1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,661 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2661
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,661 | Reviews: 785 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bryanbullock

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

*this review will be amended when I have the opportunity for a fresher abrasive as this one was a little past its prime.

Nearly opaque murky golden with 1 finger head, aroma of a bitter citrus fruit perhaps grapefruit. Aroma contained hints of musk or mildew (again this is not to be a negative reflection on the beer only my experience with this past its prime version, if anyone wants to send me a fresh version I would embrace with open arms :).

Taste was smooth from front to back, balanced hops all the way through, lingering citrus on the tail.

mouthfeel was smooth, with little to no carbonation.

Overall you can tell this is a top notch beer and I think I am going to have a higher rating for this beer in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 19:57:40 | More by bryanbullock
Photo of Teleweizen2

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Surly abrasive

A - pours a fairly cloudy marigold color into a big bulb wine glass. Looks like a hazy round sun on a clear day. Around a fingers worth of pearly white foam on top which quickly dissipates.

S - the nose is thick, sticky, piny and dank. Resinous. Sort of like the sap stuck on pine needles or pollen on flowers. And lots of tropical fruit. Delicate notes of pineapple, mango, passion fruit and meyer lemon.

T - at first blush there is a honey malt character. Which almost immediately gets dominated by notes of snappy bitter citrus and resin. Notes of pine. Tropical fruit adds to the sweet honey malt flavors. The finish is sweet with hints of fruit and pine.

M - interesting texture. The beer seems crisp because of the intense hop character but its actually on the creamy side. Medium bodied with high tight bubbled carbonation.

O - an excellent ale. Just one of the finest dipas i have ever had the pleasure of trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 01:36:10 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of vette2006c5r


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 writerLJBerg


4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can courtesy of kscaldef. Thanks!

A: Light caramel colored with a substantial foam that’s resting in the neck of the tulip. Not really enough room to test the legs, and that’s OK.

N: I can smell this from a foot away. Deep whiffs of pineapple, mango, and passionfruit. Some grapefruit, but leans more towards the tropical. Sticky crystallized sugar and a great base for the pine and earthiness. Tour de force, if a bit on the sweet side.

T: Sticky, candied pineapples. More of the tropical mango and passionfruit. Very sweet, but it runs right along the boundary between cloying and just right, alternating between sips. There is that dank base that overloads the pine needles that I don’t much appreciate because it stings, but this is really, truly good in spite of a minor flaw.

M: Very sticky. I’m not even sure what the body feels like because of the stickiness. Alcohol is quite evident.

O: For being a double IPA, this is more potent than some TIPAs I’ve had. Carries a pretty large stick to beat you over the head with, so if you’re in the mood for something rough, this’ll be perfectly abrasive.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 16:55:19 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.95/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can into a wide flute - canned 1/9/12

A: Pours slightly hazy orange with two fingers of dense white head. Retention is great.

S: Loads of hops - equal parts tropical fruits and floral hops. I also get a moderate amount of caramel sweetness and light bready malts.

T: Very, very bitter taste mixed with floral hops. Kind of like eating a bunch of flowers if that makes sense. I get very little sweetness in this beer but light bready malts. Mostly, this is a dry, bitter beer. Certainly for hop lovers. I love hops, but this is a bit too bitter.

M: Moderate thickness with good carbonation. Probably the best part about this beer.

O: A nice DIPA, though too bitter for me. I do like how clean and dry the beer is while remaining flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 03:05:37 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of cwguy5

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Canned 1.23.12. Sampled 3.14.

A - deep, murky orange color with a one-finger light brown head that faded to a bubbly, inconsistent layer; fair amount of spotty lacing

S - hops, floral and light, mostly with some pine and toffee in the background

T - light, resinous pine with a bitter body; light citrus notes that turn sweeter and maltier toward the end

M - extremely fine, almost fizzy carbonation on a light-medium body; long, smooth bittering finish

O - freshness was probably an issue here but a tasty beer anyway; i think the citrus notes from the hops would be brighter closer to canning

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 21:02:10 | More by cwguy5
Photo of davey101


4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into a shaped pint glass. Canned on 1/23/2012, reviewed on 2/23/2012 making it exactly one month old. Huge thanks to ottodyer for throwing this in as an extra!

A - Dark amber body with a massive fluffy off-white head. Looks great.

