Monday, May 3rd 2010
(Surly Brewing Company)
Over the years I've slowly become a fan of super session-able Brown Ales. It took me awhile to ween myself off of all the super hoppy IPAs but now I can honestly say that I can appreciate most any style of beer (except maybe fruity wheat beers) and there is definitely a place in my heart of the American Brown Ale.
From the Surly site:
"Here's what happens when substance meets smooth. This oatmeal brown ale defies traditional categories. Bender begins crisp and lightly hoppy, complemented by the velvety sleekness oats deliver. Belgian and British malts usher in cascades of cocoa, coffee, caramel and hints of vanilla and cream. An easy-drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction."
Here we go...
Pour - dark, dark brown with a big fluffy batter-like head that leaves a nice amount of lacing inside the glass. When held to the light this has some great reddish-auburn highlights and looks super clean.
Aroma - caramel, molasses, vanilla, cocoa with some toasted brown bread and yeasty characteristics. I think this smells great and all those aromas are preserved very well by that pint-sized can!
Taste - toasty malty, sweet caramel and brown sugar flavors on the tongue, some vanilla extract and cocoa powder like in the aroma and an overall easy drinking and well-balanced taste. There is some subtle hop flavors in the finish that really make this a beer that will disappear quickly from your cooler or fridge on a nice day (or a not-so-nice day for that matter). Love it.
Overall - Personally I find Bender to be a very satisfying and tasty session-able Brown Ale. Its got a great balance of hops and malt and leaves me happy but wanting more. Great job on yet another brew by the folks at Surly.
Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. This is a beer my wife and I agree on and its perfect for those afternoons in the yard or just about anytime when you just want to relax with a beer.
Note - Surly also brews a "Coffee Bender" which is their Bender brewed with the addition of high-quality coffee brewed using "a cold extraction process that results in intense coffee aromatics and flavor bringing together two of our favorite beverages."
Posted by Russ
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