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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

820 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 820
Hads: 2,453
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 666
Gots: 375 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

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: 820 | Hads: 2,453
Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deepest, darkest of brown can get without going completely black and a low ember of light at the bottom like a dieing fire. Densely packed frothy foam of a solid sandy brown tan hue grows up to about a finger high and keeps a bubbly muffin top of skim always present. Lots of lacing in spotted sheeting grazes the glass.

Aroma of dry cocoa, dry oats, and a feathery roast of creamed cold-pressed coffee. A bit different from when I've pleasurely drank this on the tap as it has a stronger coffee presense on the tap. Here, from the can, its dryness is fairly enjoyable and complex.

Taste is a solid quick tang of roast and backed there after with a semi dry and oaty sweetness in the middle. Coffee bitterness and burnt grains ascent it well as it finishes dry and even. Again, its slightly different then what I can recall from the tap. This has a uniquely bittered drying finish with a fairly complex end of roasty things a happening and lasting late until just a titch of chocolate sweetness appears way in the back.

The body is about medium with an overall dryish smoothness of roasted and blackened malts balanced in with a softer yield of oaty sweetness and light chocolate. The coffee becomes much more evident in taste and character as it warms. Gaining a favorable dry roastyness throughout.

A well balanced porter with an interesting display between the dry and darker sweetness.
Out of the numberous times on-tap I've had this stuff, the canned Coffee Bender creates a slightly more dry and complexing experience within said dryness.
The tap has a bit more creamyness and smoothness to it, from what I remember. Time to experiment and find out where I might find any real differences...

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Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from maximum12. Thanks, Corey!

A-Deep, murky chestnut brown, with a thin, creamy tan head. Nicely sticky with little lacing.

S-Strong aroma of freshly ground coffee. I have tried a lot of coffee beers but this is the first time I have gotten this rich roastiness.

T-Roasted coffee follows a slightly sweet malt start, then ending with a mild hop to complement the roastiness.

M-Medium bodied, maybe a little heavy for a brown ale but that's not a complaint.

D-I would not usually jump up and down at the prospect of drinking a brown ale but this is a damn good one.

Love those Surly beers.

HV

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Photo of masterchiefMD
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been trying alot of beers but have yet to rate one...so here it goes
Got in trade with tytoanderso big thanks!

poured very dark brown with minimal head. Strong smell of coffee!!! Taste is wonderful, strong coffee taste with roasted malts. Perfect carbonation is very light from look expected a little more thickness to it. I could sit down and drink a couple of these, very smooth!

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Photo of morimech
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wonderful coffee flavor but it seems unbalanced in this relatively light body. Other coffee beers have more substance to them. Does not look as nice as regular Bender as a head never really forms and there is minimal lacing left on the glass. Coffee dominants the aroma and flavor. I do not get anything to even come close to balance or compliment the coffee. I just feel coffee compliments bigger beers than a brown ale.

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Photo of beerkittycat
3.19/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From a can poured into a smaller tasting glass and shared with others. Appearance is a murky amber brown with a tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma smells awesome of freshly ground high-quality coffee and some citrus hops in the background. Taste was....a little disappointing compared to the aroma. First off was the thin mouthfeel which surprised me considering the line-up of big beers that Surly makes. The flavors were rather thin, too, and was dominated by the coffee with little malt or hop flavor to balance things out. Too much carbonation in this beer probably allowed the mouthfeel to seem a little thin. I'll try it again, but I've had much better coffee beers than this.

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Photo of SuperWhite92
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark black, head fades rather quick. Aroma is very pleasant- like a good black coffee with a noticable back. I'm pretty impressed with that aspect. Taste is good. The original bender is still apparent, but it's accented with the wonderful coffee flavors, and either more chocolate, or the chocolate flavor is also created with the addition of the coffee. I'm getting a kick out of these Surly brews. Worth a taste for sure.

