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Coffee Bender | Surly Brewing Company

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Coffee BenderCoffee Bender
2,672 Ratings
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bender steeped cold for 24 hours in coarsely ground coffee beans from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation in Guatemala.

Added by feloniousmonk on 05-28-2006

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,672 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of Axic10
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to notCreative for the can. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a finger of tan head that quickly settles to almost nothing.

Smell: Pretty much all I am getting is coffee, which is a good thing as usually the coffee aroma is from a porter or stout. Amazing aroma.

Taste: Wow, pretty much like drinking an iced coffee. With a name like Coffee Bender I'd expect nothing less. Roasted coffee, some roasted malt and a tiny bit of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: I think this is a very amazing beer. I really liked the regular Bender, but the Coffee Bender is a completely different beer. Amazing coffee aroma and flavor, I wish I had more of this on hand, it's that good.

 753 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Got this one as an extra from mothman. Thanks!

A - Solid brown colored body with a tan head resting on top.

S - Nice light roasted coffee smell with a mix of sweet malts. The aroma reminds me of a latte.

T - A light coffee flavor rests on top of a slightly sweet brown ale body. A little bit of a hop bite in there but mostly a nicely balanced brown ale with a hint of sweetness. The coffee flavor compliments rather than dominates this beer. Pretty solid brew, I will have to try another can side by side with regular Bender.

M - medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

D - Goes down easy. I like how subtle the coffee flavor is. It really integrates well rather than dominating. One of the better coffee beers I've had. If this was available near me I would drink a lot of this.

 849 characters

Photo of shand
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a nonic. Thanks to BA redbird!

This brew pours a deep brown with a mocha colored head. The head is average-sized, but stays around well. The aroma is that of sweetened coffee, with some nice nutty tones as well. The taste on this is great, it's just smooth coffee front to center. There's a touch of nuttiness and sweet malts. Simplistic, but goes down very well.

The mouthfeel is a touch watery, but the carbonation is spot-on. And the drinkability is absolutely exceptional, this is very easy to drink. This is just a super solid coffee beer. It's not a stunner, but absolutely a delicious, solid brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass at Map Room 3/8/08.

A: Dark coffee brown, just shy of black, featuring some faint ruby-colored highlights. Capping this is a creamy, light tan, one-finger head.

S: Incredible aroma of fresh roasted, dark roast coffee and chocolate.

T: Fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and peppery hops. Like drinking cold, french press coffee out of a beer glass!

M: Felt a little thin and porterish at first, but it thickened considerably as it came closer to room temp. Nice bitter interplay between the coffee and hops.

D: This left a wonderful high quality coffee aftertaste in my mouth. So sessionable. I could start with this one in the morning and drink it all day!

 689 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. My first Surly can...hooray!!!

A- pours dark brown, nearly black, with a one finger tan head that quickly fades. Not a lot of lacing on this one. Well, it pours like a brown ale, that's for sure

S- it's called Coffee Bender for a reason. Lots of coffee goodness coming out of this one, flooding my nasal passage with that roasted goodness. It's got a little bit of the nuttiness you'd expect from a brown ale, too...

T- first and foremost, I'm getting the nutty characteristics you'd expect from a brown ale. This isn't a big stout, with huge coffee flavors. After the nuttiness, then the coffee comes in, and it's more a complimentary flavor. The finish is actually a little sweet, like chocolate. Wonderful

M- just about right. Maybe a tad bit watery....not too stout at all though

O- very solid brown ale. I haven't had the regular Bender to compare, but I'm a fan of this

 917 characters

Photo of SiepJones
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received this in an excellent trade with translucent.
Poured into a Guinness tulip pint

A: Pours a very deep brown, like a porter or a cup of black coffee. Two inches of head sit atop this beer.
S: I can smell coffee beans the second I pour the beer. As I put my nose to it I smell rich, deep coffee flavors, it's almost like sticking your nose into a bag of fresh coffee beans. There is a slight hint of dark chocolate on the back end.
T: WOW, bigger coffee taste in the flavor than in the scent. Coffee bender tastes like a nice cup of iced joe with a little cream and sugar in it. Roast and slightly sweet up front, a touch of bitter at the end. This beer makes me think of a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.
M: Very slick mouth, like a porter. Low carbonation.
D: If you like coffee this is very drinkable due to its excellent flavor and low ABV. If you are not a coffee drinker you probably wont drink more than one. If I ever drank a beer in the morning Coffee Bender would be my choice.

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Photo of KeefD
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red/brown color with ruby highlights, a nice fluffy tan head, and good lacing down the Surly coffee mug. Nice, bitter coffee aroma, some good hop smells coming in at the end all mixed with some light chocolate. Very nice coffee flavor here, silky smooth roasty malts, and a light bitterness on the finish. This is a very tasty brown ale as it is, but the coffee brings it to another level. I've had it on tap before (Darkness Day) and I think I prefered the tap version. It's seemed a little creamier and more silky than from the can, but it's still delicious nonetheless. Very nice Surly. You've done it again.

