Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

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3,190 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,190
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 1,984
Gots: 292 | 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: 3,190 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +10.6%

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5/5  rDev +10.6%

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5/5  rDev +10.6%

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5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of djschnabel
5/5  rDev +10.6%

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4/5  rDev -11.5%

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4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of Bobbydigi
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of larsenju
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Sender
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to arvjunk for this
reviewed from notes taken on dec 2010
poured into tulip

Color: Almost orange, Some gold highlights come through when held to the light. A nice 2 finger white head form and it leaves behind some solid lacing.

Nose: Big fruit! Melon,peach,apricot,and mellow pineapple. Also you get the big hop profile of this beer.... quite piney, but also some sweetness rises from this brew.

Palate: Sticky and a bit boozy! The hops explode on the tongue, but then are washed away by the the gentle sweetness of this brew. The fruit also shines here as the melon and peach textures take over one the hoppy body is washed away. The carbonation is solid and the abv is masked well enough to make this DIPA quite drinkable.

Finish: Long and a bit bitter. Probably the weakest portion of the beer for me. Not as complex as I would like it to be, but still a very solid DIPA.

Rating: 93 out 100

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

The Abrasive Ale is my favorite overall Surly brewed beer. Too bad it's seasonal.

This beer pours out of Surly's staple pint aluminum cans. Pours a beautiful golden orange color. Does have a little head and has a wonderful citrus and hoppy smell.

The taste is absolutely amazing. Very "abrasive" hoppiness, but, has such a wonderful citrus flavor. Flavors of grapefruit and tangerine. Never was really a fan of either fruit until enjoying this beer. But this is such a well balanced and complex beer.

Another must try of the Surly arsenal. Again, too bad this is seasonal. But I guess it adds to the excitement.


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

16oz can poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a golden-amber color with a two-finger off-white head that has very good retention. Dissipates very slowly leaving behind considerable lacing.  Nice, but pretty typical at this point.

S: Very sharp aroma with aromatic hops manifesting themselves through citrus and pine resin.  Sweet tropical fruits of tangerine, orange, and mango, and bitter grapefruit rinds are prominent.  A solid malt backbone is present too; smells like my wife's yeast bread before she puts it in the oven.  Very, very aromatic. 

T: The flavors really fight each other on this ... it starts out malty/bready and slightly sweet.  Fresh, doughy bread with caramel.  It transitions quickly to the delicious citrus fruits, exactly in line with the aroma.  The sweetness is still slightly evident, giving it a great deal of complexity.  The bitterness is amped up at the finish, leaving much of the sweetness behind, and ending with citrusy hops, grapefruit rinds, and pine resin.  Really well done. 

M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky, coating the palate well.  Soft carbonation that creates a nice smoothness without being prickly or tingly.  Pretty drying finish, but it's not overpowering, which is a definite plus, in my book.  Alcohol is hidden perfectly, which is dangerous for a beer this well crafted. 

D: This is really fantastic.  Great aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel, and balanced perfectly.  Definitely competes for a spot in my top favorite DIPAs, and rightfully so.  Get this if you can!

Photo of zachary80
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A review off of several cans kept in fridge since purchase. Earliest ones were drank as fresh as possible.

Orangish gold body with a huge white head. Leaves great lacing down the glass.

First hit with huge citrus fruits, maybe orange or tangerine, lots of caramel sweetness follows

Delicious citrusey goodness from the hop blend. Sweet up front with a lingering bitterness that coats the tongue. Not too much yeast influence.

Very good mouthfeel. Not sure what would be better

Abrasive earned its spot as one of my favorite beers. Since first buying these a few months ago they've definitely fallen off a bit, but even slightly aged Abrasive is a top-tier beer

Photo of inlimbo77
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a Victory Golden Monkey snifter. Canned on 3/21/11.

A: Pours a fairly clear orangey amber color. Off white almost tannish finger and a half head. Comes down fairly quickly but leaves some lacing.

S: It smells SO floral! Pineapple, overripe peach, other citrus fruits, etc. The nose is just amazingly sweet smelling! Really don't get much malts behind it.

T: Wow! This is an amazing beer! You definitely get those floral hops right on the tip of the tongue. It really changes in the middle of the mouth. It almost gets smooth with some malts in the middle. The close is the customary hop astringency and bitterness your expecting. I don't "taste" the booze, but on an empty stomach I feel it a little.

M: Medium bodies but leading to full. The flavors really coat the mouth.

