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Four - Surly Brewing Company

FourFour

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

258 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 258
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 10.83%


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: 258 | Reviews: 141 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Sex is a three-letter word that needs some old-fashioned four-letter words to convey its full meaning."

-anonymous

Valrhona dark chocolate brown with a tiny glimmer of maraschino cherry red when backlit with the blindingly bright sunlight blasting through my front window. The fudge milkshake colored crown was a cascader immediately after the pour and looks incredible now that it has settled. Thick blankets of finely stippled lace put the finishing touches on the best looking milk stout in the history of milk stouts.

The nose is a wonderfully aromatic combination of roasted malt, espresso beans and milk sugar... just as was intended. If this beast tastes like it smells, then I'm in for a tasty treat of epic proportions.

Surly beer (most of it anyway) is dialed directly into my flavor preferences for each particular style. I can't be considered a homer if I live in a neighboring state, right? Four isn't the grand slam that is Darkness, but it's clearly a home run with men on base. Since freeze-concentration was used, maybe it's really an eis-stout.

The flavor profile is right on the money thanks to what tastes like a generous amount of tangy milk sugar. That quality is beautifully balanced by malt sugar and an ideal amount of hop bitterness. Oh yeah, 10 months in the bottle don't seem to have hurt it one bit. Alcohol... what alcohol? This might be the best milk stout... ever.

Specific flavors include Oreo cookies soaked in espresso and a large splash of buttermilk. Warming emboldens everything across the board. You have to love milk stouts to love Four, because it takes the style to the absolute full-blown extreme. These guys simply aren't capable of doing anything halfway.

The mouthfeel is big and silky-creamy without being ponderous, heavy or sticky. Pretty much what a double-digit stout ought to be. No worries about the understated escape of CO2 on crown cracking because plenty of bubbles have hung around and are doing what they need to do.

It is a testament to Todd's brewing skill that a beer as delicious as Four has a hard time cracking my top-5 Surly beers of all-time. The biggest reason is that milk stouts are way below IPAs/DIPAs and RISs when it comes to my favorites styles. Thanks a few hundred million to the felonious one for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 14:17:00 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thrilled to start off my bday night with a bottle of this bad boy. After cutting my way through the wax I decanted into a pint glass and enjoyed for the next couple hours. Consumed on 06/11/2010.

The pour was huge, honestly one of the best i have seen in a long time. Dark as night with a towering head of tan that came up and over the top of the glass and coated everything with a thick, sticky layer of brown lacing that was not going anywhere.

Aroma is filling up the room with huge notes of coffee, chocolate, touches of vanilla and a warming, boozy note. Bringing it up to room temperature really starts to bring these out even more. Huge notes of roasted and lightly smoked notes coming up towards the surface. Rich, creamy and full bodied feel dump into the wonderfully large stout. Huge notes of coffee, cocoa, roasted malts, some light boozy notes, hints of vanilla and touches of oak and almost bourbon like booziness. Warming brings hints of light molasses and cookie dough to the equation now. Really just a great beer.

Overall damn drinkable and solid as hell. Maybe my favorite of the Aniiversary beers to date.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 18:56:14 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark, dark brown color with a finger's worth of khaki colored head.

S: This beer certainly lives up to the description on the nose. Lots of rich coffee and sweet lactose on the nose along with chocolate and great roast quality.

T: The combination of coffee and lactose is probably the best of any of this style of beer other than perhaps (non-infected) Cup a Joe. Just a great blend of rich roasted coffee with hints of chocolate and a smooth creaminess.

M: The body is medium with a really smooth, pleasant carbonation.

D: Another hit from Surly. A really well done coffee and cream stout that highlights both flavor components and makes for an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 23:22:10 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A very nice pour, with the requisite black color and a massive tan head that sheets the pint glass

Smell: Dark chocolate with mocha undertones; lactose character, as well

Taste: Dark fruit, at the outset, followed by the chocolate and mocha elements, with a tart, blackberry aspect developing by mid-palate, as the hops begin to strutt their stuff; after the swallow, the pithy hops and coffee flavors join together with the vanilla cream finishing things off; a bitter espresso character lingers for quite some time

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Leave it to Surly to come up with a hoppy milk stout with double espresso, to boot; congrats on four years

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 00:27:13 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The sweetness of Four along with the aggressive roast of Four makes me think Tropical Stout as much (if not more than) Sweet Stouts.

