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Spencer Trappist Ale | The Spencer Brewery

very good
197 Reviews
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Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

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: 197 | Ratings: 1,071
Photo of janubio
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Orange colour, two fingers head that holds for a good while, leavling a good lace. Aroma of bananas, apricots, fruits, but also herbs, hops. Medium to full body. Taste of bananas, tropical fruits, hops, orange zest, notes of caramel. Bitter finish. Really good.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Crazy carbonation...all over the kitchen. Otherwise a solid addition to the trappist lineup; nothing crazy on the nose or flavor just solid Belgian yeasties doing their thing.

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Photo of leantom
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Well, I rather liked it. Feels good that I got the opportunity to try it. Here goes:

A: Dark, reddish-brown body - very little light gets through. Not as dark as a brown ale, however. Pours a massive, tan head. What's remarkable about this beer is how frothy it is. If you drink it from the bottle, it keeps bubbling forth long after opening - it's super effervescent. Very good.

S: Ah, bottle-conditioned beers. Banana, sourness, spices, bread, orange peel and some bubble-gum - a very complex beer, which is expected of a Belgian. Good.

T: Follows the nose. Some peppery spices, bread, esters, and orange peel etc. from the yeast. Candied sugar as well. Very sweet and bready.

F: Perfect. Thick and bready despite only being mildly alcoholic.

O: A good beer. Bready, spicy, sweet, and complex.

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Photo of MrDell
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75


Spencer Trappist Ale
Belgian Pale Ale – 6.5% - 330ml bottle – Best Before *******************

From their website:
Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish) in Belgium. 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.

Appearance: Despite a very gentle opening, the bottle gushed and deposited half of its contents over my dining room floor – it’s way over-carbonated. What is left of the ale is a deep Amber colour and very cloudy (yeast was obviously all shaken up when I cracked the cap and mixed with beer. It did have a big white head but this has dissipated fairly quickly, leaving some lacing behind. Carbonation is made up of very small bubbles that are rising up edge of glass.

Aroma: Aroma is classic Belgian yeast, spices and clove. Also apples and malt in the background. Very little hop presence.

Taste: Yeast really dominates here all the way through. The middle is short lived and tastes like apples and oranges and the finish, well there isn't really one.

Mouthfeel: Not much body for the style then it's only 6.5%. Dry finish.

Overall: It reminds me of two Belgian beers; Chimay doree, but not as good, and the apple and orange elements remind me St. Bernardus Tripel, but no where near as good being quite watery and completely dominated by the yeast strain. Overall, quite disappointing, and very average when compared to other trappists.

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

Appearance - golden colored body with frothy white head

Smell - apple cider, golden raisin, clove

Taste - green apple, golden raisin, clove, coriander

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, nice sweetness upfront, citrus aftertaste

Overall - pleasantly surprised by this one, usually Amercan takes on Belgian styles fall short, but this is an exception. Well done

Price point - $1.69/11.2 oz bottle

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Photo of edward_boumil
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Bright burnt orange beer, relatively turbid, initially pours a thick offwhite head that dissapates. Minimal lace
S: Tons of spice, like corriander and clove, peppery phenol, wheat esters. Fresh dough as well
T: Slight drying bitterness, once again dough wheat notes, lots of phenol. Could use a touch of sweetness
F: Quite crisp and dry. Lots of carbonation, bitter notes lend an astringency. Light in body
O: Its a good beer, a couple of things that could be improved and it would be phenomenal, but still certainly worth a try.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pouring from the 12oz bottle into a chalice glass yesterday, Trappist Ale comes out a dirty blonde color , hints of amber, with lots of haze and some yeast floaties. A bubbly white head hisses and dissipates, leaving some spotty lacing.

Smell is sweet, subtle notes of Belgian ale yeast, some light floral aromas. Flavor starts quite sweet, there's prominent apple and stone fruit notes in the middle, ending is a bit bitter but not too much, the Belgian yeast give off a nice spice, touch of clove.

The feel is pretty light, good carbonation but not as much as their Belgian brethren. Overall a nice patersbier, but only slightly above average compared to what comes out of Belgium.

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

33 cl bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Hazy golden orange. Head is dense and off-white. Pretty good retention.

S- Stone fruit and biscuit.

T- Mild biscuit and a little fruity. Belgian spice in the background.

M- Medium-full body that finishes smooth and sweet.

O- This is a good beer, but it seems to lack the complexity of the real Belgian ales that have been brewed for ages. Maybe time will help these new guys hone their craft. However, they've started well.

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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.


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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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Spencer Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.
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