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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,003 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,003
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 1,880
Gots: 274 | FT: 15
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,003 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThaBobfather


4.38/5  rDev -3.3%

Pours a solid golden color with a nice twinge in the middle- a solid ring around my glass of white head.
Smell is highly hopped- earthly swirled with bitter malts.
Taste is highly transitional. Started with a flower flavor- hits me with a bitter sweet malt- then finish with crystal hops.
Finish is dry- the after-taste has a slight bite- but the hoppy after-taste lasts well.
Drinks great- with all the hops here and 9%- the smooth malts keep this very drinkable.

04-26-2010 01:10:18 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of mwa423


4.97/5  rDev +9.7%

A - Clear golden color with white head. I could see a full pint of this on a billboard. The color is so clear and pure I can read through it.

S - Hoppy, hoppy, oh, and more hops. Delightful aroma that filled the nose immediately upon opening the can.

T - Bitter, Sweet, Floral, and Citrusy hop goodness. Fills the mouth with that dirty and earth flavor that sticks to the roof of the mouth.

M/D - Mouthfeel is hard hitting and biting as we would expect from a quality IIPA. This is as drinkable as 9% IIPA's can get, other than the kick in the teeth, I could drink this all day.

04-26-2010 01:09:54 | More by mwa423
Photo of degerbah


4.47/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a slightly orangish yellow, similar to a sunset in the bottom of a glass. The aroma is very stronly hoppy. When I taste the beer, the hop flavor isn''t overpowering at all. Much more subtle than I would have thought under the circumstances. Really drinkable. It goes down as easily as a standard pale ale. This is flat out amazing. If I had regular access to this, I would have it stocked in my fridge at all times.

04-26-2010 01:09:35 | More by degerbah
Photo of Gtreid


3.98/5  rDev -12.1%

Thanks go out to mothman for sending a few of these down my way. 16 oz. can poured into my CCB snifter.

A: Cloudy light copper color. The pour dropped a finger of eggshell white head that receeded to a thin rim and left great lace.

A: Very citrusy, not so much grapefruit, more of a light tangerine and orange peel nose. A nice amount of crystal malt backs up the big hop presence.

T: Big hop profile, citrus, some light grass, and honey sweetness. Malts balance it out some, but let's not kid ourselves, this one is a huge hop bomb. Finishes dry and bitter, just as it should.

M: Medium body and good amount of carbonation. Kinda tingely as it slides around the palate.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is pretty nice. Overall, I think this is a solid example of the style. I would have liked a little more malt to cut some of the hop bite, but, all in all I really liked this, and am happy I have 3 more cans. Skal.

04-25-2010 13:05:25 | More by Gtreid
Photo of homebrew311


4.93/5  rDev +8.8%

Well I tried this one a while back when it was called 16-grit, but never got around to reviewing it. This time, I am having the canned version, received via trade with guyinchicago- thanks!

A: pours a deep amber, gold, with fluffy white head, about 2 fingers worth on the pour, leaves huge amounts of splotchy lacing, nice head retention

S: the hop assault starts from arm's length away, this beer certainly challenges the hoppiest beer in a can claim made b y OB's Gubna... notes of grapefruit dominate the nose with other citrus fruits in there as well, smell is reminiscent of Furious which is a great thing! The smell is delightful. Perfect hoppiness with no overwhelming resinous character

T: the front features some caramel malts and juicy hops in the form of tropical juice...notes of orange, mango, lemon, and grapefruit, these flavors give way to a deliciously sweet malt profile providing hints of caramel and toast, the abv is ridiculously well hidden

MF: medium body, medium to high carbonation, everything works well with the beer

D: step aside Hopslam and Double Trouble, I have found a new favorite DIPA. The balance is amazing and the hop profile is assertive yet very palatable. This beer is damn near perfect.

