CynicAle - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,339 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,339
Reviews: 594
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 232
Gots: 165 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tavernjef on 06-02-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,339 | Reviews: 594
Reviews by trbergman:
Photo of trbergman
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can poured into a tulip.

A - Golden body with a half-inch white head that quickly recedes to a fine lace.

S - Toast, nuts, black pepper, peach.

T - Light, slightly bready, with hints of peach and pear. Tastes of pepper and another unidentifiable spice. Leafy, herbal hop flavor and assertive bitterness. Long, dry finish.

M - Light, spicy, and bubbly.

D - Easy to drink, and pleasant enough, but it's not really making me crave more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into an oversized wine glass an oranged tinged lighter golden with a fluffy white head atop.Overripe tropical fruits stand out in the nose with a bit of a creamsicle element to it,some toasted grain in there as well.Tropical fruits and spicy yeat on the palate with more toasted grain notes,a shot of white pepper hits the throat in the finish.Another bigtime beer from Surly...thanks Eric!

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to JDV and pintsized for sharing

A-Orange, amber tinge, slightly hazy
S-Citrus hop upfron with underlying eaethy yeast
T-Drying in mouth with grassy hay feel to go on top of hop taste and bitterness. Earthy flavor underneath with grain malt.
M-Pretty smooth feel with decent carbonation
D-Probably wouldn't reach for another-maybe not my favorite style. Enjoyed the beer mostly because of the added hop flavor.

Photo of blackearth
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden color with a thick white head that reduces to a thin foam cap with good lacing in the glass. Aroma is floral and estery yeast. Light bodied with subtle carbonation medium sweetness and a slightly sour and bitter finish. Excellent drinkability.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love these 16oz cans! Pours into my glass a slightly hazy yellow orange with a creamy, bubbly inch of white head on top, makes me think of summer. Aromas start with crisp, light malts amidst bright fruity citric and floral tones. There's a snappy Belgian yeast that brings pepper and clove spiciness into the mix. A touch of honey with earth tones that leads into an afterthought of hops.

First sip brings a crisp malt upfront that carries a marriage of fruit and floral flavors upfront. Notes of citrus are predominant. Earthy Belgian yeast character rolls in bringing notes of pepper, clove and spice. The oats lend a good creamy aspect as the brew flows down with a quick hit of bitter hops on the back of the palate. Finishes with a mellow honey sweetness. Everything seems to be in harmony here - this is a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is crisp, smooth and refreshing with a solid medium body and touch of creaminess. An incredibly easy drinking brew with a great overall flavor profile. I could see myself going through a 4 pack of this in no time flat! This ranks up there as one of my favorite Surly brews I have yet to sample. A fine example of a Saison.

Photo of ROBORB
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can thanks to DBhog, thanks man!, poured into a normal pint glass. This beer has a murky yellow color. There was a very thin head that disappeared quickly. The aroma smells of pine, fruits and hops. I found the beer to have a nice spicy taste and a bitter finish. It was very well balanced and I would love to seek it out again. Not a bad seasonal beer.

Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 7/14/11 consumed 8/13/11

A - Pours clear straw color with two fingers of white head. Head has decent retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Pepper and Belgian yeast come through first, followed by a bit of lemon and honey. Very nice.

T - Bright spice notes up front. A bit of funk followed by lemon and honey in the middle. There is more honey presence in the taste than the smell, but the taste is definitely not too sweet, just a faint sweetness that is very complimentary to the other flavors. A nice citrus taste near the finish, which is pretty clean.

M - medium mouthfeel with a mostly dry finish. Pretty creamy throughout.

O - Overall this is my favorite of the Surly year-round lineup. Great flavor profile and creamy mouthfeel. I'll get this whenever I can.

Photo of badbeer
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pretty nice golden color with a pillowy white head; good retention and lace. There is some clove and other spice in the aroma, some earthy hops, and maybe a hint of bubble gum. Taste starts out much like the smell, but there's maybe a little more bubble gum in the middle; has an earthy finish. Nice medium body, carbonation is about medium. Sits on the tongue pretty nice and doesn't get cloying. I think I like this a touch less than my ratings will show, but it is another well made beer from the guys at Surly.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this beer.

