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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,164 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,164
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 1,964
Gots: 288 | 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
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Ratings: 3,164 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ssippisam
4.84/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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.

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

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 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 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 Timothy316
1.04/5  rDev -77%

Timothy316, Wednesday at 01:36 AM
Photo of Studs1991
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Studs1991, Wednesday at 12:50 AM
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4.47/5  rDev -1.1%

fureousangel, Monday at 05:52 PM
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4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

andesite83, Monday at 01:37 AM
Photo of Erickg47
4.39/5  rDev -2.9%

Erickg47, Sunday at 09:34 PM
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4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

GRWILK, Sunday at 06:27 PM
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4.48/5  rDev -0.9%

Kark, Nov 22, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

LarryK, Nov 21, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

yspiff, Nov 21, 2014
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

Dwkasper, Nov 21, 2014
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4.92/5  rDev +8.8%

Karl_M, Nov 20, 2014
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

Lucasgangsei, Nov 20, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

a77cj7, Nov 20, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev -6%

seanmonaghan13, Nov 19, 2014
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

mikedogg195, Nov 19, 2014
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4.68/5  rDev +3.5%

exl_90, Nov 18, 2014
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4.32/5  rDev -4.4%

rhoadester69, Nov 18, 2014
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4/5  rDev -11.5%

EDubLovesBeer, Nov 17, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev -6%

davistabuff, Nov 17, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev -6%

AnotherVice, Nov 17, 2014
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4.76/5  rDev +5.3%

isak0025, Nov 17, 2014
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

Nwrightjr, Nov 17, 2014
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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,164 ratings.