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Moe's Bender - Surly Brewing Company

Moe's Bender
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 10.04%


Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.52% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Coffee chocolate vanilla brown ale aged on cherry and birch woods.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-08-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of stealth
stealth

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I wish Surly would decide to produce this one for the masses to enjoy. Enjoyed at Darkness Day 2011. Coffee bender with additional vanilla and cocoa. It's Coffee Bender, but more chocolately and sweeter. Mother of god this is good. I drank more of this than anything else at DD, and will do the same next year.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2012 10:19:30 | More by stealth
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at FFF XV and poured into tasting glass.

A - Pours a chocolate brown color, tan-colored head, thin ring, quick dissipating head.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, burnt sugars. The malts and chocolate work wonderfully together. Sweet, but not too sweet. Nice balance.

T - Like a Cafe Mocha with some toasted malts, light roast, and some oak. The chocolate is more pronounced and I was expecting more coffee, but hey, it's still really darn good. Nice vanilla and chocolate finish with light roast.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Really an excellent brown ale to begin with (Bender, Coffee Bender, and Moe's Bender). I think that Moe's is even more impressive, if that's even possible. One of my favorite beers at FFF XV and glad I was able to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 00:09:25 | More by Sean9689
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coffee Bender with cocoa and vanilla added to it? What kind of a monster would refuse to try that?

Pours like fizzy coffee. Smells like... like nothing I was expecting.

What was I expecting? Something simpler, I guess. Like, Coffee Bender with some CoffeMate added to it. That wouldn't have been very nice at all.

This smells spicier, sweeter, and smoother than regular Coffee Bender. The vanilla is quite rich, which greatly subdues the coffee nodes. Chocolate nodes become more present as the beer warms, it's a pleasantly dull and soft chocolate, sort of like a tootsie roll.

Tastes more coffee-ish. My friend said it was like espresso but I didn't think it was nearly astringent or bitter enough. More like Folger's (and if you think that's necessarily a bad thing, you are a weird, gross snob). The aroma's spiciness gives way to something more like what I had imagined the beer would be. You got the coffee of Coffee Bender, but then in the back end, where sticky sweet n' sour brownness of Bender usually comes in, you get nodes of spice, vanilla, and rounded milk chocolate. Very nicely done.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2011 03:52:15 | More by mynie
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this from a keg while getting doughnuts at Darkness Day 2011. It was served in a plastic Surly cup. This beer is reviewed from notes.

Appearance- It's a dark brown opaque body. The head was only about half an inch and receded to a slight, tan film.

Smell- There is some coffee roast in the beer with earthy malts. Also some caramel malt sweetness and milk chocolate.

Taste- This beer has loads of roasted malt and coffee notes. There is also a little bit of chocolate and caramel malt sweetness.

Mouth feel- It is really smooth. The medium body is appropriate and really helps the beer. There is just enough carbonation to stop this beer from being too sticky.

Overall- Yes, it is a very good beer. Is it that much of an improvement over regular Bender? I think that is certainly debatable. Regardless, I'm very happy I got a shot at this, and would have it again if offered in a heartbeat.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 23:20:53 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Darkness Day 2011.

Poured black with a half inch cap of tan foam that receded slowly leaving lacing.

Smell was roasty..malts, espresso, chocolates.

Tasted excellent. Roasted malty, espresso, hints of chocolate, porter notes, very smooth.

Medium body is creamy and, again, smooth. Very easy to drink. Can't wait to have it again, someday.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 01:48:43 | More by JackieTH
Photo of kittywamp
kittywamp

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i had this beer at darkness days 2010

a: dark color with a small head and lacing

S: vanilla, oak, coffee, and chocolate

T: very creamy with chocolate, vinilla and a
hint of coffee with a lingering awsome after taste

m: smooth goodness

O: If it was sold I would buy it buy the case. this beer is a must try. I loved it

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2011 16:37:27 | More by kittywamp
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had multiple pints of this at Surly's Power of the Pint event a couple weeks back.

Rather than write up the normal review, I'll simply focus on this beer relative to the other Benders from Surly. As much as I think coffee bender is better than the already solid bender due to the great balance between the roasted malts and the coffee notes. Moe's Bender takes it to yet another level. The balance of roasted malts, with chocolate espresso notes, and a hint of vanilla give this a wonderful smooth taste. This has a nice rich taste yet goes down way too easy.

