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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,684 Ratings
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 snaotheus


4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a pint glass. Canned on 01/13/14 2015, enjoyed on 7 March 2014, at fridge temp (41 F).

Pours slightly hazy, with an odd suspension of clearish floaters, making it a little bit hazy. Medium to big white head, nice retention. Medium carbonation. Smell is strong -- arm's length strong. Nice combination of piney and fruity, some floweriness. Very nice.

Taste is very hoppy. Lots of bitter pine, just enough malt to hold it up. Some floral, not so tropical fruity, some kind of creamy flavor.

Mouthfeel is full, slightly dry, interestingly rich or creamy. Overall, very good.

Serving type: can

03-08-2014 03:54:44 | More by snaotheus
Photo of JayCheG


4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can (1/29/2014) into a pint glass

A: Pours a nice golden color with one finger head that dissipates to a nice film on the top. Seeing lots of carbonation hanging around and very nice lacing.
S: Initially lots of fruity citrus and pine followed by the "cat piss" smell
T: Lots of resiny pine and some of the citrus flavor. Strong malt backbone finish.
M: Very full beer with lots of carbonation. Leaves a bit of a coating in the mouth after drinking.
O: Good stuff, will definitely be going back for some more!

Serving type: can

03-08-2014 01:06:04 | More by JayCheG
Photo of Fcolle2


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

Pours hazy burnt orange in color with a lot of little particles floating around and a good finger and a half off white head that has great retention.

Smell is awesome tons of bright citrus tropical fruit hops forward with a little bite of piney resin tossed in there too. Smells like a double moon man to me, really bright vibrant hop aromas. Nothing else is even worth mentioning,the hops are what it's all about here.

Taste is equally awesome. It follows the note. Tons of tropical fruit and citrus fruit hops forward. So much so that the bright crisp flavors last through the entirety of the sip swallow aftertaste and I'm even burping fruit. Piney resin is lighter but still present and bitterness is there but not overpowering, it really let the hops shine. Malt is grainy and semi sweet but again, it's all about the hops here.

Mouthfeel is incredible. I've never had an ipa like this before. There so much hop oils and resin that my tounge instantly goes numb on contact. But sticky mouth coating oils and resin let the hop flavors and aroma dominate the entirety of the beer. Moderate carbonation and a light body help soften the aggressive hops and it ends up being pretty well balanced.

Serving type: can

03-07-2014 00:56:50 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of PSU_Mike


4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into a tulip. Canned 1-7, enjoyed 3-1.

A - Pours a golden straw color with a 1 finger white head with small bubbles. Very good lacing and light sediment.

S - Cat piss and grapefruit. Reminds me of a more potent Sucks.

T - Follows the nose with strong dankness up front with a little grapefruit citrus in the back. Light malt backbone. Very pleasant tasting.

M - Slick on the tongue with light bitterness and a moderately dry finish. Coats the tongue well.

O - Very similar to Lagunitas Sucks in my opinion. Only with stronger flavors. Really a great beer that I could easily kill a 4 pack of. Thank you to GreatGazoo for the trade.

Serving type: can

03-02-2014 04:21:35 | More by PSU_Mike
Photo of roger617


4.26/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Found this in a dive in Chicago, snagged a 4 pack for $18. Not sure if I overpaid or not, but happy to be able to try it! Canned 1/14/14, so 6 weeks at the time of review. From my experience, cans hold up much better than bottles in the IPA world, so I decided to give it a go anyways.

A: Drinking this guy from the can, some other like-beer says to do so on the can, and I've just gotten in that habit now.
S: Strong citrus with this one. Very tempting and well balanced.
T: This has loads of citrus flavor punching through the 9% ABV. Even at 6 weeks old this has a crazy good flavor profile. Based off other reviews and hype I believe it has dropped off a bit, but I'm still a big fan.
M: There's a nice crisp bitter finish that balances out the citrus and sweetness in the flavor. Very drinkable at a higher ABV.
O: Thoroughly enjoyed. I've had some of the BA top IPAs with less age and enjoyed much less than this.

