Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,190 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,190
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 1,984
Gots: 291 | 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 STEG
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Hugenormous thanks to Torgo for this generous extra.

Deep copper in color, off white; moderately thin creamy head.

Smell is equal parts grapefruit, pine, and black pepper. It also has a light honey smell in here as well.

Taste has pine and grapefuit up front, with the pine being the more prominent flavor, then theres an intermingling of sweet alcohol towards the middle and finishes with a load of hop bitterness which lingers at the back of the mouth.

Mouthfeel is a bit slick, moderately watery, and has some moderate to high carbonation throughout.

Overall a great IIPA and I really appreciate the chance to try it, thanks again Torgo.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for this can

Review adapted from notes taken 2/3/11

Appearance: Cloudy, hazy amber orange with sticky lacing

Smell: The aroma of this beer is great from the second the can is cracked to the end - leafy, grassy, herbal, some citrus (grapefruit) - hops are complex, and so are the malts - toasted, caramel, interesting

Taste: Very interesting - a great level of bitterness with a bitter aftertaste and a lingering sense of bitter - malts are both pale and caramel, with hints of cooked malts that remind me of molasses - they are remarkably heavy - hops are tasty - resin, grapefruit - overall, it's very good, but it is a bit too malty for what I am looking for

Mouthfeel: Feels heavy even for a DIPA, sticky mouthfeel, a surprising (and nice) lack of alcohol

Overall: A unique DIPA

I rarely encounter Double/Imperial IPAs that attempt to achieve balance. I feel that Abrasive does very well in this respect, but the result is that I thought it was a bit too heavy. I thought it could pass as a hyper-hoppy barleywine, but sadly I have not encountered anyone who agrees with me. Regardless... it's still borderline amazing.

Photo of pdeme
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Copper body with a finger of foam. Great retention and lacing.

S: Intense hoppy aroma with some pine and fruit notes.

T: Overwhelming hops, with a citrus ending.

M: Rich and supple, with medium body and carbonation. Very good.

O: I'm a huge Surly fan and wish this was available year round, but due to the price it's probably good that it isn't. This is a great beer to have while out on the deck grilling.

Photo of ucis
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't know why it's taken so long to get this down. This is one of the few amazing beers that would be on that list if you could bring a few things to a desert island. Poured from a can dated from March.

A: Super sticky lacing with a nice one inch foamy head. Rolls through itself like a clear Minnesotan Guinness. Medium amber color with no intention of leaving the side of your glass. What a beauty.

S: Can I give this a ten? Aromatic hops fill your nose like a fresh bag of green. Whiffs of tropical fruit and sweet green hops, hops, hops. This beer has an intoxicating aroma. Hard to stop smelling it.

T: Fruits Hops Sunshine Jesus. I think the acrid sour on the end just smacks me a bit hard like a rough girlfriend, but I love it. I think my taste buds will be retired for a week. Sweet resin and hardcore goodness. This is not for the timid. I think with every sip a Chuck Norris has been killed.

M: Again ten stars or better. You can almost feel the lacing in your mouth. Acrid thickness. This is how every beer should feel. There's a party in mouth. Sticky. sticky, acrid love.

O: I'd give this beer a million stars if I could. It is where the bar is set for less amazing beers. It's hard to compare this to anything. I am sad to only have a few cans of this left until December. Bravo Surly this is one of the beers that hooked me on you.

Photo of jamespub
4.1/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from 6/9/2011 tasting.

A- Amber, caramel, clear, manly looking IIPA. Average carbonation with some lacing.

S- Very good smell of pine and malt. Sweet smelling IIPA.

T- This is a very solid IIPA. The taste is malty up front with a pine-like finish. Balance is the name of this IPA.

M- Drinks smooth and easy. tooo easy.

O- I was very happy to try this beer. If it was local, I would buy it all the time. The price/value is incredible with this beer. I wouldn't put it up there with hopslam and the like, but it is still incredible beer. This would hit the spot most any day of the week. I hope to find more. And the can is just cool.