I would love to see Surly keep making this one, simply a terrific beer.

If you get an opportunity to drink this beer, do it. And if you are lucky enough to get it for $4/pint, don't feel bad about drinking the tap dry.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 04:13:05 | More by deebo
Photo of pdeme
pdeme

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was able to go to one of Surly's 5th anniversary parties and was able to try this one.

A: Very dark, small head and good lacing.
S: Vanila, chocolate, espresso. Great smelling beer.
T: one of the smoothest beers I have had. From start to finish the taste changes.
M: Very smooth.
O: Wasn't too excited to try this one, but after having it I was not disapointed. If i'm ever at an event that has it I would not hesitate to pay the premium price for a glass.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2011 15:25:22 | More by pdeme
Photo of deadbody
deadbody

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have tasted heaven and its name is Moe.

Pours a nice rich brown with a caramel head, smells of malt and vanilla and chocolate. Taste is outstanding, vanilla and chocolate notes mix in to make this delicious brew. Drink this with a rich chocolaty dessert and you will be willing to trade your first born for the ability to do so again (does anyone need a generally well behaved 12 year old? I have one I'll trade for a keg of this).

Mouthfeel is rich without being too thick.

Overall? Outstanding. Quite possibly the best beer I have ever tasted.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2011 13:00:36 | More by deadbody
Photo of ucis
ucis

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice dark caramel color. The head is a very slender, light puff. There is some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Chocolate, toffee, vanilla, malt bomb. I can't get my nose out of this glass.

T: Bitter bite of chocolate, vanilla and a wooden barrel pièce de résistance. There is s subtle hop characteristic hiding behind this vanilla, bitter choco-coffee, toffee and malt. This one is a savory beast.

M: Medium to lighter mouth feel. I wish this one was a bit thicker, but I do like the motor oil. Great all around drinker for the average advocate of champion beers.

O: This was a fantastic find at the White Horse in Saint Cloud. I had this on tap for the Surly Five party at Acadia Cafe and it's every bit of amazing I remember it being. Maybe even better. If this shows up near you it is a must try and worth the $8/ pour admission any day. (I will be sad when this keg is gone.)

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2011 14:12:47 | More by ucis
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucky to try this one on-tap at the Hanger Room. Pour left a bit to be desired, though it was served in a sweet glass mug with the Surly logo. Nice dark brown color, little head to speak of though. Nose is good with a bit of coffee, some dark malt, and a hint of vanilla. Flavor, however, really packs a punch. This one hits hard for a 5-ish% ABV beer. A nice coffee brown ale falls into some leafy hops, following by a smooth hit of sweet vanilla. This is a pretty sick beer, though I guess my love for the regular Coffee Bender gives me a bit of bias. MF was a bit thin, not quite as smooth and silky as I recall Coffee Bender to be. Overall a good experience, missing some technical points to me, but a tasty beer nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2011 04:36:32 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
Chriscrundwell12

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a surly pint glass at Mackenzies during MN Craft Beer Week.

A- Very dark brown, nice lacing, slight carbonation, ½ finger head
S- Chocolate, roasty espresso aroma, malts, hints of vanilla, very delicious, desert smelling beer, I cannot wait to try this one.
T- Very good, everything you smell you taste and more, chocolate and vanilla right away, malts, nice hops added, slight bitterness, very tasty, hints of roasted coffee as well. Very smooth.
M- Medium bodied, slight carbonation, smooth and well balanced.
O- Delicious chocolate flavor, very good, a lot better than regular bender, very surprised by this beer, only wish they brewed it more often. I look forward to my next poor of this delicious offering from Surly.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2011 07:50:30 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At last in my grasp, Moe's Bender…

dark brown with transparent, crimson footing, slim cocoa-tinged head.

If I remember correctly, the cocoa is coming from Guatemala, and the vanilla from Zimbabwe…? Or, maybe another African nation? The coffee is the same

Aroma: soft and spicy, warm and inviting, a complex and beguiling mix of chocolate and coffee with vanilla underneath, but slowly rising.

Taste: espresso tones come first, just the smallest bit bitter, but not an iota harsh or astringent. Very mellowed by the cocoa, charmed by the vanilla. Medium-bodied, with a strong flavor, and a long finish. Becomes languid and creamy.
Settles sweetly on the palate. You'd think it would be a tug of war, a cacophony of flavors, but it's nothing but harmony, melody, and deliciousness.

