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Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,654 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1654
Reviews: 748
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%

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: 1,654 | Reviews: 748 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz can (3/29/13 can date).

Pours with a tan, airy 1 inch thick head. It doesn't last very long, but laces the glass. It is dark brown, with dark red hues. Think dark cherry wood.

The smell is what you would expect, heavy coffee, but not much more is coming out. However, it doesn't have that pure coffee grinds smell that some coffee beers have.

The taste is smooth. You get coffee up front, a little bitter. A few hints of toffee or maybe some nuts.

Medium body, a bit thin, which is nice since its only around 5%.

Rarely would I reach for a coffee beer in the warm summer heat, but this is oddly refreshing.

Serving type: can

05-07-2013 01:33:32 | More by nmann08
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to TIMMYJ21 for the constant Surly hookup.

Appearance: Relatively clear dark brown with some lighter browns and golds when held to light. Head is creamy and light tan. Drops to no cap and a tiny collar in short order. Specks of lacing, but not really. Minimal carbonation, but not flat.

Smell: Fresh roasted coffee beans. Some solid nutty and cocoa influences. Malts are nicely sweet with a touch of caramel and backing breadiness. Mild earthy/herbal hop element with a touch of citrus thrown in for good measure. Slightly burnt and creamy. A solid fusion of coffee and Bender.

Taste: Straight up coffee with a touch of cream. Nice backing caramel malt sweetness. Deeply bready, but in that warm brown bread kind of way. MIld earthy and herbal hop element. Some brighter citrus on the front. Loaded with roasted coffee beans without ever getting acrid or overextracted. Cocoa as a backing element. Coffee pushes down some of the nuance of Bender, but it's a perfect compliment.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy with a moderate carbonation. Body runs a solid medium. Not quite clean with a lingering clear coffee bean. A bit more body wouldn't hurt, but it's about the only issue here.

Overall: Because this is how you make coffee beer.

So damn drinkable it's silly. Perfect in warm or cold weather. A nice blend of coffee and a solid base beer. Coffee definitely shines, but Bender isn't lost in the mix.

Serving type: can

05-02-2013 20:46:46 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of Stevedore


4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can dated 3/29/2013 poured into a Russian River pint glass and quaffed today 4/30/2013.

Aroma: Not a ton going on halfway, could be the fact that I'm using a pint glass. But when I first poured the glass, I got a ton of roast coffee and sweet toffee, caramel and chocolate. That's really only apparent during the pour. Maybe I should drink my next one in a tulip glass- if the nose improves, I'm coming back to change the rating. And I did: the smell is more concentrated black coffee, which is both good and bad- it's more intense but more one-dimensional. (3.75)

Colour: Dang. It pours with a massive >3cm offwhite head that takes forever to dissipate. It leaves a thick off-white film on top of the beer with super thick lacing on the sides of the glass opposite from what I drink from. The body itself is dark brown, almost cola coloured but a bit more on the reddish side. Looks great! (5)

Flavour: Lots of coffee up front for sure- makes for a nice bitter kick at the beginning too. Then there's a good roast malt presence in the forms of toffee, caramel and dark, bitter chocolate. Very tasty beer, although I think the coffee forwardness of this beer overshadows the malt a bit too much. Of course what do you expect from a beer called Coffee Bender? (4)

Mouthfeel: It's a medium bodied brew that is well carbonated, likely because of the can. It's got a clean finish of a combination of the coffee and roast malts, with a bit of black coffee bitterness that peters off over half a minute or so. It's quaffable for sure and a refreshing beer for a coffee lover that's drinking it at 4PM. There is absolutely no indication that I'm drinking alcohol in this 5.1% brew- just finished this and there is no buzz, no alcohol taste, nothing. (4)

Overall: Enjoyable, sessionable, and very flavourful. That's the story of the Surly Bender beers. It goes down easily, is refreshing and a pleasure to drink. Overall I like the Bender better, since that's a beer where the actual hops and malt are showcased, while this one is dominated by the coffee. But I don't mind today when its 86 degrees outside in Wisconsin and I want something refreshing. This happens to satisfy that quota. (4)

Serving type: can

04-30-2013 21:37:58 | More by Stevedore
Photo of vette2006c5r


4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coffee Bender pours a dark brown color, with a nice lacing white head. The aroma is similar to that of a cup of coffee. The taste has a very strong profound coffee flavor, very rich. Strong flavor, as easy to drink as a cup of coffee. Overall a very strong coffee beer.

