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Benno | Stift Engelszell

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very good
78 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Stift Engelszell

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Benno as of 2012 is a Authentic Trappist ale.

Added by apintofknowledge on 12-23-2012

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 287
Photo of JayQue
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear orange/amber color with a medium sized, bubbly, off-white head. The head is highly carbonated, with plenty of bubbles, but fades fast. no lacing. Pretty good aroma of light fruit (apples and pears), very malty and some sweetness (brown sugar type). Flavor is rich and malty with some sweetness , fruit, and slightly astringent yeastiness. Mouthfeel is rich. sweet up front with a little stringent touch in the finish. Good beer, worthy of being called Trappist.

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Photo of delta490
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The body is light brown and slightly cloudy. It offers a nice layer of creamy white head. The aroma is mild but slightly sweet with just a hint of spices. The taste has surprising depth given the aroma, with a mild sweetness that is offset by a little hint of tartness. The body is light and smooth.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy brown-red color, rusty and mostly opaque, off white head, lots of lacing.

S - Fruit, apple and pear, and yeast, sweet, slightly buttery malt, butterscotch and caramel.

T - Follows the nose, with apple skin, pear flesh. Malty. A hint of bitterness of overstepped tea.

M - Slightly bright, brisk. Dry close.

O - Great combination of malt and yeasty brew. Pretty nice, rich, lovely.

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Photo of pkalix
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

bottled 3 years and 6 months ago. hope it ages well....no carbonation and just a skin foamy dots on top. can still taste the honey. kind of flat, kind of stale flavors.

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Photo of FBarber
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 bottle.

Pours a hazy brown with lots of yeast chunks in it - very different. Frothy off-white head dissipates leaving no lacing but some spotty foam along the top of the beer.

Smell is very pungent aroma of brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits - prunes and dates, spiced yeast, and a strong alcoholic smell - almost bourbon like.

Taste is initially muted by a strong carbonation tingle on the tongue, but as that dissipates you get an array of flavors including molasses, prunes, dates, raisins, overly ripe dark grapes, brown sugar with a nice boozy finish. This is only a 6.9% ABV, but it tastes much boozier. The flavors are quite well blended. There also a nice spicy yeast note to it as well.

Feel is a bit thin, but not unusually so for a dubbel. Pretty strong carbonation especially for a beer that is two years old already. Very smooth and drinkable. Certainly not at the level of Westmalle or Rochefort's dubbel, but as dubbel's go this was very good.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades slowly leaving traces of lace. Murky dark amber color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light dark fruit nose, flavor is hints of dark fruit and caramel, dry finish. Pricey at $6.99 for a 330ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, MA. Brewed Mar 2013.

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Photo of Tone
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, yeast, slight hops, alcohol, and a hint of wood. Fits the style of a Belgian Dubbel. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, yeast, slight hops, alcohol, slight dark citrus, hint of pale malt, and a hint of wood. Overall, decent appearance, aroma, and good body.

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Photo of davidperez
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Chimay chalice, it pours a dark amber orange, solid and hazy, with a two-finger head with low retention.

Interesting bouquet.
Spices as in clove and pepper, yeasty, caramel, honey, malts, apricot, dried apple, pear, overripe plums and pineapple.
Very promising.

The flavor follows the nose.
Upfront a lot of carbonation. The bevy of sweet notes are intertwined with the spiciness, which is very present. Shortly afterwards a bit of bitterness comes in to add complexity and balance to the beer.
The aftertaste begins bittersweet with a little booze, but it quickly becomes dry and makes you want to have another sip.
Medium to light body, slightly smooth.

Very nice and interesting beer, very assertive flavors.

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Photo of stevoj
2.92/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle from my delabierman. Yeast dominates the aroma, some citrus, some herbal. Also picking up a minor note of orange soda. Malts start to show through in the flavor, some caramel. A hint of bitterness at the finish. Let's see if they can improve with time.

 259 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy caramel colored pour with a small off-white head. Aroma of dried fruit, bread and yeast. Taste has dried fruit and fig flavors upfront. Can also taste some caramel, nut and bread. Medium bodied with light carbonation.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, brewed 03/13. Poured slowly into a tulip glass successfully leaving most of the sediment behind.

Appearance: Cloudy translucent coppery-orange-brown beer. Thin light tan head dissipated about halfway through the glass - no lacing.

Smell: Fruity esters, Belgian-style yeast, and honey.

Taste: Initial hit of sweetness with malt and honey, then a lingering bitterness that seems to explode at the finish into herbal, floral, and old noble hop flavors. Some lingering light metallic notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation - scrubs the palate clean. Nice thickness and a dry finish.

Overall / Drinkability: Has aspects of a dubbel, but the finish and the honey flavors deviate quite a bit from the style, but it's still a good beer. I think this beer held up well for its age, but I wonder what it would be like fresh or only 1 year old. One per evening is enough, but I would not mind a larger bottle. An interesting Trappist ale and I may need to revisit this one, even with the high cost.

