Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

790 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 790
Hads: 2,314
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 643
Gots: 316 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006

Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 790 | Hads: 2,314
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a nice sized off-white head, almost a light brown. The head retention is great but the lacing only made about half the glass.

S: Surprise, strong coffee lying on-top of Bender.

T: The taste is quite interesting here. The coffee doesn't hit strong at any particular time, it just is there, but not in an overpowering way. It's like drinking a bender and getting the roasted malts, chocolate, and slight hops, but all the while having a coffee taste spiked into every individual flavor. If you like coffee, you'll probably love this, if not....

Overall: Amazing beer, great mouthfeel, well carbonated and light-medium bodied. Not as drinkable as Bender though, the taste wears you down a bit. (727 characters)

Photo of Keith238
2.46/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 oz can received in a trade as an extra. Looked interesting but I immediately thought of "Buzz Beer" from the old Drew Carey Show.

Poured very dark brown, not quite black. Head disappeared quickly with no lacing in the glass. The mouthfeel and appearance were about the only aspects that I found remotely appealing about this beer. The taste was acidic. The combination of coffee and beer smells very unappealing like a sink with dirty glasses of coffee mugs and beer glasses.

Judging by other reviews, people obviously like it so don't let me disuade you from giving it a try. This was my first and likely my last because I don't see my taste changing that much any time soon. In the mean time, I'll do my coffee and beer drinking at separate times.

Thanks just the same to Joe for including it as an extra, I'm always looking to try a new beer. (851 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Buebie for this brew.

Poured into my Surly glass a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger creamy tan head, with lots of thick/creamy sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with a good hint of coffee. The taste is bitter, malty, very nice touch of coffee notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, another excellent brew from Surly. (367 characters)

Photo of shadow1961
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surly Coffee Bender pours a finger of creamy tan foam over an almost opaque coffe-colored brew. The nose is fresh brew and mocha. The flavor is esspreso bean dominating toasty malts with a sharp grassy/herbal hop off the back. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and crisp, finishing dryish. In my opinion it's not as rich and complex as the original Bender, but on the other hand the original Bender isn't made with coffee either. Iced espresso plus alcohol equals satisfaction! (475 characters)

Photo of aaronhanson
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love it. I've had two cans and my mouth wants more. There are actually a few coffee grounds in the bottom of my glass.

The coffee is very pronounced, in a good way. I didn't expect to like it this much. It's very dark, and has a healthy amount of foam when you pour it, but it goes away quickly. (298 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a deep dark brown with ruby tints when held up to the light. There was 1/4 inch of tan foam that stuck around for a good bit and left lots of lacing

S - nice espresso coffee smell, probably one of the best smelling coffee beers i've had

T - nice strong coffee taste and thats about it

M/D - medium bodied and nice carbonation, overall a very nice tasting beer and I'm glad I have a six pack sitting in my fridge. (425 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of DbHog. Served in my SA Sensory Pint. Poured a deep brown that appears maroon when backlit. Frothy one inch head slowly receded leaving behind thick bands of lacing. Robust, roasted coffee nose; incredible aroma with no charred characteristics. Taste follows nose but also detected a nutty quality in the mix with a touch of char at the finish. Mouthfeel was creamy, light to medium in body, with a mild carbonation. Incredibly easy drinking and flavorful. What an amazing session brew. I am quickly becoming a Surly fan. (532 characters)

Photo of bound4er
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark brown with burgundy highlights. Nice looking tan head that really hangs around.

S. Who "woulda thunk" it - coffee and more coffee. This is the most intense smelling coffee beer my nose has come across. The aroma is very fresh too - just brewed if you will. Some dark chocolate emerges as it warms. Other components of this beer are not detectable.

T. A bit of a let down for me. The inviting coffee on the nose is a tad too bitter on the palate although to be fair, as it warmed, it lost some of its bitterness.

M. Medium bodied with good creaminess and perfect carbonation. Well done.

D. Quite drinkable from a ABV standpoint and overall feel. I love coffee but more "beer" here would be nice - one or two of these would be my limit. (747 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cola. Nice head. Leaves fast.

