Benchwarmer Porter | Cooperstown Brewing Company

very good
207 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cooperstown Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 09-24-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 207
Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottling date that I can find. Picked up at the brewery just last week though.

A: Pours a dark brown/almost black. Mid-sized fizzy light brown head. No head retention or lacing at all.

S: Sweet caramel and chocolate with just a hint of roastiness.

T: More of the same. Very mild and quite sweet. Light roast and some vanilla, caramel and chocolate sweetness. Finish has the lightest hint of coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

M: Medium bodied, fairly smooth.

O: Not bad. Pretty standard light english porter. Much better than the pale varieties from Cooperstown.

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Photo of Alon
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smooth, dark, nice yeasty head.
A bit sad, though, that they have to play the trick of sneaking in two bottles of their Old Slugger Pale Ale at the back of the Bench Warmer six pack I bought this week.

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Photo of Optimus203
1.7/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

When I first opened the bottle, it foamed for longer than 1 minute - and kept foaming after every sip after that. Bottle I had was way too over-carbonated and harsh on the throat. Not a pleasant drink or feel at all. Maybe it was just a bad batch, but I won't be buying anymore.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours very dark brown, bordering on black. Little touches of foam. Nutty malty nose, slight coffee. Very creamy taste. Strong coffee bitter which holds throughout. Smooth, rich, bitter. Strong porter. Enjoyed it greatly.

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Photo of headbucket
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: a very nice black colorto the beer. Medium off-white color head with decent lacing on the glass.

S:dark, slightly roasted malt. Coffee becoming more prevalent as it warms.

T: bitter, roasted, dark chocolate with the bitterness reflecting some coffee flavors. More bitter and roasted flavors than most porters i have had. Finishes with a little acrid and acidic flavor.

M: on the thicker side of medium, decent carbonation.

O: pretty good and a lot better then the few other beers i have had from this company but not sure if i could drink more than one at a time.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: very dark brown with ruby highlights. Head is a thin finger of frothy tan foam. Pretty attractive.

Smell: a nice mocha mélange of coffee and chocolate, but with a big vegetal character that usually comes from hops combined with a bit too much roastiness. Not bad, but not as clean as I'd like.

Taste: pretty big roasty acidity hits me right up front. This is followed by a more mellow chocolatiness and finally the mocha flavor toward the end. Hops are not as notable in the flavor as in the aroma. Bitterness is balanced, although that may come more from the malt than the hops. Not too bad overall, but a little bit on the harsh side.

Mouthfeel: medium body and a good carbonation leave a very satisfying, mouth-filling creaminess. I quite like it.

Overall: this is a tasty beer, well within the style. The acidity in the flavor is a bit high for my taste, but I could see myself drinking this beer again. It is surprisingly sessionable despite its ABV and acidity.

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Photo of horshack7
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: On top is about a fingers worth of head beneath that is very dark.

Aroma: Dark fruits, chocolate malt, espresso, roasted hops, light breadiness, very faint licorice towards the back.

Taste: Chocolate malts, dark coffee, light carbonation on the palate but over all it's rather smooth. Some dark fruits along with dark roasted hops.

Notes: Very drinkable a good one to pick up. Cheers.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Deep ruby/brown when pouring, black in the glass, three finger fluffy almost tan head, lots of carbonation.

S-Roasted malt, some coffee and chocolate

T-Good blend of roasted malt and chocolate with coffee sneaking in.

M-Light, a tad on the watery side and a lot of carbonation.

O-Most likely Cooperstown's Best beer, a solid porter.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Benchwarmer Porter, though not exactly pitch black, is still a fair bit harder to see through than most beers. That being said, it's not impervious to the light; I can comfortably find the shadow of my finger on the other side. Its head, on the other hand, is much too much like a marshmallow to see through.

Almost like a foreign stout, the nose has a bit of Kahlua flavor; coffee extract and residual sweetness make for a pleasant, albeit slightly underwhelming aroma. It smells like the recipe made much more use of brown malt rather than black patent or roasted barley - the result being less smoke and roast and more nuttiness and grainy notes.

Any chocolatey flavor is of the 'now you see it, now you don’t' variety. It lasts only briefly and is ushered away by notes of roasted grain. In fact, it tastes like pumpernickel, bready but dark. There's also a trace of nuttiness that comes through more with warmth. There's a bit of vine-y, earthy, English hoppiness that makes an appearance too.

