Benno - Stift Engelszell

Not Rated.
BennoBenno

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BA SCORE
85
very good

234 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 234
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 15
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stift Engelszell visit their website
Austria

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: apintofknowledge on 12-23-2012

Benno as of 2012 is a Authentic Trappist ale.
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Ratings: 234 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by Luiz0930:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As the new kid on the Trappist block, Stift Engelszell chimes in on the scene with an inquisitive ale of rich Belgian Pale Ale malt presence but with the dry, spicy character of Saison. Benno is a unique and refreshing option on the Trappist beer menu.

A careful decant of the bottle yields a deep gold, medium amber color. The ale simply looks toasty and caramel-like. The classic yeast hazy keeps the beer diffused in its body while a dense cloud of froth floats above. Its head might be short statured but its ivory foam is long lasing and speckles the glass with signature Belgian lacing with each sip of the ale. Its overall appearance is of more amber-type Belgian Pale Ales.

Toasty, dry malt, pecans and husky grain character starts the show in semi-robust fashion. Spices are first and foremost with cinnamon leading the charge. Complements of light clove, fresh cracked peppercorn and a decoration of clove set in and add to the spice heavy taste and aroma. Lighter in fruit notes- a melange of apples, grapes, dates and figs burrow under the spices and fuse seamlessly with the terse caramel and cotton candy-type sweetness.

Malty-light in body, its dry sweetness allows for the malts to spring from the tongue to usher in a quick and decisive finish of peppery zeal, rose wine acidity, mild husk astringency and a crisp, clean herbal hop finish of lemongrass. The ale favors as much wine-like effervescence as it does ale-like creaminess.

Benno is a wonderfully crafted ale that compares very favorably when considered in the likes of Unibroue Maudite and De Koninck Ale. It simply belongs in the portfolio of time honored Trappistine history, regal, spirit and taste.

Photo of tjumfrid
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange peel, grapefruit. Cloudy, 1/4 inch foam on the top.

S: Reminds me of fall...crisp, citrusy.

T: Refreshing. Tastes like it smells; orange peel, citrus and floral.

M: Light and dreamy.

O: A delicious Saison. I tried the Gregorian last night and promised to review both..I'm a sucker for Saisons and this one is top notch. BUT the Gregorian is more unique with its midnight plum/raisin. I would recommend the Gregorian over this one, although both are great.

Photo of bsp77
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Lava orange with large, frothy head and clingy lacing.

Smell: Fruity with caramel, honey and light Belgian yeast.

Taste: Nice fruit and honey base with notes from the yeast, such as banana, clove and spices. Finish is tart and spicy.

Feel: A little fuller than expected with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish with a nice tartness.

Overall: This is good new entry into the world of Trappist beers. Sorta a Saison, but the fuller fruit and honey notes make this a little more distinctive.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy light brown colored beer with a half inch of tightly woven khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. I get the aroma of light earthy malt and honey. The initial taste is sweet earthy malt and is quickly followed by a candidate sugar like kick and then more gently sweet malt. The body is moderately carbonated and fairly dry.

Photo of chinchill
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Stift Engelszell "Benno" [Belgian saison 7.2%] on tap at the Beer Trappe in Lexington.

A hazy deep amber body topped by a modest but durable off-whie head.

Aroma: sweet with caramel, some farmhouse/yeast, cinnamon and other spices.

Flavor: spicy, but not so much as the nose suggests. Distinct and unlike anything I've had before, yet not extreme or challenging. Tame and refined for style.

Near medium body with medium carbonation.

O: modestly enjoyable but highly interesting. ABV mostly hidden in the nose, but not in the mouth

Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. Always nice to see a new Trappist offering on the shelves here.

This beer pours a rather hazy medium copper amber hue, with a teeming tower of aggressively foamy, and duly puffy ecru head, which leaves some broad streaky ring road lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away. Sure seems like a bottle-conditioned farmhouse ale to me.

