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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,969 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,969
Reviews: 767
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 607
Gots: 220 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.

(Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,969 | Reviews: 767 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
Photo of rickyleepotts
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

COFFEE!!! Man, I love coffee. Coffee beers are fickle for me, but this one is supposed to be great. I landed a few Surly beers in a trade, including this one and the Furious, which is also on the list. He also sent a can of their Over Rated… which is quite over rated. It's a "West Coast style IPA" and doesn't taste like a West Coast IPA at all. Anyway, stoked to try this one. I like coffee, I love beer, and I hope that both of these combine here for an enjoyable beer drinking experience! Let's go.

In the Glass: It is deep dark brown/black in the glass, and appears almost flat. No lace here, and hardly any head at all. Coffee doesn't have head, so maybe this has more coffee than I am used to. I will say most coffee beers are weak and rarely taste like coffee. Speaking of coffee, I used our Randall Jr. the other night and made a coffee pilsner. It was fun. I used espresso beans. Anyway, I am getting impatient. Let's drink the Coffee Bender!!!

Nose: Um, coffee? This isn't beer. This is coffee. Did they can the wrong stuff? Holy crap, this smells incredible. I mean, seriously… not getting any booze here, and it smells like a nice roasted cup of Joe. Man, I hope this tastes like this smells. What a great aroma.

Flavor: If this doesn't taste like coffee, I am going to be sad. It's too cold, but holy crap that's a big flavor. It doesn't have a lot of coffee flavor, but the finish is straight burnt coffee… almost espresso. I would almost like to try this warm if not hot. I don't drink coffee hot, but I have been drinking it warm.

There are too many bubbles, but there is a ton of dark roasted coffee flavors here, again in the finish. Also, swish this around in your mouth a little. Then the coffee flavors REALLY explode. When I swish, the flavor just overtakes my palate and leaves me completely satisfied. Well done, Surly. Also, I love how they got their name. Fun!

Mouthfeel: At first, there are way too many bubbles. I am also drinking this too cold. However, as it sits the coffee flavor really opens up. Hang on… I need to text Jazz about this beer. Be right back.

OK, back. I get a ton of bubbles up front, but as it slides down the flavors really start to open up, and the beer becomes quite drinkable. I would love to see this on cask somewhere. I mean, it doesn't come to Arizona at all… but a flat somewhat chilled version of this would really please my palate.

Aftertaste: More coffee! Not as intense as a cup of coffee, but still a nice lingering coffee flavor. The beer is so good, I don't want to let the beer sit on my palate.

Sorry, I was on the phone. We are having AC issues. Back to the beer. As I was on the phone, the beer is really starting to heat up nicely. The flavors are becoming more balanced and the coffee is becoming more defined. Jazz also replied to my text. He called the beer, "Stupid dumb good." We have his approval.

This beer has my approval, too. I am sure Sheryl likes this. She better. Man, this is good. If you like beer, grab a can. If you like coffee, grab a can. If you like beer AND coffee, grab a case. It's worth it to the last drop. Cheers, coffee craft beer drinkers. Yummy!

rickyleepotts, Jun 30, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of infinitebruner
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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. (3.50)

S – Smells like a freshly opened bottle of cold-pressed coffee. Lots of roasty, burnt notes. Bitter. (4.00)

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. (3.75)

M – Medium carbonation, slightly astringent. Mild bitter coffee in the finish and the aftertaste. (3.50)

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. (3.75)

infinitebruner, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of Alextricity
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Alextricity, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of oberon
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

oberon, Monday at 09:52 PM
Photo of MadScientist
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

MadScientist, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of Rgranfelt
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

Rgranfelt, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Schlais, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of weatherdog
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

weatherdog, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of TimothyRBrady
5/5  rDev +20.2%

TimothyRBrady, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of blackearth
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

blackearth, Jan 07, 2010
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.

newk340, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

orbitalr0x, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of briang01
4/5  rDev -3.8%

briang01, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

supa0525, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -3.8%

danthehopslamman, May 18, 2014
Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -3.8%

DaftPatrick, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

csmartin6, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of barhoc11
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Good coffee stout with a big coffee taste, which I like, but there are better options. I had higher expectations.

barhoc11, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

77apm, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of JakerLou
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

JakerLou, May 03, 2014
Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

megamass, May 18, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Billolick, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Guinnsslvr, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of aquazr1
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%

aquazr1, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of badbeer
2.78/5  rDev -33.2%
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.

badbeer, Dec 28, 2007
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Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,969 ratings.