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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,197 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,197
Reviews: 794
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 632
Gots: 283 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006

Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,197 | Reviews: 794
Reviews by Cheesemoose:
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received today from a very generous Stevef03! Thanks again!!!

Popped the cap and let this baby slide out into my brand new Surly pint. I left the remaining few ounces in the can to sample out of for the fun of it. For a brown ale, I am blown away from first glance. Beautiful rich full brown body, near black. I need to compare to the regular bender (which I will probably have tonight if not later this week) to see how much color was actually contributed from the beans. Head on this baby is amazing. Khaki colored and full, it slowly settles with each sip. Lacing is fantastic, remaining through the experience. A fluffy character to it, I am super impressed.

Smell is about the coffee. Though it is not as intense as other coffee beers, it is well done nonetheless. The brown ale comes out to play, though the coffee character has a very prominent role to play. Notes of chocolate, mocha and vanilla, with a nice bread/crust undertone. The total nose experience is more of a mild iced latte. Well done.

Just as I suspected. The nose led me to think that this would be a brown ale with coffee added, instead of the other way around. The brown ale base is present in the fore tongue with a splash of chocolate and roasted malt base, that leads rather quickly into the coffee infused body of the beer. The mid tongue picks up on the coffee notes, with an intense flush of fresh roasted beans. The finish brings back the brown ale, finishing again with notes of walnuts, chocolate, vanilla, and maple syrup. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side...oh wait. i'm reviewing a brown ale. Forgot that this wasn't a stout for a second. For a brown ale, expectional. Coffee stout brewers take note, this is how you do it. This is not only a great example of coffee in beer, but also how to make an already great beer greater. Still waiting on the Bender experience, but I can tell I'm in for a treat.

More User Reviews:
Photo of infinitebruner
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

August 30, 2014

16 oz can, nonic pint

A – Medium to dark brown. Effervescent. Off-white head, low head retention. Basically looks like a carbonated version of my morning java brew.

S – Smells like a freshly opened bottle of cold-pressed coffee. Lots of roasty, burnt notes. Bitter.

T – Again, a lot of cold-pressed or iced coffee. Bitterness is strong but not overwhelming. Burnt flavors are actually minimal. Instead it’s very roasty, with touches of chicory.

M – Medium carbonation, slightly astringent. Mild bitter coffee in the finish and the aftertaste.

O – I want to like this a lot more than I do, but the cold pressed coffee is a little too upfront and pushes the beer out of balance. That characteristic could certainly be appealing for some drinkers. Would love to taste this base brown ale with no or more balanced coffee addition.

Photo of Alextricity
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excited to see this one at Four Firkins when I was in Minnesota -- $4.39 for a can though? Was that priced right? Pretty damn expensive! I enjoyed the regular Bender though, and I like coffee, so my hopes are kinda high for this one. Canned 7/11/14 and poured 9/4/14.

Appearance: Semi-aggressive pour gave off a modest head that went down to about a ring and stayed. The color is mostly clear and ruby black. Looks pretty nice in the glass. (3.75/5)

Smell: Just upon cracking open the can, I got a huge waft of coffee that almost buckled my knees. Phew, this stuff smells great! Really doesn't share any characteristics of the regular Bender, at least on the surface, because the coffee note is really strong. This smells like coffee with some cream or sugar added, because it has a definite sweetness in there. Awesome nose on this beer though, but stay away if you don't like coffee and/or coffee beers, because the coffee in this is FAR from subtle. (4.5/5)

Taste/feel: So much coffee. This has a rich black coffee flavor, but the malt in Coffee Bender keeps it from tasting identical to cold black coffee -- coffee, coffee, coffee, a malt roastiness character, a slight bit of char, and then lingering coffee. There's not a lot of depth of flavor. In fact, regular Bender probably has more depth of flavor, but I just like this beer more. The feel is about full bodied with a modest carbonation to let you know you're drinking beer, and not coffee. (4.5/5, 4.25/5)

This brew just smells like freshly brewed coffee, and tastes almost the exact same way. Probably the most coffee-forward beer I've had, and one of the best beers I've had as well. This is an absolutely phenomenal beer that needs to be purchased if you see it, even at the price I got it for. Lucious, fabulous amounts of coffee... damn, I just wish I could get this in Michigan. Wow, wow, and wow.