An impressive dark brown pour, gives a nearly black appearance along with extremely impressive roast-stained head formation, retention, and lacing. A most gentlemanly look.

Aromas of sharp roast give and acrid deep toast, burnt grains, and coffee grinds aroma. Quite bold but not a smooth and as rounded as I'd expect from sweet stouts, but fine for most other Stouts.

Robust roasted barly dominates the taste. A quick rebuttal of malt sweetness and milk sugars are hardly enough to round out the big charred grain flavors. Burnt, rather than espresso, cocoa flavors and sweeter milky tastes are a bit disjointed; instead of balance, we get a bit of competition between the malt/sugar sweetness and the big roasted quality of the beer.

The body of the beer is solid with a creamy and sweet feel early. But when the roast takes hold, the beer takes a harsher- more acrid and ashy feel that hurts the drinkability just a bit.

Realizing that the criticism here is harsh, the beer is a very nice beer- I'm just expecting more from a finess style of Stout, but Four gives me an aggression that doesn't fit the style. The espresso takes away from the Milk Stout creaminess.

Thanks again Chicksdighops!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 07:09:25 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to two generous Minnesota traders for getting me out bottles of this.

A: Wow! Pours very dark with a huge, billowing cream-colored head that lasts for quite some time and leaves behind multiple rings of sticky lacing.

S: Very nice dry roasted malt scent comes up behind an overwhelming force of espresso. Some creamy sweetness in the background, but the espresso beans really just take this one over.

T: Similar to the nose, although the lactose definitely makes a bit more of an appearance here, lending some sweetness behind the competing sources of roasted character.

M: A bit too dry and harsh, something which I would think the lactose could lighten up a bit.

D: Not the best, as the flavors don't really work together. This is certainly a coffee bomb, which I ordinarily like, but think it pales in comparison to some of the best I've had. It doesn't quite have the expressive hop character of fresh FBS, nor does it have the smooth creaminess that comes alongside the coffee character with Bullfrog's Double Coffee Stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 01:00:39 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the trusty Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to dzyneguru for this bottle!

The epic 600th review of my illustrious career. And, of course, such milestones cannot come easy: Whoever started dipping bottles in wax needs to be killed painfully. Honestly, these bottles are almost never "easy" to get open, and this one was no exception. Once I move the heavens themselves to pry the cap off, it pours a deep black-brown topped by over a finger of nearly frothy beige foam. A relatively thick residue is left on the glass as the head dissipates. I can't call it "lacing", as it exhibits no real characteristics of lace, per se. Pretty pretty, though. The nose is surprisingly (to me, anyway) packed with coffee beans. Behind that lie hints of graham crackers, corrugated cardboard, milk, vanilla, charred chocolate, and roasted malts. Something about this aroma does not sit well with me. The taste is similarly off-putting. Notes of darkly roasted malts, coffee, charcoal, bitter dark chocolate, sourdough, and mint compose a strange tapestry from the Codex Gigas: mostly bitter and charred evil, with some artistic sweetness and spiritually smooth teases. Like the Codex, though, the balance is like Laurel and Hardy on a see-saw. Too much is going on, all of the pieces trying to be the alpha dog, and no cooperation is attempted. Imagine a drunken and mentally unbalanced meeting of the General Assembly. The body is a heavy medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a gooey feel. Overall, I think this one missed the mark a bit. I'd be interested to see it in a few years, to see if continued proximity is enough to allow some sort of peaceful, collective voice to emerge.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 20:24:58 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a Darkness tulip, solid ebony, with a slim roasted tan head. Perfect. No light escapes this...

Aroma: coffee comes first, then the creamy milk, bittersweet and roasty below that. Love it.

Taste: deep and dark, full and rich, massive mouthfeel, fairly clinging to every surface available, hanging long in the finish...espresso remains foremost in the flavor, with creamy lactose still shining through, some chocolate, as well..little hops to be counted in this cavalcade, but they're masked by the mountainous mass of malt.

