3 Best Friends | Sudwerk Brewing Company

10 Reviews
no score
Send samples
3 Best Friends3 Best Friends

Brewed by:
Sudwerk Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
3 Best Friends incorporates Madagascar vanilla, cacao nibs, and Honduran coffee. It's the black sheep of the bunch-in a delicious, well-lagered fashion.

Added by RangnaR on 03-19-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 53
Photo of Suds
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a deep brown colored brew, from a 22 ounce bottle. The head is tan and slim, and the complexion is dark but clear. The aroma is nutty...some roasted coffee and nut aromas, and a little vanilla underneath. The taste has a malt underpinning, with lots of coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors. Balanced, but very flavorful. Full in body and very enjoyable.

 365 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sudwerk's Three Best Friends, Coffee Vanilla Lager, brewed with Honduran coffee beans, cacao nibs, and Madagascar vanilla bean. 7% ABV.

A: Just over two fingers of off-white cream colored head. Very dark brown, nearly black, with a slightly-reddish brown inner glow. Honey-colored in the dimple. Nice lacing, and decent sheeting.

S: Aroma is a good balance of light/medium roast coffee and cocoa, with a touch of vanilla sweetness.

T/MF: I was expecting this to taste basically like a porter, but it's lighter still. It has a nice, light roastiness, that doesn't overpower. Some dark chocolate flavor, and bit of dry dark caramel. And, I do get a bit of vanilla bean around the edges, similar to the difference between a vanilla ice cream and vanilla bean ice cream. A bit of green coffee flavor in there, as well.

I feel like this would be more quaffable, but still has the flavors of a porter.

 899 characters

Photo of BWood
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

L: merky red amber with small head.

S: coffee and vanilla/chocolate.

T: tastes like it smells. The coffee and vanilla are present but you can also taste the base lager.

F: as a stout drinker I would like it heavier.

O: meh .

 229 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a lightish brown with some amber highlights. 1+ finger head is a creamy tan color. Dissipates semi-slow down to a thin layer of foam which sticks around a fair bit longer. No lacing.

Aroma is sweetened coffee. Vanilla and chocolate underneath. Caramel.

Like the aroma, sweetened coffee on the tongue. Milk chocolate. Caramel and molasses, both light and sweet. Vanilla hanging around, very subtle. Expected more vanilla.

Moderate mouth feel with medium carbonation. A bit creamy. Sweetness lingers.

An unusual beer as you don't see many lagers with these type of flavors. Flavors are subtle but well blended. Would like a bit stronger vanilla flavor.

 675 characters

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar, but when held up to a light it is clear and very dark red in color. It poured with a quarter high light beige head that died down, leaving thick lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of coffee beans are present in the nose along with notes of cocoa nibs.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of coffee beans and cocoa nibs along with notes of vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite flavorful without being a full-bodied stout.

Serving type: bottle

 644 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a clear, dark copper. Nearly brown. Actually probably is brown. It smells immediately of coffee. Java, caramel and lager yeast. Flavor is very coffee stressed. I also get some brown sugar or caramel, vanilla and yeast. It works better than I would have anticipated. It's surprising how much coffee they jammed in here. Lighter bodied. It clearly hits the mark it I'm not sold on the overall flavor. Couldn't see myself enjoying a whole bottle of this. The first sip is the best.

 492 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy dark reddish-orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is a bit watery with grain, vanilla, coffee, and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with vanilla, cocoa, and fleeting coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with an interesting concept, but the aromas and flavors are a bit subdued all around in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

 623 characters

Photo of Microbrewweekly
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Sudwerk Brewing - 3 Best Friends (Coffee Vanilla Lager) ABV: 7.0% IBU: 20
The first taste hits you with a nice combination of Coffee, toffee, with a hint of vanilla and cacao nibs. The after taste leaves you with an enjoyable caramel feel that compliments the the rest of the flavors. 3 Best friends is a nice dark lager that has hints of a stout and porter that I find unique and different. Sudwerk only brewed the 3 Best friends one time so I am happy that I was fortunate enough to try it out. Thank you Sudwerk Brewery for continuing to break the mold and try new things and push the envelope.

 597 characters

Photo of travolta
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Appearance: Quickly disappearing head with very little lacing. A nice and dense amber/ruby color.

Nose: Complex. French vanilla, cream and coffee. Its really subtle. The vanilla is like the vanilla you would get from Vanilla Coke.

Taste: A nice malty backbone, but it tends to hide other flavors. Everything is well balanced and subtle.

Notes: Interesting, but not awesome.

 392 characters

Photo of MattSlem
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color – Dark copper/deep amber
Aroma – Coffee, toffee, cacao nibs, vanilla, caramel
Taste & Mouthfeel – follows aroma. Lager comes through backend. Med/light med body, drying finish.
Overall – Interesting blend of flavors that works quite well

I'd buy this a few times. Very impressed with the new offerings from Sudwerk.

 330 characters

3 Best Friends from Sudwerk Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 53 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.