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a thinner slight off white head atop.Full on coffee in the nose,not beerish at all really,if your into coffee this is it.The beer is good...very good but the coffee is dominant and it maybe leaves the fact that it's a beer behind,besides the coffee on the palate I get some chocolate and mild caramel.I have had alot of coffee infused beers this cuts the cake as far as coffee goes,is it caffeinated?That's the question.

Photo of weatherdog
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a nonic pint glass.

It pours a semi transparent brown cola color with minimal tan head. The smell is just smooth black coffee, not r=a lot of roastiness and no detectable bitterness, like an ice coffee made from a french press. Really pleasing and inviting. The taste is just the same. I think I've had french press ice coffee that tastes just like this. There is very little beer character in here which I think is what the brewer has intended. I haven't had the base beer but now I'm wishing I picked up some so I could compare. The absence of bitterness and high roastiness is what makes this beer unique and one of my favorite coffee flavored beers. I could put this in the office coffee pot and I doubt no one would be the wiser; although the day would be more interesting. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery but that is my only complaint. I'm sad I only picked up a 4-pack of this from my MN trip.

Photo of blackearth
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. Pours a black body with ruby red corners and a big, pillowy tan head. Aroma is mostly coffee beans and also some chocolate and floral hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Flavor is tinny, grainy, dark roasted malts, with a good coffee flavor and bitterness from the coffee, which also intermingles with the hop bitterness. The relatively low alcohol content is a nice touch since this is so tastey that I had to grab a second one!

Photo of newk340
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a fantastic beer from a can, love the mantra "beer for a mug, from a can." certainly could have had this for breakfast in place of my typical cup of joe.

A: a very dark coffee stout, one finger head when poured from the can.

S: COFFEE!!

T: COFFEE!! absolutely no taste of alcohol, shocked by its resemblance to my favorite morning beverage.

M/D: could easily replace a cup of coffee in the morning, nearly no carbonation, smooth feel down the throat.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrives in a snifter glass with a nice dark brown color and a big creamy light tan head on top. As the head falls the aromas come out of the brew with a wonderful fresh pressed coffee that mingles with a malty, slightly roasty nuttiness as well. The cold pressed coffee comes out the most with a touch of hops in the background.

First sip brings the same big, fresh pressed coffee flavors upfront that meld in wonderfully with the nutty, rich malty flavors in the brew. Flows down with some good bitterness with hints of chocolate and a touch of hops as well. Really robust flavor that keeps me coming back sip after sip. Coffee beer loves rejoice!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and smooth. This is really an easy drinking coffee brew and very damn enjoyable if you ask me. I would have like to have ordered another but I had to run. One of my favorite Surly offerings from fests and I'm glad to see it on tap in my area.

Photo of barhoc11
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Good coffee stout with a big coffee taste, if you want one of the better coffee stouts, grab some of these.

Photo of badbeer
2.81/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured out black with a nice head that retained well. Smell was of old coffee, maybe a little cream to the nose as well; wasn't good. Taste was full of old and not enjoyable coffee. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and medium carbonation levels. Drinkability is not good. I didn't even finish my first glass of it. Surly makes good beer, but this was disappointing. Give me the regular Bender.

Photo of badmoon
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip from a bottle.

A: Black. Just like good coffee. Very little head and next to no lacing.

S: COFFEE! What else should I say here? Rich coffee aroma.

T: Again, COFFEE! Awesome! This may be my all time favorite beer. OMG!

M: Full. I love it! Just like drinking an iced coffee.

D: Drink one and stop. Please don't attempt to be a hero.

Overall: Awesome beer. Try it and savor it. It is truly unique!

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to exiled for sharing this can.

Pours dark brown with a tan head. The aroma is straight coffee with nothing else coming through. The flavor is coffee with some roasted malts. There is a nice bitterness at the end, either from the coffee or from hops. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. One of the best, most interesting brown ales I have tried.

