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Moe's Bender - Surly Brewing Company

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Moe's Bender
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

35 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 147
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 3.67%
Wants: 122
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.52% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-08-2010

Coffee chocolate vanilla brown ale aged on cherry and birch woods.
View: Beers (51) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 147
Photo of deadbody
5/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (551 characters)

Photo of evanlarkin
5/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of pdeme
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of stealth
4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (310 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
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…" (1,098 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of Flipadelphia84
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (468 characters)

Photo of camp0474
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.58/5  rDev +5%
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. (782 characters)

Photo of younger35
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by Mackenzie's on my way home to try a glass of this version of one of my favorite beers. I'm a big fan of vanilla in beer if done right. Drank from a Surly Coffee Bender coffee mug.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish amber with a nice ½ finger fluffy light tan head. Nice cap and collar remains the entire beer while leaving a bit of spotty lacing down the glass.
Smell- Loads of vanilla right from the start that literally seems to jump out of the glass. Lots of coffee still makes its way through along with some raw cocoa nib like chocolate. I'm not sure I'd ever guess this was Coffee Bender by just smelling the beer since the vanilla is so dominate.
Taste- Tootsie Roll through and through. Loads of vanilla and cocoa with none of that coffee goodness I live so much in perhaps my favorite all-time beer. The vanilla makes the beer seem a bit sweeter than it is (or maybe it's the chocolate but the vanilla is what's more noticeable) but at least the vanilla tastes real. The chocolate plays second fiddle in this combo and perhaps even accentuates the vanilla. A bit of toast sneaks through as does just a snippet of citrus on the end. A long lasting vanilla richness lingers.
Mouthfeel- Very crisp and clean body with a medium feel that somehow manages to also be silky smooth and creamy.
Drinkability- Doesn't have the drinkability of the regular version but is most definitely unique and enjoyable. This is a desert beer to the fullest and fully showcases the power of the vanilla bean. No way I could drink more than one of these but hopefully we'll see this around town on more of a regular basis. (1,619 characters)

Photo of kittywamp
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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 (323 characters)

Photo of ucis
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
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.) (887 characters)

Photo of bwiechmann
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the keg at Darkness Day- poured into my Surly Coffee Mug.

A- Deep brown with an enormous head from the hurried keg pour, died down to a trace leaving some decent lacing.

S- Just what one would expect, Coffee Bender with strong notes of vanilla and a background of chocolate- I really did not think the nose of CoffeeBender could get better but it can- and it does in Moe's

T- Overall a very delicious brew, although, after the nose anything would be a touch of a let-down. I didn't find the sweetness others did, the base Coffee Bender is clearly present with a huge dose upfront. The vanilla is more prominent than the chocolate but both are apparent. Delicious

M- A titch thin with mild carbonation. Not bad at all though.

D- Personally, this is a very easy drinker. The levels of sweetness and bitterness that individuals are reporting are all over the board. For me, I think it was well balanced with the sweetness from the vanilla and the bitterness of the coffee. It really is a great beer that I thoroughly hope they start canning. (1,051 characters)

Photo of biglobo8971
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (962 characters)

Photo of SurlyMe
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (732 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Darkness Day. Reviewed from notes.

Dark brown with a small tan head with nice retention. The aroma has coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. Quite nice.

This beer tastes just like the aroma. Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Maybe a little cocoa powder. Medium bodied, smooth, somewhat creamy, with nice carbonation. I like the original Bender a lot, and this version is also very good. (399 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,104 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Also called Moe's Bender. Had this at Great Taste.

Pours a light tan head. Color is pretty much brown like bender.

Aroma: This is basically a creamier version of bender with more roasted malts and vanilla. Plus, a bigger amount of chocolate malts here.

Taste: It seems to have more coffee than bender, somewhere between the level of bender and coffee bender. It has a big amount of chocolate. A big amount of vanilla makes this beer very sweet.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, this beer is very good, but ever so sweet. It is fairly drinkable, but the sweetness from the vanilla makes you want to enjoy it on certain occasions only. I definitely enjoyed this one. Awesome brown ale! (755 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
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... (924 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of herman77
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
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... (683 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Darkness Day, drank from plastic Surly cup...A bright brown pour with a decent tan head...The aroma is tons of coffee with lots of vanilla mixed in, very creamy, roasty and probably a touch to sweet...The taste is all coffee again with lots of cream, this is basically an espresso. I like it though, maybe because it is sweet and cuts a lot of the coffee.

I drank my glass pretty easy, I'd recommend trying this. (423 characters)

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Moe's Bender from Surly Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.