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

16oz can, canned in late February and reviewed in early May, poured into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to Puddintane for the trade at DLD.

A: Clear, glowing copper body under a finger of fine off-white foam. Good retention and lacing. Lovely.

S: Intense, sharply hoppy aroma that beautifully blends pine and citrus. The resin smells truly abrasive, and I love it.

T: Hops, understandably, completely overwhelm everything else, with tons of spice, pine, and resin. Some light bready malt and grapefruit sneak in on the tail end, and it's closed out by intense bitterness. Tasty, but a little less than amazing.

M: Rich and supple, with medium body and carbonation. Very good.

O: I'm a huge Surly fan and a huge DIPA fan, so I was extremely excited to crack this can. While I can't really say that I was disappointed, since I truly enjoyed the beer, it really didn't blow me away. The hops were still extremely potent, so age wasn't the culprit - it just didn't have the right hop profile for my tastes. While it lived up to its name, I want more than sheer resinous bitterness out of the style, and this beer was a little lopsided in that direction. For hop-bombs in cans, give me Furious, Wet, or Gandhi-Bot any day of the week.

Cheers!

Photo of jefferz5000
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Cuzco for this exciting extra! Date on can is 03/21/11.

Pours a very nice golden orangey honey hue that is slightly hazy. A conservative creamy white had builds up, but most of it says goodbye rather quickly.

Aroma is very big and aggressive, which is what I hope for in a DIPA. Giant piney notes like I'm hanging out in a tree. Very pronounced aroma, super hoppy. If a hop cone were to start sweating, this is what I imagine that'd smell like.

Taste is much the same. Big piney hops punch you in the face immediately and don't back down. Some grapefruit rind bitterness follows, which is pretty intense. Not really getting some of the fruitiness others have mentioned, which is a bit disappointing. Just really damn hoppy. Alcohol isn't too prevalent for 9%.

Nice carbonation, and I'd say medium bodied. It works well with the intensity.

Overall, this is extremely hoppy and a good representation of a straight-to-the-point DIPA. Hops, hops and more hops. No bullshitting around here.

Photo of kawilliams81
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a Alesmith Snifter.

A- Deep golden orange. Leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S- Amazing. Sweet, citrus with some orange, grapefruit, and papaya.

T- Sweet caramel malts. Orange and grapefruit comes in the middle followed my a nice pine hop balance. Bitter but not overpowering.

M- Medium bodied for 9%. Has some resin and leaves a bid of a dry mouth.

O- Just an amazing DIPA. This is exactly what I love about IPA’s is the balance between sweet malts and citrus hops with just a perfect amount of bitterness. Don’t know how this isn’t in the top 5 DIPA’s.

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

16oz can courtesy of Jodan and mnbearsfan. Thanks guys!
Dated 3/21/11

A hard pour into my DFH snifter produces a finger of off white head which recedes leaving a thin ring and minimal lacing.The beer is a dark, cloudy amber to orange color. The nose is pure citrus. Mango, orange and tangerine jump out at me. There is a subdued sweet malt presence as well, but the hops really shine here. Taste is a very balanced mixture of citrus hops and sweet bready malt. Grapefruit, orange and mango predominate. The finish is juicy and bitter at the same time with a mildly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy without being at all cloying. Overall this is a wonderful DIPA from surly. One of my all time favorites, which I seek out every year. Recommended.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Canned 28th Feb 2011

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a really nice Hazy copper colour witha n off White head that retains well and laces.

S - Sweet mango and hops with citrus as well.

