Trappist Holiday Ale
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist Holiday AleTrappist Holiday Ale
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The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #48
Ranked #7,944
4.07 | pDev: 10.32%
Jan 05, 2022
Sep 28, 2015
Trappist Holiday AleTrappist Holiday Ale
Notes: Mahogany in color, wholesome in body, lightly spiced, a heart-warming feast day ale from our table to yours.
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4 by zbooks from Texas on Jan 05, 2022
3.93 by Gemini6 from Michigan on Jan 04, 2022
3.94 by Boone757 from Virginia on Jan 03, 2022
Photo of eluvah
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by eluvah from New York

Taking my first sip I was not impressed. I should have let the temperature drop. The nose has plenty of spice and is quite nice. As the beer warms up it is much smoother and the spices of clove and cinnamon work well with the plum fruit. The beer does have a bit of a an aftertaste that seems a little off. Overall a good holiday beer. Just let it warm up a bit.

Jan 01, 2022
3.92 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia on Jan 01, 2022
4.21 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania on Jan 01, 2022
4.27 by MercInc from Wisconsin on Dec 31, 2021
Photo of thehyperduck
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

330 mL bottle from a Spencer gift pack bought at the LCBO roughly three years ago. Best before Jul 26 2020, so keep in mind this is an 'over-aged' bottle. Served barely chilled.

Pours a deep purplish-brown colour with brick red highlights; it's briefly capped with a quarter inch of soapy, off white suds that fizzles out within a minute or two. A frothy collar and a few scattered patches of lace are all that remain - looks fine to me. Clove, cinnamon, raisin and subtle licorice on the nose; fairly sweet, with hints of date, brown sugar and cake. Maybe a touch of something like ginger or nutmeg, too, as well as the requisite whiff of alcohol.

Tasty stuff: I was expecting to see some sign of its age here, but nope, just lots of spice and fruity goodness. Bready malts, brown sugar, fruitcake and a touch of anise at the forefront, with big clove flavours not far behind. Then there's date, raisin and baked apples - it gets spicy at the finish, with cinnamon and clove figuring in prominently. Lesser hints of nutmeg and ginger, with a boozy-sweet finish that fades to a spicy off-dryness. Nearing full-bodied, with low carbonation that weakly agitates the surface of the palate; feels smooth and a little slick on the tongue. No trouble tossing this one back at all; the serving size is just right for one person.

Final Grade: 4.05, an A-. If you're one of those folks who develop an annual craving for spiced beer, then Trappist Holiday Ale should be on your radar: it's a deft combination of a Belgian strong dark ale with a spicy North American warmer. I'll keep an eye out and try it fresh next time for the sake of comparison, but personally I think this serving tasted just fine, despite being 18 months past its best before date. Maybe the spices were masking signs of oxidation, or maybe Spencer is just very conservative when assigning best before dates. My guess is the latter.

Dec 29, 2021
4 by edthehead from New York on Dec 28, 2021
3.88 by SViterileroux74 from Texas on Dec 25, 2021
Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by HattedClassic from Virginia

The beer pours a nice and creamy tan head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is an opaque red grape color that looks nice.

The smell is good. It's nice mix of dark fruit notes, wood, and some holiday spices like cinnamon and ginger along side a good bread note.

The taste is delicious. It has a mix of rich caramel and malt notes mixed with a good variety of spices like in the smell. The yeast note is also there and makes it like drinking holiday cookies.

The feel is good. It has medium body with a slight bit of heft in the finish but overall a smooth texture to it with soft carbonation.

Overall, fa delicious holiday treat worth getting and having during the season.

Dec 24, 2021
4.1 by heymikew from California on Dec 19, 2021
Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by champ103 from Texas

A: Pours a dark mahogany/red color. A dense light beige head forms with excellent retention. Which eventually recedes to leave some lace behind.
S: Aroma is big bread and malts. Doughy yeast, peppery spice and dark fruits. This is great, and like walking into a bakery, which I love.
T: Like the nose, all rich malty flavor. Baked dark bread, sweet biscuits, spice and dark fruits. Enough yeast to let you know this is Belgian. A touch of sweetness and warming alcohol.
M/O: A medium to full body. Excellent carbonation that becomes ultra smooth. Along with warming alcohol makes this a really nice sipper.

Yeah, this is a great Winter/Holiday sipper. I have been impressed with some of other Spencer beers in the past, and am again with this one. Highly recommended.

Dec 19, 2021
4.37 by irishevans from California on Dec 13, 2021
Photo of jjamadorphd
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jjamadorphd from Florida

I love this time of year, the holidays brings out great cheer in me, I get to see family a bit more than I normally do during the year, and beer at the time of year is warm, boozy, and tasty - like this American Trappist. It looked great, smell spicy, had a full-bodied mouthfeel, and tasted great from beginning to end. Oh Holidays, how I love thee...