 624 characters

Photo of zrab11
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a nice dark drown color with a 1 1/2 finger mocha head.

S-Has a nice aroma of a cold cup of coffee, i am also smelling some oats and sugar and maybe some hints of chocolate. Really nice aroma though

T-Has a really nice Brown sugar flavored coffee taste to it up front followed by a little bit of hops that i didn't expect and then finishes with a sweet chocolate coffee flavor

M-Medium body with good carbonation

D-Overall i was very impressed with this beer. If you like coffee beers you will like this one for sure. I was happy to catch a little hops in there as it made it memorable. This is something i would stock up on if i was in MN for sure. ID love to get this one again. Def pick some up if you can.

 721 characters

Photo of doucmehu
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Omar and company have made it very clear what you are in for with this brew. "Beer for a MUG, from a can" is the tagline. The description points out that this beer is very much a coffee-forward beverage (beer with coffee added), and damn it if they didn't hit it out of the park.

A: This is a dark, chocolate brown with a hint of amber around the edges. The head is minimal, with a small but fluffy mocha topper that leaves a faint covering for the life of the beer. Lacing is moderate, leaving a pretty portrait behind.

S: Boom, just a big hit of iced coffee. The smell is sharp and extremely on point - this is not that roasted coffee smell, but rather a fresh espresso bean cracked open.

T: Huge cold-press coffee and fresh espresso bean flavors overwhelm up front. This literally tastes like you just crunched into a chocolate-covered espresso bean. After the initial shock (and likely caffeine buzz), there is some mild but noticeable pine hop flavor to round things out.

M: Moderate body is met with low carbonation, but not quite a "silky" feeling beer. Again, very spot-on for the coffee infused style. The can says 45 ibu, and that hop bitterness finds its way into the finish after every sip, meshing with a minimal coffee bitterness.

O: This is just a wonderful beer for coffee lovers, as well as anyone who appreciates a very well done infused beer. Coffee haters need not apply - everyone else, you gotta try this one.

 1,436 characters

Photo of DraftDaddy
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stakem
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mothman for the opportunity to try this one.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a dark brown but when held to the light it displays a clear amber red color. More than 2 fingers of fluffy tanned head sit atop this brew and receed leaving patches of lace about the glassware.

The aroma of this beer slaps you with the scent of coffee beans straight out the gate. Mingled in with the coffee is the smell of sweet chocolate, citrus and floral hops. There is a super faint twang or sour note about it that makes the smell of the coffee seem more "bright."

The taste of this brew has the coffee character right upfront. It has a decent citrusy sweet hop bitterness to back the coffee character. Just like the nose led on, there is an extra bit of twang in there that doesn't directly seem like a contribution of hops but it is provides both a citrus note that also comes across a bit tart. Either there is a flavor of hop coming out in this brew that I am not familiar with or a bit of sourmashing was done to this brew that adds a layer of complexity to this brew that really accents the coffee character. Regardless, it works and I like it. Other flavors of dark malt and roasted grain are throughout the profile of this brew.

The feel of this beer is medium with a moderate level of carbonation. Long lingering aftertate of coffee and dark grain bitterness is left on the tongue that at times comes across like chocolate but mostly coffee. It also finishes with some citrus hop character and a bit drying that makes you want to sip this brew more and more. Overall a wonderful brew. Being a coffee lover, I thought this beer was fantastic.

 1,656 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep, deep chestnut color. Smallish off white head. Nice, mellow coffee aroma. Mildly nutty. Great, great flavor-very malty with an evenly balanced coffee taste. Somewhat nutty-just a whisper of hop flavor. Bitterness comes more from coffee and roasted grains. Very full mouthfeel. Boy I could drink this all night. very drinkable and nice to see a coffee beer that is not a porter or stout. Damn good all around.

 413 characters

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-nice brown with a nice fluffy head to it. Has good lacing down the sides.

s-big coffee and malt flavors come to the front on the nose.

t-taste like a nice cup of iced joe with some maltiness behind it. Started off the morning with this beer. The coffee stays on the toung for a while, and has a nice finish.

m-little thin, but good.

o-great mainstay of the Surly line up. Was really impressed with the balance between coffee and brown ale.

 446 characters

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer smells, exactly like a cold coffee with a slight bit of chocolate. The beer is poured dark brown, with a off white fluffy head. When drinking this beer you get a nice hit of coffee, but sweet chocolate and hoppy flavours come through. The beer is so tasty. The balance after the coffee flavours are quite flavourful. The mouthfeel is light, but quite drinkable. I could drink a lot of these. What I love about this beer is that by the end of the beer, you don't taste as much coffee, but the hops and the chocolate sweetness from regular bender come through. This is an outstanding beer.

 596 characters

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to wisconsinbeer1 for throwing this my way in a trade. A fine trader you are no doubt.

