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Benevolence - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Benevolence
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

54 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 26
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
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: 54 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cheapxceptbeer
2.6/5  rDev -40.1%
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.

Photo of Cath
3.25/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Photo of Jerl
3.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I must start by saying this style and the raisin notes are not favorites and why the taste score was lower for me. However this is well made, full of flavor and lends perfectly to its barrel aging. Light carbonation, deep wine color and intense aroma. Raisin, chocolate, dates come through in taste.
If you are a fan of the style and these flavor notes this is a must try.

Photo of u2carew
3.73/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Photo of Janeinma
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of amanforallsaisons
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of JoeMans
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of scxcrunner
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of JKV96
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of taez555
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the AOBF 5/24/03.

Wow. Talk about different. A superb find at the festival. Brand-spanking new, too! "Sour cherries?" you say? Well, my friends, it works. Works damn well. And let's put it in an oak barrel for a few months just add a whole new flavor profile.

Deep, dark brown in color, with a very fizzy and tiny-bubbled head. Aromas are...complex (understatement). Fruit everywhere. Taste is very good, too. Fellow BA AKSmokedPorter and I were enjoying this beer with 3 other attendees and they made me promise to put these 3 words in this review (after the collective laugh they had when I said it): "Wicked fackin' tart!". Tart, indeed. Add the unique flavor imparted by the oak barrels, and the slightly apparent alcohol flavor, and you've got quite the different beer. Certainly the most different beer I've had in a long, long time.

I would love to try this after a bit of aging. I can only imagine how much better it would be. Hats off and glasses raised to another fine CBC beer.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A world-premiere offering from CBC, sampled at the AOBF. Brewed with some Belgian yeast and aged four months in oak barrels. This bier had a dark, murky brown hue, with a tan head comprised of fine, tightly-packed bubbles. Lacing was decent as well. The nose was luscious! Sweet, rich, with many a dark fruit aroma wafting about. The presence of the 8.6 abv made itself known in the nose also. Though I found the body a pinch on the thin side of medium, it passed rather smoothly over the tongue. The flavor was a mix of a lot of this and a lot of that. An abundance of dark fruit flavors was present, like raisins and dates. It had plenty of sweetness throughout, with definite Belgian characteristics to boot. The barrel-aging lent a distinct oakiness, and the alcohol provided a warming sensation into the belly. Hard to pinpoint exactly what this bier wants to be, but it was pleasing nonetheless. Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

550

Photo of Jason
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had a dark burgundy color, almost wine like. Smelled like berries, dark chocolate, a bit of oakiness. The taste? A complex mixture of fruit leather, dark chocolate, like a chocolate covered fruit of some sort, some wine. Rich tannin's, oak and a slight tanginess really dry out your mouth, begging you to take another sip. This beer was phenomenal. Seriously could not detect any of the 13% alcohol in this.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Kmlund
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Stevedore
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A- This hefty beer was served in a snifter glass with minimal head. Body is dark reddish-purple hued. No lacing.

S- Plum juice, dates, raisins, yeast spice, red grape must. Dark chocolate. Oak tannins. Lots of smoky and sweet bourbon character. This is definitely complex and strong.

F- Dark chocolate, raisins, oak tannins, sweet bourbon with less smokiness as in the nose. Dates, tart cherry are in the background. This is a very tasty, complex beer that still shows the base very well amidst the strong bourbon barrel aspects.

M- Thinner in body despite the smorgasbord of flavours. Lower in carbonation. Still a bit dry with a slightly oaky but sweet finish. The bourbon flavours are accompanied by a slight bit of fusel and heat.

O- Strong, intense and complex beer that wins any taste test. An improved mouthfeel would help the overall cause a lot, but in terms of what matters- smell and taste- this packs a ton of flavours.

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Truh
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
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.”

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Benevolence from Cambridge Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.