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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,658 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1658
Reviews: 748
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%

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: 1,658 | Reviews: 748 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CowsandBeer


4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to for Ubermensch26 the four pack of Coffee Bender he brought me back from Darkness Day! Single 16 oz can poured into a Tallgrass Brewing cervoise style glass. Canned on 09/11/2013.

Appearance: Poured a finger of khaki head which quickly fizzed away to a thin cap. Brown/walnut colored body. Decent, sudsy lacing on the sides.

Smell: Spicy, earthy, roasted coffee. As expected, a huge coffee presence in the nose. Behind the coffee front, some of the original Bender is found: cream, nuttiness, vanilla, some bitter chocolate and hazelnut. Once the beer had warmed more of the cream scent came through. An odd vegetal note seems to come and go.

Taste: That same coffee upfront as in the nose, this time ending on a bitter, ashy note. I wish I could get more of the Bender in the taste. Some cream, vanilla, nuttiness, and cocoa powder are present. When the beer was still pretty cold there was an odd vegetal presence, when the warmed up more it seemed to fade.

Mouthfeel: Chalky, thin mouthfeel. The creamy, low carbonation works pretty well with the coffee taste.

Overall: Like drinking a fresh, cold growler of coffee. The nose reminded me a lot of spicy, used coffee grounds. Bender was a great fit for this beer in that it’s the perfect creamy, nutty base beer. I just wish more of it would come through. My only real complaint is that odd veggie smell/taste that threw off all the nice coffee complexities. Nice creamy body thought it could have used a bit more heft. Overall, a recommend ale for all who enjoy coffee in their beer. If this was local to me, I can see myself picking up a four pack off and on.

Serving type: can

12-10-2013 03:12:12 | More by CowsandBeer
Photo of tsauce2


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: 16 fl oz can in to Duvel tulip.

A: SRM is brown. Head is frothy/bubbly tan, 1 in, dissipates to rim of glass. Light lacing, medium carbonation.

S: Luscious coffee notes explode off the nose. Hard to pick up much else; may be selective smelling...

T: Medium/dark roast malt, coffee, medium chocolate sweetness. Aftertaste is roast coffee and caramel.

M: Medium body. Semi viscous. Coffee adds nice depth of flavor. Dry and crisp finish.

O: One of the best all time coffee beers. Very critical of coffee beers, and this delivers big time. Only down side is that I did not buy more.

Serving type: can

12-01-2013 05:40:41 | More by tsauce2
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice coffee laden ale.

Presentation: 16 oz can. Metallic design with Surly retro-60s branding, over an image of a coffee maker. Back notes offers a note about intent and ingredients. Notes canned on 04/25/13 Shows 5.1% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Deep brown pour with a good frothy head, medium to short retention, fair memory ring and good touches of lacing.

S - Deep coffee aroma over roasted notes. Pleasant, and complex quite enticing...

T - Plenty of coffee dominating the palate. Not extraordinary coffee but a great sense of flawless balance. Hint of caramel over the roast, slight bitterness leading back to a soft sweet finish.

M - Mediumb body with medium to medium/high carbonation, Nice balance with a good texture in the finish and the lingering sense.

O - Pretty nice coffee brown ale. It has a great sense of balance with a nice flow of the coffee element.

Notes: Not a brew for the ages but this is quite nice. One needs to be in the mood, and liking the coffee edge, and it sure works for me. With so many coffee ales not getting it right this is quite notable.

Serving type: can

11-30-2013 21:32:42 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of RaulMondesi


4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow... This dang sucker goes down easier than... (I'll let you fill in the blank, my children). But really though, it's smooth, roasty, there is a nice, subtle layer of richness... Raul feels like Scrooge McDuck diving into a pool of coffee beans only to come up with a coffee bender in one hand and Kate Middleton in the other.


Serving type: can

11-28-2013 23:43:59 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of mfnmbvp


4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 fl oz. can, with canned on date stamped on the bottom 11/13/2013. Ten days old, probably one of the freshest beers I've ever had. My first beer from Surly Brewing Co., as they have just reentered Illinois. Exponentially stoked to have this beer.

Poured into a Guinness Extra Stout St. James's Gate Dublin glass mug.

A - Aggressive pour conjures four to five fingers of big fluffy tan cappuccino looking head. Body pours a dark chestnut brown / ruby color when held to the light. Looks very nice.

