Bender - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,528 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by falloutsnow:
4/5 rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
From: France44 dot com
Date: Bottled 12/2/12
Glass: New Belgium globe glass
Surly's Bender takes a varied and diverse approach towards the brown ale style, bringing in noticeable cocoa alongside bread-toffee sweetness, vanilla, and the occasional flash of something coffee-esque and reminiscent of wood-like, herbal hops. Yet, for its interesting aromas and flavors, the beer also seems a bit muddied and indistinct, with a slightly harsh vanilla (or something) presence in the aroma and a bit too much astringency in the taste. A beer I would enjoy occasionally due to its easy sessionability and generally good flavor/aroma.
Pours a dark beige head of about 2cm, made up of small bubbles, which has average retention length of about a minute. In its decline, the foam leaves significant lacing along the sides of the glass, from waves in retreat to thick lines and splotches. The body is a dark brown to nearly black color, with light revealing a secret, transparent ruby color. Carbonation is visible only at the top of the glass, the body being opaque enough to render it mostly invisible. What is visible indicates a fairly lively beer, due to the many small bubbles seen edging their way to the top.
Aroma is of toffee, chocolate malts, vanilla, with biscuit-like accents, along with woodsy hops (probably Willamette or something similar). The vanilla aspect seems particularly pronounced for some reason, occasionally being more noticeable than the toffee, which I find somewhat unappealing. Otherwise, this smells fairly compelling.
Overall, the beer has fairly strong toffee-bread flavors that are balanced by cocoa, vanilla, and mild hop bitterness; a bit astringent, though, and also somewhat muddied in the mix of flavors, if one wants to be critical. Front of palate finds cocoa, vanilla, and hints of rich toffee sweetness. This leads to a mid-palate of toffee sweetness and rich brown bread tempered by cocoa, vanilla, faint coffee and mild bitterness with light wood-like hops that also have a touch of citrus. Back of palate finds toffee and bready sweetness overpowering cocoa, faint coffee, and vanilla. Fairly pleasant aftertaste, though somewhat astringent, of moderate bitterness that blends well with the chocolate, toasted nut, and coffee flavors of the beer that hang around.
Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, thickness likely due to the addition of oats. Carbonation is of medium-low intensity, leading to a smooth, fairly substantial mouthfeel with light flecks of carbonation felt across the palate. Closes quite dry, almost astringent, with light stickiness lingering on the palate.
Serving type: can
03-19-2013 01:47:56 | More by falloutsnow
More User Reviews:
3.78/5 rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a dark brown head with an inch or so of light brown head. A tad bit dark for Decent retention and a good amount of lacing. A little bit of mild sweetness in the aroma paired with dark chocolate and a little nuttiness. Good balance in the taste. Nothing over the top. A little bit of sweetness, followed by caramel. Lightly roasted coffee and slight hints of chocolate.A little bit thinner than I expected, with a touch of creaminess. Goes down really easy. I could knock back a few of these.
Overall, I consider this one to be a curious case. This is the second can of this that I've had. The first one was a bit fresher. I'm not liking it as much this time around. The aroma and taste seem a bit milder this time around.
Serving type: can
07-19-2014 03:02:06 | More by majorbase2
Bender from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,528 ratings.