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Cacao Bender - Surly Brewing Company

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Cacao Bender
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

301 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 301
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 62
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 07-20-2012

Mahogany hued ale infused with coffee, vanilla beans and cacao nibs.

45 IBU
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cacao Bender Alström Bros
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Ratings: 301 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnParadee
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mervmurry
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brew33
3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of funkyaudio
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Superbohl4
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HartsyThaiFood
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SeanBond
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a big coffee guy, so I typically don't like coffee beers too much. This however, was pretty pleasant.

Not too bitter, with a nice but not overwhelming coffee taste, the cacao mellows out the coffee so it's not quite as astringent as it could be. Since this is a brown ale, the mouthfeel is a little thinner than I'm used to (drinking mostly coffee stouts or BA coffee stouts), but in some ways that actually seems to help.

Didn't get to spend as much time drinking this as I'd have liked to as I had to leave (on tap at LP Binny's), but this was quite a pleasant surprise, and definitely something worth seeking out if you're a coffee drinker. Surly continues to impress!

Photo of IronTom
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Flippengruven
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nickbman
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheBrewo
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew was served on tap from the upstairs walk-up bar, at the new Surly taproom in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It arrived in a stout tulip glass, showing the darkest brown coloring that let up the faintest ruby highlights when held to direct light. A one and a half finger tall head of off-white foam sat atop the liquid, retaining decently before dissolving into ringed islands of lacing. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to approach visual nonexistence. The aroma was bold and wonderful, sitting high with massive, authentic black coffee whiffs, black and chocolate malty roast, charred coffee malt burn, hot tar, dark chocolate syrups, molten cacao, aluminum metallics, smoked toffees, vanilla cake and buttercream icing sugars, sticky Tootsie Roll candies, ale yeastiness, and attic dust. The taste was just as fulfilling, with so, so much raw café au lait coffee swirling around the mouth. This was punctuated by charred black, brown, and chocolate malts, dark chocolate fudge brownie batter, coiny metallics, raw cacao nibs, cocoa powder, whole milk fattiness, orange Tootsie Pops, skunked corny adjuncts, soured mineral, cardboard, rose petals, and the lightest soapy hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. The slurp, smack, cream, and froth were all rather standard because all you’re left thinking about is how damn fiery and drying it was. Intense chalky and tannic dryness was felt all around the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, initially it was hard to find exactly how to differentiate Cacao Bender from Coffee Bender. From the aroma alone it smells like walking to a Starbucks. Straight up. To say otherwise would be a stretch of the truth. With warmth, the bittered cacao does begin to seep through the cracks of that coffee wall. The taste, on the other hand, is much more amped up. You get so much of that coffee, and it’s raw and black as ever, up front, but the kicker is that this is bolstered by equally as raw, dark, and bittering dark chocolate. With each sip it dries you out a touch more, and clamps down just a little bit harder with that chalky, bittering puck. Ultimately, the cacao doesn’t seem any more robust than the coffee, but together, and coming fresh off the tap, it is pure enjoyment.

Photo of nograz
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of clausr
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Mplsbrew
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of danfix99
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Vonerichs
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DIPAFAN
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of babyrocks
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MisterMike
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nogophers
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AGB
4.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Kark
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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Cacao Bender from Surly Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 301 ratings.