Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

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Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

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3,842 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,842
Reviews: 897
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 7.96%
Wants: 2,093
Gots: 472 | FT: 19
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:
Beer added by: Buebie on 12-27-2008

Hazy gold in color, this Oatmeal Double IPA has aggressive aromas of candied grapefruit/tangerine and tropical fruit. Malted oats greatly enhance the body and the high level of bitterness is balanced by this sweetness. Citra hops are used for aroma & flavor additions and for dry-hopping, while Warrior hops are used primarily for bitterness.

OG 19.5 Plato
Color 5 SRM
Hops: Citra, Warrior
Yeast: English Ale
Malt: 2-row, Golden Naked Oats
ABV: 9%
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Ratings: 3,842 | Reviews: 897
Photo of beaversfan12
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just as good, if not better than Pliny

Photo of Brado913
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything about Abrasive is what beer should be. It is the perfect cold MN winter day beer.

Photo of jwerner23
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, it is my #1 beer right now. If you have a chance to try it and you like IPAs you have to pick it up. I have had it side by side with Bell's Hop slam (which is also a great beer) and would take Abrasive over it every time. It just sucks it is only available for a few months a year.

Photo of shrek806
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Surly Darkness snifter from a 16 oz can

The pour is an orange hue with a thick creamy head and sticky lacing on the glass

The smell is an awesome, over-the-top citrus explosion of orange, pineapple, lemon, and mango with a hint of pine.

The taste follows the smell. It is loaded with citrus with a nice hoppy finish. little to no bitterness which is hard to believe considering the alcohol content.

The mouthfeel is perfect. Not to carbonated, smooth creamy swallow. No bite.

The overall drinkability is top notch. My absolute favorite DIPA. Maybe my favorite beer out there. Thank you Surly.

Photo of Koebele
5/5  rDev +10.6%

I don't quite get the comparisons I'm reading to Surly Furious. This is a very different beer, and even more hoppy. It's right up there with the Stone Enjoy By Series as one of my favorite IIPAs. Fantastic taste. I would highly recommend this beer.

Photo of ThaCrax
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect! Rolling warmth across my tongue. Hops Galore! I wish I could drink this every time I want an IPA.

Photo of jegross2
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company. Thank you BeerAdvocate user Mid for sending me this one!
Score: 100

16 oz can with a "canned on" date of 12/01/11 poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, translucent copper-orange color with a full finger of creamy cream colored head that slowly settles into a thin layer and thick ring around the glass. Amazing lacing. An absolutely gorgeous IIPA. 5/5

Smell: This one is extremely fresh and citrusy! I could smell the beer as I was pour it out of the can. Huge amounts of pine and zesty citrus. Lots of fresh grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, oranges and tropical fruit. A little caramel malt. Deep whiffs of the fresh, zesty citrus aromas really perk the smell receptors, just like Zombie Dust. Abrasive Ale's aroma rivals Heady Topper. 5/5

Taste: WOW. Huge of zesty grapefruit and pine flavors throughout. I wouldn't say this one has a "malty backbone," but a noticeable maltiness on the mid-palate counterbalances what would otherwise be an extreme citrus hop bomb of bitterness. That balance is nice, as it takes you to the edge of hoppiness and back before the finish. Huge notes of fresh lemon come out more and more as the beer layers. The citrus zestiness of the beer is like a bright sunshine of hops on the palate. A lingering lemony bitterness grows in the finish as the beer layers. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, high carbonation. The carbonation really highlights the zestiness on the palate, making the bright, fresh citrus flavors "pop" on the tongue. Finishes dry and sharply bitter. 5/5

Overall: This is amazing imperial IPA -- the best I have had to date. This one takes you to the edge of fresh citrus hoppiness and back. An absolute must try beer. This is one tailor-made for hops heads.

Recommendation: Beer geeks need to seek this beer out; it lives up to the hype. This is a must try beer. Casual beer drinkers who are not hops averse should probably enjoy this one too, though I have found IPAs, and especially imperial IPAs, to be a poor "gateway" into craft beer for casual beer drinkers.

Pairings: I paired this one with beef shwarma, Mediterranean rice and tahini, and I thought the spiciness and hoppiness paired really well.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.

Photo of WynnDavis
5/5  rDev +10.6%

My favorite DIPA of all time. Nuff said. It still has been for years.

Photo of Brent
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been hoping for an opportunity to try some beers from Surly for some time, and this one hit it out of the park for me. Golden peach color with a tight white head. Faintly sweet and floral in the nose. Perfectly balanced big hops punch up front, with a honey sweetness playing off the hops bittering. No alcohol notes, other than a little pepper at the finish. Wonderfully smooth for a DIPA. I would put this head-to-head with Hopslam.

Photo of CraigP83
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice rich orange color with pillow of white foam. Smells hops, oats, citrus fields. Taste is a rush of mouthwatering citrus and apricot as it fades a nice bitterness builds in the back of your throat. Mouthfeel also leaves the sticky, sugary coating of citrus. *edit: after several 4-packs of this I've changed my rating to a 5. This beer never gets old I nearly shed a tear every time I finish my beer. One of the best DIPAs in the world

Photo of Mr_Bongard
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Look forward to it every year

Photo of RussBeercier
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I rated this a 5 last year. Then I got some this year. Blown away again.

Photo of MBrausen
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a pilsner.