O: Even with some age on this age, its a world class beer that definitely stands up to the likes of Pliny and Alpine stuff. Furious and this are stupendous brews!

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

Rich aroma is quite hoppy with an overtone of citrus, about equal parts grapefruit and orange, and just a little bit sweet. It pours an attractive orange-amber with a very thick off-white head. Strongly hoppy flavor has an evergreen overtone, a fair amount of bitterness, and more than a hint of citrus with just a touch of fruity sweetness. Lively texture is fairly fizzy and leaves an edgy evergreen finish. How can anybody be abrasive after this one? Look for it, trade for it!

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Edited orignal ratings on 08-11-11 from 4.0-4.5-5.0-5.0-4.5 to 4.0-5.0-5.0-5.0-5.0 on 04-10-12.

Poured from a can into a pint. Color was amber/copperish. Probably a ¾-inch head with lots of good looking film that lasted throughout.

Powerful smell. Heavy on the hops. Seems to be some kind of citrus in there, maybe grapefruit? Pineapple? So good to the nose.

Strong alcohol taste, but not as much as I thought. Impressively smooth. Lots of flavors coming together from caramel/chocolate to either that slight citrus flavor. The smoothness trumps all.

Mid-to-high carbonation. I can’t mention smooth enough.

Just a terrific beer. If you see it somewhere, pounce on it.

Photo of mdvatab
3.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz can acquired in trade
Can dated 2/28/11

Aroma: Musky grapefruit, mango, peach nectar, and sweet honey. Fantastic aroma.

Appearance: Hazy orange peach nectar-colored body. Off-white one finger of head disappears relatively quickly. A small amount of lacing sticks to the glass, but less than is ideal.

Flavor: Hop flavors similar to the aromas I noted. Sweet, fruity, maltiness aims to provide balance to the substantial hoppy bitterness. Strong bitterness clings to the tongue through the finish, almost resembling the dry, tannic bitterness of dark chocolate or espresso.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body. Hops are a bit drying to the tongue/palate

Overall: The name "Abrasive" is definitely fitting! The malt bill tries to make a run at the extreme hop profile, but doesn't stand a chance. A bit too bitter for my liking, but I'm glad to have tried it. Would be interested in trying this one side-by-side w/ Hopslam in February!

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

poured from a 16oz tall boy into tulip.

pours cloudy amber; immense off-white head, crazy lacing on the glass. aroma - in a word, epic. citrus-pine explosion. i half-expected a dry-hop bag to spill out of the can. there's certainly some maltback in there, but really, who cares??? i could almost get-by just smelling this beer. hop-head dream.

taste - lots of subtler hop notes after the initial olfactory blast - pineapple, tropical fruit, grapefruit. reasonable amount of caramel malt, nice tight finish. great mouthfeel, very well done carbonation.

love this beer, if i were in the great lakes area, it'd be a camping stand-by for me.

Photo of bld81
4.13/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: hazy amber pour, two fingers of dense foam
S: tropical fruit and intense hoppy aroma
T: more balanced than the smell, sugary malts cut into the bitterness, very sweet despite the strong hop presence
M: smooth, very creamy, well carbonated, but heavier than I prefer
O: Very, very good IIPA, but maybe with a fresher can I would rate this higher. It seems like better choices for the style are available year-round

Photo of tmoneyba
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper color with an average frothy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate to heavy complex earthy hop aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish that was long lasting. This is a standout can beer.

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

Fresh can reviewed from notes.

Excellent DIPA. Aroma bursts of tropical fruits and citrus. Reminds me a bit of Double Trouble but better.

Taste is creamy and tropical. Not much pine or grapefruit here. This seems to be a pure tropical hop bomb, which is very nice. Abv is well hidden and this is extremely drinkable.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Creamy and full bodied. This is a delicious DIPA. It would certainly be in my top 10. Too bad it is not constantly available.

Photo of zrab11
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful orange golden color. Has nice lacing throughout

S- Has a nice piney sweet citrus aroma to it.

T- Starts off with a sweet carmel flavor then followed by some orange and citrus flavors an then ends with a nice crisp piney hoppy flavor

M-Medium body with good carboation

O-overall id seek this out again. I love DIPA's and this was it great. Got great flavors througout and has the right amount of bitterness. Glad i have a MN hook up. WIll be trading for this every time it is fresh. Def. pick this beer up and try it if u can.

Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,190 ratings.