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a white head. The aroma is bananas and cloves, not what I was expecting but still nice. The flavor is bananas with some spices and maybe the slightest bit of funk. There are some other flavors in there, possibly orange and bubble gum. Medium mouthfeel. This is much more like a hefeweizen or dunkel weizen, but still a very good beer.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from can into Snifter.

Appearance: Mostly clear sunset gold, slight head and lacing.

Smell: Cloves, pepper, banana - very dry smelling.

Taste: Slightly sweet banana, fleshy fruit and cloves upfront and turns more spicy and peppery on the finish. Fairly light overall.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, slightly dry finish but not nearly as dry as other Saisons.

Drinkability: Great thirst quenching summer brew with an ABV (almost 7%) that will sneak up on you.

Photo of strangebrew52
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice golden color with about a fingers worth of white head that disappears quickly.
S: Cloves, bread, yeast, and a little fruity.
T: Belgian yeast flavor stands out, slightly sweet honey taste and a nice peach flavor
M: Relatively light bodied, well carbonated, goes down smooth
D: A good summer session beer.

Photo of deebo
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden orange/amber with slight haze. No head.

S-Wheat aroma is strongest, hints of sweet yeast.

T-Sweet and yeasty initially, slight ester fruitiness is next with plenty of hops to finish it off. Extremely well done.

M-Very smooth, especially considering this is almost 7%.

D-Nice. I think I'll have another!

For those of you that like to play around with blending beers-try blending Cynic with Bender-it's awesome.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16 oz. can into pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy golden orange with a small fizzy white head that fades into a thin layer. Decent lacing.

Smell: Banana and pepper with Belgian yeast and spices. A touch of orange.

Taste: Spicy citrus with banana and pepper. Lots of yeast. Light hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

Overall: A very good interpretation of a Belgian ale.

Photo of far333
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent my way from BuckeyeNation, and served in the Surly pint glass sent in the same shipment.

Light copper honey colored with a frothy, thin off-white head that doesn't rise up very high, and settles out fairly quickkly.

Aroma of clove and yeast.

Flavor initially of ripe fruit, honey and peppery spice, followed by clove and yeast. Some yeastiness, spice and lemony essence lingers.

Full mouthfeel, moderately carbonated, finishes bubbly and tingly, crisp and dry.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light yellow color, good white head to this. Aroma is almost nonexistant.

Taste, clove, not dry enough, no funk, sometimes people just see the style and write 'funk' I guess. A little bit of pepper to it. Refreshing, good carbonation to it. A little more banana. Yeasty in a belgian way. Hides the alcohol nicely. Light, light colored fruit appearance.

Another beer that seems to benefit from some homerism. Totally lacking in complexity, barely made up for in its simplicity and drinkability.

Photo of OStrungT
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow color, with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a thick lacing.

This beer has a grainy aroma. It smells of spicy yeast. Some citrus aromas are also present. Corriander, and grains of paradise. It has a slightly bananalike aroma as well.

This beer tastes pretty much like it smells, spicy and grainy. It has a banana flavor, mixed in with some citrus hop flavor.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a spicy aftertaste. Carbonation is good.

This beer would make a good session beer. It tastes good, and is only just a little bit high in alcohol.

Overall: Thanks to OHLRangers, and Scoobydank for both generously hooking me up with this great Saison. I like it a lot. I would drink this stuff all day long.

Photo of brewgetter
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy Pale orange with a white head and lace. Smells of orange zest and lemon w/ a grain background. Malt is a little more pronounced than I remember it from previous tastings, could be because the can is about 6 months old. I love the hops in this beer, they play so nicely with the lighter malt, and the yeast used. That yeast is also one of the highlights of this beer, enough so that there is no doubt that it's a Belgian style, but not enough to overpower the other flavors. A very well balanced beer. It leaves you wanting more and more. Mouthfeel is very good. This is one of my favorite summertime beers cause it's light but extremely tasty.