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Photo of NuBrewm
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this one on tap at darkness day and now recently in a can. Figured I would rate this beer now that I had it canned since on darkness day I had a ton of different beers.

A: Nice Medium-Dark brown body, with a subtle tan head. Could have just poured it into a coffee mug and thought nothing of it.

S: Prominent coffee smell, roasted, but not of old roasted coffee. This smells fresh and not like some of the coffee ground beers I have tasted. The aroma is amazing!

T: The coffee flavor is at the tip of your tongue and then the bender smooth flavor takes over. Very balanced.

M: Medium bodied, enough to swish the palate with every sip.

D: Pretty damn drinkable considering how much coffee I drink. Low ABV and plenty of coffee smoothness to keep enjoying. yeah this beer is very refreshing and I wish it came in 6 paks.

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Photo of Fatduck
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I waited for this one to come out in cans to review. Every time I have it on tap I proceed to drink a lot more afterward.

Pours a few shades darker than a normal Bender, it looks like coffee in my mug, with a deep tan head. The coffee smells jumps right out of the can as soon as you open it, and blows up all over the room when you finally poor this bad boy into your mug/glass. This is made with some of the finest coffee available in the Twin cities, from Coffee and Tea LTD. It maintains that creamy rich mouthfeel that makes Bender so enjoyable, and gives the kick of a nice strong cup of coffee.

This is a MUST TRY for anyone who likes coffee and likes beer. Costs about 12$ for a 4 pack, $3 a beer aint so bad, if you consider that last week the only place to find this was at the bar.

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Photo of Mdog
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Appearance: Dark brown, red highlights when held to light. Nice head retention. Good lacing.

Smell: Mainly coffee, a little citrus.

Taste: With different cans I've had different amounts of coffee. The Bender base is still there, with nice roasted malt and chocolate, sometimes the coffee takes over and other times it stays in the background. From can to can it is different.

Drinkability: Bender is extremely drinkable whether it is coffee-infused or not.

It's awesome to have another Surly brew in cans. I have never had this beer on tap so it was new to me. I was a little surprised that it wasn't more coffee-like. Good stuff though I think I may like regular Bender a little more, as the original seems to be a little sweeter than this one.

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Photo of leif86
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in my Duvel.

A: Near black with a tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Freshly brewed coffee and loads of cereal grain. Very earthy.

T: Just like it smells: sweetened coffee and cereal. A little toasty too.

M: Good level of carbonation - I let mine sit a bit and it became nice and creamy.

D: Usually I don't find coffee beers that drinkable, but this one is very easy drinking. This is surprising giving how much coffee is actually present.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to my man up in MN for sending these cans down to me right after the release. I have been hunting this one for a while as I truly appreciate a coffee beer above all others. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/23/2009.

The pour was damn wonderful I have to say. Deep dark brown with some light shining through on the edges and bottom, but mostly opaque. Huge tan head maybe three inches high coming up and over the top and falling down into a full, sticky ring of lace around the sides of the glass.

The aroma was steeped with coffee. Rich brewed, medium coffee with a nice bitterness to it. Some light sweet notes bouncing around in there as well and a very nice roasted quality to it. Smooth, rich flavor, Bitter coffee notes dominated with an amlost tea like flavor in there as well if that makes any sense. Huge vcoffee flavor from beginning to end and the smoothness of it was wonderful. Mellow finish and light abv made it very sessionable and this one went down in no time, offering little challange to me.

This was a great coffee beer. One of my favorites. Lighter then others in feel, but the freshness of the brewed coffee flavor was soo spot on. I am very happy to have a good supply of this one.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= dark and delicious looking with a small head but decent lacing
S= really smells like a frappachino or something like that. Then once the coffee smell is subdued the beer comes through,
T=tastes much different than the bender actually. This is a whole new beast. Just plain good too. The coffee flavor is delicious.
M= smooth and creamy. Pretty light body
D= very high. Screams session!

