Benchwarmer Porter | Cooperstown Brewing Company

very good
134 Reviews

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 206
Photo of Durge
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark root beer color with a modest and fizzy head but decent lacing. The aroma is a nutty sweet coffee blend that is pretty alluring. The taste brings out charcoal and chocolate but has a strong sour mash background. It is fairly acqueous and very fizzy but drinkable enough. The sour quality gets kind of prominent during the first half but mellows by the second half so it grows on you as it warms and sits a little bit. I liked it and would definitely welcome this at future sittings. Pretty refreshing for a porter, too.

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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 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 TheLongBeachBum
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Another 12 ounce bottle from Cooperstown that worked its way Westward courtesy of fellow BA McCall. A small yellow rectangular neck label has picture of hops on it with the word ‘Benchwarmer’ in a black banner. The main label is also yellow and has a black diamond with a picture of some Dudes sat on a bench. The whole appearance and style of the design makes it look more like a road sign than a beer label. Described as a Porter in the bottom right hand corner of the label, but there is no strength or freshness listed.

Appearance: Dark black body with a huge creamy light brown head that starts with a rocky surface, yet finishes with a reasonably smooth head as it settles down leaving some nice lacing on the glass sides that is sticky and virulent.

Nose: Dark cooking chocolate, bitter roasted malts, smoked peat, some coffee, bittersweet dark bonfire toffee that has a creamy milk chocolate dimension when the head is large at first. Quite the nose. Gets stronger as it warms, but less creamy and bitterer as the head rescinds.

Taste: Lots of dark cooking chocolate and roasted malts that are creamy at first but almost as quickly as they start, they catch you out as the smoked malts rise with some burnt feel, and a thick bitter dark chocolate middle punctuates the Porter. The latter third has a crisp hop feel, which mixes with the roasted malts and lends a very astringent end that still retains a dry burnt smoky feel.

Mouthfeel: Average body that is not wanting, but it is “thin” enough to make this considerably easy to drink in great volume. Perfect feel for a 6.3% Porter.

Drinkability: Lots of flavors in a body with a rather average feel gives this Porter an attractiveness that means it drinks well. Never heavy, not filling, but always tasty, and easy to quaff, it’s a great Porter to drink in quantity with little side effects.

Overall: This is an exceptionally tasty beverage that gains complexity as it warms slightly, it could well make for a great Drinking Porter on a cold Winters Day. It’s not bad in the heat in of Summer either!

Another winner from McCall, Thanks indeed Sir, a damn tasty Porter that I shall keep an eye out for!

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin finger off white head. Faded almost immediately. Deep brown but much lighter than most porters. Like a dark iced tea color. No lacing at all.

Slightest chocolate flavor. A touch of malt. Very faint aroma.

Fairly innocuous flavor. Slight grains, slight roasted malt flavor. On the edge of chocolate but not really. Slight bitterness towards the end that seems to be coming more from the roasted malt vs. hops.

Mouth feel is really light with little carbonation.

Pretty drinkable and and o.k. Not totally exciting.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - deep brown color with a tan head that thinned to a layer, leaving some good spots of sticky lacing.

S - sweet molasses aroma with hints of cocoa in the background.

T - sweet and malty upfront, with a bitter coffee taste on the finish.

M - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - easy to have a few of these, very drinkable.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the many brews I grabbed at Half Time Beverages. I am sampling at room temp and drinking from a pint glass. THe brew pours a rich dark brown color with heavy garnet tints mixed in.
A light fluffy tan head foams up easily and hugely. The head consists of very fine bubbles and sticks around for most of the sampling.
Aroma is light but exhibits an earthy hop presence, mixed with roasted malt, some chocolate and a definite rich coffee smell.
First sip reveals a lighter body than I expected, with a very fine carbonation that prickles the tongue a little. Texture is a little creamy but appealing.
Flavor light earthy/grassy hop presence moves to a roasted coffee finish, leaving a slightly bitter coffee bean taste in my mouth.
Very easy to drink and satisfying. Glad I grabbed this brew!

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Photo of tgbljb
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was probably the most-overcarbonated beer I've ever consumed. When I tried to pour it completely overwelmed the side of the glass and took severl pours to empty the bottle. It appeared as a deep brown liquid with reddish highlights. Smell was roasty, caramelly, coffee-like. Taste followed through nice a nice chocolate, roasted malt taste. Finish was creamy with a trace of dryness. Would have been better if the pour was easier.

