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Benno - Stift Engelszell

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 249
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.95%
Wants: 16
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stift Engelszell visit their website

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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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 249
Photo of Thorpe429
3.19/5  rDev -16.3%
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.


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Photo of Stubbie1
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark gold/brown color with a thick white head. Head fades to a decent lace. Aroma is a bit musty and mildly fruity. Taste is a bit lite. Mild fruit notes with a musty bite to it. Feel, is also lite ovoverall ok. Something is missing in this brew.

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Photo of janubio
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Hazy orange colour, with a small head that fades soon, leaving a non compact lace. Smell of dark fruits, honey, and lemon. Medium body, creamy and sticky palate. Good carbonation. Taste of dark fruits, hoeny, lemon is more perceptible. Good, but not near the best trappist beers.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle served into a chalice

Pours a glazed honey color with a lingering still head

Sweet plum, spiced caramel, and a hint a alcohol in the nose

Right away the dryness of the beer hits with a slightly sour punch that doesn't overpower the sweet bready flavor underneath.

Overall not too bad but on the lower end of the Trappist family.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

11.2oz bottle poured into a unibroue chalice.

A: Surprisingly dark pour leaves a hazy caramel colored beer sitting int the glass. A rocky off-white head holds its own for the duration. Gobs of sticky and foamy lacing.

S: Big dose of toast and caramel. Hint of tartness. Very fruity with aromas of white grapes and pithy and pulpy tropical fruits. A bit vinous with a touch of fusel alcohol. Some musty yeast character.

T: Lots of caramel sweetness. Hints of toast and grain. Sticky honey. Yeasty, fruity interjections of vinous white grape, pear, pineapple, and mango. Distinct black pepper phenol. Jab of alcohol. Spicy and oily hop presence. Sticky sweet caramel finish.

M: Medium thick body. Syrupy weight. Stiff carbonation still doesn't match the weight.

O: This one is very rough on the palate. Calling it a saison is a bit of a stretch too. I don't know what it is, but I've never had a saison leave a sticky, syrupy malt coating in my mouth. No cohesion at all. Easily the least enjoyable Trappist ale I've had to date.

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Photo of chinchill
3.43/5  rDev -10%
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

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy and murky brownish amber color with a one finger tan colored head. The head has a decent retention, fading over time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is of fruit and biscuit with lots of cherry and plum. Along with these smells other aromas of a honey and a decent presence of a yeasty aroma bringing with it spice of coriander, pepper and clove.

Taste –The taste begins with a biscuit malt flavor mixed with darker fruits of cherry and plum. Unlike in the nose not much honey was detected in the taste, but instead the sweetness came largely from the fruit flavors. More toward the middle a tartness and yeastiness began developing on the tongue along with some spice of coriander. These flavors take the taste to its end where the tart and more tart flavors get more potent leaving a biscuit and fruity tart flavor to linger in the mouth.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. For the tart flavors of the brew a slightly thinner body may have been slightly more appropriate although the medium carbonation level was a nice balancer of the tart and the biscuit flavors that were simultaneously present at the end.

Overall – An alright dubbel but nothing too out of the ordinary here in my opinion.

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Photo of Agent1
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Much darker for a Farmhouse Ale. Not much head and barely any retention. More amber/ deep orange in color. Not a whole lot to look at. Comparing this Trappist ale to that of an Orval or Westmalle, this certainly keeps me a little limp.

Smell - Faint hops. Syrupy and fermented sugars, coriander, faint sour dough/ yeast esters, plums and candied green apple and raisins.

Taste - Love the honey. Lemon peel, apricots, wheat, fermented honey, lightly bread-y, light caramel, pear and white grapes. This is the standout feature for this beer by far, but not full-bodied. Doesn't really sing.

Mouthfeel - Decent carbonation. More than what the appearance gives off. This stimulates the back of the throat and roof the most.

Overall - Again, love the use of honey. This may be the only saving grace when it comes to this recently dubbed "Trappist" ale. Not much to rave about here given the status of a brewery like this. Would never go out of my way to find this. Fairly boring, fairly bland. Other standout Saisons in this style that FAR supersede this are the Hennepin, Saison De Dottignies by De Ranke, Saison Dupont, or The Bruery's Saison Rue.

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Photo of mlm5641
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark orange in color with a tan head that lingers on top of the beer. Cloudy and lightly carbonated.
Aroma- Slight spice with citrus fruits, slightly malty character in the background. Floral hints maybe a bit of pine.
Taste- similar to the aroma with spice, citrus character, and a light degree of bitterness. Crisp on the finish and nicely balanced. Very light toast and bread characteristic on the malt flavors. Nice medium to medium heavy body.
Finish- crisp and slightly bitter but not lingering.
Overall, a really nice refreshing yet balanced beer with flavor.

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3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2012.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, yeast, and slight fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors for the style.

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Photo of Pencible
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy dark gold with moderate off white head.
S: It smelled like grassy and waxy hops with a little wild honey and fresh wheat.
T: It tasted like grassy and waxy hops with some fresh wheat and a little horse blanket and wild honey. It had a clean lingering bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Light body.
D: This was a decent saison, with nice scent and taste, but nothing special. The body was pretty weak, and the finish wasn't the smoothest, so not super easy to drink. An average brew, and really not impressive for a trappist.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
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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Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A trappist beer that isn't from Benelux? I'll be damned. A pleasant Thursday afternoon sounds like a good time to crack the cap of this Austrian creation. From a 330 ml bottle, on to the beer:

This is a light brown colored beer which is so light, it almost looks like it's crossing into red. A semi-creamy head forms on top, retaining with some grace. The aroma is dry and sweet. There's a note of dry honey, grassy hops, a kiss of toasted sugar, and vague floral notes.

