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Benno | Stift Engelszell

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BA SCORE
85
very good
79 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stift Engelszell
Austria
stift-engelszell.at

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
79
Ratings:
291
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
19.31%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
58
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 291
Photo of CurtFromHershey
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep copper with big pillowy tan head. Strong retention and lacing..

Smell is spicy and yeasty. Maybe a bit of citrus in there too.

Taste starts up with a bit of citrus and followed by a wave of black pepper. Belgian yeast profile on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick but not as dry or effervescent as I'd expect from a saison.

Overall a really nice beer and I'm glad I got to try it. Nothing that rocked my world, but I'd drink this again.

 452 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a moderate haze and a single finger of frothy tan foam. An interesting-looking saison.

Smell: bready, malty and grassy with just a little bit of farmhouse funk. This reminds me more of a bière de mars than a typical saison. It appeals to me.

Taste: bready and yeasty with a little more funky character than the aroma. Good, but it lacks complexity. Once again, it reminds more of a bière de mars.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big, satisfying creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: this is a pretty decent beer, but not a wonderful one. Worth trying if you are a fan of the style, but otherwise you can probably skip it.

 695 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a chalice.

Best before 24.04.2015 batch most probably bottled in 2013 (maybe end of 2012)

A: Pours a dark orange color forming a big, fluffy and creamy light yellow head. Medium to low retention and lots of lingering and molasses lacings formed and left in the glass. A thin layer of bubbles remains forever on the top

S: Very fruity and spicy. Strong notes of orange peel and honey. Quite peppery too. Caramel malts, vanille and candy sugar. Great flowery hops in the very end

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Very spicy, fruity and peppery. Strong notes of pamplemousse, orange zest, honey, vanille, black pepper, flowery hops, caramel and crystal malts. Bready yeasts profile

M: Medium body. Good carbonation. Slightly sweet and spicy aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Nice Saison. Better than the Gregorius one

 837 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a clear, medium coppery amber with a half finger white head that dissipates to thin persistent film. Aroma of caramel malt, sweet stone fruit, coriander, Belgian and lighter saison style yeast. Flavor is semi-dry bready malt, saison yeast, light citrus, earthy and bitter spicing. Dry bread crust finish with residual bitterness that tastes more like dry earthy spices than hops. Medium bodied with peppery carbonation. A nice example of a Belgian style farmhouse ale, with both dry saison components and Belgian spicing. The honey element is not noticeable in the taste, but may contribute to the fact that this isn't a very dry ale. The earthy spicing is unusual and rewarding.

 724 characters

Photo of safaricook
4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is to celebrate my 500th rated beer on beer advocate.
I got the bottle at a visit at the brewery this summer. Its best before date is 23.06.2015. I guess it was brewed early this summer. I pour it into the original Engelszell hand blown tasting glass.

Copper murky body with lots of fine carbonation. No sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Fine and medium pored white fluffy head that reduces to a thin layer but can be brought back with a swirl anytime. Leaves lacing too.

Belgian yeast with its typical fruity ester are dominant, got some tartness as well and then some sweetness maybe honey maybe malts. phenols like clove. nice and complex.

Taste is not following aroma too much. It starts with subtle sweetness and fruitiness before it gives you an somewhat astringent tart sensation which bears also some bitterness and leaves you with a distinct sour aftertaste. Very interesting.

It is quite light on the tongue with its velvety carbonation. medium body.

This is a complex beer that fits very well in the Saison category rather than the light Dubbel as it was labelled for some time. I cannot stop smelling it, getting waves and waves of different aromas. The taste is surprisingly sour which makes it interesting as well as tasty. All in all much better than the Gregorius and in its sourness unique in Austria. I am very excited to find out if they keep the sour touch or mainstream it in the following batches.

 1,441 characters

Photo of tjumfrid
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange peel, grapefruit. Cloudy, 1/4 inch foam on the top.

S: Reminds me of fall...crisp, citrusy.

T: Refreshing. Tastes like it smells; orange peel, citrus and floral.

