Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,598 | Reviews: 746 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ryan1788a5:
3.75/5 rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Big thanks to Quinn and Emily for tracking this one down for me.
16oz can poured into a Guinness Imperial pint glass.
A: Pours a clear brown with tinges of red. The one-inch cream colored head is short lived. Thin rings of lacing settle into light patches.
S: An intense coffee smell. Freshly brewed coffee and coffee beans. Maybe some subtle nuttiness. A vague spiciness, probably from the hops.
T: Fresh coffee, coffee beans, nice bitterness coming from both the coffee and some earthy herbal hops. There is a soda-like sweetness that lingers underneath all of this. Finishes with some nuttiness and more coffee.
M: Light in body with seltzer-like carbonation. somewhat creamy. Not as full and robust as I would like it to be.
D: Light enough in body and in abv to session.
Notes: Pretty good. Very intense coffee tastes. A bit too carbonated and light in body though. The intense coffee flavors feel a bit out of place without a nice full mouthfeel to back them up. This is a beer that I'm very glad I tried, but I wouldn't jump through hoops to get more of it.
Serving type: can
01-15-2011 18:00:23 | More by ryan1788a5
More User Reviews:
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 1,598 ratings.