An immense beer, a conundrum, a certain circumspection of quizzical circumstances...when have I ever tasted the coffee and the milk and the ice? In this way? When have you? When has anyone?
Each next sip brings more of the bitterness, the roast, the rich malt, some cocoa, some bitter coffee, then the milky cream, then...boom, you realize how strong it is... too drinkable, and delicious for the reported 10% abv.

What a treat, this Surly Four. And the more I think and drink, the more I think, what a drink, what a match of the yum, and the mmm, and the hmm, and the ohhh.

Pity this didn't last long on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2010 01:19:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Jake Melnicks. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Pours with a finger of light mocha foam that dissipates to a thick cap and leaves lots of lace. Black body with a hint of brown at the fringes. Pretty impressive for the ABV.

S - Coffee, lactose sugar, bitter dark chocolate. Took a bit of time to warm up, but when it did it was a pleasant blend of bitter dark roast coffee and espresso, earthy hops, and the aforementioned flavors. Not much obvious booze.

T - The taste is also better on this brew, with more balance between the lactose sugar sweetness and the bitter espresso, cocoa, and earthy hops. The bitter aftertaste mounts over time, but never gets overwhelming.

M - Smooth, some light tingliness, sticky chewy finish. Medium-full body that is appropriate for the high ABV. Right-on for a milk stout.

D - This gets a bit bitter and diabetic by the end of the glass, but it's significantly better than Surly Three. The high ABV would also impede numerous pours, but it's not obvious in the nose and flavor profile.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2010 04:38:56 | More by MasterSki
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip. Inky black with burnt mahogany edges. Tobacco stained striated foam, the top layer was slightly darker than the first somehow. Extensive webs of sticky lace formed and covered the entire glass. Retention was good, a thin layer of skim rested on top for the duration.

Deep espresso notes in the aroma, rich and roasty, hints of sweet chocolate around the edges. Soft yet pungent, definitely a premium roast, nothing acrid or acidic at all.

Silky and smooth, very easy to drink despite the 10% abv. Huge espresso presence, firmly bitter and roasty, with a rich complexity. Tobacco, plum, raisin, oats, melted fudge brownies. Extremely smooth, yet full bodied. Zero trace of alcohol. Not especially sweet, as the coffee dominated, but there were elements of sweet chocolate and milk sugar present. Slightly dry aftertaste of roasty espresso and milk chocolate that linger nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2011 15:36:35 | More by emerge077
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is black and thick and forms a giant head of brown tiny bubbles that leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to high. Looks good.

Aroma is strong with coffee and some sweetness. Smells good, just about what I expected from the description on the side of the bottle.

Beer is medium body and pretty sweet up front. Quite a lot of sugar in this beer and there is a big coffee bitterness and roast in the back half of the mouth. I actually make a beer at home that tastes very similar to this beer. I like them both.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 18:58:51 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 15:22:23 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 08/26/10 tasting. Had at a local Dc tasting thanks to Kevin (MrChopin); thanks man!

a - Pours a dark brown color with one to two inches of tan head.

s - Smells of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, roasted malts, cream/milk. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of coffee, cream, vanilla, and chocolate.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and creamy, very easy to drink.

d - I enjoyed this stout quite a bit. I thought it was well balanced and smelt great. Would love to try again.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 20:33:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with some friends. The brew appears dark brown to black in color with a brown cap that is quick to recede. A swirl revives about a finger's worth of from that paints some spots of lacing effect on the glass. Around the edges, you can seem some lighter brown clarity and through the body some ruby clarity when held to the light.

The smell of this brew is sweet with hints of chocolate blended with a bit of musty coffee. There is a pleasant roasty element present that is a combination of coffee and roasted grain. A bit of earthiness rounds out the edges of this brew. Throughout the entire experience, there is this sweet smell of lactose that really draws in the scent of milk chocolate.

The taste is roasty from a combination of roasted grain and coffee. The coffee is much more prevalent here than the aroma suggested. The taste of the coffee inclusion is also more fresh tasting the slight mustiness picked up in the nose. Contrasting the bitterness of the roast is also a lactose sweetness that gives this a bit of a milky feel and really draws out the chocolate grain flavors just like it does in the aroma. The aftertaste has a bit of must and citrus inclusion partially from hops and partially from the citrus from the coffee. A light raisin touch of alcohol is also present as the brew warms up.

