Trappist Imperial Stout
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist Imperial StoutTrappist Imperial Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #609
Ranked #7,714
4 | pDev: 11.5%
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: 46 | Ratings: 144
Photo of stcules
3.96/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of jkblr
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of eberesford
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, best before date of 10/06/18 printed on the back label. Served in a Spencer chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stayed around for a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and caramel. Taste is similar to the aroma, with roasted/burnt malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark bread and a bit of anise noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and coating with a good amount of carbonation. I thought it was a good, enjoyable imperial stout. I know I'd like to try this one again, definitely recommended if you've never had it before. $3.99 a bottle.

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Photo of qrazvan
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good looking when poured into the glass, with a thick brown foamy head and dark brow colour.
Nice coffee - roasted malt smell.
The taste is similar, with some dark sugar/ caramel feel, but not on the sweet side. really well balanced.
A great trappist imperial stout!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Harvest Market
Dark inky black with a small wispy off white head that leaves spotty lace. Rich roasty chocolate caramel and hints of dark dried fruit and molasses. Very English feel but really tasty!

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours dark maroon brown black with a creamy tan foam head. Smells like robust dark chocolate, dark coffee, dark fruits, blueberry, plum, fig, dates, prune, some banana, apple, pear, caramel, toffee, dark molasses, roasted toasty bready malts, cola, spice, yeasty phenols, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like yeasty phenolic spice, dark fruits, blueberry, plum, fig, dates, prune, mild banana, apple, pear, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, caramel, toffee, dark molasses, roasted toasty bready malts, some cola, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and chewy with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a nice and interesting imperial stout.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This rather nice Belg-American take on
an imperial stout pours a deep blackish brown with an excellent head of
brown foam that has great staying power finally settling to a thick ring,
nice thin layer, and showing some excellent lacing. Nose of dark bakers
chocolate, dark roasted coffee, subtle char, and touches of toffee. Flavors
expand on the nose with toffee and coffee taking the fore with rich dark
chocolate fudge bringing up the middle ranks, and finishing with dark
ripe raspberry and blueberry touches amid char and dark brown sugars.
Nice mouth feel; medium carbonation that is lively enough to give this beast
a lift, medium verging on full body, and a nicely bitter malt finish with
touches of coffee and chocolate amid medium heavy char.

Overall, a SOLID Imperial Stout. Nice.


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Photo of jwilcox767
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep brown pour with little head. Constant stream of bubbles portends good carb.
S - Bitter coffee and malts, hops on the back end.
T - Follows the nose for sure. A certain flatness.
M - A little too much on the bitter side for me. Good carb and abv feel though.
O - I'm not really a fan of this Trappist take on a stout. It's too bitter for me and there's not much yeastiness or fullness to speak of. It's almost like it is too fresh.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high light tan head that died down a bit but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts are present in the nose along with a bit of roast.
T: The taste follows the smell and is dominated by flavors of dark malts, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee beans. There are hints of roasted malts and a light amount of bitterness. No alcohol is detectable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate on the palate with a moderate amount of visible carbonation.
O: This beer isn't as intense as some of the other beer in the style but has a nice mix of malty flavors. It is very drinkable for a Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifter

Dark brown liquid, rich , billowytwo finger brown foam cap. Settles to a thick, rich layer. Good lacings

Caramel on the pour. Aroma of roast malts, chocolate. More caramel

Taste is roasted malts, slightly bitter, slight chalkiness

Bitterness lingers,

Good beer

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Photo of ONUMello
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle bb 8/24/19 poured into a Spencer chalice
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, hints of prune & oak
T: Matches the nose. Roasted notes mixed with Belgian malts/esters
M: Full-bodied, bitter, smooth
O: A very enjoyable RIS. A nice Belgian-inspired take on the style

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

Pours an opaque nearly-black dark brown with a frothy mottled tan head that has remarkable staying power. Lacks some of the classic viscosity and inky-darkness of the true classics, but a fine-looking RIS nonetheless.

The aroma gives dead away the Belgian influence on this take on a non-Belgian style. The classic dark chocolate, bitter coffee, and smoky aromas waft and swirl around with dark fruits (raisin/prune/plum/cherry) and unmistakable yeasty and lighter ester notes. One of the yummiest-smelling brews I've tried in awhile.

