Trappist Ale
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist AleTrappist Ale
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Pale Ale - Belgian
Ranked #7
Ranked #6,088
4.03 | pDev: 10.17%
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
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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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 1,314 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of imnodoctorbut
imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy dull amber-tinged orange gold body with an off-white rocky foam head that peaks at two fingers and lingers with moderately high retention, leaving thin patchy sudsy lacing behind as it settles to a defined halo

aroma is a lush, floral, and clean punch of banana and orange mixed with vanilla and spice and a sweet honeyed but grainy malt backbone and a playful yeasty funk that is subtle and easy

taste is follows that nose and hits jammy and full and lush and ultimately floral with a somewhat grainy and sweet pilsner malt backbone and a distinguishably Belgian inspired yeast that yields a banana and clove that is ultimately subtle and balances easy on the juicy orange other citric notes for a spiced yet sweet and full explosion of flavor with a vanilla creaminess. apricots surface with warmth, as do the spiced complications before being balanced once again with a vanilla bean cream hug and earthy hop bittersweet kicker.

mouthfeel is mid-level carbonation and medium bodied with a near-creamy flow that has rare prickles and comes across with jammy, full, and pithy notes that strike up against a near-grainy slight abrasiveness before finishing dry and leaving a floral and subtly earthy hop bittersweet aftertaste

this is a complicated and layered brew with unmatched easy flow nature that sums up a certain greatness in it's balance and meetings of a wide variation of notes to bring something new and refreshing for the genre, anchoring in the Belgian style pale but reaching for the Tripel in complications without sacrificing enjoyable sit'n'sipper notoriety.
bottom line, it is simply divine and a living testament of how a brew can bring art and history into a relatively new creation to bring a style forward without denying or forgetting the source material.

Apr 23, 2021
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JudgeRoughneck from Louisiana

4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

LOOK- Dull gold, good clarity but slight tinge of haze, low off white head with poor retention.

Aroma - lush rich banana, lemon, pilsner malt, spicy hop, magnolia, noticeable vanilla, low clove, light strawberry,. Really awesome. Very inviting, rich and in balance.

Flavor - Great classic belgian blonde/triple profile. low pils malt sweetness, nice vanilla undertone persists with a drying hit of clove in in the finish. Slight herbal hop mid-palate. No real hop bitterness. Low acetylaldehyde,

MF- medium body, rich, medium carbonation, very smooth and mellow. The body is a little much or the style but I don't care its quite nice.

Overall - adjust your expectations to Belgian Blonde (ie Leffe, Affligem, etc) and you might have a new favorite.

Jan 06, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, from Det Bette Ølhus, Aalbæk. ABV is 6.5%. Muddy brownish-golden colour, moderate to small white head. Aroma of malts, old jam and mild spices. Soft carbonation. The flavour has malts and Belgian ale yeast, peppery notes of mild spices, hints of dried dark fruits, there is a slight sweetness but the beer is quite refreshing. Would buy again.

Dec 12, 2020
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SaisonMaker from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An excellent belgian style ale from America's only trappist brewery. Spencer happens to be fairly close to my home. I drink this when I don't have some of my own table beer in my cellar. It's more belgian yeast character than french saison yeast character. There is a good candi sugar flavor, dry and subtle clove/banana yeast. It's a really good example of a trappist single, table beer, patersbier, whatever you want to call it. One could be tricked into thinking this was the real deal from a belgian brewery. I can't think of higher praise. I typically like more of a french saision yeast flavor but this is excellent beer.

Oct 25, 2020
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Guaro from Italy

3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orange color, veiled and with gold reflections, white foam with an irregular texture and little hold. Scent of candied fruit, honey, white bread, apricot and peach, white flowers and light spiciness.
On the palate the entrance is sweet, candied fruit and yellow fruit jam, mieke and slightly citrus. The finish is dry and delicately spiced with a short bitter note. Medium body and high carbonation

Oct 09, 2020
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Roy_Hobbs (I think) for this one. 11.2oz bottle poured into 14oz teku. Best buy date of 1/23/22. Poured a lightly cloudy dark orange color with a half-inch of white head that had moderate retention and very light lacing.

The aroma was led by some nice yeast spice, with some light grain underneath.

Similar on the tongue, with the addition of some floral hops.

The body was light, smooth, and had a medium -dry finish.

Drinkability was nice; smooth and clean, and leaves you wanting another.

Overall, a solid and enjoyable brew. Certainly worth trying if you see it.

