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Beer Information
 
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
86 92 80 8 52 114
Coffee Bender by Surly Brewing Company
American Brown Ale
5.10 % ABV


 
Review by mr. furley on 05/30/16  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 10 18 3 8 2016
shitchyeah
my favorite brown
a little thinner than the taste makes me think it should be. otherwise, BANG IT

Served In: Other

Review by everetends on 06/24/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 9 18 4 8 0
Old Review
16 oz can sent to me by the wonderful BA Packforever1976. This has been one of my top wants for a while due to all the talk my BA friends have centered around. Finally I get my chance to give it a go. Served up in a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a somewhat dark brown in color. When held to the light, you get more of a red and lighter brown hues forcing their way through. Slight haze in the body but pretty damned clear. Carbonation doesn't seem to high or crazy. Pour got me a perfect two fingers of mocha colored head. That head has some pretty good retention, falling very, very slowly throughout the drinking experience. It throws up some lace, but nothing too crazy or impressive. Just enough lace to keep me interested. Very nice.

S: Smell is first and foremost that coffee. Straight up coffee and light cream coming across. This isn't a sweet coffee aroma, just a nice coffee and milk. The you get a touch of caramel/toffee coming out. There is a touch of earthiness going on here, maybe some grassy hops. Overall, you just get that nice rich soil and coffee beans aroma. Nice indeed.

T: Coffee goodness this is. You get a nice iced coffee flavor. Not the overly sweet iced coffee you get out of a can at a gas station, but an iced coffee you get from a nice coffee house with good beans and cream. Incredible coffee flavor that I didn't really expect from a smaller ABV brew and let alone just a plain old brown ale (a style that is usually labeled as boring). Beyond the coffee, you get some nice toffee flavors (absolutely toffee over caramel). Nice nutty flavor as well, maybe some almonds adds a touch more earthy and hearty goodness to this beer. Slight bitterness coming across but I don't know if that is the coffee or the limited grassy hops presence. Sure its not the most dymanic flavor, but for what the beer is called, it damn near hits the mark perfectly in the taste category.

M: Medium in body that has a nice creaminess to it. It actually almost feels like a bit of ice coffee, I shit you not. It even has the drying/bitter qualities that a lighter iced coffee may have. ABV is not even considered in the feel, except for maybe a slight warming in the back of the throat. Aftertaste is straight up coffee and cream.

D: This is a damned easy drinking beer. I could easily kill 3 of these if I was in a coffee mood, but I would have to want coffee. This is straight up a good iced coffee type flavor and it mirrors an iced coffee almost perfectly. Like I said on the flavor, not exactly the most dynamic of beers but it all works greatly together and creates an amazing beer. Flavor is spot on and very enjoyable. I could easily drink this at any time of day. Morning, noon, or night. Fantastic. Thanks, Andy.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 06-22-2009 06:39:55

Served In: Snifter

Review by joe1510 on 11/26/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 10 16 3 8 2009
Imperial Pint
$5.00
Flossmoor Station

Coffee Bender was brought to my table in an imperial pint glass. The body was the darkest of browns bordering on black even in the fairly bright restaurant. A two finger beige head sat atop this beer and took its sweet time to settle down to one finger which lasted throughout. Drink lines were left behind after each sip. This is an attractive looking beer.

The nose showed a good amount of freshly roasted coffee but it integrated very well with the other aspects of this beer. The coffee sits on top of a mild chocolate and caramel base with a tendril of smoke and hazelnut-iness. The mildly citric hops are noticeable without much work which makes for something I don't see everyday in a coffee infused beer.

The coffee comes through as freshly pressed with a mild roasting but that doesn't stop the coffee from being large and in charge. As big as the coffee is in this beer the caramel and chocolaty notes of Bender are still very much alive. The nuttiness is smooth and runs from start to finish while there's bitterness on the finish from both the mildly citric hops and coffee grounds.

The body of this beer is surprisingly light as it leans toward the lighter side of medium. The bitterness steps forward on the finish but never rises above mild. With the body as light as it is on the tongue it does manage to keep a light creaminess.

My first glass of this went down fast. As a matter of fact it was gone before I even realized it. The second glass went just as quickly. This beer is super drinkable and goes down like a champ.'

Today was my first dance with Coffee Bender and hopefully I see this one around more often. Bender is very unique and enjoyable brown ale all by itself, the addition of coffee just adds to the depth of the original.

Reviewed: 11/15/08

Price: $5.00 Served In: Pint Glass

Review by orbitalr0x on 05/06/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2009
Thanks to TT for hooking me up at Great Taste ticket weekend with the 4pack. Had this on draft a few times but it's my first time from the can.

Pours a deep dark brown pour with auburn hints and a creamy inch of light tan foam on top that stick around and leaves some lacing. Looks quite delectable in the glass.

Massively wonderful coffee nose that's fresh and vibrant with chocolate undertones and caramel swirls. A touch nutty as well but the coffee is the real player here.

