Brother Benjamin | Greenbush Brewing Company

very good
78 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 599
Photo of puck1225
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer! Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Dark golden brown with a nice thick head and excellent lacing. Sweet herbal smell and taste. The herbal taste is nicely accompanied by the honey sweetness. Nice beer!

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/18/14; drank 1/18/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Semi-opaque ruby red appearance.

Khaki head; frothy lace.

Honey, mango, caramel, pine & booze nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Caramel, honey & mango flavors up front; a grapefruit bite on the finish. Booze heat emerged as this warmed. Basically a slightly above average American barleywine; a bit too bitter, a bit too sweet, but still drinkable.

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Photo of Joe_Palooka
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first learned of this beer when searching online for beers similar to Hopslam. Well, Brother Benjamin came up. I was in The Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois) and I found a bottle but it was quite old so I passed on it. Two weeks later at Bell's "All Stouts Day" I met some guys that talked up Brother Benjamin so being from the western suburbs of Chicago I would be passing through Sawyer on my way home from Kalamazoo. They were sold out of bottles but had it on tap so I purchased a growler to go. I found it to be hoppy and malty all wrapped up into one delicious glass of goodness. The 10.10% ABV is pretty well hidden, the mouth feel is grainy with some sweetness. Doesn't have a whole lot of lacing but who likes to lick out beer glasses anyway! The finish is warming but i am used to beers in the 13%-17% ABV range so it was fine for me. The published 114 ibu's is well masked. As far as a comparison to you need to know I drank about 22 six packs of Hopslam this years and I am going to tell you this is a close rendition but if I had a fresh sixer of Hopslam and a fresh 4 pack of B.B. and only twenty bucks in my pocket, I'd buy the Hopslam. I am just glad I always keep a hundo tucked away for such purchases so I don't have to make these choices. I am sure i will drink this again and again.

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Photo of chrismattlin
3.22/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

This looks, smells, and tastes like a Barleywine. Mouthfeel is a bit watery. Hops are hard to detect, but are definitely present. Biggest thing about this brew is it's alcohol heat; if I didn't know any better, I'd think this sucker was 14%.

I'd say Greenbush should stick this in bourbon barrels and call it a BBA Barleywine. Would probably work out better.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of LloydDobler
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated 12-14-15

Pours light brown as opposed to amber. Thick off-white foam topping and a lot of sediment floating around the glass. The nose is very sweet and almost like a mead. Taste starts with sweet honey and has a bad, abrasive bitterness to the finish. Nice and smooth mouthfeel that helped make this palatable.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Description: Has a dark, deep tan look, roughly the color of apple cider with a small amount of white head and lacing. I don't think this has any bourbon aging, but bourbon/booze was the first smell I picked up. Also sweet hints of honey, grape and some sort of smoky/wood/earthy aroma. Taste was bitter, certainly more than would be expected from the smell but that gave way to sweetness...which then tasted bitter...and then sweet again on the finish. The aftertaste was a bit too sweet for me, almost cloying. Not an IPA for hop lovers. Alcohol was very apparent. The mouthfeel also defied typical IPA expectations and was thick, velvety and coated the mouth.

Suggested food pairing: Chicken pasta salad with a creamy or mayo based sauce

If you like this beer then you should also try: Curmudgeon. Definitely not an IPA, but that's what this beer reminded me of.

Overall: 4.25 (This is a good beer and I would likely drink it again) That overall rating should be qualified with the comment that this is not a typical IPA. If it wasn't written on the bottle, I'd probably guess that this is an Old Ale or Barleywine. Still though, not a bad beer. Boozy, malty and ultimately on the sweet side, it probably functions better as a slow sipper.

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Photo of stortore
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 9/17/15.

Pours a caramel color, somewhat hazy, with a small head, some soapy cling. Smell is lots of malt for the style, some citrusy and dank hops. Taste leads with the malt, more hops than the nose, more dank hops than citrus. Honey adds some sweetness, not a lot of bitterness overall. Smooth, good body, well carbonated.