It smells of gritty pale and wheat malt, a touch of buttery toast, earthy honey, green funky yeast, a faint banana and underripe grape fruitiness, and spicy, leafy hops. The taste is sharp pale malt and edgy wheat grain, both biscuity in their rendering, white wine must, a bit of black pepper mist, bitter yeast, a citrus rind tinged generic dry fruit character, and more spicy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is, as noted, big and frothy upon first impressions, and maintains a certain tightness around my palate as we move along, the body on the light side of medium weight, and a bit too yeasty and spicy to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes quite dry, the malt bereft of sweetness, the yeast, fruit, and hops all coy in their respective collusion.

A decent enough dark saison, everything displaying an air of subtle complexity, and the dryness is more than palpable. Something different for a Trappist brewery to put out, that isn't some form of a malt-forward Belgian dark ale. Interesting, but other than trying a new monk-brewed beer, this one doesn't quite have me reaching for another.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark amber brown with fluffy peaked head. Smells of plum and raisin with sweet malts. Nice lacing on glass with fruit flavors of plum and raisins, sour cherries, and light sweet bread from the Belgian yeast strain, light bitterness on aftertaste with Belgian candy sugar in the back. Not the best I have had of the Trappist beers but very solid and very drinkable.

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really wasn't planning on being able to hold either of the Stift Engelszell beers in my hands or belly anytime soon based on their very limited production, so was ecstatic to find them at Salud bottle shop, priced reasonably. Poured into an Orval Chalice at around 48F.

A: Poured gently, this is a very nice looking beer. Glows an almost deep gold, toasty copper color. Mild turbidity. About a finger and a half of off white head which subsides relatively quickly but laces persitently in characteristic trappist style.

N: Smell is malty with a good bready yeast nose and bits of spice. Very earthy and rustic smelling. Relatively subdued nose , but it was possibly a little cool when poured.

T: Solid, softly constructed maltiness is well balanced with the wild yeastiness and grains. This has an earthy funk reminiscent of Orval, but not overpowering Brett phenols in any way. It's mildly sweet but I wouldn't guess that it was brewed with honey, as I'm told. Slight nuttiness, quite herbal and very mild spice, mostly cinammon and clove. Peppery in the finish. I had a hard time putting my finger on it, but just a very ancient and rustic flavor. It tastes like a time-honored recipe. Interesting.

MF: Light to medium bodied with more carbonation at work than was apparent in the pour. A bit astringent in the finish but also pleasingly creamy across the palate. Enjoyable to drink.

O: A nice beer, not mindblowing in any way but highly enjoyable. It's great to have a Farmhouse style beer in the Trappist stable and I'm happy to welcome our newest Trappist brewery to my experience base.

Photo of puboflyons
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the 11.2 fl oz bottle. Sampled on September 2, 2013.

It pours a reddish-brown color with a very soft, delicate and fluffy white head.

On the nose I get candied sugars, toasted biscuit malt, yeast, some coriander, and maybe a tad of fig. But with all of this I get a kind of cellar muskiness.

The body is better than medium.

The taste starts out with a brown sugar sweetness, malty, and with some nice deep spices but then it evolves into a musty lingering finish. While this is not a bad beer it really smells and taste like a dank, dark cellar. But perhaps that's the point.

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Brewed in year 2012/11.

A real gorgeous looking beer off the pour. Gorgeous orange orb glowing amber, with an opaque body. There are glowing hues of all shades amongst the edges of the glass. Lively carbonation rising, with a good rising middle fire in the center. Head is off white, maybe even a little tan, forms so nicely off the pour giving a creamy top, with a bit of island merringue like clumping. Settles incredibly slowly, always leaves a thin puck, and a good thick penciled collar while drinking.

Nose is real solid, candi sugar slightly, with a mix of balanced honey sweetness. Some milk chocolate sensations hang out in the back, very solid smelling.