The flavor is somewhat less complex and more muted, but still well-balanced, though rather sweet for the style. The chocolate on the tongue is sweeter than it was on the nose, and the fruitiness is a bit heavy, though there is also a fine variety of herbal notes, including anise, clove, and pepper. Caramel sweetness and some boozy warmth at the finish.

The mouthfeel is perhaps the weakest aspect, and the most erratic. Nicely carbonated, and pleasingly light for the style, the finish is somewhat boozy and chalky.

Overall, this is a nice blend of RIS and Belgian style that is worthy of a try.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Best by 10/07/18.
A: Pours a very dark brown with 2-3 inch dark mocha head with excellent retention.
S: Sweet caramel malt, leather, sweet tobacco, medium roast coffee, dry chocolate, hint of dark dried fruit and cinnamon, and a nice mint hop note too. Very nice aroma!
T: Medium roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate hit first, quickly followed by sweet caramel malt, leather, tobacco, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a hint of toffee. Wow...loads of malty complexity!
M: Medium body. Darkly sweet and fairly bitter too. Smooth and velvety feel. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate too.
D: Excellent drinkability for style with superb complexity. A wonderful fall sipper. Well done, Spencer! Seek it out!

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pours pitch black, with a brownish, one-finger khaki head that quickly fades to a half-finger then holds for a moment.
S: immediately, there is a prominent (but mild) roasty note that comes through, followed by some undercurrents of red to dark fruit, along with some vinous and tannic notes, I even get some notes of peanut butter.
T: reminds me of a celebrator with more chocolate right off, you instantly understand the description of the caramel malts as well. coming behind the chewy caramel malts is the presence of dark fruit and a subtle assertion of bitterness. This beer definite has a roasted malt presence in spades, somehow I forgot to mention that right off. Some of the berry flavors seem to come out more as the beer sits, additionally there is a tannic astringency here as well.
M: This beer is silky, but not overly viscous.
O: This is a wonderfully inventive and interesting take on the russian imperial stout, I've only had one other Spencer beer (the trappist ale) but it's been a while and I must confess I don't recall much about it. With that being said, I don't know if I love this beer, but I definitely like it and I am intrigued by it. I would love to have it a few more times just to develop a more considered opinion on it, but my gut reaction is this, if you were expecting a traditional RIS forget it, this is definitely a trappist take on the style and while it is definitely a stout (no questions asked), I can't say I've had another stout I could confuse for this one in a blind test. So give it a shot or don't.

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Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from .75 bottle.
L: Black color with a coffee like foam head.
S: Plums, berries, wine.
T: Dark chocolate, cake.
F: Tight body and medium carbonated.
O: First Trappist IS. An its amazing.

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Photo of wmartin
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank a 750ml bottle acquired from , the one place to acquire this beer without going to New England. Poured at fridge temp. into a Teku beer glass and sipped while allowing to warm to near room temp. Beer is definitely best at near 55F

Presentation is very dark with some translucence when glass near empty that is typical of IS. Thick head that didn't last very long and nice lacing.

I'd say a world class to near world class beer. Aroma was probably the best part, with very complex notes of yeast, malt, hops, coffee, and not so much chocolate. Taste was more bitter and had more coffee than aroma, but very nice. ABV is a little low for an IS. Main flaw would be extra bitterness in place of complexity. I would place this just below Narwhal. Could probably be improved with using more kinds of malt and a little more malt-forward in general. Barrel-aged version would probably be an improvement, as it would moderate bitterness and add complexity.

Overall, really wonderful to dreamy. I want more.

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

Pours a black colour, medium head with long retentionamd good lace. Aroma of dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, raisins. Full body, creamy palate and good carbonation. Taste is the same as the aroma, with notes of wood and wine. Outstanding.

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Photo of BRiddoch
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 11.7 oz. bottle. Pours dark brown with a solid tan head. Smell of roasted malt and chocolate. Slight taste of chocolate and coffee with a very smooth aftertaste. Roasted caramel lingers on the pallet. Great stout.

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Trappist Imperial Stout from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 144 ratings