S - Mouthwatering aromatics. Smells like a cup of delicious cold, freshly ground dark Guatemalan coffee, more than it does a beer. Dark bitter coffee bean roast and some earthiness. Smells amazing.

T - Taste follows in wake of the nose: beautiful, delicious, and authentic bitter dark coffee bean roast, and some dirty semi-herbal earthiness. Ridiculously delicious.

M - Feel is fairly light-bodied, smooth, and creamy, but high on the coffee bean bitterness, especially for 45 IBU.

Overall, this is probably hands down the best coffee beer I've tried as of yet. Packed with flavor, especially for being so light-bodied and with a fairly moderate 5.10% abv. Supremely authentic, a true breakfast beer if there ever was one, I am sooo glad these are now available to me, and I look forward to many more.

Surly Coffee Bender ---4.5/5

Serving type: can

11-23-2013 21:11:50 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of IPAdams


3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark brown with red hues, 1 finger creamy tan head that lingers for a little while and then recedes to a slight covering on top

Smell- Awesome. Smells just like a freshly opened bag of coffee beans. I get a bit of vanilla and licorice in the background.

Taste- First sip is like eating a coffee bean. I get some vanilla, dark chocolate and lactose as well. A slight bitterness, matches well with the flavor. I don't get much caramel or nutty flavors I would expect from a brown.

Mouthfeel- Somewhat thin. Carbonation was good but body lacked a little.

Overall- Nice beer. I'd like the flavor to have a bit more complexity to it and the body would be better if it was a bit thicker. Worth trying if you're a coffee lover.

Serving type: can

11-22-2013 01:40:56 | More by IPAdams
Photo of Jas45678


4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can into tulip, thanks to lurpy1

Pours nice dark brown with a small white head. Smell is coffee and coffee, hints of hazelnuts and vanilla. Taste is like the nose coffee, very nice coffee flavor that doesn't taste artificial. Medium body with lower carbonation that works well with this beer. Overall a very good beer, flavors work great together.A must try for coffee lovers.

Serving type: can

11-20-2013 02:50:30 | More by Jas45678
Photo of richj1970


4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into tulip glass.

A: Pours a beautiful golden brown with one finger white head. Some nice lacing.

S: Iced coffee, caramel, malts.

T: Straight forward brown ale with nice coffee flavors. Taste is all coffee all the time.

M: Full bodied and nicely carbonated.

O: A classic example of a well executed brown ale, and the coffee only makes it that much better. Nice job Surly!

Serving type: can

10-21-2013 00:09:44 | More by richj1970
Photo of BeardedAllen


4.86/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of Surly's best beers, in my opinion. This is the coffee drinker's choice in beer. Its wonderful mix of coffee and Ale give it a very distinguished taste. I've affectionately named this beer the Minnesota paper maker, because I'd often find myself sipping on one while writing long winded political science essays. The caffeine gets your mind going, while the smooth 5.1% get's you loosened up just enough to ramble, but not enough to get you Surly.

Serving type: can

10-14-2013 17:56:41 | More by BeardedAllen
Photo of jbaker67


4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear brown pour with a ruby hue and a one finger off white head. Aroma is 100% dark iced coffee. Taste is exactly as billed: brown ale and coffee. In the background are aromatic hops and a touch of smoke. Bitter cold coffee flavor lingers in the back of the mouth. It’s bitter but not astringent. I would have liked a touch more sweetness and mouthfeel, but that may just be personal preference.

Serving type: can

09-18-2013 23:15:11 | More by jbaker67
Photo of jds16


4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep reddish brown, pretty hazy. One finger head that lasts, ok lacing. Smell is dominated by coffee. Black coffee lovers, this is your beer. A nice sweet nutty aroma hides behind the coffee. I taste the coffee up front, but like a coffee with one of those hazelnut creamers poured into it. I can taste the nuttiness I look for in a brown ale, but it's definitely overpowered by the coffee. I love the flavor, but if you're looking for balance, you won't find much of it here. And I'm ok with that. Nice creamy mouthfeel makes this a great sipper.

Very enjoyable, and very flavorful. Clearly proves that you don't need an alcohol bomb to have big, bold flavors. A must for anyone who loves both coffee and beer.

