Benevolence | Cambridge Brewing Company

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56 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Bierman9 on 05-25-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of driftlessbrewin
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of ElGallo
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Aisha
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of PatGreer
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Franchise
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: CBC 17th anniversary aged in a wood barrell brewed in 2001.

Oh my is all I can say...poured a dark black hard to tell in this light whether or not it is pitch black but it is very close leaving a tan head in its wake. The aroma is dark fruits, raisins, figs, nuts, brown sugar, chocolate are all present in the nose.

The taste is syrup thick, nutty, figs, lots of dark fruit with a syrup consistency and a chocolate fudge background. This is the most complex nose, and taste I've ever come across. This brew had to be an experiment, cause who would think of putting all these different flavors together. But they compliment each other so well. And so drinkable at 10%

The nose is as complex as a Belgian ale, with the chocolate hop presence of a stout, and finishing with a tartness of a well crafted sour ale. Could this be, all these flavors combined by a mad scientist, it is true. The only disappointing thing about this beer is that I will never be able to sample this again.

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is it. On cask at the CBC 22nd birthday party.

Its hard to come to grips with how good this is. It drinks like a creamy quad but with tremendous sour qualities. The dark fruit quad hits first and then flows like a dream to the back of your mouth where the sour taste refreshes and finishes the job. The small wine glass was the perfect size as this is surely to be savored.

This is unlike any pour I've ever experienced and to me it is a pinnacle of what well made beer can be.

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Photo of cavman
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I found this beer to be amazing,it has been brewed again and back on tap for a bit. To the beer:
A = nice looking dark beer with a reddish tint.

S = amazingly complex in the nose, has to be had to be described truly.

T = Licorice mixed with sweet maltiness upfront, followed by a dry stone fruit flavor mixed with a touch of sour/tart. I rated 5 on taste although I also feel a little bit more tartness would improve this beer even more.

M = Big mouthfeel, but very nice.

D = Drinks very easy for a beer that now clocks in at 12.6% ABV, not the 8.6% listed here.

Overall a great beer that you should make the trip for while it's available.

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Photo of ridedammit
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had benevelonce a few times when I was lucky enough to find it on tap
at CBC. But the batch (2001?) at the 17th anniversary was simply
a great brew. A lovely very dark color with a darkish-tan head. The
nose is mainly of raisin or prune, and the taste is very complex, again
with the raising and fig feel. It finishes much like a port, and is an amazingly
drinkable beer. Its one of those once in a lifetime beers, unless Will and crew
have another barrel stowed away somewhere (please oh please).

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Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of TTTBeer
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of kinopio
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of lucas1801
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of ciderman
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A terrific new offering from CBC, sampled at the Art of Beer Festival in Boston. As this was the first beer I sampled at the session, my recollections of head retention, color, etc. aren't the greatest. I do want to comment on this beer, though, because it was deserving of the "Best in Show" award as far as I am concerned. The taste was a phenomenally complex mix of sweet malt, dark fruits, oak, and subtle hop balance, coupled with a definite alcohol warming that made you want to keep drinking more. The fruit and oak made the brew almost cidery, but with a body and depth that all but the finest and heartiest ciders would be hard-pressed to match. Overall, one of the most unique beers I have tried.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

CBC Brewer Will Meyer's described this brew as his baby. It's hard to imagine that he's doing anything other than strive for perfection with this strong dark ale. Served in a snifter, the mahogany brew is capped by modest, but clinging tan foam. The scent wafting from the snifter is of winter fruit and brandy. It tastes of raisons and figs with hints of chocolate, oak, and other shifting malt notes. There is a mild tartness, which accentuates the complexity of the beer. This must try beer will make you savor each lingering taste.

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Photo of Pahn
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cask at CBC 22nd anniversary party event. 2007 vintage.

Appearance: Dark red brown, looks close to still. Leaves tight rings of lacing that disappear after a few seconds.

Smell: Deep raisin like an old English barleywine, with some fruity quadrupel notes. Faintness of the smell lowers the score, but what you get is very full and inviting.

Taste: More impossibly deep sugary raisin malt flavors, candi sugar, oak, sweetness, with a hint of sourness. Awe-inspiring.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather creamy. Low carbonation.

Overall: I loved this beer. A real gift from CBC to anyone who came to the 22nd celebration. This is the kind of beer you remember for a long time, and rarely taste anything like. It's somewhere between a well aged, perfect English barleywine, a well aged quadrupel, and a sour beer. It's a beer so good that even though I loved it, I feel like I don't like it enough.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.59/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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 :(

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Photo of chaduvel
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off let me just say wow. Deep dark reddish brown in color, nice off-white head. Smells of date cookies soaked in brandy or port wine. Touch of sour cherries and loads of malt in the aroma as well. There is so much here, and yet each is flavor or smell can be picked out distinctly or left to meld with its mates. Taste is of brandy soaked fig newtons, then sour cherry lambic, then sweet honey, then an oak/whiskey flavor and finally more port or brandy soaked dark fruits finishing with a sour sensation. Unbelievable.

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Photo of Mike
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BigOldOaf
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jpd7374
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Ograd001
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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...

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Benevolence from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 56 ratings