Review: “B&B” Brandy & Benedictine

Review: “B&B” Brandy & Benedictine

bb-liqueur

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.

80 proof.

B / $31 / benedictinedom.com [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

"B&B" Brandy & Benedictine

$31
8

Rating

8.0/10

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35 Comments

  1. Ryan on June 4, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    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. bob on October 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    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. russ on October 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    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. dave mancini on November 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm

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

  5. Eugene on November 18, 2009 at 10:52 am

    If you are looking for B & B bottles from 60s t0 70s era, I have them. All boxed, please let me know. Email: [email protected]

    Regards,
    Eugene

  6. Elizabeth Johnson on March 25, 2010 at 7:50 am

    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. The Coupon Mole on November 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

    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. Jill Dunn on March 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    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. Anonymous on July 28, 2011 at 12:40 am

    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 [email protected].

  10. russ on October 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    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. alex omat on October 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    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. John on January 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    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. John on January 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Oops forgot to leave address [email protected]

  14. Steve on March 17, 2012 at 1:25 am

    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. Jane on March 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    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. Pat on November 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    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. Pat on November 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    It dates back to late 1960s early 1970s.

  18. Christopher Null on November 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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

  19. Jeff on February 20, 2013 at 12:58 am

    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. russ on March 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    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. Suell on March 16, 2013 at 6:52 am

    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.

  22. phyllis on October 2, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Very disappointed in New bottles of B&B, tastes very watery and not smooth at all, I have been drinking Dom B&B since the eighties and there is a difference, not happy with this new version….tastes like medicine… price has diffently gone up and poor taste quality, would like to hear if people feel the same way………..

  23. g on December 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Our absolute favorite… an ABSOLUTE MUST…
    A B&B&B (Baily’s) on the rocks. Truly a wonderful taste!!!

  24. KatieRose60 on January 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I just bought a bottle and it is a bit on the bitter side compared to the last one I purchased a few years ago. (this stuff lasts me for a long long time as it should) But I still adore the taste in a warm brandy snifter.. great after dinner drink. Just do yourself a favor and do NOT get drunk off it. You WILL regret it! Otherwise, Lovely!

  25. Edgar Carbaat on August 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    30 yrs ago met a gentleman named Nobby Noble while vacationing in the Seychelles. He introduced me to a half and half which was Drambuie with B&B. It’s becoming a local favorite in a small town in SE Georgia, called a Nobby Noble…

  26. Candy on April 12, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I live in Ohio and have been looking for this for quite a while now. All I can find is the B&B Benedictine. It’s good too, but not like B&B Liqueur. All the places I’ve gone said this is what they can get. Was curious to know if this is still available for purchase?

  27. Len Roper on January 18, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Is benedictine available in Canada, or just the B&B mix?

  28. Antonio Paulo Costa on February 19, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Im the executor of my aunts estate. found a bunch of unopened whisky and B &b, porto hutcheson fine ruby port, jim beam 1987….etc. Looking to sell. Nothing older i think so far.

  29. Peter on December 8, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    In the winter it is great served warm ;-)

  30. Judy S on August 24, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    I found a Bottle of B&B that has to be from before 1989. Julius Wile on the label. 80 proof. Unopened. Any ideas what it is worth? There are numerous unopened bottles of courvoisier from the same era. Lots of pre 1989 stuff actually. Where can I find the value of these bottles?

    • Christopher Null on August 24, 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Not much, probably. You won’t find much collectible value until you hit the 1960s or earlier — but consult with a spirits auction house like Bonhams if you’re curious.



  31. Jenny on November 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    My dad always used it for hot toddies. It’s always done the trick for snuffing out a head cold!

  32. Fred Crawford on January 16, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    I’m seeking qualified information. I have a 48 oz sealed bottle of B&B Liqueur Benedictine and Brandy DOM (as per label), 86 proof, with “Julius Wile Sons and Co. Inc. label above a round gold colored seal, mounted in a swivel rack( metal and wood) on which is a brass plate on which is “B&B Liquerur DOM 86 proof made in France and Julius Wile sons & Co.
    This was “gifted” to me. I’d really enjoy opening and sampling but I can’t drink for health reasons, so my question is, obviously, “What’s it worth, how do I identify year bottled, and where/how do I sell it?”
    Much obliged.
    Fred

  33. Rod O'Neal on March 14, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Hello,
    I am looking for any sealed/unopened 86 proof/ 43% alc. bottles of Benedictine or B&B Liqueur and especially the “two compartment” bottle that features both liqueurs side by side.
    I also am interested in 80 proof/ 40% alc. bottlings of IRISH MIST.
    If you would like to sell, please contact me: [email protected]

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