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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

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Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,668 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,668
Reviews: 875
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 7.95%
Wants: 2,059
Gots: 467 | FT: 32
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:
Beer added by: Buebie on 12-27-2008

Hazy gold in color, this Oatmeal Double IPA has aggressive aromas of candied grapefruit/tangerine and tropical fruit. Malted oats greatly enhance the body and the high level of bitterness is balanced by this sweetness. Citra hops are used for aroma & flavor additions and for dry-hopping, while Warrior hops are used primarily for bitterness.

OG 19.5 Plato
Color 5 SRM
Hops: Citra, Warrior
Yeast: English Ale
Malt: 2-row, Golden Naked Oats
ABV: 9%
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,668 | Reviews: 875
Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Scout11
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml can served into an Orval goblet in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high on account of the brewery. I don't usually like the style but it's Surly! I'm excited. Paired with popcorn.

A: 1.5 finger head of lovely cream lacing, great thickness, and excellent retention for the ABV. Colour is a nontransparent light amber.

Sm: A heavy hop aroma with some light cream. Pleasant and inviting. A strong aroma.

T: Very hoppy but also quite nicely balanced, avoiding the pitfall of too much bitterness on the finish present in so many (bad) IPAs. I quite fancy it. The cream isn't quite as pronounced as I'd like, but it's there. Some light toasted malt seems to come through as well.

Mf: Coarse and wet, suiting the flavours quite well. I'd like it a bit less coarse, but it's alright.

Dr: Very drinkable for an IPA. I'd like to try it on draught. It's a nice little IPA, with a nicely balanced hop profile.


11/28/13: Truncated can review.

Served into a stem-tulip in Minneapolis, MN. Expectations are high. Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor. Reviewed as an imperial IPA because the description on the back identifies it as such. Canned 10/30/13. Reviewed live.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Decent frothiness. Nice consistency. Head retention is good - about 5 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent quasitransparent copper of good glowing vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks pretty good for an imperial IPA but isn't unique or special. No egregious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Dank hop resins and pine character. Some complementary nectary hop character. Lighter floral and herbal tones. Plenty of hop oils. Pale malts. Sticky tree sap. Maybe some evergreen. It's a delightful and appealing hop profile with seemingly well-chosen hops. I'm really looking forward to trying it. A clean and inviting aroma of above average strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable, nor are any off notes.

T: Pine is definitely dominant, evoking pine needles, sap, and nectar. Floral and herbal hop character is subsidiary but effective. I do pick up some grapefruit and citrusy zest. Pale malts provide a supportive but unobtrusive foundation and keep the hop bitterness fairly well balanced without curbing the necessary hop bite too much. The malty side actually feels a bit candied. I'd like the hop bitterness to be a bit more tamed.

It's an extremely cohesive build, and even borders on gestalt. Enjoyable. I would like more depth of flavour, and the intensity of flavour is a bit low for the style. Flavour duration is excellent, leaving hop oils and accompanying bitterness lingering on the palate. Complex enough, but it could use more subtlety and intricacy. Not nuanced per se.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Never soapy. Very clean.

Mf: Crisp, smooth, wet, refreshing, pleasantly biting, and approachable. Oily. Well carbonated, if a bit intentionally overdone to accentuate its bite. Good thickness and body. Nice presence on the palate. Surprisingly soft. Complements the flavour profile well, with some limited custom-tailoring of texture to taste.

Not astringent, harsh, rough, boozy, hot, or gushed.

Dr: Very drinkable for an Imperial IPA. Surly is clearly one of the big dogs when it comes to hoppy beers, and I always dig their deliberate considered hop choices. I'll burn through this 4-pack without any trouble. Perhaps my favourite thanksgiving brew.

High B

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.03/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to LaCoursiere for this can. Canned on 12/08/11

A: Poured into my Surly Imperial Pint glass, this beer is a great deep golden color with hues of reds shining through. There is about one and a half fingers of head that take awhile to settle.

S: The nose on this beer is huge pine, tropical fruits, and just a tough of citrus. I'm picking up mango, pineapple, and some lemon. There is also an underlying malty sweetness.

T: This beer starts off with a hit of pine right off the bat. In fact, there is a touch of onion (but only for like a second). The tropical fruits and citrus come through in the middle and finish, respectively.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts off wet and finishes just a touch dry. The flavors swirl around the palate mixing well together throughout.

O: This is a really good beer, especially if you're a Hop Head, but it's not my favorite. I'll take a Furious over an Abrasive, 9 times out of 10.

Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 12/8/2011

A: A hazy copper with a finger of head that leaves heavy sheets of lacing and a nice collar all the way down.

S: From the second you open the can... AMAZING!!! Nice fruity hops, pineapple, mango grapefruit with a bit of the piney hops coing through at the end. Make this into an airfreshener and it will sell out! GREAT AROMA, now the taste....

T: Just as the aroma leads to...amazing! Starts just as the aroma does with a fruity hop taste. Nice sweet middle with an almost bready earth type pine hop and malt finish. Nothing over the top bitter but has a really nice bite.

M: Fairly dry beer with decent carbonation. Nice bitterness but nothing overpowering. For 9% doesn't have the booziness some do.

O: WOW. I need to run back and get a couple more of these!!! Very fresh and flavorful beer, aroma was AMAZING. Canned and consumed in less than a month... cant get much better than that! Surly you did it yet again!!! Glad to be a Minnesotan!

Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Billowing, pillowy three-finger head that slowly settles to a firm cm coating, covering a gorgeous golden-amber body with some visible carbonation. Lacing is intermittent but stubborn and once attached stays put.

