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Coffee Bender | Surly Brewing Company

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Coffee BenderCoffee Bender
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
2,675 Ratings
Coffee BenderCoffee Bender
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,493
Reviews:
860
Ratings:
2,675
pDev:
10.6%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
675
Gots:
431
Trade:
25
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,675 |  Reviews: 860
Photo of Eriktheipaman
1.99/5  rDev -52%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a pretty much solid black with one finger tan head.

The smell was pretty much only coffee. And when I say coffee I don't mean coffee notes or beans I mean straight coffee.

The taste was also JUST of coffee. It tasted like day old coffee served cold with a little carbonation and a light mouthfeel.

I tend to love beers with coffee added but this one was just gross. I guess I could have gotten an off can but I tend to think this beer is just not for me so take this review as you will.

 497 characters

Photo of IllHaveAnother1
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of Rempo
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of mmulebarn
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of Crowesaddict
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of tom10101
2.25/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of SnackDaddy
2.39/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

When they say coffee, the freaking MEAN COFFEE!!

LOOK: more brown than black. Light lacing that disapates quickly. All head gone withing 3-5 min

SMELL: Unbelievably strong coffee smell on the initial nose. Not fresh coffee, but coffee that's been sitting in the coffee maker all day and you keep hitting the brew button to keep it warm... All... Day... Long.

TASTE: Coffee. No nuance, no 'hint' of anything, no 'just a touch' of anything, just straight up black coffee with just maybe some Starbucks-level toasted malt. Maybe the smell is so strong that coffee is all I can taste, but I didn't feel like holding my nose while drinking it in public. I was expecting a little vanilla as some reviewers have mentioned, but heck if I can pick it up. I thought that maybe the taste would mellow as the beer drank on, but no dice, strong coffee the whole beer through.

FEEL: not much to comment on. Nothing out of ordinary. My tongue just feels coated with 20-hr old coffee.

OVERALL: disappointed. Surly has a reputation for making some great beers, but this one just isn't for me. Seems like it needs it's own classification: Burnt-Coffee Ale.

 1,159 characters

Photo of Keith238
2.46/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 oz can received in a trade as an extra. Looked interesting but I immediately thought of "Buzz Beer" from the old Drew Carey Show.

Poured very dark brown, not quite black. Head disappeared quickly with no lacing in the glass. The mouthfeel and appearance were about the only aspects that I found remotely appealing about this beer. The taste was acidic. The combination of coffee and beer smells very unappealing like a sink with dirty glasses of coffee mugs and beer glasses.

Judging by other reviews, people obviously like it so don't let me disuade you from giving it a try. This was my first and likely my last because I don't see my taste changing that much any time soon. In the mean time, I'll do my coffee and beer drinking at separate times.

Thanks just the same to Joe for including it as an extra, I'm always looking to try a new beer.

 851 characters

Photo of mportnoy
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of sarch
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of bdelonj13
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of thanksforcoming
2.51/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

The nose is coffee. The taste is coffee and a stout. I think they accomplished infusing the coffee with beer. Folgers is what I smell and taste. I really liked Blakkr. Look forward to tasting more from Surly but this brew was a bust. Update 3/2016. I just picked up and tried Wigsplitter from 3 floyds. This fit the definition that surly gave their beer. So damn good.

 370 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
2.58/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tasted in a pint glass from draft at the Vine on October 25, 2016. Way too much coffee. Tastes like drinking a cold cup of joe. Yuck!

136 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.64/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on-draught at a bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes. Serving vessel was a Surly Mug. Cost was $5.00 USD.

A: No real head at all. Solid black colour. Mildly appealing.

Sm: Coffee, mocha, and alcohol. A mild strength aroma.

T: Coffee, light chocolate and vanilla, and buried caramel. Not horribly complex, but balanced and decently built.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thick. Doesn't really suit the flavours; it should be coarse and dry.

