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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

2,054 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,054
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 609
Gots: 241 | FT: 14
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,054 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on-draught at a bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes. Serving vessel was a Surly Mug. Cost was $5.00 USD.

A: No real head at all. Solid black colour. Mildly appealing.

Sm: Coffee, mocha, and alcohol. A mild strength aroma.

T: Coffee, light chocolate and vanilla, and buried caramel. Not horribly complex, but balanced and decently built.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thick. Doesn't really suit the flavours; it should be coarse and dry.

Dr: Not really drinkable. More of a tame sipper, which is inexcusable at this low an ABV. I wouldn't have it again, but it's okay for the style. Coffee beer fanatics might be the only ones that will truly like this. Give me a Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb any day of the week, but leave this one be.

Photo of zoolzoo
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Surly Coffee Bender tastes strikingly similar to unsweetened iced coffee. Mission accomplished?

Firstly, I have to give Surly credit for infusing this beer with so much coffee flavor and aroma, pretty impressive. Unfortunately overall, I don't think the base beer can stand up to the beans. I cant really find many characteristics that are indicative to the brown ale buried under all of this coffee.

The aroma is pretty good actually. Ground coffee beans, slight bit of malt. I love the smell of coffee.

Taste is somewhat acidic, derivative of low quality, unsweetened coffee. Theres not enough malt to balance out the raw nuttiness - it needs to be a little sweeter and more well rounded. Goes down a little rough!

Photo of harrymel
2.7/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Canned 25SEP11 A: dark brown with a transient finger or so of off tan foam which falls quickly to a scattered surface. excellent clarity and spotty lace. (2.5) S: Smells like breakfast coffee. Plain and black with the slightest hint of burnt nuts. Maybe a little bit of a cinnamon tone. (3) T: coffee is present, but seems stale. The beer itself seems a bit stale with a bit of soil and bitterness. Again, a hint of nuts. (2.5) M: Thin with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. Sadly, this so far has been the best part. (3.5) O: Not impressed with this offering. Like the regular version much better. (2.5)

Photo of Rifugium
2.71/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had a can of this alongside the base beer.

Good appearance, much like the regular Bender, deep dark brown, but still clear when held to the light; a medium-sized off-white head held for a few minutes and sank to a ringlet, leaving a few dabs of lacing on the glass. Nose full of coffee, with lesser notes of caramel malts. Taste was pure, straight-up bitter black coffee and nothing else. Just blew me away and made me cringe. There's a good way of using coffee in a beer, but for me, this isn't it. I pretty much hate coffee, unless it's in beer, then I actually like it a lot. But when I do have a coffee beer, I want a coffee beer, not a cold can of pure coffee. This was bitter, acrid, one-dimensional, and lacking any sense of balance. I literally could not drink this. But if you love cold, bitter coffee, get as much of this as you can.

Photo of johnnnniee
2.73/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from GPHarris, thanks for the opportunity! Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights when held to light. Tightly bubbled beige head shows moderate retention and lace. Smells like freshly ground coffee beans mostly. I try to find something else in the aroma but the coffee is overpowering my olfactory system. Taste really follows the aroma. Upfront I get bitter roasted coffee, midway through I get a hint of sugary sweetness (cream maybe?) finish is a long lingering acridic roasted coffee. Did I mention this tastes like coffee. Medium body and carbonation level, acridic bitter mouthfeel. I will preface this by saying I don't drink coffee. I enjoy some beer with coffee flavors or with coffee added, but this one is to far over the top for me. I can't find the beer underneath the coffee. One and done on this one.

Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of Mikelove1121
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of FullObs
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of Benvarine
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

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.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.78/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours deep brown with a small tan head.

Smells of coffee obviously and some chocolate. Not bitter roasted coffee like I'm used to, but a smooth general aroma.

Lots of coffee flavors, but again not exactly like fresh roasted. It's kind of weird. A little earthy bitterness on the back end.

A little bit light on the mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Kind of weird and kind of a disappointment. I love Surly and I love coffee beers, but this one isn't for me. A little one note and kind of tastes like cheap coffee as opposed to something gourmet. I'll stick to the regular Bender.

