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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: 1,974
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 draheim
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can (canned 12/1/2011) poured into a tulip. Pours a glowing golden slightly hazy orange with a creamy thick off-white head that lingers for a while & leaves some sticky lacing.

Aroma is a huge burst of grapefruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, pine... delicious tropical goodness, one of the best-smelling beers I've ever inhaled.

Taste is piney, citrusy and brightly bitter. More brash and less tropical than the nose, but still very tasty.

Overall this is an in-your-face - abrasive - DIPA that doesn't hold back. I'm most impressed by the incredible aroma but I'd buy this regularly if it was available in my market.

Photo of crewfan16
3.93/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a can into a sam adams pint. im a huge fan of the furious, so i have high hopes for this brew. it was a tad expensive though at 16.99 a 4-pack of pint size cans.

a- pours a dark tangerine, almost honey color. over an inch of thick head with tight bubbles and just slightly off-white color. leaves some nice lacing. a pretty DIPA

s- grapefruit and other citrus, some definite pine resin and mango sweetness. just a tiny hint of caramel malt backbone

t- pine resin and citrus. maybe some lemon and just a hint of pepper. just a hint of malt sweetness and finishes hoppy bitter and resin. a hop bomb all the way

m- carbonation is right on for the style. finish is a bit dry and bitter, but expected for the style. drinkablity is great considering its 9% and there are a boatload of hops

overall, a very nice dipa. surly has yet to make a bad beer. unfortunately, this is a pretty limited seasonal release and quite expensive. a good beer, but at that price, i can find equal or better brews at a much better value

Photo of jsprain1
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours red-copper with a one finger off white head that has moderate staying power.
S- Hops, hops, and more hops. Big pine, with some citrus and tropical fruit. Quite juicy smelling.
T- A big ol kick of hops. Grapefruit more than anything, but there is some resinous pine and a touch of mango as well. A touch of sweetness in the finish but this is just straight up hops.
M- Carb fairly high. Sits firm on the tongue. Initially sticky but there's just a bit of drying to it.
O- This is a big beer with the kitchenload of hops. Given the choice, I would actually give a slight edge to Surly Wet, but this is still a very very good hop bomb.

Photo of Mirt
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jisom123
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of huhl23
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jstilwell
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of langfot99
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of brianlindman
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Avaak
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can dated 12/01/2011 poured into Surly pint glass (thanks Schlais, most excellent trader from MN).

Thin, off-white head quickly recedes to a few medium-sized bubbles clinging to the periphery. Orange-amber elixir. Not much lacing, typical of a high ABV brew.

From the first pop of this can the hoppy goodness exudes. Pine, resin, grapefruit, mango, AHH...Hops!

A sweet/bitter battle over my taste buds. Certainly the bitterness predominates and starts at the tip of the tongue washing back like a spiked glove. Citra forward, crushing the warrior hops. Almost a bubble gum-like flavor battles the resinous hops to a standstill.

Well carbonated, medium body, alcohol well hidden.

Bravo! Once again Surly kicks it.

Photo of syrupjoe
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a one finger creamy pecan colored head.

Nose is sharply peppery, vegetal, and slightly lemony.

Taste is peppery, dank, oniony, lemony and a tad sweet in the finish. Extreme hop blast but very well rounded.

Moderate to high carbonation, slightly syrupy/resinous mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Overall an incredible beer and an excellent example of an American IIPA. Unmatchable showcase of hops.

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

Pours very awesome deep copper almost ruby. Light tan almost off-white head that fades quickly but leaves a nice lacing.

Amazing aroma! Orange zest, pineapple, mango. Sweet and spicy. Notes of caramel and honey in the background, but it is all about the hops.

Loads of sticky hops in the flavor. Much more pine and grapefruit in the flavor. A little less tropical. Sticky resiny bitter finish. Honey and caramel notes still in the background, but nicely balanced for what it is.

As it warms the pine and spice does come out more in the aroma, and malt has a larger presence in the flavor. Some notes of toast and oats.

Slick and smooth but with plenty of carbonation. Sticky hop resin coats the mouth and stays there.

Overall an awesome IPA. I'm loving the citra/warrior combo. Though the malt bill is relatively complex in the recipe, it is sort of hidden beneath loads and loads of hops...not a bad thing though.

Photo of jenray
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of huadog
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of frogships
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of pirmannt1
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20oz Stein

Appearance - Very Hazy Dark Amber Color with a slightly brighter shade of orange at the bottom. There's fair amount of carbonation in here too. Head pours a large foamy 4 finger width with ALOT of sticky lacing on the side and takes a while before it the head starts to settle.

