Trappist Ale
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist AleTrappist Ale
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The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Belgian Pale Ale
4.01 | pDev: 10.22%
May 05, 2023
Dec 27, 2013
Trappist AleTrappist Ale
Notes: 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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Photo of aleigator
Reviewed by aleigator from Germany

3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Yields an orange to golden color with a beige colored head, which noisily collapses.

Smells of marzipan, earthy toffee and sun ripened straw among salted caramel.

Offers a refreshing, very well carbonated, easy drinking beer with a well working balance to it.

Tastes of cloves, allspice and banana, together with a subtle, herbal dryness. Develops a „cold“ rock sugar sweetness, toned down by the prominent, mineralic carbonation in this. Finishes even sweeter with more caramel cutting through and a light, balancing hop dryness, leading to a refreshing finish, due to the maintaining high carbonation level in this.

This is okay. Quite sweet and not overly complex, the beer manages to deliver a solid refreshment.
May 05, 2023
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Undated bottle; drank 4/21/23 @ the Yarchives.

Cloudy dull orange rust appearance.

A slow pour yielded a small eggshell-colored head; frothy lace.

Apple, banana & mild clove notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Banana, apple cider & faint clove flavors.

Solid Belgian vibes here; I'd have another!
Apr 22, 2023
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Reviewed by JZH1000 from Colorado

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured from a 33cL bottle, best by November 4th 2023

Upon opening, this beer was a gusher, and spilled in my lap. Despite that the 2 finger off white head faded over a few minutes to an average covering and ring around the glass. Body is hazy and a light golden amber, similar to a mulled cider appearance.

Aroma is actually wonderful. Belgian yeast is right up front, but extremely unique with a bright crisp almost tart citrus, almost like a fresh lemon, with a nicely tempered, and mild, but very present caramel malt sweetness. The citrus melds nicely with some nice spicy traditional phenols from the yeast. Hard to put into words.

Flavor, unfortunately isn't quite as amazing as the aroma, but is still quite enjoyable, with a sweet and biscuity malt note up front along with a bit of that citrus, that may actually be coming in the form of hops, as the flavor imparts a slight earthy and bright bitterness. There is a slight, deep dark bready molasses flavor in the finish.

Feel is drinkable, and could be crisp if it was colder. But at the warmer temp I'm drinking it at it makes it more of a relaxing dinner beer, making this beer quite versatile. Very full malty feeling, but quite attenuated and has a very dry but long finish.

Overall this is a very unique, and quite rare beer, that I never thought I would see in a store in Colorado, especially in 2023, but it isn't as bright and crisp as the aroma suggests,, although the malt fullness is on point.
Apr 19, 2023
Rated: 4.32 by rpmello81 from California

Mar 18, 2023
Rated: 4.23 by dbean3 from Texas

Mar 10, 2023
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Reviewed by MHL81 from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
330 ml bottle, purchased from Monastery Greetings Belgian-Style Ales, poured into a Spencer chalice. Expiration date 04/07/2024. Straw yellow color, lasting head and lacing. Typical Trappist yeast taste, lemon notes. Seems lighter than expected. Overall a very fine patersbier. A shame this is no longer brewed, as well as the other Spencer offerings.
Feb 25, 2023
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Reviewed by mikeinportc from New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Slightly hazy orangey-gold with quickly-dissipating pale gold head.

Smell is vague fruity aroma , akin to dried apricots, but not quite, honey, slight yeastiness, and a little vague spice mix. All-in-all , reminds me of some from Ommegang, but less spicy. (Blend Hennepin & Rare Vos?)

Taste is pretty close to aroma, but a little less fruity, and with a bit more spice (typical coriander+black pepper+clove mix) on the finish. Has a deep jammy & doughy quality to it.

Feel is medium, a bit slick & juicy, with moderate, very,very fine carbonation tingle, that lingers awhile.

Overall, really enjoying this one. Sorry that it won't be around much longer. (Though brewery is closed, there is still some out there, at last look.) I'll definitely grab more , til it's all gone. :(,,,
Jan 10, 2023
Rated: 4.03 by RamonaBeer from California

Jan 03, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by redfox405 from Virginia

Nov 30, 2022
Rated: 4.09 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

Nov 22, 2022
Rated: 3.47 by Chipwells from Georgia

Nov 02, 2022
Rated: 4 by Bartleby91 from Wisconsin

Oct 08, 2022
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Rated by te99912_123 from Switzerland

3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Hazy dark gold - amber, some foam.

Apple, fruity, spicy. maybe some honey.

enjoyable, but not outstanding.
Sep 27, 2022
Rated: 3.9 by QuentinDishaw from Massachusetts

Sep 02, 2022
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Reviewed by mwilbur from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from 750 mL bottle into Spencer Trappist ale glass (goblet). Best by 08/19/23.
A: Pours a nice slightly hazy orange blond hue with active carbonation jets fueling a 1 inch frothy white head with decent retention.
S: Lovely clove, honeyed malt, pear, lightly toasted grains, and subtle white pepper.
T: Clove, toasted grains, soft lemon, honey, pear, and background earthy/peppery hops.
M: Light-medium body. Plush and pillowy feel. Delicate fruit sweetness with earthy/grain/spice astringent elements. Lightly effervescent. Excellent balance.
D: A very solid example of style. Nice blonde ale with subtle hop elements. Another really nice offering from Spencer. Very sad to hear they decided to close. Hopefully the abbey reconsiders and starts brewing again!
Sep 01, 2022
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Best by 12/2/23

To be honest, I thought this was my first beer from Spencer, a local brewery that just recently closed down. But looking back, I reviewed their Peach Saison over 2 years ago. Either way, this is their namesake beer, and I’m excited to try a little piece of Massachusetts history. Let’s get into it