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Photo of kmpitz2
2.74/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. This pours a ruby hued brown color with a 3 finger light tan head over top that falls to a full coat over top. Clarity is very good and there is little to no carbonation. The aroma is lightly caramel sweet and moderately nutty, but over-run with diacetyl butteryness that borders on offensive to me. I recall that they use ringwood years here, so this is not a big surprise. The flavor is a little better. There is a solid roasted character that moves to a more mild sweet caramel and finishes with a mild earthy hop and bitter. This is much better than the aroma. Mouthfeel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. I am really not able to move past the aroma on this one. It just rubs me wrong to have that much diacetly. It is nice that the roast malt helps to cover this in the flavor, but it doesn't save this one for me.

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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 Crosling
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn. Ruby brown color. Hints of raisins and black currant, with a very light coffee aspect, chocolate and milky cream in the nose. Very low aroma hops. Flavor is malt accented, fruity, with dried chocolate and hints of grapes perhaps. Not a lot of hops at all. True to style and traditional.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body topped by a fairly massive and creamy tan head.

Inviting aroma, heavy on the chocolate, a bit lighter on the coffee.

Sweet chocolatey taste upfront, and with a strong dash of hops, some nicely bitter coffee in the finish.

Good "porterish" mouthfeel - thinner than a stout, thicker than a bitter.

Very good drinkability.I could have a couple more of these tonight.

Another solid offering from a too often overlooked brewery.

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Photo of generallee
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. There is no noticeable freshness or born on date on the bottle.

Appearance: The body has a dark black look with a very dark reddish brown hue when held up to light. On top is a tan colored foamy head. It slowly fades down to a thin wisp covering that makes some slick lacing.

Smell: Its aroma has dark bready notes with some dark roasted and chocolaty barley malt. Hop notes are very mild and add a very light herbal quality to the overall aroma.

Taste/Palate: There is a dark bready base with lots of dry, roasted, toasted and chocolaty maltiness. There is a very mild toffee like sweetness underneath that I really like. Hop flavor is well balanced for the style and adds plenty of dry herbal notes to the mix. It finishes very dry with dark chocolaty, toasted and very light coffee notes. The palate has strong medium body with a smooth texture and mellow carbonation.

Notes: This is just a good solid Porter. It is very enjoyable, very sessionable and easily my favorite beer from the Cooperstown Brewery.

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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 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 NEhophead
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dense, foamy coffee-colored head with a lot of large bubbles. Dimpled and condensed lace with decent strength. An opaque black in color with some floating sediment.

Heavy milk and dark chocolate aromas; big roasted malt character. Semi-sweet caramel and vanilla that gives this porter a well rounded creamy bouquet.

Big, chewy roasted maltiness right up front. Dark chocolate flavor which gives this porter an unsweetened bitterness before the hop intensity takes hold at mid-sip. Hints of an earthy truffle and almonds in the aftertaste.

Full bodied; malty and chewy. Plenty of carbonation. A bit rugged and coarse on the palate for the style.

An interesting brew from Cooperstown. There are other versions I'd rather have, but this one is quite pleasant. One of my favorites from Cooperstown thus far.

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Photo of adamette
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from web site: "Benchwarmer" is a very smooth Porter brewed in accordance with the original "high gravity" porters of early London. More than 4% chocolate malt, which is the most similar to the brown malts of the early 1700's, gives "Benchwarmer" its dry coffee-like finish. It is fermented with the Ringwood yeast which is an excellent yeast for the brewing of porters. The widely accepted theory of how porter got its name is that it was a very popular beer among the porters who hauled produce and goods around the marketplace of early industrialized London. Original Gravity 1.062 / Final Gravity 1.014 / 6.4% abv. Served at the Brewery.

A Huge, pleasing light brown frothy head, about 2 inches supported by a very dark brown, almost black.

S Dark coffee smell with some distant hops. A really great porter smell.

T Very smooth, pleasing dark porter taste. It is not the deepest of dark tastes but it really comes through on the coffee dark malt taste.

M Full for sure but a smooth, not grainy harshness.

D Fair to good. This is a full beer. I would typically be able to drink only one of these.

Notes: Really solid porter.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.3/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I have to disagree with everyone here.
My experience with this porter was:

A: decent almost black with an incredibly active head of 3 fingers that melted slowly but left no lacing.

S: Faintly roasted, burn malts with a bit of chocolate

T: Very dark roasted malts with some very bitter chocolate and maybe a touch of espresso...unfortunately they all get lost with the intense (read: VERY) carbonation.

