Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,608 | Reviews: 747 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by rangel2:
4.53/5 rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Poured from pint can into pint glass.
Nearly two fingers of creamy, tan head, that fizzles. Pretty dark, not pitch black but the body of a cola.
The aroma is of rich coffee, decadent coffee with faint nuttiness, lovely cocoa, and the smallest smidgen of licorice -- the smallest, I swear. This ale smells effin' incredible. So lovely.
First sip is creamy, cool coffee with rich chocolate notes, and a lingering bitterness you would expect from a cup of black coffee. Has a slight tartness to it, which doesn't detract from the beer at all. Head just won't dissipate!!! Solid brown ale underneath, really giving it that perfect toastiness, faint mocha and toffee taste. Slight alcohol finish, though, not unpleasing. Vanilla qualities start coming through as it warms.
Mouthfeel is initially velvety, which thins out nicely as the bitter, medium carbonation starts to break things up. Thinner than a stout, more of a porter body, heavier brown. Nice chewy. The perfect drinkability for this type of beer: not super sippable due to its weight but, rather, a great beer to enjoy in a 30-minute sitting.
Overall, this beer is remarkable. The best coffee aroma in a beer I've ever had. It just brings you in. And it never lets up. And it's in a pint can. It's a big juicy coffee beer, as good as they come. Take your time on this one to fully enjoy the coffee bean blast that is Coffee Bender. It awakens fully with time.
I recommend you trade for this if it's not in your area, as I did.
Thanks again, Dan Turnbull (Tballz420) for the batch of Surly.
Also, don't try to compare this to a stout or porter because it's just not. You're doing yourself a disservice with those expectations.
Serving type: can
11-01-2011 04:03:49 | More by rangel2
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 1,608 ratings.