M: Light and dreamy.

O: A delicious Saison. I tried the Gregorian last night and promised to review both..I'm a sucker for Saisons and this one is top notch. BUT the Gregorian is more unique with its midnight plum/raisin. I would recommend the Gregorian over this one, although both are great.

 472 characters

Photo of ikantspel
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle served into a chalice

Pours a glazed honey color with a lingering still head

Sweet plum, spiced caramel, and a hint a alcohol in the nose

Right away the dryness of the beer hits with a slightly sour punch that doesn't overpower the sweet bready flavor underneath.

Overall not too bad but on the lower end of the Trappist family.

 348 characters

Photo of spoony
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 333 ml bottle into a tulip. If the bottle was dated, I failed to notice it.

A-The brew is darker than most saison style beers; sort-of a brownish-tinted honey color. The head is off-white to light tan and never more than a finger tall. Not much in the way of retention, but there is a healthy chunk or two of lace left behind.

S-The smell is slightly sweet for the style with a hefty dose of spices (clove, mostly) and a robust, almost nutty grain scent. There is a touch of chewy bread in the pale malt scent and a bit of powdery yeast that reminds me of Belgium.

T-The taste is much like the smell with clove spices being the prevalent flavor. Other flavors include some honey-like sweetness, golden raison, nuttiness, and a bit of bready, pale malts underneath a barely-bitter grassy flavor. There is a bit of fruity, estery alcohol, too. Malts verge on dark fruit, but never quite get there. Unique and interesting.

M-The feel is harder than soft on the palate, with a medium to full body for the style and a thick, but inactive carbonation.

O-I am glad to have tried this brew. It is a unique a tasty drink, but I'm not sure it qualifies as a proper saison. At times, I felt like I was drinking BDSA, with the hints of dark fruit and honey playing against the clove spices. Anyway, although it is tough to categorize, this brew is good and I would happily drink it again. A good early fall option.

 1,415 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the 11.2 fl oz bottle. Sampled on September 2, 2013.

It pours a reddish-brown color with a very soft, delicate and fluffy white head.

On the nose I get candied sugars, toasted biscuit malt, yeast, some coriander, and maybe a tad of fig. But with all of this I get a kind of cellar muskiness.

The body is better than medium.

The taste starts out with a brown sugar sweetness, malty, and with some nice deep spices but then it evolves into a musty lingering finish. While this is not a bad beer it really smells and taste like a dank, dark cellar. But perhaps that's the point.

 584 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

At the time of my review, this is listed as a saison. It most certainly is not. I believe that it's a dubbel.

Flavor is rich and thick. Somewhat noticable grain tone. Definitely honey going on here. Probably a little too hearty in that it could use its edges smoothed out. Not too shabby a drinker. Could use the wrinkles ironed out for sure though.

 350 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : orange amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : yeasty & spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : malt and floral flavors with spicy yeast and mild bitter finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian Ale.

 297 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy dark gold with moderate off white head.
S: It smelled like grassy and waxy hops with a little wild honey and fresh wheat.
T: It tasted like grassy and waxy hops with some fresh wheat and a little horse blanket and wild honey. It had a clean lingering bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Light body.
D: This was a decent saison, with nice scent and taste, but nothing special. The body was pretty weak, and the finish wasn't the smoothest, so not super easy to drink. An average brew, and really not impressive for a trappist.

 583 characters

Photo of seand
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a fair amount of dense off-white head. A ring around the glass retains along with some surface film, leaving spotty lacing.

S: Yeasty, sweet, with spiced notes.

T: Light, somewhat hoppy, and a bit grainy, leading into more pronounced fruit and citrus hop notes towards and through the finish.

M: Light to medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, a fairly nice blend of flavors. My first impression was not great, as its grainy-ness is a little reminiscent of some macro beers, but there's more going on and it's better than my initial reaction. Worth a try.

 596 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2012.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, yeast, and slight fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors for the style.

