1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,935 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,935
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 604
Gots: 217 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,935 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of falloutsnow
3.66/5  rDev -12%
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.

falloutsnow, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of ThreeKingdoms
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

ThreeKingdoms, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of BrownAleMale
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

BrownAleMale, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

zestar, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of uncccegr
4/5  rDev -3.8%

uncccegr, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of jarrgal
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

jarrgal, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of Lurkerson
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Lurkerson, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of jpaulsen
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

jpaulsen, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of MNPikey
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

MNPikey, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of DrZeus10
4/5  rDev -3.8%

DrZeus10, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of savagepm
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

savagepm, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of pisano
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

pisano, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of AltBock
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

AltBock, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of MrBuckHigh
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

MrBuckHigh, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

GrindFatherBob, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of animal69
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

animal69, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of Rihup
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Rihup, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of Rau71
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Rau71, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of Woodman70
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Woodman70, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of Ragnarok88
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Ragnarok88, May 31, 2013
Photo of ajtorres311
4/5  rDev -3.8%

ajtorres311, May 31, 2013
Photo of Ctrauty
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Ctrauty, May 30, 2013
Photo of danfix99
3/5  rDev -27.9%

danfix99, May 29, 2013
Photo of Rons35
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Rons35, May 28, 2013
Photo of Axnjxn
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in DC at CT Ave Wine & Liquor. Canned on 3/29/13 and poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a brown coffee color with a 1.5 inch beige head. very nice looking pour . 4.5

smell is...COFFEE! we've got a super strong coffee scent here. just as i expected 4.5

taste is roasted iced coffee. this almost doesnt even taste like beer. not exactly sure how to take that. being a lover of coffee, i enjoy this, but if you arent a fan of coffee youd absolutely hate it. 3.75

mouthfeel - extremely easy to drink this one. medium body and medium carbonation. absolutely no bitterness or alcohol present. tastes like straight up coffee. 4.5

overall this is more like drinking an iced coffee than a beer. so with that being said its very hard to rate. bottom line is dont even approach this if you arent a big fan of coffee, because you will not enjoy it whatsoever. if on the other hand you enjoy a good cup of joe, youll enjoy this one.

Axnjxn, May 27, 2013
Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,935 ratings.