This is definitely malty and sweet, but is very flavorful. Worth a purchase.

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- dark golden color
S- can smell the alcohol; hints of honey/caramel
T- very bitter at first, but dies away quickly and leaves slightly sweet aftertaste
F- medium body & carbonation; smooth and a little creamy

I'm a big fan of this beer. I get a 4 pack every 2-3 months.

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Photo of tmryan21
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: Copper/amber, white head. Kind of surprising for an DIPA how dark this was.

Smell - Not at all what I was expecting. More malty than hoppy. Definitely smell the booze in this one as well.

Taste: Malt bomb of a DIPA. The hops come through, but are masked by the honey and malt pretty significantly. Carmel and bready as well.

Feel: Boozy. Medium-bodied. Drank like a barleywine.

Overall: Was not a fan of this one. WAY too malty for a DIPA. Maybe it was an old bottle, but there were no bottling dates present to check. The 12 oz. bottle cost $13. I would not buy again.

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

12 oz bottle. Pours deep amber, hazy, white head lasts. Taste up front is pure caramel malt bready sweetness followed by massive hops and booze. The honey is there too. Lots of flavor but a bit much for an IPA. Mouthfeel is very nice, creamy. Overall intense for the style. Would drink again, but split a bottle with someone.

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Photo of Raime
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Brother Benjamin.

No fancy intro, but this was a pricey bottle so let's hope I get my monies worth. WAIT..real quick. This is supposed to be Hopslams competitor. Let us see how it stacks up.

Look - Very murky copper amberish tinge with some floating sediment and a two finger off-white head that sticks around like feeding a homeless grizzly bear in the dead middle of a Russian Winter. Lace is scarce like...sorry, Can't think of a pun. 4.5

Smell - Malty malty malt-T OI OI OI OI!. 3.

Taste - Wowza! This is a big ole malty bitter bomb of destruction! So it shall get judged as such!. For malts sake, this is smoother than your average bear. The honey is definitely for true as it slides down your throat and leaves a very sweet tasting...tastyness. Tell ya what, it's prettty solid for what it is, but 'fraid this bottle might be a bit on the twilight side of its life. Still a tastyish som' bitch either way. 4.

Feel - Carbonation is moderate to heavy and the body is very, very sweet and sticky. Sticks to your mouth like a virgin clings to the first guy to pop her cherry. Speaking of cherries!...I hate cherries. 'Cept the cherries we just discussed ;). Hey fuck you, I'm in my twenties, THEY STILL EXIST!. 4.25.

Overall - So how does it stack against its competitor? Well, it certainly ain't too bad. As stated, the bottle may be a bit on the old side, but it is still better than a lot of DIPAs even in its strength range. Give it a shot guys. You won't regret it. At least I hope. And if you do, don't send poop in my trade plz. 4.

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Photo of Ionis_Marteel
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tatsy take on a balanced double. While the honey makes the hops more palatable for those less acclimated to the very high ibus, it can create an very busy taste profile.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
1.9/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer is awful. I wound up drain pouring nearly the entire 12oz offering.

If you are looking for a good honey IPA, get your hands on Trillium's Artaic.

This beer is overly bitter with a gross medicinal malty aftertaste.

I would discourage others from buying this beer.

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Photo of LooseGasCap
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pleasant brew with a high ABV. If it didn't say honey was in there, you might not notice in the midst of all the hops. It has a sweetness and almost woody/smoky? caramel flavor.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites from a great brewery right here in the Mitten. This one is all that you expect from a honey DIPA. Smooth, sweet, warm, and floral. The ABV is hidden well, too well. I'd love to have a few of these in a sitting, but one and I'm done. Absolutely a delicious must have.

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Photo of gsmit
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beer on its own... But in comparison with similar beers... Just doesn't crack the top offerings.

Starts sweet... But the bitterness is not playing well with the beer.

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Photo of SurferEric
4.59/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hop bomb from the northeast. I live in Hawaii so I get a lot of the California doubles like Pliny, Knee Deep, etc., and this ranks right up their with them in my opinion.

