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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

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

2,684 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2684
Reviews: 785
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.17%


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".

(Beer added by: Buebie on 12-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,684 | Reviews: 785 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of stj1xx
stj1xx

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow...the other reviewers did a great job with a more technical analysis. All I can say is that this is the best DIPA I've ever had. Big citrusy (orange?) DIPA balancing the malt and bitterness. I swear this beer tastes better because I can't buy another growler.

The only time I got up to the Surly Brewery was to buy this growler and due to archaic law, they are too large to sell growlers (my guess is their sales are less than $2million which is a very small business).

Love the artisan nature of the Surly offerings, the Surly attitude, the Surly nation...this company is a true beer geek haven.

Serving type: growler

01-13-2009 21:43:47 | More by stj1xx
Photo of wrightro07
wrightro07

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

12-27-2010 21:12:32 | More by wrightro07
Photo of arboristfish
arboristfish

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a copper color, almost light amber with a white head. The aroma is complex! Very piney with hints of citrus. I love the hop character in this beer. The mouthfeel is medium to medium light, and is very drinkable. For a beer at 9% the alcohol isnt noticeable.

Serving type: can

01-04-2011 01:34:47 | More by arboristfish
Photo of HipHop5
HipHop5

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, I finally got put back in my place. Thanks to Steve and some east coast contacts.
This is amazingly the best ever I had.
Poors a perfection of golden coper color that let me know right that this is serious business. The head retains well a couple of fingers before it laces down the glass in a majestic white and beige web all around.
It is hard to focus on anything else tan the outstanding aromas of grapefruit, citrus,mangos,pine,pineapple mixed of tropical fruits. Medium/light body holds in it's arms a packed stash of hops flavors that will make you cry.
Just amazingly balanced with 9% goes down super smooth and surprisingly easy. Surly got it down for sure. If you enjoy Pliny the elder or green flash imperial IPA, Alpine Nelson, here you going for a treat people, and it's going to teach you a lesson or two.
Cans rock! lesson number one.
West coast IIPA are insanely good, but the east coast has a fare share of loaded barrels. Hop bomb smashed right in my face with this amazing ABRASIVE ALE. Take that and come for more:)

Serving type: can

02-04-2011 08:16:50 | More by HipHop5
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip from a can dated March 9, 2011. Not that fresh but still good.

A - Appears a nice slightly hazy orange color with some nice golden hints. There is a nice slight ecru head that is about 1 inch tall and recedes at a medium pace. Gorgeous.

S - Tropical mango notes are present as well as some delicious pine notes. Citrus grapefruit, tangerine and orange as well as some nice dank notes. A pot heads dream?? haha Nice malt caramel sweetness is surprisingly well balanced for such a hoppy beer. Grassy and slight flowery bouquet notes.

T & M - Wow! This is the real deal. Starts off with some slight sweet mango notes, some papaya and some nice tangerine notes. There is also some awesome hop juiciness. Dank pine is also present and has some slight sticky resin to it. Nice balanced grapefruit notes. There is awesome bread notes as well with some grain and earthy toasty malt notes. Hidden nicely in the middle. The hop profile is delicious and intense but its so well balanced and delicious. Very approachable beer for the style. I'm floored by this beer and would love to have it fresher. Still this is amazing. Good crispness and some nice lighter carbonation with a light-medium mouthfeel and a good dry bitter finish.

O - Well deserved praise for the Abrasive Ale. Well crafted and very intense yet approachable.

Serving type: can

04-15-2011 00:27:14 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 22:39:24 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of ucis
ucis

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't know why it's taken so long to get this down. This is one of the few amazing beers that would be on that list if you could bring a few things to a desert island. Poured from a can dated from March.

A: Super sticky lacing with a nice one inch foamy head. Rolls through itself like a clear Minnesotan Guinness. Medium amber color with no intention of leaving the side of your glass. What a beauty.

S: Can I give this a ten? Aromatic hops fill your nose like a fresh bag of green. Whiffs of tropical fruit and sweet green hops, hops, hops. This beer has an intoxicating aroma. Hard to stop smelling it.

