Trappist Imperial Stout
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist Imperial StoutTrappist Imperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #630
Ranked #8,637
4.01 | pDev: 10.97%
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Trappist Imperial StoutTrappist Imperial Stout
Notes: A massive, roasted, malt-forward American Trappist take on the Anglo-Russo Imperial Stout tradition. Luxuriantly frothy foam, waves of coffee, chocolate and caramel sensations, a generous blend of dark fruit flavors. Intense and robust.
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 179 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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NiceTaps from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, likely, shared with a friend. Snifter glass.

Nice looking dark chocolate bar colored brew with a mocha tan cap. Bubbly foam, 1f, sticky web lacing.

Mostly roasted malt covered with chocolate, a hint of coffee, and caramel. Dark fruit is...

...Cherry flavor along with those in the aroma. The malt roasted to a char level. Woody.

Feel is smooth and light bodied for a RIS. The char is strong in the finish. Sturdy yet soft. Fruit tannins.

Worked nicely as an after dinner drink with some dark chocolate. The abv is modest for RIS, drinkable.

May 01, 2021
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark chocolate color with a 2F head in a Orval Trappist glass.
Strong oak and malt aroma.
Very malt forward and smooth.
The taste had strong oak and roasted malt flavor. Some chocolate, coffee.
Overall, excellent stout with a more malt forward, oak centered taste than other RIS.

Apr 19, 2021
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best before 11/7/22; consumed on 2/23/21

Pours a clean, glossy jet-black body capped with over two fingers of fluffy, rocky, dark khaki foam; great head retention leaves a creamy half-finger of cap, an expansive, frothy collar, and a dense webbing of sticky lacing painting the walls of the glass almost entirely.

Aroma opens with plum and almond meeting a dry, chocolately char as it evolves toward candied raisin and distant pomegranate over the middle before dusty malts, smoked toffee, and sweeter tones of cocoa begin to shine through on the back end of the bouquet.

Taste brings candied plum and a flaky, malty char rounded with a dusting of almost twangy, mineralic cacao to an incresingly bittersweet mid-palate; a sharper though airy char persists into the back end as dry bakers chocolate and raw cacao nibs linger against spent coffee grounds on the close.

Mouthfeel offers a medium-light body with a soft, fluffy, moderate carbonation; airy, plush textures over mid-palate imparts an extensive lightness, only seeing a delicate grit develop toward the back end of the palate; a lingering, semi-bitter char and vague dryness mark the finish.

An exceptionally airy and casual take on the style which surprisingly dodges any tangible thinness, the combination of roasty char, dark fruits, and tempered yet layered cocoa presence all offer a familiar impression of a baseline Russian imperial stout, though with overall impact of character lessened in favor of ease of approach.

Feb 24, 2021
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

just my second from spencer, didnt know they made all these flavors, and kind of thought they went away for a few years after a big launch. i think they do nice stuff, at least i have always held the original in some esteem, and so i was stoked to get a large format cork and cage stout in my rare beer club recently, a nice selection from them, the beat goes on there. i expected a somewhat more belgian stout, the yeast really isnt as much of a factor here as say the best examples of that style, buffalo comes to mind among others, i had hoped this would be more like that, but there is still a lot to like, even without that element front and center. deep malt concentration, heavy roast, black coffee, dark cocoa, espresso crema, baking chocolate squares, figs and raisins, and for being so full bodied, its kind of easy drinking, high carbonation and drier, without much booziness either. there is quite a lot of sediment towards the bottom of the bottle which cuts into the regal and refined vibe it cast in the beginning with its big frothing luscious mocha head and black slickness, but overall this remains pretty unique and impressive. the boldness of the dark grain is somewhat surprising for a trappist operation, but at the end of the day thats more conditions of production than any style or recipe hints, so i accept this, enjoy it, and hope for more from spencer in my near future. cool to see these guys making it in the states! this is different and very good, even if unexpected...

Feb 24, 2021
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.81/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Spencer Trappist Imperial Stout has a medium tan head, a very dark brown appearance, and a good amount of lacing. The aroma is of black bread crust, raisin, & black licorice. It has a similar flavor, with dates and prunes. Spencer Trappist Imperial Stout has a medium body and moderately-dry finish.


Nov 12, 2020
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Holiday 3 pack variety with Glass. $17.00!! Reviewed on 11/9/20

Amazingly toasty malted grains with flavor complexity overload of dark fruits, creamy body, both sweet and sour from the Belgian-Style yeast tones. Insanely easy to drink because it's Soo damn deep.