S - Coffee is HUGE. Only caveat, kinda on the 'stale' side of coffee.

T- Mostly coffee, again. Hard to discern much else. A little roasted malt, but the coffee again kinda stale and bitter.

M - Medium, good carb, balance is not all there.

D - Would tire. (297 characters)

Photo of erosier
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A BIG thanks to Scoobydank for hooking me up with this.

L: Pours a deep black/brown color that you can almost see through with a medium sized and medium bodied head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, sweet chocolate, and a nice mild coffee aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet malts, nice chocolate flavors, and a very sweet/mild and smooth coffee flavor to round it out.
M: Very smooth, very nicely carbonated, the feel was absolutely perfect.
D: Extremely drinkable, I am sad I shared this with my friends since I can't get it up here. (563 characters)

Photo of dogger6253
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color, only bits of translucency are on the edges. This is otherwise a very muddy looking beer. The head is a frothy, mocha pillow that falls shortly after being poured.

The fragrance of this beer is wonderful. There is a very powerful, potent brewed coffee sensation. Dancing within that are the scents of vanilla, caramel and cocoa powder.

Right away, a bitter coffee flavor hits. As it slides across your tongue, you experience a thick, gooey glob of molasses-like sweetness. The vanilla I smelled comes out in the flavor too, though slightly more buried.

As the beer warms up, it starts taking on a less bitter, more sweet flavor. The feel is still thick and almost chewy, but very refreshing. This beer couples well with a lot of desserts I make and also stands alone as a fine testament of alcoholic beverages. To sum it up in one word: yum. (864 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from pint can into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark brown with 1.5 inches of lighter tan head. Good retention.
S: Nice coffee aroma...not overpowering. A very true aroma (coming from a coffee fiend!).
T: Nice smooth coffee notes. Soft roasted malts in the background. Hint of chocolate comes through toward the end.
M: Very smooth and creamy feel. Too often coffee beers have an off-putting bitter note. This brew completely avoids that...well done!
D: A very good and very drinkable brew. If there is any knock against it, this one is not as complex as most Surly offerings. Still, a very fine beer from an excellent brewery. Seek it out! (643 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zealot for this potent potable. Both Fat Joe and I love your avatar, michael jack style.

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Some sticky icky on the side of the pint, like ice on the windshield after the snow has been wiped away.

I'll have the maple frostin donut thank you. My lord this smells like coffee. Touch me in the morning and just walk away time to make the donuts man...

The coffee taste invades your mouth before you drink it. Roasted coffee, I think you can taste individually burnt coffee grounds in this. Smooth, creamy.

Coats your tongue like a frappe. Good ass beer. I think I can taste the cigarette's and early winter morning chill when drinking this beer. Excellent brew. (711 characters)

Photo of mwagner1018
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the can nicely, thick 3 fingers of head, but very airy, settles down to a nice 1 finger of cream, up to the light has a deep cherry coke color. Very nice lacing down the glass, caramel cream color.

S- Definite roasted dark coffee, hints of chocolate...overly distinct in it's aromatic coffee smell.

T- Deep malt, very light and smooth, nice acidic bite of the coffee balanced with caramel, malt, very much like a smoked or chocolate stout...but also not specifically like anything else I have had...very clean.

M- Very balanced, smooth across the tongue, very low carbonation, creamy...very nice.

D- Drinkable, yes, if you enjoy a nice hint of coffee...and a very smooth texture, mellow, and light, very well balanced. I could put down these...and probably be up all night!

Another great beer by Surly...

Wow...I had to come back in and amend my review...this beer really hits me in two distinct ways....I feel like I just pounded a triple shot espresso of dark Italian roast...and like I mainlined some 180 proof...feel great...all to the head...very clean...feels very nice!! (1,098 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can courtesy of KeefD who threw this in as an extra in a great trade. Thanks!

