Moe's Bender - Surly Brewing Company

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Moe's Bender
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35 Reviews
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Reviews: 35
Hads: 147
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 10.53%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 147
Photo of bwiechmann
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Darkness Day. Served in a Surly-embossed plastic cup.

A - Served with a big billowing light tan foam that had great retention and eventually settled to a chunk cap with plenty of lace. The body is a nearly transparent cherry/mahogany brown.

S - Huge coffee, light chocolate, and a hint of nut brown ale.

T - Loads of coffee here as well, some some vanilla sweetness and a bitter espresso finish. Not sure I could easily distinguish this from Coffee Bender, but I did find the added sweetness blunts some of the harsher coffee notes.

M - Somewhat grainy gritty body, but pleasant carbonation is a plus. Medium-light body with a sticky finish.

D - Good brew, although it felt a little too big and intense after so many beers in such a short period of time. I'd totally have it again, and I find it less astringent than regular Coffee Bender.

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Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a plastic Surly glass!

$4.00 / ea.

A: Bright dark brown body topped with small loose tan head that quickly dissipates leaving just a trace of lacing and a thin creamy head.

S: My experience seems to vary from other reviews, but I immediately thought this was a wild version of Bender. The aroma was just slightly tart lactic with hints of coffee and a roasted nut character.

T: Again, I tasted what seemed like a wild beer. There was a bitter coffee flavor followed by what I thought was just a slight lactic sour. There were hints of vanilla and the same roasted quality I've come to expect from Bender. Hop flavors were subdued, but the overall flavor was excellent.

M: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Left a light sour bite on the tongue, but no prolonged bitterness.

D: I enjoyed this offering quite a bit, and would have tried more if it didn't run out within 30 minutes of tapping. Not for everyone, but I could have tipped back several.

O: Great offering, I'd love to get more information from Surly on exactly what was changed from the original Bender.

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Photo of jera1350
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at DD 2010.

Dark brown color with a foamy tan head.

Strong roasted coffee bean smell with some dark cocoa and vanilla bean.

Huge roasted coffee taste with bitter dark chocolate and vanilla extract mixed in. Not a trace of sweetness to be found. Like iced coffee with vanilla extract and cocoa powder.

Thinner feeling like an iced coffee would be. Smooth feeling however.

Personally, this one is not for me. It lacks in sweetness which I think would make it more enjoyable. I do see coffee lovers really enjoying this one however. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn't need to have it again.

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Photo of nkersten
3.86/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into plastic surly cup, opaque brown with thick mocha head. Smell is mostly coffee and chocolate, some hops. Taste is bitter coffee, bakers chocolate, roasted malt and hops. Mouthfeel is light body with medium carbonation. Drinkability is good, but the flavors are a bit strong to drink a lot of these.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the Great Taste. Pours a nice brown ale color with a nice tan head, very similiar looking to the regular Surly Coffee Bender. Strong coffee and vanilla in the nose with some subtle chocolate aromas. I don't get too much oak in the aroma. Very smooth and velvety medium mouthfeel. Sweet up front chocolate taste followed by some coffee flavors. The vanilla is pretty pronounced and you ccan taste it the whole time you are drinking. Very well done and tasty. So far a favorite at GT.

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Photo of mothman
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

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Photo of younger35
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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