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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,048 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,048
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 609
Gots: 239 | FT: 14
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)
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Ratings: 2,048 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Buebie
4.33/5  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?

Photo of Genghis22
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kevin, my Secret Santa!

A - Pours a ruddy brown. Ruby highlights when the glass is held up. Frothy coffee colored head. Good sticky lacing.

S - A strong smell of nice coffee. Not overly strong and burnt smelling like a stout, but also not weak and watery like the stuff they serve at Denny's. Bready, malty, touch of chocolate, with a bitter finish.

T - Nutty, malty delcious. The first taste is all brown ale, but the coffee creeps in and builds over time. The end result is less brown ale, much more coffee, with the hops coming in at the last moment. The aftertaste is bitter, mostly hoppy bitter, but also the coffee plays into it as well. Very nicely down.

M - Viscosity is nice, medium body. Not thick or chewy, but very fitting for a brown ale. Moderate carbonation, which really accents all the differnt flavors. Very well done.

O - If I could get my hands on this, I would be all over it. This beer is super tasty. It combines two of my three favorite beverages in one can, and does a fine job of it. The abv is also low enough to make this a beer you could have a few of in a session. I would love to take this camping, would be a great way to start the post dinner camp fire huddle.

Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dzyneguru for hooking me up.

A - Definitely in between brown and red. The head, however, is definitely big, brown, and sticky. It's lacing as it starts to recede.

s - Lots of really nice coffee aromatics that mix with the more traditional caramel and toffee notes from crystal malt. It definitely has the smell of fresh grounds as opposed to old, stale coffee that I've found in some other beers.

T - Off the bat, it's only fair to say that I don't like brown ales. They tend to be to sweet for my tastes, but considering the reputation of Coffee Bender and hopeful thinking that I might come around to the style, I had to give this a chance. Wow. Who knew coffee and a brown ale could play off of each other so nicely. First off, the thing that sticks out most is how the coffee contrasts with the sweetness of the malt. In a coffee stout, you're essentially getting double the amount of roasted flavor, where with this I think the roasted flavors are coming just from the coffee. The coffee has a really great, mild, slightly spicy flavor. This makes sense because, based on experience, Gautemalan coffees are very mild(unless it's a darker roast, but that isn't the case here).

Coffee flavors come in upfront here, then break away against the crystal malt flavors, then fall into some chocolate notes and finish again with coffee.

MF - It's thinner than I expected(but I think I associate the sweeter flavors of brown ales with a thicker feel), but it definitely works considering the ABV and the fact that I simply can't stop drinking it. It does finish slightly sticky.

D - Well, I have to say that this is the best brown ale I've ever had, and I wouldn't be surprised if I never have a better one. That is, until someone fuses another flavor with it that can't help me cope with the typical sweetness I don't care for.

My absolute favorite thing about Coffee Bender is how it showcases the coffee flavors so well by setting them against something contrasting. It's like having complementary versus contrasting flavors with a meal in that one isn't necessarily better than the other.

Photo of steve8robin
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one in trade, thanks Eric...

A: Perfect look. Thick 1 and 1/2 inch off-white head that slowly fades leaving nice lacing around the glass.

S: Can't get a big scent off of this brew. Just a hint of coffee. Nothing special.

T: Wow! It tastes like you're drinking a coffee. Thick and heavy coffee bean flavor. Hops and smokiness on the backend. Very good.

M: Very smooth with a nice coffee flavor left on the palate.

D: Goes down perfectly easy. Just like drinking a morning coffee.

All in all, this one is good. If you're a coffee drinker, as I am, then you will love this brew. It's one of the only beers I can picture having during breakfast, haha. Very much like drinking a coffee. Tasty!

Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a dark dark brown with a light tan head. Some stickiness along the sides of the glass, like a cup of coffee (who woulda thunk it?).

S - Coffee, really good coffee with some sweetness on the end.

T - Coffee, really good coffee. A nice sweetness as well, very creamy. Some bitterness on the end, which I expect from a coffee-type beer.

M - Medium, very nice and rich for a ABA. Not overly carbonated and very smooth, perfect.

D - I wish I could drink one of these in the morning to get my coffee fix. Screw Starbucks, I want Coffee Bender!

