Name: Surly Coffee Bender
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Style: American Brown Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.1%
First Brewed: 2006
Coffee Bender is deep amber in color with a fluffy tan head. The nose is redolent of fresh roasted coffee and sweet malt. Thick with coffee flavor, it’s surprisingly drainable and well balanced, with sweet toffee, caramel, and vanilla notes, and just a touch of hops in the finish.
COFFEE!!! Man, I love coffee. Coffee beers are fickle for me, but this one is supposed to be great. I landed a few Surly beers in a trade, including this one and the Furious, which is also on the list. He also sent a can of their Over Rated… which is quite over rated. It’s a “West Coast style IPA” and doesn’t taste like a West Coast IPA at all. Anyway, stoked to try this one. I like coffee, I love beer, and I hope that both of these combine here for an enjoyable beer drinking experience! Let’s go.
In the Glass: It is deep dark brown/black in the glass, and appears almost flat. No lace here, and hardly any head at all. Coffee doesn’t have head, so maybe this has more coffee than I am used to. I will say most coffee beers are weak and rarely taste like coffee. Speaking of coffee, I used our Randall Jr. the other night and made a coffee pilsner. It was fun. I used espresso beans. Anyway, I am getting impatient. Let’s drink the Coffee Bender!!!
Nose: Um, coffee? This isn’t beer. This is coffee. Did they can the wrong stuff? Holy crap, this smells incredible. I mean, seriously… not getting any booze here, and it smells like a nice roasted cup of Joe. Man, I hope this tastes like this smells. What a great aroma.
Flavor: If this doesn’t taste like coffee, I am going to be sad. It’s too cold, but holy crap that’s a big flavor. It doesn’t have a lot of coffee flavor, but the finish is straight burnt coffee… almost espresso. I would almost like to try this warm if not hot. I don’t drink coffee hot, but I have been drinking it warm.
There are too many bubbles, but there is a ton of dark roasted coffee flavors here, again in the finish. Also, swish this around in your mouth a little. Then the coffee flavors REALLY explode. When I swish, the flavor just overtakes my palate and leaves me completely satisfied. Well done, Surly. Also, I love how they got their name. Fun!
Mouthfeel: At first, there are way too many bubbles. I am also drinking this too cold. However, as it sits the coffee flavor really opens up. Hang on… I need to text Jazz about this beer. Be right back.
OK, back. I get a ton of bubbles up front, but as it slides down the flavors really start to open up, and the beer becomes quite drinkable. I would love to see this on cask somewhere. I mean, it doesn’t come to Arizona at all… but a flat somewhat chilled version of this would really please my palate.
Aftertaste: More coffee! Not as intense as a cup of coffee, but still a nice lingering coffee flavor. The beer is so good, I don’t want to let the beer sit on my palate.
Sorry, I was on the phone. We are having AC issues. Back to the beer. As I was on the phone, the beer is really starting to heat up nicely. The flavors are becoming more balanced and the coffee is becoming more defined. Jazz also replied to my text. He called the beer, “Stupid dumb good.” We have his approval.
This beer has my approval, too. I am sure Sheryl likes this. She better. Man, this is good. If you like beer, grab a can. If you like coffee, grab a can. If you like beer AND coffee, grab a case. It’s worth it to the last drop. Cheers, coffee craft beer drinkers. Yummy!
Surly Coffee Bender – The can says: “Coffee Bender refreshed like an iced coffee, is aromatic as a bag of whole beans, and satisfied like your favorite beer. Utilizing the latest technology, the Surly brew team has developed a cold extraction process that results in intense coffee aromatics and flavor – bringing together two of our favorite beverages. Your only dilemma will be whether to finish your day or start it with a Coffee Bender.”
I will start my day with it, thank you very much!
Another beer tonight! This one is a coffee stout, I think. It certainly smells like one. In fact, it smells JUST like coffee. I kind of like it. It obviously looks like a coffee stout in the glass. There’s not a lot of head, but it’s super dark, basically black and not transparent at all. And it as far as what it smells like… well, basically just like coffee. It’s kind of like sticking your nose in a bowl of espresso beans. I wonder if it tastes as much like coffee as it smells.
Well, it definitely tastes like coffee. Very bitter coffee. I guess I was looking for a little bit of a sweeter taste. This is just straight up black coffee. To me, that’s just too bitter. I’m not a huge fan. This one leaves almost as bad of an aftertaste as the last one. This one just tastes too bitter, and it tastes only of coffee to me. Probably not one I’d buy again either. Let’s hope the last one we try tonight is better than these two!