Coffee Bender | Surly Brewing Company

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2,658 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
2,658
Reviews:
856
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.6%
 
 
Wants:
671
Gots:
427
For Trade:
25
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,658 |  Reviews: 856
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Unlike the draft version I had last year, the can pours out with a firm tan head that has a whipped egg consistency and leaves plenty of lacing to boot

Smell: Brown bread and roasted grains are dominated by the coffee

Taste: Roasty, up front, with a bready character underneath, but by mid-palate, the coffee flavor dominates both before and after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While the beer is certainly enjoyable, I can't help but believe that the coffee overwhelms some of the more interesting aspects of Bender

 576 characters

Photo of oline73
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat murky very dark brown color with little light coming through. There is a one finger tan head that dissipates but leaves some lacing.

Smell: The first thing you notice is definitely the coffee, but it doesn't completely overpower everything else. I'm also picking up some malt sweetness. There is a nutty quality in there as well. Quite nice.

Taste: Coffee brown ales are some of my favorites, and this ranks up there with any that I've ever had. As in the taste, the coffee is the main thing going on here, but it leaves room for the other flavors to come out. There is also a nutty caramel malt flavor that is really nice. The finish is mildly bitter and roasty. Awesome!

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is a bit dry.

Overall: Again, I'm a sucker for this style. I love the balance of this beer and I really hope that I'm able to get some more in the future.

 977 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a two-finger, tan, thick, foamy head that head big bubbles. It left sticky sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of fresh coffee beans with notes of chocolate and caramel.

T - It had a bitter coffee bite with dark chocolate flavors. A mild caramel flavor emerges as it warms. There were also subtle fruity flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a fantastic beer with a great coffee taste. I'm glad I got my hands on one.

 540 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium sized off white to tan head ever so slowly settles into a nice lacing above a clear burnt amber colored beer.

Rich black Folgers coffee aroma, no cream, no sugar, just straight ahead rich morning coffee aroma like your parents had brewing back in the day when you tried to smell the bacon, eggs, and toast but that strong black coffee smell overwhelmed the senses.

Rich coffee taste, not quite as bold as the aroma, but roasted coffee malt tastes above all else.

Almost a full bodied beer, it seems to be lacking some of the body other such beer seem to have, if my memory serves me correctly.

An almost dry aftertaste that brings the roasted coffee notes to a close.

If I was a coffee drinker this would be my beer of choice or at least one of the finalists. Surly seems to be doing some pretty good things up there in Minnesota, can't wait to get back and watch the Twins or Vikings choke while I drink some good beers from Surly, Summit and a host of other pretty good breweries in the area.

 1,007 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've sampled this one several times during local tastings over the past year, but this the first can I've had all to myself. Big thanks to kbutler1 for the four-pack, this is one of many great Surly beers I'll be enjoying thanks to him.

Coffee Bender pours a translucent mahogany color, dark nearly to the point of being opaque but not quite there. A thin tan cap tops the beer, never quite rising to a large height but exhibiting good retention.

The nose displays equal amounts of coffee and toast. The coffee has a freshly-ground quality to it, nearly espresso-like. Malt is reserved but it has a distinct toast character, which only serves to enhance the air of breakfast; it's like a cup of black coffee and a plate of freshly toasted bread.

Toasted malt hits the palate first, with coffee not far behind. The coffee character obliterates a lot of the depth and subtlety that regular Bender has, but the coffee character in itself displays a lot of complexity; it's earthy, roasty, lightly acidic - one of the most rounded and complex coffee profiles I've detected in a beer. The finish has equal amounts of toast, roast, toffee and coffee. It finishes coffee-forward, slightly bitter and decidedly dry with a coffee grounds finish. This is stellar, up to Surly's usual high standards and pretty unique to boot.

 1,318 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mothman
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #200 for me.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Color is a dark carmel brown, slightly dark ruby. There is a tan head with fades of light yellow in it. Not a very large head, but good lace rings.

Aroma is like a coffee shop. Lots of rich coffee aromas. A roasted smell with a lot of malts. Very good.

Taste is pretty light for a dark colored beer as this. It tastes like dark coffee meets beer. Definitely mainly malts. Amazing, if you enjoy coffee.

Mouthfeel is simply refreshing. Smooth and creamy. Ends with a super-clean aftertaste. Good carbonation.

Overall, amazing and easy to drink. I definitely want more surly. I highly recommend this beer, as it is all-around amazing.

 694 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with some reddish hue; tan head and good lacing.

S: Brown malts overshadowed by plenty of coffee notes.

T: Lots of coffee and a little bit of a hop presence. The coffee provides a little bit of earthiness.

M: Medium bodied and fairly dry.

D: The coffee is a bit overwhelming for too many, but the can my wife and I shared was gone rather quickly.