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Photo of ihaf2p
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was leery of trying this beer because I am a huge Surly fan and because of the hype did not want a let down....no worries, it was a great experience. The smell of coffee is much more prominent that I expected. The chocolate flavors really come thru as well. Very good drinkability...not sure it would be a good session beer, but I would maybe alternate between a Coffee Bender and Furious. Cheers!!

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Photo of MPLS
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have had this on Tap, from a growler, and now recently in a can. Decided to choose the can, which was my most recent tasting of this beer.

A: Nice Medium-Dark brown body, with a subtle fizzy head. Psychologically it makes me want to think it's the exact color of a dark cup of coffee.

S: Prominent coffee smell, roasted, but not of old roasted coffee. This smells fresh and not like some of the coffee ground beers I have tasted.

T: Awesome coffee up front with the typical bender in back, smooth and mellow. Props to Surly for not having the coffee flavor be too acidic.

M: Medium bodied, enough to swish the palate with every sip.

D: Pretty damn drinkable considering how much coffee I drink. Low ABV and plenty of coffee smoothness to keep enjoying.

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- One inch light brown head with tiny bubbles that clump together as the head diminishes. The beer is a deep red brown in color that lets little light through. Great lacing and good head retention.

S- Huge delicious dark roasted coffee aroma that almost covers up all other smells. Hints of caramel and dark chocolate, and some light hoppyness. If I close my eyes and smell this beer I can easily imagine myself in a coffee shop, I can almost here the espresso being ground.

T- The flavors in this beer are amazing, it starts out very sweet but layers of coffee and hops build up until all you can taste is a moderately hopped espresso. The initial sweetness is of caramel and milk chocolate that changes into dark chocolate and coffee. Then the hops come in with some piny bitterness but are overtaken by huge espresso flavors leaving your mouth tasting like coffee.

M- The mouth feel on this beer is phenomenal. Silky smooth yet complex, great carbonation with some bite from the hops. It is really an interesting beer to drink.

Overall: This is one of my favorite brown ales and a great release from Surly. I am very happy this is now in cans and I will do my part to make sure it pays off for Omar and every one else at Surly.

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Photo of Buebie
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yippie! Bender in cans!!

Had this once before on tap, its nice that I can have it from home. Just picked it up, as it was released yesterday.

Poured from my 16 oz can into an oversized snifter. 2 fingers of fluffy off white head sits there for a few minutes. Settling to a thin layer of retention and nice even drapes of lace.
Color is almost black with a redish glow while held up against light.

The aroma still has a bit of cereal grains and malts. Now with deliciously creamy coffee aroma and bits of peanut butter nuttiness. Just a bit of roasty burnt caramel with somthing like a sweet hazelnut, or candy coated walmuts.
Mmmmm, this thing smells so good.

Good amount of carbonation kick all through.
Starts out with a semi sweet dark roasty nutty coffee flavor. Its not watered down or thin, its big in your face coffee. Still balanced with the grainy malt flavors still coming through.
That nutty rich coffee really peaks at the swallow.
Finishing quite dry and carbonated with a hay like hoppyness.
Bitter delicious black coffee lingers.

Very nice pick me up after a very long day at work. Maybe I'll have on for breakfast?

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Photo of optiontwo
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Even though I've had this brew many times on-tap before I can't tell you how excited I am to be holding this beautiful can in my hands. Easily one of my most anticipated beers in a while.

First one to review coffee bender in a can! Woo-hoo! Ok, I'm done. Time for the review.

16oz. can poured into nonic

Appearance: Dark brown, not completely opaque but close, with half inch frothy tan head and very nice lacing.

Smell: So obviously, this being a coffee beer, you'd expect some major coffee aroma which there is, but there's a lot more going on. Coffee, roasted biscuit malts, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and even some hop aroma are all in there.

