Trappist India Pale Ale
The Spencer Brewery

Trappist India Pale AleTrappist India Pale Ale
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American IPA
Ranked #5,780
Ranked #33,643
3.73 | pDev: 12.87%
The Spencer Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Trappist India Pale AleTrappist India Pale Ale
Notes: Inspired by American brewcraft creativity, Spencer IPA is crisp, fragrant, and golden-hued. Generously hopped, bright, bitter – one of a kind.
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Wubufatoto
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm an IPA guy with Belgians being my favorite alternate. So I'd had some of the Trappist trappist-style ales before. When I saw a six of this, I thought I'd give it a try. I like nice light colored mostly crystal malt brews, and this was lighter than I had any reason to expect. So a big plus right from the pour. But its the taste that really grabbed me. This has a rather unique taste that I can only compare to Dog Fish 90 Minute. It must be one of the malts that their using, but it doesn't have that toasted look that 90 Minute has. If you want something a bit different from the fantastic but same old/same old juicy hoppy citrusy of the other great IPAs, give this a try.

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Wubufatoto from New Hampshire, Mar 29, 2019
Photo of eric5bellies
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ok The first of the Spencer Monastery beers that I have tried so here goes

A - Pours the classic cloudy dark honey coloured AIPA with a White head that retains well
S - Plenty of citrus, marshmallow, sherbet and a little malt
T- Quite nicely rounded malts and hop, the back end is malty and bitter
M-Medium body and carbonation
O- Not a bad brew and to be honest what do you expect from a Trappist AIPA ? Worth seeking out

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eric5bellies from Australia, Jan 11, 2019
Photo of flyingpig
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle from Carrefour, Brussels (€2.85):
An interesting Trappist IPA that definitely bordered on an American pale ale at times thanks to the sweet malts & caramel flavours that came through quite strongly throughout. The beer is lively with plenty of floral hops & citrus coming through & giving it a zesty feel at times too. It proved balanced with a good contrast between the caramel & malt sweetness & the hops which made it an enjoyable one to drink & one I'd happily pick up again too.

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flyingpig from United Kingdom (Scotland), Jul 22, 2018
Photo of Nephilium
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fruity aroma, with notes of peaches. Pours a hazy orange-amber with a thin dusting of white head. Mild caramel malt notes, fading to a punch of citrus hops which then moves to a lingering bitter finish. There is a nice dryness in the finish as well. Medium body, which makes this a nice enjoyable IPA.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a goblet from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Semi-cloudy Amber color with an off-white head rising low maybe a notch below half a finger's length. Settles quick with zero lacing.

Smell: floral scent but dissipates pretty quickly.

Taste: Bitter and slightly yeasty, has a sour note to it which could use a bit of improvement.

Mouth: Medoum to heavy carbonation coming off semi to full stickiness.

Overall: Nice little gift, more like your pregame brew which starts the night off perfectly. Salud!

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BlurryVisi0n from New York, Aug 28, 2017
Photo of cbutova
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Cloudy golden yellow pour from the bottle to a tall chalice. A tall white cap with a creamy consistency rises to an inch high with pretty good retention. A tall island remains behind leaving tall sheets of lace down most of the glass.

S- A balance of hops and semi sweet malts with a somewhat old school feel, don't expect a new school juice bomb. The hops bring citrus and pine atop cereal, light caramel and crackery pale barley grains. Candied orange comes to mind.

T- Similar to the aroma with the same basic layout of pine citrus hops and plenty of malts to balance. The hops pop more here and it doesn't come off as muddled with less caramelization coming out from the grains. Zesty oranges and pine resin with cereal and bready grains.

MF- Medium bodied with a fluffy and slightly creamy texture. A moderate level of carbonation and a clean medium bitterness in the finish.

Not bad for a brewery that most certainly doesn't specialize in IPAs. Reminds me if the IPAs that dominated the market when I first got into craft with bold citrus and pine hops leading into a bit of sweet pale grains.

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cbutova from Massachusetts, Aug 02, 2017
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden color with frothy off-white head. Aroma has classic resiny hops with some dried orange peel and underlying biscuit malt. Taste follows with quite intense bitter hop notes like pine resin, grass and yellow grapefruit pith. Medium body and carbonation. Quite old school IPA with harsh hop bitterness and a solid malt backbone.