Pours a cloudy orange gold with a finger of off white head that slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing

It’s pretty standard stuff for the style in the nose, but a little sweeter. I’m picking up on aromas of pear, doughy malt, clove, bubblegum, sweet honey, toasted grain, lemon zest, and light peppery hops

In taste it’s a bit more bland, but certainly not bad at all. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting apple skin, honey, peppery hops, toasted grain, clove, and orange zest. The swallow brings notes of overripe banana, bubblegum, bready malt, clove, peppery hops, and pear

A light medium body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a crisp and zesty beer. Finishes neutral but not overly sweet

This is good, but I had higher expectations. Oh well, it’ll still be fun to try the bottles of their stuff still laying around on the shelves
Jul 22, 2022
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Reviewed by JayQue from Virginia

4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Great Belgian Style Pale Ale. It's a shame that Spencer's will no longer be making beer. I have had three of their beers and they were all good!!!! Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle (they are really taking their European roots seriously) into a tulip glass from my late, lamented favorite beer store Grape and Gourmet!!!! This beer has a fast fading fizzy white head and no lacing on the glass. The color is a nice hazy gold/light copper color. Aroma and taste are traditional Belgian all the way. Strong yeast presence, malty and plenty of light fruit (apples and pears). Less spicing than the stronger Belgian styles like the Tripel. Very tasty beer. Mouthfeel is rich and complex, no hint of alcohol. I may try to grab a few more of these before they are sold out forever.
Jul 15, 2022
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Reviewed by Billbug

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Sad to hear the Spencer Brewery is closing. This is a wonderful beer experience for those who are willing to venture into different styles. Had it on tap several times at the Big E and it was outstanding. Find it if you can at your local store before it's gone forever!
Jun 21, 2022
Photo of flagmantho
Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from 330mL bottle into my BeerAdvocate teku. Best by 6/25/22 -- just under the wire!

Appearance: medium golden hue with a moderate haze and two fingers of frothy ivory foam. Looks good!

Smell: sweet malt with a bit of orchardy pear character and what I would call a good Belgian character. I'm into it.

Taste: quite malty with a fair bit of sweetness but also a bit of bitterness to balance things out. That peary yeasty character is the defining element of the flavor. To me this is a very classic-tasting Belgian pale, and I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good carbonation and a good creaminess.

Overall: I like this beer a lot; it's a very solid Belgian-style pale. I am sorry the monks at Spencer have decided to stop brewing!
Jun 17, 2022
Rated: 4.44 by AlpacaAlpaca from New York

Jun 11, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by chossboss from Oregon

May 27, 2022
Rated: 3.17 by stephenlee93 from England

Apr 02, 2022
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Reviewed by TheRatCage from Connecticut

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
L: less than a finger head that disappears quickly, leaves no lacing at all. A light gold-amber in color.

S: Fruit, juicy, banana, cloves, sweet malt. A complex and nice fragrance.

T: Clove and esters. Fruit notes, mostly banana. Belgian yeast is there in the back but it’s mostly a sweet malt that rounds out the main flavors. Very mild hops.

F: medium bodied. Light-medium carbonation. Dry finish.

O: it’s good, a little bit on the sweeter side. The Belgian yeast is not a forefront note on this beer.
Mar 16, 2022
Rated: 4.19 by Jhollander

Mar 08, 2022
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Rated by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75
Like drinking cloves.
Mar 06, 2022
Rated: 4.18 by porterman66 from Massachusetts

Mar 04, 2022
Photo of mvogt
Rated by mvogt from Massachusetts

4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Didn't know if I'd like the "banana" but it worked really well with all the other flavors.
Feb 26, 2022
Rated: 4.19 by irishevans from California

Jan 13, 2022
Rated: 4.65 by Rhetion from Florida

Dec 18, 2021
Rated: 4.2 by Techichi from Texas

Dec 12, 2021
Photo of Franziskaner
Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Brown in color with excellent clarity. There’s a fingernail of off white around the rim and covering three quarters of the top. The aroma is of sweet, pale malt. I’m tasting pale malt and slightly tart and fruity Belgian yeast. The mouth is moderately carbonated and dry.
Dec 09, 2021
Rated: 3.61 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Dec 07, 2021
Photo of VABA
Reviewed by VABA from Virginia

4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a golden amber color with a nice head and lacing
Aroma has fruity, hop and yeast hints
The taste follows the nose with a well balanced fruity, hop and yeast flavor
A medium bodied well carbonated beer
A good Belgian Pale Ale
Dec 06, 2021
Rated: 4.09 by chrishiker1409 from New York

Dec 06, 2021
Photo of Jacobier10
Reviewed by Jacobier10 from New Jersey

4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
On-tap @ The Salt House in New Hope, PA.

Poured into a pint glass, it has a medium amber color with a bit of a hazy body. Small white head. It bursts with a fruity aroma and lots of peppery spice on the back end. A combination of banana and apple in both the aroma and flavor, and more of that spice thanks to the yeast. Sweet initially but finishes dry. Medium bodied. Easy to drink. Tasty stuff! Paired well with some country pate and cornichons.
Nov 18, 2021
Rated: 4.13 by Blazer22 from Colorado

Nov 11, 2021
Rated: 3.85 by Tcsox from Massachusetts

Oct 29, 2021
Rated: 3.85 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Oct 29, 2021
Rated: 3.96 by msscott1973 from North Carolina

Oct 20, 2021
Rated: 4.29 by lakewy17 from New Hampshire

Oct 11, 2021
Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1368 ratings