1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,093 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,093
Reviews: 805
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,923
Gots: 281 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Was "16 Grit Ale," but now available in cans and renamed "Abrasive Ale".

Sure we're abrasive. We were abrasive long before we were Surly. If you visit the brewery you can still see remnants of industrial manufacturing factory Omar's parents ran for 35 years within those same 4 walls. Bandsaw blades, grinding wheels, and a sanding discs came long before ales and lagers. But let's be honest, this is a lot more fun. Pale in color, this over-hopped, under-brewed Double IPA has almost twice the amount of hops & malt crammed in the can.

(Beer added by: Buebie on 12-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 3,093 | Reviews: 805 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Adkins721:
Photo of Adkins721
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Adkins721, Mar 09, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of womencantsail
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to my homeboy Ben for hooking me up with some cans of this beast.

A: The beer is amber in color with great clarity and a massive cream colored head on top which sticks to the edge of the glass.

S: A hop bomb if I've ever smelled one! Very reminiscent of Sculpin's aromas. A ton of tropical fruit, especially pineapples and mangos along with plenty of juicy citrus. No malt to be found.

T: The sweet tropical fruits are really the main attraction here as well. The pineapple and mango provide a nice sweetness, along with some peaches. There is plenty of juicy grapefruit and pine on the finish to give the beer a great bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a low to moderate carbonation and a really crisp finish to the beer.

D: I say it everytime I have a Surly beer, and I'll say it again: awesome! These guys really have a good thing going and I'm glad to have some more of this one in the fridge.

womencantsail, May 07, 2010
Photo of Ssippisam
4.84/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance
Hazy honey orange with three fingers of ivory head that just will not go away! Lovely floating yeast particles. Good lacing.

Smell
Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, pear, very little evidence of malt…

Taste
Total citrus bomb! Sweet and slightly syrupy at first. Builds to a good bitter. Tart grapefruit and pine is left lingering… sweet caramel malts are present only enough to say that they are present.

Mouth-feel
Medium body. Great bitter. Good carbonation. Tantalizing ale right here!

Overall
Wow. Very good. 9% ABV is not evident at all. Very juicy and bitter… I could drink this again and again… in fact, number 2 is being opened right now. Best Double IPA I’ve had. Very refreshing and drinkable!

Ssippisam, May 24, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Terrifically turbid caramel-covered orange with juicy tangerine and mango highlights. The golden sandstone colored head isn't huge, but it oozes quality. The foam is firmly creamy and sticky, leading to both persistence and an extensive array of fine lace. This is a great looking DIPA.

The word 'great' applies to the aroma as well. The tropical fruitiness emanating from the glass tells me that Amarillo is the dominant hop (Warrior and Glacier are also present). An insane amount of hops and double dry-hopping just cannot be beat. Each sniff results in billowing clouds of orange, pink grapefruit and passionfruit. This should be yet another doozy from Surly.

Doozy is right! 16 Grit Ale may not be as abrasively hoppy as the name suggests, but then I've only just begun to gulp. This might be one of those DIPAs that is cumulatively hoppy and starts to strip tooth enamel after 16-20 ounces. 110 IBUs seems a tad high. On the other hand, it tastes and feels like abundant malt sugars are running interference and attempting to keep things balanced.

My preference is for DIPAs to have either no caramel malt or just a little. There's more than a little caramel-toffee flavor, but less than a lot. In the end, it works well in concert with the lusciousness of the hops, without overpowering them. The beer has 9.0% ABV power, even if the alcohol is barely appreciated on the palate. If that makes any sense.

As often happens, the flavor score has earned a bump near the bottom of the first glass. Warming is probably the reason why. The flavors are more intense and fit together even more seamlessly. This stuff is dangerously drinkable, as is most all Surly beer. Talk about liquid crack. Prediction: this will be one my 'top beers of 2009'. Easy call.

As the raging river of melted caramel solidifies the bottom end, an increasingly impressive hoppiness takes flight on the top end. Flavors mirror aromas, with juicy pineapple, orange zest and pink grapefruit being especially prominent. Maybe a little pine sap as well. Lawdy, lawdy, this big ol' hoppy ale is the cat's pajamas. It also comes in the best looking growler that I've ever seen.

The mouthfeel is pretty damn close to sheer perfection. It's lightly chewy, lightly sticky and moderately mouthcoating. I'm also pleased that the carbonation is laid back, yet insistent enough to provide lift and volume. Kudos to both the brewer (Todd) and the sender (Al).

The temperature outside was -16 degrees when I got up this morning. Coincidence? 16 Grit Ale is yet more proof that Surly can stand toe to toe with America's best breweries and not blink. This beer is a remarkable achievement and deserves to released each and every year. A million thanks to the felonious one for coming through again. Your generosity is humbling. Finally... hoppy birthday to me!

BuckeyeNation, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

DanGeo, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Thanks again to Mike for letting me split his last one with him. My first Surly IPA. Pours a copper-orange color exhibiting exceptional clarity all the way through. A big, white, foamy head piles up and stays perched atop the ale, leaving remnants of chunky lace all around the glass. Overall, very inviting and clean, especially for a DIPA. And of course, great head. Nothing worse than an IPA with no head.

And then I smelled it. Son of a bitch, this stuff smells excellent. As I bring my nose to the glass, a handful of citrus gets launched into my senses and sends me into utopia for a few moments. Pineapples, sweet grapefruits, mangoes, tangerines, and a large assortment of other various tropical fruits just reach out and run a number on my nostrils. The intense citrus is met in equal parts with one of the most raw, and down-n-dirty hop bills I've had the pleasure of smelling. Dank, super oily and resinous, wet, grassy, and full of pine needles. The hops here mean serious fucking business. Whatever they're doing over there at Surly - they're doing it right.

