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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,951 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,951
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,846
Gots: 265 | FT: 16
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: 2,951 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paco1029384756


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

Pours a deep orange color with two fingers of white head.

Scent of strong juicy hops, grapefruit, and a hint caramel. Balanced very well for the hoppiness, this one is still going strong.

Taste is the same, strong and juicy hops balanced with a nice malt backbone. Though it is balanced and tasty I wish I could have tried it fresh.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2009 22:48:38 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Larrytown


4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with decent head. On the nose, hoooo, we've got some hops. Citrus and grapefruit are the predominant fruits I'm picking up. Wouldn't mind just sitting here smelling it for a while.

But it has to be consumed eventually. And it's pretty darn good, indeed. It's complex, but in a different way than the Furious, which seems to have a bit more balance. This one leans even heavier on the hops. It's delicious, but a definite bruiser.

One pleasant surprise is the creaminess. It's not crazy, but distinct enough to stand out. Interesting variation in the style.

Great beer to try and I'm glad I did.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2009 02:18:04 | More by Larrytown
Photo of beertooth


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

Served in a large tulip glass. I never thought I'd be able to try this beer, but I guess I was wrong!

This beer is a glowing pumpkin orange with a nice creamy sort of rocky head. It looks quite promising. The head died down to a small layer about half a finger or so and there is a ton of sticky lacing on the glass.

I'm not getting as much from the nose, which sort of surprises me. I'm picking out dried tropical fruits and a little earthy hop spice.

My first sip isn't what I thought it would be. There's a lot of sweet malt, but the hops are still reigning over this beer. It almost tastes like an aged DIPA that was re-dryhopped or something, quite interesting. The sweetness of the malt sort of sticks in the middle of the sip. The front has the tropical, candied fruit hops and the finish is bitter and fairly dry.

I'm going to have another one and move onto something else because I can't drink a lot of this. I mean, this is a still a great beer and all, but my tastebuds are already pretty shot.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2009 23:40:08 | More by beertooth
Photo of Deuane


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

A growler share from dashirey. Big thanks for sharing after my own trade for a growler of this fell through.

A-Slightly hazy orange tinted copper with a thin light tan head that left nice lace.

S-Prominent citrus, orange, and some subtle spicy hop notes. Solid roasted caramel malt supports the rather hefty hop bill. A subtle hint of black pepper and alcohol heat sneaks in upon warming in the finish.

T-BIG citrus and pine hop notes paired with a solid caramel malt body. This is very tasty and I like it but...

M-Medium body with long lasting spicy hop bitterness and a bit of alcohol burn.

D-While I enjoyed this I was left a bit disappointed. I think the hop profile simply didn't work for me in the end as it became to spicy in the end. In fact this was overshadowed during this session by Alpine Pure Hopiness IMHO.

Serving type: growler

04-13-2009 22:47:32 | More by Deuane
Photo of emerge077


4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a 10 oz. snifter @ an undisclosed location. Thanks to scubarex for the tip, and autumnaldave for the hookup!

Bright orange body with slight reddish tint. Sticky cap of foam that clings well to the glass. Pungent and resiny hop aroma. Very citrus forward, and dank like the funky stuff in Snoop's pipe. If I had to guess i'd say Amarillo due to the heavy citrus. Body was a little light, with more balanced maltiness than expected. Tasted like Flossmoor IPAs that use Golden Promise malt. Firm pine bitterness, with some florals mixing in. Dry finish, with a tiny bit of sweetness that helps to savor it. Really nice hop showcase in this balanced DIPA.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2009 15:30:59 | More by emerge077
Photo of Floydster


4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64 ounce growler shared by WeeHeavySD, thanks a lot for bringing this Jon, since Surly stopped doing growlers I was sure I would never get to try this but I was sure wrong, poured into a snifter, consumed 3/28/09, reviewed from notes

A-Golden orange color with some red tint, 1/4 inch creamy white head, some light lacing at the beginning
S-Citrus including grapefruit and oranges mostly, sweet malt, grassy accents, Amarillo and Warrior in here for sure, caramel, and lots of oats
T-Starts off with a big lemon flavor, citrusy hops in the middle too that quickly fade into both toasted and sweet malts, finish is dry with floral and piney accents, caramel and sweetness comes out as it warms and that was expected, nice mixture of buttered bread and bitter hops
M-Dry, bitter, creamy, slightly sweet, and citrusy mouthfeel, thin to medium bodied, lighter side for carbonation but that was expected anyways
D-Alcohol is hidden well in this DIPA, could drink a good amount of it, balanced and not overly sweet or hoppy, smooth stuff that I was in a can, hint hint

Great double IPA and have no idea how it has stayed fresh for this long, did not taste like it had been in the jug for more than a few hours, whoever traded him this please let me in on your secret, my impression was that these were last filled months ago, wow, anyways would like to have again but not likely unless I make it out to Minnesota, recommended

Serving type: growler

04-03-2009 00:44:18 | More by Floydster
Photo of brewdoc75


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

On tap at Acadia.

