Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,987 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +1.3%
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.
05-12-2011 05:49:56 | More by BrewerB
4.6/5 rDev +1.8%
I teach college writing. Between my academic work, personal commitments, and teaching, this past semester was the busiest time of my whole entire life. Because it was so busy, I had to break some of my personal rules. Rule 1: When grading, if you come across a paper that is especially good or horribly bad, wait a while before grading the next one.
It makes sense. Grading papers, like reviewing beers, is essentially subjective; we just try out best to normalize it by cramming our subjective feelings into the criteria listed on a rubric. And it would be unfair to let the especial goodness or badness of the preceding reviewee influence our take on the ones that follow it.
But, damnit, I'm tired of pretending to be objective. Sometimes you feel let down, and you seek out something that will alleviate that feeling. Doesn't that something deserve credit for doing (or not doing) that job? If I can't properly judge a beer after judging another, excellent or horrible one, then what's to say I can't judge a beer if I'm in a bad mood, or if I'm tired, or especially happy?
What I'm getting at is that normally, after trying and failing to slog through Millstream's abysmal Hop 2, I'd have just gone to bed, or switched to something old and reliable. But tonight, my heartache from Millstream's failure was so intense that I couldn't just let it pass by. I had to erase it. Violently. It needed to be scrubbed away, and we all know that the best scrubbing surfaces are the most abrasive ones.
This is a beer that tears thousands of little holes into everything you hate. It's like a brillo pad for your mind.
Good double IPAs usually feature some intense complexity of hops, or some intricate interplay of the hops and yeast. Normally I prefer the latter variety, but this is the most excellent example I've ever seen of the former.
05-12-2011 05:14:01 | More by mynie
4.5/5 rDev -0.4%
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.
05-10-2011 22:54:28 | More by CliffBrake
4.83/5 rDev +6.9%
Appearance: Bright copper. What little head is there slowly dissipates.
Smell: Didn't even have to put it up to my nose to smell it. Hoppy, grapefruity, saliva-producing goodness.
Taste: Very hoppy but an excellent malt backbone to balance.
Mouthfeel: Little chewy, perfectly carbonated. Medium-light body.
Overall: Move over, Pliny and Hopslam.
05-09-2011 23:25:58 | More by anell213
4.53/5 rDev +0.2%
A: beautiful burnt orange. not too much head. quickly dissipating lacing.
S: strong pine and citrus notes. smells great. exactly what i want a dipa to smell like.
T: intense hop bitterness on the front end. sweetens up on the back end. hints of orange and peach. seems much more balanced than furious did to me. no trace of booze in the taste.
M: perfect mouthfeel. thick and creamy but not to the detriment of drinkability.
overall: wasnt completely blown away, and im not sure it lived up to my expectations after all the hype, but its still a great dipa and i havent had many that are better. definitely a top tier beer. would absolutely seek out again.
05-09-2011 00:47:43 | More by PhatAtUT
4.33/5 rDev -4.2%
Update:: Canned 1/12/12 -
S - Amazing, but a bit sugary.
T - Slightly thin and a bit overly sweet... Very pineapple and grapefruit. - From a 5 to a 4
A - An elegant orange color with an amazingly foamy tan head. Orange color only slightly murky. Head is bubby, and builds quickly... Little lacing remains
S - Smells like a GREAT IPA... Scents of pineapple, apricot, grape, and lemon dominate the air of this fine canned product. Only a slight twang...
T - WOW! Very smooth and citrus, very little hop domination. Not your typical IIPA... Very impressive Surly... A+
M - Amazingly light and airy. WET and distinguished. Heavy bodied and well balanced.
D - Quite drinkable. Hard to put down, mildly sweet, but not sugary. Drinks well.
A fantastic Surly brew! Thank you nppeders for another great trade! quite a can...
05-08-2011 02:07:29 | More by chugalug06
4.5/5 rDev -0.4%
poured on tap at a respectable restaurant known for keeping clean lines.
I was amazed that they had this beer on tap. Have had it several times from the can, was excited to have it this way.
A - poured a nice 1 inch head that laced from start to finish. Nice yellow color with an orange hue. Very eye appealing. On sight alone, makes me want to have this beer.
S - nice citrus aroma of orange and grapefruit with just a little bit of pine aroma on the end. The fruit is the most prevelant aroma present.