Photo of Grafter
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet

Appearance is a dark brown with a small tan head that forms on top

Smell is very much of coffee beans a malt just like promised

Taste is where this really pens up the malty sweetness of the brown ale almost acts as sugar for the coffee balancing to a very nice beer the coffee flavor is very dominant but not quite overpowering

Mouthfeel is good medium body and carbonation fits well with the style of the beer

Drinkablity is high if you like coffee for me the strong coffee flavor will wear me down a little but this is still a nice drinkable beer.

I really enjoyed this, and is I every turn into a raging alcoholic and need to start my morning off right this is definitely the beer I would go to.

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a reddish tint. Nice cream colored head and decent lacing.

Smell: Espresso beans, dark chocolate and caramel.

Taste: Mix of semi-sweet coffee and chocolate, with some caramel and nuts just barely making an appearance. Lingering bitter coffee and American hops at the finish that seem almost too harsh in comparison to the initial balance and smoothness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, almost too thin for a Coffee Ale but very smooth.

Drinkability: Nice, fairly easy to drink Coffee Ale, but I prefer the complexity of the standard Bender. Also, not quite in the same league as Founders Breakfast Stout and Bell's Java Stout, but very good nonetheless.

Photo of beerkittycat
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From a can poured into a smaller tasting glass and shared with others. Appearance is a murky amber brown with a tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma smells awesome of freshly ground high-quality coffee and some citrus hops in the background. Taste was....a little disappointing compared to the aroma. First off was the thin mouthfeel which surprised me considering the line-up of big beers that Surly makes. The flavors were rather thin, too, and was dominated by the coffee with little malt or hop flavor to balance things out. Too much carbonation in this beer probably allowed the mouthfeel to seem a little thin. I'll try it again, but I've had much better coffee beers than this.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.29/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Light black in color with some penetration to light. A fingernail of khaki colored head sits on top. Strong aroma of very bitter intense coffee is present. The flavor is extremely bitter coffee with no room for anything else. The mouth is thick and creamy.
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma:3.25
Taste:3.25
Mouthfeel:3.5
Overall:3.25

Photo of dogfishandi
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this at an awesome tasting last night. thanks tom!

pours out nearly black, dark brown color, decent looking biege head.

blown away by the aroma! tons of coffee, like smelling a handful of expresso coffee beans. the aromas of the regular bender (sampled minutes before) are lost behind all the coffee.

again lots of high quality coffee, the regular bender base is more noticable. some light roasted malt and bits of cocoa. creamy, smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied.

overall: as a lover of coffee beers, this is definatly at the top of my list. one of the more memorable beers of the night, which included almost the whole surly lineup, including darkness, four, and smoke.

Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Can (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, stig!

This really is a gorgeous beer. It's a dark as can be brown, without any light passting through. The head is light brown, thick, persistent, and leaves spots, lines, and spiderwebs of lace down the glass. Gorgeous.

The course ground coffee beans really shine, especially as the beer warms. The coffee is at the center here, along with some mild roast character, charred chili peppers, and a bit of sweetness.

The flavor follows similarly, with a ton of coffee flavor present forwards and backwards, along with a bit of roasted pepper skin (strangely enough), roasted malt, a touch of sweetness, and low bitterness.

Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A delicious way to start my beer drinking (morning).

Photo of boatshoes
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a very nice package from my man Roburg, thanks!

Appearance- Pours a medium shade of brown that lets some light in around the edges and adds a nice tinge to the beer. A controlled pour into a twelve ounce shaker (all I had on hand despite the pint can) yielded a pretty minimal half finger or so of tan head. Died back relatively quickly.

Smell- Wow, what can I really say other than lots and lots of bitter coffee. Smells like my father's favorite Tanzanian Peaberry when you thrown in a little extra to make a pot. Some roasted malt evident in there as well to be sure, but coffee coffee coffee.

Taste- More coffee. My buddy Roburg once described this beer as the closest a beer could come to being an iced coffee and I really have to say he was spot on. Roasted malt, bitter coffee, and coffee grinds all the way. A great coffee flavor if that is what you are looking for. If not, there is absolutely no reason to be drinking this one.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is just a touch thin, though I expected that with the added coffee. Drinkability was pretty amazing though as this really really reminded me of iced coffee and at its average strength went down fast.