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Ciocanelu from Romania, Jul 25, 2017
Photo of Zet
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When monks start brewing on the other side of the Atlantic, you're almost certain to see an IPA in their lineup. Is this the first Trappist IPA? Anyway: hazy orange with a full head that retains quite well. I dig the smell: lots of fruity flavours (lemon, peach, grapefruit), pine, bread and even some butter/honey. These flavours are also present in the taste, although not as prominent. It's still a nice blend of hoppy and malty flavours however. Its profile is maltier than most other american IPA's. Medium bodied, quite easy to drink.

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Zet from Netherlands, Jul 10, 2017
Photo of Brolo75
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy orange with a bright white head and lots of lacing, decent head retention.

A: Lots of sweet oranges, orange peel, and bready malts to balance the hops, smells like oranges have been squeezed onto freshly baked bread, it's balanced, hint of tea leaves as well, no alcohol on the nose.

T: Very sweet like the nose, oranges, slight orange peel, and sweet malts, also picking up some tea leaf notes, bitterness is moderate, finish is syrupy with lingering notes of malt and slight oranges and tangerines, as the beer warms the sweetness fades into a more citrus peel like note.

M: Medium bodied with a syrupy, slightly dry mouthfeel, feels as if there is more malt presence on the mouthfeel than hop presence.

O: Trappist India Pale Ale is listed under American IPA but it is not a representative of the style, it lacks the hop presence of most American IPAs I've tasted but it's still an enjoyable and drinkable beer, it's on the sweeter side of IPAs, it's more malty than it is hoppy.

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Brolo75 from California, Jun 20, 2017
Photo of schavuytje
4.93/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell of pepper and fruit appearance yellow with light glow orange in taste pepper and soft apple in the finish pepper and froth thirsty and to taste more,
Nicely layered

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schavuytje from Netherlands, May 25, 2017
Photo of jp32
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hazy golden in color. Not much head, even with a vigorous pour. Smells like a well-balanced blend of hops and pale malts. Some subtle orange citrus comes through in the nose as well. It's flavor also is well-balanced. Its hops are bitter, tea-like, and show faint citrus notes. It has a very smooth, almost creamy, mouthfeel. Much different than most other IPAs out there these days. A nice change of pace for the style.

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jp32 from Michigan, Apr 28, 2017
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 10/5/17. Reviewed on 4/4/17 12 oz. Bottle into chimay goblet
* update 10/23/18

A clear gold with gyser-style streaming bubbles directly in the middle, creating a thin white and even foam top. The center bubbles continue to create rings of thin foam ar the top. With the active, bubbly center the rings look like rings around the moon.

The aroma has a sweet,caramel, buttery and creamy malt thing. Some herbal, yet fruity/tangy hops pop out, then some subtle citrus notes. The nose reminds me very much of an English ipa, especially the malt. *The yeast proves to be peppery and the malt has a honey-soaked bready aroma. Smells a bit like a lager style malty aroma, even an American adjunct style lager.

The flavor is much different then the nose here.....a massive, bitter and bold hop complexity is very impressive. Solid herbal and very earthy notes are dense and rather strange. A big, dry-hopped effect for sure with one of the biggest dry-earthy hoppy endings ever. A citrus and sour tangy fruit hop punch goes a long way. The malt is very robust and slick, heavy really. Great flavor and once again, very English. Sour and sweet malt and yeast combo, then layers of dry-earthy hops.* A snappy bite of earthy and bitter, medicinal-style kick happens first. Buttery yeast, and heady lager style malty flavor from there.

The feel is medium bodied jazxy bite but with a big, slick malty mouthfeel. Finishes with dry, earthy tones but never really gets dry. More of a full finish.

"American Trappist" does not mean all of their offerings are in a Belgian style. This one looks very Belgian with it's bottle conditioned, jazzy bubbles. But the yeast is much more neautral and not as interesting or funky as a Belgian IPA would be. The malt is very odd forbthe style, likevI noted smelling and tasting like a lager. which gives it a very strange balance but comes across as rather interesting. I really like the bitter hop bite which is pretty deep and keeps this in the realm of ipa.

