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Benevolence - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Benevolence
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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

53 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.52%
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: 53 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jason
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%

Jason, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +15.2%

PEIhop, Nov 20, 2011
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.

RoyalT, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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...

francisweizen, Jul 23, 2005
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

Bierman9, May 25, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the brewpub 2/21/04.

I had sampled this beer 9 months ago at AOBF and did not like it much, but more aging time in bourbon barrels has improved this ale dramatically. Amazing!

This dark ale poured a cloudy, dark brown color (practically opaque) with thin tan foam that settled but clung to the inside of the glass. The smell was very, very nice: brown sugar, molasses, caramel, dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates); a almost barleywine-like aroma with a hint of fusel alcohols. The taste was fruity (figs, dates, prunes, raisins) with a sweet molasses flavor but with an underlying tartness that came out in the finish (cherries?). There was a very low hop presence. The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, and tangy with a touch of tartness. The body was medium with low carbonation but with an overall airy feeling on the tongue. How much this ale had improved was quite a pleasant surprise, and I really need to have more of this one.

UncleJimbo, Feb 23, 2004
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.

Davepoolesque, May 08, 2014
Photo of Kmlund
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Kmlund, May 12, 2014
Photo of jpd7374
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

jpd7374, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of rye726
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

rye726, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of ElGallo
5/5  rDev +15.2%

ElGallo, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of PatGreer
5/5  rDev +15.2%

PatGreer, May 15, 2014
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.

Stevedore, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev -7.8%

jaasen64, May 03, 2014
Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev -7.8%

trevorpost, Jun 01, 2014
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.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.6/5  rDev +6%
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 :(

deltatauhobbit, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of JKV96
4/5  rDev -7.8%

JKV96, Jun 15, 2014
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.

taez555, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of Janeinma
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Janeinma, May 26, 2014
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.

tai4ji2x, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of JoeMans
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

JoeMans, Jun 07, 2014
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.

u2carew, May 17, 2009
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.

IBUnit63, Jun 02, 2009
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Benevolence from Cambridge Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.