Nov 10, 2020
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flyingpig from Scotland

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle from Beers of Europe (£4.99):
Jet black & thick looking as it pours, the head is a thin & patchy surface lacing with a few beige bubbles in the centre of the glass. The nose opened with dark malts, chocolate & smoked notes with a little sweetness & coffee bitterness at the end. It's a rich tasting beer with chocolate malts, cocoa & the odd dark fruit initially without the beer being too complex, some smoked oak & earthy flavours show later on with hints of sugar & maybe a hint of caramel too. It's medium to full bodied with fairly soft carbonation other than right at the end whilst the mouthfeel is silky smooth, well balanced & rich.

Aug 30, 2020
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elNopalero from California

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coffee black, with cocoa foam. Jammy, plums, stone fruit, tobacco on the nose. Some vanilla and tannic notes on the finish. Tasty. A pleasant surprise.

Jun 27, 2020
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Ink black, pours with 2mm deep tan head, receding to a ring of foam that holds well.
S- Deep roasted, prominent coffee/cocoa notes.
T- Coffee, hints of smoke, log ashes, and then back to coffee again.
F- It has quite some richness to it, richness not sweetness, that gives it a lovely rounded feel on the palate
O- It's pungent, but measured; an ideal slow-sipping beer for after dinner or by a log-fire during winter. Lovely balance, zero to note out of place, I'd happily drink this again. Expensive, but then again what do you expect for such long distance polished exotica...
330ml bottle £4.16. BB: 13/06/22. Bought from BeersOfEurope/UK for home delivery to me in London.

Jun 15, 2020
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice brown and tan head with a creamy looking texture while the beer itself is a good looking dark chocolate brown. The smell is good if a bit lacking. It has a slight booze note to it and a moderate sweet and bready malt note. The taste is good. It isn't overly complex or crazy but is just a solid experience. The malt notes give off several different notes that mix well with each to create a delicious desert. The beer starts of with a bitter dark chocolate and light coffee that come out upfront and followed by a moderate caramel taste. It's pretty amazing what they've done here.
The feel is good. It has a heavy body but doesn't seem overly burdensome and pretty creamy.
Overall, this is a fantastic beer worthy of having and highly recommend drinking since it's very well balanced while still providing an interesting experience.

Jun 02, 2020
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eric5bellies from Australia

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark ebony with no light coming through. The head is Beige and retains very well.
S - Not much to speak of. Some light caramel boozy notes.
T - Up front some nice dark malty notes followed by the classic caramel, toffee with a slightly peaty finish that is slightly bitter.
M - Medium to full body with low carbonation.
O - Well this is the only Trappist stout that I know of and its not a bad beer at all. It is very well balanced and packs just enough punch to keep you interested.

Apr 27, 2020
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Harrison8 from Missouri

3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with two fingers of caramel-khaki foam. Head retention is great. Aroma is roasty, toasty, nutty and earthy malts that formulate a light stout presence. Flavor profile is toasty, nutty, roasty and earthy malts with a bittering, dark chocolate finish. There isn't much outside of the malts, and with the finish being bitter, balance isn't great. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a silty grain to it. Carbonation is soft to non-existent. Overall, a little thin and watery without much depth making it a little more bland.

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

Mar 03, 2020
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 11.2 oz bottle poured into my snifter. Bottled 10/05/2019 on the label.
Beer pours a rich dark coffee brown color and a creamy tan head of 1.5 cm and then slowly fades to a sturdy surface layer that remains through the sampling. Leaves dense and tight lacing after each sip.
Aroma is straight forward roasted malt and some coffee grounds with a bit of caramel but this is roasty and toasty malt with not much of a hop character nor too much of a preview of the ABV.
The first sip reveals a medium bodied brew with smooth texture and mild spacious carbonation. I find the physical traits a little less robust than I would like for an imperial stout, but nothing really bad, just could be a thicker and heavier body IMO.
Flavor is what the nose advertises with some dark cocoa notes, mixing with roasted malt and some black coffee. I also get a little bit of brown sugar, but this is again, roast forward and almost to the note of charred, but not quite.
Again the ABV is well hidden and I dont really get any hops.
This is sort of one dimensional imp stout that could be a little bigger physically, but not flawed and worth a shot if you want an Imp stout that you can drink by yourself and not be tanked.
Glad to try this one.