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

I got this brew in a trade with akokandy, Thanks Adam!

16oz can served in a beer mug.

L - very dark brown color with a beige head that left some good lacing behind.

S - coffee, coffee and more coffee.

T - rich roasted coffee flavor is the most dominant taste in this brew, malts and hop flavors are mixed in but the coffee is the star of this show.

F - medium bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

D - goes down smooth and easy, it's just a matter of how much coffee taste the drinker can stand, personally 2 in a sitting is enough for me.

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

I acquired this through a trade with wery0001. I poured from a 16 ounce can into a standard pint glass. It pours a deep reddish brown with a fuzzy white head. It has great aroma. It is sweet, dark roasted coffee. The flavor follows. It has great balance, a great combination of beer and coffee. The beer has medium body and just the right amount of carbonation. This is better than my normal cup of morning joe.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can into a AleSmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a dark brown with a 1 finger tan head. Big clumps and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, and some roast.

T- sweet roasted malts, coffee, and some bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable with slightly creamy feel.

O- very good brown ale. Coffee works very well with base brown Bender. Not overpowering coffe just enough.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-red color with a big finger of off-white head. The head fades slowly down to a thin layer leaving some nice lacing on the glass in the process.

S - Aroma is full of a mix of sweet caramel malts and roasted coffee. There is also a bit of chocolate and nuttiness mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with a hit of sweet caramel malt sand some nutty flavor. The coffee flavor starts off super mild, but builds up as the beer goes on. Through the middle, the coffee flavor explodes with a lot of roasted flavor and a touch of coffee bitterness. The finish is a mix of roasted coffee flavor and some sweet caramel malts that lingers really nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and fairly crisp. The roasted coffee flavor really and coasts the mouth and lingers long after the beer finishes.

D - Very drinkable. The added coffee flavors are really strong and excellent on top of the brown ale. Everything feels right in place and mixes very well together.

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

On-tap at Sheffield's. Served in a pint glass.

A - One and a half fingers of tannish foam with great retention and solid lacing. Color is kind of unattractive - a murky, uneven, dirt brown. Not as handsome as regular Bender, that's for sure.

S - Roast coffee, but not bitter at all. Think coffee with too much cream & sugar in it. Chocolate, vanilla, biscuity malt sweetness - all the regular Bender smells are in there too, but further in the background. It's Bender, but with nice coffee - what more do ya want?

T - Roasty coffee, some floral hops, chocolate, malt, biscuit. The taste has a fair bit more roasty bitterness than the smell.

M - Some similar complaints to regular Bender - kind of thin and watery. Nice carbonation - just a little tingle on the upper lip. Otherwise creamy & velvety.

D - Less drinkable than Bender, as the coffee is a bit fatiguing, but the lower ABV and carbonation are definitely positives.

I don't like this quite as much as regular Bender, as the coffee masks the hoppiness that I really like and gets a bit tiring after a pint or two. It's still a nice, lighter, coffee brew.

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

Got this one from tprokop7 as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks man!

16 oz. can poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights here and there. A khaki colored two finger head rests atop the brew with very little webbing clinging on the sides of the glass. Aroma is coffee with a good dose of cream and sugar. Roasted malts, toffee, caramel and a touch of earthy hops...just a great beer to stick your nose into. More bold coffee flavors on the tongue with a sweet malty backbone. Midway some hops and vanilla emerge with espresso as well. Aftertaste is pretty nutty with a touch of cocoa powder. Light body with a soft but bitter feel. I wish it was a bit smoother, but the light body definitely is a plus. The drinkability suffers only slightly from the sweetness, but this is still a killer coffee brew. You rock Todd, thanks again for throwing this one in as an extra!

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

Pours a deep clear brown that reveals a reddish hue when held to the light. Medium-large soft beige head forms and lasts for ages. Great retention and lacing. Little yeasty chunks settle at the bottom of the glass.

The smell bursts out of the can almost before the sound of the pop-tab hits your ears. Ground, unbrewed coffee with a hint of cocoa powder and vanilla dominates. Vague winter spices come through as this warms.

This is mighty tasty stuff. As a guy that consumes more iced coffee than water some days, this is really appealing to me. Loads of only lightly-sweet coffee, vanilla and some biscuity and carmel malts. Nice understated spiciness...cinnamon or nutmeg.