Serving type: can

04-21-2013 00:42:04 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of WankelEngine


4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz can into a Lagunitas jar

A: Pours a dark ruby brown which is clear when held up to the light. There is a tan head of about one finger than fades slowly to a cap of foam, leaving streaks of lace.

S: Coffee. Smells like a great cup of coffee. A little sweetness behind the roasted flavors. Actually fairly nutty as it warms a little bit.

T: Again coffee is incredibly dominant here, beginning to end. It peaks in the middle with the addition of some nuttiness and vanilla, then leads to a long, coffee bean flavored aftertaste. Slight notes of molasses and chocolate.

M: Medium-thin body. Carbonation is slightly sharp which complements the roasted coffee flavors.

O: One of my favorite coffee beers. I don't really care too much for the regular bender, but this is a whole different beer. It smells like a french press and tastes like an iced coffee.

Serving type: can

04-11-2013 20:32:22 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly light brown with an off-white head. Looks very nicely carbonated and inviting. Strong lacing.

Smell is a blast of coffee from the moment you open the can. I've had a lot of coffee beers, and this is, by far, the strongest coffee aroma i've gotten from a beer. If you were doing this blind you would swear you were smelling an iced coffee drink. One note? Sure, but I love it none the less.

Taste is heavily dominated by the coffee upfront. A little bit of sweet malt presence begins to show through with each sip, but coffee and roasted malts shine throughout. Not what i'd call a complex taste, but again, if you are coffee fan there is little not to like here. No real bitterness or hop presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is relatively smooth, but as I get through the glass, I find myself wishing the mouthfeel was a little fuller considering the taste profile at hand. Not bad per se, and certainly easy to drink, but in the end it comes across as a tad watery.

Overall this might be the ultimate coffee beer. If you do not really enjoy a well made cup of coffee, then I would strongly encourage you to not buy this beer. If you do, get it now! In the big picture, this almost doesn't feel like a beer so much as it does a mixed coffee drink, which is why the score, while high, might not match up to the amount of gushing i'm doing here. Still, this is a very unique beer experience which I greatly enjoyed. If I could get this locally I would get it quite often.

Serving type: can

04-11-2013 00:45:32 | More by mechamifune
Photo of timc100


3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Lighter than expected - clear dark brown, burgundy/mahogany edges. Has a really pillowy beige head.

S: HUGE coffee - smells exactly like an iced coffee but fuller. I love coffee but am not a big iced coffee fan, so this isn't the greatest coffee smelling beer to me personally, but very impressive. Very raw, heavily roasted and kind of burnt coffee beans. Wow, quite something.

T: Much of the same - like drinking a fuller bodied and carbonated iced coffee. There are some nutty/caramel notes coming through, but not much. Very raw, heavily roasted coffee beans - a bit too burnt.

P: Light/medium bodied, soft and comfortable carbonation. Appropriate to the aroma and taste. Oddly very refreshing

O: This is quite a beer. I love coffee beers, though I have only had coffee infused imperial stouts up to this point, which I prefer because there are other elements balancing and enriching the coffee flavor. This is just straight coffee. Would be great in the morning

Serving type: can

04-05-2013 22:38:48 | More by timc100
Photo of TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A finger of head that produced some minor lacing but retained exceptionally well, with a deep brown, almost porter black colour in the body.

Smell: Unsurprising coffee smell as touches of robust malt and chocolate in the background. Warming helped it come out, although it smells a bit dry.

Taste: As expected taste taste of coffee is prevalent throughout the beer from start to finish. Light malt biscuit takes a backseat to a more earthy and robust dark chocolate bitter taste leaving with a dry coffee snap at the end.