04-25-2010 04:30:59 | More by homebrew311
Photo of VonSteinhoist


4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured one into a Duvel glass. Light foamy head disappeared into lace. Appearance is like light maple syrup. Smell is aromatic with pronounced citrus and pine and also a savory umami note. Taste is hoppy pineapple with hints of umami (referred to in other reviews as a garlic note, but I think it's more akin to miso). Flavor profile is complex but quick. Clean finish for this style with minimal hints of caramel. Neutral hops at the very end. Clean and dry. The high ABV (9 - 9.7) WILL catch up with you. My opinion is that this DIPA is even better than Great Divide's Hercules. The reviewer suggests stocking up on this outstanding brew because the production date, as supplied by the brewery website, is April only. Outstanding!

04-24-2010 19:34:38 | More by VonSteinhoist
Photo of Fitzgerald


4.35/5  rDev -4%

A- Poured the Surly pint can into my trusty old Hamms glass, color is a golden orange with a nice white shaving cream head that lasts and leaves a nice sheet of lacing.

S- A nice grapefruit,orange and other citrus type fruits hits you right away along with the aroma of fresh cut grass maybe some floral scents as well not a big pine smell like some of the other hopped up beers.

T- Taste is a lot like the aroma lots of citrus fruit taste grapefruit,orange but with some of the malt coming through to balance the hops.

MF- Dry, a little pucker power some carbonation clean finish no aftertaste.

D- Great ale very refreshing, a beer you sit down pour into a glass watch the Twins and enjoy, because of the 9% abv a pint is just right, Surly another great reason to live in Minnesota.

04-24-2010 01:34:15 | More by Fitzgerald
Photo of DrewHodges


4.03/5  rDev -11%

A-clear copper-brown with 1-finger tight foamy head, left very little lacing

S-lots of fresh citrus and floral hops, grapefruit, honey, caramel malts

T-powerful taste, sweet on the tongue, grapefruit and pineapple, then bitter hop aftertaste

M-alcohol leaves lingering burn, overall mouthfeel is great for DIPA

D-very drinkable, but I would drink Furious over this any time, and probably wouldn't drink too many of these bad boys in a row

04-23-2010 22:41:19 | More by DrewHodges
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +0.4%

Thanks to my man Doug for this one!

A: Its a rich amber color, with good transparency and lots of rising carbontion. The head pours pretty thick at an inch and a half but leaves nice rings as it fades.

S: I could smell it as soon as i opened the can! A whirlwind of tropical fruit is present, mango, papaya, pineapple, some apricot and peach notes are present as well. There is also a nice caramel sweetness in the background.

T: Did i mention this one has tropical fruit going on. its like i just bit into a ripe papaya that had an orgy with a mango, peach and pineapple while the creepy grapefruit was slightly bitter that it had to watch in the background. There is also a nice bready malt profile present which provides some balance

M: The body is on the thicker side and there is a tough of heat. Some roughness in the feel as well.

D: Another winner from surly that I would like to add to my regular rotation of brews. I couldnt give this a five because of the abv and i think furious is vastly more drinkable, but this is a stellar brew that I plan to trade for regularly.

04-23-2010 17:57:56 | More by mikey711
Photo of ZAP


2.93/5  rDev -35.3%

A-Tan colored..

S-Interesting give and take between the juicy tropical fruits (pineapple. papaya, mango), and the garlicy characteristics I associate with the Summit hop. There is also a floral aspect to this as well. I like the floral and tropical fruits....not so much the garlic, but Summit is one of my least favorite hops.

T-Really unabrasive...the garlic hits strong as does the floral dimension on the taste...not much for bitterness and only a smattering of the tropical fruits I noticed on the aroma...malt choice works well.

M-Not immense but DIPAish...a little grapefruit rind like bitterness on the finish but this is nothing like I expected it to be from the bitterness standpoint.

D-I'm glad I tried it. I don't dig all the garlic notes from the hops but that is me. I'd take Furious every day of the year over this. One of my least favorite Surly beers but in no way bad. I had six of these and had them over several nights..they were getting hard to drink at the end...something just doesn't jive right with my buds...will never buy again...unless they change hops eveyr year or something..

