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Brother Benjamin | Greenbush Brewing Company

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very good
75 Reviews
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Brother BenjaminBrother Benjamin

Brewed by:
Greenbush Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by divineaudio on 11-09-2012

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 586
Reviews by kojevergas:
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.


 3,235 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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 t2grogan
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of warnerry
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Beerhunter247
4.8/5  rDev +27.3%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of thaghost
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of sculls65
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ktoney25
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of rsquared59
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mikerap100
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown in color with an inch of tightly woven creamy beige on top. Heavy lacing. The aroma is deeply pine and light malt in nature. The flavor is heavy with piney hops and light malt. The mouth is sticky, resinous, and bone dry.

 240 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Spartan213!

Distinct copper color with more of a honey and dark orange near the thinner edges. Persistent, creamy, khaki colored head. Leaves irregular, large spots of stick down the glass. Pretty IPA.

Dank citrus (grapefruit) aroma, combined with cookie malt sweetness, definite honey character, and just a bit of alcohol presence.

Moderate to highly bitter, grapefruit zest and flesh, shortbread cookie sweetness, and a bit of booze combine. This is quite drinkable for the known ABV. Unsurprisingly, this reminds me of Hopslam, though perhaps a bit less refined.

Medium to near-full in body for the style, with moderate but creamy carbonation. Very drinkable.

Coming away quite impressed with this one, though I had no idea what to expect.

 790 characters

Photo of DrKarl
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zonian1
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of RichardRaeder
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of goast8127
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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

Photo of chuckgietzen
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Brother Benjamin from Greenbush Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 586 ratings.
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