Serving type: can

09-10-2013 01:41:03 | More by jds16
Photo of guityler83


4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A two.five finger head poured from the can into the english style pint glass. The foam a kahki color with good retension. As it fell into the glass it left a coat of lacing with only a few dry spots. The beer color is a very dark brown with reddish hues peaking through the edges. Moderate amount of haze.

S: Very strong upfront freshly brewed cold coffee nose on this ale. Some chocolate notes are detected as it warms up. No hop aroma or alcohol detected.

T: The flavor is consistent with the aroma. Strong coffee flavor and good quality, not to acidic and a nice dark roast. Nutty and toasted breadcrust malt flavors consistint with british malts. A moderate bitterness that balances the whole thing out.

M: Moderate body and lower alcohol make it very drinkable. No acrid or astringant textures coming through. Carbonation is also on the moderate side.

O: A full flavored, fresh smelling coffee, brown ale kept at a nice ABV to keep it very drinkable. I would gladly take this over many of the double/imperial/RIS Coffee stouts i've had.

Serving type: can

09-07-2013 18:17:58 | More by guityler83
Photo of nickapalooza86


4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown, with a light brown head, nice lacing

Smell is COFFEE, cream, hazelnut, ya it smells liking sticking you face in to a bag of coffee beans.

Taste is coffee, roasted nuts, hazelnut, toffee, coffee, coffee and and a little coffee in there to!

medium light mouthfeel, finishes like a bittering coffee.

Wow, never had a beer that had this much Coffee flavor before, it is delicious, I drink my coffee black so this beer floats my boat. If you do not like coffee steer clear of this beer, it is not like FBS where you could like the beer and not coffee.... If you do not like coffee I can garuntee you will hate this beer with a passion!

Serving type: can

08-30-2013 22:36:57 | More by nickapalooza86
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a translucent ruby-brown color with a two-finger light cream colored head that reduces to a solid layer floating on top, no lace

S- big coffee punch right off, notes of espresso, hazelnut, reminiscent of day old coffee mixed with the cardboard drink holders like the ones found at Starbucks, bizarre. Also picking up a distinct sugary-creamer sweetness as well. Overall very aromatic

T- bitter roasted day old coffee, this beer tastes more like straight up black coffee than any other beer I've reviewed. I don't pick up the sweet creamy notes that was in the aroma, nor the nutty aspect as well. There are some roasted malty notes underlying, but for the most part it is straight up coffee, bone dry finish

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel with a light and silky bone-dry finish

O- The aroma on this beer is great, unfortunately the flavors weren't as complex. I like my coffee beers to be chocked full of complexities like FBS. However, if you are a coffee drinker it's worth a try, because that's exactly what it tastes like. I actually prefer regular Bender a bit more, with it focusing more on traditional brown ale flavors

Serving type: can

08-22-2013 01:46:09 | More by Treyliff
Photo of FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Special thanks for kjyost for sending this out west.

Brewed on June 6, 2013.

A: Pours a deep dark black-brown with 2 fingers of light tan head which slowly dissipates leaving a thin rim along the sides of the glass.

S: Rich, fresh roasted coffee together with rock sugar and cocoa powder.

T: Smooth and sweetened coffee with hints of chocolate and some nuttiness. Finishes clean and dry without any notes of bitterness.

M: Light and crisp with a higher amount of carbonation than I expected, but works out nicely.

O: Coffee, coffee and more coffee, sweet and intense without being acrid. This is the perfect accompaniment to a late brunch.

Serving type: can

08-19-2013 03:02:43 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can courtesy of clewis901 pours a hazed dark brown color with an ample cap of tan head. Decent retention and lace.

Nose is all coffee all the time - fresh roasted grocers grounds here.

Taste integrates the deliciousness of the Bender with a strong coffee flavor...but the coffee never seems bitter or over-the-top. Well done indeed. It is definitely a little one-dimensional compared to Bender, but still delicious. This might just be up there with FBS as one of the best breakfast beers ever. Personally, I like the Bender better, but I can see where serious coffee lovers would find this more to their liking.

Serving type: can

08-15-2013 01:37:35 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of xdtfx


4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got to try this at a tasting which had focus on coffee infused beers. Served in a sample glass.

I am basing my rating purely on personal taste and my enjoyment of this beer, not of the style. Personally, I would not classify this beer as a Brown ale, at least from what I know of Brown ales.

As far as the aroma, straight up roasted black coffee. That is all I get. No hops, no malts, just an intense coffee aroma.

