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Coffee Bender | Surly Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
830 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
830
Ratings:
2,525
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
18.8%
 
 
Wants:
667
Gots:
399
For Trade:
29
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.

Added by feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006

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Reviews: 830 | Ratings: 2,525
Photo of grandq
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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

A great looking brown ale. The pour resulted in a nice two finger pale tan head with great retention sitting overtop an opaque dark coloured brew that displays garnet highlights when backlit. Nice sticky lacings, sheets gradually disperse to reveal a sticky, full intricate webbing.

The rich aroma of dark roasted coffee greets the nose. It has the unmistakable aroma of coffee, with earthy notes of chocolate. Milder notes of roasted barley are also present along with some creamy nutty notes and toffee. Hops are also present, although somewhat muted with herbal accents and hints of hay.

A coffee lovers beer, and thankfully i love my coffee. The main flavour is the coffee, rich, earthy, and chocolaty with a hints of smoke. Toffee and nuts present from the malt but take a backseat to the rich coffee flavour. Herbal hopping with a clean bitterness appear to round out the finish.

Smooth and creamy with a substantial medium body. Roasted coffee and malts contrasts nicely with rich malts with their notes of hazenut and toffee. Some bitterness from the coffee and roasted malts, as well as herbal hop bitterness. Coffee is showcased quite nicely with malt and hops relegated to a supporting role.

Quite drinkable, although not recommended for those who arent into coffee. Perhaps too bold and complex to be a true session beer, but i could easily see knocking a few pints of this back at a sitting. Im thinking this would be a perfect brew in front of a fire after a long day. Im happy they are canning this one, and will be drinking this again very soon. Highly recommended for fans of coffee.

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oh Surly....you are the best in Minnesota.

I have been waiting some time to try this Beer since I don't get to the Twin Cities much.

Here goes the review.

For the most part, I really like this beer. I love coffee and I love beer so when a brewery mixes the two, it usually tastes great. I have had a few that were horrible...my very first review was a horrid coffee beer....but for the most part, I love the coffee beer mixture.

So, when I heard that my one of my favorite breweries was putting their coffee beer into cans for a larger distribution area, I got really excited. I think that I personally ticked off a few local beer stores with my constant calling....sorry Keith.

Anyway....Coffee Bender doesn't disappoint when it comes to a beer tasting like coffee. However, I personally like most of the other Surly beers better than this one. Now, before anyone takes my head off for the above comment, listen to my reasons why. Like I stated earlier, I love beer and I love coffee. It is just that this Bender tastes soooo much like coffee that I wanted a little more beer flavor like you get in the real Bender. Don't get me wrong, I love this beer but for a truly exceptional beer from Surly, I would have to go with the Furious, as well as their regular Bender and CynicAle.

Everything is great about the Coffee Bender. Color, Smell, Taste, Mouthfeel and low alcohol which makes this an exceptional beer to drink.

This beer, in my opinion, is an exceptional cold coffee. Serve it with eggs in the morning, a good corned beef sandwich for lunch, and a thick T-Bone on the grill for supper. Excellent.

I will purchase this again, but I will purchase much more Furious to just keep on hand.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.89/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours nearly opaque deep brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into nice rings of lacing. The aroma is of coffee beans, with nutty caramel malt beneath. The taste is a little maltier than the aroma, but there is still a ton of coffee. There is all the malty depth of regular Bender, but it seems more accentuated by the coffee. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a great beer. I have a feeling that I will be drinking this beer a lot.

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Photo of umustdrink
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Very deep chocolate brown color. Light brown head settles at a thick ring, nothing in the middle. Lots of little lacing dots.

S - Medium roast coffee is the dominant aroma here, the original bender's caramely malty sweetness lurks the background.

T - An oily and bitter toasty coffee flavor start us out, then vanilla cream highlights and a more intense coffee flavor. Not much else in there, the coffee flavor dominates. Finish is a very long lasting rich and bitter coffee flavor.

M - Medium to light consistency, oily at times. Medium carbonation. Perfect for the brown ale style.

D - I really enjoy the flavor of coffee so I really enjoy this beer. Being that its a coffee flavored brown ale with an average alcohol content, this is more drinkable than some coffee stouts that taste very similar.

This falls under the novelty COFFEE (uppercase) beer (lowercase) category. Not that I don't like this a lot, but I'd like to have a coffee beer that is more beer and less coffee.

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Photo of KeefD
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red/brown color with ruby highlights, a nice fluffy tan head, and good lacing down the Surly coffee mug. Nice, bitter coffee aroma, some good hop smells coming in at the end all mixed with some light chocolate. Very nice coffee flavor here, silky smooth roasty malts, and a light bitterness on the finish. This is a very tasty brown ale as it is, but the coffee brings it to another level. I've had it on tap before (Darkness Day) and I think I prefered the tap version. It's seemed a little creamier and more silky than from the can, but it's still delicious nonetheless. Very nice Surly. You've done it again.

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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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Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.