T: Fruits Hops Sunshine Jesus. I think the acrid sour on the end just smacks me a bit hard like a rough girlfriend, but I love it. I think my taste buds will be retired for a week. Sweet resin and hardcore goodness. This is not for the timid. I think with every sip a Chuck Norris has been killed.

M: Again ten stars or better. You can almost feel the lacing in your mouth. Acrid thickness. This is how every beer should feel. There's a party in mouth. Sticky. sticky, acrid love.

O: I'd give this beer a million stars if I could. It is where the bar is set for less amazing beers. It's hard to compare this to anything. I am sad to only have a few cans of this left until December. Bravo Surly this is one of the beers that hooked me on you.

Serving type: can

06-20-2011 18:32:53 | More by ucis
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

12-28-2011 21:59:35 | More by jegross2
Photo of shrek806
shrek806

New York

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

01-03-2012 21:48:54 | More by shrek806
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

01-12-2012 14:04:05 | More by Brent
Photo of MBrausen
MBrausen

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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).

Serving type: can

01-17-2012 16:12:19 | More by MBrausen
Photo of Jasonriff
Jasonriff


5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer. I have had some friends who said the don't care for it but it is my favorite so I totally disagree with the bad reviews. If you like a super IPA, you will like this beer beer. My wife and several close friends who dig beer don't care for this beer so it's obviously not for everyone, but I LOVE THIS BEER! It taste great and has a great alcohol content.

Serving type: can

11-22-2012 03:43:58 | More by Jasonriff
Photo of jacewg
jacewg

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

12-08-2012 18:04:43 | More by jacewg
Photo of DaftPatrick
DaftPatrick

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

02-26-2013 05:16:08 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of AndyP612
AndyP612

Illinois

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2013 22:09:45 | More by AndyP612
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Abrasive Ale pours a hazy and cloudy copper color, with a large white lacing head. There is a strong floral aroma, with hints of citrus. The taste is sublime, strong floral hops, hints of citrus. Such a full and complete flavor, yet sooo drinkable. Overall all I can say is WOW.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 01:58:26 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of jwerner23
jwerner23

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: can

01-29-2014 10:54:59 | More by jwerner23
Photo of ThePeskyDingo
ThePeskyDingo

Minnesota

4.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Written from my notes at Stub and Herbs in Minneapolis.

Came with 1 finger of tannish head on it. Clear copper in color. Really good thick lacing.

Smells of hops and citrus notes.

Tastes of hops, bready grains and some fruits.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation.

Easy to drink this beer, pleasantly surprised me!

Serving type: can

06-01-2009 22:48:36 | More by ThePeskyDingo
Photo of themind
themind

New Jersey

4.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing! poured a perfect head, smells great and the taste is flat out amazing! this is a World Class brew that lives up to the hype. I would buy this anytime it's available. Seek this out as it's one of the best IPA's I have even had.

Bottom Line: Legendary beer that lives up to the hype!

Serving type: can

02-27-2013 00:24:38 | More by themind
Photo of doughanson78
doughanson78

Washington

4.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can poured into a pint glass. Huge thanks to storminspank for this want. Canned 2/13/12, I let it sit in the fridge for a while. Had another can immediately when I got it.

A: Medium to dark golden color. Medium haze. One finger off white head with great retention and sticky lacing.

S: Loads of pineapple, some mango, orange peel, tangerine, hints of grapefruit. Hoppy as hell. I get almost no malts. Lovely.

T: A touch of caramel and toffee. A touch of pineapple sweetness then a citrus bomb on your tongue. A lot more grapefruit comes out in the taste but you still get all the others with the orange peel bitterness assaulting your palate for ever. Good luck tasting anything after this. Wow!

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Dry as all hell.

O: Amazing beer. One of the overall best I've had and easily the best I've reviewed. If hops fade, they're still very prominent after 2 months in this one.