A: Golden-amber in color. Creamy white head atop. Looks fabulous in a St. Bernardus goblet.

S: A floral boquet of citrusy hoppiness greets the nose. Grapefruit is the main citrus component, but I get some other fruitiness as well. There is some faint sweetness from the malts.

T: Hops greet the tongue initially, but not in bitterness. I get a vast array of flavorful hops. Grapefruit and other citrus fruits are present. I even get a faint floralness or grassiness. The caramel sweetness of the malts balance the brew out. I do get a faint hint of alcohol as well. This seems to warm this up.

M: Fairly light to medium bodied. Suprisingly creamy for a double IPA.

D: This is definitely a drinkable DIPA. Very flavorful, with tons of hoppy aromas and flavors. Not too heavy or alcoholic to turn you off. I could put a few of these back. I hope to see it in a can or bottle some day.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2009 01:32:49 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of dukedevil0


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at blue Nile restaurant in Minneapolis.

A: pours a caramelly amber, just a tad darker that. What I would call amber. White two fingered head that settles to a thin amount of bubbles.

S: smells like a hop bomb, sweet and bitter hops, grapefruit and citrus

T: similar to the smell with a slight bit of alcohol in there

M: creamy and full bodied, great amount of carbonation

D: dangerously drinkable is the best way to put it here, little alcohol, great flavor

Very similar to me as hop slam and maharaja, which means I love this beer

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2009 02:13:35 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of kirok1999


4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark orange/copper, thick and dense as hell with a massive white head that sticks like glue.
Very sweet citrus in the nose. Lots of caramel too.
Taste is very malty, way more than I expected. When cold, it's overly balanced toward malts. Not to say there's not a ton of citrus hops. Pine as well. Gets much better as it warms. The hops make an appearance and it gets a bit spicy as well.
Feels very smooth and creamy. Rich and dense and very easy to sip. Not a hop monster by any means but pretty damn good.

Serving type: growler

03-14-2009 01:20:54 | More by kirok1999
Photo of mcallister


4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A damn fine looking beer indeed. Deeply opaque, cloudy amber obviously unfiltered amber burnt brick colored.

Thik with bready malts showing both caramel and toffee accents. Hops are resiny in nature with a bit of everything, mostly earth, pine, with some citrus on the end. Nose shows good balance of malt and hop although hop driven.

Very good but the middle is slightly skewed possibly because of temperature. As the beer warms up it rounds out much more and the malt is much enhanced although still lacking in overall hop appeal really. Sweet malt very bready full of toffee with hints of caramel. Not as hoppy and bitter as I had envisioned and lacking an overall balance with the sweetness of the malt although not cloying. Hops are however sticky and condusive but just lacking a big alpha acid kick. Not sure of the hop variety or if this has been in the growler too long? It is reminiscent of a caramel covered hop.

Serving type: growler

03-13-2009 01:14:17 | More by mcallister
Photo of TonyBaloney


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

I wasn't sure this was still going to have the goods after 2 months plus in a growler, but man was I wrong - taste after taste I was amazed by the terrific smell and taste of citrussy hops, almost lemon like; beautifully balanced, dangerously drinkable, it's been a long time since I've had a beer that amazed me as this one has. I'm very happy to hear they have since made more of this.

Serving type: growler

03-09-2009 19:05:11 | More by TonyBaloney
Photo of Scoobydank


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

Gotta thank my boy Surlyman for this.
L: Thin off white head. Vibrant blood orange. Only a touch of brown. A consistent cloudiness.
S:A bright citrus orange. A sweet floral grassyness comes storming out.
T:A sweet candied blood orange pops out. Slight grapefruit citrus roles in. A caramel bready wheat comes floating through. What really stands out is the blood orange.
M: Nice fat smoothness with a sharp fizz on the back of the tongue.
D: Delicious incredibly balanced beer. The hops still really pop out with being so balanced though. This beer lasted much longer in the growler than I had anticipated. Very good.

Serving type: growler

02-20-2009 04:17:33 | More by Scoobydank
Photo of brewcrew76


4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to faro for sharing this.

A - Hazy amber orange with a thin tan head that quickly turns to a few strings of sicky lacing. Surprisingly dark for the style but a very nice cascading effect that reminded me of nitro pours.

S - Big juicy hop aroma, grapefruit, tropical fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice and a honey like malt sweetness.