* Overall, its pretty weird, interesting and confusing. It has its charms.

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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire, Apr 04, 2017
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature chalice, best before 5/25/2017. Pours slightly hazy medium golden/amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, light pepper/pine, honey, biscuit, light caramel/toast, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, biscuit, light caramel/toast, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus peel bitterness and peppery yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, citrus rind, pepper, pine, honey, biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance. Moderate dryness from bitter/spiciness, increasing through the glass; leading to a some lingering hop astringency, but not overwhelming. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp/sticky/resinous, and fairly creamy/grainy balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 7.2%. Overall this is a great Belgian IPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink; despite the lingering hop astringency. Just a bit too aggressive/drying on the phenols/bitterness; but still a very enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Dec 11, 2016
Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle from Table and Vine in West Springfield, MA. Brief impression below:

Coating mouthfeel. Pungent hop bitterness. Scraping feel on the palate. Overhopped.

There's nothing remotely Trappist about this in terms of brewing tradition, but I suppose it's drinkable. Not a beer I'd buy again, whether after a Trappist ale or IPA.

C (2.88) / AVERAGE

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kojevergas from Colorado, Oct 28, 2016
Photo of papposilenus
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle, best by 09/09/16, served in a tulip.

Pours a clouded, glowing pumpkin color with a scant half-finger of head. Retention is fleeting with meager lacing.

Smells of white bread, bitter herbs and orange zest.

Taste is soda crackers at the start with ash, grapefruit, pine resin and tree leaves, in other words the full face-smack of bittering hops. A little sticky fruitiness follows with orange and guava, then a fast grassy finish.

Feel is light-to-medium bodied, brightly carbonated and not quite crisp.

Overall, a decent but not great IPA maybe, in part, owing to its age. Looks like a NEIPA but drinks like a west coast IPA, bearing in mind that by the time a west coast IPA ever finds its way to my remote corner of NH it's usually at least three months old, too. Or, maybe, more like a particularly bitter English IPA? Probably deserves to be tried fresher, and I may but, in the meantime, mmm, sorta meh.

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papposilenus from New Hampshire, Aug 26, 2016
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle

Pours foggy golden amber with a lasting creamy white foam head. Smells like dark toasted crackery caramel toffee malts, some ruby red grapefruit, papaya, guava nectar, mango, orange citrus, with floral earthy herbal pine and grass. Tastes like toasted crackery caramel toffee malts, red grapefruit, papaya, spicy guava, mango, passionfruit, orange citrus peel, some vanilla, with dank resinous floral earthy herbal pine and grass. Feels medium-light bodied, slick and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a nice malty and citrusy Trappist IPA.

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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts, Aug 21, 2016
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a hazy amber with a small head, quickly dissipating into a ring and islands of foam. The nose detects the hops and some malt. The mouth revels in the malt and mild hops. I like it!

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Photo of fitzy84
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a bottle at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow. The beer pours with a murky burnt orange appearance and a thin head with minimal lacing. Aromas include a caramel, malty biscuit flavor. The taste follows the nose by being very bittersweet with malts and a light sour grapefruit taste. The mouthfeel is a medium body; not too light or creamy. Overall, not too bad with a good taste dimension.

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fitzy84 from Massachusetts, Jul 23, 2016
Photo of Dope
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8/25/16 best by date

A: Clear amber pour with a small tan head. Great lacing but minimal retention.

S: Smells sweet with a toasty malt aroma. Caramel tool.

T: Similar to the aroma. Lots of sweet malt but just a smidge of hops. Some decent bitterness in the finish but not much for flavor, just some light grass and citrus. Mainly it's that nice toasted malt, almost like a burnt sugar at points.

M: Medium bodied and oily.

O: Well, hard to classify this one as an american IPA with barely any hop flavor. Definitely more english style in my opinion. It's tasty but not what you'd expect from an IPA.

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Dope from Massachusetts, Jul 11, 2016
Photo of smcolw
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light amber color with a substantial chill haze. I gradually increased the angle of the pour to get a head but could only manage about centimeter which settles quickly to rim bubbles. Pretty nice streaks of lace, though.

The smell comes across far more British than American, meaning that it is mostly soft, lightly toasted malt forward. The floral hop is secondary but present. Blindfolded, I might guess this is an English Bitter.