Sourness is not unheard of in traditional English porters so it's reasonable to think that the slight sour 'twang' in this mouthfeel may have been intentional (or at least we can consider it acceptable). It's not much of a distraction anyhow, although this maltiness is a bit of a thin reed on which to anchor a porter. A bit more heft wouldn't hurt.

Benchwarmer is aptly named. While it no doubt has what it takes to make the regular lineup in many mainstream drinkers' beer fridges, good as it is, I don't think it'll be getting another call-up from me. There's just much more gifted porters out there that are worthy of the playing time. Still, if you happen to find a bottle, why not give it a try-out!?

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Photo of ghebel
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours clear and very dark brown with garnet edges, almost black with a thinnish brown head. Leaves adequate lacing upon retreating down the glass.

S - Sweet, chocolaty, dark fruits. Hint of roasted malts and a nice alcoholic note in the background.

T - Much like the aroma. Starts sweet and ends with mild roast.

M - Moderate body. Mild to no astringency. A bit of alcohol warmth in the finish.

Overall - Very well done and nicely balanced.

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Photo of Kendo
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body appears black but turning dark brown (with ruby hues on the edges) when backlit. Small stone-colored head on top settles quickly.

S: Fruitiness, roasted barley and a touch of charcoal. I like my porters to be more robust - bigger roastiness - but this isn't bad.

T: Fruitiness surprises me - is that the Ringwood yeast? Toasted dark bread. Some roasted coffee and a hint of cocoa powder. Finishes with a touch of char bitterness that lingers into the finish.

M: Body is medium in heft. Carbonation is a tad bit too active and sharp.

O Decent. Not great. I wish I knew whether this one is fresh (got it at the local Price Chopper as a singleton; there was only one other one left, so I'm guessing they're going through stock quickly. . . but you never know).

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Photo of MsRif
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had from a bottle at their brewery. Poured a dark brown with some amber color and a nice beige head that receded slowly and left nice lacing. Had an aroma of dark chocolate, smoky/roasty malts and a touch of brown sugar. Tasted like it smelled, with a hint more of coffee flavor in the taste. Dry finish.

Medium bodied, smooth...very drinkable. Low carbonation. Well balanced but not really complex. All in all a good porter that I would have again.

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Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a good tan head that fades slowly to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, dark chocolate and hint of dark fruit.

T: Mild flavor of roasted malt, dark chocolate hint of coffee. Has a mellow bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Very well balanced. No hint of the 6.3% ABV.

Easy drinker, very enjoyable. A solid English pale ale. Another good beer from a small beer crafter.

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Photo of airforbes1
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Is it just me, or is this beer a dark red-purple color? I can't say I've seen a porter this color, but, hey, I like it. The aroma is strong and it reminds me of a fruity red wine. One that would taste of cherries and raspberries. Not that I know much about wine, so maybe I should stop there.

I've had porters that have hints of dark fruit, but this one's taste is predominated by fig, raisins, and raspberries. It's tart for a beer. I like the flavor profile, but the bitterness at the end is welcomed.

My only knock is that this beer is a little thin, but otherwise this beer will get a spot in my starting lineup the next time I see it.

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Photo of IronLover
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bottle with no freshness date. Dark brown, nearly black, with amber hues on the edges of the glass. Poured with a brief, short beige head that quickly reduced to thin wisps. Earthy, musty, roasted malt aroma with hints of sweet dark fruit. Smooth and light bodied with delicate carbonation. Dark roasted malt flavors up front, again with sweet dark fruit flavors in the background. A bit of dark roasted coffee flavors, and a smoky flavor toward the finish as the bitter hoppiness shines through. Finishes lighty bitter and dry. Very tasty.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Put this brew in the game not on the bench!

This Porter compares to the best of the English imports! Nice almost spicelike notes of flavor and a rich smoothness. This is a near perfect drink!
This is definately one to serve to your friends and family!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, not quite black with a smallish off-white head. Even though it is small, there is nice head retention and nice lacing left behind.

S: A bit of roasted malt, some dark chocolate, and dark fruit - mostly some cherries and plums.

T: Nice chocolaty flavor with hints of roasted malt, and a bit of coffee. Not overly complex, but tasty.

M: Medium bodied, but seemed to be a little thin. Would have liked to have been a bit creamier.