After an aroma like that, how can this stuff not taste excellent? Right up front, the piney, resinous hops swim to every nook and cranny in my mouth and send a shockwave of bitterness through my system. The bitterness is lovely because it seems to hit powerfully and quick, then tapers off and lets the rest of the flavors work their magic - those would include the myriad of fruits I fell in love with a few moments ago. More citrus rind, pineapple, grapefruit peel, mango, tangerine: citric and tropical, all day!

A light peppery flavor works its way into things, along with very slight onion notes, keeping things interesting. The aftertaste leaves you feeling like you just took a mouth full of the freshest and most green grass on the planet. Grassy, leafy, super resinous aftertaste with one, little, dying bit of citrus peel and rind. The malt gives a light bread and cracker canvas for all of the hops to go to town on. After every sip, I am blown away by how awesome this beer is. Medium bodied, carbonated heavily; this one leaves a light stickiness across the palate.

Jesus, this stuff is sickeningly amazing. Some of the freshest tasting hop notes around, nice and bitter without being scary (don't be afraid of the name "Abrasive" - it's not so bad), and one of the best aromas in the business. The formula for success. Surly has it. It's called Abrasive.

tectactoe, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

jono0101, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of Schlais
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Schlais, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of xVERITAS
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

xVERITAS, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of delaced21
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

delaced21, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a fairly clear burnt orange amber color with a huge 3 fingers of dense off white head. Great thick head retention and sticky lace clings to half of the glass.

S - Aroma really grabs you right away. Huge bursts of caramel and toffee, blended with grapefruit. At first, the smell is much more hoppy, but then mellows into that traditional aroma profile of a DIPA quickly.

T - Soft and super smooth opening of herbal and woody hops. A sweet center adds a touch of counterweight before a crisp, dry, bitter pine finish.

M - Medium bodied, and bit too smooth. Could stand a bit more carbonation.

O - Glad I traded for this one. One of the best DIPA's I've ever had.

SkiBum22, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of wrycon
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About an inch of cloud-white foam. Looks a deep copperish-ruby red. Smells absolutely amazing. Deep, deep citrus with tropical notes everywhere. Lots of grapefruit and an underpinning of malt and grain. Tastes fantastic. I remember past Abrasives being more, well, abrasive. This drinks like juice. Fairly light to start and then it slowly coats the palate in an equally-sweet / equally bitter wash, with lots of citrus, but an equal amount of malt. Neither flavor dominates, but rather collaborate to great effect. Normally, this wouldn't be notable, though the flavor is huge. You feel the tide could tip in either direction, but the flavor holds firm and ends in a slightly resinous fade. This is a strong, citrusy DIPA that should not be missed.

Like It? Very Much So

wrycon, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of newk340
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

newk340, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL 5/1/09

Deep hazy orange red with a half inch of white head on top. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of fruity caramel malts that intertwine with big citric and pine hops. Resinous and quite earthy as well.

First sip is semisweet fruity caramel malt that rolls into earthy hop flavors. Citrus and pine resins abound. Not as clean or vibrant a hop profile as I normally like for a DIPA. It flows down with a big bitter finish that is nice.

Creamy, chewy mouthfeel that goes down smooth and is fairly easy to drink. Overall, I found this to be a good double IPA, however it doesn't rank up there with some of my favorites. I was personally hoping for more and a brighter, cleaner, oilier hop profile.

orbitalr0x, May 28, 2009
Photo of briang01
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

briang01, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev -6%

supa0525, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of oddlandf
4/5  rDev -11.5%

oddlandf, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev -6%

danthehopslamman, May 02, 2014
Photo of beaversfan12
5/5  rDev +10.6%

beaversfan12, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

NWer, May 28, 2012
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

SD-Alefan, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of DaftPatrick
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16 oz can poured into a Surly Darkness chalice

A: Pours a hazy orange that you would expect from a great DIPA. With a brilliant white head, that leaves slightly lacing.

Smell: Bursting with grapefruit, pine, hops and other strong citrus scents.

Taste: Simply amazing, exploding with citrus and pine all over the place. The perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness with this one. Though the sweetness is more of a bittersweet. The taste lingers, but when it dissipates you want to go back for another sip immediately. Hides the 9% as if its nothing at all.

Mouthfeel: Very full, especially for a DIPA. Rather resiny, but in the best sense of the word. Slight carbonation.

Overall: This beer is absolutely amazing, hands down my favorite DIPA. Given it's drinkability, it's price and 2-4 month availability, this may actually be my favorite beer of all time.

DaftPatrick, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

csmartin6, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of Hamburgers
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Hamburgers, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 1/12/12

A - Pours a clear deep copper with one and a half fingers of off-white head. Head has nice retention and leaves nice rings of lacing.

S - Big citrus hop aroma with some pine as well. Also some touches of tropical fruit, caramel malt and faint florals.

T - Citrus is also very big in the taste, with some grapefruit and both bitter and juicy orange. This is very well balanced. Yes, there is a strong hop presence and considerable bitterness, but there is also a bit of sweetness and some caramel malt that balance this really well. Finish is a long lasting bitterness.

M - Very smooth, medium mouthfeel that is a bit resinous. Finish is bitter with an earthy dryness.

O - The 9% is nowhere to be found in the taste. This is a very easy drinking DIPA, not at all in your face, that has a nicely balanced flavor profile.

warnerry, Feb 07, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,093 ratings.