 568 characters

Photo of teromous
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a hazy light brown color with a huge fluffy eggshell-white head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Musky barn scent, smells a bit like wet cardboard and mildew, a bit of spicy hop scent. All of these are great for a Saison.

T: Soft bread taste, mellow spices, tea leaves, some deep bitterness like roasted nuts. There's a toasted caramel sweetness. The flavor is complex but not overwhelming. There isn't any sourness to the beer, this is more of a musky flavor

M: Easy to drink, nice bitterness, good carbonation.

O: Nice clean easy going Saison. I noticed that the label said the beer is brewed with honey. I didn't get any traditional mead flavors, but it's probably too delicate to stand up to the more roasted flavors in the beer. It is very enjoyable to drink.

 775 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy and murky brownish amber color with a one finger tan colored head. The head has a decent retention, fading over time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is of fruit and biscuit with lots of cherry and plum. Along with these smells other aromas of a honey and a decent presence of a yeasty aroma bringing with it spice of coriander, pepper and clove.

Taste –The taste begins with a biscuit malt flavor mixed with darker fruits of cherry and plum. Unlike in the nose not much honey was detected in the taste, but instead the sweetness came largely from the fruit flavors. More toward the middle a tartness and yeastiness began developing on the tongue along with some spice of coriander. These flavors take the taste to its end where the tart and more tart flavors get more potent leaving a biscuit and fruity tart flavor to linger in the mouth.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. For the tart flavors of the brew a slightly thinner body may have been slightly more appropriate although the medium carbonation level was a nice balancer of the tart and the biscuit flavors that were simultaneously present at the end.

Overall – An alright dubbel but nothing too out of the ordinary here in my opinion.

 1,411 characters

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy light amber in color and has yeast particles visible floating in suspension near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a half finger high beige head that gradually died down, mostly leaving a thin head covering the surface.
S: An interesting mix of Begian yeast, sweet malt and spice aromas are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has additional notes of honey and spices plus medicinal hints of iodine.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting beer that seems to taste like it is a hybrid of a saison, bière de garde and a dubbel.

 656 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Impressive starting head that settles slowly into rocky chunks. Thick lace on the glass. Reddish hued amber color. Very cloudy.

Interesting blend of yeast and sweet cherry to the nose. Mildly sour and earthy. Different and complex.

Far more bitter than the smell would indicate. Starts with a sour and nearly dry malt up front. The swallow is nearly astringent with a bitter kick. The aftertaste has some of that cherry show up again, a bit flowery, but it leans to the bitter. Full bodied with a low carbonation level.

 521 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Lava orange with large, frothy head and clingy lacing.

Smell: Fruity with caramel, honey and light Belgian yeast.

Taste: Nice fruit and honey base with notes from the yeast, such as banana, clove and spices. Finish is tart and spicy.

Feel: A little fuller than expected with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish with a nice tartness.

Overall: This is good new entry into the world of Trappist beers. Sorta a Saison, but the fuller fruit and honey notes make this a little more distinctive.

 553 characters

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really wasn't planning on being able to hold either of the Stift Engelszell beers in my hands or belly anytime soon based on their very limited production, so was ecstatic to find them at Salud bottle shop, priced reasonably. Poured into an Orval Chalice at around 48F.

A: Poured gently, this is a very nice looking beer. Glows an almost deep gold, toasty copper color. Mild turbidity. About a finger and a half of off white head which subsides relatively quickly but laces persitently in characteristic trappist style.

N: Smell is malty with a good bready yeast nose and bits of spice. Very earthy and rustic smelling. Relatively subdued nose , but it was possibly a little cool when poured.

T: Solid, softly constructed maltiness is well balanced with the wild yeastiness and grains. This has an earthy funk reminiscent of Orval, but not overpowering Brett phenols in any way. It's mildly sweet but I wouldn't guess that it was brewed with honey, as I'm told. Slight nuttiness, quite herbal and very mild spice, mostly cinammon and clove. Peppery in the finish. I had a hard time putting my finger on it, but just a very ancient and rustic flavor. It tastes like a time-honored recipe. Interesting.