This is a medium to full bodied brew that is slick and coating to the feel. It is smooth and easy drinking with a pleasantly warming feel from the alcohol that really doesn't even become a factor until the glass is half empty. Overall, I thought this was a pretty fantastic sweet coffee stout. It ranks up there as probably the strongest and top 5 I have had. I wish I could of tried this sooner to get a bigger coffee punch but as-is more than a year after it's release, it is still drinking quite good.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 01:23:58 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 14:02:43 | More by Kegatron
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled during the epic finewinemike event.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. I get lots of licorice on the nose, along with celery salt, coffee, green tobacco leaf and light vanilla. Talk about a complex aroma profile! The beer was a bit more attractive on the palate, as I got more dark chocolate and vanilla, some tobacco flavor and dry citrus on the finish (I'm guessing that when young, this beer was probably fairly hoppy, especially for a milk stout). Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and the slightly bitter finish seemed to dry out the moderate sweetness I initially picked up in this beer. Otherwise, I thought the mouthfeel was just a bit thin, though on the finish I got some nice dark chocolate, coffee and light licorice.

I found this to be very interesting, very complex beer, though probably a beer that needs to be drunk up at this point in its life.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 13:32:57 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, big thanks to oakbluff for sharing this one.

Pours an opaque black, a touch of red in the edges, huge and thick foamy tan head forms, slowly settles down to a thick layer, drops a ton of lacing, great retention, looks good.

Smell is nice, huge espresso roastiness, chocolate milk, toffee, vanilla, a bit musty, some raisin and dark fruit, alcohol, lightly sugary, nice aroma.

Taste is similar, dark and roasty up front, like raw coffee beans, big chocolate, milky sweetness, sweet fruit, raisin, toffee, big and sweet, but balanced with the coffee roast, a bit of biscuit, some alcohol in the finish but well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very smooth going down, ABV is well hidden. A pretty damn nice beer, and it was in good company. Thanks Scotty!

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 03:56:54 | More by Viggo
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Inky black body with a thick crop of bubbly brown head. It's quite sticky as it coats my glass rather completely as I drink. Aroma is rich with mocha, java, chocolate, roasted malts and caramel. Very Nice. Fairly omplex combination of all the previous stated aroma characteristics on the palate. Roasted bitterness. Coffee. Caramel. Black malts. Baker's chocolate. The lactose doesn't come through much though. The alcohol is not very noticeable. But there is a titch of astringency in the aftertaste. From the roasted malts? Black malts? Spent coffee grounds? Something. In any case, this is pretty good. I had a similar style beer (Imperial Coffee Milk Stout) from Moosejaw Brewpub in Wisconsin Dells a few months ago (Betty's Black Ale) and I much prefer that one to this one. That one was one of my all time favorites. This one is not. But it is pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 04:00:24 | More by Bighuge
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 03:25:45 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from drabmuh. Thanks Matt! Split with my wife last night.

A: Near black shade and dark brown at the crest of the beer. Small beige head that leaves a crema layer resting atop the liquid. There are random spots of lacing noticeable on the glass.

S: Heavily roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate, cocoa

T: The beer tastes pretty decent and has a few different nice flavors happening. The coffee aspect tastes a little too bitter to me. I wonder what kind of coffee was used in the brewing process. Nice notes of chocolate throughout the taste. There is not nearly as much of a lactic presence as I was expecting. Perhaps the roasted malt and coffee flavors have masked the milk portion of the beer.

M: Decent feel, though a bit too bitter. The bitterness continues into the finish and through to the aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden well.

D: A good beer and worth trying. Decent stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 18:24:27 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

8/20/2011

Enjoyed at Clusterfork #7 in a snifter. Bottle shared by tieman.

A: Black with a brown tinge near the edges. The head is big and creamy and light brown.

S: Strong espresso profile with a pleasant nuttiness. Dark chocolate blends with milk. Smells really good.

T: Earthy coffee with a low bitterness. Dark chocolate is pronounced and the beer is lightly sweet. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Full body with creamy medium carbonation.

Overall: Really nice stuff. Coffee is the most notable component, but it's well integrated rather than overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 09:16:14 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Darkness snifter and enjoyed on the patio at Cafe Twenty Eight on a gorgeous spring day (sounds amazing, right?).