O: A pretty good beer, the best from CBC that I have had thus far probably.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to rlee1390 for tossing in the cool extra.

a - opened the bottle and filled my duvel taster tulip...watery black with a thin bubbly fizzy head that don't hang long. love the baseball bottle cap!

s - dark fruit porter. not the roasty burnt that i'm used to from porters...this is pretty unique and smells great.

t - wow, rather complex. the usual burnt porter that i love now has a fruity twist. a really dry and awkward finish though. the middle is really nice. the dry bitter ending just hurts it though...but quite enjoyable.

m - finishes too dry and bitter for me, but has the normal feel that i love about porters as well.

o - overall a unique porter for sure. the fruitiness works well, but the finish is a bit rough. this is definitely one to seek out if you dig porters.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with orange hue and minimal off white head

smell: roast, coffee, malts,

taste: roasted malts, coffee

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a basic porter. these guys stick to there roots.

The cpj

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark opaque brown, thick dense head which is receding slowly.

Nose of raisins, prunes, brown sugar, coffee, celery?, chocolate, dark malt....

Tasting brings notes of coffee, burnt malt, brown sugar, chocolate....

Light carb, medium body, slight coffee residual dryness on the tongue.

Very sessionable, but only an adequate porter with the exception of the nose which is amazing.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Cooperstown Brewing, Milford, NY

Delightfully malty. Definitely preferred this over the stout. Poured dark brown with a white head. Malty aroma with subtle chocolate. Tasted malty with some sweet, dark fruits in the background, and a bit of various sugars. Nice smooth mouthfeel, and definitely drinkable. Pretty basic stuff, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of SisuPride
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this porter in the backyard over a campfire so I must admit, it went straight from the bottle to my lips. Overall it was a decent porter. It's flavor was just right - not overbearing and not tasteless. My biggest downer on this beer was the mouthfeel - I would love for it to have been creamery. That said, this is a porter where you could enjoy a sixer if the occasion called for it.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from my fridge poured into a tulip. no freshness date. bottle was filled much higher than your average bottle, about 1/2 inch from the top.

pours out nearly black, but reveals some ruby red when held to the light. big fluffy 2 fingers of biege head off the pour that faded to a thick, foamy, retentive layer and towards the end to a ring. big bubbles. not much lacing to speak of.

not a whole lot of aroma to speak of. fruity esters, a little roasted malt, some chalky bakers chocolate. more is noticable as it opens up and warms.

i enjoy the taste much more than the aroma would have suggested. a nice roasted malt blends very well with some dark fruits, bakers chocolate and a touch of coffee. a little caramel noticable. just a touch of an herbal hop towards the back, finishes with a chocolate roasted slight bitterness.

too overcarbonated for my liking, the big bubbles in the appearence should have been an indication to that. it detracts from the beer a little. however, the medium body is just right for the style. chalky at times.

overall, this is a nice, easy drinking porter. sessionable. not a whole lot going on, but what is there is spot on and tasty. i would definatly drink this again if offered, i wouldnt necessarily seek it out again however.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Comes out as dark as brown can be without being black, it has mahogany highlights. Tan bubbly head that slowly fades, good lacing.

The smell has a lot going on without being overly potent. Hints of chocolate and butterscotch with a touch of caramel provided by the malts. Pretty well hopped as well, earthy and a little fruity. There is a bitterness from both the dark chocolate malt portion and the hops as well. Despite that, it's not too bitter, it tastes good.

Tough to separate the smell and the taste, pretty much on par. Again with the bittersweet chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, both citrus and earthy hops with a hint of additional fruitiness.

Benchwarmer Porter has a full bodied mouthfeel. It's pretty smooth and buttery, with a clean finish. Do yourself a favor and always pour this one into a glass. The carbonation level is a little higher than most porters I've had and the glass helps bring it down a notch, trust me I've done it both ways a few times now. The beer has some pretty good drinkability as well.

All in all this is a pretty divers and solid beer. If I lived in NY it'd probably be a standby. I've liked most of the stuff I've had from Cooperstown, this however is the first I've taken the time to review. Unique labels and I like the bottle caps.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark brown with dark copper highlights at the edges. Big fluffy off white head that likes to stay a while.

Smell- Smoke and cinnamon are the first things that come out. A little chocolate in the background.

Taste - Again, smoke and cinnamon are the predominate flavors. It is also a little earthy but I don't know where that comes from. Little hop presence.

Mouthfeel- This is a normal mouthfeel for a porter. Nothing special. Thicker in the front and thinner in the finish.

Drinkability- I don't know if I would have another or not. There is just many more beers out there that I would prefer to have or try to get another of these.

All in all I think this is a decent beer but one that doesn't stand out at all.

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Benchwarmer Porter from Cooperstown Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
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