Dark brown with red highlights. Nice tan, two finger head with an aggressive pour. Slight Brussel's lace forms with each sip.

Smell is definitely rich, Sumatra coffee. Nutty, earthy with a slight acridness associated with moderately roasted fresh ground coffee.

Taste is full blown, French pressed iced coffee. Nicely done! Dark malts provide a slight sweetness - as if this coffee had one tablespoon of liquid sugar added to it. Bitterness comes from the roast as I have real trouble discerning the 45 IBUs. Okay, maybe I get a touch of green hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very nice at this ABV. Creamy - as a good iced coffee should be. A nice silkiness is also present.

Drinkability is great! I could see getting pulled in two different directions with this one after one too many.

Overall, a very nice beer from Surly! (913 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tytoanderso for this one!

Pours out a cola-like murky brown with a very minimal loose head and very spotty lacing...

Aromas of coffee, chocolate malts, and perhaps a little earthiness... Nice...

Starts with a chocolate bitterness that melds into a coffee bitterness and lingers around like with that familiar coffee aftertaste... The mouthfeel is definitely a little thinner than I was hoping...

Glad I got to try this one.. I'm not sure I would buy this one regularly but its a nice novelty... (512 characters)

Photo of twbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-As I poured this into my glass I couldn't help but notice that it looked just like my morning coffee,but had better lacing.

S-The aroma is the same as a coffee that has been left on the counter for a half hour.The smell is wonderful.

T-It has a cold,dry coffee taste with a hint of chocolate malt and a ever so slight bitterness.Coffee taste was alot weaker than the smell.

M-Medium bodied almost full.Smooth feel and low carbonation make for a great mouthfeel.

D-Lower abv makes this a very easy drinking beer.It would be a tough call between my morning coffee or a Coffee Bender on the weekends. (603 characters)

Photo of slyke
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coffee Bender pours a beautiful dark brown with red on the edges. The head is tan, pillowy and laces nicely.

Smell has some maltiness, some floral hop qualities, and a wonderful coffee aroma.

Taste includes maltiness and coffee with a crisp hoppy tinge around the edges.

Mouthfeel is medium-full-bodied that has some weight on the tongue and lingers pleasantly.

Drinkability is awesome. I'll be picking this up again. Highly recommended. (441 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can thanks to vwcraig. Dark brown, red tints, smells like a handful of roasted beans. The flavor nails the coffee aspect and reminds me of a truly enjoyable morning cup as opposed to a lot of the other coffee beers that taste more like old grounds than fresh coffee. I don't usually like coffee beers but this one is an exception. (335 characters)

Photo of dcgrp
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up two 4 packs of cans while in the twin cities. I absolutely love the idea of coffee in a brown ale (well kind of a hybrid brown ale in this case). I love the bender as a go to beer for all around drinking.

I like the interplay between coffee and maltiness, but I think it could be better. I'm guessing that mixing coffee and beer is just difficult to get perfect, but given Surly's dedication to making great beer, I'm sure they will keep improving. (459 characters)

Photo of grandq
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a hint of ruby showing as light peeks through, evincing a deep dark brown instead. Perfect two finger head is light tan and fluffy and doesn't want to go away. Coffee hits the nose first and strong - a full bodied dark roast. Some sweeter tones along the lines of milk chocolate creep up as well. Caramel malt hits up front followed by a tidal wave of iced coffee - unsullied by any frou frou frappawhathaveyou. Straight black and bitter. The substantial body of the brown ale underneath helps the flavors stick to the tongue, allowing nutty notes, toasted oat, tobacco, and a tinge of prune emerge from the added beans. The more i sip the more I notice the cherry and baker's chocolate I recall spotting in the regular Bender. Finishes acidic from the roast, masking a faint noble hop character. Slight lactic sweetness lingers as the bitter and acidic qualities play out. As a serious coffee fiend, I could drink this all day - though there's a bit of tongue fatigue to that lingering last note. Still, upgrade from an already good beer and a serious contender for top coffee brew.