T - first taste is of the nice hop explosion, then followed by the orange citrus. The malt is present on the back of the pallet adding sweetness to the citrus. This beer tastes amaizing.
M - stays in mouth and is very pleasant to the mouth. The mouthfeel lends it to still being a very easy to drink beer.
O - Amazing beer, great taste of hops, citrus, and malt that all work real well together. Can defitely feel the ABV, but well worth it. Would recommend this beer to anyone.
05-07-2011 20:55:37 | More by biglobo8971
4.3/5 rDev -4.9%
A: Deep copper color. Not a lot of head to speak of. Decent lacing.
S: A lot of intense citrus hops come through here. A little pine mixed in. I love the aroma.
T: An all out hop attack. Very nice hop bitterness and grapefruit notes. A little malt comes through at the end, but mostly just bitter, fruity hops. A great example of what a DIPA
should taste like.
M: Medium body that is almost oily. Perfect carbonation. Dry finish.
O: A fantastic beer. One of the best examples of a DIPA I have had. A little too heavy to have a lot of but still drinkable.
05-05-2011 06:41:10 | More by jimixr
4.38/5 rDev -3.1%
can dated 3/21/11
A: Robust, thick looking hazy amber pour, head forms super slow. Suggestion of low carbonation.
S: Sharp citric and pine notes over sugar coated malt. Dank and resinous, lots of pineapple & tangerines.
T: Blast of citric hops, matching levels of bitterness. Tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple. 9% is overshadowed by an immense amount of flavor. Fruit forward, sweet malt merely provides a base. Taste is pretty much world class in my opinion, and my sample is over a month old.
M: Thick, chewy which is nice. Though I thought carbonation was slightly low.
O: Now one of my favorite DIPAs.
05-04-2011 22:52:34 | More by zoolzoo
4.93/5 rDev +9.1%
Thanks to brother Nick for hooking me up with two cans of this sought-after ale!
Pours from the can a peachy sunset orange color, with a creamy if not super-huge head that stands firm and lasts a long while.
The aroma is out of this world. Total hop overload, in a good way, but also with enough malt backing it up where it starts to take on a welcoming candy-like vibe. Smells I can't properly describe emanate from Abrasive, but they're somewhat of a juxtaposition between the poles of peppermint, spearmint, spruce, mango, pineapple, ginger, toffee and honey. My oh my.
The taste (and somehow "taste" seems an egregious understatement) is a similarly sensuous compilation of the aromas described, although with a more strongly herbal component, much like the sticky marijuana bud appeal of Oskar Blues' Gubna (a beer I proudly defend) but certainly less abrasive than Gubna, ironically enough. Exotic and tropical fruit meets mutant pine in a taffy factory. And wow, is that texture perfect for what's happening on the tongue. Slightly sticky, a bit chewy, very creamy, but never overwhelming or too thick.
Holy shit, this is a total out-of-the-park offering from Surly. One of the best beers I have ever had. And I have nothing more to say, because it's time to kick back and simply enjoy this lovely, lovely beer...
05-03-2011 22:55:16 | More by Metalmonk
4.55/5 rDev +0.7%
I've had this a couple times, this is from notes taken at Peoria Int. Beerfest.
a - medium amber color. nice tight head. good lacing
s - citrus, pineapple, light malt sweetness.
t - big, big citrus hop, great pine and overtone of "honey-nut oat"
m - crisp, clean, refreshing.
o - double ipa perfection in a can.
05-02-2011 15:45:06 | More by PhineasGage
4.2/5 rDev -7.1%
Did an impromptu IP trade with one of Biglobo's crew at DLD, wish i remembered his name, and then split the can with another guy standing near us, wish i remembered his name too.
The color of this is as tangerine orange as i've seen. deep inticing hue that makes you salivate with anticipation.
The aroma and flavors just loft and scream floral esters and grapefruit. The more subtle flavors hide some tropical notes and some faint wet cut grass notes along with the previously mentioned esters. Dispite being canned about a month ago it was action packed, if it was loftier before it would be wild.
Super good. I'd buy it anytime, if i was Mn.
I still have 1 more can to drink and update if needed too, which is exciting.
