RATINGS: 33   MEAN: 3.88/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 45   EST. CALORIES: 153   ABV: 5.1%
Vanilla and Chocolate cocoa nibs infused version of Surly Coffee Bender and aged in oak.

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   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
evanlarkin (307) - Northfield, Minnesota, USA - OCT 4, 2011
Ported from my BA account. It should be noted that this is, as of right now, my favorite beer. Appearance: Brown with a reasonable head. Dark and hazy, but not much light gets through. Smell: Chocolate and vanilla, with coffee in the background. Malty sweetness is apparent throughout. Taste: Vanilla and coffee, with chocolate gaining headway in the middle. A slightly toasty malt finish coming back to chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with lowish carbonation. Drinkability: The highest. This is the one. It tastes so smooth and rich, without being overpowering. This is one that you could drink all night, regardless of the strong flavors.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
loafgoat (53) - Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 23, 2011
On tap at darkness eve 2011. Wonderful vanilla coffee aroma. No lasting head but nice brown color.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SourNotes (104) - Bloomington, Minnesota, USA - MAR 1, 2011
poured into a glass coffee mug at McKenzie’s Pub downtown minneapolis dark brown hazy color with a nice foamy tan head. retention didn’t last too long. smelled of super roasty coffee, powdered chocolate, and marshmellow vanilla. There were very small hints of nuttiness and malt. pretty sure all the roast smell was from the coffee but possibly from some roasted barley. Tasted imediately of roasted coffee and a nice sweet maltiness. as the taste moved across the tongue huge hits of powder sweet chocolate come through. there is a nice mellow vanilla flavor that comes with the chocolate here in the first few sips. it finishes with the roasted coffee bitterness and perhaps some bitterness from hops(pretty sure its a good combination) As i let this warm up a bit the vanilla became a lot more pronounced like the chocolate and marshmallow section of a smores. the vanilla was much more intense in the last few ounces. The mouthfeel was pretty typical of a brown ale, if i could change anything it would be to add some creaminess to the beer. it was just a hair on the thinner side as far as mouthfeel, but intense taste made up for it. This stuff drank easy. wanted to sit and drink them all night long. Dessert beer for sure, or just an afternoon sipper, hell, i’d have this in the morning on a fishing or camping trip just like coffee bender. i’d love to make an ice cream float with this or put it in some cupcakes too!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
brosen561 (70) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 3, 2011
On tap@ Mackenzie’s Pub (Minneapolis). A wonderfully thick malty beer. Perfectly dark and inviting, much like Coffee Bender, though the head gets lost quickly (eh). Wonderful mocha latte aroma. Thick and syrupy on the palate with awesome toffee and chocolate, lots of chocolate, flavor with a good bitterness from the nibs which is unique from coffee bender. If you’re a dark hot chocolate fan, this is your beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
arminjewell (9567) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 7, 2010
On tap at Mackenzies. Pours reddish brown/black with nice off white head. Aroma is thick chocolate, vanilla, with some coffee notes. Wow, this sounded amazing and was every bit as good as I thought it would be. Huge chocolate and vanilla up front blend seamlessly into the coffee and bitter notes at the end of regular Coffee Bender. This is fantastic, and a seriously delicious brew. Hope they make more of this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheAlum (7132) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 15, 2010
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2010 Sampled on tap at the GTMW ’10 (Madison, WI). Pours a dark brown with lighter glowing edges, a huge brownish head stays and laces. Aromas are big coffee grinds, vanilla, cocoa, toffee, heavenly sweet coffee cake, some wet oak and vanilla tannins further intensify. Initial is medium bodied, good coffee and vanilla, touch of cocoa grows into dark chocolate, biscuits and toffee, brown malts, coffee grounds, a touch of nuttiness. Light florals, smooth and sweeter slanted though. Big coffee brown ale with rich cakey and vanilla, cocoa flavors. Reminds me of coffee bender, but bigger with oak and vanilla, a touch more cocoa and decent roastiness. Finish is bitter with good coffee grinds, cocoa, rich french vanilla. Tasty. The beer sounds simple enough, some might find it to be possibly cloying but I’d disagree. This is quite the homerun out of Surly. One of my Top 3 beers of GTMW 2010.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
portableparty (2336) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - OCT 3, 2010
Tasting at Autumn brew review. Pour was brown with a kahki head. Aroma sweet malt with chocolate and coffee. Taste was more the same with a nice creamy texture along with the chocolate and coffee. Palate was full and creamy with a dry finish. Tasty!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
LamarBurton (376) - California, USA - NOV 11, 2010
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2011 On tap at DDay (Thanks Omar!, and armin for grabbing me one!) Almost chunky white head on top of a dark brown body. More balanced that Coffee Bender, but this results in no flavors dominating...no "wow" on the first sip. Lots of coffee, vanilla, bourbon flavors make up for this...wish I had another one so I could take my time with it more. Re-Rate, on tap at Stubs, 5th Ani Event. Nice dark pour, decent light brown head, with ok lacing. Aroma is all about the chocolate on this one. It just wafts out of the glass. Some nice woody notes, some vanilla. Coffee lurking as well, though not overly present. Flavor shifts from the chocolate nose to coffee and vanilla taste. Very nice. A great dry oaky finish. Liked it a lot more this time around.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 5, 2011
Tap at ACBF. Brown pour with a smallish white head. Aroma is absolutely loaded with coffee grounds, chocolate, and woody vanilla. Flavor is the same; awesome combination of bitter coffee and sweet chocolate/vanilla, but still drinkable, not too rich. Damn tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kbutler1 (1378) - North Carolina, USA - SEP 24, 2010
Draft at the Great Taste. Pours a nice brown ale color with a nice tan head, very similiar looking to the regular Surly Coffee Bender. Strong coffee and vanilla in the nose with some subtle chocolate aromas. I don’t get too much oak in the aroma. Very smooth and velvety medium mouthfeel. Sweet up front chocolate taste followed by some coffee flavors. The vanilla is pretty pronounced and you ccan taste it the whole time you are drinking. Very well done and tasty. So far a favorite at GT.

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