**edit. Had this a handful of times since original review. I am upgrading the ratings as it has certainly been more consistently better than the first time I reviewed. Aroma is more more potent, and flavor, and at a couple months plus from canning, is still bursting with flavor.

Serving type: can

03-02-2014 01:01:45 | More by roger617
Photo of maxcoinage


4.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can (1/29/14 so exactly 1 month old) into DFH signature glass with couple cm white head beer is golden yellow with some sediment haze

Aroma has a lot of citrus and some hops

Taste is bitter up front, a bit of sweetness and some grapefruit tangerine and pineapple , bitter finish lingers

Mouthfeel is medium carb and body. Somewhat sticky, dry finish but its very drinkable

Overall a fantastic IIPA. First time I've tried this - got lucky with the last 4 pack from Binnys. Given the price point (18 for 4 pints) its not something I'd pick up regularly (not like I could anyway) but prob something I'd try to pick up at least once a year. For IIPAs I'd put this in my top 5 for sure

Serving type: can

03-01-2014 23:18:33 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of timc100


4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Unreal! This is the end of my 4pk and each can has gotten better and better. Huge dank aroma of very crisp-pine-clean grapefruit, dank astringency, mango, peach and a soft caramel malt backbone. Touch sweet strawberry juice as well. Taste is very dry but an explosion of grapefruit, fresh orange, and tropical fruits but not overly juice or juice-like, which is great. Incredibly clean, smooth, balanced. One of the best I've had.

Serving type: can

03-01-2014 16:14:55 | More by timc100
Photo of joeseppy


4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale amber with a whitish head that does last and leaves spidering. Loaded with floaties but ain't no thang.

Smelling this pour is like tearing open a grapefruit like a gorilla. About some of the best grapefruit smell since fresh Flower Power. Staying with this awhile it begins to morph into a bag-o-weed and as they say (cat piss). But then again, it's just part of this euphoric experience.

Taste is just as elating as the aroma. This has a strong malt backbone substantiating the dank hoppiness. Strong earthy pine and hop cone. Semi-sweet with less prominent fruit structure.

Creamy texture and hop numbing layering on the tongue. Staying power.

This is a tremendously tremendous ale---bar none! This is high powered octane to get drunk quick. The pricing on this will always be in question for me. Like Sculpin, which is fantastic in its own right, I was curious of the hype but can't see paying the higher cost associated and I have not bought any since then and tis a shame. A lot of fantastic ales competing out here, no doubt. ABV on Abrasive is substantiate to get you going well on any pre-flight for the night. Sad to say that @ apx 20$/4pk, I just can't pull the trigger in the future. My curiosity has been quenched as I had an extra 20 in my pocket yesterday. Really though, not to be missed in your lifetime if you love quality and a good buzz on. Tremendously tremendous!!!

Serving type: can

02-28-2014 22:44:42 | More by joeseppy
Photo of lanciloti


4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a snifter glass. (canned 1/21/14)

Appearance: Very hazy, Light golden orange color. Eggshell white head.

Smell: Waves of grapefruit and orange peel. Very citrusy with some herbal and flowery notes underneath.

Taste: Huge citra hops up front with some bitterness. Can definitely taste the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with just enough carbonation. Kind of thin for how hazy it looks

Overall: I really like this beer, Surly did a very good job. I do however prefer there Furious a little bit more because of the availability and drinkabilty. (but it's not a DIPA) I look forward to drinking this when it's available.

Serving type: can

02-27-2014 02:06:58 | More by lanciloti
Photo of koutkid41


4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pale light copper with sediment and strong carbonation. Nice head that lingers nice and foamy.

S: Dank and resinous beer with grapefruit, pineapple, pine and slight mango. Really appealing.

