usual austere or overly sweet Saisons. Not any hop flavor to speak of. I'd call it more of a Belgian Single than a pale ale. But it's very much a Belgian creation and well worth a try.

From the 11.2 oz bottle purchased at Coit Liquors in San Francisco. Massive little bottles that ought to be refilled. (537 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
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. (734 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Three-finger, snow white head. Settles in a dome and then in lumps. Surprisingly, nearly no lace. Straw to gold color with a faint chill haze.

Sour, pale malt aroma. Strong Belgian yeast smell.

An interesting blend of pale malt, strong Belgian yeast and coriander. Classic Trappist flavors but this one is quite thin with an overly elevated carbonation level, almost like champagne. The finish is sour, yeasty remnant which dissipates quickly. (446 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint amber + apricot highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy beige head that reduces to a large two finger tall cap in the center of the glass surrounded by a very thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of spicy Belgian yeast with a moderate amount of sweetness. There are moderate aromas of fruitiness (apple + pear), banana phenols, and some clove.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of pale and bready malts with a light to moderate amount of candi sugar and light fruit (apple + pear) sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of banana phenols and some hints of clove. Light to moderate flavors of spicy Belgian yeast is also present in the finish. Hints of grassy hops which imparts a touch of bitterness to the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Been waiting for a couple of years to get the chance to try this one... A very nice example of a Belgian Pale Ale and pretty cool that it coming from an American monastery. Enjoyable flavor that is pretty easy to drink with a well hidden alcohol. (1,403 characters)

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

Bottle shared by Lunch. New Trappist beer - how exciting.

The beer is golden orange and mildly hazy with a quarter inch of off white head. The aroma offers Belgian style yeast, clove, fruity tones, bread. Nice tasting beer. Medium bodied. A tad sweet with light spice undertones. Some similarities to a witbier in that regard. I rather enjoyed this one and hope to revisit at some point. (388 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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! (1,060 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Joepeter is the one responsible for this; thanks! Spencer Trappist Ale is a dry, light, and complex beer which takes a little bit of sipping to appreciate. My first few sips left me scratching my head, but then I started to pull off some notes. (244 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
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. (324 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Bright ruby almost golden tinged Belgian ale with a large white head that laces the glass well. Just a chill haze without sediment and rather fresh looking.

Belgian highly phenolic aroma with Belgian candi sugar, hops, special trappist Belgian ale yeast, and trace elements of other mild funk. Slight cotton candy and spice, lending the notes of wheat malt and coriander, possibly white or black pepper.

The body is full flavored with slight citrus character, Belgian funk, earthy bitterness, and even to tart finish, nothing cloying or sickly sweet about this one. There is a fair malt sweetness, and this beer can stand up to any Belgian made in the states to trappist standards I suppose. Light fruity accents, distinct pepper, dry candy sugar. Paired side by side, this came out lighter, but hops came out distinctly more American and less pungently noble in this finely crafted brew to Belgian Pale style at 6.5%. Drinkable and engaging,

Advertised as fruity and dry, it delivers on the promise in the mouthfeel. Dry and crisp, not too full, so perfectly full bodied and drinkable brew. Plenty of liveliness and crispness.

Overall, a really nice take on the style, and one that should cellar like a beast. This was fairly fresh and well stored and I enjoyed the hop flavor, much more pine and citrus than, say, Orval, but still a mild but complimentary bitterness. Enjoyable with the Belgian yeast character. It hit me in the right way. (1,456 characters)

Photo of BillRoth
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared a bottle with Carl at his Crooked Oak Brewery. Very nice and interesting beer. Poured a rich golden slightly burnt orange color with notable head and reasonable retention. Quite attractive. Well done floral nose with hints of spices allspice-like maybe cardamom. But something else is in background. Let the beer breathe a bit and resampled nose a few times. Very familiar but not in beer. Then it hits you. Believe it or not...there is a substantial note of sandalwood. Sandalwood? Incense? Monks?...ok, try it yourself.
Taste was very good. Rich malts and subtle hopping. Very well balanced. And again...sandalwood. Holy alter boys Batman. Take me back...like 50 years. Like sipping a fine Belgian ale at Midnight Mass. Hmmm...
Very nice feel. Smooth with easy rolling over tongue. Substantial but not thick or sticky.
Fact is this is a very pleasing nicely complex beer. Very favorable impression. Will try again, and see what else the Monks come up with.
Oh and nice website too. (992 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared tonight by Joel, thanks for the opportunity!
Fairly clear light golden color with a decent off white head. Aromas of yeast, bread, lightly sweet sugar, clove and pepper with hints of light fruit. The flavor follows the aroma, lightly sweet fruit and honey like malty sweetness offset with some spice and pepper. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet light syrupy mouthfeel. I liked this beer, I’m glad I got to try it. The price point is horrible, I would never buy this for myself, I’m glad someone else shared this with me. (566 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a hazy, vibrant, orange-gold coloring with a frothy, filmy, sparse, white surface coating of head. Aromas of banana, clove, cream, and toasted grains. Pretty simple, but impressively balanced. The flavors are roasted and rich forward, with banana bread notes, heavy clove spicing, some nutmeg notes, a sweet and tangy cream overlay, and a toasted grain backbone. Subtle yeast funk throughout, with some fruity esters, too. The body is light and dry, and remains crisp throughout due to the carbonation. Banana and spice blend in the aftertaste, with a short-lived linger, kept clean by the carbonation once again, providing a crisp, clean finish. Good beer. (706 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%

Pours a one finger cream head that fades very slowly leaving traces of lace. Hazy pale amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Belgian yeast nose and flavor is yeast, cloves and bready. $2.99 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma. (257 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.04/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,061 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy orange colour with a fluffy beige cap. Good head retention, some lacing, looks nice. A lot of character from the yeast. Aromas of cloves and a bit of spiciness, fruity esters and bready malt, hint of citrus. Low bitterness with slightly sugary, fruity sweetness coupled with clove and spice throughout. Maybe a bit of toffee in the finish. Airy texture, lots of carbonation with medium/light body, good texture. A solid offering and one that I enjoyed. (466 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a dark gold. Big, dynamic headpiece. Looks the part. Generous with its lacing. Body glows.

S-A Belgian yeast blowout. Bubblegum, cloves, banana. Very zesty and yeasty. Not much in the way of hoppiness although there is a slight scent there. Smells like it has been cut out of the Trappist cloth.

T-Flavor is stimulating. It is, like the nose, dominated by the aggressive, yeasty flavors. Dried, bready malt that is accompanied by a light sweetness. Also some slight grass. Spicy white maybe a light peppercorn flavor.

M-Lively and bubbly. Quite drinkable. Only a touch of alcohol. Medium in body.

O/D-Pretty cool. You definitely pay for the Trappist moniker. Hey, long live the Masshole Trappists! (709 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a translucent burnt orange with a rocky, four finger, bright white head with the consistency of frothy dish soap. Fluffy spots of lacing are revealed as the brew recedes. Nose is bright an light with a kiss of clove, banana esters and a light malt profile. Taste consistent with nose; however, the flavors come off a bit dull and subdued. Finish is a bit grainy and I get a hint of wet cardboard. Mouthfeel is light in body with a lively, bright carbonation that leaves a residual prickly across the roof of the mouth. Overall, a decent golden, but definitely does not warrant the price point for what it is. (648 characters)

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Spencer Trappist Ale from Spencer Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.