Trappist Holiday Ale
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist Holiday AleTrappist Holiday Ale
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The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
4.06 | pDev: 10.34%
Thursday at 10:43 PM
Sep 28, 2015
Mahogany in color, wholesome in body, lightly spiced, a heart-warming feast day ale from our table to yours.
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Rated: 4 by McSeal from Connecticut

Thursday at 10:43 PM
Rated: 3.7 by BeerInspector from Delaware

Dec 25, 2022
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Reviewed by mikeinportc from New York

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Dense, dark reddish-brown, with light, long-lasting light tan head.

Smell is clove, raisin, date,coriander, and a slightly tangy dried cherry or plum aroma. A little fresh molasses+brown bread becomes apparent as the head fades. At that point the spice & sour fruit aromas become less apparent. I was going to knock off .25 for too much clove, but that's reduced to a more pleasant intensity now.

Taste is clove, raisin,dried plum, dried fig, leather,and finishing with a black pepper+coriander spiciness. Light bitterness and black pepper linger past finish.

Feel is medium, slightly slick, with moderate, very fine carbonation tingle. Slight drying effect near finish, and lingering awhile.

Overall I like it, though it's not at the top of my list of such . I like that it is a little less sweet than most, and has more carbonation. Just wish it had a bit less clove (ymmv), & softer carbonation.
Dec 16, 2022
Rated: 3.79 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

Nov 22, 2022
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Reviewed by mwilbur from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from 33 cL bottle into Spencer Trappist ale glass.
A: Pours a dark ruby-brown hue with nice 2 inch bubbly tan head with good retention.
S: Red fruit and spice up (cinnamon, nutmeg) front. Some dark dried fruit, brown sugar, and doughy Belgian yeast.
T: Ripe red berries, dark dried fruit, cinnamon, nut meg, brown sugar, candi sugar too, and fresh Belgian yeast. With warming, a nice spiced apple note emerges.
M: Medium body. Layers of fruit and spice…very much a holiday ale! Soft feel, coating. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: A nice restrained holiday ale. Spice and fruit are very well balanced. Glad I got to try this one.
Sep 08, 2022
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Reviewed by Vixie from Florida

4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a deep red color with just a hint of brown. Forms a decent sized tan head that dissipates after several minutes.

Smell is a bit subtle, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a little holiday spice.

Pretty spicy up front. cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, caramel and toffee. Seems to be a hint of Belgian candy sugar as well. The finish leaves some warming, not sure if it from the alcohol or the spices.

Nice solid, creamy feel to it.

Kind of unusual to be reviewing a holiday beer in May, but have been looking for beer from this brewery, and finally found this. I found it very nice, full of flavor and easy to drink. Had I not known where this was made, I'd have sworn it came from Belgium. A fitting entry into the world of Trappist beers, made right here in the US.
May 10, 2022
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Reviewed by TheBigBoy from Pennsylvania

2.91/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3
Did not help that I had this holiday ale in March, but too much spice for me to enjoy and doen easily. Spiced beers just a no go for me, if u like that genre this may be a try.
Mar 12, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by MeIquiades from Illinois

Mar 01, 2022
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Reviewed by Viaduck from California

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Mahogany in color with a very tall tan head. Yeasty aroma with apples & cinnamon. Mildly sweet with plenty of flavor: clove, apples,cinnamon, plum, caramel, with a hint of alcohol at the finish. Average viscosity with adequate carbonation. Overall: it tastes like Christmas.
Feb 25, 2022
Rated: 4.11 by Rhetion from Florida

Feb 05, 2022
Rated: 4 by zbooks from Texas

Jan 05, 2022
Rated: 3.93 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Jan 04, 2022
Rated: 3.94 by Boone757 from Virginia

Jan 03, 2022
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Reviewed by eluvah from New York

4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 3.92 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

Jan 01, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania

Jan 01, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by MercInc from Wisconsin

Dec 31, 2021
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Reviewed by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
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
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Rated by edthehead from Maryland

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Cudos for uniqueness, but not a Trappist Ale I’d pursue again.
Dec 28, 2021
Rated: 3.88 by SViterileroux74 from Texas

Dec 25, 2021
Trappist Holiday Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 205 ratings