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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,185 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,185
Reviews: 809
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 1,975
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)
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Ratings: 3,185 | Reviews: 809 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of shrek806
5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of FUNKPhD
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Reddish amber, with lacy white head. Can is usually Surly awesomeness.

S - Boats of grapefruit spicy/tartness. Citrusy goodness all over the place.

T - Balanced levels of sweetness and bitterness. Excellent amount of grapefruity/nutty hoppyiness. Nice yeasty creaminess.

M - Hoppy tingle present. Above average carbonation. Awesome.

O - Hop juicy love. Pungent, sexual hop sweat.

Photo of vobr0002
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of aliving1
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of brydeen
4.93/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12/14/11 canning poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a hazy amber/copper color, with a dense creamy white head. Very sticky lacing.

S: HUGE citrus burst in the nose. A perfect blend of pineapple, grapefruit, and piney hop scents before I'm even done pouring the can. This is what a DIPA should smell like.

T: Taste absolutely backs up the aroma. Loads of sweet citrusy flavors backed up with a dry, piney finish. Nice bitterness from the hops to counteract the sweetness.

M: Surprisingly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is subtle, making this brew extremely smooth.

O: Absolutely a world class DIPA. This year's batch seems even better than past incarnations. So good, I think I'll just have to drink 1 more

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of hopburster
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Beerlistman
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of riverrunt421
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to my buddy tom for this bad boy!

16oz can a little above fridge temp poured into a snifter. canned on 12/08/11 (less than 1 month old).

pours out a fairly clear burnt orange amber color with a huge 3 fingers of dense off white head. great thick head retention and sticky lace clings to 50% of the glass.

wow! as soon as i put my nose to the can i knew this was going to be great. smells like im crushing a freshly picked hop in my hands, dank, resinous hop oils, fresh candied tangerine, a bit of grapefruit and fresh pine, floral. some caramel malt tries to balance, and a bit of alcohol is noticable. just slghtly vegetal as it warms.

amazing hop flavors, so fresh, maybe detecting simcoe? candied tangerine and grapefruit citrus and super fresh pine. dank, just slightly floral. caramel malt is definatly noticable, but hops rule here. alcohol is just noticable enough to add something good.

such a slick oily feel, rolls over the palate so nicely. carbonation feels just right.

what a beer, tastes insanely fresh. maybe the best DIPA ever? thats hard to say but its definatly right up there with pliny for me. every hop head needs to do whatever they need to do to seek this out. great stuff.

Photo of mgbickel
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this can after a long day at the office! Haven't had this in 2 years and decided it was time to enjoy again.

Abrasive pours a beautiful orange-yellow color with hints of red in the light. Not entirely clear with the slightest haze that seems to stand still in the brew, even after warming for 30 minutes! Bubbles at first for a nice copper head, and subsides to just a couple bubbles after a minute.

Aroma really grabs you right away. Huge bursts of caramel and toffee, blended with grapefruit. At first, the smell is much more hoppy, but then mellows into that traditional aroma profile of a DIPA quickly.

Taste is really just out of this world. First flavors are nutty and caramelly- almost like syrup. Then the burst of hops that follows is outstanding. Grapefruit and lemon are the highlights, but there is almost a faint maple syrup at the end. The flavor profile lingers, and lingers, and lingers...beautiful.

There's a reason this beer is so acclaimed.


Photo of vikinghorn
5/5  rDev +10.6%

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of WillRadar
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of boofda
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of BeerSingh
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of Beerdius
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jegross2
5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of dsuedbeck
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of hurfer
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of BretSikkink
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange-brown in color, reasonably firm head of tightly packed tan foam. Extensive lacing. Aroma is strong and has a good fruit content. Some pepper notes from Warrior, but fruity Amarillo is prominent. Hops are strong, malts subdued.

Flavor is smooth and creamy with a wonderful non-balance of hops over malt. A touch of steely caramel sweetness is all that's required, while the double IPA hop is left to lead the show. Lots of orange, as expected from the bill, grapefruit as well. It's like liquid Sweetbell.

Met all my expectations, drinkable as an IPA and strong as a double. Full and creamy mouthfeel without becoming overly malty and sweet. Really solid.

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,185 ratings.