Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,601 | Reviews: 747 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Stevedore:
4/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
16oz can dated 3/29/2013 poured into a Russian River pint glass and quaffed today 4/30/2013.
Aroma: Not a ton going on halfway, could be the fact that I'm using a pint glass. But when I first poured the glass, I got a ton of roast coffee and sweet toffee, caramel and chocolate. That's really only apparent during the pour. Maybe I should drink my next one in a tulip glass- if the nose improves, I'm coming back to change the rating. And I did: the smell is more concentrated black coffee, which is both good and bad- it's more intense but more one-dimensional. (3.75)
Colour: Dang. It pours with a massive >3cm offwhite head that takes forever to dissipate. It leaves a thick off-white film on top of the beer with super thick lacing on the sides of the glass opposite from what I drink from. The body itself is dark brown, almost cola coloured but a bit more on the reddish side. Looks great! (5)
Flavour: Lots of coffee up front for sure- makes for a nice bitter kick at the beginning too. Then there's a good roast malt presence in the forms of toffee, caramel and dark, bitter chocolate. Very tasty beer, although I think the coffee forwardness of this beer overshadows the malt a bit too much. Of course what do you expect from a beer called Coffee Bender? (4)
Mouthfeel: It's a medium bodied brew that is well carbonated, likely because of the can. It's got a clean finish of a combination of the coffee and roast malts, with a bit of black coffee bitterness that peters off over half a minute or so. It's quaffable for sure and a refreshing beer for a coffee lover that's drinking it at 4PM. There is absolutely no indication that I'm drinking alcohol in this 5.1% brew- just finished this and there is no buzz, no alcohol taste, nothing. (4)
Overall: Enjoyable, sessionable, and very flavourful. That's the story of the Surly Bender beers. It goes down easily, is refreshing and a pleasure to drink. Overall I like the Bender better, since that's a beer where the actual hops and malt are showcased, while this one is dominated by the coffee. But I don't mind today when its 86 degrees outside in Wisconsin and I want something refreshing. This happens to satisfy that quota. (4)
Serving type: can
04-30-2013 21:37:58 | More by Stevedore
More User Reviews:
3.88/5 rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a burnt caramel that morphs into black with a generous mocha head. Lacing is decent.
Smell foremost is initially fresh ground coffee. Sweet cream/milk with toffee drizzle but not overbearing. Aroma is to be admired.
Taste follows aroma in that primo coffee is the center stage. Some malty sweetness holds it together. Generally good.
Mouthfeel is lacking comparatively. Nice sparkle on the carbonation. Quite quenching if you are in the mood for a coffee brown.
Really was expecting more because of the hype. What you get here is a palatable coffee brew. Not a fan of the Bender mainly because of the lightness of it. This follows the same thread but in this case quality coffee has been added to make it a gem in its own right. If you love a coffee brew then this is one you will like.
Serving type: can
03-08-2014 04:27:33 | More by joeseppy
3.05/5 rDev -26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Thanks to amerak for sending me this alongside other awesome Surly offerings. Poured into a tulip glass out of a 16oz can. At the time of consumption (late December), this was about 2 months old. Bender may be one of my favorite brown ales brewed in the country, so I was excited about this one.
Pours a far more blackened appearance than anticipated - nearly opaque, save for the brownish reddish tinges glowing at the sides of the glass when held against the light. Contains an off-khaki head that sticks around for a good long while, although does eventually dissipate into a small ring. The effect does make it look like a cold cup of freshly brewed coffee, which is quite appealing given what I'm about to venture into.
Cold ground coffee immediately hits the nostrils upon the first whiff, followed by some solid malty notes and slight sweetness soon after. The coffee is so intense on this beer that I cannot make out hardly anything else other than, interestingly enough, actual phenolic components that make up the *coffee* rather than the beer. Roasted espresso, light black pepper, caramel, fudge, vanilla, as well as a brief touch of dark dried fruit (I'm thinking berries?). The finish is a little bit more of the biscuity traits of the malts, as well as more caramel and toasted grainy notes, but it's really pushed to the back from where you can smell the coffee. Really unique, but quite one-dimensional in some ways.
What's up with the flavor, though? One sip, and things seem horribly wrong - rather than a pleasant roasted, spicy flavor from coffee, everything feels abnormally tannic and astringent. Even stranger, the coffee feels progressively charred, or burnt, or worse. This tastes like coffee that's been brewed from grounds that were seeped one time too many, and then watered down with ice and served a few days later. The malty profile from the Bender base is luckily there to add some textured balance, as well as a bit of sweetness (mainly caramel and vanilla) but the coffee is way too overpowering and far too charred in flavor for me to continue to go on. Carbonation is fine, but perhaps more body would saved this from feeling thinned, putrid, and watered down. I could not finish - I had to pass this on to someone else.
I absolutely am ashamed for not having enjoyed this beer as others apparently do, so I may blame this review on an off can or something. I'm actually a casual fan of iced coffee, but there was something really wrong and burnt tasting about the coffee profile at hand. It's ability to overpower the (good) base beer didn't help the cause any further, however. I'll gladly revisit this if someone pushes for it, but this really wasn't for me at all.
Serving type: can
03-07-2014 06:39:29 | More by magictacosinus
Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,601 ratings.