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RATINGS: 120   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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Inspired by traditional refectory ales brewed by monks for the monks’ table, Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued Trappist ale with fruit accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spenser, Massachusetts, is home to a community of Trappist monks and the first American Trappist brewery. Following the Benedictine tradition of ora et labor (prayer and work), the monks pursue a simple life of contemplative prayer, a manual labor and hospitality. The brewery helps support the monks and their charitable outreach.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
lb4lb (2555) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 30, 2014
Smell cloves yeast. Pours gold hazy. Taste strong cloves dry, yeasty. Not bad. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jesterdeal (1984) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - MAY 16, 2014
Bottle shared with the Epic. Aroma is nice and golden. Very faint banana and clove but more grain and mineral. Pours blonde and bubbly with a nice medium head. Taste is hay, barnyard, banana peel, and pepper. Very nice belgian golden. Nothing outrageous.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
warhawk91 (302) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - MAY 15, 2014
11.2 oz. bottle. Pour is is initially a clean golden orange and clouds with the sediment. Nice white head. Nose is yeasty and spicy with banana clove and orange notes. Taste has a yeastiness with mango and sweet orange notes cutting through the yeasty tartness. This is quite good, will have to travel back to Spencer to get more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jabic (431) - Brigantine, New Jersey, USA - MAY 12, 2014
Ar: Perfume, banana, peaches, and black pepper - a bit of cotton candy and orange peel. Ap: Orange-amber, clear - medium white head with good retention, leaves a solid ring-and-cap of foam. T: Candied orange and peach - rose, some clean alcohol - clove and black pepper - apricot - low, herbal bitterness - chalk, peach, and clove on the finish. P: Medium-light body with very high carbonation - finish is very dry. O: A tasty Belgian-style blond - lots of fruit flavor and spice with an alcohol note - body and carbonation are spot on - quaffable, with some nice complexity.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
beechner224 (773) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - MAY 10, 2014
Bottle in trade. Pours golden with white head. Aroma if spicey Belgium yeast. Taste is light, peppery, strong yeast. Decent Trappist ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
demmbonz (590) - Erin, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 9, 2014
Bottle to mini chalice. Sweet and yeasty and slightly hoppy aroma. Taste is sweet up front with banana and clove in the middle with a peppery finish. Snappy carbonation. Beautiful clear orangey golden yellow.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
cpetrone84 (1537) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 30, 2014
Pour is hazed deep golden amber with a tight white head. Nose is Belgian yeast up front with a touch of spice and strong clove, candied sugar, and banana. Smells sweet. Taste is sweet but has a decent grain bill and notes of spicy Belgian yeast. Some clove, candied sugar is strong. Definitely sugary and a hint sweet. Lighter body with moderate carb.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1248) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 29, 2014
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. I believe there was a freshness code but I couldn’t decipher it. A friend picked up a bottle in Boston for $4.99 ($0.45 per ounce). Thanks, Jason!

Appearance: Beautiful glowing orange hue, like an American IPA. Quite hazy but not completely opaque. Pours to a large, white, soapy head which mostly fizzles away and leaves only minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Huge banana notes in the classic Belgian tradition. Light spices and flowery hops.

Taste: Spencer Trappist Ale is the first Trappist beer to be brewed in America by the monks themselves (there are a few “Abbey Ales,” but it’s not the same thing). This puts the beer in a unique position as it’s brewed, with authentic Trappist yeast in the Belgian pale ale style. However, there’s clearly a lot of American influence on this brew since it’s quite hoppy as well.

This beer is delightful off the bat. A sweet fruity sensation hits the tongue with notes of banana and orange, followed by a gentle mélange of light, dry spices of coriander, clove and black pepper. More orange presence on the finish due to, I’m assuming, dry hopping. There’s bitterness as well, but it’s restrained and matches the natural Belgian yeast character perfectly.

Drinkability: The old world Trappist beers aren’t known for being drinker-friendly, since they’re usually intended to be special beers. And while Spencer Trappist Ale isn’t exactly a session beer, it’s remarkably drinkable. The mouthfeel is crisp, but not thin or watery. It’s refreshing while crossing the tongue and finishes mostly clean with just a slight dry sensation. It doesn’t seem to be as “heavy” as its 6.5% ABV weight, which makes it quite tempting to drink several back to back.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
gibsale (4) - - APR 29, 2014 does not count
Spencer Ale. Low malt, low hop. Low banana/bubble gum after taste. Spencer Ale $19/4-pack.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bbbeer (592) - Massachusetts, USA - APR 28, 2014
Golden yellow color with medium off white head. Aroma citrus, yeasty. Medium body, carbonated. Flavor is on the dry side yet pretty fruity. Lemon and orange, esters, yeast. A little grassy hops. Pretty nice.

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