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Photo of DeliciousDetroiter
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a huge fan of outrageously hopped IPA's. Had to try this one because of all I had heard. Not as good as Hopslam, like many have tried to say. Still, I understand why the Hop heads like it.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle with a one-finger ivory-brown head. The beer was an orange-tan with red highlights.

The aroma was of pine and flowers with some sweet orange. Very nice. The taste was of sweet candy and honey with a hoppy aftertaste that allowed sweetness to come in after a while.

This beer has a good mouthfeel: appropriate body and carbonation.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. It bridges the gap for lovers of malt and lovers of hops. That is, it has a good balance between the malt backbone and the hops. It's a strong beer but not overly alcoholic.

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Photo of anth0ny
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rich burnt orange color with a perfect, full white head. Light aroma of pineapple, honey, citrus. Huge flavor, more on the sweet side of honey and caramel. Sweetness is balanced by finishing hop bitterness and tangy citrus. Very rich with miniscule signs of alcohol despite the abv. Drinks similar to barleywines I've had. Something about the flavor combo doesn't sit as well as it should in the finish. Other than that, I like it.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a shaker pint 11/29/2014.

A- Slightly hazy yellow-orange body. Two finger thick, fluffy head with a long retention time. A bit too long, but otherwise nice lacing and film. [4]

S- Honey, grainy malt, biscuit, grapefruity hop resins, a bit of floral and grassy scents as well. Solid, nothing mystifying. [3.5]

F- A bit on the sweet side; sweet up front with honey, biscuit and pale malt sweetness; switched up with a moderately bitter floral, grassy finish. A bit of grapefruit permeates the whole thing as well. [3.5]

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, a bit soft and mellow. Not difficult to drink by any means despite its 10.1% ABV. [3.75]

O- Decent DIPA, nothing to write home about. It's on the sweet side but not as bitter as you'd expect from a big DIPA like this. [3.5]

Final score: 3.55

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%

Bottle brought in to share by Curran.

Pours a golden amber color, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells quite strongly of caramel malt and honey, almost feels like a barleywine. A little bit of pine is noted, but it doesn't really smell hoppy at all.

This definitely drinks like a barleywine more so than a DIPA. There's a bit of cloying honey, caramel malt, brown sugar, some bitterness, a bit of pine. At least no alcohol is present. Unfortunately, it it was a barleywine, it wouldn't really be a good barleywine.

This one has a thick syrupy mouthfeel, and a big body, with low carbonation. Not all that drinkable.

This one didn't quite work, I'm not sure why it's rated the way it is.

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Photo of JeffONeal
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a small off white head that fades to a limited glass lace. Smells of honey, clover, and alcohol but it's pretty faint. Small malt notes get overwhelmed by the bitters which starts early and finishes strong. The honey adds some character but I've had better honey IPA's. I had high hopes but it just doesn't live up to its potential. This is a drinkable beer but not one I'll get again.

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Photo of roger617
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Spiegelau glass. I added this beer into a mix 6 pack at the Garden Center / Grocery Store in Sawyer, having somewhat high expectations as it was $3.99/bottle.

A: Pours a medium brown color with over a finger of off white head that reduces fairly slowly and leaves great lacing. Surprised how dark this is in color, brown with a slightly copper tone.
S: Wafting aroma of a good mix of citrus, pine, and honey. I get pine in the front, honey throughout, and the lemony citrus as a slight compliment. Very impressed with how this one comes across.
T: Pine and citrus up front, and a long lingering honey after taste. I'm getting some heat here too, which is acceptable for over 10%.
M: Carbed well, extremely bitter, and leaves a mildly dry after taste.
O: Finding a beer like this on a whim is a large part of why I love craft beer. I had never heard of Greenbush before snagging this one, and I've got to say I'm very impressed with their first beer I've tried. Very reminiscent of another Michigan beer also brewed with honey, however I think I prefer this one.

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Brother Benjamin from Greenbush Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 599 ratings.
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