Taste follows the nose. Tastes like a more carbonated black iced coffee with a moderate to high bitterness as far as coffee beers goes. I am not going to say this is a bad thing. I dig coffee. I am not sure where the Brown base is at. Maybe hidden underneath the intense coffee is a little nuttiness, but I couldn't quite grasp it.

Overall, I don't think I have ever had a beer that has this much coffee flavor. If I tasted this blindly without knowing I was drinking a beer, I would not recognize it as such. I would classify this as a specialty beer for coffee lovers. Maybe I will swap out my morning coffee for this on weekday mornings working for the man.

Serving type: can

07-28-2013 07:33:14 | More by xdtfx
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to kjyost for this.

Poured from a 16oz. can, canned on 06/06/13.

Appearance: Black-brown body, opaque as heck, nice lacing but retention is a bit average.

Smell: Intense mix of chocolate, coffee, hazelnut, cream. Strength of coffee really shines.

Taste: Rich coffee, lots of nuttiness, sweet hazelnut and grainy coffee.

Mouthfeel: Malty as all get out, very low bitterness.

Overall: Aroma nails it, flavor doesn`t quite live up. Tasty but not in my top coffee-flavored beers.

Serving type: can

07-27-2013 02:37:20 | More by papat444
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Portion of a 16 oz can poured into a Duvel tulip. From two day old notes.

A: Pours a dark brown color. I didn't really get much head from my pour, just a creamy offwhite film with poor retention.

S: Pure black coffee. That's it. Still, this is as good as purely single-note brews can get.

T: Follows the aroma - which is to say it's pure black coffee. Luckily, the coffee isn't vegetal/stale, and the brown ale base does *just* enough to iron out any excess finishing bitterness. Simplistic, but very enjoyable.

M: It's light, crisp, and rather dry...just like coffee!

O: It is what it is - carbonated black coffee with a splash of beer. It's so simple, yet so unbelievably satisfying. Those looking for a more balanced approach to a coffee beer would be better served by FBS or Wake-N-Bake, though.

Serving type: can

07-08-2013 00:32:15 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of dar482

New York

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The color is a brown color with some light that comes through.

The aroma is freaking huge. It literally smells seriously like ice coffee. It’s seriously very huge, but also some toasted notes. Literally like walking into an espresso café. Just huge on the coffee.

The flavor follows with a coffee flavor. It’s almost like a British brown ale with that has been simply mixed with black coffee. But then it drops off the tongue pretty quickly.

Despite the wonderful aroma and flavor, this beer I guess could benefit from being slightly bigger. Not like Victory at Sea, but in the middle. I could imagine this beer blowing my mind with some bigger malt backbone. So in that sense, it’s disappointing slightly, but at 5.1% ABV, I couldn’t imagine a beer really doing coffee in a brown ale better for its ABV.

Serving type: can

07-02-2013 02:48:49 | More by dar482
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Elysian Brewing Co. pint glass. Bottom of can says Canned On 04/25/13.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 3/4 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Thick cobwebs of lacing line the glass.

S- Pure black dark roast coffee with a little brown sugar, vanilla and chocolate sprinkled in.

T- Taste is much the same as the aroma with just straight espresso-style coffee coming in and not much else. Just a tad sweet, but the roasty bitterness reigns supreme. Char aftertaste.

M- A bit thin, though that's what I was expecting since it's simply a brown ale. Medium carbonation with a fullish body.

O- Finally, a coffee beer that actually tastes and smells like black iced coffee with no frills or extra flavors. Very drinkable to boot. Not my favorite coffee beer thus far (since I like my coffee with cream and sugar) but man, do they nail that unadulterated coffee flavor.

Serving type: can

07-02-2013 00:24:53 | More by Immortale25
Photo of rickyleepotts


4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

Serving type: can

06-30-2013 04:08:58 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of oN3xM


4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A pretty deep black body with an inch of tan foam resting atop. The head is present throughout the entire pint and leaves a beautiful lacing after every sip.

S - It goes without saying, but huge bitter coffee notes dominate the overall aroma. The coffee that Surly used smells wonderful: robust, roasty espresso-like scents.

T - It's like taking a cold, carbonated espresso shot. It's hard to taste other flavors due to the very dominant coffee taste.I drank this over the course of an hour and the warmer it got, the more and more it tasted like heavy black coffee. Very tasty.