05-02-2011 02:33:42 | More by ChadQuest
4.22/5 rDev -6.6%
16oz can picked up on DLD from some guy trading surly out of his trunk for barrel aged beers. thanks. drank from my new belgium globe glass.
A- this one pours out a translucent light amber colored body with a rather large bright white head on top. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind small rings of lacing. very nice.
S- the main attraction in the nose is the hops. the initial whiff brings forth lots of resiny pine and grapefruit. there are some lighter pineapple and orange zest notes as well. at the end there are some sweet caramel malts which try to add some balance here.
T- the first sip starts off with lots of sweet caramel malts that add a solid malt backbone to this. after that its all about the hops. plenty of grapefruit and pine. there are also orange zest and pineapple notes. nice and bitter.
M- the body is on the larger side of medium. the carbonation is spot on. nice and bitter. leaves my mouth feeling dry. it tastes like theres less than 9% ABV in here.
O- i really liked this one. the can seems fresher than my first pour of this back when it was called 16 grit. ill be looking to get more of this the next time its released. very solid DIPA in a can.
05-02-2011 01:27:24 | More by jwinship83
4.2/5 rDev -7.1%
16oz can poured into a Pint glass. Sent to me by a frequent trading partner, hopburster.
A- Pours a bright, clear orange with a nice thick, fine head. Off-white in color with great retention and lacing.
S- Smells of Pine, grass, and some slight citrus.
T- Pine, citrus, and a slight malt finish.
D- Bitter at first sip, but balances quickly. Nice carbonation and very drinkable.
O- I enjoyed this very much. Not a top 5 IPA for me, but a 10 for sure.
05-01-2011 02:28:06 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.53/5 rDev +0.2%
16oz can in my DFH/WholeFoods pint glass. Reviewing side by side with PtE.
A- Darker Golden to straw color. A bit darker than PtE. A bit hazy. A great head, with little retention.
S- Citrus explosion, I love the citra. Super floral. Grapefruit sweetened by a good malt backbone.
T- More citrus, more bitter than PtE. Really floral and Grapefruity.
M- Good mouthfeel. A good long finish that lingers.
Overall- I think I'm partial to Abrasive over PtE. Could be the lifecycles that each is in. EIther way, I love them both.
04-30-2011 02:06:58 | More by GrandCruDrew
4.8/5 rDev +6.2%
A - Pours a dark copper color with a nice one fingered thick, creamy white head, no carbonation. After the creamy foam dies down there's a white ring left sticking to the glass, swirl it, and the foam continues to stick like glue.
S - Giddyup! This beer WREAKS of pungent tropical fruit that's so ripe, it's ready to fall off the vine. Pineapple, mango's, grapefruit, papaya, juicy orange, the aroma is absolutely obscene. There's some bready malt in there as well but the fruit completely dominates the nose. Acidic fruit also comes to mind.
T - It's all about the fruit in this beer, it does an absolutely fantastic job of showcasing a perfect blend of hops and malt. From start to finish the hops keep coming at you. Things start out with a quick punch of tart fruit at the tip of the tongue, then quickly moves to rich pineapple and mango, keeps rolling along into a red grapefruity/piney finish. There's a slight bit of warming he way down from the alcohol, but not much at all.
M - Heavy medium body, rich, full and leaves a tingling on the tongue as it glides across. Lip smacking tasty! The grapefruit rind lingers in the mouth for several minutes
O - This is a world class, big IPA. Rich, juicy, and decadent. Abrasive can easily hold it's own against two of my other favorite big West Coast IPA's! Excellent job, Surly! Bravo!!
04-29-2011 21:30:26 | More by jzeilinger
4.18/5 rDev -7.5%
Can dated 1/04/11, so pretty old, but I wanted to try it anyways. Served in an IPA glass.
This beer seemed to survive much better than a comparable bottled DIPA. I'll raise a can to that.
A - dark reddish orange with a perfect 1.5 finger off white head. Very bubbly and foamy.
S - Tons of citrus fruit, specifically orange and grapefruit. If I had to guess I would say this was dry hopped with Simcoe.
T - Almost like a sweet orange juice up front and finishes decidedly bitter and piny. Bitter flavors linger for some time. I can see how this is abrasive to some, but very good to me. Since this was an older can, I can certainly pick up some diacetyl flavors. The 9% ABV is very well masked.
M - Thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Finishes a bit harsh, but is mostly smooth all the way through.