MF: Light to medium bodied with more carbonation at work than was apparent in the pour. A bit astringent in the finish but also pleasingly creamy across the palate. Enjoyable to drink.

O: A nice beer, not mindblowing in any way but highly enjoyable. It's great to have a Farmhouse style beer in the Trappist stable and I'm happy to welcome our newest Trappist brewery to my experience base.

 1,600 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As the new kid on the Trappist block, Stift Engelszell chimes in on the scene with an inquisitive ale of rich Belgian Pale Ale malt presence but with the dry, spicy character of Saison. Benno is a unique and refreshing option on the Trappist beer menu.

A careful decant of the bottle yields a deep gold, medium amber color. The ale simply looks toasty and caramel-like. The classic yeast hazy keeps the beer diffused in its body while a dense cloud of froth floats above. Its head might be short statured but its ivory foam is long lasing and speckles the glass with signature Belgian lacing with each sip of the ale. Its overall appearance is of more amber-type Belgian Pale Ales.

Toasty, dry malt, pecans and husky grain character starts the show in semi-robust fashion. Spices are first and foremost with cinnamon leading the charge. Complements of light clove, fresh cracked peppercorn and a decoration of clove set in and add to the spice heavy taste and aroma. Lighter in fruit notes- a melange of apples, grapes, dates and figs burrow under the spices and fuse seamlessly with the terse caramel and cotton candy-type sweetness.

Malty-light in body, its dry sweetness allows for the malts to spring from the tongue to usher in a quick and decisive finish of peppery zeal, rose wine acidity, mild husk astringency and a crisp, clean herbal hop finish of lemongrass. The ale favors as much wine-like effervescence as it does ale-like creaminess.

Benno is a wonderfully crafted ale that compares very favorably when considered in the likes of Unibroue Maudite and De Koninck Ale. It simply belongs in the portfolio of time honored Trappistine history, regal, spirit and taste.

 1,684 characters

Photo of acevenom
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass mug. The beer pours hazy copper with a finger-length white head and lots of tiny, visible bubbles. The head sticks around for a while and retains well throughout consumption. The beer smells like lemon, Belgian yeast funk, sweet and bready malt, and coriander. The beer has a nice malt profile that's evidenced in the taste, being nice and bready with some sweetness. I get the lemon and coriander as well as some earthy hop bitterness in the back end. The body is medium with lively carbonation. The finish is dry and the aftertaste coats the mouth. This is a nice drinking beer. This is an excellent beer.

 627 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from the Wine Source in Baltimore. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a fairly-hazy deep gold-caramel color with a thin white head. A bit of spotty lacing iand a collar.

The nose carries a bit of bread and faint caramel alongside a bit of candy sweetness. No real saison yeast or spice to speak of. Flavor is similarly bland. Some honey, bread, and light toffee. Nothing indicating this is a saison. Faint fruit and spice as it warms.

Body is light-medium. A bit light on the carbonation, and somewhat dry through the finish.

Meh.

 535 characters

Photo of chanokokoro
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into an unbranded tulip glass

Pours amber with golden highlights capped by a fluffy white head. Great retention and plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass. Plenty of yeast, on the nose, however different and not as strong as the the saison/farmhouse yeast found in most saisons. The honey does come through as well as hay, and some malt touched by a bit of toffee. Yeasty, caramel, honey maltiness, a light touch of citrus throughout. Smooth mouthfeel, light, medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation-much lower than most saisons I've had. A very interesting and enjoyable beer. Well worth a try.

 637 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown-orange color and a cloudy consistency. Some light sediment floating around. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very underplayed aroma of yeast, fruit, and malt.

T: Tasted of Belgian-style yeast, some malt, an almost bubblegum-like element, a fruity ingredient, and the typical funkiness of a saison. Not quite as focused as most saisons, but a decent enough flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Benno is a solidly made beer, in spite of some bumpy areas. Drinkable.

 590 characters

Benno from Stift Engelszell
3.78 out of 5 based on 291 ratings.
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