Taste: Bitter coffee and chocolate followed by sweet caramel, toffee, and hazelnut and finished off with a perfect amount of hop flavor and bite. Simply delicious. This is the most balanced coffee beer I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. Not too heavy, not too light. Carbonation is just right.

Drinkability: Also perfect. This is one of the tastiest 5.1%ABV brews there is. It goes down easy and if you were so inclined you could enjoy all four from your four-pack and not turn into frank the tank.

Overall: This, in my humble opinion, is a world-class coffee beer. And that's what you can expect from Surly, world-class beers. When I first had this beer it seemed a bit more coffee forward but now, out of the can, it seems a lot more balanced. I used to tell my pals that enjoy good beer to try this brew even if they didn't like coffee; well now that rings more true than ever. This is the perfect balance between beer and coffee and I am practically giddy that I have three more cans in my fridge. Obtain this, however you can.

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Photo of mnstorm99
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful brown pour, almost porter looking, but we knew that about Bender already, great light tan head that stays until the glass is empty.
Aroma is of coffee, and more coffee, then a nice touch of caramel and biscuit malts. There is even a slight aroma of spicy hops to round things out.
Taste is as good as it gets, there isn't even a need to let this one warm too much. Great smooth coffee flavors round out a mix of biscuit and caramel malts, possible even a small touch of chocolate, with a nice small background of floral hops.
Mouthfeel is great for a brown ale, but this isn't a brown ale, it is a little thin for a porter, but this isn't a porter, oh, I am confused. This is way too easy to drink and I can see the caffeine and alchohol fighting out which should win.

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Photo of Greggy
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had copious amounts on tap many times in the cities.

A- Pours a 1 finger white head, creamy in consistency. The body is brown with ruby red highlights. As the glass empties, thin lacing covers the glass.

S- Very nice pressed coffee aromatics coupled with vanilla, cream, bits chocolate, and some nuttiness. The hops are subdued on this vs. the regular bender, but still has some great balance.

T- Starts off with some nice roasted coffee, although lighter than what i was expecting. The coffee melds perfectly with vanilla, cream, light chocolate, some nuttiness, and a creamy finish with great residual notes of fresh coffee.

M- Very smooth with light carbonation. The coffee finish is great.

D- Extremely drinkable. Will definitely have this gem again.

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Photo of HopHobo
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoy several pints of this brew on tap at the Hopleaf in Chitown over the weekend.

A-It was dark so the beer appeared to pour very dark for a brown ale. Decent one finger head that diminishes very quickly to leave lacing on the sides of the glass and a thin layer of froth on top of the beer.

S-The immediate smell that dominates this brew is roasted coffee. Some underlying sweet smells along with smells of nuttiness that can be detected in the base bender beer as well. Overall, one of the best smelling coffee beers that has ever graced my nose.

T-Oh mama, thank god someone bought me a different beer because I could have drank this one all night long. Great coffee flavor without being too abrasive. The sweetness of the brown ale really blends together well with the roasted coffee flavor to make this a very tastey brew.

M-Mouthfeel was medium with good carbonation, very distinguishable as a brown ale and not a stout or porter.

D-My only regret with this beer is that I had it after having several other beers, I would love to try this beer as my first of the night...oh and get a growler(hint, hint). Very good beer and as always...I'm impressed with Surly.

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Photo of hellbilly
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

growler from psprings... wtf! who just pulls out a growler and hands it to you?

this poured a chestnut-y brown... i'm gonna go with a shade darker than the regular bender and a creamy tannish head.

if i smelled this blind i would've told you it was stale coffee. crazy... aromas of whole medium dark roasted beans beans, brown sugar, toasted nuts and vanilla. i'm amazed by the sheer volume of real coffee stink coming off of this thing!

awww, the flavor is a bit of a let down. not bad, just not very... esoteric... a cold cup of mildly sour coffee with notes of brown sugar, faint chocolate and some nuttiness with a very bitter dry finish. there's just not a whole lot happening. it's damn good just a bit too simple and straight forward. it is medium bodied with a nice creamy mouth feel.

i have this fairy tale dream in my head of surly finding a way to get some bacon in this stuff... my personal heaven of my three loves in one glass!
9/4/7/4/17/4.1

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Photo of Packforever1976
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in my british pint.