Really light bodied in a way that few coffee beers are. It is really nice to see heavy coffee flavor in a non-stout/porter style. Slightly chewy as this warms--really refreshing.

Super drinkable, and at 5.1%, there's no problem there. I'd love to have unlimited access to this beer.

My first Surly, and I now understand why people love them so much.

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

16 oz can sent to me by the wonderful BA Packforever1976. This has been one of my top wants for a while due to all the talk my BA friends have centered around. Finally I get my chance to give it a go. Served up in a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a somewhat dark brown in color. When held to the light, you get more of a red and lighter brown hues forcing their way through. Slight haze in the body but pretty damned clear. Carbonation doesn't seem to high or crazy. Pour got me a perfect two fingers of mocha colored head. That head has some pretty good retention, falling very, very slowly throughout the drinking experience. It throws up some lace, but nothing too crazy or impressive. Just enough lace to keep me interested. Very nice.

S: Smell is first and foremost that coffee. Straight up coffee and light cream coming across. This isn't a sweet coffee aroma, just a nice coffee and milk. The you get a touch of caramel/toffee coming out. There is a touch of earthiness going on here, maybe some grassy hops. Overall, you just get that nice rich soil and coffee beans aroma. Nice indeed.

T: Coffee goodness this is. You get a nice iced coffee flavor. Not the overly sweet iced coffee you get out of a can at a gas station, but an iced coffee you get from a nice coffee house with good beans and cream. Incredible coffee flavor that I didn't really expect from a smaller ABV brew and let alone just a plain old brown ale (a style that is usually labeled as boring). Beyond the coffee, you get some nice toffee flavors (absolutely toffee over caramel). Nice nutty flavor as well, maybe some almonds adds a touch more earthy and hearty goodness to this beer. Slight bitterness coming across but I don't know if that is the coffee or the limited grassy hops presence. Sure its not the most dymanic flavor, but for what the beer is called, it damn near hits the mark perfectly in the taste category.

M: Medium in body that has a nice creaminess to it. It actually almost feels like a bit of ice coffee, I shit you not. It even has the drying/bitter qualities that a lighter iced coffee may have. ABV is not even considered in the feel, except for maybe a slight warming in the back of the throat. Aftertaste is straight up coffee and cream.

D: This is a damned easy drinking beer. I could easily kill 3 of these if I was in a coffee mood, but I would have to want coffee. This is straight up a good iced coffee type flavor and it mirrors an iced coffee almost perfectly. Like I said on the flavor, not exactly the most dynamic of beers but it all works greatly together and creates an amazing beer. Flavor is spot on and very enjoyable. I could easily drink this at any time of day. Morning, noon, or night. Fantastic. Thanks, Andy.

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

Spent the last week in MN. Picked up a couple Surly cans.

Pours a deep brown with a full inch head. As it settles there is some lacing left.
Smells of rich black coffee, unsweetened dark chocolate, and a little vanilla bean.
Tastes really freaking good! Chocolate covered coffee beans and toffee. Kind of like drinking a Heath bar. Seriously.
Mouthfeel is a little thin, average for a brown ale. Carbonation is perfect.
I'm really digging this beer right now. It's not too thick to drink in the summer. Should make for a great early morning camping beer.

Photo of tprokop7
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Buebie for this one. Got in trade last week.

Slightly more head than the standard bender, and somewhat darker. The coffee flavor is strong, but the malt base still comes through a bit. Expected carbonation. Not much for hops. I like this a lot, I'm glad they made it a standard offering.

Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark brown color with a tan two finger head.

Smell - Coffee, malt, and some caramel.

Taste - Same as the smell, nicely balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel - light bodied, smooth, very easy drinking.

Drinkability - Would make a nice session beer. Another solid offering from Surly.

Photo of aquazr1
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of rkistner
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow... This dang sucker goes down easier than... (I'll let you fill in the blank, my children). But really though, it's smooth, roasty, there is a nice, subtle layer of richness... Raul feels like Scrooge McDuck diving into a pool of coffee beans only to come up with a coffee bender in one hand and Kate Middleton in the other.

Yep!