O - A great DIPA. I'm going to try to find a fresh can for a new review.
04-29-2011 02:24:21 | More by dmsohyea
4.43/5 rDev -2%
Was in Minneapolis for my Buddies wedding and got my hands on a four pack. This is AMAZING!
A- Poured from a 16oz. can into a pint glass. Nice cloudy orange honey color. One finger creamy head disappears rather quickly, but leaves a nice sticky lacing around the glass.
S- Fresh citrus, pineapple, mango, slight hoppiness matched well with sweet caramel malts. I wish it would pop into my nose a bit more, but maybe a pint wasnt the best choice for this one. Shoulda grabbed my tulip!
T- Fresh fruit right up front! Orange zest, mango, lemon... the malt and hops come in at the same time... perfect blend. Finishes with nice grapefruit/honey aftertaste! Just a touch of alcohol... not at all overwhelming. Delicious!!!
M- Again... the bitterness and sweetness blend seamlessly! Honey and pine... fresh citrus!!! Makes your mouth feel clean!
D- If I could get this where I am in Cali... This would be my go to hop satisfier. Really nice balance.
04-29-2011 00:05:31 | More by SoCalStout
4.93/5 rDev +9.1%
A: a coppery amber color with an aggressive pour, one inch cream head, just beautiful in a pint glass.
S: citrus, citrus, citrus, plus some piney notes, with a carmel malt base - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on a mega dose of steroids.
T: Malt base, with a hop rush, and a tiny bit of an alcohol finish. Superb.
M: Nice mouth feel, but lacks some of the oiliness of IPA's/DIPA's that I enjoy. I like the oiliness.
O: A neutron bomb of a DIPA that is very drinkable. I could sip on this all night and into the morning. Slaps Furious aside as my favorite Surly beverage.
04-29-2011 00:00:02 | More by ovaltine
4.85/5 rDev +7.3%
An absolutely insane extra from G133 in our recent trade. I had no idea this was going to be that good. You should have warned me.
From a 500ml can into a snifter.
APPEARANCE: Pours syrupy looking out of the can. Awesome. Pour yields a one finger, medium-thinner looking, off-white head with decent retention. Loose and airy head unfortunately. Head fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Deep burnt orange in color, but more of an SAE amber when held to the light, perfectly clear with zero carbonation evident. Dots of wisp and a ring remain leaving dots of lace down the glass.
SMELL: Awesome! Huge nose on this one. Pale malts, caramel, and piles of pine and citrus notes. Lemon, mango and grapefruit aromas in there as well. A piney, citrusy hop bomb of a nose, and it’s bold as hell. Love this.
TASTE: And I thought the nose was killer. This is exactly how a DIPA should taste. Lots of pale malts, caramel malt, and mango sweetness, then piles of piney, bitter hops at the swallow. Citrus, lemon, sweet mango, and bitter pine and grapefruit come out wonderfully at the finish. A bitter-sweet aftertaste of citrusy sweetness and hoppy, piney bitterness lingers and lingers, with a touch of alcohol to boot. This is the ultimate in balanced double IPAs. It’s a hop bomb with the malt backbone to support it. Just stunning.
PALATE: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Pretty heavy too for the style, but it works great with the heavy malt backbone. Could be slightly creamier, but love the fullness and weight on this one.
OVERALL: Just awesome. This is the DIPA of DIPAs. Blows Pliny and Hopslam out of the water, and deserves every ounce of praise that it gets. I can see, just based on this can and Darkness, why MN folk lover their Surly. This is one I’ll definitely have to try to track down again. Thanks again G133 for making this part of our trade. Someone trade me more of this stuff please. Always ISO a 4 pack of this holly nectar. Highly recommended!
04-28-2011 19:39:25 | More by Jeffo
4.95/5 rDev +9.5%
A - It pours a small off-white head into a tulip glass. Very minimal lacing, and the head dies down quickly. The beer is clear with a beautiful medium golden-orange hue.
S - I could smell this beer from 3 feet away. It packs a huge punch of tropical fruit, and citrus with a mellow complementing caramel malt presence. It reminds me a bit of red fruit punch.
M - Medium in body, with moderate carbonation. Its pretty dry and has a slick feel from the hops oils.