A: Pours a medium redish brown, with a smallish light tan head. Head recedes quickly leaving a small layer on top. Decent lacing.

S: I haven't had this in quite awhile, and I forgot how good it smells. Good quality dark roasted coffee dominates the nose. Some hints of hazelnut and vanilla as well. Amazing.

T: A nice bitter dark roasted coffee flavor up front. That bitterness is quite nice, as alot of coffee beers are way too sweet. Some nice hazelnut and vanilla flavors follow, and in the finish I get some good quality dark chocolate. Man, this beer is tasty.

M: Mouthfeel is great. Carbonation is spot on. Nice level of thickness for the style.

D: Coffee Bender is crazy drinkable. I probably wouldn't be able to put down more than a couple pints at a time, but those pints would go down very smooth. Another winner from Todd and Surly.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Same rich mahogany color of the Bender, along with the impressively sticky and full brownish head and lacing.

The aroma is fucking badass. Not some insipid, bourgeois, fine-ground and drip-brewed coffee; more like French pressed boutique beans. Very strong and very impressive; the beer hides underneath with the same quality dark malt character as usual.

The flavor is dominated by the coffee, and makes short work of any of the subtler aspects of the original Bender. The strong, dark fruit body still remains, along with the long, slightly sweet, slightly roasted finish. Now accompanied by the java, it's even longer!

The mouthfeel is still broad and rich, with tons of little caressing bubbles that still stays far away from over-carbonated.

Surly knows how to do it, and they've done it again. This is fantastic beer, and I would get myself a ton of this if I lived nearby. I had two pints on tap and felt like moving on, but my sister gave me a 4 pack of regular Bender and I've been leaving a cup or so of coffee in my press each morning to stir in with my beers that night. One to go!

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass coffee-mug style Surly mug.

A-Pours a dark brown beer, looks to be opaque, even murky (I'm guessing an attribute of the coffee addition). Minimal dark tannish head on arrival.

S-Fresh-pressed coffee DOMINATES the aroma. I could find some malts underneath somewhere, but minimally. It's a good thing the coffee aroma is enjoyable.

T-Like the aroma, very strong roasty, fresh-pressed coffee. Oddly, it reminds me of the percolated coffee I drink while camping (but a whole lot tastier). As my taste buds grew accustomed to the coffee flavor, some toasty/roasty malts were able to emerge. The flavor seemed maybe a bit too one-dimensional, but was quite enjoyable, as well.

M-Hearty mouthfeel, nearly grainy with coffee-ness. Lumbered around my mouth roughly with its grainy medium-full body. Carbonation bleded in well with the direction of the beer.

D-As the mug stated, "It's never to early to get surly." I could easily see myself enjoying this brew with breakfast (don't know if that's good or bad...). I thought it was tasty, maybe not overly complicated, but enjoyably different.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

one part porter, one part APA, one part american brown, with about 20 gallons of coffee in every batch. as stated at hopleaf

pour the color of bad coffee. a dark mahogany. decent head... some lace. nose is malt, stale porter style grape, coffee, rotten pineapple hop. taste is lightly acidic working with the sour porter apple. malt is sufficient like a brown with an APA fruit hoppy. wonderful blend of all the additions. nice work surly.

had it again 2 weeks later and it had a nice blend coffee headlined the nice delicate fruit and bitterness. not as hoppy as i remember. more so bitter. great with very slight spicy food... meat particularly.

had it out of the can about six months later. proves to be a bit more of an american porter style to the porter part of the beer. chocolatey... with a nice coffee. coming to realize that this is a fantastic midwest opportunity.

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Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 820 ratings.