Mouthfeel: The dryness of this beer is interesting, it serves the beer while drinking it, but seems to hamper and reduce the effectiveness of the pleasant coffee aftertaste. The carbonation could be a bit stronger. However that malt texture really helps the coffee blend well.

Drinkability: Medium bodied which was surprising for me, easy to drink and light going down. The dry notes put it in a bit of an odd spot, but really I don't see myself really wanting to drink more then one or two coffee beers anyways.

Final Thoughts: I really feel this beer is served well by focusing itself as a brown and not a porter or stout like most coffee beers and I think the slightly milder roasting might have something to do with it. It's just an all around well done beer, but if you don't like coffee, you'll want to pass.

Serving type: can

04-05-2013 04:34:36 | More by TheHammer
Photo of AndyP612


5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tall Boy poured into imperial pint on a brisk Easter Sunday morning before family time.

A- Pours a dark brown with red hints and a thick, lovely 2 fingers of tan head that dissipates semi rapidly.

S- Coffee forward. This is why Coffee Bender is my favorite breakfast beer. The nose alone is enough to get me ready for a day of work or leisure. Big, black aroma of coffee with hints of mocha.

T- The palate follows the nose on this beer. Big coffee flavor with teases of caramel, chocolate. Minimal sweetness as the Surly crew must enjoy their coffee as I do, black and thick.

M- Medium bodied. The bitterness of the coffee finishes semi-dry.

O- The perfect before noon beer for me and my taste buds. I try to go to the Blue Door Pub every Sunday to get my fix after my morning cup of coffee and the gym. I really appreciate that I can drink more than one of this beer. As opposed to most coffee stouts this is a brown ale and isn't as thick and filling. I may be biased but I love Surly. Cheers

Serving type: can

03-31-2013 16:51:34 | More by AndyP612
Photo of Ri0


4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured 16 oz can into a snifter, but I couldn't get it all in there.

A - Pours a..wait for it... coffee brown color with about 2 fingers of a sandy head. A nice frothy cap remains afloat the dark liquid below. Some lacing on my glass.

S - So I get coffee, espresso, cappuccino, coffee, and some brown malts as well.

T - Big, bold roasted coffee, espresso, and cappuccino crank up the flavor with some brown malt, bready flavors. Dark chocolate and hops round this one out.

M - Typical body for a brown ale, medium light. Nicely carbonated with a creamy mouthfeel.

O - There is only one coffee beer that tops this, but it is only brewed every 4 years or so. If you like beer and coffee, this is a big coffee beer that you should try.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 16:48:15 | More by Ri0
Photo of Knapp85


4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep brown color, might as well be black. The head was tan and creamy looking. There is a thin scattered lacing on the glass with a pretty good retention. The smell of the beer has a great coffee aroma with a subtle malt sweetness in there too. The taste follows the nose, a very nice coffee flavor from start to finish on this beer with a touch of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth as hell, and has a soft carbonation to it. Overall it's a great beer, no surprise there because it's from Surly. This is a killer brew, well worth trying.

Serving type: can

02-23-2013 02:06:00 | More by Knapp85
Photo of kscaldef


3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: Reddish-brown with moderate light transmission. Pours into an imperial pint from the can with a 1/4" head with limited retention and splotchy lacing.

S: Smells like strong, freshly brewed black coffee, with hints of chocolate

T: Very coffee forward. This is straight-up standard black coffee, no fancy-pants artisan-roasted espresso here. And yet, you would expect that sort of coffee to be undrinkably bitter and acrid when cold, but this stays pretty smooth, so they're definitely doing something clever with their extraction process. There's a bit of bready malts hiding in there too, but boy the coffee really takes this over.

M: Medium carbonation, light body, medium-long linger. Fairly low bitterness

O: This works out to be one of those beers that I'm technically impressed with, but don't particularly enjoy. They've packed an intense amount of coffee flavor into this beer, but it seems to have lost any subtlety or balance it might have had. Ultimately I'm not sure how different this is from taking a cup of cold brew and adding a shot of vodka to it.

