Trappist Holiday Ale | The Spencer Brewery

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Trappist Holiday AleTrappist Holiday Ale
124 Ratings
Trappist Holiday AleTrappist Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Mahogany in color, wholesome in body, lightly spiced, a heart-warming feast day ale from our table to yours.

Added by WCKDVBZ on 09-28-2015

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Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of lowlyone
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KMcGrath
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jrenihan
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not bad. Not as bold or deep as the masters in this style, but it has a nice taste. While it doesn't impress on first sip, it gets better as you go on. The ginger is also a bit offsetting, but this too gets better as you are supping along. Would probably have again.

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Photo of eberesford
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruddy brown with a generous creamy off white head. Aroma: dark fruits and spices. Flavour: ginger, honey, dark fruit, holiday spices, caramel, bready.

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Photo of Abstractspirit
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle served cold into a tulip. Best before July 26, 2020.

Appearance - pours a shade of dark brown, with honey hues. A finger of light tan head is poured and sits on top, fizzling away in mere moments.

Smell - Honey, ginger, some holiday spices (cinnamon and cardamom namely). Bready as well, some overall aroma is that of a fruitcake. Subtle bits of caramel and bread.

Taste - Complex. Starts like the nose with ginger, honey and holiday spice, transitions to dark fruit (figs and plums) with caramel that is most reminiscent of a classic BSDA, then turns a bit bitter at the end with molasses and treacle. An interesting treat. Quite a bit more bitter on the whole than I expected.

Mouthfeel - Medium-heavy bodied, expressive carbonation, dry finish and some heat from the ginger and cinnamon and booze combo.

Overall - A little more bitter and too much ginger and spice for my tastes, but otherwise a solid BSDA, and certainly one that is a little different and some BA's are sure to love. A nice capper to the Holiday pack.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep chestnut in color with a thumb of off white head. Head breaks leaving a collar,but little lacing.

Smell is nice and spicy and fruity. Reminds me of St Bernardus Christmas Ale. But then again that might be the point.

Taste is a small step down from the nose. The spiciness is still there, especially what I perceive as cardamom. The Belgian yeast and fruitiness that I associate with the style are just not there.

Feel is medium bodied with fine and active carbonation. Finish leaves a spicy taste in your mouth much like a spice cookie or a gingersnap.

There is just something a step off on this one to make it a good Xmas ale. It just falls a little on flavor with that cardamom overpowering the other Xmas spices. Worth a shot, but I won't revisit.

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Photo of nullbort
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: One finger white head, hazy brown-red body.

Smell: See below.

Taste: Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, belgian yeast, mild toasted bread, mild vinous notes.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation, dry finish.

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Photo of jeschaefer
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jcoleMA66
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Tcsox
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bogdawg
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Nephilium
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Strong aroma of spice and dark fruit, pours a murky amber with a thin white head. Slightly sweet and sticky, with toffee and caramel notes. Full bodied, and definitely a sipper. Another solid beer from the newest Trappis brewery.

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Photo of bmaslakov
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spencer Holiday Ale is a unique one. It is the only Trappist ale from the new world in its Christmastime variation. The beer begins with opening a champagne-style cork, which unfolds a subtle and complex aroma of sparkling citrus and dried fruit. Poured into a 0.33 Teku glass it is a wonderful chocolate burgundy color with caramel highlights and a fat four-finger thick foam. The Ale tastes bitter and savory finishing with pepper, cumin and clove notes. Round and creamy body plus medium carbonation. Overall: I expected a lot from this beer and this brewery and I got a lot. A very drinkable beer, undoubtedly worth trying. Works best on cold winter evenings by the warm crackling fire :)

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Photo of patre_tim
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber and looks filtered, with a moderate amount of champagne like carbonation. Topped with 5 fingers of beige head.

Smells of pumpkin spices, cardamon, ginger, and cloves in particular.

The taste follows the nose, and is backed with molasses, brown sugar, and black liquorice.

Thick, syrupy body with little carbonation. It has a slightly sticky feel to it as well.

Got in Agawam, Massachusetts, drinking in Muskoka, Ontario, Feb 22nd, 2018. Very interesting brew that I'm glad to have gotten my hands on.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Ohio for $13.99/4 pk.
Poured with a nice rocky head. Clear, ruddy color. Nose didn't seem to have much noticeable spice but definite Trappist-quality yeastiness. Medium to full taste with good malt backbone and decent amount of spice but not cloying or overpowering. Bitterness in finish that is a nice complement to EtOH and spices. Well-made beer.

 362 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours hazy foggy mahogany red amber with a dense creamy off-white foam head. Smells like a nice elegant blend of flowers, herbs and spices with some banana, red plum and dried fruit notes, some caramely toasted bready cereal grain, clove, coriander-like sweet spice, some bubblegum, with floral herbal earthy woodsy grassy pine. Tastes pretty phenolic and bubblegumy with banana, peppery clove spice, flowers, herbs, spices, red plum, dried fruit, caramely dark toasted malts, with floral herbal earthy woodsy grassy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice and interesting Belgian style holiday ale.

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Photo of WormGod
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of johnnnniee
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Harvest Market Slightly hazy deep copper color with a decent sized tightly bubbled off white head. Lots of spice atop a rich dark fruity melanoid light toasty maltiness. Nice little sipper.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy light brown in color. It poured with a thin off white head that died down a bit, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of spices are present in the nose along with some hints of malts and earthiness.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of Belgian yeast along with strong notes of spices—clove and nutmeg seem to stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer lacks the dark fruits normally associated with beers of this style but is an interesting selection for the holidays with all of its spices.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of smithj4
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of smcolw
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Light brown color with a strong cloudiness. Decent head which lasts in the form of foam on the surface. Good streaks on the glass.

Pleasant alcohol and spice in the form of clove and licorice. There's a bit of medicine to the nose as well.

The medicinal aspect is a bit stronger on the tongue. The Christmas aspect comes from the spicing--I identify mostly clove and light nutmeg. The alcohol remains the strongest flavor. Very high carbonation with a below average body. The aftertaste is spicy with a light darker malt balance.

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Photo of mtbdonn
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Trappist Holiday Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 124 ratings