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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,975 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,975
Reviews: 767
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 607
Gots: 221 | 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
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Ratings: 1,975 | Reviews: 767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of darkmoon66
3/5  rDev -27.9%

darkmoon66, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of jegross2
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing the Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company.
Score: 79

Canned 11/01/11, served in a pilsner glass (the only beer glass available), and and enjoyed 1/4/12.

Appearance: Pours three and a half fingers of foamy khaki-colored head (obviously exaggerated by the glass it was poured into) on top of a dark soda/caramel red/brown colored body that falls between transparent and translucent. Head settles into a half finger, leaving lots of sticky residue on the side of the glass. Good lacing. 4/5

Smell: Coffee and vanilla cream soda. Plenty of caramel aroma too. The aroma is a little fizzy, with the sugarier smells from the head of the beer "crackling" and "popping" such that they shot up my nose (akin to taking that first sip from a freshly poured Coke) when I got in too close for a smell. 3.5/5

Taste: My first impression was coffee up front that quickly turns into a caramel finish. Very malty middle (in fact, very malty overall), but not overly sweet. Hints of vanilla soda in the linger. As the beer layers, it becomes a more consistent coffee and caramel flavor throughout, including the finish. For a beer with a fizzy smell at pour, this beer tasted surprisingly flat. Did not detect any nuttiness. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied with light-plus carbonation. Felt a little flat and much waterier than expected. Finish is slightly sweet and the mouthfeel kind of reminds me of a totally melted malt ball. 2.5/5

Overall: Perhaps I cannot adjudge this beer too harshly because it was slightly over 60 days old, but I was not overly impressed with the base beer (Surly Bender) either (though that one too was old -- I tried a "fresher" can recently, but that can had no carbonation). I guess this one could be a step up from Bender if fresh, but I honestly felt like Bender had more "freshness upside" to it. Alas, some have informed me that Bender and Coffee Bender are not particularly the type of beer to "rapidly age," unlike Surly Furious (which was much better fresh). I really do not know how to feel about this beer, other than I did not particularly enjoy my first experience with it. Both Bender and Coffee Bender looked and smelled much better than they tasted. If you are buying Surly beers right now, do yourself a favor and skip this one and buy some (more) Abrasive Ale for a few extra dollars

Recommendation: Worth trying, but not particularly worth seeking out -- at least not if its 60+ days old. Flavors are not too intense or too harsh to put off casual beer drinkers.

Pairings: Peanuts?

Cost: $11.99 for a four pack of 16 oz cans.

jegross2, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. The beer comes out reasonably dark brown. When held up to the light it has red and lighter brown highlights. Looks like it has some good clarity to it during the lighter portions of the liquid. Tannish colored head, various sized bubbles with a rough pour. It goes away after awhile to just some skimming around the edges, decent lacing though.

Smell i is very good. A few short words can sum it up with "fresh brewed dark coffee." For those of you who have tried the original bender, it does have some of the other pleasant malty aromas, but it's the coffee that is BY FAR the most prominent feature here.

Taste is quite good. Much like the smell, there's plenty of fresh brewed dark coffee and that's again the prominent feature. The classic brown ale features are less masked than in the smell here. Nuttiness and hints of coco and some slight herbal, fruity, and earthy hops, but the hops are a little more subtle than the original Bender, but again this is pretty tasty.

Little room for improvement in the mouthfeel and drinkability. Good carbonation level and very smooth. Lighter bodied than one would expect, especially since it has such a big coffee flavor to it. Nice bitter finish as well. Very good beer, a must for any coffee lover or coffee/beer lover.

AndyAvalanche, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of davidthebruce
4/5  rDev -3.8%

davidthebruce, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4/5  rDev -3.8%

gratefulbeerhead, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of dragomni
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

dragomni, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -3.8%

HopsHopenstein, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of emdawg
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

emdawg, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of joshlindquist
5/5  rDev +20.2%

joshlindquist, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can, canned on date of 12/09/11. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Both the head retention and lacing are good. Aroma is coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and some nuts. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but there's also a bit of vanilla noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and slick and is well carbonated. I think this is a pretty good overall brew, I liked it a lot. It's heavy on the coffee in both the aroma and taste, and that's a good thing for me. It's certainly worth trying, I know I'd like to get more of this brew in the future.

bluejacket74, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Riggsenater
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Riggsenater, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of StupidFlanders
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

StupidFlanders, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
1/5  rDev -76%

MyTBeerDrinker, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of Beerdius
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Beerdius, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of dsuedbeck
5/5  rDev +20.2%

dsuedbeck, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -3.8%

enelson, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of zulufactor
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

zulufactor, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep chestnut brown coloring. A frothy head that dissipates slowly.

S: Umph! There is no false advertising going on here. This is the more coffee-centered nose I've ever smelled in a beer. Wonderful, potent coffee nose, with some caramel malts notes hidden deep under the coffee beast.

T: Same as the nose! Like drinking a cup of coffee with a fantastic brown ale mixed in, and it works very well. The sweetness of the coffee and malts are balanced by their own yin and yang bitterness. Simple and complex simultaneously--Didn't think that was possible but here it seems to be.

M: Wonderfully coating and carbonated. Easily drinkable, yet it leaves no wanting.

You could probably get away with justifying drinking this with breakfast, it's so coffee-forward. I love this beer.

Heavenisbeer, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of jlenik
4/5  rDev -3.8%

jlenik, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This may be my favorite out of the Surly beers maybe even my favorite coffee beer. Pours with a billowing tan khaki head and forms fine even lacing down the sides of the glass. Their infusion process really makes the beer, body is a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. Aroma has dark nutty notes of coffee, with hints of cream and sugar, really it's like the best iced coffee you've ever had with a strong earthy coffee nose. Flavor is excellent the most intense and flavorful coffee beer I've ever tasted, this beer tastes great. Creamed coffee, chocolate, dense creamy vanilla highlights within a dark brown ale just tastes great. Mouthfeel is creamy textured and I'm burping up coffee beans this is an intense beer experience. Mouthfeel is slightly acidic with coffee bean notes, and goes down easy loving every second of it. Drinkability is creamy texture is awesome and the beer that I've dreamt of when it comes to coffee beers thanks again Ryan aka Schlais, if you need anymore White Rajah let me know!

WVbeergeek, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of TheBishopco
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

TheBishopco, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -3.8%

whartontallboy, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of BierBliss
4/5  rDev -3.8%

BierBliss, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of runner440
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Stu for hooking me up with this beer. This is a pretty awesome coffee beer. Definitely the best coffee beer I have ever had. The aroma smells like iced coffee with small hints of chocolate. The beer starts with a nice coffee burst and bitterness at the front of the mouth followed by some sweet milk chocolate notes and more coffee at the middle of the mouth. The finish is very smooth with a big coffee like aftertaste. Very drinkable also. I'd rather have this beer than my morning coffee every day!

runner440, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -3.8%

ADTaber, Dec 22, 2011
Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,975 ratings.