Dec 16, 2019
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Mitchster from Michigan

2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle, 8.7% ABV per the bottle. No spec/info on the website.
P)ours out to a cloudy deep inky black, forming a modest dark tan head with poor retention, no lacing. Carbonation is ~2.2 carbs or so, a little on the mild side. Bottle conditioned, fine layer of sediment in the bottle. Nose of black cherries, figs, black walnut, prune and what smells like flowery American hops, cocoa and vanilla. No off aromas. Mouthfeel is quite tart for the style, far too acidic from roasted malts, medium-dense bodied. The taste is of a strong American stout with aggressive hops . The bitterness is firm, and there is lots of hop flavor which overshadows much of the malt character. No prune, black walnut, or soy sauce character. Some faint fusel alcohols towards the tail with a dry bracing sharply roasted bitter finish. I don't detect any Belgian yeast character. This tastes like S-05/Chico, which is appropriate given that to my knowledge, there is no other "Trappist Russian Imperial Stout" brewed by other trappist breweries currently or historically.
Not very good, IMO. The roasted malt acidity hasn't been kept in check and the hop character and bitterness is far to strong for a "Imperial stout". This is decidedly NOT an Imperial stout, and really just a poor version of an American stout. Not recommended, glad I only bought one bottle.

Dec 08, 2019
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Jet black color, two finger light brown head, quite thin but messy lacing, lots of carbonation.

S: Chocolate, coffee, malts. Nice.

T: Roasted coffee, chocolate, malty, creamy. Very good.

F: Full bodied, nicely flavored, creamy and smooth.

O: An old school imperial stout to remind us of how the style really tastes.

Nov 21, 2019
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle from a Spencer gift pack bought some time before last Xmas; best before Aug 2 2020 and served barely chilled.

Pours black as a moonless night, generating just over an inch of foamy, light tan-coloured head that falls apart within the next several minutes. A tight, creamy collar remains in place, encircling an island of filmy froth on the surface; looks good, but there's not much in the way of lace. A bit sweet on the nose - I'm getting caramelized sugars, molasses and figgy dark fruit, as well as notes of baker's chocolate and coffee. Suggestions of ash, herbal hops and alcohol also become apparent, moreso as the glass warms.

Big, bold flavours, with a strong emphasis on roastiness; caramel sweetness is present right from the get-go, soon joined by notes of raisin, prune and fig. The roasted malts kick into high gear shortly thereafter, imparting lots of coffee grounds and cocoa flavour, accompanied by herbal licorice character and a touch of ashy/burntness as you near the finish. This lingers briefly into the aftertaste, alongside coffee grounds and a light suggestion of ethanol. Medium-full in body, with gentle carbonation that weakly agitates the palate; this beer does froth up just a little in the mouth, giving it a silky-smooth and soft texture that I found pleasing. Limited drinkability - I know it's toward the lower end of this style's abv scale, but even this small serving was enough for me.

Final Grade: 4.01, an A-. Spencer's Trappist Imperial Stout made for an interesting quaff: it's as if they constructed a Russian Imperial Stout over top of the foundation of a Belgian-style dark ale, with the end result being a tasty hybrid. While this is a good beer that I'd totally encourage you to buy if you can find it in your area, I wouldn't necessarily say it's worth going out of your way for - by imperial stout standards, it's not particularly memorable. Still, I'd buy it again if I had the opportunity.

Sep 18, 2019
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stcules from Italy

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black, beautiful beige head.
Classic dark malts in the smell, a lot ofo cocoa, dry fruit, carrob.
In the taste, good balance.
Liquorice in the aftertaste, cocoa, a bit of coffee. A lot of vanilla.
Round, good, well hidden alcohol. Ok.

Jun 03, 2019
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Creamy forming tall and rich light tan colored head, settling very slowly to an even yellowish dark thin puck and fine collar. Deep mahogany red body, with a hint of clarity through the edges, and a bit of faint dark ruby glow up to the light.

Classic and nice aroma. Good strawberry estery notes with an excellent char and milky thick rich roast malt sense. Faint hints of chocolate and carob like qualities, even a touch of nut too. Very nice.

Palate takes the hinting richness down a little bit. Light bodied, flirting with wet but still has a good roast and char backbone. Milk and malt whopper like sensing with some very good coffee tones to match. Fruit angle runs a bit prune like, but manages a nice contrast. Even some banana like qualities seem to sneak in.