Serving type: can

02-14-2013 23:38:24 | More by kscaldef
Photo of NoLeafClover44


4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can poured into a DFH Signature glass. I recently found this hidden in the bottom of a box while repacking for another trade. Trouble is, the label was already removed, so I don't know who to thank. Canning date 9/28/12.

A - The stream into the glass looks burnt auburn, but it turns nearly black as it collects in the glass. The body swallows all light. About a finger of almond head displays impressive retention. A frosty tiered lacing paints the interior of the glass.

S - Roasted barley and fresh ground coffee first and foremost. Oats in the background. Finally, hazelnut sweetness is the glue that brings this binds the aroma together. Smells smooth and delicious.

T - Iced coffee is the first thing that comes to mind. Some bitterness and astringent flavors associated with the dark roast barley and coffee beans persists. Some sweetness on the back end with a delicious mocha finish and aftertaste. This is a pretty flavorful brew.

M - Subtle carbonation and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. The finish is pretty dry, like black coffee.

O - This is a delicious, relatively low ABV beer. The coffee aging adds a pronounced flavor; probably closer to the actual flavors in coffee than most any other beer I have had. There are a few out of place nuances to this beer, almost a staleness, but I would imagine this one is best consumed fresh. My first Surly beer and I am pretty impressed. Drink this if you can get it.

Serving type: can

02-12-2013 01:22:49 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of TheQuietMan22


3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving type: 16-ounce can. The “CANNED ON” date printed on the bottom of the can is “01/14/13.” Kudos to Surly for printing freshness dates!

Appearance: Poured into a nonick pint glass. The color is deep, ruby brown. I was expecting it to be darker and opaque, but I will take it. (Honestly, I always assumed Coffee Bender was Surly’s stout.) A finger of tan, uneven head left a thin but spotted skim of foam and a buttery ring around the edge.

Smell: It offers a powerful dose of straight black coffee roast, which dominates the aroma. Frankly, it is hard to smell a hint of anything else.

Taste: Straight black coffee, complete with that coffee-like, bitter, roasted astringency that grates the taste buds and fouls the breath. It is coating my entire mouth. Unlike the aroma, though, there are hints of other flavors, especially on the tail of each sip — presumably remnants of the Bender base: toasted caramel, toffee, cocoa, and maybe molasses.

Drinkability: Good stuff, but can I get some beer with my coffee? I love coffee infused beer, but this is more coffee than beer. I would have liked more complexity.

Serving type: can

02-08-2013 19:18:26 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of mscudder


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Can served into a pint.

A - Deep amber-infused brown hue with a frothy one-finger ivory head. Good retention and lacing.

S- Massive espresso off the nose! Smooths out to caramel malts and a touch of brown sugar. As a coffee lover, this is a delight.

T - Coffee, cream, vanilla and roasted flavors toward the end. This beer is not complex by any means, but damn it does the coffee right.

M- A light-medium body with fair carbonation. This is easily the worst part of this brew.

O - For a light coffee beer, I have had no better.

Serving type: can

01-22-2013 03:08:52 | More by mscudder
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Serving type: can

01-14-2013 05:34:11 | More by gcamparone
Photo of sukwonee


4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown body with 1-2 finger head.

S: it smells like... coffee. like canned coffee (one of those Asian coffee drinks)

T: Althought it's very much one-dimentional, it's quite awesome. It really tastes like Asian canned coffee drink. Coffee does overpower the somewhat of complexities that exist in regular Bender (coffee, vanilla, chocolate flavor).

M: Good amount of carbonation, fairly light body. I would say its body is lighter than regular bender (I am having them side by side).

O: Very interesting in a good way. One dimentional beer that gets a good rating from me. I think that's pretty rare.

Edit: Just wanted to add that this beer is 10x better than Founder's Frangelic Mountain.