Every sip begs another, the flavor finds a lovely place in the mouth and it beckons out, "don't let me leave."

Halfway into the pint, it only makes my mouth happier. This joy spreads out through the senses, and touches the soul. Deep down contentedness.

In other words: "ahhhh…"
Furthermore: "Mmmm…"

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 05:34:46 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of biglobo8971
biglobo8971

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at Mckenzie's for MN Craft Beer Week, was excited to try this and wasnt let down.
ST - on tap, even though the guy behind the bar had no idea how to pour a good beer (see my review on Tea Bagged Furious) I was excited for this beer
A - very dark and murky, light brown head that laced somewhat down the glass.
S - best part of this beer. Every time I went to take a drink, I had to shove my nose in the snifter
T - first thing that hit me was the roast, then the complexity. This beer has a lot going on that all works well together. From the roast, to the chocolate, to the cherries, and finnally to the smoke. Each and every one of these flavors complement each other, instead of fight against each other to be the star.
M - a little bit boozy, but very easy to drink.
O - was excited to try this beer and was not left dissapointed. Only bad thing is that it is not around all the time. Will mos def pay the premium price for this premium beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2011 13:38:08 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of SurlyMe
SurlyMe

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Surly 5th year anniversary parties at The Muddy Pig, Stub and Herbs, and Mac's Industrial.

A - Pours a deep amber/brown color with the slightest hue of murkyness. A thin light khaki colored head leaves some nice rings of lacing.

S - Golden grahams, slight hints of vanilla, chocolate/cocoa, and coffee, light smell but very pleasing.

T - Follows the nose nicely. Starts with a malty vanilla taste and a hint of chocolate/cocoa, finishes up with slight roasty coffee notes.

M - Light in body but very smooth the way all those flavors mash together, low carbonation.

D - Phenomenal, I had more than one of these at each event because they were so tasty and easy drinking. I wish they would can this already.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2011 02:35:15 | More by SurlyMe
Photo of joshuaseresse
joshuaseresse

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Whistle Binkies South last night for Surly's 5th Anniversary party. Served into a tulip:

A - Dark brown to black with light egg shell white head that dies pretty quick. Web lacing and OK retention.

S - Nice chocolate and roast malts. Vanilla and cream. Kind of like a roast chocolate milk.

T - Chocolate, coffee with a smooth vanilla and coco. Pretty nice but I wish it had just a bit more chocolate.

M - A bit watery but smooth. Just a tad creamy but again I wish it had a bit more body.

D - Easy to drink. Nice flavor and smell. It was just a bit thin in the body. But I'd drink this stuff all the time if I could. It would be nice if they canned it soon...

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2011 16:48:30 | More by joshuaseresse
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Surly 5th anniversary event at the Blue Nile. Reviewed from notes.

This was the beer I really wanted to try at this Surly event, and I wasn't disappointed. Pours a nice dark brown with a heavy head that gradually relaxes. Smell is heavy on the coffee, with a nice mix of cocoa and vanilla backing it up. Flavor is so complex it's hard to believe. Take normal Bender, which is already a fantastic beer, then add some coffee, then some chocolate, then a bit of vanilla. These flavors come in waves, making for an incredibly sophisticated beer. Just wow. I really wish this were more widely available - I'd drink it all the time.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2011 17:24:23 | More by zeledonia
Photo of camp0474
camp0474

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cafe 28 on 1/31/11 for Surly 5th Anniversary Party

A: Dark brown to black with a nice tall tan head. Good lacing and retention.

S: Great notes of bitter chocolate and fresh vanilla bean. Toasted malts and faint coffee still shine through. Smells amazing.

T: Bitter baking chocolate and vanilla bean present. Great flavor of regular Coffee Bender as a backbone. The coffee is slightly hidden and mellowed by the oak aging. Well balanced flavors and a great modification to an already great beer.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Slight hop bitterness. A bit silkier than regular Bender.

D: Well balanced with great flavors. Welcome addition to an already great Coffee Brown Ale.

The chocolate and vanilla flavors make this beer exceptional. Really glad I was able to try this beer. I really enjoy Bender and Coffee Bender, so this was a great treat.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2011 04:02:27 | More by camp0474
Photo of Flipadelphia84
Flipadelphia84

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Very dark not quite black but a little amber around the edges. Poured with a two finger creamy head.

