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Four - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FourFour

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

263 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 452
Gots: 47 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pdoran10 on 02-24-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RustyDiamond:
Photo of RustyDiamond
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Darkness stem, on a hot humid night in Decatur. Wonderful dark tan head, frothy with tiny bubbles in the middle. Not one iota of light penetrating through this glass. Ring of tan stays on throughout...great ringed lacing.

As expected, strong whiffs of fresh roasted espresso. Tobacco, ancho chili, cinnamon as well.

Sweet lactose on the front end...very unassuming at first. Hard to believe this could be 10%. Creamy Nestle Quik cocoa taste with some bitter chocolate riding with.

Bitter mouthfeel, with some spice but still quite creamy. Quite delicate finishing dry and roasty bitter. Tasting a subtle ancho chili in the back, which is quite nice on the cocoa.

Drinkability off the charts. Nice job Surly

RustyDiamond, May 17, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Schlais, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of tigg924
3.18/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Binny's Tap Room--Chicago

Appearance: black in color with minimal head, opaque

Smell: coffee and roasted malt

Taste: toasted malt and deep roasted dark coffee..the sweetness is more caramel like and appears at the end.

Mouthfeel: light body, low carbonation, sweet start--then the coffee tastes bitter followed by a really sweet end

Drinkability: Not as sweet for a milk stout as I am used to. The sweetness at the end is nice to ease the taste back from the really strong and bitter coffee taste--almost comparable to Bells Java. Not a bad beer, but I have had much better in the style. Worth a try if you are more looking for a regular stout.

tigg924, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chewy08rx for sending me this beer as part of a big box full of Surly beers.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has a ton of strong coffee and chocolate notes, with some light smoke and heavily roasted malt.

The flavor is more complex. I get a lot of coffee and lactose, as well as some roasted malt and some light chili pepper notes. Overall, the beer tastes quite a bit like malted milk balls. The alcohol is very well hidden and the beer is extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Thick, heavy, full mouthfeel and low carbonation. A great beer. Glad I got to try it.

Mora2000, May 11, 2012
Photo of ryancl
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

ryancl, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of bsp77
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with thick tan head, leaving lots of lacing behind.

Smell: Espresso beans, molasses, chocolate, cream and a nice whiff of alcohol.

Taste: Dried out molasses, roasted barley, coffee, cream, chocolate and a light touch of citrus hops. There is also a nice level of smokiness and it almost seems as if it was barrel-aged, but I do not believe that it was.

Feel: Extremely smooth, lush body with low carbonation. Highly warming. Quite silky overall.

Drinkability: Just incredible. This gives KBS a run for its money. It may not have the Bourbon flavors, but it is just as rich, complex and delicious (if not more so).

Shouldn't this be classified as an American Imperial Stout, regardless of the Milk Stout base?

bsp77, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of CaptinRedBeard
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 750ml waxed bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Pours borderline black with a huge mocha colored head and phenomenal lacing, coating the glass.

S: Chocolate, burnt malts and heavy espresso

T: The first thing that seems to hit you is a bitterness from the dark roasted malts and the espresso. This is followed by a nice coffee flavor with hints of chocolate and vanilla. On the back end there is a touch of sweetness from the lactose.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and well carbonated for the style. I'm finding a lot of coffee stouts to be more carbonated than your normal stouts.

D: Pretty good I suppose, since I finished off the bottle myself with no problem. I don't think I would want any more in one sitting though. It's not really a heavy beer but it is a little bit on the rich side.

CaptinRedBeard, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

bpfrush, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

TKEbeerman, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of rudylaw
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Binny's SL

Served in a 10z goblet with a tiny head. Very dark but not 100% opaque.

Tons of toasted malts and coffee in the nose. Quite obviously a coffee bomb.

More of the same in the taste although it the roastiness is almost too much. Burned coffee bean/brownie. Lessens as you work your way through, but it's a palate destroyer.

Thin body with low-medium carbonation. In no chance can I attempt another pour of this. It's just not balanced enough to make me come back. Way too much of a charred character for my liking.

rudylaw, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lance - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of strong roasted coffee backed by mildly sweet roasted malts. As it warms hints of dark chocolate aromas work their way into things.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors with a good deal of lactose sweetness (could also be residual sugars) kick things off. Robust coffee flavors join in shortly thereafter and are followed by dark chocolate flavors lurking in the background. The coffee and roasted malt flavors carry through to a sollidy bitter finish leaving coffee flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall I thought this was the second-best coffee-themed milk stout I've had behind only Depth Charge (although to be honest there aren't many in the style). It may be a bit of homerism, but regardless this beer is certainly worth a shot.

glid02, May 27, 2010
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.8%

acurtis, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of roostor07
5/5  rDev +15.2%

roostor07, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -7.8%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of dbossman
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty black with a subtle red tint; fast forming brown head that dissipates rather quickly

