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Four | Surly Brewing Company

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313 Ratings

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Sweet / Milk Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 313 |  Reviews: 148
Reviews by motorhed:
Photo of motorhed
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been aged in my cellar since purchase. Wanted to see how it would change with age. It's probably past it's prime.

A - Pours jet black with a medium tan color head. Light lacing on glass and the head dissipated quickly.

S - Very sweet blackberry, currant, with espresso lightly in the background. The coffee has really mellowed out since last time i had this and the sweet berry smells are overpowering everything else.

T - The taste of this beer now reminds me of a chocolate covered blackberry mixed with espresso. Definately get the a smooth coffee finish but has mellowed out significantly since it was bottled. Alcohol present on the finish.

M - Smooth and perfect level of carbonation for the style, in my opinion. Can get the alcohol a bit on the backend.

O - Overall, at the time of release, this was one of my favorite Surly beers however it has changed significantly from what i had remembered. It's still a fabulous milk stout but in my opinion, this beer is past it's prime, so if anyone has any, you should consider consuming it now. I'm very surprised at how sweet/tart this beer has converted to, i dont remember it being so sweet orginally - most likely because the espresso was stronger and balanced it better.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bschinelli
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of mcgwire756
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

This pours a dark black with a small tannish/brown head. It smells of sweet cream and a slight coffee. The taste is of sweet cream at the beginning with the espresso bitterness at the finish. There is a slight taste of coffee. I can tell that some of the intended coffee taste has been lost. However, since this is meant to be a milk stout first and foremost, I think a lot it better the now than if I had it super fresh. There is still a lot of complexity here, much more than any milk stout I have ever had. Even at 10%, I could drink this all night long. As good as it gets for milk stouts in my opinion. Drink this now if you have it.

 675 characters

Photo of stbo101
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of SixPack6
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of jl28r1
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A- Big 3 finger bubbly dark beige head, really nice carbonation, really nice lacing sticks to the side of the glass for a while, dark pitch black color.
S- Big coffee aroma, sweet vanilla beans, slight alcohol is present, some cocoa, chocolate, nice roasty aroma.
T- Wow big flavors, vanilla beans, milk chocolate, big coffee flavors, roasted malts, cocoa, sweet bitterness, huge flavors, complex beer.
M- Big mouth feel, roasted, chewy, thick, sticky, well carbonated.
O- Very impressed, I’ve heard great things about this beer as well as bad things. I’ve had this one for a while and thought aging it would have hindered the beer instead of enhancing it. I was not able to try it fresh but I can only imagine how amazing it would have been fresh. This beer is complex and tasty. Now I feel a little sad I no longer have one in my cellar.

 897 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 5.21.12 Thanks popinbottles

A - Pours a dark brown with a huge dark brown foamy head that lingers forever.

S - Milk chocolate, some wood, and roasted malts.

T - Strong coffee and chocolate. Some toffee and vanilla come out a little later.

D - Good carbonation here with a heavier body.

O - Coffee and smooth, very silky and nice. I was a bit worried how the coffee flavors would hold up on this one due to the age, but it tasted fantastic.

 461 characters

Photo of dheldman
4.91/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MNPikey
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of rarapacz
5/5  rDev +15.5%

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

On tap at Surly. A great mouthfeel, good nose and overall a pretty good taste. What kept this beer from being better though was a slightly tangy, sour taste on the backend of the coffee. It is something I get from coffee stouts that are not quite done as well as they could be. So this beer was good but not great.

 314 characters

Photo of Balvenie
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of SlightlyGrey
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vobr0002
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

really awesome that they remade a few of these. this is killer beer, and it would have been a shame to never get to try it. a huge coffee stout, but something a little different. even though its a milk type stout, all that lactose seems to do it add body, the sweet part is only on the front end, and the rest of the beer is dry and bitter from the coffee and the roast of the barley, actually earthy and clean by the time it wraps up. lots of bitternss and some acidity from the coffee, i think this originally came out before cold brew was real thing, so perhaps its more acidic because that tactic likely wasnt employed? lots and lots of body here, and a wonderful smoothness and integration of the ingredients, no need for a barrel here to accomplish any of that, and even when it warms up its not too boozy. a really sturdy and striking beer, a great use of coffee, dry in the end, smoky just a little bit, and quite memorable. i like when these are carbonated sometimes too, this is more lively than man of its peers, a nice feature. sure to age well, but the coffee is likely the most forward when its fresh...

 1,117 characters

Photo of 3Hops
5/5  rDev +15.5%

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

Kiddwhiz hooked this up! My man!

Review from 10/6/2010 and for whatever never posted.

A - The beer poured from wax sealed bottle to a globe pours a rich black color with a light tannish color head. Good retention and nice gobs of sticky lacing.

S - The nose has a stronger coffee/espresso character with mild tones of milk chocolate and roasted barley. No hints of alcohol whatsoever.

T - The coffee/espresso blend mixes very well with the milk chocolate found in the nose. Sweet but pleasantly so, not overwhelming, blends the mild bitterness with the coffee and chocolate well. Well balanced. Nothing is overpowering, rather a good mix of flavors. No hint of a higher abv.

M - Super creamy and full bodied. Good carbonation.

D/O - Extremely drinkable and very enjoyable. It is a treat to sample! I would love to get my hands on more if this. Terrific!

 862 characters

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of theCoder
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of dasmusik
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PlinytheFarter
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Hopstout
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Bighuge
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Inky black body with a thick crop of bubbly brown head. It's quite sticky as it coats my glass rather completely as I drink. Aroma is rich with mocha, java, chocolate, roasted malts and caramel. Very Nice. Fairly omplex combination of all the previous stated aroma characteristics on the palate. Roasted bitterness. Coffee. Caramel. Black malts. Baker's chocolate. The lactose doesn't come through much though. The alcohol is not very noticeable. But there is a titch of astringency in the aftertaste. From the roasted malts? Black malts? Spent coffee grounds? Something. In any case, this is pretty good. I had a similar style beer (Imperial Coffee Milk Stout) from Moosejaw Brewpub in Wisconsin Dells a few months ago (Betty's Black Ale) and I much prefer that one to this one. That one was one of my all time favorites. This one is not. But it is pretty good.

 862 characters

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Four from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 313 ratings