Overall, a very good coffee beer if coffee in your beer is what you want. Coffee coffee coffee!

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16 oz. can into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown. Small tan head that slowly fades with decent lacing.

Smell: Very strong coffee aroma up front followed by sweet malts. A slight sniff of hops in the background.

Taste: Coffee and sweet roasted malts up front followed by a slightly nutty and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall: A very solid ale that almost seems more iced coffee than a beer. A very interesting and tasty brew.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my pint glass, this Ale pours a reddish brown with a 1iin tan head. Nothing too impressive, but still a classic looking pour.

S: The aroma is dominate fresh ground coffee. The essence of coffee is all over this brew. There is a sweet malt presence, with a little roast to it. Not bad at all.

T: For a brown ale, this is up there. The coffee explosion is smooth and refreshing. There is a presence of a little nutmeg, some cocoa, and caramel. What a great brown!

MF: The mouthfeel is full and creamy, big for the ABV.

D: Drinkability is excellent as well. Balanced and refreshing.

Overall, one of the best browns out there. Many browns are bland, Coffee Bender has solved that problem.

Photo of BranfordBound
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can dated mid-March into a chalice glass.

Pours a lovely dark brown with a nice one and a half finger tan head that leaves minimal lacing.

Smells like toffee, some dark fruits, and a bunch of coffee beans.

Starts of very sweet, with that touch of dark fruit and maybe a little chocolate, immediately rushes into the coffee which is nice and mild, finishes with the coffee combining with some bitterness and a touch of roasted malt.

Pretty light mouthfeel, light bodied.

Extremely drinkable, call this one "Founders Breakfast Stout Light" ... or FBS Lite... whatever, you get the picture. Great beer, here.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown and red color, great carbonation. Massive coffee aroma, the biggest ever, totally cannot imagine it being possible to be any stronger in a beer. Did I mention this is prolly my favorite coffee beer? Did I mention this is prolly my favorite brown ale?

Taste, more coffee, like so much, as if the ratio is just straight 50% premium high end coffee, and 50% Surly (which is always high end). Its pretty simple. Coffee and beer. I don't drink coffee, but I'll have this stuff any morning. This stuff is even better than Breakfast Stout in the am. Yeah, there's a degree of chocolate malt and decent bitterness, but this is all about the coffee.

This is the best brown ale by a longshot in my book.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This may be my favorite out of the Surly beers maybe even my favorite coffee beer. Pours with a billowing tan khaki head and forms fine even lacing down the sides of the glass. Their infusion process really makes the beer, body is a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. Aroma has dark nutty notes of coffee, with hints of cream and sugar, really it's like the best iced coffee you've ever had with a strong earthy coffee nose. Flavor is excellent the most intense and flavorful coffee beer I've ever tasted, this beer tastes great. Creamed coffee, chocolate, dense creamy vanilla highlights within a dark brown ale just tastes great. Mouthfeel is creamy textured and I'm burping up coffee beans this is an intense beer experience. Mouthfeel is slightly acidic with coffee bean notes, and goes down easy loving every second of it. Drinkability is creamy texture is awesome and the beer that I've dreamt of when it comes to coffee beers thanks again Ryan aka Schlais, if you need anymore White Rajah let me know!

Photo of brow1901
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into my surly "coffee" mug.

A- Pretty much black, with decent cream head on top. Not a pitch black brew, it lets lots of light in around the sides. Not much retention, some lacing.

S- Strong coffee, more like a bag of coffee than a brewed cup. Not too overwhelming, it also lets the nice toasty malts shine through. No hop scents.

T- Also like an iced coffee, no chocolate flavors that accompany so many of these styles. Once the coffee fades the neat and clean malt backbone comes through, giving a toasted almost burnt flavor. The slight hop bite mixes kinda strangly, giving a slight tart or acidic taste for a split second. I guess that could be from the coffee used too.

M- A bit light, but don't forget that this is a brown ale. Seems well carbonated, really gets smooth as it warms up a bit.

D- Good drinkability, but I wouldn't call it a session beer. The caffiene gets to me after one can, kinda fun actually. Great beer!

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Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,197 ratings.