First sip kicks in with clean roasted malts that segue into bright coffee flavors along with some chocolate as well. Caramel and nutty undertones meander through. Flows down with great fresh brewed coffee flavors and a touch of bitterness. Sublimely drinkable.

Mouthfeel is creamy and delicious...that's about all I can say. Perfect body that makes it almost too drinkable. One of the cleanest, straight up coffee beers I have had the chance to sample. This one is not playing around!

Price: $3.00 Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Kegergator on 02/12/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 2008
Thanks to Tip Top for a chance again at this brew :wub:

A- Perfect, very dark pour with a slight redish tint. Great looking head that looks like a root beer float. Dark and really creamy with great lacing on the glass.

S- Coffee malt...awesome.Light wet hops are there...the coffee takes control here...and that is NOT a bad thing.

T- Nice roasted malts, roasted coffee, coffee coffee :wub: The coffee is very pronounced, but it does not take away from the roasted grains and light malts. I need to slow down on drinking this to get this review in...

M- Very good, well balanced.

O- A great brew. Right up my alley as far as what I want in a coffee brew. Very strong coffee, while still having a beer backbone.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by smellysell on 02/10/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
82 3 8 17 5 8 2008
Appearance
It pours a very dark brown, almost black color. The light tan head is extremely dense with solid retention, and providing average lacing.

Smell
The coffee aroma is very pronounced and in your face. It’s dominates everything else, but there is also a hint of chocolate and dark malts. It actually smells amazingly similar to an iced mocha.

Taste
The coffee isn’t quite as strong as in the aroma, but it is still definitely there and also provides a touch of bitterness. Milk chocolate and a slight hint of smokiness play off of the coffee very nicely. I don’t get much in the way of hops, perhaps the bitterness from the coffee is hiding them, not sure? This is definitely all about the coffee, yet it’s very well balanced and very drinkable.

Feel
The body is very smooth and creamy, leaving just a slight coating in my mouth. The carbonation is right in the middle and works well with the flavors and viscosity of the beer.

Overall
I thoroughly enjoy a well made coffee beer, and this definitely fits that category. That being said, while it was very solid, it wasn’t mind blowing. Any time I come across some of this, I will more than gladly drink it, but it’s not something I foresee myself hunting down.

Served In: Snifter

Review by tavernjef on 02/03/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 10 17 4 9 2008
Deepest, darkest of brown can get without going completely black and a low ember of light at the bottom like a dieing fire. Densely packed frothy foam of a solid sandy brown tan hue grows up to about a finger high and keeps a bubbly muffin top of skim always present. Lots of lacing in spotted sheeting grazes the glass.

Aroma of dry cocoa, dry oats, and a feathery roast of creamed cold-pressed coffee. A bit different from when I've pleasurely drank this on the tap as it has a stronger coffee presense on the tap. Here, from the can, its dryness is fairly enjoyable and complex.

Taste is a solid quick tang of roast and backed there after with a semi dry and oaty sweetness in the middle. Coffee bitterness and burnt grains ascent it well as it finishes dry and even. Again, its slightly different then what I can recall from the tap. This has a uniquely bittered drying finish with a fairly complex end of roasty things a happening and lasting late until just a titch of chocolate sweetness appears way in the back.

The body is about medium with an overall dryish smoothness of roasted and blackened malts balanced in with a softer yield of oaty sweetness and light chocolate. The coffee becomes much more evident in taste and character as it warms. Gaining a favorable dry roastyness throughout.

A well balanced porter with an interesting display between the dry and darker sweetness.
Out of the numberous times on-tap I've had this stuff, the canned Coffee Bender creates a slightly more dry and complexing experience within said dryness.
The tap has a bit more creamyness and smoothness to it, from what I remember. Time to experiment and find out where I might find any real differences...

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by feloniousmonk on 08/11/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 11 18 5 9 2008
(notes: May, 2006):
Surly Bender infused with coffee, ...what bean, what blend, what process? Golly, I don't know, but it's great.(an edit to cover my ignorance, info from the brewer: Beans are from the Vinca Vista Hermosa plantation located in Agua Dulce area in Huehuetenango,Guatemala.
Grown by the Martinez family.
Full City roast by Coffee &Tea Ltd.,Linden Hills,Minneapolis. Cold-steeped.)

Solid ebon color, browish at bottom, with a beautifully hued head, a deep cocoa tan looking for all the world like a shot of espresso, with a generous dollop of froth.

Aroma's where it's at, wide open and long-lastin, rich with coffee, with a hint of cream.
Herbal, nutty, chocolatey, brimming with coffee essence. A treat to drink in with the nose.

But now let's let the lips and tongue go to work. More delights. The coffee has overpowered the subtler parts of Bender's character, but there's no sorrow in this, as the coffee flavor that controls it now is an exceptional playmate for the palate. Really sticks to the tongue and lays long in the finish.

Medium to full body, long, coffee-tinged finish, unflinchingly flavorful, and still an easy treat to drink down. This has met with near unanimous praise among those I've witness enjoy it, and I can only hope it's attempted again and again, so that more may discover this jolt of joy for java freaks, and beer geeks alike.


Served In: Pint Glass

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