S - Loads of tropical fruits with a piney finish. Love the mango and papaya notes.

T - Same as the nose, mango and papaya followed by a piney bitter finish and some light caramel malts. The bitterness is lasting but not overpowering. Mouth feel is a bit light but carbonation is spot on and the high alcohol isn’t noticeable.

O - One of my favorite DIPA’s. Surly knows how to make a damn good hoppy beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 20:14:52 | More by davey101
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

can on trade from samtallica. Nice and fresh, canned on 1.12.12

lovely tan hur into my snifter capped by a slight off white head wiuth good retention. nose is inviting with pine, grapfruit, and tropical fruit. Taste is good cutting bitterness followed by a blast of pine and citrus. The malt trys its best to keep up. Medium to full bodied. WOW!!! on my note pad.

I need to trade for a whole 6 pack of this.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 21:00:48 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found a single just before leaving Duluth, and unfortunately it was the last one, as I would've loved a couple more fore trades.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden copper colour, finger of off-white head with some retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet citrus, resiny, loads of pine and earthy cedar, a peppery spice finish.

T - Loaded with citrus and pine, nice bitter lemon, creamy milky caramel, peppery spice lingers alongside a hint of ABV heat. The ABV is very well hidden and the heat is surprisingly complementary.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes nice and dry.

O - Solid DIPA. These guys have yet to disappoint. I'm looking forward to my next trip to procure a few more of these, because it is simply delicious and would be well received by any hop head.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 22:23:24 | More by andrenaline
Photo of cradke


4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with orange hue. Perfect 1/2 inch head with carbonation streaming from the bottom.

Smell: PINE! Pleasant and sweet. Very little bitter notes. Some orange peel and lemon zest sparkled in there.

Taste: Very nice pine. Some good orange notes. Sweet, not a lot of bitter. Lot's of hops

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation and feel.

Overall: This DIPA is a lot more refined than I though. It didn't abuse my palate like I thought it would but it was very well put together. I have a couple more cans and I look forward to moving through them

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 04:27:05 | More by cradke
Photo of bashiba


4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dirty yet bright orange, a sticky off white head, lots of big sediment floating about.

The smell is great, big and green with lots of citrus and some nice basementy funk.

The flavor has a nice grainny malt body, but dominated by big hop flavor, mildly bitter for a double IPA. Has a nice dank green quality and a lot of orange peel.

Has a nice resiny mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Very nicely balanced and flavorful IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 00:46:31 | More by bashiba
Photo of gkunkle


3.95/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with a meek off-white head. Retention is as expected for a 9% ABV beer, it settles to a splotchy film. Smell is of some sort of citrus, like an apricot or nectarine. Taste starts with smooth caramel malt and some more of that apircot taste. I get some resinous hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is slightly on the heavy side, with enough carbonation to give a playful feel. Overall, a great beer, but not in my top 5 for DIPAs.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 07:02:41 | More by gkunkle
Photo of ms11781


4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to brydeen. Canned on 12/14/2011. 16oz can poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear golden orange but settles in the glass as a hazy amberish color. A massive off white head develops, so much so that it needs to settle for a good amount of time before the entire beer can be poured into the glass. Excellent fluffy lacing is left on the glass.

The nose is full of huge, juicy tropical and citrus hops and can be detected as soon as the can is cracked. Pineapple is easily the most prominent aroma that comes through but it is far from the only one. Grapefruit and some lemon are here as well as a more subtle hit of pine. There is an overall sweetness that can most likely be attributed to the juicy hops and a bit of malt. But this one is all about the hops and the nose is exceptional.

The taste follows closely with nose. Big citrus and tropical fruit hops hit first with pineapple again leading the way. Some orange, mango and grapefruit are here as well. It's really just an explosion of juicy hops up front. The malt sweetness comes across more in the taste and lays a nice base for a good hit of pine. The pine brings a pleasant bitterness to the finish. The taste probably isn't as big or in your face as the nose but it's still outstanding.

The mouthfeel is probably the only drawback for me, as the carbonation is a bit lower than it seems it should be. It probably also contributes to the hops not having the bite in the taste that they do in the nose. Despite the lack of carbonation the beer never feels slick, oily or too big for the style.