Photo of pwoods
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz. can poured into an imperial pint. Notes.

A: Pours a bright amber orange. One finger of off white head. Ok retention and good lacing.

S: Lots of fruity esters. Very crisp and juicy. Hops are pretty decent, spicy along with the yeast. Peppery.

T/M: Pretty hoppy saison, nicely done. Good bitterness especially toward the end. Lots of spices from the hops and yeast. Body is nearly light and crisp. Good carbonation.

D: Drinkable as all hell, and very interesting.

Photo of LXIXME
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear rich golden honey color with a nice big off white head that settles into a decent lacing.

Light spices like cloves with lemon pepper and some yeast aroma.

Light dark spices with cloves and peppers mixed in a lightly sweet grain malt taste.

A medium bodied beer that has a dryish aftertaste with just a hint of the spices remaining.

A decent enough beer but not really up my alley, would be cool to have this with just a touch of the traditional American hops taste added to it.

Photo of boochmonkee
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Couldn't wait to sample this on tap. It was a one week wait as it sat in the keg cooler until we had a line for it. The wait was well worth it. Poured in a pint glass from the tap is a must try for anyone. It has good appearance, and a great aroma. That little peppery taste I get is something I have grown to like.

Photo of ggaughan
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a somewhat cloudy yellow color with a nice white head. The nose had a touch of citrus and some definite wheat characer. The taste is scotchy and sweet but also had some bitterness on the back end. Overall a well rounded beer and medium body.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Saison in a can?
No...can't be.
Poured a medium golden orange with a nice half finger white head that melts quickly to a ring of white bubbles in the glass.
Aroma is spicy grains and bready yeast...some bright fresh oranges in the background too.
Taste is lots of bready yeast and citrus hops...funky oranges and lemon peel.
Very dry on the tongue and easy drinking with nice carbonation.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy bright yellow/orange color with a tight one finger head, bone white in color. Decent amount of carbonation released from the bottom. Decent head retention, but not much lacing.

S: Some light green apple and a little bit of apricot/peach hit me right off the bat. There is some spice that increases as it warms.

T: Very similar to the aroma, light green apple and some peach. Not as much spice as the nose or most in the style, and I don't really mind, they accentuate the flavors nicely.

M: Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: Pretty good, if the flavors were a bit bolder I would have liked it a lot more, but they seemed slightly weak. A solid brew I would love to drink on a hot day hanging out with friends, good for BBQs and horseshoes.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surly- Cynic

Big thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Reddish orange with an absolutely huge billowy white head. Thick lacing down the glass.
S- Sour whiskey mix, spicy back pepper, clove, bubblegum. Alot like a Hacker Pschorr Hefe.
T- Sour lemon and lime citrus. Big notes of bubblegum, clove, and pepper. Wheat and funky wet straw come through.
M- Sour fruitiness up front with a solid yeasty finish.

Overall- For the style, damn good! My personal preference, I probably could only drink 1. I really liked it although Saisons aren't my cup of tea!

Photo of GilGarp
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to BuckeyNation for the great trade.

A 16oz. gold can (the likes of which has never contained such a wonderful beer) is opened and poured into a glass unceremoniously.

The beer has a pale golden yellow color with good clarity. The inch of white head settles quickly leaving some spotty lace.

The aroma is complex and spicy. It has a nice floral quality and the Belgian yeast comes through here as well.

Flavor is a wonderfully fuity spicy thing with some definate funkiness from the yeast. Just as the can promisses, there is black pepper over sweet pitted fruit. The floral aspect is in there too but to a lesser extent.

Mouthfeel has medium body with lower carbonation than typically found in this style. It's pleasant though - nice and smooth on the tongue.

Really a great beer (can or not) and definately one to seek out. Yet another reason to wish I lived in the twin cities!

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CynicAle from Surly Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,339 ratings.