Big ol' kudos to jjanega08 for the 4 pack. If only I could keep my s.o. from drinking the rest. (1,205 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can courtesy of sonicdescent - thanks! Great extra. Poured into a 22 oz. cervoise.

Appearance: Turns out I needed that extra 6 oz. over and above the can's 16 oz. capacity. This one burps up a huge two-finger foamy tan head of above average retention that leaves some nice chunky blobs of lacing, some of which sticks around for the entirety of the drinking experience. The body itself is filtered, a deep, brown mahogany, with lots of medium-sized, average-speed effervescence. There are also a few black particulates at the bottom of the glass that become visible near the end - they look almost like coffee grounds, but, that can't be right ... can it!?

Aroma: Nutty, earthy coffee abounds, medium roast, toasty, with flourishes of dark fruit, toast, bittersweet chocolate. Just a really nice, authentic, balanced nose.

Taste: Though I'm definitely no expert, methinks this one might be brewed with coffee. It's a nice healthy even roast, too, slightly grassy, earthy, with no hints of char or smoke. I'd be willing to call it a half city, though I can see someone justifying calling it a full city. It definitely augments the traditional Bender flavor profile, which definitely had no shortage of coffee overtones to begin with. There's also those other great flavor notes the original Bender had - hints of cocoa, toast, a few grassy, lightly bitter hop overtones, and a fair dash of nuttiness, as well, melding well with the earthiness of the coffee. All in all very nice.

Mouthfeel: A near-perfect amount of effervescence in a medium body yields a slightly crisp but largely smooth, subtle, gentle, even, and delicate mouth. Near perfection.

Drinkability: At 5.1%, this is one very sessionable brew, flavorful, rich, aromatic, and smooth while still being assertive. A definite recommendation, especially if you like coffee, which just so happens to be true for me. (1,877 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby body. Fluffy brown head has great retention. Lacing is quite full. Nice mix of roasted malts and coffee on the nose. Coffee is the domineering aroma as it should be. The flavor is very nicely integrated. I love the Bender, and even though this has a heavy coffee influence on the buds, the Bender traits are still perceptible. Almost like a coffee milkshake. Nice creamy body and light carbonation. Quite drinkable. A good beer breakfast or desert. I can only think of 2 coffee beers that I've liked better, Bell's Java Stout and Central Waters Coffee Stout. (568 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can courtesy of Buebie poured into a tulip.

Pours dark mahogany and settles almost completely black in the glass underneath a huge beige head that lingers as a cap and leaves tons and tons of lacing.

Fresh roasted coffee aromas jump out of the glass with hints of the caramel malts in the background.

A quick roasted coffee hit gives way to the caramel malts in the taste. The roasted coffee comes back strong and leaves a slightly acidic bitterness in the finish. There are hints of chocolate in the background that enhance the sweetness and keep the coffee from thoroughly dominating.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth with good carbonation and has an overall velvety feel to it.

Another winner in a can from Surly. A very drinkable brown ale with some good coffee character. (782 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to wisconsinbeer1 for throwing this my way in a trade. A fine trader you are no doubt.

A - A nice dark brown ale poured with love into my anxiously awaiting glass. Nice puffy head that quickly backs off leaving some legs and lacing behind.

S - It's all about the coffee and this one certainly delivers. Not the charred blackened coffee that meets one's nose, this one is very inviting.

T - Lots of great coffee flavor dances on the tongue along with a little chocolate and smoke. The taste goes along with the smell. My wife who is a coffee hound gave this one an enthusiastic thumbs up.

M - A little on the thin side compared to the plethora of coffee stouts that dominate the beer shelves. Since it is a brown ale, that is to be expected.

D - You could probably drink these back for quite a nice session. Given its ABV, it allows you to enjoy more than one, that is for certain.

I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Seems like you can pick probably from 50 coffee beers today if you so choose. If you do, make sure that this in one that you do pick. It is worth it. Another cool Surly can has met its match.

Thanks Jason for passing along my way. I appreciate your generous trades. (1,201 characters)

Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.