Despite the mouthfeel, this is an outstanding beer. The hop flavors and aromas are excellent. With a bit more carbonation this beer would be in the running for the best DIPA I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 03:08:06 | More by ms11781
Photo of bld81


4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: hazy amber pour, two fingers of dense foam
S: tropical fruit and intense hoppy aroma
T: more balanced than the smell, sugary malts cut into the bitterness, very sweet despite the strong hop presence
M: smooth, very creamy, well carbonated, but heavier than I prefer
O: Very, very good IIPA, but maybe with a fresher can I would rate this higher. It seems like better choices for the style are available year-round

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 14:57:44 | More by bld81
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for this can

Review adapted from notes taken 2/3/11

Appearance: Cloudy, hazy amber orange with sticky lacing

Smell: The aroma of this beer is great from the second the can is cracked to the end - leafy, grassy, herbal, some citrus (grapefruit) - hops are complex, and so are the malts - toasted, caramel, interesting

Taste: Very interesting - a great level of bitterness with a bitter aftertaste and a lingering sense of bitter - malts are both pale and caramel, with hints of cooked malts that remind me of molasses - they are remarkably heavy - hops are tasty - resin, grapefruit - overall, it's very good, but it is a bit too malty for what I am looking for

Mouthfeel: Feels heavy even for a DIPA, sticky mouthfeel, a surprising (and nice) lack of alcohol

Overall: A unique DIPA

I rarely encounter Double/Imperial IPAs that attempt to achieve balance. I feel that Abrasive does very well in this respect, but the result is that I thought it was a bit too heavy. I thought it could pass as a hyper-hoppy barleywine, but sadly I have not encountered anyone who agrees with me. Regardless... it's still borderline amazing.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 14:35:47 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of 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 eric5bellies


4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Canned 28th Feb 2011

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a really nice Hazy copper colour witha n off White head that retains well and laces.

S - Sweet mango and hops with citrus as well.

T - Quite a yeasty brew up front with some massive hops and citrus totally smashing my palate to a pulp. The finish is very smooth yet a little bitter with an Orange peel flavour and texture that just lingers on and on. This is a massive DIPA.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

D - I had a PTE before this but its not as good. The mouthfeeel and sheer aggressive nature of this beer gives me an A+

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 13:08:53 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of ngeunit1


4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear orange copper color with a bing finger of forthy white head. The head fades down slowly to a think ring and layer leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is full of citrus hops with lots of grapefruit and tropical fruits. Also some floral hops in the background. Touch of malt in the background.

T - Starts off with lot of citrus hop flavor and bitterness. There is also some supporting light caramel malts around. Through the middle, some stronger bitterness and some piney hop flavor jumps out. Also some light apricot and other fruits. The finish is a mix of piney and citrus hop with a lot of bitterness that lingers really nicely.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Really smooth and crisp and the bitterness is really quite strong and leaves a really nice dry feeling in the mouth.

D - Very drinkable. The hop profile here is really amazing. The flavors are really well balanced, especially the hop and malt balance here. This is a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 04:13:06 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of BrewerB


4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to urbancaver for hooking me with this beer!!!

There's just something about cracking open a can of beer and not having it be some fizzy yellow waste of space....

Massive citrusy, tropically fruity, floral aromas dominate the aroma. Clean malt isn't standing in the way.

Hazy light orange in color with a thin off-white head that's holding up well.

Fruity and floral hops push forward on the palette with specific notes of mandarin orange and pine. Bitterness is intense and lingering on into a medium dry finish.

Medium in body with a slight resiny thickness present. Carbonation is also moderate and appropriate for the style. Intensely hoppy without being astringent.

This one's approaching perfection though just shy of a 5.0. None the less, packing the hoppy punch and variety of flavor that makes for an exceptionally enjoyable double IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 05:49:56 | More by BrewerB
Photo of CliffBrake

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly bright medium amber color with modest head and lacing.

Pronounced and inviting aroma of grapefruit and pine. And the taste delivers plenty of the same. Copious hops on a sweetish malt base. Modest bitterness, or at least that is the appearance. I suspect the melding of the hops and malt is hiding a lot of the bitterness behind the malt. Although there is plenty of sweetness in the middle, the finish is dry and gives the impression of a balanced brew.