S: Roasted malts that smell slightly burnt; coffee/espresso and subtle chocolate aromas are present underneath; a subtle hop presence

T: Milky and creamy espresso; rich maltiness is also prevalent; coffee, vanilla; this is rich and delicious

F: So creamy; a perfect mouth coat

D: So delicious and drinkable; this goes down like chocolate milk; high alcohol is not noticeable at all

dbossman, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours jet black with a creamy mocha head

quite bitter with lots of chocolate and dark roasted malts

again, quite bitter. i was expecting this to be sweet however i found this quite bitter. lots of dark chocolate, espresso coffee, and roasted malts just dominating.

nice full body, bitterness through out, and moderate to mild carbonation

this was not what i had expected but worked out to be even better. this was a chocolate and coffee stout through out.

hooliganlife, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +15.2%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of nickd717
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber thanks to largadeer on BA.

Pours black with a small tan head and some lacing.

Aroma is great - espresso, roast, and dark chocolate.

Flavor is really solid. Sweet dark chocolate, espresso, caramel malt, and a little alcohol. Sweet yet dry on the palate.

Medium-full body with average carbonation and some warmth.

This is a really solid impy stout overall, and I know one when I see one. On the sweeter side, but that's what the style is going for.

nickd717, May 18, 2010
Photo of djschnabel
5/5  rDev +15.2%

djschnabel, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml purple was topped bottle into a couple of snifters. Big thanks go to Stakem for sharing this guy.

Pours black, with 2 fingers of rich dark mocha head. This maintains a sudsy ½ finger or so of froth, leaving back a robust cascade of rich spotty lacing. Espresso jumps right out in the aroma, with some definite backing lactic character and more malty notes of cocoa and some sweeter molasses. There is just a touch of light ripe citrus here as well which helps round out the nose.

The taste is flavorful mix of coffee, green citrus (with maybe even a smidge of darker fruit as well), and then both cocoa and lactic flavors that really give this a smooth milk chocolate feel. This malt, lactose, citrus, and coffee flavors are all in balance and combine to give this a rich twang on the finish that lingers with a dry roasted feel and some lingering stickiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch fuller; with a soft creaminess that puts just some light sharpness on the tongue during each sip. For 10% ABV this is just ridiculously smooth and I never would have guessed just how high this was while we were drinking it. Fantastic!

This was nice, being a big and chewy Imperial Milk Stout with a lot of delicious character to it and a super smooth drinkability that really kept this accessible for the size. I’m glad I got a chance at this one. Thanks again Adam!

Kegatron, May 17, 2012
Photo of Sinatra716
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Sinatra716, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of morimech
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What is up with the wax on the bottle. Hard as a rock and difficult to remove. Black in color with a large tan head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Plenty of lactose in the aroma. A lot of mocha coffee as well. Roasted malt rounds out the impressive aroma.

A little led down by the flavor. Has a burnt milk aftertaste that is a little off-putting. Elements of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and subtle smoke. Quite a bit of burnt bitterness that balances the sweet lactose. No sign of alcohol.

As good as a stout body could be. Thick, chewy, and a luxurious smooth texture. Exceptinal quality.

Other than a small flavor quibble, an exceptional, double milk stout. The high ABV will slow consumption and limit drinkability.

morimech, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of Tripphop
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100th Review!!

Pours a reddish brown color, looks dark but light shines through as the glass is emptied. A tan head quickly appears and fades leaving no trace behind. Aromas are of stale coffee, burnt malt, and carmalized malt. Flavor is nice, lots of roast, coffee flavor is strong but not acidic or overpowering. Malt profile is very dry and burnt, the lactose lingers on the finish with coffee and a mild bitterness. Solid brew, glad I drank it now, this one won't age for much longer.

Tripphop, May 09, 2011
Photo of StarRaptor
5/5  rDev +15.2%

StarRaptor, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of claaark13
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled for about 20 minutes and then poured into a Darkness snifter. Charlie, you're a badass.

A - Pours black with a nice light-tan head. Retention appears to be very good, as the frothy head seems to stick around for a bit until it fades into thick lacing. Sticks nicely to the side of the glass.

S - Sweet coffee/espresso. Hints of chocolate come through. The aroma screams for the beer to be consumed.

T - Sweet chocolate and coffee flavor with the lacto-milk backbone pretty evident. Meets and complements the espresso well. Espresso finish is very evident. It isn't a weak Maxwell House flavor. Slight sweetness comes through again. I think the sweetness in the finish helps keep the coffee flavor from falling off.

M - Creamy and slightly silky. Although I would say that it complements the beer well, I would prefer for it to be a little thicker for the particular flavors coming through.

O - This is a great Milk Stout. I've heard that the coffee is actually fading at this point, which makes me have some questions about how it was upon release.

claaark13, Nov 20, 2011
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Four from Surly Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.