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Benevolence - Cambridge Brewing Company

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32 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 11.51%

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  12.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 05-25-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cask at CBC 22nd anniversary party event. 2007 vintage.

Appearance: Dark red brown, looks close to still. Leaves tight rings of lacing that disappear after a few seconds.

Smell: Deep raisin like an old English barleywine, with some fruity quadrupel notes. Faintness of the smell lowers the score, but what you get is very full and inviting.

Taste: More impossibly deep sugary raisin malt flavors, candi sugar, oak, sweetness, with a hint of sourness. Awe-inspiring.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather creamy. Low carbonation.

Overall: I loved this beer. A real gift from CBC to anyone who came to the 22nd celebration. This is the kind of beer you remember for a long time, and rarely taste anything like. It's somewhere between a well aged, perfect English barleywine, a well aged quadrupel, and a sour beer. It's a beer so good that even though I loved it, I feel like I don't like it enough.

Serving type: cask

05-07-2011 04:11:12 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
Photo of scxcrunner


4/5  rDev -9.7%

08-25-2013 01:43:44 | More by scxcrunner
Photo of lucas1801


4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

07-23-2013 10:22:33 | More by lucas1801
Photo of kinopio


4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

02-01-2013 20:07:07 | More by kinopio
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5/5  rDev +12.9%

08-01-2012 03:14:48 | More by driftlessbrewin
Photo of PEIhop


5/5  rDev +12.9%

11-20-2011 01:57:14 | More by PEIhop
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +12.9%

11-18-2011 19:01:31 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of ElGallo

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +12.9%

11-15-2011 17:18:36 | More by ElGallo
Photo of Patrickbrusil


4.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is it. On cask at the CBC 22nd birthday party.

Its hard to come to grips with how good this is. It drinks like a creamy quad but with tremendous sour qualities. The dark fruit quad hits first and then flows like a dream to the back of your mouth where the sour taste refreshes and finishes the job. The small wine glass was the perfect size as this is surely to be savored.

This is unlike any pour I've ever experienced and to me it is a pinnacle of what well made beer can be.

Serving type: cask

05-07-2011 21:13:16 | More by Patrickbrusil
Photo of rye726


4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2001.

These guys always do great barrel aged beers. And their barrel aged sours are no different. Great color and head. Super sour nd super funky with a nice wine barrel character. Perfect balance of flavors. Crisp, refreshing body has a long complex finish.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2011 05:06:24 | More by rye726
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wouldn't really call this beer an American Wild Ale, it definitely had more in common with a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Pours a dark brown color with a thin tan-ish head, not much in the way of lacing though.

Smell is an aroma punch, huge amounts of candied sugar and malt, tons and tons of dark fruit like raisins and dates, hints of alcohol but that's not much of a shock.

Taste is similar to the aroma with the candied sugar and dark fruit stealing the show, it is quite strong as evident by an alcoholic burn, didn't slow me down one bit though and I enjoyed a couple of these with no problem. I was quite surprised by how much I liked this beer, never heard of it until I tried it, shame I'll probably never try it again :(

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2010 21:26:44 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from day two of the CBC 20th anniversary party on may 9, 2009

this was the final course of the anniversary prix fixe pairing dinner. served in snifter and paired with a rice pudding using similar fruits and the beer itself.

dark brown w red tint. murky. minimal, light tan head, fades to wisps and ring, eventually almost nothing. no lace.

aroma: dark dried fruits of figs, prunes, and raisins. licorice and molasses notes. rum and brandy tones, touch of fresh plum, and hint of barrel aging. faint acidic whiff.

taste: smooth fruitiness, like plum pudding, with surprising cocoa note. rum and brandy again, but not boozy, w woody oak tones. gentle grassy hop bitterness with mild acidity. nice.

light to medium body, slightly watery but texture from acidity and tannins. good mild carbonation for refreshing tingle and flavor lift.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2009 12:53:29 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my 100th review on-tap! mini snifter

A nutty dark brown color, thin and tanned head with only small lacing all around.

the nose has a fruity, sour and wild yeast aroma up-front. solid, thick and sweet malt underneath, dark fruits, dates and raisins and very tart.

the flavor is a very nice wild-yeast complexity that has tangy and sweet dark fruits, wood-aged alcohol effect along side with a very solid malty balance. wonderful complexity for this wild ale, slightly peppery and herbal on the way down. sour-cherry flavor makes this one really refreshing. Oak and vanilla pop out of the malt in a subtle way and the very end bringa a port wine sweetness.

this one has wonderful balance for a wild yeast ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2009 18:01:12 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of IBUnit63


4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ CBC...served in a sniftah...