T: Sweet citrus and tropical fruit notes, some pineapple, and tangerine/apricot juice in the back end. Alcohol is apparent and noticeable

M: Medium to light bodied. Drinks fairly easily but noticeable alcohol. Medium-high carbonation with slight but not alot of sweetness.

O: Really enjoy this beer, glad it finally made it’s way to Illinois!

Serving type: can

02-25-2014 03:02:28 | More by koutkid41
Photo of Bowers-Brew


4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Gold & slightly cloudy. 1.5 - 2 inch clean white foam when poured aggressively

S - Hoppy and malty - More pine than citrus.

T - Hops and malt intense, sweet up front with earthy finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Can't taste the alcohol.

M - A little thick and heavy compared to taste.

O - A really good beer, however I didn't like this as much as other BA 100 rated IIPA's. Also, not sure if I can see this being that much better than Surly's Furious APA, which is about $8 less per 4 pack. Was it really good, yes. Will I drink it again, certainly. Would I rate it as high as Pliny or Zombie, definitely not. Surly delivers many fine beers and intrigues me along the way. I will continue to try whatever they offer. -Prost!

Serving type: can

02-23-2014 21:46:06 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of TTAmod


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can from 1/29/14 poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark orange. Nice, two finger eggshell head. Stays at one finger for awhile. There is a bit of sediment visible and lots of carbonation bubbling to the surface.

S: I could smell this one even upon cracking the can. Really, really strong waves of grapefruit and orange. Extremely citrusy with some herbal and flowery notes underneath.

T: Strong citrus flavor follows into the taste, too. Huge Citra hop taste. Lots of blood orange and grapefruit. Bit of grass and marijuana gives the hops a bit of depth. Pretty strong bready malt taste underneath the hops. Finishes slightly bitter and fruity.

M: Extremely smooth...no fuss at all going down. 9% is well hidden. Enough carbonation to give it some liveliness.

O: One of the top 5 DIPAs out there. Loads of fresh citrus hop flavor, but there are enough things going on to keep it from getting boring.

Serving type: can

02-23-2014 20:24:56 | More by TTAmod
Photo of sbxx


4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can
Poured into Surly pint glass
Canned on 1/21/14

Appearance - Hazy golden honey. 3 fingers of fluffy, foamy head. Thick lacing.

Smell - Tons of grapefruit. Tangerine. Little bit of floral as well.

Taste - HUGE citra flavor, along with some pine and a really nice bitter bite. Very smooth. Toasty malt backbone that holds it all together. I can't find a single flaw in the taste. Solid 5.

Mouthfeel - Med/heavy body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

Overall - The 2014 batch is out of this world. The minor details like appearance barely matter here. The taste is a solid 5/5. If you love big citrusy DIPAs, get a 4pk of this as soon as possible.

Serving type: can

02-21-2014 23:02:34 | More by sbxx
Photo of SeanBond


4.8/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is phenomenal. Tastes of fresh hops not dissimilar to Heady Topper, but the overall product is even better, in my opinion.

Awesome; looks great, smells amazing, and tastes even better. One of my top 4 DIPAs (IIPA by New Glarus, early 2013 Navaja, this, and Permanent Funeral by FFF.).

Serving type: can

02-19-2014 01:01:11 | More by SeanBond
Photo of falloutsnow


4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From: France44, Minneapolis, MN
Date: Canned 2014-01-07
Glass: Tulip

An excellent DIPA that manages to blend seriously bitter, hop-armpit like aromas and flavors with tropical fruits and base malt sweetness to come out with something surprisingly delicious and drinkable. While the tallboy can is a bit too much for one of these beers, this is an offering I would partake of often if it was local and/or affordable.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of slightly off-white colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles yielding a frothy appearance, which fades within 1.5 minutes to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a small island of thin lace atop the body of the beer. Lacing is very good, with complex patterns clinging to all sides of the glass. Body is a bright, but deep, golden orange color, with light bringing out rich golden yellow to light golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the slightly hazy (10-20% opacity) body: low in number, moderate in activity.