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Photo of Shilnikoff
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 330 ml | Batch # L11031340 | Best before end of 11-03-2017 | Bar code 9 120041 150685
Served in snifter glassware

Appearance: Dark Amber, Foggy, when lighted up - Frozen Peach | 15 mm foam head (disappeared quickly) | Almost no bubbles | Sediment flakes
Smell: Yeast, rare honey notes
Taste: Yeast, carbonated, alcohol a bit
Mouthfeel: Sharp, bitter aftertaste
Overall: Unfortunately I didn't find all these aromas and flavors from official description: "Aromas of tangerine, slate, tropical fruit, apricot jam and amaretto. Soft on the palate with initial orange overtones and a touch of lemon acidity. Sourdough, cherry and white grape flavors developing in the middle with a slight minty character. Finish is long, dry, spicy and herbal with late hints of grapefruit." (C) Maybe next time...

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Photo of Zet
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange colour, deep in the middel and light around the edges, with an awesome frothy head of foam. Lots of yeast flakes in the glass though, otherwise it would have been a perfect score. A full nose of yeast, caramel, honey and vanilla. Same flavours in the taste, as well as hints of coffee, apple, cherry, resin and lemon zest. Taste is a tad too much on the sour side for me though. Mouth feel is smooth and soft: carb seems to be almost absent. A nice addition to the trappist branch, though there are cheaper varieties that are better available here in Holland. Worth a try though.

 591 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz, bottled 11/2013 (two years old). Pours an opaque amber color, with lots of nice, beige colored head, and very nice lacing. Aroma is faint, of sweet malts. I get the typical dubbel flavor, with (what I am assuming is) the Belgian yeast strain, and the advertised honey does come through.It has the sticky, medium mouth-feel that I think is typical of the style.

It's hard to rate this beer on what this is SUPPOSED to taste like, rather than what I WANT it to taste like. Although I judge this is probably a good example of the style, it is not a beer I really enjoy drinking, and not one I plan on getting again.

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Photo of stcules
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark orange, slightly hazy. Decent off-white foam.
Malty smell, with ripe fruit. Quite heavy. Honey. Some spices.
Malty and sugary taste, with a lot of fruit. Too sweet.
In the end, a bit of balancing bitterness makes it at least drinkable.

 240 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer. Pours deep copper with a very wide white foam head. Aroma is great, complex, fruity, malty and estery, no hops. Taste is citric, sweet and malty, bitterness is low and there´s a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. Full body with medium carbonation. Nice beer but very expensive in Mexico, you can buy much better beer for less money.

 352 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy gold capped by a 3” off-white foam collar that recues slowly to about a third of its original size. Very lace. S: Honey and fruit aromas. T: Banana, fruit and spice – dries slightly out on the finish but the honey texture remains. A dash of white pepper. A moderate, clean, earthy hop bitterness. F: Rich and creamy, medium body, medium high carbonation. O: An interesting new Trappist Dubbel.

 412 characters

Photo of jmasher85
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A rich beer and pretty malt-heavy. Fairly sweet, as it's brewed with honey which you can definitely taste. A nice desert beer addition to the Trappist brand.

 159 characters

Photo of Stubbie1
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 246 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From: www.cervezasespeciales.com. Playing KB Dark Side. Tasteful and easy to drink. Ive like it mucho more than the gregorius and than other more renowed trappist beers.

 169 characters

Photo of Dentist666
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer from relatively new (2012) trappist brewery.
Poured into tulip.
Pours cloudy reddish-brown with off-white head. Good retention. Smell of apple, cherry, yeasts, candy, honey, rather fresh. Sweet and sour tones prevail. Taste is yeasty and spicy, lack of bright traits. Dry finish, medium-bodied. Level of good belgian beer.
Not a dubbel, belgian dark ale.

 360 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque, deep amber (with a decidedly red hue) brown producing a huge to the point of being difficult to pour, tightly bubbled foam, beige, moderately lived head that leaves minimal lacing. Aroma is malty with notes of grape, dried apple, honey, spice, earthy/floral hops, Belgian funk & a vinous hint. There is little of the dark fruit character I associate with the style. Taste is Belgian malt, sugary dark bread, fig, raisins, soured fruit, a hint of honey, brown sugar, grass, earth, alcohol & a little Belgian funk finishing with pepper & spice. Aftertaste is malty, earthy & bittersweet with an alcohol prominence that fades to a faint bitter astringency. Again little of the dark fruit character I associate with the style. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, spicy, crisp & dry late in the sip.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
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 HardTarget
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
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 T-34-85
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Splendid orange color with a thick large bubbled ivory foam that dissipates to a sheen that leaves lacing.

Smell: Sweetness, honey, fruits, and a hint of tartness

Taste: Similar to smell with sweet honey flavor and a more pronounced sourness

Feel: Good carbonation fizz that accentuates the other characteristics.

Nice beer. One that I would have again happily

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Benno from Stift Engelszell
3.79 out of 5 based on 287 ratings.
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