Sep 07, 2020
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BelgianHops from Belgium

3.09/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Oh well... where to start. It's just not that great. To bitter, to hoppy, to dry. Not well balanced, thin body and a neutral aroma. Mediocre at best. Get back to the brewing table.

Aug 13, 2020
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light copper with a finger cap of chalk white head. Fades to a nice little cap on the glass
Nose is a light funk, hay, straw, pear, apple
Taste is a straw character up front followed by a touch of bready malt, hay, pears, clove. Hint of banana esters.
Crisp beer with medium is carbonation.

Jun 29, 2020
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champ103 from Texas

4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly cloudy/hazed golden orange color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: The nose is of fruity esters. Pears, apples, light banana. A phenolic peppery spice, dusty yeast. Some baked bread aromas. This is really well done.
T: That same fruity ester character up front. With a more pronounce apple skin flavor, and that becomes a little tart. Bananas, peppery spice, yeast and bread. A bit of grassy bitterness just peeks its head through as this warms as well. Simply, a traditional interpretation as it should be. Yeah, this is pretty good.
M/O: A medium to full body. Well carbonated but becomes ultra smooth as this breaths. I can easily see me coming back for more.

This is well done. I only got a single of this, as I was a little skeptical that an American Trappist brewery could pull these styles off authentically. Well, no need to worry as this is spot on, and already wanting to get more.

Jun 28, 2020
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle with a best by date of 9/26/21. Opened 6/12/20.
1 finger white head. Decent retention and settles in at a solid cap with a thicker ring.
Peach flesh colored ale, chill haze initially that clears up later.
Apricot, floral honey, apple, with a weedy/grassy hop aroma underneath. Tobacco. Fruity yeast driven esters.
Marmalade. Orval-esque. Complex aroma.
Stone fruit - apricot and honey. Spicy, grassy hops.
Medium to full body with a creamy mouthfeel. Dry and lengthy finish.
Very Good.

Jun 13, 2020
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a moderately hazy, medium orange amber with a fine, one finger off-white head with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of bready malt, Belgian yeast, apple and light stone fruit; a bit spicy. Flavor follows, with bready malt, Belgian yeast, apple and pear, clove, a little green tea. Clove in the finish with a bit of tartness. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. A respectable domestic take on a Belgian pale ale. Very nice looks and malt body, with a silky mouth feel. The classic Belgian fruit notes are here with a distinctive Belgian yeast profile. The flavor depth is a hair thin, but it pulls of the mild tartness and hints at funk that this style often has. A well constructed Belgian style ale that has me interested in their other offerings.

May 24, 2020
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ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- This one has deep blood orange coloration, with dark copper/amber hues throughout this mostly hazed ale. The head is just off white in color (eggshell), starts out around 1 1/2 fingers thick, and methodically dissipates into a thick froth covering the liquid. There is soft, slowly rising carbonation in specific looking columns, which leads into lacing that unfortunately slip slides its way rather fast off the inside of the glass.

S- Lots of orchard fruit esters happening here (apple & Bosc pear), alongside spices such as cinnamon, and a touch of clove, floral yeast, dry grass, perhaps a honeyed malt sweetness, and a finish that is of mild hop bitterness. Overall a crisp, clean smelling Trappist Ale!

T- Loving the mild malt sweetness that is balanced out with dry grassy/grainy flavors, freshly cut Fuji apple, Bosc/Bartlett pear fruit, soft dry spiciness such as pepper and clove, plus muted cinnamon that lingers on the palate long after the finish, yeasty creaminess, raw bread dough tart/funk. The finish is of an easy hopped bitterness that keeps everything cleansed and refreshing.

M/O- Solid medium body and a smooth, yet zesty carbonation from the bottle conditioning. Overall this is a crisp, refreshing, easy drinking version of a Trappist Ale that I am quite happy to enjoy on a regular basis. It is a social type of brew that I believe does a good job at representing the traditional versions of the style!

Apr 09, 2020
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RochefortChris from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep golden in color with hues of burnt orange. Medium low to medium clarity with short lived soapy white head

Perfumey esters dominate the aroma with hints of stone fruit and slight citrus. Some bready-ness from the malt along with medium earthy hop aroma

Lots fruity esters, stone fruit, faint clove, pear and honey flavors. Earthy hop bitterness is medium, finishes dry but not astringent.

Medium full bodied with noticeable but not unpleasant alcohol warmth and medium carbonation.