Aroma of hoppy BO, bitter grapefruit and orange, guava, pineapple, a bit of musky/musty/sweet tropical fruit that clearly shows the Citra hops, and a bit of spicy ethanol.

Flavor is highly of bitter hops, with flavors of bitter grapefruit, pineapple, guava, and hoppy BO. Front of palate tastes bitter hops with a bit of pine, dried grass, grapefruit, orange, guava, hoppy BO flavors, and mild background sweetness. Mid-palate of bitter grapefruit and orange, guava, pineapple, and a tropical fruit sweetness that's enhanced by the base pale and caramel-like malt sugars and light ethanol. Back of palate tastes high hop bitterness with some orange, grapefruit, and guava flavors along with a mild tropical fruit-like sweetness and very light ethanol. Aftertaste of bitter hops with attendant grapefruit, hoppy BO, and modest ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, leading to a lightly foamy (1/5) mouthfeel that is otherwise smooth, appropriate for a fairly ethanol-filled, strongly-flavored double IPA. Ethanol is only lightly detectable as gentle heat in the nostrils, no burnging on the palate or throat. Closes dry, with medium-heavy stickiness clinging to the palate.

Serving type: can

02-18-2014 06:28:27 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of GrumpyBeer


4.61/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is consistently fantastic. The pour is a hazy honey orange with an off white head that fades to subtle lacing and carbonation throughout. Wow the smell bright orange grapefruit citrus with a dank balance and a slight peachy yeast aroma. The taste hits all the aromas perfectly balanced not overly sweet bitter or citrus but does lean toward the citrus side. The taste is near perfect but I do think Pliny and ht are slightly deeper and fuller. The mouthfeel is crisp and full and you want to keep going back to the well for another. Overall a top IPA

Serving type: can

02-18-2014 03:34:05 | More by GrumpyBeer
Photo of KFBR392


4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 1/7/14

Appearance: beer is a hazy dark golden color. Plenty of suspended sediment which just looks awesome. Half a finger of head on the pour which was present while drinking.

Smell: Once the can is opened there is an explosion of floral hops. Once in the glass there are still plenty of bright tropical hop aromas but a solid malt body joins which adds a slightly nutty presence. The fruitiness of mangos, tangerines, kiwis, and pineapple just doesn't give in throughout.

Taste: As one would expect, a bountiful bouquet of citrus sweetness on the front. The hop presence has such a soft feeling on the palate yet packs such a huge punch. Some of that nutty malt warms up the body a bit and can be felt into the aftertaste. But like the aroma, no doubt the floral hops dominate and man is it good.

Mouthfeel: The hops showcase themselves so well without being taxing on the palate. Sweetness sticks around long after drinking.

Overall: Without a doubt one of the best IPAs I've ever had. I would only say its true rival that I've had to this point is HT. The floral hop tones are literally perfect and everything I love about an IPA. The malt body provides a perfect base for the hops to shine and dominate this brew. All I have is wow, a masterpiece.

Serving type: can

01-31-2014 00:43:27 | More by KFBR392
Photo of jwerner23


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 dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Asheville Winter Warmer Beer Festival in Asheville, NC

A: Pours a murky honey orange in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some hints of golden yellow and orange highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a large thick cap covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin film surrounding it and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/orange, citrus/tangerine, and tropical/passionfruit hops - this beer has a huge hoppy aroma that is quite delicious.

T: Upfront there is a lightly honey sweet moderate grainy malt flavor that provide just enough sweetness to balance out the huge hop flavors. Strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/orange, and citrus/tangerine hops with moderate flavors of tropical/passionfruit and tropical/pineapple hops. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Chewy and slightly sticky with a touch of dryness in the finish.