T - Quite a yeasty brew up front with some massive hops and citrus totally smashing my palate to a pulp. The finish is very smooth yet a little bitter with an Orange peel flavour and texture that just lingers on and on. This is a massive DIPA.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

D - I had a PTE before this but its not as good. The mouthfeeel and sheer aggressive nature of this beer gives me an A+

Photo of harrymel
3.5/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned 3/21/11

A: 16oz can wrapped in aluminum foil and topped with standard pull tab. So I pulled the tab and poured out some honey colored ale. Maybe a drop of vamp blood in there, but pretty washed-out. Transient fine white foam finds resolve as a thin, broken sheet of a surface - but collared. Quantity of lace is equivalent to a Paris Hilton personal film: none. (3.5)

S: Hops. IPA. Grapefruit among other citric rinds. Slightly sweet nose candy of a malt profile. I’m guessing that there’s quite a bite to this one. An unbaked bread smell - doughy. I keep thinking I can smell more and more...tangerine? Excited. (3.5)

T: The dough is the first thing I taste. Then flanking of bitter and spicy hops roll over my palate and the beer may even be over douching the beer with hops. Tannic. As the beer warms up the bitterness dies out a bit and the beer becomes relatively sweet. (4)

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Dry finish only slight heat (guessing ABV in the 7% range). I think maybe my teeth dislike this beer - the enamel is flecking off. (3.5)

O: Still guessing IPA and this one is sweet and definitely drinkable. Actually reminds me of Dale’s Pale Ale (also an IPA).

Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this awhile ago just getting to the review, had many canning dates this is the last canned 3/21/11

A-Burnt Orange hazy, great head about 1/2 in,slowly goes down.

S- amazing!!! grapefruit, mango, pine, citrus hops and apricot,its the best smelling brew when really fresh like it was. its just great

T- My its my all time favorite brew, really great balance. Great taste in the hop presence citra hops really shine in this one

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

A: Burnt orange color with about a 1/2 in cream colored head. Hazy with visible carbonation and pretty solid lacing.

S: Unbelievable. As others have said, if you can get this kind of flavor for a can, more breweries need to look into canning their beers. Huge notes of mango, pine, citrus hops and apricot. Slightly reminiscent of Sculpin.

T: The balance in this is perfect. Big citrus hop presence with some notes of candied grapefruit and a slight bit of white pepper. Caramel malts and some mango come in on the finish, which is smooth and sweet without being too sweet.

Photo of DJButters
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light orange body with compact foam. Good retention, with some lacing down the sides.

S: Hops, Hops, and more Hops with a back grind of citrus notes. Did this really just get poured from a can?

T: Again... a canned brew? If I poured this beer in a glass and gave it to you at a pub you would think you were having it on draft. Yet this is out of a month old can. Perhaps brewers better begin looking into canning IPA a bit more. Just a fantastic explosion of hops and citrus.

M: Like washing your mouth with hops. Good carb - great color

D: Could easily put down a couple of four packs in one sitting, ridiculously easy to drink. In my dream they have these in 6 packs and even 12 packs at the local store.

Photo of t420o
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thank you to Schmoopsbeer who gave me one of these in a trade

A- Poured can to pint glass produces a half finger head. Dissapates quick leaving little lacing. Golden-copper color that is slightly hazy.

S-Pine, grapefruit, orange, orange zest, slightly sweet also

T- I have to admit, as much as I was looking forward to trying this beer, I was also slightly skeptical about it. This put all skepticism to rest because it lived up to it's praise and more in my opinion. Pine, sweet grapefruit, and tangerine with tropical hints reminicent of BP Sculpin. Slightly bitter finish and slightly dry as well. There is a pleasent slight sweetness on the backend also. I am extremely impressed and would love to get more. PLEASE DISTRIBUTE TO CALIFORNIA!!!

M- Very smooth. Nice carbonation level.

O- Excellent beer worthy of all the praise it recieves. I was kind of doubting that it could be as good as all the west coast ipa's that I love so much, but I shouldn't have. This is a great beer.

Photo of scottyshades
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to Beerwolf77 and another homerun from Surly

A: Pours an amber gold color with a huge dense fluffy head. Excellent retention. Nice looking beer right here

S: Awesome nose consisting of mango, pineapple, fresh cut pine, resin, and a good dose of sugar. Seemingly balanced by caramel malts. Awesome

T: More resin than the nose suggested - usually not too big on the resin notes, but this works. Tropical fruit, pine, and balanced with caramel malts. Definitely bitter, but less so than Furious.

