Benchwarmer Porter | Cooperstown Brewing Company

very good
211 Ratings
Benchwarmer PorterBenchwarmer Porter

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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 211 |  Reviews: 135
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A serviceable porter. Black with tons of foam that was a delight on the palate. Nearly burnt coffee ground tarish aroma, sounds worse than it was. Average taste with significant burnt coffee bitter sediment, perhaps as it approached March expiration.

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Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As previously noted in several reviews, this beer is best enjoyed at cellar temperature rather than straight out of the fridge. Very deep brown/black, but clear with ruby highlights. The 1/2" light tan head holds extremely well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma is of a roasty, sweet caramel malt (no hops). The body is medium /light with a moderate carbonation that leaves it quite creamy in the mouth. The rich flavor starts with a lightly acidic combination of earthy dark malt & herbal hop flavor that reveals a caramel sweetness, and even some light fruitiness, as it warms, finishing dry with a lingering roast and caramel maltiness. Very nicely balanced once it's warmed. Not very complex, but rich and enjoyable with exceptional drinkability. Well brewed!

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Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep with a frothy cratered tan head with just great lasting power it just sits thee on top with no decline,aromas are somewhat faint I picked up some bitter chocolate and a little earth but it doesnt really jump out at ya.Wow a nice airy,creamy mouthfeel marshmellow-like you could say very nice going down,a well rounded porter subtle in many ways starts out with notes of unsweetened chocolate with a touch of buter finishing quite dry eand earthy with underlying woodiness.Not overly complex but there are some nice flavors going on and the before mentioned mouthfeel makes it ever so drinkable,a winner.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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 smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extraordinary beige head. Lots of sticky lace. Dark mahogany brown color. Closer to a stout in color.

Strong caramel aroma--like melted brown sugar--quite sweet.

Some black patent malt in the flavor. Lots of dark chocolate notes. A touch of coffee. The bitterness comes mostly from the coffee flavors but there's a touch of hop as well. Exceptionally full flavored taste. Great body with high carbonation.

An exceptional porter, particularly on the taste.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark bronze with orange highlights on the coaster... bloody crimson when backlit. The light brown sugar colored cap is a thing of beauty and tells me that Cooperstown knows how to brew. It's milkshake-like and has all sorts of geographical features that look good immediately after the pour and even better over time. An inherent stickiness leads to quite a bit of glass coverage.

The nose smells like cocoa butter or maybe chocolate-covered butterscotch candies. That's no surprise since the ingredients include chocolate malt and Ringwood yeast. I don't like to see Ringwood used in all styles, and I don't like when it overpowers the rest of the aromas and flavors, but it works out well here.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work out quite as well on the taste buds. This would be better beer (yes, in my opinion) if it was more dark malty, less hoppy and less Ringwood yeasty. It's an interesting take on the English porter style, I'm just not sure it's a classically accurate one.

At least as prominent as chocolate-cocoa is tangy fruit reminiscent of Granny Smith apples and lemon peel. I don't mind a little sourness in my porters, but Benchwarmer puts its toe over the line. A little more malty sweetness is sorely needed. Although the Ringwood butteriness clashes just a bit, I wouldn't remove it entirely.

In spite of how the previous paragraph reads, this is actually pretty good beer that simply needs a few tweaks and a flavor focus. A little viscosity should be a given in a 6.3% porter. That said, the mouthfeel comes in on the lighter end of acceptable. The carbonation is busy without being hectic.

After the pour and the sniff test, I was all set for a full, rich, malty, buttery porter. What I got was something less than that, but I'm not too disappointed. I look forward to seeing what else Cooperstown brings to the plate. Bigger wood, I hope. Thanks BeerTruth.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown long neck with a baseball motif label and cap. No freshness date.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby hues, a fluffy tan head retains quite well also.

Smell: Unsweetened dark chocolate, carob, light hint of cooked fruit with a little bit of earth and ester.