M: All tiny carbonation bubbles that foam in the mouth rather than merely tingle and sparkle....carbonation covers everything else.

D: Not again unless I have need to expend major gass.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to joeybeerbelly for this extra in a recent trade...

Dark brown pour with a huge head and excellent lacing...

Smells like cocoa puffs mixed with molasses... Dark and sweet

Very drinkable porter... Dark but not overly so...went great with a honey ham tonight..

Thanks again to Joe for the chance to try this...

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The perfunctory clear cola, under a coffee sea foam head, leaves some residual traces on a pint glass, but few will be inspired by observing this porter.

Again we have roasted malts, molasses and meaty tones, but it is a touch of smoke that lifts the aroma above the fray.

The palate picks up toasted whole wheat, and coffee grinds, with slight bitterness in the finish.

Nicely carbonated, but still not much to note.

Benchwarmer lives up to its name. I'm a fan of Cooperstown, and look forward to next season, when this one may get a lift. Still a good beer, this one fills out the line-up, and worthy of trying when one just wants a good beer, or to while away the hours tossing a ball around with friends.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Wow. Big, stiff head over a dark ruby red liquid. Impressive solidity.

S - Nose is fruity and floral, with some notes of metal and coffee.

T - Bitter coffee and a little bit of tartness up front. There's a generic dark fruitiness and light lemony hop.

M - A little bit astringent and fairly light in body.

D - Not bad. Not my favorite, but certainly drinkable.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish black, with a thick lasting almond head. Some sticky lacing, leaving cobwebby lacing down the glass.
Aroma is very roasty and malty, with just a hint of aroma hopping and a little woodiness. Some dark fruit, hints of currant and plum. A pleasant coffee quality to the malt, with a bit of chocolate and a suggestion of toffee
Flavor is very bold and robust. Roasted malts take center stage, with a bit of nuttiness and mild hopping providing a clean dry finish. Mild dark fruit in the middle, mingling with a bittersweet coffee and chocolate flavor. Well carbonated, but it works with the flavors involved I think. Medium to light bodied.
Very well done and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle that was part of the mixed 12 pack. no freshness information to be found on the bottle. drank from a pint glass.

A- this one pours out a dark brown colored body with small amounts of red highlights around the edges of the glass. a small beige head forms on top and fades rather quickly. little to no lacing left behind.

S- dark roasted malts are the first thing that comes to mind when smelling this beer. after that comes a generous amount of coffee and chocolate. that "off flavor" like butterscotch that i have been smelling/tasting is apparently related to the particular yeast strain that the brewery uses.

T- dark roasted malts up front again. chocolate and butterscotch in the middle. at the end i get a lot of burnt coffee.

M- medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. a little warming from the alcohol.

D- easy to finish and a style i have really started to get into. this is something id pick up again were it available a little closer to home.

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Photo of number1bum
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown color with about one finger of khaki head. Recedes to a thin lace and then disappears completely and doesn't leave a trace - looks like flat soda.

Smell is some caramel and toasted malt, bit of chocolate too. Earthy sort of aroma, as well.

Taste starts off with some quick chocolate sweetness before giving way to an earthy, dirty sort of unpleasant flavor. Not sure what it is but I'm not caring for it. It's bitter and roasted malt flavored but in a bad way. Mouthfeel is pretty crisply carbonated with a medium body.

I do not care for this at all. One of the worst porters (probably the worst actually) I've had. I won't revisit.

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

The label of 12-ounce bottle is decorated with a bit of baseball schtick and capped with a baseball-painted crown. Prying the lid off and unceremoniously dumping the contents into my imperial pint-sized dimpled seidel yields a body that is clear and smoky garnet in color. The three-finger thick cap of pale beige foam that puffs up atop slowly consolidates itself into a bumpy, wallopy mass that leaves scrappy lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is toasted and chocolatey with a whiff of coffee and warm buttered toast. Soft caramel is present in the aroma and becomes increasingly noticeable as the drink progresses.

The taste is mocha-chocolatey with a mild black coffee bitterness. The brew is somewhat fruity, with a dab of warm, buttery caramel drizzled on a slice or two of greenish-red apple. The vague orchardfruitiness provides a countering twist of tartness that doesn't offend my palate one bit.

The drink is medium in body with mild carbonation. Quite an easy drinker; thanks to Lum for the opportunity!

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Benchwarmer Porter from Cooperstown Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 206 ratings.
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