04-22-2010 06:00:53 | More by ZAP
Photo of morimech


4.43/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with one finger of white head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing. Big hop nose. Aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, and other tropical fruit. Not much for malt and the alcohol is not detected. The flavor starts suitably bitter with huge hop flavor. More pineapple and a sticky, resiny pine flavor. Some malt sweetness enters the picture and quickly disappears leaving me wondering if I detected it at all. Anyway, the malt is not overly sweet but enough to carry the hops. Finishes bitter but no sign of alcohol which is quite remarkable. The texture is nothing special but the body is medium and lively carbonated. One of the better brewed DIPAs. Available in cans now so more people will get to enjoy this beer, fresher.

04-21-2010 21:43:25 | More by morimech
Photo of cdkrenz


4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

A - Light to medium tannish brown body with an off-white light tan head.

S - Can you say hops, well I can. And hops is what you get when you take a whiff of this baby. Pine, grapefruit and a hint of pineapple.

T - Moster hops flavor in a very well ballanced malty brew. This is a uniquely complex Double IPA that should be placed in the dictionary right next to High Gravity IPA.

M - Thick and rich feel completes itself with a noticeably sticky finish.

~ This is a great Double IPA that I will find a hard time matching. I will definitely seek out more than just the four pack that was delivered to my door by my buddy, Mike Mittendorf. Thanks again Mike!

04-20-2010 23:37:43 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of TastyTaste


4.72/5  rDev +4.2%

A: A beauty in a darkness tulip. ¾" of head tops off a medium copper colored body that has columns of bubbles running up the middle.
S: Sweet grapefruit, hops, tropical fruit, more hops.
T: Grapefruit and honey at the front, this beer is hopped through and through. It is as bitter as you would expect from a Surly DIPA, but it is not as abrasive as you would expect, ironically enough. This is a beer that is put together to showcase the hops without overwhelming the beer. I enjoy it very much, what many overzealous hopheads should have done with their DIPAs.
M: Slightly syrupy, interrupted by sharp carbonation. Again, what a DIPA should be.
D: A fantastic ale that does justice to the Surly name. The 4 packs are expensive, but I understand that this beer is expensive to make, and it sure shows.

04-20-2010 20:16:50 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.63/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured into Surly Darkness snifter.

Pours almost a finger of beige khaki head. Color is a glowing golden orange.

Aroma: I am smelling PtY here or what? The aroma reminds me so much of younger, but more floral notes. Huge floral hop profile. I can detect (yes this word is lame in a review) a fairly large biscuity malt profile (maybe some caramel malt as well which adds some sweetness to the beer). The citrus blend is also well represented in the nose. A big flavor. I dig it straight up.

Taste: Huge beer. Massive amount of floral hops, but the level of malts is high to keep it slightly balanced. Caramel and biscuit flavored malts keep things going here. The citrus notes are hard to separate, but there seems to be a lot going on. I would have to go with mango and grapefruit.There is a level of sweetness in there that reminds me a bit of the sweetness in hopslam as well (very little, but a bit). Big hop resin going on here.

Mouthfeel: It starts out relatively creamy, not the level of bitterness that I was expecting. It is bitter, but not too bitter. As it warms, however, the bitterness comes out more. Very big body for the style with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very clean with some hop flavor sticking around. Nothing sticky or dry which is incredible for the style.

Overall, Surly has done it again. I had 16 grit last year on tap and this seems to top it. It reminds me a lot of PtY, which I thought was amazing. This beer packs more floral notes however, which is fine by me. It is extremely drinkable and my can is going fast. My wallet is going to be hurting for the next couple of weeks as long as this is on the shelves.

04-20-2010 03:46:08 | More by mothman
Photo of camp0474


4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured into tulip.

A: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a slight haze. Nice off-white head. Some sticky lacing.

S: First picking up piney hops along with some citrus; maybe some tropical fruits. Faint sweet malts linger in the background.

T: The pine and citrus join together up front; reminds of fresh cut mango, pineapple, and a little grapefruit. As the hop oils begin to bitter the sweet malt chimes in, faint caramel or honey. The malt is very sweet and was a bit of a surprise from the faint smell. The sweet malt works with the hops and continues the tropical fruit theme. Have not tasted a beer quite like this before. Delicious!