Dec 08, 2021
3.6 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Dec 07, 2021
Photo of VABA
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by VABA from Virginia

Pours a mahogany brownish color with a slight head and lacing
Aroma has spice and fruity hints
The taste follows the nose with spice and fruity flavors
A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
A good Belgian Dark

Dec 06, 2021
4.19 by mattreitz49 from Florida on Dec 06, 2021
Photo of puck1225
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by puck1225 from Texas

Just bought a bottle of this beer today during a holiday visit to Dallas. Poured into a tumbler. Mahogany brown color with nice beige head and good curtain lacing. Cinnamon orange and apple smell and taste. Allspice and nutmeg. Maybe a hint of anise. Very nice holiday beer.

Dec 05, 2021
3.71 by kjkinsey from Texas on Dec 03, 2021
4.08 by Dentist666 from Russian Federation on Dec 02, 2021
4.04 by RollDamnTide from North Carolina on Dec 02, 2021
Photo of Shiredave
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Shiredave from New York

12oz. bottle dated 9-30-21. Simple and classy label.
This Holiday Ale poured a chill hazed, tawny, leather brown with a pale tan head of dense foam. The thin head hangs in to the end leaving smears of lace.
Nose is a big blast of banana and clove - not real subtle or nuanced - malt and yeast esters forward. Lots going on underneath the initial fumes. Sugar on fruit sweetness offset by smoldering alcohol notes.
Candy sugar and cherries, apples and gingerbread - the flavors are fresh and balanced. Nutty grain and chocolate malt roundness compliment a firm but understated hop bite of herbal bitterness.
Full of big Belgian brown ale character with Grand Cru complexity.
This one may get better with a little cellar time. It's a great example of the style now but a bit loud and unrefined compared to the older Trappists it dares to challenge.

Nov 27, 2021
Photo of REDAMI
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by REDAMI from Ohio

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

L - Deep amber/red pour, pale creamy head, thinning quickly.

S - Dates and raisins, caramelized sugars, brown butter.

T - Raisins, tea, buttered toast, dark roast grain bitterness at the finish.

F - Creamy, but thin.

Fruity, but not sweet, it has rich and complex flavors. Best of the Spencer beers.

Aug 07, 2021
4.4 by KarlHvK from New York on Jul 11, 2021
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale has a medium, cream-colored head, a rust-red, opaque appearance, and heavy lacing. The aroma is of spiced dark bread crust. The flavor is the same, with moderate bitterness. Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale has a medium body and a drying finish.


Apr 29, 2021
Photo of RayCannata
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by RayCannata from Louisiana

Good looking mahogany colored body. Small off-white head.

Understated. Well-balanced. Easy drinking

Long finish lingers drier than many Trappists.

A little underwhelming, sort of subtle. Definitely not as robust or hearty as some others in this genre. But I enjoyed it.

Apr 27, 2021
3.8 by Sammy from Canada (ON) on Apr 15, 2021
3.87 by chris826 from Mississippi on Feb 14, 2021
3.86 by beaulabauve from Louisiana on Jan 28, 2021
4.31 by lackard-b from Tennessee on Jan 24, 2021
4.36 by arzt from Russian Federation on Jan 03, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by REVZEB from Illinois

Dark earthy brown with a tan collar and faded cap. Aromas of nutmeg, baking spices, brown sugar, earth, toast, caramel/toffee malt, and a kiss of booze, great balance. Taste is toasty and boozy up front with brown sugar and spices supporting, caramel finishing. Feel is warm, chewy, sneaky thick, bready and smooth. Great holiday ale

Dec 30, 2020
3.99 by cozmo from New York on Dec 12, 2020
4 by chrishiker1409 from New York on Nov 11, 2020
3.94 by Insomniac from Canada (ON) on Aug 18, 2020
4.18 by tux_alin from Romania on May 24, 2020
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

Reddish brown appearance with a small tan head and modest lacing. Aroma of dried fruit, caramel, brown bread and nutmeg. Taste is fruitcake, spices, licorice and candied sweetness. Warm, sweet lingering finish.

May 09, 2020
Photo of Harrison8
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Harrison8 from Missouri

Pours a very dark and lightly murky burgundy with a finger and a half of off-white, khaki foam that retains well. Aroma is spices, cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled over sugary notes of caramel, toffee, molasses and butterscotch. Toasty, nutty and caramely malts add a little further depth. Flavor profile is more sugary notes - butterscotch, toffee, molasses, caramel - with additions of nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices. Balance firmly leans towards sugary with spices taking up the finish. Toasty, nutty and caramely malts add a little bitterness and balance throughout the profile. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a very fine grain. Carbonation is moderately soft. Overall, filling with a quality combo of spices and sweetness that net out a fair balance, despite leaning towards the latter.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from an 11.2oz bottle.

Mar 03, 2020
4.21 by tpauer from New Hampshire on Jan 26, 2020
Trappist Holiday Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 195 ratings