Brother Benjamin - Greenbush Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brother BenjaminBrother Benjamin

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BA SCORE
85
very good

67 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 67
Hads: 542
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.65%
Wants: 24
Gots: 96 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Greenbush Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: divineaudio on 11-09-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 67 | Hads: 542
Photo of divineaudio
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

picked up a four pack from the brewpub last weekend. undated 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

a - pours a hazy, deep copper shade with a thin film of tan head on top. leaves a few legs of lacing in the glass.

s - honey, toffee, pineapple, grapefruit, grass, faint alcohol.

t - very malt forward with a west cost style bitterness to balance things out a bit. starts off with toffee notes and some sweeter citrus, but quickly moves into herbal, resinous hop territory. noticeable alcohol taste in the finish which contributes to the bitterness.

m - fuller side of medium in body with not quite enough carbonation, finer co2 profile, serious alcohol warming. also a little on the sticky side.

o - i tried some of this at the detroit fall beer fest and was quite impressed, but this bottle is a bit underwhelming. i can totally see this being compared to hopslam, but i think this recipe needs to be refined just a bit before there can be any real competition. still a tasty beer and totally worth trying if you come across it. (1,036 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a shaker pint 11/29/2014.

A- Slightly hazy yellow-orange body. Two finger thick, fluffy head with a long retention time. A bit too long, but otherwise nice lacing and film. [4]

S- Honey, grainy malt, biscuit, grapefruity hop resins, a bit of floral and grassy scents as well. Solid, nothing mystifying. [3.5]

F- A bit on the sweet side; sweet up front with honey, biscuit and pale malt sweetness; switched up with a moderately bitter floral, grassy finish. A bit of grapefruit permeates the whole thing as well. [3.5]

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, a bit soft and mellow. Not difficult to drink by any means despite its 10.1% ABV. [3.75]

O- Decent DIPA, nothing to write home about. It's on the sweet side but not as bitter as you'd expect from a big DIPA like this. [3.5]

Final score: 3.55 (823 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker amber in color, with a firm, off-white head, that retained as a ringlet, and left some dots of lacing on the glass. Nose was fairly malty for an IPA, with some honey sweetness, pithy hops. In the taste, grapefruit pith, candied orange peel, bubblegum, persistent sugars--pale malts, honey--which took the edge off any hop bitterness that may have been present. Kind of like tropical candy. Not really my kind of IPA, but it was actually still pretty good. Light-medium body, and decently drinkable. (505 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

many thanks to zaphog for hooking this one up in a recent BIF. enjoyed from a mystery brewing tulip.

a - poured a fairly deep chestnut brown. has a real barleywine look to it. thin off white cream colored head that hung out for a while and had a creamy look to it.

s - nose resembles a cross between a barleywine and an amber with a hint of cherry that almost resembles cough medicine.

t - taste is also somewhat unexpected having the same amber barleywine vibe with a hint of cough syrup cherry.

m - mentholated vibe from booziness. almost vodka like in the booziness.

o - overall, this wasn't bad, but for a iipa, there are a ton of better options. glad for the taste, but not something i'll be seeking out again. (721 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%

Bottle brought in to share by Curran.

Pours a golden amber color, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells quite strongly of caramel malt and honey, almost feels like a barleywine. A little bit of pine is noted, but it doesn't really smell hoppy at all.

This definitely drinks like a barleywine more so than a DIPA. There's a bit of cloying honey, caramel malt, brown sugar, some bitterness, a bit of pine. At least no alcohol is present. Unfortunately, it it was a barleywine, it wouldn't really be a good barleywine.

This one has a thick syrupy mouthfeel, and a big body, with low carbonation. Not all that drinkable.

This one didn't quite work, I'm not sure why it's rated the way it is. (712 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a deep orange. a bit hazy and a nice off white head that leaves a lacing

Smell: big in your face hops. i can tell there is a strong malt presence as well but i have trouble getting past the hops

Taste: starts off with citrus and piney hops, and an intense bitterness blocks out the rest of the beer from my taste buds. i can pick up more but there's no way i can tell what is going on through this sea of hops

Mouthfeel: extremely bitter and pretty heavy.