M/D: Medium Body. Goes down slick and smooth. A bit resinous and chewy. Perfect carbonation. Slightly bitter finish, but much less than Furious. Very drinkable for a DIPA. Goes down smooth and fast, feeling the ABV later.

04-20-2010 02:10:52 | More by camp0474
Photo of tjfontaine


4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

This beer is the former 16 Grit renamed I believe. Great Beer - if it gets warm you can taste the alcohol .... I love the smell and the nice head.

I got this beer for 16.99 or so which is a little pricey ... I probably still prefer Furious but this is a nice alternative from the Surly folks.

04-19-2010 22:09:40 | More by tjfontaine
Photo of pepsican


2.83/5  rDev -37.5%

Huge thanks to skinnyguy for sending this my way. Amber pour with a nice sized off white head. Aroma is grass, grapefruit, diacetyl, and caramel. Flavor is up front caramel malt, butter, grapefruit rind, toffee, and grass. Bitter finish, good carbonation. Tasted old less than a week after release...not my thing.

04-19-2010 17:00:18 | More by pepsican
Photo of pdoran10


4.47/5  rDev -1.3%

Picked a few of these up to go golfing with, then after decided to settle in at home to give it a proper review. Pored into my oversized pint glass.

Pours a dark golden color. With about a half finger of head. The color is a lot lighter than expected. I get great sticky lacing left on my glass as the beer settles. The appearance best compares to a pliny or darker two hearted.

Smell is Grapefruit and piney resin up front with a few other citrus smells including orange coming through. Then I get a surprising sweet malt smell at the end.

Taste follows the smell, with a complex hop presence. The sweet malt is more pronounced in the taste than in the smell. Lots going on there with the hops, I get again, grapefruit, pine, orange, tart lemon, and a very strong sweet malt presence to finish the taste off.

The mouthfeel is good for a double IPA, not overly thick, but very substantial in your mouth with the big malt presence.

Drinability is good, but there is a bit of an alcohol presence as it warms that detracts.

04-19-2010 10:33:06 | More by pdoran10
Photo of blackenmn


4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured from a 16oz can into a glass:

Appearance:Poured a bright orange with a large slightly off white head. There was great bright color with a bit of evident haze while it was being poured. The head stuck around long after the pour and left plenty of stripes of lacing down the back of the glass.

Smell:Smelled like extremly fresh concentrated furious. Plenty of pungent pine foremost. There was alot of apparent grapefruit and citrus. Almost a tropical smell hiding behind the hard hitting piney hop pressence.

Taste:Tasted of resinous pine, with a slight hint of lemon and orange peel bitterness. Plenty of caramel malt and an array of mixed citrus flavor, probably best described as grapefruit helped balance this into a truly great brew I'd say.

Mouthfeel:Pretty clean, crisp, and medium bodied. Pretty sticky on the cheeks and gums, due to most likely excess hopping. A hint of sweetness lingers along with the fairly dry biting pine bitterness on the tail end.

Drinkability:Suprisingly drinkable for the ABV and style. Very clean and crisp, more than expected due to extreme freshness. One of the most tasty, easy drinking DIPAS I've had.

04-18-2010 23:03:22 | More by blackenmn
Photo of hardy008


4.93/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours dark amber with a nice one finger head with very good retention. The aroma is outstanding. Grapefruit, oranges, pine, pineapple, and mango. The aroma of this beer ranks up there as one of the best DIPAs.

The taste is as great as the aroma. Orange, grapefruit, pine, pineapple, mango, and some sweet caramel malt combine to make a perfect tasting DIPA.

Full bodied with nice carbonation. A very smooth feel, with a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Nicely done. Somewhat oily, and has a bit of a dry finish.

I wish this beer was available year round. It's that good.

04-17-2010 17:34:14 | More by hardy008
Photo of pmccallum86


4.68/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours a glorious glowing orange color with a medium sized head with big bubbles and great retention. This beer really seems to actually glow, can't look any better for a double IPA.