Taste: Semi chewy mouth feel up front with a increasingly drying coffee flavour with hints of dark chocolate and caramelized sugar in the middle. Hop bitterness is there just to tame this deceivingly big brew. As this brew finishes out it goes more towards dry coffee and carob flavours yet there is still a subtle estery fruitiness (pear) in the back.

Notes: Quite a tasty porter, and a pretty big beer also. Easy on the complexities yet very flavourful. This brew gets even more desirable after it warms up a bit.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruddy brown, seems like some sediment also was in the bottle. The head is tan, quite agressive, and left alot of sticky, thick lacing. Nose was of dark malts and perhaps a wiff of vinagar. Rich flavorful porter. Notes of more dark malts, cocoa, chocolate milt, cafe au lait. Nice rich creamy mouth feel. Worthwhile porter, my favorite brew from cooperstown. The only one, so far, with any "oomph"/Balls

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with basically no head. Nose is like roasted qualities. Flavor is roasted and just an old coffee bean kinda flavor profile. Feel is standard. Just feels a touch light. Lots of carbonation. Overall this is an odd porter. I can't really put it up against others I have had as far as similarities go. The body seems lighter for a porter. Overall though it is pretty drinkable. I would just never go back to it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi-clear, dark brown color, huge fizzalicious head bubbling above...
Bittersweet nose, coffee and cocoa notes, with a touch of ash.
Smooth on the palate, easy going down, with plentiful flavor, gifted with enough chocolate and coffee in the taste to make drinking a treat, yet rather mellow and mild. Medium bodied, with a middling finish, leaves just enough of a tingle off the tongue, and a tasty echo of a true porter's delight. Tasty cocoa finishes dryly. Gets better further into the bottle. My initial blase impressions were replaced with more forthright satisfaction. A very capable drink, a slightly above average porter.
Nice try.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color with a two finger tan head. Decent lacing develops through the session. The head falls very slowly.

Smell: roasted malts and chocolate are up front and easily detectable.

Taste: mild roasted malt, chocolate, hint of prunes, and a hint of espresso. Some molasses sweetness lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel: soft crispness at the start, smooth and lightly dry at the finish. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: easily quaffable, and this can be a decent session beer as the flavor is mild and well balanced.

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Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a robust dark brown/light black color with a nice light tan head that fades to a thin lace. The smell is of toasted grain and caramel malts. There is a fruitiness about it with the lingering of noble hop aroma. The taste is great. Low mouthfeel, but all the malt character needed. The abv. slips just over 6.0% justifying the "warmer" aspect of the "Benchwarmer" title. It is lighter than a few porters that I've tried making it exceptionally drinkable. I like this beer quite a bit. It's very popular among college drinkers in the Oneonta/ Cooperstown area. A home run!!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.62/5  rDev -4%
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 biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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!?

 1,714 characters

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jdhilt
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A smooth porter with 4% chocolate malt, a dark root beer color with 6.4% ABV. I found it at a liquor store in a suburb of Albany. Too bad its only available in New York.

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Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle of Benchwarmer Porter, purchased at the brewery following Belgium Comes to Cooperstow 2006. I am drinking the beer from an Ommegang Witte glass and it is served cold.

Appearance: The ale is a deep black color with ruby hints at the sides. There is a small cappucino colored head that laces well.

Smell: The ale has a slight roasted malt nose.

Taste: The roasted malt notes here are fantastic. They provide a hint of chocolate and a lush full flavor that finishes long. This beer has broken the ringwood curse at CBC and tastes quite good.

Mouthfeel: The roasted chocolate notes and hint of sourness are a very pleasant combination.

Drinkability: My last review crowned Back Yard IPA as the best from CBC. This beer takes that title hands down. The flavors are full and unambiguous, giving the beer a real body. This is hereby crowned the best beer at CBC.

 893 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of costanzo_mike
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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Benchwarmer Porter from Cooperstown Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 211 ratings.
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