A. Pours a reddish brown hue, thick 2 finger head, continued to maintain a 2mm thick head sip after sip.

S. Smells strongly floral, lots and lots of sweet pine, and tons of citrus. This is a big smelling beer the second you open the can.

T. Tastes of sweet citrus, lots of pine, slightly sour grape fruit, and tangy orange peel.

M. Medium body, coarse feeling, with a lightly dry finsh.

O. I love this beer. It's well balanced flavor, and an amazing smell. I could open a can of this and leave it in my bathroom as an air freshener! This is a super tasty beer. Everyone should try this beer at least once (But needing to have more won't be an option).

Photo of wrightro07
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A nice amber colour with a nice fluffy white head.
S: The smell is amazing. This beer right after you crack open the can bursts out the aroma of pine trees and citrus hops. I would love to have my house smell like this everyday. When drinking this beer I had to enhale the smell everytime before a sip.
T: This is the best double imperial IPA I have ever had. It is huge to say the least. Huge in hops and malts. Abrasive makes Furious seem weak. The difference is that big. Even though the ABV is 9% one would never have guest it. This beer is smooth.
D: The overall drinkability is incrediable. I wish I could buy this all year round. It is too bad that it is only brewed once a year. If you have not tried Abrasive and you are a hop head this beer should then be on the top of your wants list.

Photo of PhillyBrewPhan
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best smelling beer I've ever had. Super smooth and great tasting. A personal favorite. Wish it was more readily available.

Photo of DemoniChris
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from can into tulip. Canned on 10/30/13

A - Deep orange with a nice reddish hue on this one. Nice eggshell white head with decent retention. Fair lacing.

S - ... It really doesn't get much better than this. This is one of the most potent, dank, resinous, hop-forward beers I've ever smelled. Getting a fair amount of pine, big citrus and mild floral notes. Definitely some marijuana qualities as well.

T - Extends beautifully from the smell. Tropical citrus hits you up front with a sweetness which immediate turns into a dry piney bitterness at the end of the sip which lingers for what seems like forever. It begs you to take another sip. No alcohol taste whatsoever.

M - Oily resinous mouthfeel with a medium body. The malt definitely takes a backseat here, but isn't completely hidden to help balance out the absurd amount of hops.

O - One of the best I've ever had without a doubt; a hop-head's holy grail. Seek this one out, I know I will be in the future.

Photo of jacewg
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very hazy pale orange color. Nice rocky white head. Leaves great lacing. This looks like a pale malt hop monster.

Smell: !!! Citrus and tropical fruit. Some melon notes. I can smell this beer from a foot away. Tiny hints of pale malt.

Taste: Opens with some balancing sweet pale malt. Then transitions into everything good about the Citra hop. Tropical fruit, citrus peel, flesh, and zest and some cantaloupe/melon type notes. Citrus to the max. This tastes like a bigger, slightly less malty Zombie Dust. Not getting any of the vegetal hop flavors I sometimes pick up from Warrior. Bitterness is not over the top for all the big qualities of this beer. Finishes dry and slightly bitter with a lingering citrus juice quality. So easy to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: Well-carbed and only medium bodied for a a beer of this size. Finish is again lingering, dry, mildly bitter, and packed with citrus. Supremely drinkable for what it is.

Overall: This is probably the 50th can I've had of this stuff, and I can find no faults. With all respect to Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Lawson's, Russian River, Kern River, Alpine, DC Brau, Pipeworks, 3 Floyds, etc etc etc etc. This is the best DIPA on the planet, to my palate.

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hop heaven! Surly does it again.

Photo of AndyP612
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap served in a pint from The Blue Door Pub reviewed from notes.

A- Nice fluffy one finger worth of head that lingered long. Great lacing and retention.

S- Hops bite your nose with citrus and tropical fruit hints.

T- Follows as the nose leads with citrus fruit punch and lingering pineapple and grapefruit.

M- Lacks the syrupy feeling common in DIPA/IIPAs and not overly thick. Finishes very dry an attribute I love in the abrasive when compared to others brewed under the same manner.

O- I wrote in my notes "Perfect" but this was not my first pint on this particular occasion but still rings pretty true. I love this ale. The bitterness hide the reasonably high abv Abrasive offers which needs to be taken into account since after only one or two is plenty for the consumer. The fact that this particular establishment served the Abrasive in pints and not smaller pours also could get people into trouble. Cheers.

Photo of hseldon15
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Take a moment to smell this beer before you taste it. You won't regret it.

Photo of Kraj30
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is epic... Right up there with Heady... Fantastic

Photo of Geegar
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Quite possibly my only 5. Hands down my favorite beer.

Photo of moose73
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down. The best beer I have ever had! Only a seasonal beer, but best beer in the world!

Photo of BizJax
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Hands down my favorite beer! When you drink this elixir of awesomesauce, it's like soaking your taste buds in Heaven!

Photo of kawilliams81
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a Alesmith Snifter.

A- Deep golden orange. Leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S- Amazing. Sweet, citrus with some orange, grapefruit, and papaya.

T- Sweet caramel malts. Orange and grapefruit comes in the middle followed my a nice pine hop balance. Bitter but not overpowering.

M- Medium bodied for 9%. Has some resin and leaves a bid of a dry mouth.

O- Just an amazing DIPA. This is exactly what I love about IPA’s is the balance between sweet malts and citrus hops with just a perfect amount of bitterness. Don’t know how this isn’t in the top 5 DIPA’s.

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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,842 ratings.