T - The taste is full of tropical fruit. Citrus, orange, tangerine and a multitude of other trace amounts of fruitiness. It finishes with a grapefruit rind bitterness that lingers long after swallowing. The alcohol is non-existent in the taste, kudos to Surly on that.
A tropical fruit hop bomb with an unforgiving bitterness. This is as good as they come, when it comes to Imperial IPAs. I highly recommend getting your hands on this beer, although you may have to wait until next year's release at this point.
04-26-2011 01:15:52 | More by boralyl
4.88/5 rDev +8%
Received this can from mymrnngjckt in my Secret Bunny box. thanks, Kevin!
Poured into a New Holland pint glass. You can smell the hops when you pop the can. Holy Cow!
Pours a slightly hazy, deep golden color with an offwhite head of about 2 fingers. Head is slow to drop, but stands up with about a finger's worth of foam. Nice lacing too.
Aromas of mind numbing piny and citrus hops, grapefruit, orange. Some malt in the background, but this is all about the hops.
Named appropriately. Tongue scraping bitterness, huge pine and citrus hop bomb. Grapefruit and orange. Some caramel maltiness. Finish goes on forever, with bitter grapefruit never really fading away. No alcohol noticeable.
Mouthfeel is almost puckering bitterness, can feel a slight tug at the back of the teeth as my cheeks try to cave in. For such a high bitterness, it isn't astringent at all. Some warming alcohol towards the middle of the glass.
Overall an amazing beer. Bitter as all hell. But no grassiness that you sometimes get from overhopping. Very nice.
04-24-2011 20:22:35 | More by JamnesCameron
4.47/5 rDev -1.1%
Huge thanks to DoctorRock for sending me this in a completely insane Surly sampler box.
A- 16oz. can into a Bruery snifter. Pours a hazy golden straw color with a nice 2 finger off white head. Fantastic lacing.
S- Nothing but hops, both citrus and floral. What an amazing smell. Grapefruit, orange, and a sugary sweetness also come through. Well done.
T- Delicious hops up front hit with the bitterness I come to expect from a world class DIPA. Fruits and floral notes all at once with a malty sweetness coming through towards the end. Perfectly executed, with not a trace of alcohol.
M- Clean, crisp, and refreshing, with no lingering bitterness at all. A fantastic example of the style, and easily my favorite.
O- The high praise for this beer going in made me skeptical, and this being my first Surly brew made it even worse. Not only did it impress me beyond words, it easily hangs with Pliny the Elder in terms of overall complexity. My first taste of Surly will definitely not be my last.
04-22-2011 01:04:26 | More by JoshVandy
4.47/5 rDev -1.1%
Thanks a ton to grub for this one. Waited a couple months for it, but finally here, YAY! Tall boy cans, gotta love em.
Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace with a bit of lacing over slightly hazy orange nectar colored beer.
Nose is wafting out awesomeness, pure hops, tons of citrus and tropical fruits, tangerine, light orange, bit of grapefruit, almost peach like, a light sweet toasty malt underneath it, some nice piny aromas as well, some sweet almost malty sugar base, nice balance.
Taste brings wondrous hops again, loaded with fruits, tropical fruits, nectarine, tangerine, light grapefruit, orange, citrus, some pine, fairly bitter but not crazy bitter. A decent malt base supports all the great hops, nice fairly sweet malts, a bit gritty as well. Finishes a bit more bitter as the bitterness ramps up a bit, fairly dry finish to juxtapose the sweet initial taste, tons of lingering citrus, tropical fruit, some pine, lots of nice hops. Booze is hidden pretty well, just a touch of a warming.
Mouth is medium bodied, a bit "abrasive" feeling, with decent carbonation.
Overall great beer, delicious hops, pine, tropical fruits, citrus, great nose, nice malty balance, fairly sweet to start and drier finish, booze is hidden well.
04-22-2011 00:22:26 | More by jlindros
4.3/5 rDev -4.9%
Wow this is one strong beer, and by saying that I mean the hops hit you like a ton of bricks.
Pours almost blood orange from the can to glass not much head some sticky on the glass.
The smell hits you while you are pouring it out. It will hit you with a grapefruit citrus blast.
The taste is the same.
Got this in a trade well worth it. I must try by any hop head as this one is great.
04-21-2011 02:57:05 | More by Casey10
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,987 ratings.