Smell - Woah, this is a very hoppy smelling beer, even more so than Surly's other seasonal IPA, Wet. There's also some very fruity notes in there as well, almost like an apple-fruity scent. I can also smell some malts in here as well, but it's over-shadowed by the sheer hops in here. The overall smell reminds me of Wet, but much more fruitier

Taste - The hops in the flavor are actually not as strong as they are in the smell, but the hops are still relatively strong. The fruity/apple & malty notes also gives this beer a unique flavor of it's own but in a good way. It gives very hoppy beer a sweet sort of flavor. The aftertaste is surprisingly dry with some mild fruity and hoppy notes. The fact this beer has a dry aftertaste considering all of the flavors at work here is very impressive in it's own right!

Mouthfeel - It's slightly heavy in terms of body, but relatively light on carbonation, making this a surprisingly easy to drink IPA. Impressive considering it's hop content and ABV.

Overall - Surly makes exceptional beers consistently and this beer is no different. It's not as intense as say Surly Wet is, but that's fine because its created it's own unique flavor! IPA and Hop lovers will find great joy in Abrasive Ale! Every IPA lover NEEDS to try this beer!

Photo of Humulus85
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surly knocks it out of the park again.

Poured from the Surly pint can into my Darkness snifter for effect.

It produced a dense, white, 2-finger head. Super solid retention and some very fine lacing. Poured a slightly hazy, reddish-copper.

Wow, I think I've died and gone to hop heaven. Juicy, tropical fruits dominate. So complex; mango, pineapple, grapefruit, probably more exotic fruits I've never had. There is a touch of pine in there as well, along with some subtle caramel sweetness. This may be the best smelling beer I've ever had. Skol Surly!

The taste follows suit. This is a true hop-heads beer. Loads of fruity hops upfront, slightly sweet in the middle, bitter throughout. Not as complex a hop profile as the nose, but a very nice malt backing comes in and you get a touch of alcohol.

Smooth for 9% and 120 IBUs, but still more of a sipper. Medium mouthfeel, dry overall, and moderate carbonation. It flirts with being cloying, but seems to avoid it.

Overall this an incredible DIPA and, in my opinion, right up there with Pliny (I haven't tried Heady Topper). Recommended to all who can get it. I feel lucky and privileged to live in the same city as a brewery as skilled as Surly. Cheers!

Photo of mcc1654
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Adamostella
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Beerdregs
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A copper colored look with a moderate amount of white head.

S: Fruit punch hop aroma. This smells like a great hop bill this year.

T: First starts out with strong grapefruit like hops. I tend to think the dry hops were different than the flavoring hops. The initial hop fades into some malt sweetness that balances well with the hops at this point the bittering hops hit the back of the tongue. The finish is sweet fresh tasting malt. The alc. is hidden until the warmth hits the tummy. Quite a ride!

M: Actually this actually feels fairly dry considering a 9% alc. The carbonation dances the flavors across the palate.

O: Wonderful flavor ride! This is a very fresh beer. (Canned this month I believe). I believe the best way to drink an imp IPA is as fresh as possible.

Photo of broodog
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz can. Canned on 12/01/11. Fresh! Fresh! Into a Bell's tulip glass

A- Copper-Amber color with 1 finger of off white head. Lacing nicely as it goes down the glass

S- Citrus, Citrus, Citrus, with a bit of pine. The aroma is in a class by itself.

T- Mouth-puckeringly bitter. Hops stick it to ya, and then linger around on the palate indefinitely. Don't taste much alcohol. No room for it, honestly.

M: Medium bodied, worth a swish or two. Just perfect

O: One of my favorite beers in existence. I will put this up against any DIPA (I'm looking at you, Pliny) any day of the week.

Photo of wrycon
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About an inch of cloud-white foam. Looks a deep copperish-ruby red. Smells absolutely amazing. Deep, deep citrus with tropical notes everywhere. Lots of grapefruit and an underpinning of malt and grain. Tastes fantastic. I remember past Abrasives being more, well, abrasive. This drinks like juice. Fairly light to start and then it slowly coats the palate in an equally-sweet / equally bitter wash, with lots of citrus, but an equal amount of malt. Neither flavor dominates, but rather collaborate to great effect. Normally, this wouldn't be notable, though the flavor is huge. You feel the tide could tip in either direction, but the flavor holds firm and ends in a slightly resinous fade. This is a strong, citrusy DIPA that should not be missed.

Like It? Very Much So

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