Big juicy body with well hidden alcohol. Liquid hops candy! Another great beer that lives up to its reputation - I guess the Beer Advocates know what they are talking about.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 22:54:28 | More by CliffBrake
Photo of SpdKilz


4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to ncmussell for this beer I have been wanting to try for quite some time. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a darker orange, tangerine hue into my SA Perfect Pint. About a finger of white head is achieved with a moderate pout. This dissipates somewhat fast, leaving just a hint of lacing around the edges of the glass.

Smell - Damn, when I opened the can I was immediately greeted with some amazing aromas. Once I poured it into the glass and allowed it to warm for a bit, the smells became that much more intoxicating. Lots of citrus such as mango and pineapple. A great hop aroma mixed with pine, and a nice malty, caramel smelling backbone.

Taste - Hot damn I've been waiting for this for a while. While the taste is sweet up front, I feel it is more from the citrus than malt (though the malty backbone does become prevalent later on in the taste). The hops come in during the middle, mixed with the pine, and the flavor ends with a caramel taste, and then a hint of bitterness. So many flavors and characteristics during the sip. Amazing.

Mouthfeel - Nice and thick, creamy, oily resin. Decent carbonation, finishes a hint dry and bitter.

Overall - Who has 3 more 16oz cans of this in his refrigerator? THIS GUY. Very happy I was finally able to try this and will for sure trade for it in the future. A fantastic DIPA and extremely easy to quaff. No alcohol taste or warming. It goes down like nothing. Abrasive has lived up to the hype in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 02:37:28 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with three fingers of white head that fades into a thin layer with good lacing.

S: Mmmm, grapefruit, grapefruit, and more grapefruit. There is some rind in there as well as pineapple, apricots, and pine. Amazing.

T: Again, grapefruit and rind first and foremost. LOTS of grapefruit. There is a piny flavor and bitterness on the end as well as some caramel malt flavors. The bitterness doesn't linger at all. Again, amazing.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer beer almost seems creamy and crisp. The creaminess I imagine is from the strong malt backbone, but it works well with the grapefruit flavors.

O: Overall, a phenomenal DIPA. Definitely the most grapefruit-forward I've had and probably my second favorite DIPA. Amazing, amazing beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 19:21:37 | More by n2185
Photo of AwYeh


4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz can, bottled on December 20, 2010, poured into a shaker pint. Received via trade with readbaron; thanks Baron!

A: Pours a cloudy, bright, burnt amber-orange with hints of golden in the light. One finger of dense white head with good retention and spotty lacing.

S: Not quite as strong of an aroma as I was expecting, considering how amped up the style typically is. Nonetheless, smell is enjoyable- grapefruit and other varieties of citrus hops are most prevalent, with a sweet caramel malt backbone accented by hints of burnt malts and an almost-honey flavor.

T: Huge punch of bitter citrus hops upfront- grapefruit once again in particular, maybe more than in any other DIPA I've had (in terms of its bitterness and similarity to how the actual fruit tastes). The "abrasive" bitterness really covers up the sweet malts when they start to poke through in the middle of the taste, though a bit of sweetness is evident on the finish. Also notable on the finish are some distinct lemon and orange flavors, which leave a lingering, tangy, citrus bite.

M: Medium-bodied with light-moderate carbonation (though higher carbonation isn't really necessary here, the bitter hops provide enough of a punch to the palate). Sticky, lingering bitter finish.

D: Quite an enjoyable beer, I could easily have a couple of these at a time based on the merits of its top-notch hop flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 19:30:17 | More by AwYeh
Photo of Eriktheipaman


4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gold color with white fluffy head that fades quickly but leaves nice lacing.

The smell is great! Lemon, tangerine, and slight ginger.

After the smell the taste doesnt disapoint one bit. The front is sweet citrus and tropical fruits and goes down extremely smooth with bitterness and alcohol on the back.

This beer is far too drinkable for the ABV and if it were sold in CA Id drink it all the time.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 04:01:04 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of Strix


4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange, thick frothy white head.

Big whiff of pine and citrus.

Nice big citrus wash supported by bready maltiness. Slight pine note, lots of orange. This is delicious. Hits you like a DIPA should, balanced (in a big way) and tasty.

Rich full mouthfeel.

This was great. Need to get back to MN to get more!

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 01:58:43 | More by Strix
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,661 ratings.