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Spencer Trappist Ale | The Spencer Brewery

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206 Reviews
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Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale

Brewed by:
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

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: 206 | Ratings: 1,098
Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange, and super cloudy with floaties, this one was a gusher. Topped with 2 fingers of orange tinged head.

Smells of caramel, corn syrup, pear, fruitiness, cereal malts, and Belgian phenols.

Pear juice, Belgian phenols, cereal malts, light sweetness, and a sort of funky brewery scent on the tongue.

Medium, lightly syrupy body, with moderate, foamy carbonation.

Got in Albany, NY, drank in New Hamburg, ON, Oct 20th, 2016. Really good rep of the style, and my first US based Trappist ale. Tastes fresh, but old world. Worth a try!

 547 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy amber with a soft, thin head.

Smell is banana bread, clove, apple and ginger.

Taste is pretty identical to smell, with a touch more bread.

Frothy and soft. Glad to be able try this after their new, official classification, but this is pretty forgettable otherwise.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An American Trappist. I'm holding it to the standards set by the Belgians.
A cloudy, orange gold color with yeastie floaties, clearly unfiltered.
A decent white cap rises high, falls pretty quick for the style.
Herbal, banana, clove in the yeast aroma. Sweet amber malt, honey and candy is all for the aroma. Very pleasant.
A big cripsy bite of spicey, earthy yeast hits first. Sharp tangy edge with a sweet malt middle, over a light banana and herbal finish for the flavor. Not a huge complexity for such a style, the yeast is nice but certainly not nearly as funky and interesting as some of the Trappist Belgian versions. This style is a bit less funky and wacky as some Trappist offerings, for sure. It's very easy and approachable. A nice beginner or entry level Trappist offering.
I love yeast-forward Trappist brews and find the yeast charechter to be one of the most interesting applications in the brewing world. I have had many of the Authentic Belgians and continue to love this style of beer.

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Photo of REDAMI
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

L-Orange/gold with a nice slightly off-white head.

S-Yeast, orange or tangerine notes, citrusy hops.

T-Tart peach, clove, spice, bubblegum, citrus peel.

F-Crisp, well carbonated, dry finish.

Very sessionable. The spice notes were surprising, but pleasant. Falling between a tripel and a pale ale, it's a nice addition to the Trappist offerings.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like clove, bready malt, apricot, apple and some citrus peel. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some stone fruit, bubblegum and minerally flavors noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. I think it's an enjoyable brew, I was looking forward to trying this and I wasn't disappointed at all. Worth a try if you've never had it before! $9.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally got to try this one from Country Fresh Market in Beechmont. This FINE BPA pours a
cloudy golden amber with a nice head of white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin pool, and
features some nice sudsy lacing. Nose of banana, light spice, bubblegum, light apple, and light dried
apricot. Flavors follow the nose with light apple and mild banana notes on the middle melding with
notes of bubblegum and fading onto the sides and back with subtle dried apricot and subtle spice
with notes of subtle clove and yeast laden bread. Excellent mouth feel that is crisp and moderately
dry on the finish with a touch of tartness.

Overall---- a blessing from the monks who should be proud of their fine work.


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

330ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a deep, hazy orange with two fingers of off-white head that leaves limestone cliffside lace as it recedes. Lots of floaties.

Smells of browning banana, dried apricot, apple, rising bread dough, cloves, cut flowers and mild green hops.

Tastes of more soft banana and trail mix apricots, sultana raisin, nutty caramel malt, crusty white bread, cloves and more gentle hop bitterness.

Feels soft and perky. Medium bodied with frothy carbonation. Finishes off-dry.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Tasty and highly drinkable.

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Photo of mkh012
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11 oz bottle. A geyser of foam upon opening...

Pours murky orange with a good amount of sediment.

Raisin and breadcrust on the nose.

Apple, raisin, wood, funk, a touch astringent.

A little dry, bitter, and dank.

Still a solid beer.

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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.

 261 characters

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.

 819 characters

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.

 1,795 characters

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

 411 characters

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.

 468 characters

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.


 439 characters

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.

 167 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A few clues plus my intuition tells me that this brew, currently, has more marketing than craft.
I bought a four pack about a year ago and I disliked the first so much that I decided to have one a quarter and see if it improved (or I grew into it.) Spencer did improve in the middle two bottles, I think mostly because the yeast mellowed. But the 4th had some deterioration... although seemed to go better with the food.

This BPA may have started too fast with the Trappist trappings, but I don't think they found a yeast strain that refined and maybe don't have the quality control. I will try it again in a year or two.

 622 characters

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.

 502 characters

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.

 330 characters

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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Spencer Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 1,098 ratings.
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