Smell is very strong, lot's of grapefruit and some piney hop notes with a sweet malt aroma there as well. Lots of glorious aroma in the nose, very impressive beer.

Bitter hop bite up front followed by a huge sweet malt backbone. Lots of hop flavor; grapefruit, pine, citrus and much more. The malt complements the hop very nicely. You get the bitterness of the hops followed by the sweetness of the malt, very cool.

Very full mouthfeel, but pleasant to drink. Bitterness remains on the tongue for minutes after drinking, kind of an off flavor though in the finish I just can't quite put my finger on.

Drinkability is amazing, I do not think there is a double IPA that is more drinkable out there. Another great offering from Surly.

04-17-2010 05:20:39 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of Beerking721


4.97/5  rDev +9.7%

Picked up my fresh 4-pack at Dennis Brothers. Priced @ $14.99 which represents good value to me. Before I get into specifics, I want to congratulate Omar and Todd for creating one hell of a great beer. This is my new favorite from Surly and will go head-to-head with Bell's Hopslam as my favorite beer... period. Kudos boys!!!!

A: Orange/amber with light lace on the glass.

S: To me: West coast citrus all the way with a hint of caramel/toast.

T: Hint of caramel and loads of citrus (pineapple)and grapefruit.

MF: Easy drinking with rich viscous hop infusion and plenty of "gravity." Rich and fulfilling!

D: I did make my way thru the 4-pak. While feeling the 9% ABV, I was in beer heaven!

Thanks Surly for hitting one way out of the park!!!!

04-15-2010 04:38:12 | More by Beerking721
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.72/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from a 16 oz can into my Russian River stemmed glass.

A: Beautiful orange color with an off-white head that settles quickly. Retention is somewhat low, but lacing is excellent.

S&T: As any hop bomb should smell. Citrus, some pine, along with caramel-like malt. Taste is intense. Pineapple, citrus, and some cedar like flavors. It's balanced with toasty malt, and some caramel. The finish is bitter, yet very pleasant.

M&D: A very full-bodied beer. Resinous, chewy, and full of flavor. This beer, despite it's ABV, is extremely drinkable. Price is no factor. A four pack of Abrasive would be very easy to consume in one sitting. West Coast? East Coast? No. This beer has Surly written all over it! It's one of a kind.

04-15-2010 03:59:51 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of bsp77


4.28/5  rDev -5.5%

Serving glass: Poured from can into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Mostly clear amber-orange with very thin white head and some lacing tendrils.

Smell: Sweet and tart tropical and citrus fruits, including grapefruit, mango and pineapple. Also, some light pine and caramel.

Taste: Strong grapefruit and mango which leans more toward the tart side than sweet. Hop taste is further augmented by orange, pineapple, and pine. The caramel malts are minimal but have a slight mead-like quality. Ends just slightly bitter. Certainly flavorful, but a little too tropical to be the best of the best for me.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, oily and smooth body. Slightly dry throughout but not all that dry at the finish.

Drinkability: Very unique and flavorful DIPA that just barely misses the mark for me. Still very, very good overall.

04-15-2010 01:27:20 | More by bsp77
Photo of Bighuge


3.45/5  rDev -23.8%

Clear copper body. Wispy and light frothy white head. Lace is pretty full, as expected with a hop bomb like this. Aroma is very big on the pine needles pine resin thing. Which is good. Some grassy notes too. A little bong resin to boot. Flavor is all hops up front with a surprisingly subdued bitterness. Oh, it's there, just not as abrasive or raw as I was expecting. Hops give piney and grassy flavors. Alcohol hides fairly well under the blanket of hops. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Solid, if not spectacular, DIPA.

After having another tonight, after a Gubna, I realize even moreso that Abrasive is just not my kind of DIPA. I even notice some of that garlic and onion character, like their Surlyfest has. I'm guessing Summit hops. Maybe I'm wrong. In any case, this is decent enough, just not top of the line like Town Hall, Russian River, Hopslam, or Dreadnaught.

04-14-2010 04:25:55 | More by Bighuge
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,003 ratings.