O: Definitely one of the most enjoyable DIPA that I have had the chance to drink - very enjoyable with huge fruity hop flavors and well hidden alcohol. Easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2014 23:47:52 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of ArdyExfor


4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy yellow orange. Little to no head. Minimal lacing.

S: Hello FRUIT! Wow lots of fruity smelling hops. Pineapple, mango, peach and apricot oh my!

T: Again with the fruit up front, a nice bitterness follows.

M: Medium mouth feel, moderate carbonation.

O: I dig it! Tropical IPA for sure.

Serving type: can

01-25-2014 02:17:59 | More by ArdyExfor
Photo of Alieniloquium


4.09/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy copper body. Small off white head. Settles to a thin layer of foam. Thin collar.

Smell - Citrus hops. Tropical fruit. Some toasty malt.

Taste - Tropical fruit. Ample caramel malt. A little bit of toasted malt. Medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and very drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Not what I expected. I expected a hop monster a la Heady, but it's more of what people would call a balanced IPA.

Serving type: can

01-22-2014 02:32:04 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of rawfish


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

Golden and very hazy, didn't form much of a head following the pour. Retention is not there but the lacing it leaves is incredible.

Aroma is a hop medley of mangoes, peach, bright orange citrus and gren notes that are more grassy than piney. Underlying sweetness that blends with the fruit hops providing balance without much of a combating bready or grainy aroma.

Sweet caramel and toasty malt provides balance to a pleasant pine and deeper orange citrus flavor with rich nectarine and peach notes. Finish lacks drying qualities despite the expected DIPA bitterness but provides a slight alcohol taste with a sweet cracker malt dusting.

Moderate body, with a very rich and creamy mouthfeel, tight bubbles that are neither prickly or overbearing. Alcohol note is reserved but present and the malt is a bit sticky. Drying comes in late as the bitterness sticks to the palate.

Wow, I took two of these down before I knew what hit me. The aroma and mouthfeel are text book, the aroma encompasses a variety of luscious hop smells and the drink is very smooth. Taste is unique with the stone fruit flavors atop plentiful pine and citrus.

Thanks to my new friend maximum12 for this one. Can you call someone you traded with just once a friend? After a few of these..I think you have to.

Serving type: can

01-21-2014 01:27:29 | More by rawfish
Photo of rjp217


4.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 12/10/13 so a little past its prime. Poured into a tulip...

Really nice looking beer, dark orange color with a half finger head and minimal lace. Aroma is a little muted for me. I get some orange, piney hops. I find it somewhere in between a citrus and pine bomb. Taste is fruity and tasty upfront with some malt and pine in between and then a huge hop bomb aftertaste and pretty dry. I also get a little candyish pez type taste. Almost reminds me of Palate Wrecker but with more fruit characteristics. Mouthfeel is semi carbonated and bitter rolling off the palate. Overall this is an excellent DIPA but not quite World Class in my opinion. As it warms it really shines. I would definitely seek this out and love to try one that's fresh as hell to better compare. Even so, another great one from Surly.

Serving type: can

01-18-2014 20:18:07 | More by rjp217
Photo of Stimulus199


4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

About as close to perfect a DIPA has humanly possible. Super fresh tasting, resiny hop flavors. I buy this one whenever it's available, wallet permitting. The standard against which all DIPAs should be judged - unfortunate that it's not a year-round beer.

Serving type: can

01-14-2014 22:57:11 | More by Stimulus199
Photo of NHbeerguy

New Hampshire

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

Pours a perfect hop bomb orange. Nice white head that settled quickly but it did leave some nice lacing. Smell was awesome. Nice and fruity with a kick of pine. Taste was that of a top notch DIPA. The citrus followed by the pine notes where amazing. Mouthfeel left you waiting for the next sip. Overall a great beer. Abrasive is a fantastic DIPA.

Serving type: can

01-13-2014 02:15:36 | More by NHbeerguy
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,684 ratings.