Review: “B&B” Brandy & Benedictine

When I was a kid my dad had THE coolest bottle of booze on the planet. Actually it was two bottles, fused into a single decanter: Benedictine on one side, B&B (a blend of brandy and Benedictine) on the other, each with its own spout.

Coolest thing on earth to look at, but not once did I ever see it used.

Benedictine (technically “Bénédictine”) is an herbal liqueur composed of 27 plants and spices and brewed up by monks on and off since 1510; it’s bittersweet a lot like a typical amaro liqueur (like, say, Averna). Many likely find it not easy to drink on its own (though it’s used in tons of cocktail recipes), so they mixed it with cognac to create B&B.

The bottled version of B&B is arguably the world’s first pre-mixed cocktail, dating back to the 1930s. While both renditions are currently 80 proof (they were 86 proof until 1978), B&B is darker in color and somewhat less sweet, making it a bit more easygoing than straight Benedictine and easier to consume at room temperature, though both are quite a bit better served on the rocks. All told, B&B offers interesting citrus notes, with some vanilla, wood, and lots of complicated herbs here. Not at all bad as a digestif.

But frankly you can do better than B&B by taking straight Benedictine and mixing it half-and-half with your favorite cognac. I mixed Benedictine with Bache-Gabrielsen XO and there’s a lot more complexity here, and while I think the bitterness of the Benedictine ultimately detracts from the cognac’s more interesting characteristics, it’s really a personal preference issue of how you like your drink.

Bottom line: B&B is good, but you can probably improve on it with straight Benedictine and your favorite brandy without a whole lot more effort on your part.

B / $31 / benedictine.fr

bb liqueur Review: B&B Brandy & Benedictine

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21 Responses to Review: “B&B” Brandy & Benedictine

  1. I love B&B – it is a good “gateway” drink in my opinion because of its combination of dry and sweet. If I where training a friend to enjoy something like, say, scotch, and this person had never drank something dry before, I’d start them on B&B.

    One note: you mention that it is easy to make your own B&B, and often the result will better than what you can buy off the shelf. I think you are right, but I’d caution that the quality of liquor you would need to mix with Benedictine might not make it worth it.

    I’ve tried it before with some fairly fancy, ~$50 a bottle French brandy. Still, I though the bottled stuff was (much) better.

  2. well for you first time getting drunk it tears you apart there was throwup everywhere dont remember a thing so on a scale of one to ten 8 very strong drink idk how i downed that drink like i did it was a great night though nearly got poisond from it

  3. you talk about your dad who had the two bottles fused as one with both the brandys with dual spouts. .
    I have one… it has never been opened… green on one side and brown on the other.. it is very cool…. would like to get a value on it….

    B&B is great .. I have been drining it for many years…. After a few you tend to want to give back stuff you never even borrowed

  4. I am looking for old B&B bottles. Please email me if anyone can hepl me.

  5. If you are looking for B & B bottles from 60s t0 70s era, I have them. All boxed, please let me know. Email: rumygo@netscape.net

    Regards,
    Eugene

  6. Elizabeth Johnson

    I have a bottle of B and B from I have no idea when. It has a label which states, “SOLE AGENTS FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – JULIUS WILE SONS AND CO. INC.” That tells me it is REALLY OLD. Any thoughts.
    Thank you,
    eaj

  7. I love a nice B&B after a big meal. We sometimes go to a Brazilian steakhouse, and after gorging on meat, I always end the meal with a nice B&B

  8. I’ve got an old (empty) B&B Julius Wile and Sons Benedictine bottle. 86 proof, likely from the 60’s. Interested? Make an offer.

  9. I have a Garnier four segment divided mini liquer bottle containing, from top, liquer d’or, creme de cacao triple sec and creme de menthe. It is unopened , about 10 inches high and encased in a yellow metal frame. Is it of any value and would you be interested in it? John Carter at johncarter@bluebottle.com.

  10. i have that two compartment bottle of brandy and benidictine…. green on one side and amber on the other … still intact never opened.

    anyone know where i can find a value for it.. i love b and b and

  11. I have an old dual botlle (divided) ,le directeur,half is abbatie fiscanensis and the 2 nd is B&B Benedictine and Brandy.Interested ? call me 407-808-0350 Alex

  12. I have a bottle of B&B from the mid 60s with the federal tax Sticker, Wile & Sons label and the original price tag. ($12.01) The bottle and lables are in excellent condition Anyone interested make an offer.

  13. Oops forgot to leave address john_heavener@hotmail.com

  14. B&B is a favorite of my from way back. But I can no longer find it. Much longer, and I will have an empty bottle for you. The one I am nursing is over 10 years old (not a very old bottle, but a long time for one to live) solely because I cannot find more. Any leads would be appreciated.

  15. B&B is pretty widely available, just do a web search on it. http://www.winechateau.com/sku1002230_B-&-B-D.O.M.-750ML , http://www.thewinestoreri.com/sku509.html Some states don’t allow alcohol to be shipped to them, so you’ll have to check if you live in one of those states. http://www.wineinstitute.org/initiatives/stateshippinglaws

  16. I have an unopened 48 fl oz bottle of B&B in a serving rack that lets you rock the bottle forward to pour. My question: is it drinkable?

  17. It dates back to late 1960s early 1970s.

  18. Pat – it should, but there’s only one way to find out.

  19. Ok I have a bottle of b&b Benedictine and the finest cognac it says on bottle
    Any how my bottle looks different to the pic above
    On mine I have a stamp saying
    Product of France over the b&b label
    Also where it says French spice liqueur and so on above pic
    Mine doesn’t have that just says liqueur
    Just wondering what the difference is with the two bottles
    Thanks hope to get an anwer

  20. you talk about your dad who had the two bottles fused as one with both the brandys with dual spouts. .
    I have one… it has never been opened… green on one side and brown on the other.. it is very cool…. would like to get a value on it….

    B&B is great .. I have been drining it for many years…. After a few you tend to want to give back stuff you never even borrowed

  21. I have an old, unopened bottle of B and B that has the Wile & Sons label on it. I think it is from the 60’s or 70’s…if anyone can help me place a value on it, or if anyone would like to buy it from me, please send me an email.

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