S- Very chocolaty. A lot of vanilla, smells pretty sweet. It reminds me of smelling hot chocolate or even tootsie rolls. Yum!

T- Smooth, Vanilla comes out first, then the chocolate, and a very slight woody dryness from the oak. Really Really good.

M- Very light bodied and lower in carbonation. Based on everything else I expected more.

D- Extremely Drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 00:54:50 | More by Flipadelphia84
Photo of TheDudeRules
TheDudeRules

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter.

Dirty brown appearance.

Coffee smell was right up front for me. Chocolate followed, rounded out by vanilla.

As far as taste went, I was hit by chocolate first. The coffee played a small role. Vanilla on the back end and still on the tongue after I swallowed.

Carbonation was descent. Had a nice light body to me.

It was a descent beer. Nothing blew me away but was very enjoyable. Certainly a session beer to the right person.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2011 05:46:22 | More by TheDudeRules
Photo of evanlarkin
evanlarkin

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Brown with a reasonable head. Dark and hazy, but not much light gets through.

Smell:
Chocolate and vanilla, with coffee in the background. Malty sweetness is apparent throughout.

Taste: Vanilla and coffee, with chocolate gaining headway in the middle. A slightly toasty malt finish coming back to chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel:
Creamy and smooth with lowish carbonation.

Drinkability:
The highest. This is the one. It tastes so smooth and rich, without being overpowering. This is one that you could drink all night, regardless of the strong flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 04:04:57 | More by evanlarkin
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

sampled on tap at surly on darkness day, oct 23/2010.

pours deep red-brown with a hint of haze. when held to light flares of orange and ruby come through. a small dense dark tan head forms, dropping slowly with tons of thick lace.

aroma is good. coffee. vanilla. dark and milk chocolate. caramel and a bit of toffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light alcohol. hint of smoke.

taste is pretty similar to the aroma, but the coffee is more forward, with teh chocolate and vanilla more background players. medium-high bitterness level that builds even more along the way. vanilla and tobacco.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is so-so. the bitterness builds and by about the 6oz mark it was definitely overwhelmingly high. strangely, the alcohol feels a touch warm too. i think perhaps this is just a matter of trying to jam too many ideas into one beer. interesting though.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 17:24:58 | More by grub
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Surly's 5th Anniversary party at Cafe 28.

A: Dark brown with a modest light tan head. Decent retention and good lacing.

S: Smells amazing. Lots of chocolate, vanilla extract and some roasted malt. A bit of coffee. The chocolate smell is incredible!

T: A lot like normal bender with a lot of bitter chocolate. Bitter like a bakers unsweetened chocolate. Coffee. You can barely pick up some vanilla sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

D: Good drinkability. A good twist on the classic Bender.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2011 23:43:42 | More by herman77
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Darkness Day, reviewed from notes.

A - A dark brown beer that had a tan head that foamed up a bit. Nice lacing left on the sides, good retention on the head.

S - Lot of coffee and roasted notes. A little bit of earth and some chocolate. Smells good.

T - Vanilla, chocolate, and big coffee. The end of the taste bitters to an espresso like finish. Little bit sour and ale like at the end. Interesting taste, something different, not bad at all.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - A very nice beer, glad I got the chance to try it as it is something pretty different. Would not mind drinking again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2010 05:01:20 | More by AgentZero
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Free keg served while in line at Darkness Day. Thanks Omar and crew for this awesome gesture!!

A: the appearance is pretty much identical to Coffee Bender... deep brown color with some clarity, white head, decent retention

S: the nose is big with fresh coffee, a fairly big malt profile with notes of roasted barley and caramel, some vanilla and sweetness in the middle, a touch of chocolate. The aroma is very similar to regular coffee bender, the one difference being that the vanilla really smooths out the aroma and balances things out.

T: compared to regular coffee bender, the coffee is a little less pronounced on the palate and melds seamlessly with vanilla. This brew is much more balanced and smooth than its counterparts. Very nice.

MF: smooth and silky, perfect for the style

D: another delicious brew from one of the best breweries in the world! Wonder if we will ever see this outside of special events...

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2010 21:43:04 | More by homebrew311
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Moe's Bender from Surly Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.