Served with 1 finger of thick, creamy mocha tan colored head. Decent retention with some very nice lace walls. Color is a dark black.

Aroma: Tons of coffee flavors, with a large amount of hops. Big roasted malt profile with some rich chocolate. Vanilla notes in the background.

Taste: Tons of espresso and coffee flavors with roasted malts up front again. Huge earthy hop profile really balances this beer out, but still it is big. Very typical of Surly to hop the hell out of their beer. I like it. Big chocolate flavors with a light amount of vanilla. Well done.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, creamy, smooth, and bitter Medium (very nice amount) of carbonation with a medium to full body. Ends roasted and very clean.

Overall, extremely drinkable. It was hard to set my glass down. I really enjoyed this beer and I think it was well done for the style. I am glad I got to drink it. I hope I can find more of it around. This one is a must have!

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2010 15:53:16 | More by mothman
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

FOUR! Inky blackness. Floppy and loosely bubbled cap of iced frappacchino hued foam slurps up heavily at first, then thickens, and slips down to a skimming and lots of thick cob webbed lacing being strecthed all across the goblet.

Aroma is mostly of dried husks with a moderate dousing of milk chocolate and cold pressed coffee. Semi charred notes of graham cracker crust and smokey ABV murk its way thru as it sits.
The tapped version at release night had much more funky smokeyness to it, but this is quite nice and very bold and heavy.

Wonderfully fun to taste as Four expresses a big chocolatey dryness with oatmeal flaked crustyness, espresso/iced coffee/latte burntness, tender pull to chocolate cake sweetness, sherry and vanilla pod spiced warmth and cindering darkened bitterness that really sinks into one heck of a fantastic finish. By far the overall winningest best part of this celebration. The finish is so fulfullingly fun and full of warming chocolatey baked goods. Yum Absolutely!

Mild, yet rich, tender, yet bold; definately dark! Roasty, yet sweet, soft, smooth, and milkenesque, balanced with a superb dryness, and a nearly perfect pitch of alcoholic warmth that pulls unique chocolate and coffee characteristics onto the back of the palate. You'll wonder...how the hell they do that?
After talking to Todd about what process he actually did to produce 'Four', I'm still unsure exactly what he did to pull this off, lots of techincally fun jargon about freezing coffee and freezing the beer in the fermenter kinda stuff, but man it sounded crazy.

'Four' is one yummy fun treat from Surly! Hell yes I say! So Congrats to them! And here's to more! Cuz I'm feeling pretty 'Surly' now thanks to this and them!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 01:10:33 | More by tavernjef
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from mully. Thanks! The beer is an opaque dark brown with a solid leather-hued head. Looks appetizing.

Intense espresso aroma, almost to the point of being one-dimensional. There's a little dark chocolate, cream and earthiness.

Bitter chocolate and coffee with cream. Pretty rich, the lactose provides a lot of body and sweetness. Moderate alcohol presence around the mid-palate, along with slight tartness and ashy bitterness. Finishes sharp and roasty, fruity, mildly tart. The strong roasty bitterness does a good job of balancing the sweetness, though it wears down the palate after a while. Very enjoyable beer, though I couldn't drink much of it in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 19:20:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

scoobydank sent me a bottle of this in our last trade. Thank you, Bill!

Jet black with a dense, dark brown head that slowly falls off to a thin disk, and there is pretty solid lacing. The nose is pretty excellent. Big coffee character is present, rich espresso and dark chocolate. There's a solid roasted malt character as well. The lactose really ties it all together very well, providing a nice creaminess.

The palate opens with a rather big bitterness, roasted malt and espresso present, the balance leaning toward the espresso. The lactose is present mid-palate, mostly as a sweetness that just barely balances the roasted malt character. Moderately fruity as well, it really works beautifully with the coffee character. The fruit is more plum and raisin like.As it warms up, a little alcohol appears too. Mildly sweet on the finish, there's lingering coffee and and some roasted malt. Medium in body with low carbonation, this beer is creamy and smooth on the palate. It takes a while to get used to the bitterness, but once I do, this is an enjoyable and quite drinkable beer. Towards the last 3/8ths of the bottle, my palate has completely acclimatized to the bitterness, and the sweetness is really noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 23:53:32 | More by DefenCorps
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Four from Surly Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.