Spencer Trappist Ale
The Spencer Brewery

Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist Ale
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Belgian Pale Ale
Ranked #8
Ranked #5,370
4.03 | pDev: 10.42%
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Spencer Trappist AleSpencer Trappist 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 LiquidAmber
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

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 Texas

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
Photo of Lucular
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

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
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eric5bellies from Australia

3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a hazy honeycomb colour with a White head that reduces slowly and laces
S - Orange fruits apple and citrus malts quite fragrant
T - Oh nice balanced flavours of mandarin, hoppy undertones with a sweet bitter back end
M - Medium body with medium carbonation
O - This is very much a decent stab at a Belgian Trappist beer. This is not a Westmalle or Achel Extra but it does sit nicely within the Trappist beer family

Jan 11, 2019
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Muddy orange body, hazy but still semi-transparent. The head is minimal and short, with small bubble lacing, but quick to fade to nothing.

S - Sweet malt, fruity notes of applesauce and pears, a bit of mustiness suggesting wet leaves.

T - Opens with tart clean malty notes, a middle of apple flesh and pears, and a finish that suggest apple skin and steeped tea.

M - Very light weight, moderate carbonation, and a lingering prickliness in the finish.

O - Interesting and largely successful beer. The result is quite drinkable, satisfying, but does not quite reach the nuance and craft of a Belgian Trappist.

Nov 24, 2018
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Cramshawbar from Canada

3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I think this is a harmless and kind of nice attempt of the style, but it's not even in the same ballpark as the style's originators. Yes, it has a little funk and saisson elements (more so than anything trappist), but not the way it's supposed to be, as it's way too thin. Still, it is enjoyable enough to try a few times.

Nov 20, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle bb 4/19/20 poured into a Spencer Trappist chalice at fridge temp 6.5% ABV. The beer pours hefe-hazy orange amber in color with persistent nearly white head. Constant bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass to replenish the head. The aroma is clovey, but mild, with a touch of ripe tree fruit and horseblanket. The taste follows the nose with cloves, but a bit of sweet pale malt sneaks in first. There is a touch of pear, apple and grape in the taste as well. The mouthfeel is sharp, but not acidic, barely tart and highly carbonated. The finish is dry plus remaining nuetral as the minor hop bitterness is only enough to cancel any residual malt sweetness. Overall, very good.

Nov 03, 2018
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Cthulhusquid from Washington

4.91/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: One finger white head, hazy yellow body.

Smell : See below.

Taste : Belgian yeast, banana, mild malt presence. Mostly esters.

Feel : Medium body and carbonation, mildly dry finish.

Oct 25, 2018
Photo of Ninjakillzu
Ninjakillzu from Washington

4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Pint Defiance tulip. The body is a cloudy orange hue, with a finger white head. Aromas consist of apple, pear, orange, baking spices, and a bit of cake. Flavors are the same. The feel is medium bodied with high carbonation.

Aug 12, 2018
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Hoppsbabo from England

3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

With a BB of 11/1/20.

Very citrusy on the nose. Initially like Duvel, both in flavour and in colour, but more like a cheap knockoff. An odd savoury aftertaste mixed in with almost unatural citrus notes. Every other sip is enjoyable, the others not so much.

Have to say that was rather odd. Perhaps much better when fresh.

Jul 26, 2018
Photo of dcotom
dcotom from Iowa

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

Poured from 11.2-ounce bottle into a tulip glass. This unfiltered ale pours an ever-so-slightly cloudy golden yellow color, with a one-finger white head that settles after only a moment or so. Aroma is fruity and floral, with notes of banana, coriander, and clove. These characteristics are even more prominent on the palate. There is some pleasant bitterness on the back end, though it is quite understated. The finish is bone dry and a little astringent. As I was drinking this, I imagined that it would make a fantastic table beer. Even so, it is delicious and very drinkable on its own.

Jul 07, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Hazy amber pour. Massive foamy white head. Great retention and lacing. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the pour.

S: Malty and sweet... sugar and spice and lots of things nice. Light fruit.. raisin bread.

T/F: Sweet toasted grains.... caramel and honey. Mild spice.... plum and raisin. Belgian character for sure. Aggressively carbonated... a bit too much so. Medium to light bodied. The finish is more honey and spice.

O: A surprisingly flavorful American Trappist Ale. Clearly Belgian inspired... good flavor and really enjoyable. A worthy pickup.

May 27, 2018
Photo of Nephilium
Nephilium from Ohio

3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sweet Belgian yeast aroma, hints of candy and light fruit. Pours a slightly hazy goldish/amber with a dusting of white head. Starts with a touch of grain, and some light fruit, a touch of candi in the middle, and finishes with earthy hops and spice. Fairly dry, and very drinkable. A solid Belgian Pale.

May 25, 2018
Spencer Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1286 ratings