Overall: I think i need to work up to this one. for now this is my rating but I may have to revisit it after working my way up to hop bombs. it certainly has a lot of potential and greenbush does know their way around the hops (698 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to JAS45678 for the bottle.

Appearance: Slightly hazed red-tinged copper. Head is off-white and creamy. Drops to a small cap with decent retention. Splotches of lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Mega bready. Biscuit dough, caramel and caramelized malt sweetness. Raw honey. Hops run a solid bitterness with a floral edge. Herbal with a touch of sweetness. Slight earthiness as well. Syrupy sweet malt blends well with the raw honey. Not particularly aggressive.

Taste: Pithy bitterness layered over a slightly syrupy sweet malt base. Deeply cooked and caramelized malts. Assertive honey. Hops are leafy and herbal with some citrus and pine needle bitterness. A bit earthy. Raw honey. Some generic fruitiness. Something akin to marmalade. Big bitterness tempered by the raw biscuit malt sweetness. Some spicy alcohol on the back.

Mouthfeel: Slick, bordering on full body. Moderate carbonation. Clean finish.

Overall: My adopted brother is a bit odd.

An interesting take with the raw honey. It's big and syrupy with enough bitterness to balance. It's not the best thing out there, but it's good and that's more than enough. (1,154 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle served in a Greenbush snifter.

A: Pours a semi clear ruby color with an off-white head forming on the pour. it recedes slowly to a thick cap and collar that leaves tons of splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Lots of bready malts, dried grass and raw honey. Candied grapefruit with a bitter pine as well.

T: Bready malts. Light citrus. Sweet grapefruit with a dried grass backing. Pretty sweet overall with a light bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. slightly sticky mouthfeel.

O: A little sweet and malt forward for my liking. I've had the fresh from the brewpub and out of bottles and it still doesn't quite jive with me. Not bad, but not something I'd want to go after again. (732 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"Imperial India Pale Ale brewed with honey." 10.1% ABV confirmed. 114 IBUs. 12 fl oz bottle with branded green pressure cap and interesting label served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired from the very generous surlytheduff in a trade; I received my box today. Thanks again, buddy! Expectations are somewhat high given its current high ratings.

Served cold, straight from a cooler. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger light khaki colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and very good (~5 minute) retention for the high ABV. Uneven lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a dark murky copper. Nontransparent; semitranslucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Pretty dark for the style; the colour isn't quite ideal. But it does seem different, and I'm intrigued. Impressed with the head retention, to be sure. Somewhat rich and understated rather than vibrant. It has my attention.

Sm: Caramalts. Honey. Floral hops. Heavy heavy pine - almost like one of those pine car fresheners. A hint of citrus on the back end. This is not the usual bright juicy citrusy imperial IPA I've come to expect. It's strangely malty. Assertive, with herbal hop notes and maybe even some spice - pepper perhaps. Brown sugar. Brown bread. Heavy grains. Caramel is dominant. A hefty aroma of moderate to strong punch. For an imperial IPA, I'm not sure it's all that appealing. But I'm intrigued. This could either be good or terrible. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Heavy heavy pine joins with substantial caramalts and a bit of biscuit malt. Some biscuity hops as well - perhaps amarillo? Some sort of unrefined sugar on the climax. Perhaps marshmallow as well. Grainy as well, with some brown bread touches to boot. Dark honey when I look for it. Alcohol is present here, but tolerable. Really really malty for an imperial IPA. Herbal, lightly dank, piney hops. Not very floral, and there's no citrusy, nectary, or even oily hop character here. No yeast character comes through. The most flavour is on the climax; the rest of the beer is somewhat flat. There's not a whole lot of depth or complexity here, but I do like it. Balances its relatively few notes. Lacks subtlety.