Sweetness hits nicely, with milk chocolate angle in the palate, mixing with caramel too. Mouthfeel is incredibly crisp and lively. Dry and crackly crackery with a champagne like feel. Matches nicely with the sweetness but there is plenty of density too. Sweet honey comes in with a bit also after in the finish. Some good ripping barley action as the beer warms up. Yeast profile on this is a bit spicy sort of saison "like" in a way but a bit more subdued.

Overall this is really solid, and wonderfully balanced also. It's also very unique tasting. This a great execution for a trappist beer, I am getting more from these guys if I can.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a clear, medium coppery amber with a half finger white head that dissipates to thin persistent film. Aroma of caramel malt, sweet stone fruit, coriander, Belgian and lighter saison style yeast. Flavor is semi-dry bready malt, saison yeast, light citrus, earthy and bitter spicing. Dry bread crust finish with residual bitterness that tastes more like dry earthy spices than hops. Medium bodied with peppery carbonation. A nice example of a Belgian style farmhouse ale, with both dry saison components and Belgian spicing. The honey element is not noticeable in the taste, but may contribute to the fact that this isn't a very dry ale. The earthy spicing is unusual and rewarding.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Benno has a thin, white head of foam, an opaque, orange-gold appearance, some bubble streams, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of honey, for sure, with some rich grain husk and sourdough bread. The flavor is of honey (which fades), sweet & sour sauce, sourdough bread, and relatively low bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and prickly, and Benno finishes semi-dry and pretty drinkable.

RJT

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy light amber in color and has yeast particles visible floating in suspension near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a half finger high beige head that gradually died down, mostly leaving a thin head covering the surface.
S: An interesting mix of Begian yeast, sweet malt and spice aromas are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has additional notes of honey and spices plus medicinal hints of iodine.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting beer that seems to taste like it is a hybrid of a saison, bière de garde and a dubbel.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. Het Kappitel Chalice glass. Orangish amber color, chill haze appearance. Beige close fairly quickly diminish. Crystal, dat, cane sugar, grape & slight acidic aromas, as well as toffee, floral & vanilla notes on the back. Sweet fruit, citric notes & touches of quince & raw plum. Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Spicy & spiced palate. Dense texture. Earthy, sour notes & hints of wood linger into a bitter/sweet finish. Fruit on the aftertaste. Worth to try!! A far away one from usual Trappist bier styles.

Photo of patre_tim
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%

A: Foam oozed from the bottle upon opening. This one’s alive and active. Honey amber with loads of sediment floating within. Some visible fine bubbled carbonation within, and topped with 3 fingers of off white head. Lots of chunky lacing left on the glass.


S: Honey, bread and butter. Fruity like apricots, phenols, sweet bread.


T: Tart and fruity and appealing. Light sweetness, bready like pound cake, a hint of rusty quality near the end. Light hops leaving a little bitterness. Apricots and stone fruits.


M: Medium thick bready and syrupy body, medium low fine bubbled carbonation.


O: My first from this new to the scene Trappist beer producing brewery. I’ve now tried brews from all 8 of Trappist breweries, and this is the only one I’ve not travelled to. A year ago I’d heard that it would be impossible to try beers from there aside from actually travelling to Austria to try it. I was so glad to have found two from this brewery in the US. It really is a well done brew. It is listed as a saison, and yes I can see that. It is unique and has some Belgian triple qualities. Bought in Asheville, drank in New Hamburg, ON Aug 22nd, 2014.

Photo of jneiswender
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Where the beer out of a 12 ounce bottle into a crystal chalice

The beer pours a very cloudy ruddy rust colored body and a very thin off white head

Raisins honey and taffy

A very strong honey front Chalk in the middle with yeast and hop bite in the end

Medium to light mouth feel not strongly carbonated

Not a bad beer in and of itself but certainly my least favorite of the Trappist ales

Photo of safaricook
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is to celebrate my 500th rated beer on beer advocate.
I got the bottle at a visit at the brewery this summer. Its best before date is 23.06.2015. I guess it was brewed early this summer. I pour it into the original Engelszell hand blown tasting glass.