MF/O: Prickly carbonation kind of takes away from the feel and intensifies the bitterness, but balanced. Kind of a west coast Hopslam. I will definitely be seeking this out again

Photo of Mavajo
2.9/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Orange/amber body with a white head and some lacing.

Aroma is loaded with big fresh hops -- they jump out of the glass at you. Unfortunately, the taste is a disaster. There's big citrus/grapefruit hops, but then a nasty onion/vegetable taste. I tried to soldier on, but the onion taste just got to be too much.

Mouthfeel is fine.

After the awesome aroma, this had the makings of becoming one of my new favorites. Unfortunately, that massive onion taste just killed it.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Canned 3/21... Poured into Imperial Pint

A- Nice dark and opaque orange color. Fairly small head that sits for awhile before leaving the party.

S- Wow, smells exactly like a fresh hop. I'm not saying it is really fruity or anything, but it legitimately has the hop aroma with a nice natural woodiness and slight grassy tint to really make you think this is a glass full of real hop pellets. Predominately grapefruit, pineapple and appelsauce is what I get out of this.

T/M- Great level of bitterness to balance the body and flavor is my first impression on my very first drink. It has a strong upfront punch that settles to a crisp fruity pineaple and even some sweet raisin. Fairly low carbonation inside a nice medium/full IPA.

O- Damn Surly nailed this one. I really liked Furious, but I LOVE this... Makes me wish I could get their beers all the time. This really is one of the better double IPAs I have ever had. Great overall balance, flavor, and feel.

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

16 oz can provided generously in the Hotter Than Hot BIF by jimixr.

Poured my Duvel Tulip.

Pours a nice glowing amber orange that is darker towards the top of the glass and gets closer to a bright yellow near the bottom. Very interesting. Leaves great lacing from it's 2" pearl white head.

Smells mostly of bittering hops but they allow the citrus and tangerine aromas peak through.

Taste is of citrus, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, pine, grassy tones, and the hops finish it off. Seems like Simcoe, but don't take my word for it.

Mouthfeel is nice and light for a DIPA. Very well done on the carbonation and goes down very smooth.

Overall I am incredibly happy I finally got to try this. This was a great DIPA and well deserving of it's high ranking. Thanks again Kris.

Photo of oline73
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber/golden color with a half finger of nearly white head. The head dissipates leaving just a thing ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Bitter citrus hops dominate. Actually smells quite fruity as well, but the hops really take over.

Taste: This beer has an awesome hop profile. Bitter hops hit the tongue first, but there is definitely enough malt sweetness to keep up. The citrus hop bitterness is joined by fruity hints of pineapple and tangerine. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate carbonation. The finish is dry and the beer sticks to your whole mouth.

Overall: This is an awesome Double IPA. One of my favorites. All the flavors work together perfectly, don't change a thing.

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice yellow orange color with a 1-2 finger off white head. the smell is very floral with citrus and earthy notes. the taste is pretty smooth and crisp with a little less bitterness than I expected. the mouthfeel was medium bodied with good carbonation. overall the beer is very drinkable and the abv is hidden well.

Photo of matttttYCE
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer for a glass, from a can. Poured about half into my Deschutes snifter. This one's got a 3/21/11 date. Thank you very much MooreHopps! Fitting since this is my first DIPA review.

Appearance - This one's a nice golden orange with some copper hues and it's fairly opaque. Lets call that chill haze as it clears up some with warming. Generous pour rate delivers about a finger and a half head that is more creamy than fizzy and settles rather quickly. Left with a nice ring around the glass, though. Couldn't resist smelling right away and the length of time it takes me to write about the appearance makes me really crave it.

Smell - This one is just one of the GREAT smelling DIPAs, rivaling some of my favorites. It's got some sweetness smell to it. The smell just makes me think of dank hops, citrusy/tropical fruit goodness, grapefruit, and some pine. Reminds me alot of Odell Myrcenary (which is really tropical fruit-like and floraly pungent). My mouth is watering, I don't know how I've waited this long to take a sip! Dear Surly, If you made an air freshener with exactly this smell, I'd buy a lifetime supply!!