Mf: Too thick and too full-bodied for its lack of flavour. Smooth and wet like it needs to be. It's too filling; there's not enough going on here to justify that. Unrefreshing. Slightly overcarbonated.

Dr: The biggest flaw is definitely the malt focus, followed by the relative simplicity given what a commitment a glass of this beer is. Not sure the high ABV and thick texture is worth the flavour payoff. There are interesting things going on with piney hops here, but overall it's just not that drinkable. It'll take me some time to down this glass. I wouldn't get it again, but I respect what Greenbush is doing with the style. Definitely a different take on an imperial IPA. I'm looking forward to trying more of their beers, but this one isn't really doing it for me like it should be. High alcohol is not that well disguised, though it never comes off boozy or hot.

C+ (3,235 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

this was a huge huge disappointment all around, not least because it shares my name. it pours nice enough, tarnished bronze in color and mostly clear, with a bold white head that lasts. the nose on it is off, like something has gone terribly wrong, its not really hoppy at all, but rather sweet and just downright weird, floral and chemical laden, I do not understand why this smells like it does, but its turning me right off. the taste is the same, only the off elements are intensified. its like bad compost, preservative acid, and decaying hops that are only bitter and lack flavor almost entirely. its more like an American barleywine gone wrong than an ipa, with a huge and messy grain bill. the feel is like licking a battery, burns the whole palate from all the alcohol. fusel notes dominate the finish, carbonation tapers off, and the beer is undrinkable in terms of both size and flavor. im writing about this like its a crap macro ice beer instead of a craft ipa, which is maybe unfair, but the bar has been set awfully high for craft ipa, and I expect a lot more from a brewer who takes pride in his product. this is a few levels below even the most basic of double ipas, and greenbush owes us one here... (1,217 characters)

Photo of LooseGasCap
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pleasant brew with a high ABV. If it didn't say honey was in there, you might not notice in the midst of all the hops. It has a sweetness and almost woody/smoky? caramel flavor. (179 characters)

Photo of JeffONeal
3.02/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a small off white head that fades to a limited glass lace. Smells of honey, clover, and alcohol but it's pretty faint. Small malt notes get overwhelmed by the bitters which starts early and finishes strong. The honey adds some character but I've had better honey IPA's. I had high hopes but it just doesn't live up to its potential. This is a drinkable beer but not one I'll get again. (419 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

It's good to see new breweries springing up and bottling their stuff in my home state. If there's one thing I'll never complain about - it's having too much beer to chose from. Brother Benjamin pours a murky, swamp-brown color, only showing a faint copper essence near the very bottom of the glass. Save for that area, it's completely opaque with lots of little yeast-looking sediment floating about. The foamy, thin-bubbled, khaki head is probably the saving grace of the appearance as it has nice staying power and leaves some traces of lacing behind.

Some sweet grapefruit rinds jump out at my nostrils right away - the sweetness quickly turns into a heavier bitterness that's very pungent to the senses. Some hints of spice and white pepper, giving the hops an herbal and earthy feel. Some light honey sweetness squeezes its way into things, too. I'm picking up a very light tartness that occasionally shows up and occasionally does not. Hard to pinpoint or really put my finger on, but it's definitely something to note. Heavy malt underneath - lots of bread and even a good dose of caramel. Looks like this could be a malt-heavy, East Coast style DIPA.

Well, well, not only is it a malt-heavy DIPA, it's a malt-ONLY DIPA. Just kidding... but, seriously. This malt bill in this bad boy is absolutely huge - so much so that it even overpowers the hop bill just a tad. Huge bread flavors segue into a caramel and toffee backbone that injects some seemingly residual sweetness into the brew. Hops seem secondary, surprisingly enough; herbal, ashy, and loaded with a white pepper flavor. Right away, I notice that the flavor is quite different than the aroma. Not so sure I agree with the disconnect there.

