Cambridge Brewing Company

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Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #145
Ranked #1,872
4.31 | pDev: 10.44%
Jan 23, 2022
May 25, 2003
Notes: Blended Dark wild ale brewed with raisins, aged in American oak rye barrels.

An altogether new and unique creation in the world of beer, Benevolence combines the age-old traditions of Belgian lambic blending, Flanders sour red ales, and barrel-aged English strong ales, with new American ingenuity and a penchant for the bizarre.
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Photo of SABERG
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by SABERG from Massachusetts

Poured from the 375 ml bottle, cage and cork. Opened with a slight hiss, poured at fridge temp.
A - Dark mahagony color, intirguing view of the carbonation as it slowly crawls up the glass interior. A thin ring is a constant presence during the experience.
S - Sherry, Banyuls wine aged, some balsamic vinegar. Bourbon barrel elements, with vanilla are a nice addition.
T - Well, theres all from the aromatics with more dark fruit, raisin, fig, dark cherry skins. A thread of barrel funk in the best way.
M - A sweet start is quickly balanced with beautiful acidity, That fortified wine feeling, with an alcohol exhale acts as the drying agent. Surprisingly delicate in body, avoids being on the syrup side. Texture is outstanding.
O - A truly delightful sipper, Flanders, meets lambic, meets Port. My only regret is not having more in he basement.
I bet this will be in the appertif realm in a year or so.

Jan 23, 2022
3.52 by j37geogaddi from Massachusetts on Jan 01, 2021
Photo of Sheppard
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Sheppard from Massachusetts

Pours a dark mahogany brown. Aromas of cola, chocolate covered cherries, cherries, some toasted oak as well. There's lots of raisin and prune, complimented by vanilla. Some pomegranate juice-like cidric tartness. It hides the heat well, but it's nearly still like a Mystic Entropy. There's almost a little Sherry Oloroso on the finish along with a touch of oak. I have sipped this quite slowly and haven't felt that it errs on the "too acidic" side at all. This is a richly complex beer that has benefitted greatly from the extended slumber in barrels and year bottle conditioning.

Dec 06, 2020
Photo of NHBeerDrinker
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by NHBeerDrinker from Massachusetts

Poured from a 375 mL bottle

Look: Dark (almost black) without any head
Smell: Smells of oak and malt
Taste: Flavorful; can taste the oak and raisin with a sweet finish
Feel: Thick with a refreshing finish
Overall: Well balanced beer and rich beer

Nov 21, 2020
4.15 by SierraFlight from Virginia on Jan 06, 2020
Photo of mike22ne
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by mike22ne from Massachusetts

On tap at the brewery.

Huge aromas of raisins and dark caramelized fruits, apparent as soon as the glass is on the table.
Taste follows with raisins, dark cherry, caramel fudge, and a nice light sourness and funky quality. Reminiscent of port wine or Flanders red ale. Dry finish.

Well balanced, a nice touch of wild sourness but not overly so.

Excellent, glad I tried it!

Aug 15, 2019
4.25 by whatsgoody from Vermont on Aug 07, 2019
Photo of jmdrpi
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

on draft at the brewpub, in a smaller (10 oz? ) glass

very dark brown in color, with off-white colored head, that fades soon. big boozy aroma of raisin, plum, black cherry, some dark caramel. similar complex flavors in the taste. medium bodied.

Aug 05, 2019
Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Arrives the color of a full-bodied red wine with a one finger head; a few strands of lacing.

Smell: Dates, raisins, plum and red wine grape ; buttressed by dark chocolate, oak and a Bourbon barrel character

Taste: Dark chocolate and dark fruit forward, with dates, raisin, plum and red wine grape; the Bourbon arrives in the mid-palate, bringing oak, vanilla and a hint of smoke; the finish brings together all of the elements

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: One of the most interesting beers I have tasted thus far in 2019; so much going on but it works very well

Aug 03, 2019
Photo of jbertsch
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jbertsch from Massachusetts

Confused in rating this. The beer's delicious but it's billed as a wild ale, or that it has has wild ale elements. But there's no resemblance of anything wild sour or tart in its flavor or aroma. It drinks like a barrel aged old ale. Completely delicious but since it's billed as a wild ale I have to knock some points of the score for that.

Jun 26, 2019
Photo of smcolw
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by smcolw from Massachusetts

Deep mahogany brown where no light passes. Lasting minor head. Little lace.

Strong berry and alcohol aroma, like a rich sherry.

Lots of raisin with a string boozy alcohol kick. Chewy body with a lower carbonation level. This is an after dinner beer particularly appropriate for the winter months. Think sherry.

May 19, 2019
4.15 by Mikeluzzjr from Massachusetts on Oct 21, 2015
4.3 by MrDarcy from Massachusetts on Mar 28, 2015
4.25 by GonzoHomebrewer from Massachusetts on Dec 05, 2014
4.15 by Jason from Massachusetts on Oct 24, 2014
3.75 by amanforallsaisons from Connecticut on Sep 01, 2014
4.5 by Ograd001 from Connecticut on Jun 15, 2014
4 by JKV96 from Massachusetts on Jun 15, 2014
Photo of Jerl
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by Jerl from Massachusetts

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.

Jun 14, 2014
4.75 by TTTBeer from Massachusetts on Jun 12, 2014
4 by bleedsblu from Pennsylvania on Jun 08, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25
by Stevedore from Oregon

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.

Jun 08, 2014
3.75 by JoeMans from New York on Jun 07, 2014
4.5 by berkshire413 from Massachusetts on Jun 05, 2014
4.5 by BigOldOaf from Massachusetts on Jun 05, 2014
3.25 by Cath from New York on Jun 02, 2014
4.5 by jpd7374 from Pennsylvania on Jun 02, 2014
4 by trevorpost from Pennsylvania on Jun 01, 2014
3.75 by Janeinma from Massachusetts on May 26, 2014
5 by Aisha from Massachusetts on May 22, 2014
5 by PatGreer from Massachusetts on May 15, 2014
4.25 by Kmlund from Massachusetts on May 12, 2014
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

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.

May 08, 2014
4 by jaasen64 from Massachusetts on May 03, 2014
4.5 by Mike from New Hampshire on May 02, 2014
4 by scxcrunner from Massachusetts on Aug 25, 2013
4.75 by lucas1801 from Massachusetts on Jul 23, 2013
4.75 by kinopio from Massachusetts on Feb 01, 2013
5 by driftlessbrewin from Minnesota on Aug 01, 2012
5 by PEIhop from Massachusetts on Nov 20, 2011
Benevolence from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 67 ratings