 364 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this while watching Futurama, specifically the episode where Fry drinks 100 cups of coffee, how relevant. Thanks to both grub and KeefB for this shiny metal ass-can. I've been told by quite a few people to try this, so here it goes.

A: Pours nice large 1 finger head that bubbles around for a bit but fades to a light head covering. A nice roasted brown color with brilliant clarity. An interesting red hue appears as light sneaks through.

N: Some coffee on the nose, but a butt load of roasted malts. THis is a lot more beer than coffee, and opposite of some other coffee beers I've had. I also get a slight aromatic hop aroma and spiciness.

T: Taste starts with a crisp beer like taste, and lots of roasted malts. A huge frothy carbonation builds up in the mouth too. A nice bitterness and American hop flavor add a nice touch to it. It has a very slight fruity malt quality like a raisin almost, but very slight. The bitter hop goodness and roasted malt taste really blend well, and the coffee is still surprisingly light taste. A slight sweet brown sugar like taste can also be hinted at.

M: Very frothy and carbonated, a nice spicey hop taste, and some thick mouth feel.

F: Finishes pretty bitter, and nice. It dries off, but not too much. A nice roasted charred quality taste really show through towards the end. The finish is not too long and pretty crisp and clean, and leaves your mouth ready for more, which is good cause I want to keep drinking it.

Final thoughts: Yes, this is much more beer than coffee, unlike most of the other coffee beers. And it's blended really well with the roasted malts, coffee, and good hop bitterness. The finish is pretty bitter and tastes great. Can't wait to have another sip.

 1,736 characters

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a thinner slight off white head atop.Full on coffee in the nose,not beerish at all really,if your into coffee this is it.The beer is good...very good but the coffee is dominant and it maybe leaves the fact that it's a beer behind,besides the coffee on the palate I get some chocolate and mild caramel.I have had alot of coffee infused beers this cuts the cake as far as coffee goes,is it caffeinated?That's the question.

 450 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from pochman, courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is all roasted coffee beans and dark malts and exactly what you look for in a coffee-flavored beer.

T: The taste likewise is loaded with a strong flavor of black coffee. There's a hearty malt character and just a mild enough sweetness to keep the beer from being too bitter. The hops presence is very mild but is exactly where it should be for this kind of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of the coffee-flavored beer segment, this is an excellent darker but milder beer that is worth drinking for an entire evening.

 1,006 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear very dark brown bordering on black in color with some dark amber highlights when held up to the light and moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface at the edges of the glass. The beer has a two finger tall creamy tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans with some lighter hints of roasted malts.

T: Similar to the smell, the flavor of this beer is dominated by freshly brewed coffee. There is a light amount of sweetness in the taste initially with the bitterness of coffee grounds in the finish (light lingering bitterness).

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: As an avid coffee drinker (and lover of coffee + coffee flavored things - also, Guatemalan coffee is one of my favorites), I find this beer to be extremely enjoyable. The combination of great flavors along with the lighter body make this beer easy to drink. This beer is definitely sessionable and one that I would thoroughly enjoy drinking many of in a session. Not sure if there is any caffeine in this beer but it almost seems to give a little buzz.

 1,278 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear amber with several foamy fingers of light mocha colored foam. Sturdy 1/2 finger of creamy retention leaves some massive sticky lacing back. Good look here. The aroma is roasted coffee and sugary sweet smelling malts, with a touch of astringency and floral hops in the back. Solid balance between the java and sweeter notes here in the nose.

The taste is a nice silky blend of coffee character and some sweet malt notes of toasted caramel. Nice evenness between the bitterness of the coffee and the more sweeter character of the Brown Ale. This definitely finishes more on the sweetened side, with the malts lingering on the lips for a bit. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied with a nice mellow creaminess to the proceedings which makes for some very easy drinking.

The mocha notes in this seemed a limited more muted than when I had previously had this from a growler, allowing more of the Brown Ale qualaties to come out. Never the less, this is still a great coffee fix, complete with an awesome feel and super easy drinkibility. Glad this one is in cans now.

 1,118 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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 nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Pours brown in color with a big bubbly tan colored head. It had very nice head retention as well as left some excellent lacing on the glass.

The aroma has caramel, cocoa, bready & nutty malts and of course coffee. The coffee really integrates well into the other flavors and doesn't overpower the other great Bender flavors.

The taste has cocoa and caramel coming through more up front and the bitter coffee comes through more in the finish. Like the nose it has a nice bready and nutty malt flavor to it. The coffee really integrates well into the flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it was a pleasure to drink. Overall it had some great flavors and the coffee really enhanced the overall flavor instead of taking it over which was great. Very enjoyable beer.

 876 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Coffee Bender from Surly Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,658 ratings.
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