T - Huge hop flavor and extremely balanced. There must be a lot of late addition hops to have this much hop flavor without a very noticeable bitterness. Citrus, heavy orange cream, grapefruit, peaches, tangerines mixed with honey, caramel and bready malts. A lingering hoppy sweetness stays on the tongue.

M - Medium body with low, dull carbonation creating a creamy mouthfeel.

D - This almost reminds of an ESB on steroids with american hops. Extremely drinkable and tasty.

Serving type: growler

02-14-2009 00:33:27 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of Overlord


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

Lots of thanks to Deliriumfest for the trade. It's only now, as I read through the reviews, that I realize that this isn't one of Surly's regular growler offerings.

Pours a surprisingly dark amber/orange. Good to see the growler still has some carbonation left, as a nice two inch thick head greeted me.

One of the most tropical-scented beers I can recall. Crazy orange, tangerine, sweet grapefruit, and guava pop on the tongue. The taste is explosive, really nice. Almost no bitterness, just a light cascade of IBUs that create a slow burn. The heat builds up as you drink it, but it's not going to blow you away. It's really more fruit/tropical than almost any other IPA/DIPA/TIPA I've had. Only Sculpin and aged Stone 10th anniversary come to mind.

Nice sticky, chewy mouthfeel. Unbelievably drinkable.

Serving type: growler

02-07-2009 07:25:07 | More by Overlord
Photo of phattysbox

New York

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

Thanks to Beerbeagle once again for an awesome trade opportunity! Cheers Randall!

Growler shared among friends while on a skiing trip in Vermont. Poured into a pint glass and appears as an orange amber brew with a haze (chill haze maybe?) This growler was from the release and after much travel still had a very lively head. Much lacing and stickage down the glass.

Smell is phenomenal. Ripe tropical fruit carrys throught the whole smell. Some citrus, but mostly big fat juicy fruit - very enticing. I can smell this beer all night.

Hop character hits fast and quick but is immediately pulled in check by a huge sweet malt bill. There is some earthy pineness in the taste IMHO takes a back seat to the malts. The malts make this brew wet, chewy, and very drinkable. IMHO I think less sweetness would have showcased the hops more. I think of this brew as a DFH90 amped on steriods! Unfortunately, my taste for a DIPA is more on the dry side (ala Pliny).

An extremely impressive offering by Surly and it needs to be bottled regulary!!

Serving type: growler

02-05-2009 18:05:04 | More by phattysbox
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

Superb Double IPA! Thanks very much to RustyDiamond for sharing a growler with me and a couple of other Atlanta area BAs. Pours a dark orange/amber with some chill haze with a fairly nice head given the abv and the fact that it was from a shipped growler. Some nice lacing as well. Slightly spicy hops in the nose and with some lovely citrus aromas. The taste is a perfectly balanced blend of firm, slightly sweet malt, pine, and citrus. Wonderfully fresh tasting and scrumptious hops. Just awesome. Incredibly smooth. I don't know what the abv is on this, but I could drink this all day- or until I fell off my stool. Just luscious.

Serving type: growler

02-01-2009 17:18:00 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of hopdog


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

Sampled from Growler. I never thought I would get a crack at this one!

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color wtih a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of citrus (oranges and grapefruits), pine, floral, tangerines, and 'sticky'. Tastes of the same citrus, pine, caramel, and the same stickiness. Nice and hoppy with a malt balance in the taste. Alcohol content hidden.

Serving type: growler

02-01-2009 00:44:13 | More by hopdog
Photo of Dubbercody


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

Growler, brought to the Stouts tasting. And I mighty fine IPA it was. Orange/copper with white head. Sweet and awesome hops come out of the glass to start you salivating while you smell the beer. Tasted great, nice and hoppy with an awesome sweetness to really nicely balance this beer. Up there as on of the best IIPA's I've had.

As the story goes this won't be available in Growlers any longer due to Minnesota law changing, sad if it's true and made us toast to one of the last Surly 16 Grit growlers to be consumed.

Serving type: growler

01-30-2009 19:56:29 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of MMAJYK


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

Bottled 12-27-08. Consumed 1-25-09

Thanks to PhiDelt for this one!

A. Hazy burnt gold..not much head. Oily, thick, and sticky is the way this one looks.

S. Caramel, oranges, peaches, resiny-sticky hop oils.

T. Very malty and sweet with molasses overtones but well bittered to keep up. Honey malt and light alcohol warming is present. Very sticky and oily hops. Earthy, dirt-y and complex.

M. Thick in the mouth and low carbonation.

D. Nice beer. I wish this one was a regular in their canned lineup. Super drinkable even so sweet and bitter.

Serving type: growler

01-27-2009 21:03:35 | More by MMAJYK
Photo of NuBrewm


4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My brother in law sat in line to get a growler of this. then brought it to our Christmas celebration. This is an amazing beer, and I wish I would have had the time to get some of this before the deadline.