Dr: Not really drinkable. More of a tame sipper, which is inexcusable at this low an ABV. I wouldn't have it again, but it's okay for the style. Coffee beer fanatics might be the only ones that will truly like this. Give me a Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb any day of the week, but leave this one be.

 768 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.72/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Canned 25SEP11 A: dark brown with a transient finger or so of off tan foam which falls quickly to a scattered surface. excellent clarity and spotty lace. (2.5) S: Smells like breakfast coffee. Plain and black with the slightest hint of burnt nuts. Maybe a little bit of a cinnamon tone. (3) T: coffee is present, but seems stale. The beer itself seems a bit stale with a bit of soil and bitterness. Again, a hint of nuts. (2.5) M: Thin with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. Sadly, this so far has been the best part. (3.5) O: Not impressed with this offering. Like the regular version much better. (2.5)

 607 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
2.74/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from GPHarris, thanks for the opportunity! Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights when held to light. Tightly bubbled beige head shows moderate retention and lace. Smells like freshly ground coffee beans mostly. I try to find something else in the aroma but the coffee is overpowering my olfactory system. Taste really follows the aroma. Upfront I get bitter roasted coffee, midway through I get a hint of sugary sweetness (cream maybe?) finish is a long lingering acridic roasted coffee. Did I mention this tastes like coffee. Medium body and carbonation level, acridic bitter mouthfeel. I will preface this by saying I don't drink coffee. I enjoy some beer with coffee flavors or with coffee added, but this one is to far over the top for me. I can't find the beer underneath the coffee. One and done on this one.

 836 characters

Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of Mikelove1121
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of FullObs
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of Benvarine
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of zoolzoo
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Surly Coffee Bender tastes strikingly similar to unsweetened iced coffee. Mission accomplished?

Firstly, I have to give Surly credit for infusing this beer with so much coffee flavor and aroma, pretty impressive. Unfortunately overall, I don't think the base beer can stand up to the beans. I cant really find many characteristics that are indicative to the brown ale buried under all of this coffee.

The aroma is pretty good actually. Ground coffee beans, slight bit of malt. I love the smell of coffee.

Taste is somewhat acidic, derivative of low quality, unsweetened coffee. Theres not enough malt to balance out the raw nuttiness - it needs to be a little sweeter and more well rounded. Goes down a little rough!

 720 characters

Photo of Rifugium
2.78/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had a can of this alongside the base beer.

Good appearance, much like the regular Bender, deep dark brown, but still clear when held to the light; a medium-sized off-white head held for a few minutes and sank to a ringlet, leaving a few dabs of lacing on the glass. Nose full of coffee, with lesser notes of caramel malts. Taste was pure, straight-up bitter black coffee and nothing else. Just blew me away and made me cringe. There's a good way of using coffee in a beer, but for me, this isn't it. I pretty much hate coffee, unless it's in beer, then I actually like it a lot. But when I do have a coffee beer, I want a coffee beer, not a cold can of pure coffee. This was bitter, acrid, one-dimensional, and lacking any sense of balance. I literally could not drink this. But if you love cold, bitter coffee, get as much of this as you can.

 844 characters

Photo of craytonic
2.8/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at churchkey DC

Appearance: Dark amber-brown pour with some blood red tint; tan head with little lacing. Not entirely opaque.

Smell: Old coffee, sweet dark candy malts

Taste: Loads of thin, stale coffee and some residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Way to thin

Overall: Too thin and too much coffee. I've had this in both a can and on draft and didn't enjoy it either time.

 378 characters

Photo of badbeer
2.81/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured out black with a nice head that retained well. Smell was of old coffee, maybe a little cream to the nose as well; wasn't good. Taste was full of old and not enjoyable coffee. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and medium carbonation levels. Drinkability is not good. I didn't even finish my first glass of it. Surly makes good beer, but this was disappointing. Give me the regular Bender.

 388 characters

Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 2,675 ratings
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