A - A nice dark brown ale poured with love into my anxiously awaiting glass. Nice puffy head that quickly backs off leaving some legs and lacing behind.

S - It's all about the coffee and this one certainly delivers. Not the charred blackened coffee that meets one's nose, this one is very inviting.

T - Lots of great coffee flavor dances on the tongue along with a little chocolate and smoke. The taste goes along with the smell. My wife who is a coffee hound gave this one an enthusiastic thumbs up.

M - A little on the thin side compared to the plethora of coffee stouts that dominate the beer shelves. Since it is a brown ale, that is to be expected.

D - You could probably drink these back for quite a nice session. Given its ABV, it allows you to enjoy more than one, that is for certain.

I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Seems like you can pick probably from 50 coffee beers today if you so choose. If you do, make sure that this in one that you do pick. It is worth it. Another cool Surly can has met its match.

Thanks Jason for passing along my way. I appreciate your generous trades.

 1,201 characters

Photo of roadhouse
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Bavarian Lodge 11/05/08.

Appeared a very dark brown with a thin head that sunk to a skim and left little to no lacing.

Aroma was of mild chocolate, slight caramel, but mostly bold roasted coffee. Kind of like sticking your face in a bucket of ground coffee.

The taste had a bit of mild caramel sweetness up front with some chocolate but that was quickly taken over by the profound fresh coffee taste that dries up on the finish.

Mouthfeel was medium, and came across quite creamy and drinkable.

For a coffee beer this stuff is very drinkable. You kind of have to like coffee to really enjoy this one to it's full extent as it's bursting with it.

 668 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Omar and the crew never dissappoint.

A: Dark mahogany in color, with a creamy head that settles to a thin film on the surface. Lacing is very good, and carbonation is very fine.

S: All coffee at first, but also has subtle hints of toast, chocolate, and oatmeal. Hops are almost non existent in the aroma, as the coffee dominates the aroma.

T: This beer is almost like drinking black coffee. Roasty, with espresso and chocolate notes. Also a bit of toffe and oats. Hops are more present ont the palate than the nose, giving the beer a very pleasant dry finish.

M: Not much different from the ordinary Bender. Medium-bodied, and very smooth.

D: A great coffee beer. Very easy to drink and expresses what coffee beers should taste like. The best part of waking up is Surly in my cup!

 785 characters

Photo of CosmoHopHead
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a nice one inch creamy light brown head

S: smells like delicious iced coffee. not over powering at all with a small hint of vanilla & coco powder

T: tastes like a wonderful iced coffee with hints of mocha and vanilla

M: feels light and tingly on the tongue with good carbonation.

D: This is truly a perfect beer you could drink for breakfast! Would be great for after dinner as well maybe with some ice cream. At 5.1% I could easily drink several of these with no problem.

I would very much recommend everyone try this beer. Especially if you are a regular coffee drinker like myself.

 638 characters

Photo of nrbw23
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. Head leaves some slight lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Coffee with something sweet I can't put my finger on it though.

T- Roasted coffee, sweet malts and a touch of hops.

M- Medium in body and nice carbonation.

D- A very good solid brew that is really easy to drink.

 333 characters

Photo of sevenarts
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brownish black, medium tan head, moderate lacing.

S: Rich, creamy, espresso-like coffee, like bitter, slightly nutty iced coffee.

T/M: As with the aroma, the coffee taste comes through loud and clear and up-front. The bitterness and strongness of the coffee is balanced by some chocolate, nuttiness, and a long creamy coffee finish.

O: A delicious coffee beer, like rich, strong iced coffee.

 402 characters

Photo of Retail1LO
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Who's your fuckin' daddy? This shit is SO good. Seriously though.... Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours a rich, dark brown with a nice cappuccino like head. The nose is straight black coffee. It's such a lovely scent. The taste is just...outstanding. Very coffee forward flavor with a slight hint of cherry. This is so slick. I love this. The mouthfeel is a bit thing and acidic. The coffee and slight bit of cherry lingers throughout the finish. Overall, this is a marvelous beer. I wish I had regular access to this. Good shit.

 537 characters

Photo of Emersonio
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cabelgabel
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of SuperNova777
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanx to the godfather of SBI for this one

A:Poured a dark brown with a nice tan head that leaves good lacing

S:Smell was absolutly radical, just like a handful of coffe beans. I had a hard time keeping myself from smelling it, picked up a slight hint of chocolate as well but mostly COFFEE!!

T:Just as you would expect from the nose almost all you get is big coffee flavor, up front middle and back. Really I can't get enough of this

M:Good mouthfeel all around, palate is dominated by what you guess? Yeah all coffee everywhere

D:This was so tasty and easy to drink I couldn't get enough of it, had take it away from my woman because she wasn't gonna volunter to give it back after a taste. If you dig coffee search this one out

 735 characters

Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 2,672 ratings
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