The only thing this beer can really be dinged for is the carbonation could be a but higher and head retention could be improved. This is a great beer I would definitely have again

Feb 22, 2020
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RaulMondesi from California

3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one is kind of like looking at the sunset, yet not feeling inspired. I mean, it kind of peeked Raul’s interest, and it kind up just sits there all nice and like... but I dunno. It’s l not like the the sun setting over the Pacific. Think more like some Hill in Idaho - which is fine, if you’re into that. But again, it’s not the Pacific. Don’t get the main man wrong, it gets the job done. And if anyone wants to invite me to Idaho, I’d be there in a heartbeat. But I’m not. I’m here in Orange County in my kitchen with this ok American Trappist Ale.


Feb 19, 2020
Photo of CWINS65

4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of the best trappist ale's for my money. From the bottle it pours a nice amber color and has a clingy foamy head that stays with the glass. Somewhat fruity (apples) without going overboard and drinks easy with a smooth finish and aromatic aftertaste. Can't go wrong with this one!

Feb 14, 2020
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking this at The Brutopia Brewery in New Bern NC.
On tap poured into a pint glass.
Appears hazy, amber, nice head and deep lacing.
Smells bready, apple, spicy.
Taste follows the nose.
Mouth feel is medium plus.
Overall a very good beer that I would definitely order again.

Feb 05, 2020
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elNopalero from California

4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I had this from a bottle.

This pours a light amber tinged tan. Esters up front, with a heavy handed dose of coriander. Fruity esters round the palate. Smooth finish.

Dec 01, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Be prepared with a glass when you pop the cap! This bottle was very well rested and chilled but threatened to foam out the bottle right from the get-go.
L- Moderately hazy somewhat obscures a deepish amber colour, bottle-conditioned but most sediment left in bottle. Poured very slowly so only a thin white head gets to form.
S- A touch sour, a little apple, some spicy notes.
T- Pretty dry up-front for 6.5%, spicy notes (esp coriander) follow, into a richer spicy finish.
F- Quite bright, refreshing, spiced and intricate flavour. Carbonation the mouth seems a bit low given it's bottle-cond.
O- Certainly different for an American beer. It reminds me of... Leffe Blonde?
33Cl bottle. BB: 25/01/20.

Nov 12, 2019
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My good friend and old neighbor from Oswego gave me a bottle of this beer. It poured a hazy copper with thin white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had common Belgian malt and spice notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with Belgian spice finish. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its a good beer.

Sep 07, 2019
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste: Bready Belgian yeast, spice white pepper, mellow finish. Crackers, herbal nose. Dark golden/amber hue, mostly clear, tan head and delicate lace. Medium body. Maybe the bottle had been in the store too long?

Sep 06, 2019
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a fluffy two finger head; decent retention and a few shards of lace

Smell: Modest Belgian yeast aroma with peppery phenols waft above the bready malts and apple/pear fruit tones

Taste: Crusty bread with apple and pear tones forward; some clove, banana and peppery yeast emerges, in the middle; spicy tones linger, through the finish, though the malt fades

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A pleasant drinker that doesn't quite match up to the best of the style from the old country

Aug 14, 2019
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Amendm from Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An easy pour from a 12-oz. bottle yields a finger of long lived creamy off-white froth with sticky Polynesian islands of lace. Hazy orange-copper color with small rising bubbles, cloudy and translucent if not decanted. Toasted malts, apple pie spice, yeasty bread and mild hops greet the nose. The taste is semi-sweet-almost full sweet with mild bitterness. The toasted malt is replaced by caramel malt, grape and apple add sweetness. Light and fast at the finish, a semi sweet and spicy aftertaste lingers. Medium-light body, plenty of carbonation throughout. Alcohol is well hidden. Smooth and light with a big malt bill.

Jul 08, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the more true to style Belgian pales being made in the US. Has that nice doughy maltiness and lightly fruity yeast ester , although the appearance could be worked on as there was minimal head retention or lacing.


Jun 12, 2019
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Lucular from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5 oz pour on tap. A well-balanced, flavorful Belgian pale ale. Dark fruit/banana esters with a lightly floral hop presence. No alcohol detectable. IMO a beer like this should be the standard for Belgian pale ale (for some reason I am not a fan of Duvel).

May 10, 2019
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TerryW from Canada (ON)

3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This one explodes out of the bottle on opening, so be prepared. Big short-lived head to a ring and partial film. Slightly hazed honey gold. Not too bad on the nose. Some decent fruitiness, wheat, and yeast. Some appetizing funk. Diswppointing on the flavour side. Ery thin bodied. Some bitterness, spice, fruit (orange). Bitter finish.

Lacks depth overall, no complexity, none of the earm goodness that will envelope you out of a proper trappist or wheat beer. Just a poser.

Apr 08, 2019
Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1314 ratings