Serving type: can

01-08-2013 06:59:01 | More by sukwonee
Photo of JamesMN


3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark but translucent hazel brown color with a two finger foamy tan head.

Aroma: Like the aroma coming from a fresh pot of coffee. Some sweet and roasty malts as well.

Taste: Wow, actually tastes almost exactly like iced coffee. Less sweet, but with all the flavor of a fresh cup of black coffee with cream. However, it is a tad watery. Sweet milky/caramel malts up front and then all dark coffee and a hint of hop bitterness on the end and finishes dry and bitter. An interesting beer if nothing else.

Mouthfeel: Too thin but perhaps that's what they were going for. Easy drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I tend to like real coffee and hazelnut flavors in beer, so I like Coffee Bender. However, I don't see why it's a year-round offering. Would I drink it again? Yes, but I wouldn't take it over the regular Bender.

Serving type: can

12-31-2012 04:16:17 | More by JamesMN
Photo of Dope


4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a big fluffy light brown head. Fades very slowly from the inside first, leaving a skeleton of swiss-cheesed foam. Funny looking. Leaves pretty decent lacing behind when it finally all disappears.

S: Pure and strong brewed coffee. Just a hint of toasted malt hiding behind it, otherwise pure coffee.

T: Loads of coffee but not nearly as overpowering as I was expecting from the aroma. Almost pure coffee up front with a touch of caramel mixed in. Get some nice nuttiness (hard to place, hazelnut? maybe walnuts?) in the middle with some toasted malt. Turns into more of a burnt toast as the sweetness fades away into the finish and the coffee kicks back in a little bit.

M: Medium bodied, just a touch thin, it IS only a 5.1% brew so it's suitable.

O: One of the best brown ales I've had, especially with the coffee addition lending some complexity. My only real complaint is that I wish it were a big stronger (ABV and taste-wise) to give it some real heft. It would probably be 4.5s across the board at that point. Don't let me take anything away from it, it's still great! Top-notch drinkability.

Serving type: can

12-29-2012 05:23:06 | More by Dope
Photo of IrishHockey


4.98/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recieved in a trade from the man known as Crabbicus, a most awesome trader.

Poured from a can into my all purpose Founders brewing snifter.

The pour on this is pretty much what I expected. Black with a tan head. Then I took the advice of a previous review and held it to the light. Wow... It's deep burgundy. This is a awesome looking beverage

Smell on this is fantastic! I am a huge fan of coffee brews, but this one has a great smell! So much coffee!!! It's a coffee bomb and I love it!

Taste is very much like the smell. Coffee forward and wonderful. It tastes very much like the description, an iced coffee. This is a top notch beverage. If I could give this more than a five I would

Mouthfeel is also very much like a premium iced coffee. So wonderful. I can't even bring words to describe this other than....perfect

Overall, if I could drink this every day I would! This would be one of the beers I'd like to keep on hand at all times if I could. I'd rate this very close to Founders Breakfast Stout, maybe slightly higher. I love it! So much depth to this! I can't get enough! Damn it I need a Surly local now...FML

Serving type: can

12-22-2012 03:23:22 | More by IrishHockey
Photo of ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its seemingly deep brown body transforms when held to the light, revealing its true intense red mahogany hue. Just over a finger's worth of tightly knit creamy beige head floats on top, doing well at playing into the whole dessert coffee idea.

With my eyes closed and this glass held to my nose, I would say, without doubt, I am smelling a dessert coffee . It's actually unbelievable. The texture of cream plays a significant roll in the nose. The roast is pleasant and the impression is rich. The creamy hazelnut character that is whipped throughout makes tiramisu come to mind. 5 out of 5 for me.

Smooth and soft roasty notes of coffee impart a gentle dryness on the back of the palate. A thin layer of cocoa slides its way in the middle and then fades as heavier notes of hazelnut give weight to the taste. A fresh milky sweet character soon follows. Roasted grounds make a full roundabout, asserting themselves again in the finish. Where can the apparent 45 IBU's be found? I haven't got a clue.