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a great low ABV beer for coffee lovers. Unfortunately, I am not a coffee lover hence the low ranking here. Poured from fresh can into a tulip glass. Pours a dark brown body with a few reddish hues. Inch thick, dense and creamy, brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing. Aroma has lots of fresh coffee up front. When this warms up a bit, some nice roasts, caramels, and toffee brown malts come out. A light chocolate, nuts, and vanilla. Flavor is similar. Lots of fresh, espresso coffee with a nice, rich brown maltiness. Caramel, chocolate, roast, vanilla, some biscuit, and a light earth. Finishes dry and lightly bitter with lots of coffee and a nice earthy roast. Lengthy aftertaste following a medium, somewhat watery body at times and a moderate, creamy carbonation.

Photo of craytonic
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at churchkey DC

Appearance: Dark amber-brown pour with some blood red tint; tan head with little lacing. Not entirely opaque.

Smell: Old coffee, sweet dark candy malts

Taste: Loads of thin, stale coffee and some residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Way to thin

Overall: Too thin and too much coffee. I've had this in both a can and on draft and didn't enjoy it either time.

Photo of PatronWizard
2.83/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Shared by Mauerhan (getting really tired of typing that).

Pours a dark cola and super deep burgandy. Froths up a creamy half finger head. Nice looking.

Smells of straight coffee grounds. Reminds me of my grandparents roasting coffee in an old percolator over a fire at the river. I like coffee flavor but this may have pushed the boundary too far.

Tastes like old coffee. Trying to enjoy it. Fresh coffee now. Fresh coffee grounds.

Very dry and not very thick. Did I mention that it's dry as dirt?

Overall: they went too far with the coffee

Photo of Cresant
2.88/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 16 oz. can into a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. The modest head sat atop a murky brown body. It reminded me of really strong brewed tea that has sat too long. Not too pretty.

Smell was porter-like. Some raisin notes. No coffee aroma? Odd.

Taste was coffee. Sweet fruitiness, raisins. Tangy. Light brown sugar. Much more Brown Ale than Coffee.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected. Mild carbonation. Not a favorite.

Photo of AgentZero
2.88/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep dark brown with a tan head. Quickly receeded leaving some nice lacing to look at.

S - Smells like burnt cocoa and wood. Almost reminds me of gin.

T - And the taste reminds me of gin, has that really woody taste to it. Definately get the roasted malts but I don't really taste any coffee in this at all. Too woody, don't care for it, and just not a whole lot going on.

M - Solid, medium bodied with some solid carbonation.

D - It's not hard to drink, but it's just not particularly pleasant either, not going to do much of this.

Photo of djmichaelk
2.98/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz can into a perfect pint. Courtesy of pullen (thank you!).

A - Translucent brown, with a rocky one-finger head. Retention is poor, it's gone after a few seconds, and some lacing down the glass.

S - Nothing too special here. Very much the standard brown ale, with some stale coffee flavors on top. The coffee helps, but otherwise it's a bit underwhelming.

T - Well, hmph. I had very high expectations for this brew. What I'm getting instead is the standard roastiness from a brown, maybe a bit of toast and some nuttiness, but then completely blown out by the three-day-old stale coffee flavor in the finish. The base beer seems to taste pretty good, but that coffee is killing any subtlety or flavor. Disappointing.

M - Again, nothing special. Thin like a standard brown, high carbonation. Medium to dry finish.

D - For the most part, I could drink a ton of this based on the ABV. The problem is the aftertaste from the coffee. The staleness and bitterness of it just gets to me. Still maybe a bit above average, but only just.

O - This was a huge disappointment for me after having such high hopes for it. It's possible I just got an old can of it, so I'll be seeking this out again to give it another shot, and I'll come update this if there's any difference.

Photo of biglite351
2.98/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - odd combination of brown and red. Tall creamy tan head that leaves spiderweb lacing.

S - very mild. Some coffee, malts and something mildly sweet. Actually it seems to have some "freezer burn" smell for some odd reason.

T - mild iced coffee flavor that increases in the after taste. A bit of q bitter hit, but not from the coffee.

M - light coating good tingle on top and sides of tongue.

D - maybe one, depending on the other choices.

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Slimpo
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of danfix99
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of NodakEric
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Loogs
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of tbone64
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of RandyJ
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,054 ratings.