Taste - Bam. This is among the standards for DIPAs in my opinion. I taste some sweetness as the smell suggested and it becomes citrus/tropical fruity in the taste with some floral and pine taste in there also, but it all mixes SO well. I'm also getting some smooth caramel malt and almost honey like notes. Reminds me a little of Hopslam (which is brewed with honey) and Myrcenary. Alcohol is well hidden, but I still can notice it a bit in the finish and feel some effects after only half a can. Finish goes off nicely with a citrusy/orange juice bitter or acidity note but it's good. OJ is my coffee in AM though. The flavors linger just long enough between sips to make you want more and more. Damn I can't wait for the next half of the can still in the fridge.

Mouthfeel - Very nice. Not quite crisp and not quite smooth, it's more a middle ground between the two. Carbonation seems perfect in this one, not too high or fizzy. Body is medium/balanced and just a treat to drink. Again, finish is average. Doesn't linger too long but stays with you long enough between extended savoring sips.

Overall - This is a fantastic brew. Really is. I can't say that it's my favorite DIPA, but it's in my top 5 for sure. I may have to rethink positions of my top 5 after this. I had a can from 2/28/11 last night that was decent, but not great. The month fresher one absolutely changed my mind about this beer. I can only imagine what it would be like a week or two after canning. Overall I'd say 4.5 out of 5. Which is what I'd give all of my top 5 DIPAs. Seek this beer out!

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

Thanks to benz08 for this one!

Popped the 16 ounce can and poured this honey-colored nectar with an orange glow into my DFH becker and raised an unimpressive head that sacrificed its structure to support its offspring...really nice lacing. The aroma that wafted up from the glass was awesome...it's as if I'm peeling a ripe, juicy red grapefruit. And the good news is that it pretty much transfers to the taste. The malts are hard to pick out underneath all the bitterness from the hops, but if you concentrate you cut through those 120ish IBUs and taste something like a honey bun. This has a classic mouthfeel for a DIPA which means a medium-plus body with enough IBUs to make the staunchest hop head happy. In fact, I've had few IPAs better than this one (one or two), but I've got a Pliny waiting in the wings which, if its reputation holds serve, all the IPAs on my favorite list will drop a rung.

Photo of davidbowers13
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to skybluewaters for allowing me to sample this great beer. Poured from the can into a pint glass.

A - Appearance is a nice orange hue and a head of about 1 finger. Color is thick enough that you cannot see through the other side of the glass.

S - Fresh citrus, pine, orange notes explode as a DIPA typically does.

T - Great taste that mirrored the smell. Very smooth with no harsh bitterness that I've experienced with some other DIPA's. So smooth you can't even notice the ABV.

M - Moderate mouthfeel, not as thick as a stout, but not as light as a pilsner. Very refreshing for a high ABV beer.

O - This beer is amazing, get some if you can. A great DIPA that I will go back to in a heart beat. My only wish is that I could get it locally.

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

Super excited to try not only my first Surly offering but the Abrasive at that. Thanks for the hook to pepinguy.

*I believe this was canned mid March.
Can to pint - I love it.

A: Whoa talk about heady topper! 3-4 fingers of tan head capped a dense and hazy orangish pale colored ale with some super sticky punch lacing going on.

S: Insane pineapple spike on the nose. Sweet danky herbs. So aromatic. Oh my! I think I just got a chub.

T: An absolute pineapple grenade. Fantastically delicious! Bitter peppery bite to it but not bracingly so at all. Quite well balanced actually. Malt profile is definitely a little different - more of a honey sweet and graham cracker note. But hops oh my! Cottonomouth affect on the finish. Sooo good.

M: More of a sticky sweetness on the palate with a very light creamy texture overall. Hops really pucker and dry out the mouth.

D: Too good! Sad to see this one go. So light and incredibly fruity. More please!

This brew reminds me alot of Pizza Port Carlsbad's - Poorman's IPA which is a great thing. Best beer in a can I have come across so far. Well worth hunting down and highly recommended to all lupulin lovers!

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