A: Golden Red color, good lacing
S: Tropical fruits and citrus, caramel notes and just a creamy taste to it.
T - Wonderfly bitter, warming...truely Furious on steriods. But the blend of hops made the taste just flow.
M - full bodied, even carbonation, The carbonation doesnt slow you down though.
D - got a little depressed after the growler was gone. But I hope that Surley will start canning this beer. It is fantastic!

Serving type: growler

01-27-2009 14:21:43 | More by NuBrewm
Photo of ffejherb


3.88/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Via growler pour into shaker pint on 1/23/09. Thanks to dashirey for sharing.

A - Poured a hazy orange/copper-colored body with minimal carbonation and a thin beige head that yielded nice lacing.

S - Fruity hop nose with citrus notes (especially orange) and berry sweetness combined with a burnt caramel malt character. Some piney notes and spicy black pepper also emerge, as well as a mild waft of alcohol.

T - Huge hop explosion with citrus and pine notes paired with an alcohol warmth and caramel malt sweetness. Some floral notes peek through in the backend.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and pretty soft carbonation. Dry finish with an assertive bitterness on the palate.

D - much like Furious, this is a big, bold DIPA with tons of hops and a noticeable alcohol presence. While it is very good, I still haven't been blown away by anything from Surly yet. This one fell a little short of my expectations, but it was still quite good overall.

Serving type: growler

01-26-2009 17:28:21 | More by ffejherb
Photo of tjthresh


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

Pours a dark hazy copper with a frothy off white head. The aroma has a bit of the onion that you get in Furious. The citrus and pine aromas are well blended. The flavor has plenty of malt and hops, and the balance is pretty amazing. Seems full bodied with a sweetish finish.

Serving type: growler

01-23-2009 19:44:45 | More by tjthresh
Photo of Dusty278


4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, just wow....I got this heavenly beer from the guys at Heritage in St Paul, great people, very generous.

A: Golden Red color, good lacing
S: Tropical fruits and citrus, caramel notes
T - Wonderfly bitter, warming...truely Furious on steriods.
M - full bodied, even carbonation, you can't stop drinking this beer (bad, at 10 percent, haha)
D - Can you please please please but this into cans Surly?!

Serving type: growler

01-22-2009 18:25:36 | More by Dusty278
Photo of Jerzdevil1116

New Jersey

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

Sample poured fromb a growler by Matt at Capone's in Norristown PA. Growler courtesey of another very generous patron.

A: Cloudy orange body with small white head.

S: Smelled very sweet and citrusy. Some faint floral scents as well.

T: Tasted pretty sweet. Caramel maltiness mixed with a big citrusy hoppiness full of orange and grapefruit. Never got really bitter.

M: Very smoothe medium body.

D: Different from any other DIPA I've had. Very fresh citrus fruit profile without being extremely bitter. Drinks very easy. This is one great beer.

Serving type: growler

01-21-2009 18:37:25 | More by Jerzdevil1116
Photo of msubulldog25


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

Who brings a growler of DIPA to a Stout Tasting party? Skourtis, that's who! Big thanks to Theo for sharing his bounty and thanks to the MN trader who sent this along. I tried 16 Grit twice last night and was fortunate enough to get 10-12 oz. more today (benefits of hosting said party). Poured to a pint glass.

A: Pours a warm auburn orange with a sultry haze. Even 24 hours after first opening, I still get a nice 1-finger layer of frothy ivory, impossibly slow to fade. Lace coats in sudsy bands.

S: Delicious-smelling candy-like aroma: syrupy sweet caramel, mild grasses and herbs, fruity notes of tangerine and orange. Rises cautiously from the glass after an initial burst at first pour: any stronger and it gets a '5'.

T: Huge malty mouthful: sweet citrus melds beautifully with grassy/herbal and slightly spicy hops. Toasted bread crust, a little nutty. Wheat bread spicing with a few softer fruit notes (melon and pear). Some in the group we tasted with likened the flavors to the best 'English IPA' any of us had tried.

M: Luscious carbonation, smooth and lightly coating feel. Not too sweet nor too sticky, has a wonderfully balanced blend of sugars and bitterness. Medium body, no notable alcohol but for a slight, cheek-drawing warmth. Mouth-watering for more.

D: As balanced an IPA as I can recall having. Malts and hops blend superbly, alcohol seems non-existent. A beer that nears perfection on many levels, and one I deeply regret I'll probably never get to have again.

Serving type: growler

01-18-2009 23:50:03 | More by msubulldog25
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,951 ratings.