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RATINGS: 153   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.69/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 297   ABV: 9.9%
The Benchmark is our limited-edition, annual release. It is a pale old ale,with a great malt palate, subtle hop presence, and a high gravity (9.9% alc/vol). We brew it once a year, fermenting half with ale yeast and the other with lager yeast. When itís ready, we blend the two and finish it with Champagne yeast and age it for many months.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
gwfrankpsu (231) - McKinleyville, California, USA - MAR 25, 2002
WOW!!!! Found a bottle hidden in my stash, forgot how much I love this beer. This is a wonderfully balanced beer, rich and clean, it is hard to believe that itís 10%, but it does kick in. This is a great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
AxeMaster221 (343) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 24, 2002
2001 bottle- Big head that diminished quickly, lovely , slightly clouded amber color. Awesomely smooth for a 10% beer, with wonderfully balanced malt/hops flavor. Definately the best brew made by Macís. Probably hard to find outside Oregon, but worth the try. Rerate 9/24/02 Still awesome, but sorry to say this is soon to disappear. I talked to the brewery and there are no plans to do more of this in the future....too bad, as with a few more raters it could crack the top 50 in the world. If interested, you might check Belmont Stationís website to see if they have any left.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
psynthetic (7) - BERKELEY, California, USA - AUG 27, 2004 does not count
Awsome brew by the folks at the Portland Brewing Company. As light and balanced of a barley wine as I have ever had. Wonderful finish and very drinkable for a beer with such a high ABV.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
legion242 (2344) - Richardson, Texas, USA - FEB 27, 2005
Pale rust in color. Head was thick and egg white. Mild caramel nose. Caramel and chocolate. Nice mouthfeel. Good effervesence. Very hardy and substantial. Warming at 9.9%. Chewy, hints of dark fruit.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
philbertk (1873) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 14, 2010
UPDATED: APR 11, 2010 Portland Brewing Company, Inc.--Benchmark Old Ale--2000 22 oz. Bottle. 9.90% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Barleywine. Clear rich amber golden color. Balanced rich front and body. Minimal toasted roasted flavor with rich hot caramel pale malt. Good hop profile and mild sweetness. Light hot alcohol hop finish. Sampled 5/11/2000. Portland Brewing Company--Benchmark Old Ale--Limited Release MMIII 2003 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 9.90% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) Old Ale--Clear thin amber red color. Light head and lace. Clean malty rich floral hop front. No sediment. Rich sweet buttery malty clean smooth! caramel cherry fruit body. Clean hot balanced mild hop end. Mild I2PA. Sampled 7/14/2003.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - DEC 27, 2003
A fitting brew for my #1000,and i have to Thank Flipbrewer for sending this one so i could get to this milestone.Warmed to just the right temp.Nice amber color,small off white head that lasted for a decent amount of time,fading to leave a nice lace behind.Light sweet malt aroma with a decent hop presence and floral fruity appearance.This is definately not a barley wine in the sense i think of but more of a heavy IPA .With the flavor being fruity and bubble gum like with a nice hint of grapefruit,But mostly this brew seems to carry heavy on the hops and floral side with a nice sweetness to it and mild malt side to balance things out a bit.I'd have to agree with Captain Cougar that this resembles more of an old ale then a barley wine but,never the less it is quite good in it's own rite and well wroth trying if you can get it.The finish is fruity and sweet with a nice hop appearance coming on at the tail end.Very nice and very drinkable brew.Well worth trying again.Thanks Flipbrewer for another fine brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2004
Nice foamy head! A terrific ale that's beckoning you to give it a try. Rather sweet with a hoppy aroma. The 10% abv alcohol is EXTREMELY well-hidden, and Portland Brewing deserves considerable praise for that fact (I've had Russian lagers with 7% abv that had more alcohol burn than this Benchmark Old Ale). Aroma of flowers and alcohol. Taste is of sweet caramel malt and the hop presence is quite subtle. This is a fantastically sweet barleywine from one of my favorite brewers. Portland Brewing never seems to let me down!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Verne (263) - Enumclaw, Washington, USA - MAR 27, 2004
This beer is subtle, light color, little head, clear. Very mild aroma but a complex one, sweet, malty, flowers and wine but again the aroma is subtle. Alcohol? You just canít taste it but at 10% itís there when you stand up. Favor is mildly malty, floral, spices but all so very subtle and blended. A fabulous beer but if your taste buds are blown out by drunkenness or you just drank a hopmoster this beer is not for you, your not worthy

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dawghouse Brewers99 (91) - Exeter, California, USA - DEC 30, 2001
Big creamy head gives way quickly. Big malty nose. Sweet malty flavor but not over cloying due to hops. dosenít taste alcholic though the 9.9% content very nice beer!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - JUL 17, 2003
This is good stuff. Big, huge, complex aroma of malt, hops, and licorice. Beer pours big head, color is reddish/brown. Head is retained and there is light lacing. Lots of flavors to compliment the aroma. Just a small step below Old Horizontal in my book.

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