The mouthfeel is what surprised me most about this beer. Its light, creamy, and weirdly refreshing. As enjoyable as that is, I'd really love the feel to carry a bit more umph with the incredible dessert coffee character it possesses. The more I sip on it though, the more I appreciate it. And man is this easy to drink.

A coffee or a coffee bender in the morning? Me being not a big coffee drinker, I'd take the latter 9 out of 10 times. This would actually make for a legitimate alternative to a coffee any time of the day. This is hands down one of the best beers I've had in a long time. At 5.1% ABV, this packs a punch in every category. The only question I'm left with is why did I only order a 4 pack of this.

Serving type: can

12-21-2012 01:04:38 | More by ludachris
Photo of zeledonia


3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Since I got really into craft beer, this is probably the beer I've had the most that I haven't yet reviewed. So it's fitting for review #500.

Pours deep rusty brown, clear in the pour, opaque in the glass. One and a half fingers of medium-tan head, dense, pillowy, and creamy. Relaxes slowly to a thin cap, leaving lacy lacing arching up the sides of the glass.

Smells like espresso dosed with oats. Very dark roast, almost charred, and darker than I'd like it to be. The slick oat sweetness rescues it, but it's dominated by coffee, and it's coffee aromas that aren't really wowing me.

Taste is coffee-heavy, but again the coffee comes through overly dark and roasty. It's only half the flavors I want, and half the flavors I don't want. Woody, and not as full underneath the coffee as I want it to be. The awesomeness of Bender is hard to pull out through that, which is disappointing to me. Overly bitter, overly roasted.

Mouthfeel is nice. Smooth and fluffy, with buzzy carbonation that prickles like mini pop rocks. This part I dig.

I like regular Bender way better than this. The coffee just doesn't work for me - it overpowers the rest of the beer, and the coffee could be smoother and richer. I know lots of people really like this beer, but for me, it's decent, but a bit of a disappointment. Bender plus Coffee could be amazing, but this just isn't. Perhaps my least favorite Surly beer.

Serving type: can

12-17-2012 03:26:37 | More by zeledonia
Photo of DovaliHops


3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a reddish hue when held up to the light. Medium, light-tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is quite malty with a hint of coffee. As the beer warms, the coffee makes itself more know. Roasted coffee with some nuttiness as well. Taste is just as it smells. Starts off with a nutty maltiness, then fades to roasted coffee beans. Dark malt finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is a very drinkable coffee beer. Very user-friendly to those who don't feel comfortable jumping into a coffee porter or coffee stout. Quality beer.

Serving type: can

12-13-2012 08:48:47 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of Roland45s


3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Surly compares to a starbucks iced coffee in a can, almost like one of the starbucks energy drinks. A very strong potent smell of coffee and beans, but a very weak beer. It's almost like a light beer with color additive. Overall I would drink it again b/c I am a coffee fan, but I truly believe the "coffee" added makes it like left over coffee from the pot in the afternoon.

Serving type: can

11-30-2012 00:22:40 | More by Roland45s
Photo of cfrances33


4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, October 2012. Can thanks to yamar68, poured into a tulip.

Pour: Muddy, though mostly clear deep brown with a finger and a half of tan, almost khaki head. Some lacing, and the recedes rather quickly.

Smell: Well this came before the sight... I cracked the can and instantly got a burst of fresh coffee grounds. NICE. More coffee up close, followed but a light roasted chocolate, and some caramel. That coffee character is intense and spectacular.

Taste: Follows the nose to a T, with nice iced coffee upfront. Most into a roasted maltiness and a very light milk chocolate. Some bitter coffee grounds, and more Folgers to close.

Mouthfeel: Kinda heavy, but also equally, if not more, splashy. Coffee bitterness is interesting, but not amazing.

Overall: A much better beer than FMB, and perplexing at the same time. Truly very much enjoyed, but wish it was more substantial. This beer reminds me of the direction Breakfast stout should go in flavor, but what FBS makes up for in body.

Serving type: can

11-20-2012 06:38:48 | More by cfrances33
Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,654 ratings.