Coffee Bender - Surly Brewing Company, Brooklyn Center
Surly and coffee are two words I don't think I want to hear in the same sentence. The Surly beers I've had thus far have been just a little too bitter to be enjoyable. Adding coffee to an already bitter beer is not my idea of a good time. That's why I was in no big hurry to open this can of Surly Coffee Bender. I didn't really care for the Bender and it strike me as the kind of beer that could use the addition of coffee. It's come time to clean out the fridge so this can of Coffee Bender has to go, whether it's in my glass or down the drain. I've been surprised by coffee beers in the past so I'm holding out hope the Coffee Bender is more than the sum of its parts.
Surly Coffee Bender pours a dark brown color with red highlights. It develops a nice khaki colored head and settles into a cola colored body. The head dies off pretty quickly and leaves no lacing behind. The aroma in the glass is definitely coffee-like. It struck me as being a little light in aroma but still obviously coffee scented. There's a little nuttiness to this beer but otherwise it's all light coffee and that's about it.
The flavor of the Coffee Bender is a bit more robust than the aroma would suggest. There's more coffee here than I expected but it is still light in the sense that this beer isn't just dark roast coffee on top of a bitter malted beer base. There's a nice balance of coffee and beer here, I just don't happen to like the two flavors being combined. I ended up liking this beer much more than expected, but it isn't something I'd seek out again. I can respect what Surly is doing with this beer, it just isn't my cup of tea... or coffee.