Serving type: can

04-11-2012 02:17:50 | More by doughanson78
Photo of nickapalooza86
nickapalooza86

Wisconsin

4.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours from my favorite style beer vessel a CAN, aka a mini keg, really deep orangish color with a slight haze to it, really nice looking

Smell is very fruity, Mango, orange, grapefuit and a little sweet malt in the background.

Tasts is amazing a lot of tropical and citrus fruit flavors come throu to start, then hits you with a huge bitterness that drys you up real nice and makes you want more and more!

Mouthfeel is a medium with a bitter dry finsih, I do like my DIPAs a wee bit thicker, but that is a small complaint in a otherwish flawless beer.

Wow here it is my favorite DIPA of all time so far... I live on the WI/MN border so I get it every once in a while but the $19/4 pack price tag makes it a very once in a while purchase. That being said if you have always wanted to try it at least this is one where the premium price matches the premium nectar inside!

Serving type: can

02-09-2013 19:39:05 | More by nickapalooza86
Photo of MNishCT77
MNishCT77

District of Columbia

4.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso DuPont Circle, unknown brew date, poured into a snifter glass, drank 3/28/13 over ~one hour.

A: 5 -bright orange, impressive clarity (considering the pungent hop aroma), soft vertical bubbles and legs, one finger frothy white head that resolves into subtle glass lacing;

S: 5 - BOOM!: like vaporized grapefruit pouring out of the glass; I love you Citra Jane

T: 5- BOOM2: please find a better tasting imperial IPA; the luscious grapefruit looms and lingers with every sip and even improves on warming

M: 4.75 - Bueller, booze? Bueller, booze? none at 9+%, tight carbonation and lingering flavors

O: 5 - BOOM3: this is the best imperial IPA in the world to my palate and satisfies all that I look for in a double IPA, but, in keeping with the Surly theme, they brew the kind of beers that you never knew you wanted until you tasted it; for me, this is better than Pliny the Younger, Heady Topper et al., welcome to your new favorite big DIPA

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2013 23:40:20 | More by MNishCT77
Photo of TonyBaloney
TonyBaloney

Minnesota

4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wasn't sure this was still going to have the goods after 2 months plus in a growler, but man was I wrong - taste after taste I was amazed by the terrific smell and taste of citrussy hops, almost lemon like; beautifully balanced, dangerously drinkable, it's been a long time since I've had a beer that amazed me as this one has. I'm very happy to hear they have since made more of this.

Serving type: growler

03-09-2009 19:05:11 | More by TonyBaloney
Photo of Beerking721
Beerking721

Minnesota

4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up my fresh 4-pack at Dennis Brothers. Priced @ $14.99 which represents good value to me. Before I get into specifics, I want to congratulate Omar and Todd for creating one hell of a great beer. This is my new favorite from Surly and will go head-to-head with Bell's Hopslam as my favorite beer... period. Kudos boys!!!!

A: Orange/amber with light lace on the glass.

S: To me: West coast citrus all the way with a hint of caramel/toast.

T: Hint of caramel and loads of citrus (pineapple)and grapefruit.

MF: Easy drinking with rich viscous hop infusion and plenty of "gravity." Rich and fulfilling!

D: I did make my way thru the 4-pak. While feeling the 9% ABV, I was in beer heaven!

Thanks Surly for hitting one way out of the park!!!!

Serving type: can

04-15-2010 04:38:12 | More by Beerking721
Photo of mwa423
mwa423

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Clear golden color with white head. I could see a full pint of this on a billboard. The color is so clear and pure I can read through it.

S - Hoppy, hoppy, oh, and more hops. Delightful aroma that filled the nose immediately upon opening the can.

T - Bitter, Sweet, Floral, and Citrusy hop goodness. Fills the mouth with that dirty and earth flavor that sticks to the roof of the mouth.

M/D - Mouthfeel is hard hitting and biting as we would expect from a quality IIPA. This is as drinkable as 9% IIPA's can get, other than the kick in the teeth, I could drink this all day.

Serving type: can

04-26-2010 01:09:54 | More by mwa423
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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,684 ratings.