The taste does remind me of the west coast versions of IPA, which I think creates a nice little twist of interest. This starts with paler malt taste than the color and the smell suggest. The hop comes in quite strong with a regularly expected bitterness (white pepper). I don't get any of the citrus or evergreen smells or flavors common to the western IPAs. The finish is interesting as the "British" malt comes back nicely making for some balance to the long-lasting aftertaste bitterness.

Overall, I consider this a solid IPA with some intriguing subtleties, but one must be really aware of their expectations to catch them.

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smcolw from Massachusetts, Jun 16, 2016
Photo of josanguapo
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From Lacasadelacerveza. In Teku glass. After dinner. Tropical fruits, with a noticeable yet not aggressive bitterness that leaves you anxious for next sip. Oily, resinous texure that makes it very pleasant and drinkable. More an east-coast American IPA than a west-coast one.

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Photo of billybob
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very different from any ipa I have had. pours a cloudy amber no head and light stringy lace. I get the aroma of over ripe banana taste is same also honey, mint, slightly oily after taste. I don't think I could get used to the taste its a pass for me.

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billybob from Massachusetts, Jun 07, 2016
Photo of kbrokhoff
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have never tasted an IPA quite like this one. I will admit I wasn't crazy about their Trappist Ale beer, so I had low expectations for their IPA, yet I was really looking forward to trying it. I am a huge fan of Trappist brews. Bought at Lucia's Bodega in Windham, NH, in a 6-pack, and poured into a Tulip. The flavor matches the smell, and it is incredibly complex. The mouthfeel and lacing are terrific, and the beer poured cloudy - all the makings of an excellent IPA. This is probably the first Trappist IPA I have ever tried, and I'm not even sure other Trappist breweries make one. I am very impressed and pleased with this beer. My second Spencer Brewery beer so far and my favorite. With so many styles of IPAs out there, these guys have created a niche for themselves. Seek this one out. I insist.

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kbrokhoff from Massachusetts, May 16, 2016
Photo of ethricdouble
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Eyes: golden, like honey. Thin head white as clouds and quick to leave. Tiny legs.
Nose: Honey, pinetar, wildflower.
Taste: honey again. Soft piney, earthy, floral hops. The earthiness of the hops compliment the sweetness which is why I think I'm getting honey notes.
Feel: Feels less like an IPA and more like a... cream ale or something. Moderately low carbonation. Sweet and creamy, not dry. Resin from the hops leaves the mouth nice and sticky.
Ears: Basking in Judee Sill's love of tis world despite her pain as I bask in the light of this comforting but unique and outstanding beer. This beer might be too good for my "go-to" IPA but will definitely revisit frequently.

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ethricdouble from Massachusetts, May 10, 2016
Photo of ryan1788a5
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Orange colored with some haze. Off-white head settles shortly. Spotty lacing.

S: Oily, green, herbal, spicy. Pungent. Minty. Sort of a jammy fruitiness in the background. Butterscotch. Fat caramel and toast malt base.

T: Follows the nose. Green, herbal, spicy hops are all over the place. Minty. At times it almost goes catty and vegetal. Very oily. Clamping bitterness. Fat toasty malt body with nuances of toffee and caramel. Some vague fruitiness. Long lingering oily and spicy hop finish.

M: Medium-thick body. Full of hop oils. Gritty astringency. Stiff carbonation.

O: Not sure what exactly they were going for here but it isn't really working. It's nice to see the first American Trappist brewery go where no Trappist brewery has gone before, but this is an ill-advised IPA recipe in my opinion. It's like they brewed an IPA for the sake of it. The hopping is a bit all over the place with the main focus being a harsh herbal and oily clampdown. At best they simply chose the wrong hop strain. At worst they used some old cheesy hops (kinda tastes like they did). In the vein of a more old-school "East Coast" American IPA I guess, and that style of IPA is already becoming a relic. I would've loved to see them go more in the direction of a Belgian IPA a la Hop Ruiter, but alas, the opportunity was missed. This just didn't do it for me and I don't expect it will have a great reception in the market either. Needs a lot of fixing.

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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts, May 01, 2016
Trappist India Pale Ale from The Spencer Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 126 ratings