M - It leaves that bitter feeling in the back of your throat that you get after an espresso shot. Not a whole lot of carbonation, so it goes down quite smoothly. The body is incredible heavy and thick (think latte or mocha thick).

O - A wonderful beer that manages to blend coffee and beer together in a delicious way. If you're a coffee drinker, specifically espresso drinker, this beer will leave you very happy. Highly recommended. Cheers.

Serving type: can

06-13-2013 02:42:56 | More by oN3xM
Photo of falloutsnow


3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: France 44 dot com
Date: Canned 2013-04-14
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Rich, coffee-heavy, with modest accents of caramel, burnt toast, and roasted barley, this is a good breakfast beer or after-dinner drink. The coffee is, however, overly strong and creates a somewhat limited range of flavors and aromas, rendering the beer somewhat one-dimensional. I would probably not seek this out again given the difficulty in obtaining it - it's easier to just make a dark cup of coffee and add some sweetener and ice.

Pours a 2.5cm tall head of beige foam, small to medium sized bubbles, with above average retention, lasting over two minutes as it fades to a thick ring around the glass with a thin residual head resting atop the body. Good lacing, in many patterns. Body is a transparent, deep amber color, light bringing out strong red hues. Carbonation is visible rising from the bottom of the glass in moderate number and velocity.

Aroma of coffee grounds, slight chocolate-caramel malt influences, and an iron-like scent rounding things out. There's truth in the name here: there is definitely coffee in this beer, but the exclusion of much else. To me, it comes across as a bit one-dimensional.

Tasting opens with sweetish coffee, black with a substantial sweetness and touch of cream to it, somewhat stale. Mild roasted barley, burnt toast, and vanilla round out the edges. Mid-palate is like black coffee and grounds, acrid bitterness, light cumin, roasted barley, and burnt toast. Back of palate finds more black coffee, coffee grounds, acridness from coffee, light chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Aftertaste of black coffee with marginal chocolate and caramel malt.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium intensity, leading to a mouthfeel of light foam and general smoothness. Closes with medium dryness and astringency from coffee, with little residual stickiness.

Serving type: can

06-12-2013 14:52:15 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of AltBock


4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz. can with a picture of a coffee mug with the Surly logo shooting off into space. The back of the can has a bright red bag with coffee beans jumping out of the bag. This bag of beans has a description of the beer on it. The bottom of the can is where you'll find a born on date.

When poured into a Cigar City pint glass, this coffee beer was not surprisingly coffee black in color. Of course that's what this beer wants you to believe. When its held up into the light, I saw that this beer was more of a dark cola brown with a burgundy center. Cool color either way. On top was a 1/4 to 1/2 inch light tan colored head of foam. This head of foam stuck around for a few seconds before it receded into a small string of rings along the edge and a spot or two of lace around the glass.

This beer smells exactly like a coffee house when they're grinding the fresh coffee beans. It's that good! Behind the rich thick roasted coffee wall was a little roasted malt, a pinch of dark chocolate, and a quick whiff of caramel. It's one of those straight to the point aromas. It's says I'm brewed with coffee so don't expect a wide variety in the aroma. Hope you like the scent of coffee!

Did it taste like coffee? Well..of course it did. The nice strong aroma got my tastebuds prepared for a big strong taste of roasted coffee. The coffee presence in the taste was lower than what it was in the aroma. The roasted coffee beans weren't the same quality as they were in the taste. The taste started off with the coffee beans. That's not surprising. Quickly following the coffee was the roasted malt. At some times, the malt character was bigger than the coffee character. After the malt had their fun, the beer finishes up with dark chocolate and a subtle taste of caramel.

This was a medium bodied coffee brown ale with a good level of carbonation and a dry roasted coffee aftertaste. The coffee taste in the aftertaste was on the weak side. It used most of its energy in the aroma, tried to out shine the malt in the taste, but it was tired in the mouthfeel. Other than the coffee taste, there was a little dark chocolate and roasted malt. This dry aftertaste will linger on the roof of your mouth for a while.

My tastebuds hated my sense of smell. My nose was the one that got the most delicious coffee out of this beer. Despite that, this was still a pretty good coffee Brown Ale. I'd drink it again if given the opportunity again. I know my nose would love it if I got another can.

Serving type: can

06-04-2013 00:21:28 | More by AltBock
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