RATINGS: 151   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71/5   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 it’s ready, we blend the two and finish it with Champagne yeast and age it for many months.

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Ungstrup (38248) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUL 12, 2005
A red beer with a huge beige head. The aroma is sweet with primariry notes of coriander, while the flavor is sweet with loads of alcohol, as well as lesser notes of caramel and spices. The spices gives it a very dry end.

Papsoe (25059) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - APR 14, 2006
(Bottle 65 cl) Pours a very pretty, warm amber with a small, rough head. Sweetish, caramelish nose. Full-bodied with lots of sweet caramel and some nutty accents. This is really closer to a Barley Wine in style. Tasted at the Oklahoma Beer tasting March 06 hosted by mjames and lilannie. 250306

argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 28, 2003
(2003) Clear amber body with medium off-white head. Aroma is sweet, caramel, floral, pine. Taste is candy sugar sweet, melon, caramel, floral/pine, finishing champagne. Fairly dry finish with alcohol warming. Medium-light body, surprising for a beer of such alcohol.

hopdog (12953) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 14, 2008
22oz bottle. 2003 Vintage. Poured a medium orangish color with a larger sized off white head. Initial pours were clear and became hazy and cloudy as I got towards the bottom. Aromas of toasted nuts, wood, caramel, and some dark fruits. Very light oxidation but not detracting. Tastes of caramel, oranges, and some dark fruits. Tastes on the softer side. Alcohol well hidden with the body on the thinner side.

hopscotch (11182) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 22, 2003
MMIII Sparkling clear amber ale with a small, fizzy, off-white head. The aroma is of caramel, orange blossom honey, fir and fresh rubber. Nicely balanced flavor. The alcohol is decently concealed. Full-bodied with a thick, creamy mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. Lengthy, sweet, then astringent and dry finish. Very nice!

kp (10881) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2009
Date: April 21, 2001
Mode: Bottle
Source: Belmont Station, Portland
Appearance: clear amber, thin white head
Aroma: strong hop aroma
Flavor: rich malt with lots of hop flavor, very well balanced, no aparent alcohol for its 9.9%
Overall: a nw barley wine that’s not over the top

Date: November 06, 2008
Mode: bottle
Source: Ale Atlanta
Vintage: 2000
hop character has all but died, caramel malt character is mostly dry, just slight sweetness comes in with a bit of stickyness,

Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 14/20
Rating: 3.3/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: **4

MartinT (10037) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 12, 2006
Any first impressions?
-A foam circle looks down on the glowing maple gold.
-Fruity caramel and earthiness may have merged once, but are distant at this point.
-Overall flavors are mild, low in complexity, and sweetness is perhaps the only attainable pleasure for now.
-Mouthfeel is complacent, another sign of its unceremonious aging.

What if you dig deeper?
-Aroma and flavor are fragile, and don’t last long.
-Fruitiness reaches red currants, mild cherries, but cannot gather enough bulk to titillate.
-Alcohol is nicely hidden, barely heating the back of the mouthful.
-A wilted flower still draws emotion, but certainly not one near well-being.

Bottle; 2003 vintage.

bb (9697) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 4, 2004
Bottle. 2004. Clear amber-red with a nice off-white head. Rich toffee malt aroma with some spice. Vanilla flavors backed by malt and caramel. Easy drinking. This beer ended up reminding me of drinking a coke. It was sweet, lightly syrupy, and just got on the wrong wide of me. Maybe it’s better when it’s aged, but I could easily pass.

3fourths (9357) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 12, 2003
UPDATED: APR 5, 2013 Ruby red hue. Mig malty nose. Smooth and syrupy on the tongue. Has a strong honey flavor, complimented by a slight apple/alcohol bite mid-drink. Finish is sticky, flavored like honey and lemom.

SudsMcDuff (8468) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2012
22oz bottle, 2003 vintage .. . thanks Daniel .. . Pours a deep amber .. . medium to light foam .. . wet brown sugar, slight oxidation, and molasses .. . has held up well, only the mouthfeel has thinned out quite a bit but the flavour is nice .. . a treat to try this for sure! .. . .
Wow, a secret staircase! But what do you do if someone wants non-alcoholic beer?
You know, it’s never come up.

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