Tank Bender | Founders Brewing Company

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Tank BenderTank Bender
48 Ratings
Tank BenderTank Bender

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: German Eisbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Tank Bender is our first foray into the rare style known as Eisbock. This style involves freezing water off the beer, resulting in ultra-concentrated flavor, deeper body and, in our case, a bent tank from collapsing ice. A liberal addition of Munich malt highlights the toasty and dark fruit notes while a stay in bourbon barrels tames those intense flavors.

Added by superspak on 08-28-2017

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of szmnnl99
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beersampler6
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice, smooth sipping beer but man does that high ABV hit you going down! Tried this one on tap at Founders. Nice amber color with minimal head or lingering lacing. Smells of bourbon and dark fruit. Tastes of bourbon, wood, dark cherry, plum, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, molasses and malt. Smooth, slightly creamy, syrupy thick mouthfeel. Decent carbonation. A good beer but be prepared for the big alcohol slug.

 421 characters

Photo of Futbolmanby
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jzeilinger
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to tacosandbeer for this bottle.

A - Deep ruby red color with beautiful clarity and thin, bubbly lacing.

S - Sticky sweet and sugary dark fruit with a boozy forward nose.

T - Dark carmelized sugar, bourbon, some dark fruit, and a huge boozy finish.

M - Thick, syrupy, and lipsmacking sticky.

O - Big and boozy.

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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Knapp85
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Phoodcritic
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beer21
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Celebrating their twentieth anniversary, it seems that the Founders Brewing Company is having their midlife crisis a little early. Getting out of their normal hoppy and roasty comfort zone and treading the classic German waters of bock bier. But this bock is triple in strength and rounded in bourbon barrels while freezing out the unwanted stuff- water.

Apparently all that freezing and scooping is tough on the bright tanks as Tank Bender comes out swinging with a host of dark fruit, sultry sweet scents, light earth and spice. Bright and tawny brown, a garnet sheen casts a rich and sandy froth before a full malty palate of cake, brown sugar and sorghum slathers the early palate.

Retaining that sweet and cakey tone across the middle palate, the fruit esters begin to shine with apple, apricot, date, fig and maraschino cherries. Trending earthy with a mossy, leathery and fresh pulled tobacco tone, a sherry and port savory spiciness emerges on the late palate. Trending oaken and soaked in booze, the nuances of cashew, vanilla, coconut and caramel apply a rich barrel set of complexities to the overall taste.

Full and lush on the tastebuds, the nearly cloying ale's malty linger is offset by the whisky spice and slight vinous tang. A light peppery finish works in the absence of any balancing hops. But the hops do allow for a mild minty, herbal and stemmy taste to help in tepid balance before a long afterglow of sweetness and spice.

 1,449 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes 10/20/17
Had on-tap at Founders in Grand Rapids, MI

Appearance - 8 ounces served up in an oversized brandy glass. Deep garnet red in color with a thin, broken layer of sandstone colored head and a thick ring of suds encircling the glass. Not much for lacing; a handful of spots, and most of them slide back into the drink.

Smell - Interesting aroma. Malty with a toffee-like sweetness and a faint herbal character. A bit of booze heat tingles the nose hairs.

Taste - Follows the nose. Caramel base with some lighter toffee sweetness developing in the finish. Scant trace of hops that hint at floral or herbal character. Finish ends with that aforementioned toffee character and a pleasant booziness without too much heat.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Slick texture that turns slightly dry and sticky in the finish. Smooth. Stupid smooth for 15%. You'd think it wasn't over 8%.

Overall - Technically an Eisbock, but it drinks much like a malt-heavy Barleywine or Old Ale. Yeah, this is right up my alley. I'm glad I was at the right place and right time to try this unique and rare style of brew.

 1,141 characters

Photo of atone315
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Eman17
3.04/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of BenHoppy
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For 15% it's very smooth. Amber marzen color with an Oktoberfest/sahte flavor. Never had an eisenbock so hard to compare but I get a lot of caramel, dark fruit, toffee, vodka flavor. A good slow sipper to try but probably never try again.

 241 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of 22Blue
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jvgoor3786
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour produced almost no head and the little fizz that was there was gone almost immediately. The color is a deep ruddy/amber that's crystal clear and one of the more incredibly beautiful I've seen.

The smell screams of bourbon and dark fruits. There's also some sweet caramel malt underneath and even a little some fruit.

The taste is syrup sweet bourbon, caramel, and some candied dark fruits. The bourbon and sweetness lingers on the end and is almost cloying.

The mouthfeel is very thick and coats the whole mouth. The carbonation is minimal. The finish is long and sticky.

This is a seriously sweet beer with nice complexity. It will need to be sipped slowly.

 683 characters

Photo of Bammer21
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GRFounder
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jwilcox767
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark ruby/black color, almost opaque. Not much carbonation, and looks syrupy as it really coats the glass.

S: Nice and boozy up front, notes of very dark/candied fruits, and lots of roasted malt.

T: Bourbon barrel to the face, the dark fruits are close behind, followed by charred something. The booze/bourbon is really there the whole time and is well blended with the other flavors.

M: Maybe a little thicker than I'd like, especially for this ABV. Not much carbonation to speak of to excite the mouth.

O: I was very excited to get my hands on this. I haven't had very many Eisbock's in the past, but this was enjoyable. The main turnoff is that it's almost too syrupy/cloying, but manages to prevail. Of course it's very boozy, but I feel like they could have done a better job making sure that all of the other great flavors weren't trampled. Some say this is like a barleywine or a BA barleywine, but I really feel like this is its own distinct monster. It's awesome to say that I had this (and it was quite good), but I think once is enough.

 1,066 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, served in a snifter glass. Dark caramel body, slight reddish/orange hue, one finger white head. Smell is doppelbock on steroids, crackers and bread with a bit of noble hop bitterness and floral notes, moderate bourbon presence. Still a bit simplistic on the palate, it's essentially a sweeter doppelbock flavour profile with a fair bit of bourbon, not terribly boozy. Sort of like Twizzlers, in a sense, with toasted grains and crackers. Mouthfeel is medium fuller bodied, muted carbonation which seems appropriate for a beer like this. As you'd expect, a heavy super doppelbock with bourbon flavours thrown in there yet still clean and smooth.

 658 characters

Photo of needMIbeer
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of fern22
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of maximum12
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Rkitchen for answering my desperate plea for this beer; sadly, the first Founders beer in years I’ve been all atwitter for. 750ML bottle split with my wife.

The pour is gorgeous: a clear, dark crimson that shatters the light from my expensive LED spotlights into zillions of pieces. Minimal head, which is to be expected. Smells like sugar-glazed dark fruits, with just a touch of booze & barrel. Nice start.

Tank Bender is loaded with harvest dark fruit. And alcohol. And barrel. And sugar. Initial impression is much like the nose: massive loads of dark red fruit soaked in brown sugar, then stored in a bourbon barrel for good measure. Caramel & booze are less prominent, but wound about the brew like a strangling cord. Thick, boozy, & with my sweet tooth, I could have taken the entire bomber.

The booze has caused me to shed my fleece & slippers. My pants might be next. It’s hard to stand out amidst the static these days, but this beer succeeds & delivers. Simply excellent.

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Tank Bender from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 48 ratings