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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,093 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,093
Reviews: 805
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,924
Gots: 281 | 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: 3,093 | Reviews: 805 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of teeeebs
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

teeeebs, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of JandJMD
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

JandJMD, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of mfl620ks
5/5  rDev +10.6%

mfl620ks, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of seanhug
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

seanhug, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Morey
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Morey, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Mcvs1507
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Mcvs1507, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Skramer
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Skramer, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Saltee
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Saltee, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of TheEvilGenius
4/5  rDev -11.5%

TheEvilGenius, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of mechamifune
4.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden/straw color with a big fluffy white head. Healthy carbonation. Looks inviting enough.

Smell is big citrus upfront, and a lingering smell that I can't fully define. It's pleasant, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Big picture though, this is a whole lot of citrus, very in your face, and I love it.

Taste is all sorts of hops and citrus upfront. No real malt presence to speak of. The name of the beer aside, it doesn't come across as hard to drink despite the big flavor notes. Finishes with a good bit of bitterness but nothing astringent. Complex? Not really, but if you are looking for a big hop/citrus bomb, this is it.

Moutfeel is about right for the style. Resiny, a little syrupy, but ultimately enough carbonation to give a nice sense or body and drink smoothly.

Overall this is a well made hop bomb of a beer. If that's your thing, this beer is worth a shot. In the realm of Pliny's, Hopslams, Heady Toppers, Pure Hoppiness and the like, does this beer hold up? It's in the conversation, but ultimately I couldn't say i'd put this beer ahead of any of those (my old ratings aside)... but if its a step down from those it is a very minor one. In the end, there is something to be said for a beer that delivers exactly what it promises.

mechamifune, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of claspada
4.21/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 02-28-13, sampled 04-12-13.

Pours a clear, dark golden yellow color with a medium sized off-white head of bubbly foam that had decent head retention which subsided to leave some thick, sticky, rings of lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with super tropical fruits combined with lesser grapefruit and pine hops. There is a mild sweetish, candy malt backbone but really not much worth mentioning even as it warms.

The tastes begin with the lightly sweet, toasted maltiness immediately overcome by astrigent grapefruit and complementary tropical fruity hops. There are some lesser spicy and dank pine hops in the background

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is mainly dry and bitter but by no means "abrasive" as the label indicates.

Overall I enjoyed this but sadly not as much as it's lighter cousin Furious. I don't think over a month is a death sentence for a DIPA but maybe a fresher example would have yielded a more impressive aroma. While this is a world class example of the style, I still found the price point a bit high. The flavor profile is super amazing, but nothing that hasn't been done before. With all the new hop styles available it seems you need to reinvent yourself to be continuously impressive to induce repeat purchases. If it was easier to get I would probably purchase again but for close to half the cost, Furious is more drinkable and sessionable and probably easier to get on the daily.

claspada, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of DaPan
5/5  rDev +10.6%

DaPan, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of ShadyJay
4/5  rDev -11.5%

ShadyJay, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of zekeman17
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

zekeman17, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of drrone
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

drrone, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

ArchEnemyBrew, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of Mike
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Mike, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of BuddyE
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

BuddyE, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of founder26
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

founder26, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of Jeffrey2310
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Jeffrey2310, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz tallboy canned 3/4/2013, poured into a Bell's tulip glass and quaffed today 4/8/13 after my beloved Wolverines lost in the national title game.

Aroma: As soon as I popped the can, I got hit in the face with tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Very hard to miss and extremely dense nose. That could be from the can's small opening, but still, as soon as it was all in the glass, it was still very strong. There is also some honey and bready sweetness in the background. Very good hopforward nose. (4.5)

Colour: Beautiful, hazy amber body with a thick, dense 3cm white head that stays for a minute or two before dissipating into a persistent thin white film and thick white collar. The lacing is sticking all over the glass such that by the end, there are tons of it. Really good looking beer that makes me smile and want to drink it. (4.75)

Flavour: Really good stuff. I get a lot of the pine hopforwardness up front that quickly transitions to a honeyed, bready sweetness and then that gets overcome by citrus bitterness remniscent of grapefruit and some ripe oranges leaving me with a clean, dry and very bitter finish. Definitely not a balanced DIPA as its extremely hopforward, I suppose I'd call it abrasive if my palate weren't attuned to DIPAs, but I certainly prefer a little bit more balance to it. I get no heat at all, which contributes to its quaffability. (4.75)

Mouthfeel: Outstanding. A medium body, very resinous and dry. The carbonation is fantastic- its resinous but fizzes like crazy on my tongue. A true pleasure to quaff. The aftertaste is a very citrusy, pineapply bitter one that definitely wrecks my palate. I'm pretty damn sure I'm not going to taste anything if I drink another beer after this. When it comes to a hopforward DIPA, this is the one to rule them all. (4.5)

Overall: I see what all the hype is about. This is a really smooth drinking, hopforward double IPA that lives up to its name. It definitely hides its 9% ABV very well and is a delectable gobletful of citrus, tropical fruit and pine bitterness. If you're a huge hophead, this is a fantastic example of a beer you'll give all 5's to. For me, I think it could be a little bit more malty to back up the hops and it'd meet my preferences for a more balanced DIPA that I've come to love- such as Pliny the Elder and this year's Hopslam- both of which are on the sweeter side to go along with their hopforwardness. I would definitely get it every year as long as I live near Minnesota. (4.75)

Stevedore, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of comfortablynirm
5/5  rDev +10.6%

comfortablynirm, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

finally, an abrasive in my glass! been reading about this one forever, so nice to finally get the chance to indulge. and an indulgence this is! pours a sleek reddish orange color with some haze and a couple inches of impenetrable white head. the nose is way way more fruity than I anticipated, super juice fresh squeezed hop complexion, with some pine and definitely an acidic citrus element, but I get a lot more berry and even passionfruit in this. some lighter American 2 row and caramel malts round it out. the flavor is more tropical than deciduous in the fruit department, but still pungently fruity. bitterness doesn't even come in until the finish, which makes this a really unique double ipa. the alcohol is almost entirely invisible until the beer warms up, and even then isn't punishing by any stretch. the mouthfeel is the weakest link, not bad, but a little more malt body might balance this out little better. I feel like it needs a bigger platform to stand out. carbonation is right on though, and it makes the grapefruit and other citrus hops characters come out a little more. id love to know what hops are used in this, its really different. Maybe not the most perfect example of the style out there, but you don't get to be a 100 on BA in this category by accident. Worthy of my anticipation, this is a stellar beer. I can still name a handful of others id draft higher, but this is awesome!

StonedTrippin, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

ShemRahBoo, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of JonnyBeers
5/5  rDev +10.6%

JonnyBeers, Apr 08, 2013
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,093 ratings.