Very nutty ginger head with murky bourbon/dunkel color. Full-finger head sticks around a while; body is pretty opaque with a little more carbonation than expected. If any beer was meant for a snifter, this is right up at the head of the class.

Sour dates, plums and raisins abound (wild fermentation mentioned, but with the malt profile rolls a little different from your typical Brett) with huge vanilla oak. Almost too much going on-could use time to synergize-but still enjoyable. At the moment I want to age some of this.

In addition to the qualities found on the nose, let's tack on an Aussie "sticky" veneer of muscat and thick dessert wine-not so much sherry, madiera or port. Booze is still a bit hot but in short this is quite enjoyable. Lots of vanilla and bourbon from the oak wreaks a little bit of havoc on the New World Order but it's still pretty damn good.

Palate hits with a little sourness from wild secondary (?) along with a molasses and peach/plum veneer. Finish is pleasantly biting of funk and booze...maybe a little hefty hefty hefty but that's OK.

Again, I would love to taste this in another year. Or 2-3. Hot with vanilla oak but otherwise insane and very enjoyable if not in complete harmony just yet.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2009 22:59:39 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of cheapxceptbeer


2.6/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Not interested in formal review here, this is the excess of american craft brewing I could do without, even in the description it sounded ridiculous. 4 yeast strains, 12 types of malt, aged hops, belgian candi sugar, young and old ales being mixed, while this is a vague stereotype of the beer, it has too much going on. While the excessive work on this brew seems to take out the alcohol flavors, the other flavors are so overpowering this might as well have had a hot alcoholic bite. I have enjoyed raisin and date flavors before in beer, but this is just too intense, this isn't sophisticated, this is excess.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2009 06:57:29 | More by cheapxceptbeer
Photo of u2carew


3.73/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Dark, reddish brown in color. Slightly hazy. Thin head with nice lacing.
S) Robust, syrupy smell similar to port. Earthy aroma combinations include fig and date.
T) Date. Fruity. Some sourness but very minimal. So much going on with the taste its hard to describe.
M) Syrupy. Some chewiness. Thick. Full bodied.
D) WOW - so diverse the taste, but one is enough. Not my style, but it's somebody's.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2009 11:16:46 | More by u2carew
Photo of cavman


4.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I found this beer to be amazing,it has been brewed again and back on tap for a bit. To the beer:
A = nice looking dark beer with a reddish tint.

S = amazingly complex in the nose, has to be had to be described truly.

T = Licorice mixed with sweet maltiness upfront, followed by a dry stone fruit flavor mixed with a touch of sour/tart. I rated 5 on taste although I also feel a little bit more tartness would improve this beer even more.

M = Big mouthfeel, but very nice.

D = Drinks very easy for a beer that now clocks in at 12.6% ABV, not the 8.6% listed here.

Overall a great beer that you should make the trip for while it's available.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2009 03:33:02 | More by cavman
Photo of ridedammit


4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had benevelonce a few times when I was lucky enough to find it on tap
at CBC. But the batch (2001?) at the 17th anniversary was simply
a great brew. A lovely very dark color with a darkish-tan head. The
nose is mainly of raisin or prune, and the taste is very complex, again
with the raising and fig feel. It finishes much like a port, and is an amazingly
drinkable beer. Its one of those once in a lifetime beers, unless Will and crew
have another barrel stowed away somewhere (please oh please).

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2006 17:01:12 | More by ridedammit
Photo of Franchise


4.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: CBC 17th anniversary aged in a wood barrell brewed in 2001.

Oh my is all I can say...poured a dark black hard to tell in this light whether or not it is pitch black but it is very close leaving a tan head in its wake. The aroma is dark fruits, raisins, figs, nuts, brown sugar, chocolate are all present in the nose.