Photo of arthuro11
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. Pours out really nice, looks great with not too much head but very dark. Nose smells the coffee first and foremost, but there are also hints of chocolate.

Tastes really nice, one of the best if not the best coffee beer I've had. I don't drink coffee, so this is the only way I get coffee, and I'll have some of this anytime. Hard to say much bad about this beer. Enjoy it if you can!

Photo of gcamparone
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz can into a mug (quote the can: "beer for a mug, from a can". Acquired as an extra in a trade with Surge1311, thanks man!

A- Pours a muddy brown body with amber highlights. There is a decent amount of noticeable carbonation. A thin white head rises and reduces pretty quickly. Leaves a little lacing.

S- This honestly smells like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Slight French vanilla and toffee notes in the background, but black coffee is the primary aroma here. Pretty inviting.

T- Upfront I get some delicious french vanilla, coffee, and cream notes. These notes stick around for most of the sip and leave a roasty burnt toast taste on the tongue. There is a surprising hoppy pine note on the late aftertaste.

M- Super creamy but not too thick, medium low carbonation. As drinkable as any coffee milkshake.

Surly really hit the coffee character on the head with this brew. The huge coffee aroma/notes really make you wonder how much coffee they added to this brew, but as long as it tastes good and maintains its beer characteristic/abv I have no problem with that. I really likes the fact that the hops really shine on the finish. This is a unique and drinkable brew that really works. Could this be pulled off by another brewery? Probably not. Try it!

Photo of Washtenaw_Beer_Guy
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of guityler83
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A two.five finger head poured from the can into the english style pint glass. The foam a kahki color with good retension. As it fell into the glass it left a coat of lacing with only a few dry spots. The beer color is a very dark brown with reddish hues peaking through the edges. Moderate amount of haze.

S: Very strong upfront freshly brewed cold coffee nose on this ale. Some chocolate notes are detected as it warms up. No hop aroma or alcohol detected.

T: The flavor is consistent with the aroma. Strong coffee flavor and good quality, not to acidic and a nice dark roast. Nutty and toasted breadcrust malt flavors consistint with british malts. A moderate bitterness that balances the whole thing out.

M: Moderate body and lower alcohol make it very drinkable. No acrid or astringant textures coming through. Carbonation is also on the moderate side.

O: A full flavored, fresh smelling coffee, brown ale kept at a nice ABV to keep it very drinkable. I would gladly take this over many of the double/imperial/RIS Coffee stouts i've had.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The friendly fellas from Surly were kind enough to bring out a case of tall cans for a meet the brewer event we hosted for them during this past SDBW. Poured from the can into a Modern Times coffee mug.

Pours a dark brown coffee color with a fat tan head that sticks around for a while leaving thick coats of lace in my mug. Smells like more of a coffee lager than a coffee ale - light hop and grain bill with massive amounts of coffee aroma that dominate the overall aroma. Big coffee flavor up front that gives way to lightly sweet toasted chocolate malt - the coffee plays real well with the malt selection in this one, slight bitter bite from the decent amount of hops in this one, but not enough to distract from the immense coffee flavor and perfect malt bill. Mouthfeel is light-bodied with mellow carbonation, finishes dry with fresh coffee lingering on the palate.

A real unique coffee beer in comparison to the others on the shelves these days. Very easy drinking and an outstanding breakfast beer - especially if you had a long night. Pairs amazing with pancakes and real maple syrup with a side of bacon!

Photo of Kevin-Wieken
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coffee Bender
Surly Brewing Company, Minnesota
---from can to stemmed tulip glass---

Appearance
Dark brown and leather red where light is allowed through, huge head that shrinks down to a thin cap with little lacing.

Smell
Like the can says, this smells like iced coffee! I’m having a hard time smelling anything else.

Taste
Coffee. Little nuttiness from the brown ale, very faint sweetness. Some earthy hops help offset the coffee bitter.

Mouth-feel
Medium body, medium carbonation, literally tastes like cold-carbonated coffee. Incredibly smooth – probably from the oats.

Overall
I really dig this beer. Obviously coffee forward… doesn’t leave much for the standard beer drinker. I’m not a brown ale kind o’ guy… but this Brown Oatmeal Coffee Ale is tops… also best coffee forward beer I’ve had. I absolutely MUST have another.

Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,048 ratings.