Benno is rather dry with a somewhat sweet and rustic character. It starts off with a kiss of toasted sugar, before morphing into a wave of floral and bittering hops. Along the way, the beer picks up an echo of fruitness which lifts the character of the beer. There also seems to be a vague spice which I can't lay my finger on. It's a medium bodied beer with gentle carbonation and a dry, slightly bittersweet aftertaste.

It's brewed by monks and out of Austria. Benno is a solid beer as it stands, though in my opinion doesn't quite hit the lofty expectations of set by other trappists.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A hazy honey coloured brew(brewed with honey ha!) massive head of foam since I didn't put the bottle in the fridge. Lacing is all over the place.

I smell the honey and what I reckon is a citrus spiciness. It's a very floral smelling brew overall.

The taste has some earthy malt and honey taste to it. I detect some lemon citrus that seems to grow with every sip. This is more of a hoppy brew than malty and that surprises me.

Medium body, not quite medium carbonation. Good mouth feel.

I wish I could say I loved this, being born in Austria and all, but I can only say I like it.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear, reddish copper (SRM 15-16) with clinging carbonation. Fine carbonation within reinforces a half-inch, off-white, lingering froth. The Offero glass becomes coated with lace.

Earthy, mild horse blanket aromas give way to herbs and faint orange. Sharp spice and pepper are accentuated by toasted white bread.

The flavor is a sharp one-two punch of tartness and bitterness upon opening. The tartness lingers and builds long into the finish. Malt is prominent in the middle, along with earthiness and pine tar. Warmth brings out some sweetness.

A medium body with chalky texture. Alchohol is as expected in this highly effervescent beer. Light metallic and astringent notes are also present.

This was my first taste of an Engelszell Beer. It falls short of the refreshing, grounded nature I expect from a Saison, but it is still enjoyable. The initial pour left yeast in the bottle. The second pour included yeast which cut out the sharp aromas and flavors, as well as metallic notes. Yeast definitely improves the overall profile of this beer.

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Photo of seand
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a fair amount of dense off-white head. A ring around the glass retains along with some surface film, leaving spotty lacing.

S: Yeasty, sweet, with spiced notes.

T: Light, somewhat hoppy, and a bit grainy, leading into more pronounced fruit and citrus hop notes towards and through the finish.

M: Light to medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, a fairly nice blend of flavors. My first impression was not great, as its grainy-ness is a little reminiscent of some macro beers, but there's more going on and it's better than my initial reaction. Worth a try.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second beer from the new trappist brewery in Austria. Got this one from Doopie. Cheers dude!

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-loose, foamy, off-white head with good retention. Perfectly clear copper orange in color with medium levels of carbonation. Head fades to a foamy cap with foamy lacing on the top of the glass. A good foam cap remains leaving some lacing all the way down.

SMELL: Pale malts, toasted grain, pure honey in there with some spicy yeasty notes. Caramel, green apples and toffee as well.

TASTE: Spicy yeast, sweet toasted grains with light honey flavors through the middle into the swallow. Spicy, yeast and sweet caramel finish lingers, with notes of sweet honey and some floral bitterness as well. Spicy-sweet with some light bitterness as balance. Quite good.

PALATE: Lighter body with slightly higher levels of carbonation. Light and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: Not sure I'd classify this as a saison, unless they used saison yeast of course. Much more a Belgian pale ale to me. This was actually pretty nice, with some light honey components and some good yeasty flavors as well. Give it a try if you get the chance. Thanks again Doops!

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of tjumfrid
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Bottled dated 11/2013, sampled 1/2015, served in correct glassware

Appearance: Took 3 pours to fill the glass, patience required to let the fluffy white foamy head to die back enough to not overflow the glass. After decanting, the head drops to a meringue creamy cover that laced curtains. Glass if brown and shows a hazy orange when back lit.

Aroma: Bottle lists honey, and a little of that sweetness comes out, with a bready yeast and a mild grape ester malty note.

Taste: Balanced is toward the bitter with a tonic, mineral water base that comes across as very German to me. There is some "special B" roasted notes, the heavy grape like flavor that dubbels have, but in general the beer is light and and a bit of fruity bitter lime skin.

Feel: Very fizzy, light body, heavy carbonation, adds to the mineral water package. A bit tannin grape skin in the finish, dry and puckering.

Overall: I tend to put Trappist beers into their own category. While the intent is to brew a good beer, it's not the primary purpose of the brewers. Given the beers are a byproduct of another process, and the consumption of them donates not to crass commercialism but to worship and self sacrifice, I tend to enjoy the beers more than just because of their flavor. If this was just another beer, I doubt I would revisit it. As it is a Trappist beer, I'll gladly get another when I get the chance.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

At the time of my review, this is listed as a saison. It most certainly is not. I believe that it's a dubbel.

Flavor is rich and thick. Somewhat noticable grain tone. Definitely honey going on here. Probably a little too hearty in that it could use its edges smoothed out. Not too shabby a drinker. Could use the wrinkles ironed out for sure though.

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Benno from Stift Engelszell
85 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.