Portland Benchmark Old Ale

Portland Benchmark Old Ale

Rated 3.685 by BeerPals
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Brewed by MacTarnahan's Brewing Company

Portland, OR, United States

Style:  Old Ale

9.9% Alcohol by Volume

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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.

ID: 11081 Last updated 15 years ago Added to database 16 years ago

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Overall Rank1171
Overall Percentile97.5
Style Rank17 of 208
Style Percentile91.8
Lowest Score3.2
Highest Score4.8
Average Score3.890
Weighted Score3.685
Standard Deviation0.472

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

10 Member Reviews

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  • SUDSMCDUFF 3781 reviews
    rated 3.3 9 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 5 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 8

    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.

  • HERBJONES 522 reviews
    rated 3.8 15 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Pours such a deep copper that it is bordering on red. Off white head sits atop with the aroma of cherries and vanilla seeping up through it. Nice malty front cut cleanly by hops in the middle. Medium body lets this one be a nice easy drink.Abv is hidden expertly.

  • EYECHARTBREW 1451 reviews
    rated 4.1 15 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    22-oz bottle, with silk-screened "label", including a rather Caeser-esqe emblem. No brewed-on or Drink-by dates....

    Pours with a fair amount of head, that quickly disappears. Not much in the way of Belgian Lace, either.

    But the aroma and flavor profile more than make up whatever shortcoming this beer may have appearence-wise. Very complex, with many hints of many different things going here. Has a definate "old ale" feel to it though, even if I suspect that this beer wasn't even conceived until sometime no earlier than sometime last year or so.

    Probably a beer of limited apeal, since it's not especially bitter, or "user friendly" enough for normal "day-to-day" folks to drink. But even if I've recently had some serious doubts about the skills of the brewers of the Portland Brewing Company, this 22-oz Bomber makes for a very fine beer, and I have no reason to not Highly Recommend this.

  • BEERGUY101 5022 reviews
    rated 4.2 15 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 10 | Overall: 8

    Medium orange color. Large head. Aroma is fruity, bubblegum and malts. A big bodied barleywine. Malts are fruity, apples, pears, orange peel, a touch of bubble gum and cloves. Hops are slightly spicy. The yeasts are very bright, like in a Belgian Ale. Well balanced. Hides the 9.9% alcohol very well. Tasty beer. Smooth flavor. Etched beer bottle. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

  • HEEMER77 1009 reviews
    rated 4.0 15 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    From a 2004 vintage bottle. A light yellowish head. The body has dark amber coloring. Aromas of maple wood and apple. The taste has malty apples with caramel and bread. This is a little thin for the style. Alcohol is barely tasted.

  • REIDROVER 725 reviews
    rated 4.1 15 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    A very classy looking ale it is,nice warm chesnut brown colour with a nice sized semi-frothy off white head..that sinks fast but leaves a good amount of lacing. the aroma is quite malty and reminds me of some Scotch Ales ( Skullsplitter comes to mind).Some dark fruitiness in the aroma also. mm nice taste too again the malts are very nice in this ,but there is no lack of hops also..they strike the tongue half way through the mouthful.then are gone, alcohol is warming in the belly but is not very noticable in the mouth. Nice smooth mouthfeel with a nice creamy finish. I liked this beer and found it very drinkable for almost 10% alcohol

  • JAICE 961 reviews
    rated 3.2 16 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 6

    Absolutely copper. No head. Cant get much of an aroma out of it. Tastes much like bland watered down syrup. I was expecting great things, instead i am enjoying smellin this marker im writing with more than im enjoying the beer.

  • NSTALLMASTER 433 reviews
    rated 4.8 16 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 10 | Flavor: 10 | Overall: 10

    Alright, here we go. It's late at night, home alone...thought I'd review a 650mL bottle of barleywine, hehe ;) Pours a nice dark ruddy brown...slightly clear with some effervescence. Good tall creamy head. Aroma is a bit tart, maybe a little vinous....intriguing! Very citrusy-sweet scent, with something dark lurking underneath. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, just like I hoped. Flavor comes on strong, with a dry bite at first, sweet and malty in the middle, and moderately dry and sticky, smokey finish. So many flavor combinations, it's hard to distinguish. This is a good barleywine....THE most well-balanced version of this style that I have ever tasted! Like drinking an alcoholic fruitcake (mouthfeel is about the same as well). Okay, I am finished with this review. I have a new favorite barleywine. I will be buying several of these every year to lay down for partaking in the future. This one has surely aged well!

  • E 2218 reviews
    rated 3.5 16 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Poured a hazy reddish amber color with a small off white head and light lacing. Sweet malt, dark fruits, piney hops, light yeast and alcohol in the aroma. Taste was sweet malt, pepper, orange peel, and alcohol. Finished very dry. Lager characteristics present, this was interesting, though I am not wholly sure that it worked in this situation.

  • VAC 2186 reviews
    rated 3.9 16 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 8

    This brew pours with a cristal clear amber body topped by a medium thick head with little lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with notes of brown sugar, banana, alcohol and a touch of pine. The flavor is slighlty sweet and malty yet slightly bitter and piney with notes of brown sugar and alcohol. Full bodied, tingly yet smooth and warming.

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