Copper murky body with lots of fine carbonation. No sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Fine and medium pored white fluffy head that reduces to a thin layer but can be brought back with a swirl anytime. Leaves lacing too.

Belgian yeast with its typical fruity ester are dominant, got some tartness as well and then some sweetness maybe honey maybe malts. phenols like clove. nice and complex.

Taste is not following aroma too much. It starts with subtle sweetness and fruitiness before it gives you an somewhat astringent tart sensation which bears also some bitterness and leaves you with a distinct sour aftertaste. Very interesting.

It is quite light on the tongue with its velvety carbonation. medium body.

This is a complex beer that fits very well in the Saison category rather than the light Dubbel as it was labelled for some time. I cannot stop smelling it, getting waves and waves of different aromas. The taste is surprisingly sour which makes it interesting as well as tasty. All in all much better than the Gregorius and in its sourness unique in Austria. I am very excited to find out if they keep the sour touch or mainstream it in the following batches.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.19/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from the Wine Source in Baltimore. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a fairly-hazy deep gold-caramel color with a thin white head. A bit of spotty lacing iand a collar.

The nose carries a bit of bread and faint caramel alongside a bit of candy sweetness. No real saison yeast or spice to speak of. Flavor is similarly bland. Some honey, bread, and light toffee. Nothing indicating this is a saison. Faint fruit and spice as it warms.

Body is light-medium. A bit light on the carbonation, and somewhat dry through the finish.

Meh.

Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle. Pours hazy golden with tall, long-lasting, foamy, off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of barnyard yeast, bready malt, caramel and fruity esters. Body is full and slightly crisp. Funky yeast, spices, caramel malt, bread crust, tobacco, woody notes, herbal hops and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and dry. Nice, complex brew.

Photo of jadeal
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle in a chalice served cool

Pours up golden with big lacing that was retained throughout consumption

Bread, honey , funk, light citrus

Mild sweetness (honey), sourdough bread, orange with some other hefe flavors, tartness and hops with a small alcohol presence

Carbonation with tartness bringing in the salivary glands, not heavy or cloying

Big, proper taste with an approacable abv. Complexities that I expect from a Trappist ale.I have two remaining... going to start looking for more...Gregorius is next

Photo of chanokokoro
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into an unbranded tulip glass

Pours amber with golden highlights capped by a fluffy white head. Great retention and plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass. Plenty of yeast, on the nose, however different and not as strong as the the saison/farmhouse yeast found in most saisons. The honey does come through as well as hay, and some malt touched by a bit of toffee. Yeasty, caramel, honey maltiness, a light touch of citrus throughout. Smooth mouthfeel, light, medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation-much lower than most saisons I've had. A very interesting and enjoyable beer. Well worth a try.

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Impressive starting head that settles slowly into rocky chunks. Thick lace on the glass. Reddish hued amber color. Very cloudy.

Interesting blend of yeast and sweet cherry to the nose. Mildly sour and earthy. Different and complex.

Far more bitter than the smell would indicate. Starts with a sour and nearly dry malt up front. The swallow is nearly astringent with a bitter kick. The aftertaste has some of that cherry show up again, a bit flowery, but it leans to the bitter. Full bodied with a low carbonation level.

Photo of teromous
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a hazy light brown color with a huge fluffy eggshell-white head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Musky barn scent, smells a bit like wet cardboard and mildew, a bit of spicy hop scent. All of these are great for a Saison.

T: Soft bread taste, mellow spices, tea leaves, some deep bitterness like roasted nuts. There's a toasted caramel sweetness. The flavor is complex but not overwhelming. There isn't any sourness to the beer, this is more of a musky flavor

M: Easy to drink, nice bitterness, good carbonation.

O: Nice clean easy going Saison. I noticed that the label said the beer is brewed with honey. I didn't get any traditional mead flavors, but it's probably too delicate to stand up to the more roasted flavors in the beer. It is very enjoyable to drink.

Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown-orange color and a cloudy consistency. Some light sediment floating around. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very underplayed aroma of yeast, fruit, and malt.

T: Tasted of Belgian-style yeast, some malt, an almost bubblegum-like element, a fruity ingredient, and the typical funkiness of a saison. Not quite as focused as most saisons, but a decent enough flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Benno is a solidly made beer, in spite of some bumpy areas. Drinkable.

Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 11.2 fl oz. Brown glass. Elegant label design with a matching copper colour pry-off pressure cap. I really love the presentation of this beer; it definitely fits into the Trappist oeuvre (if you'll forgive the pretension implicit in that phrasing). "Brewed in year 2013/11."

Served cold into a Jester King goblet and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. 6.9% ABV. Expectations are high; I love Trappist ales and am really in the mood for one, though it's odd they brew this with honey. Reviewed live as a dubbel per Engelszell's website.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2.5 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Full, creamy, and aptly thick, with an even smooth consistency and a fair complexion. Retention is good - about 8 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Dark deep red. Vibrant and translucent. Oddly, relatively little yeast is visible within - a disappointment given the style and this beer's Trappist designation.

Appears well-carbonated. It's not exactly the rustic appearance of more renowned Trappist dubbel-bier, and leaves much to be desired, but overall it's generally appealing. It's far from unique or special looking for a dubbel, and I wouldn't put it in league with the other Trappists, but it's not off-putting. A bit bright for a dubbel.

AROMA: Orchard pear, dried apple, faintly bready malts, dough/doughy yeast, Belgian pale malts, fig, dates, and hints of biscuit and spice from the yeast (including clove). It's got the beginnings of the dark fruit character I crave in a good dubbel (and especially a Trappist dubbel) but it never fully commits to them; the delicate strokes are there, but it doesn't evoke notes like plum, raisin, grape, or prune like better dubbel aromas. Still, it's got that subtle spiciness that immediately makes it distinctly Belgian in character, and the intricacy of the aroma has me very intrigued.

Aromatic intensity is mild. It has the restraint of other Trappist beers.

No off-notes or alcohol are/is detectable.

TASTE & TEXTURE: It has a crackery dryness I didn't expect, which helps coax a bit more depth of flavour out, but it's not so dry that it's parching or unrefreshing; in fact it's quite approachable and drinkable, with an appropriate smoothness and an apt crisp carbonation - which helps set off the subtle apple note.

It's more crackery than bready, though it does have an apt medium body and a moderate thickness. The climax is punctuated by notes of faint fig and date, but no assertive plum, prune, or grape ever emerges - though there is a kiss of raisin in the late second act. The Belgian pale malt base works well here, though this beer does have a lighter brighter taste than any other traditional Trappist dubbel I can remember. Belgian yeast lends it a subtle spiciness and biscuity character, guiding the beer and lending it a natural cohesion.

Constructively, the fruity notes are underdeveloped and overly bright, and this beer has a raw young overall feel to it. I like that it partly captures the delicate fragile mouthfeel of better Trappist beers in the style, but it's overly light. This beer lacks the complexity, intricacy, and nuance of the best beers in the style, but it does have impressive subtlety. One might initially find it shallow, but it opens up as it warms. Duration and intensity of flavour are average.

OVERALL: As I diehard fan of Trappist style ales, I was surprised to find myself pleasantly surprised by this beer. It captures some elements of the very best dubbel style beers well, but ultimately it just doesn't have the magically fragile feel and infinite complex flavour profile of other Trappist dubbel bier. I consider it well worth trying and it isn't the gaping disappointment you might fear it'd be if you share my love for the style, but crisp green apple is the wrong note to emphasize, and this beer's strangely light/bright leanings bring it closer to a saison - or even a biere de garde - than is ideal. Still, it's very drinkable and I find myself liking it more and more as it comes to temperature. Nitpicky as I've been, in fairness this can hold its own in the Trappist category - and that's high praise. This will appease the discerning drinker.

Low B

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Benno from Stift Engelszell
85 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.