Solid Imperial stout.

Apr 13, 2019
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt notes, black chocolate with some Belgian yeast phenols is quite nice. Taste is a good mix of roasted malt notes with some black chocolate notes, Belgian yeast phenols with light residual sugar notes. Body is pretty full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol notes. Solid imperial stout.

Feb 03, 2019
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damndirtyape from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 10/05/19. Date stamp: B63 12:12. Served in a snifter with a slow pour to leave sediment behind.

Appearance: Black letting no light through with a thin tan head that slowly died back to a thick ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Some strands of lacing that slowly slid back down the glass.

Smell: Roasted malt, a bit of leafy hops, hints of coffee and dark fruits - with the latter only notable with a swirl of the beer.

Taste: Nicely bitter from the roasted malt, unsweetened chocolate and coffee notes, some caramel and candi sugar notes. Finish is nicely bitter - more roasted malts and just a bit of hops.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick, approaching creamy. A bit sticky with prickly carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: A very good slow sipping RIS that isn't a malt bomb. It definitely needs to warm up before drinking otherwise a lot of the flavor gets hidden under the strong bitter flavor. A nice treat for a winter evening.

Dec 15, 2018
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice, gentle, not too obtrusive stout, which at the same time is a bit watery. Looks and smells beautiful. I recommend it to anyone. You will not love it but you will appreciate it.

Nov 21, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle bb 10/5/19 poured into a Spencer signature chalice at fridge temp 8.7% ABV. The beer pours dense black with mocha brown head. The head recedes to a thin island & ring leaving some lacing behind. The aroma is mild with roasted malt, chocolate and coffee in that order. The taste is dark roasted malt, licorice and baker's chocolate. The finish is dry with a roast driven medium bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium plus bodied with less than medium carbonation. No alcohol presence in the aroma or taste. Overall, unique and good. I suppose this is attempting to mimic historical or traditional versions of the style. Not sure I've ever had another RIS with quite the same profile.

Nov 18, 2018
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eberesford from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep black with midest head and generous lacing. Aroma: slight sulpher when the bottle first opens - dissipates leaving roasted malt, dark fruit, some coffee. Flavour: Roasts, espresso, dark chocolate, definite alcohol. The body is lighter than expected although the flavours linger.

Nov 04, 2018
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black with a two finger root beer colored head. Head breaks slowly leaving a nice cap and collar and some decent lacing.

Smell is roasts, dark chocolate,some dark fruits and a slight yeasty/spicy aspect.

Taste is nice roasts, followed by a touch of leather, then some bitter chocolate. I also get some dark fruits,but the yeast from the nose is not really present. The booze is there.

Feel is full and creamy or smooth, with a nice bitter roast and warm booze finish. I found the carbonation quite fine, but very active.

The best beer I've had by Spencer by a long shot. This is a really nice imperial stout, with a great flavor. A nice sipper on a cold evening. Well done.

Oct 30, 2018
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served cool into a Spencer Trappist Ale tulip. Purchased as part of the Holiday pack. best before August 2, 2020.

Appearance - Pours a deep, light eradicating obsidian color and a huge plume three fingers tall of tan head sits on top which recedes at a modest pace leaving a thin foamy tan cap. No lacing to speak of.

Smell - Some chocolate, booze and a funky Trappist yeast aroma that blurs the line between imperial stout and Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Lots of dark fruits, namely raisins, figs and plums. A sweet treacle-like backing to the whole endeavor. Different for an imperial stout to be sure.

Taste - Initially a little sweet, then some dark fruits shine through again, then a moment of a bready and yeasty flavor before a smooth chocolate covered coffee been comes in. Dark chocolate for sure and bitter, but well restrained. Almost had me thinking this can't possibly be a stout until the coffee and chocolate combo comes in. Nice complexity. Coffee and chocolate more prominent on subsequent sips.

Mouthfeel - Velvety smooth and soft on the palate, a fairly hefty body, but there's a silkiness that makes this pretty easy to drink. Slight bit of prickliness and astringency on the close.

Overall - A pretty damn good and fairly complex stout that integrates the Belgian and trappist philosophy of this brewer into a style that has very little ties to those ideals. A nice sipper to be sure and recommended to local BA's to try this before the limited supply is gone from these parts.

Oct 28, 2018
Trappist Imperial Stout from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 179 ratings