Spencer Trappist Ale | The Spencer Brewery

very good
222 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 1,138
Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

.33 L bottle poured into a glass. Foamed over the top upon opening, causing a mess and a loss of good beer. Pours hazy, dark copper in color with a large foamy white head, Good lacing.

Aroma: Complex aroma with Belgian yeast, banana, pears, apples, baked bread, and mixed brown spices.

Flavor: largely follows the aroma but tastes better than it smells. Mildly bitter.

Feel: Medium+ soft carbonation; medium+ body; smooth, semi-dry finish.

Overall: a fine Trappist ale if not up with the best, particularly in the aroma.

 529 characters

Photo of BRiddoch
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 11.7 oz. bottle. Pours a dark honey gold with a solid foam head which lingers. Fruity smell with a mild hops background. Nice dry bitter flavor. Earthy and slightly fruity. This is a beer I aspire to Home brew.

 229 characters

Photo of Dzu
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 0.33l bottle into chalice.
L: Turbid amber with a little white foam head.
S: Citrus, belgian yeast, banana.
T: Spicy, fruity, pears.
F: Medium carbonation , tight body for ABV.
O: Not bad one ale. A lot of difference between it and typical belgian pale ales.

 270 characters

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange hue, strong and creamy white head. Lots of sediment even in the first pour.

Candy sugar aroma, pineapple, phenols, very similar to a triple in the aroma.

Sweet but with a phenolic finish. Low hop bitterness. Nice body with a high level of carbonation.

Interesting beer. It's color is deceiving and it tastes a lot like a paler beer to me. The aroma and flavor profile hint of Belgian origin but the beer I less sweet. Phenolic spice pairs well with the other flavors.

Not really sure what this beer is, style wise. It is unique though. I would have it again.

 570 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy, hazy brass with a film of white + a few legs. 3.75
Huge whack of creamed corn plus herb, soap, and butterscotch. 3.25
Multigrain rusk, yellow apple peel, banana, soil, and fresh herbal hop bite to end. 3.5
Light-medium, fizzy, crisp. 3.75

For starters, all the signs of DMS. And the dirty yeast and rotten fruit esters are not hitting the target drinkability - some peppery phenols should come in to tame this whole thing. Hops are there, but they’re overdone, too; over-carbed… Settles down as it opens, but never gets outright good.

Second try in 2 nights of bandwagon Trappists and am not impressed. 3.5

 621 characters

Photo of dar482
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a pale to medium amber color.

The beer offers banana, clove, sweet pears, hints of orange, some grainy malts, a biscuity flavor in the middle that quickly glides onto the crispness in this beer with white pepper from the yeast and spicy hops at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium with a prickly high carbonation scrubbing on the palate.

 356 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle poured into a chalice

A: Pours gold, amber color with a thick bright white head, it's hazy, head is full and creamy, lots of lacing, pretty solid looking beer.

A: Lots of aroma, Belgian yeast, spice, banana, pears, apples, touch of citrus, bready malts.

T: A lot more spice on the taste than the nose, fruity characteristics up front, short lived, touch of citrus bitterness, mild, hit of spice like coriander and clove, more fruity notes in the finish, very smooth and drinkable.

M: Lots of carbonation, smooth, semi-dry finish.

O: I really enjoyed this, balanced with lots of flavor and aroma, great mouthfeel, I'd buy this regularly if it was available in my area.

 692 characters

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid beer, more "session belgian strong pale" than spectacular Trappist. From the standpoint of "sessionability" that can be forgiven, and what it lacks in "uniqueness" it makes up for in steadiness.

 210 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Fat Head’s pint glass.

A: Dark gold, fairly hazy with a big two-finger white head with decent retention. A good amount of visible carbonation and some floaters in the glass as well.

S: Cracker, 2-row and mild pilsner malts, with light Belgian yeast esters and a touch of husky character.

T: Biscuity malts with some husk or grainy flavor and pilsner malts. The malt bill has a nice heft to it, reminiscent of some wheat in the mix perhaps? Yeast esters (clove, banana, spices and bubblegum) amidst the flavors of bready yeast. Lighter grassy and noble hop bitterness near the end with more estery sweetness. Not the clove flavors of a German hefe, but approaching that ballpark.

M: Medium to a bit heavy-bodied. Carbonation sensation a touch on the low side. Alcohol seems a bit prominent for a fairly tame ABV (as listed), but not overtly hot.

O: Decent and enjoyable. This isn’t anything that’s going to outshine a whole bunch of other actual Belgian beers available stateside. But it’s a solid take on the style.

 1,082 characters

Photo of Filosoof
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: quite clear, orange look, too quickly disappearing top;
S: very nice if you take your time; if you don't you would say it does not have much;
T: very mild, Westmalle-alike, nice smooth bitterishness;
F: disappointing, undercarbonated; maybe things would be completely different if it had a good feeling. Because of the drinkability I give it a 3,5. Otherwise it would be worse.
O: Okay, but nevertheless disappointing.

 421 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: crystal clear; deep gold in color; 1 finger finely pored white head that receded to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: in descending order of intensity: Belgian yeast, coriander, and lemon;

T: follows the nose, but in equal measures; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish; smooth;

O: very easy drinking;

 363 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into signature chalice, best before 9/15/2018. Pours lightly hazy golden orange/amber color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lemon, orange, peach, pear, apple, melon, white grape, peppercorn, coriander, clove, banana, light bubblegum, wheat, biscuit dough, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange, peach, pear, apple, melon, white grape, peppercorn, coriander, clove, banana, light bubblegum, wheat, biscuit dough, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate yeast spiciness and light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, peach, pear, apple, melon, white grape, peppercorn, coriander, clove, banana, wheat, biscuit dough, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from carbonation/spiciness as well. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/grainy/bready, and fairly crisp/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 6.5%. Overall this is a great Belgian pale ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, and pretty refreshing to drink. Really spot on for the style. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,894 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Cloudy golden color with a nice thick foamy head and good lacing. Fruity sweet smell, some cinnamon. This spiciness carries over to the taste which includes apples and pears. A nice Thanksgiving beer!

 237 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle-be sure to chill this beer well or you will be getting a gusher...chill it down for 24 hours and you are just talking about a slow gusher....not sure if this is true of all batches but this was the reality for me

Pours clouded, dull tangerine, nice looking khaki cap, and leaving respectable lacing.

Spicy nose with coriander, yeast and ripe fruits coming to mind.

Pleasing BPA, more coriander, more Belgian yeastyness, pepper, lime, easy drinking and quite tasty...worth a try

 494 characters

Photo of kitch
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A 750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before end date of AG 217 meaning 5th August 2017. Poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.

Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy amber orange colour with a two finger off white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.

Aroma: Banana bread, overripe banana, clove with a touch of caramel and mandarin.

Taste: Quite similar to the aroma with banana, clove and bready malt along with hints of mandarin, citrus peel, spice and nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This was quite good but perhaps also a bit normal. Not quite as complex as other Trappist Belgian Pale Ales.

 686 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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%
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.

 281 characters

Photo of JakeScully
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hard to find here in Europe but managed to get my hands on it anyway! Very good, doesn't equate these Belgians monks but the banana smell and drinkibality made it for me, sadly this is so expensive here that it was a 'one time' experience.

 239 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 1,014 characters

Photo of REDAMI
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 396 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 632 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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.


 723 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 560 characters

Photo of mkh012
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 237 characters

Photo of janubio
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Spencer Trappist Ale from The Spencer Brewery
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,138 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.