Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,951 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Sirwootalot:
4.14/5 rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Poured into a 16-oz Pilsner glass.
What a beautiful pour! The body is a rich golden-honey color with the tiniest tinge of amber, and with a thick, foamy head that's easily 3". It's astoundingly well carbonated for how high its ABV is, and small particles remain suspended throughout - though somehow the beer isn't cloudy at all. It slowly fades to a decent soap bubble consistency, and never completely goes away. The beer smells suprisingly mild for what you'd expect - hops dominate, but they don't overpower, and they're on a backbone that smells suspiciously like really good cookie dough. It's no stronger-smelling than a regular IPA/APA, despite the much higher ABV.
The flavor is a mildly biscuity, not too complex vehicle that delivers a two-trailer 18-wheeler of hop resin down your throat. The hops themselves are very well balanced, and don't hit you in the face with a mallet like other popular DIPAs do - I'm not sure what strain they are, but the flavor and odor is difficult to describe beyond "balanced". The alcohol itself lends a lot to the flavor profile in a good way, which is rare for most beers I've had. The beer itself isn't terribly bitter either, almost juicy, and the yeast is as undetectable as a nuclear submarine.
The mouthfeel is something I'm not a fan of. The sticky hop resin coats the entire inside of your mouth and dries it out with alarming force, to the point that it makes it harder to taste and appreciate the rest of the beer. The aftertaste, on the other hand, is delightful and endlessly complex - even better than the core flavor itself. At alternating intervals as I drank this, I detected lingering notes as far off as juniper, grapefruit, lemon zest, maplewood sawdust, hash, macaroons, and cinnamon. When I burped halfway through, it sent a wave of scent and sensation that was almost exactly like smoking a joint of high-quality west coast marijuana (which I imagine would pair with this beer VERY well).
Overall, this is a damn good DIPA precisely because it doesn't over-reach itself - Surly is all about hops, but even more so, I have yet to have a single beer of theirs that isn't expertly well-balanced. I'm fascinated by the contrast between how basic and occasionally unexciting the core flavor is, compared to the explosive rainbow of scents and flavors that stay in your mouth long after you've swallowed it.
Serving type: can
03-29-2014 02:38:40 | More by Sirwootalot
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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,951 ratings.