The taste is syrup thick, nutty, figs, lots of dark fruit with a syrup consistency and a chocolate fudge background. This is the most complex nose, and taste I've ever come across. This brew had to be an experiment, cause who would think of putting all these different flavors together. But they compliment each other so well. And so drinkable at 10%

The nose is as complex as a Belgian ale, with the chocolate hop presence of a stout, and finishing with a tartness of a well crafted sour ale. Could this be, all these flavors combined by a mad scientist, it is true. The only disappointing thing about this beer is that I will never be able to sample this again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2006 18:07:19 | More by Franchise
Photo of francisweizen


4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had like a million samples of this one when all is said and done. Quite a few at the source, and quite a few at some BA fests in Boston. This is a pretty nice brew. Dark ruddy, rusty, reddish brown with a small khaki head that leaves nice lacing. Aromas are all Sweet spicy Belgian yeast funk mixed in with the wonderful old ale flavors of a Hardys or a Lees. The taste is funky and spicy with some lovely yeasty notes and the mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability remains nice as well. Awesome stuff...

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2005 06:49:56 | More by francisweizen
Photo of RoyalT


3.5/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a very dark brown in color with a tanned head that barely came up from the tap.

Smell – This aroma is huge. The dark, roasty malts are laden with chocolate and a strong sourness. I can also pick up a lot of tarty fruits.

Taste – The dark chocolate came out even bigger at the taste. It’s really more like a milk chocolate flavor. There are plenty of other sweets in here as well like refined “candy” sugar and grapes and cherries. The bad news is that everything is extremely sour.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied BSDA went back and forth in the mouth from chocolaty sweet to acidicly sour.

Drinkability – This was just a bizarre ale and one of the strangest things I had at the 2004 Belgian Beer Fest. I see a lot of other Belgian-loving BAs like this effort by Cambridge but it just didn’t do it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2004 20:43:56 | More by RoyalT
Photo of carln26


4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown with just a hunt of mahogany. No head on this beer. An aroma like fine brandy with hints of cherry and black cherry. The alcohol esthers come through on the nose. Wow again I am remindec of brandy. Sweet fruit, no trace of the hops. A mild bite from the alcohol. No lace. Medium mouth feel. I couldn't Fri k too much of this too much alcohol too sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2004 19:45:37 | More by carln26
Photo of taez555


4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter, this beer poured a translucent ruby brown body with a tan head that at first starts large but eventually completely disappears.

The nose on this baby says it all. PORT!!!! Seriously, if you didn’t know this was beer and somebody blindfolded you and asked you what it was you’d probably say port. Very strong dark fruit, plums, dates, raisins, PORT, a tart fruit, alcohol smell. Quite an interesting mix of fruit smells.

The taste was right along the same lines. Lots of intense fruits like plums, dark cherries and raisins with a very sugary brown sugar and molasses type tart sweetness. You can really taste the candy sugar in this baby. A soft subtle caramel and chocolate malt with a woody oak note are overshadowed by the big fruit flavors.

Quite an interesting beer. Honestly I’ve never been crazy about it, but it’s really growing on me. A beer that is just screaming to be paired with food. A must try, especially at the end of a nice CBC meal with some dessert.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2004 09:59:06 | More by taez555
Photo of gentlebubbles


4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing stuff!

Served in a snifter brimming with an off-white head over chestnut brown. Smells like scotch whiskey and overripe plums. Even a tiny sample passed around our party had us all marvelling. Hazelnut and plum and currant and vanilla mess around with your tongue and then the alcohol sneaks up behind you and lays a serious buzz on. To be sipped by a roaring fire with a good book and a cat in your lap. It certainly lit a roaring fire inside me on that freezing "spring" afternoon.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2004 18:24:25 | More by gentlebubbles
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jim and I both tried this one out on the crawl we took with Kumar on 3/12/2004. Kumar, having noted the switch in bartenders, decided to stick with the Blunderbuss Barleywine and promptly ordered another one up.

Benevolence was served in a snifter. Posted on the chalkboard as ABV 10%, OG: 1.091, FG: 1.015. There was a thin, light chocolately head at outset that thinned to a divining level. Rummy/raisin in hue. Bourbon bouquet with a touch of red wine in there. Scotchy up-front flavor with alcohol warming the palate afterwards, although not alarmingly so. Raisin and plum tastes followed with slight banana notes. Silky, slightly carbonated mouthfeel.

After downing this one, I would have to second Jim’s comment of, “Oh my, I may have problems tonight. Good problems.”

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2004 20:56:51 | More by Truh
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Benevolence from Cambridge Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.