Any detectable fruit in the flavor (which is plenty) is typically of the "bitter" type - meaning lots of pith, peel, and spicy zest flavors rather than the juicy or sweeter type of flavors you'd get from something like Citra hops. I want to say orange zest and grapefruit pith are the most notable fruits in this one. Booze is apparent - not too surprising given the 10+% ABV, although there are plenty of similarly injected beers that hide the alcohol much more elegantly. Aftertaste is reasonably dry and sustainably bitter. Lots of fading caramel notes, bitter fruits, and ashy hops. The body on this is huge - close you eyes and it feels like a stout. Sticky and thick on the palate with medium carbonation.

I don't like this one as much as everyone else, and perhaps it's because I'm not particularly partial to the malt-heavy IPAs. Or at least in this case, I wasn't the biggest fan of the hop bill that was chosen to pair with the heavy malt underbody. I was able to force it down, but it's safe to say that I won't be revisiting this one anytime soon. Or ever. Just too sweet and fat on the palate. (2,818 characters)

Photo of blackcompg
2.53/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Pours 3 fingers of tight khaki foam, body is a deep opaque brown amber, by far the darkes and murkiest dipa I've ever seen, leaves big thick lacing. Really looks like a barleywine.

Smell - Floral hops, pineapple, candied orange, tropical notes, whiff of carmels, and perhaps some butterscotch.

Taste - Whoah, rich ripe plums, rum cake, sweet ruby grapefruit, warm butterscotch with an accent on the scotch, touches of brown sugar and molasses, finishes pretty hot from the alcohol, slightly sweet grapefruit zests, and a slight spice heat, like white pepper.

Mouthfeel - Higher side of medium, sweet and somewhat mouthcoating, carb is on the lower side and very smooth and foaming, which gives the impression of being mouthcoating - and really lets the heat from the alcohol settle in vs. any kind of scrub.

Overall - The only sign of this being a dipa is in the nose - otherwise the appearance, taste and mouthfeel are much more like a barleywine/scotch ale/wee heavy. The label says "prepare to be mystified" - and I truly am, why this is classified as a dipa is certainly a mystery to me. And as this warms... well, just throw back a shot of scotch - less filling, same taste. I can't recommend this. (1,255 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
2.51/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a reddish copper amber color. Produced some good white froth and lacing.

(S)- A fairly spiced yet sweet caramel malt body meets a yeasty bubblegum, lemon, and grapefruit citrus. A bit odd with the yeast acting a bit strange in an almost hefeweiss type of aroma.

(T)- A touch strange. Kind of spiced with a potent yeast profile. Almost bubblegum in flavor with a potent caramel sweetness.

(M)- The carbonation level is fine, but the yeast really seems to be off-centered and causing this to be a bit off considering this is supposed to be a DIPA.

(O)- Not bad, but definitely a strange version of a DIPA for sure. Not one of Greenbush's best. (693 characters)

Photo of rodmanfor3
1.9/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer is awful. I wound up drain pouring nearly the entire 12oz offering.

If you are looking for a good honey IPA, get your hands on Trillium's Artaic.

This beer is overly bitter with a gross medicinal malty aftertaste.

I would discourage others from buying this beer. (278 characters)

Photo of maximum12
1.73/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to a good guy, who shall remain anonymous, for this extra in a recent trade full of Michigan goodness. Popped open while watching a bit of The Incredible & poured ably by my 10 year old Cicerone-in-training. 12 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is dark murky orange shot through with muddy brown; very viscous. Nose runs along in the same vein, the hops are earthy & muddled while simultaneously slightly sweetened. Good? Weird.

Brother Benjamin is malting all over the place. Big old sweet malts overcome the hops, the nose in profile is more like an old ale than an IPA. The hops match the nose, farmland dirt & dankness. Drinkable? Ah, no.

Blech. Six or seven sips of this leave me yearning for clean hops or deep malts or a barrel or strychnine. Anything else. This is a malt-bomb coupled up with dank earth, not a combo I'd ever seek out. Drain-pour. (870 characters)

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Brother Benjamin from Greenbush Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.