S: Pure juicy grapefruit with a little pine, but completely citrus forward. Some sweet malts cut the bitterness of the hops perfectly. The smell is up there with the best in the style.

T: Spicy, peppery notes lead, followed closely by a citrus hop explosion, and then some pine residuals. The bready, biscuity malts are much more pronounced in this AIPA than in most others I've had and they really work to cut the hops off in the aftertaste (although there are hints of some dryhopping). I love hops, and I really enjoy this beer, but I think that Abrasive would be a great AIPA for someone who prefers maltier beers. The way the bitterness is cut is extremely intereting and as it's happening, the hops almost turn a little sour before the malts take over. Very complex.

M: Viscous, as the style precludes, with some light carbonation (could be a little more), and a dry aftertaste. The alcohol is very well hidden and only comes through in the buzz you get after a couple sips. Wow.

Photo of davidthebruce
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of NordeastBrewer77
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can, dated 12/1, to nonic pint.

Pours an orangish copper with a small head that quickly dissipates to a nice cap and ring, minimal lacing.

Before I even finished the pour, an amazing Citra hop aroma filled the room, mangoes, citrus, very tropical. The beer literally smelled like the Citra hops I used in a batch of homebrewed pale ale last weekend. A touch of caramel malt and yeast esters barely make their presence known.

The taste is all hops up front.... Grapefruit, mango, papaya, maybe a hint of peach. There's also a sweetness here that present the hops in a candy-like form. Fruity esters only enhance the tropical fruit hop flavors... The slightest bit of warming from the alcohol only reminds you of this beer's abv, but you quickly forget that and take another sip. What an amazing double IPA!

Mild carbonation and a clean, slightly lingering bitter aftertaste only make this brew MORE drinkable. The mouthfeel's actually pleasant and light, much like a smaller sessionable pale ale. Very nice.

Overall, this is one killer brew. Loads of amazing hop character, enough maltyness to balance it nicely, and man, its gotta be the easiest drinking 8.8%abv beers out there. Easily my favorite double IPA, period.

Photo of HoistinBrews
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of BeaverBomb
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of pigc
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned on 12/8/11. Thanks to mn6 for this 4 pack.

A - Pours a light brown with impressive two finger head.

S - Whoa! Blast of citrus, orange, pine, mango and some sweetness. Wow, this is what a fresh IPA is supposed to smell like!

T - Strong citrus, pine, resinous hops followed by a drying bitterness. Solid malt backbone on the finish along with a hop oil sweetness.

M - Medium to heavy with average carbonation.

O - Very solid DIPA from Surly albeit a tad sweet for my taste. Great brew.

Photo of muskabeatz
4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to bstyle for sending this one my way! I've been itching to try this for so long, and I'm glad to have a fresh can!

Canned on 12/01/11. Poured into my Darkness tulip.

A- Wonderful! This puts out a beautiful burnt orange colour, with a fluffy white head on top. Leaves a bit of lace behind, with the head dissipating down to an eighth of an inch, and has remained that way for the duration of the beer.

S- Loads of resiny hops up from, along with a wave of tropical fruit. Not quite as dank as some hop aromas, but still pretty nice.

T- This is where Abrasive shines! A near perfect example of what a Double IPA was meant to be. More of the tropical fruit from the nose comes forward here, and you get just enough caramel/malt body to feel like this beer is the complete package. Lots of mango, peach, pineapple, and grapefruit going on here, and it's very delicious.

M- For as great as this beer tastes, I think it gets spoiled ever so slightly by a lingering bitterness. I wouldn't say that its overly bitter, but combined with the fact that I can taste a bit of the abv makes this beer fall short of greatness. Other than that, great carbonation, and great body.

O- Overall, another great hopped up offering from Surly. Doesn't quite get my pinkies twealing like Wet does, but it's pretty darn close. Abrasive, I hope we meet again in the near future.

Photo of litheum94
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Canned on 12/1/11.

Pours a clear and brilliant body, copper penny in color. Billowing, light tan head covers the beer, slowly settling to a half of a finger cover, thick and creamy looking. Leaves some nice lacing on its way down.

Loads of stone fruit and tangerines on the nose. Bright, honey like floral tones. There's also an earthy, redwood bark hop aroma in there too. Merest whiff of caramel malts.

Lives up to it's name sake right away, with a big punch of hop bitterness. Dank, oily hops give this a wet hop feel to it. Tons of spices pop up, and the fruit profile leans more towards a citric sourness. Malts are found quivering in the corner, only providing a framework for the hops to ride on. The finish is very bitter, with a good dose of alcohol to add to the bite.

Aptly named. What a beer! Definitely the best thing I've had by Surly so far. Excellent.

Photo of pnkRed
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of daysinthewake
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Oboogie
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of victory4me
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of CGMLS3
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Scottz5
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of KevSal
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of rfranklin7
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of iadler
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the surprise can, exitmusic00. About time I tried this beer.

A- Pours a slightly hazy amber with a two finger head that leaves some nice lacing behind.

S- Right after opening, the aroma smacks you in the face with tons of ripe peaches and malt sweetness. At first it reminds me of peaches and cream. More tropical fruits follow with guava, passion fruit, mango, orange, pink grapefruit as well as pine needles. Damn, this aroma is unbelievable.

T- Big citrusy hops upfront with pink grapefruit and orange. At first the citrus notes seem to be overpowering but then are followed by some mango, lemon, pine, grass and some caramel malt at the finish.

M- Medium carbonation and body with a creamy mouthfeel. Would never have guessed this beer has a 9% ABV

O- I was worried that I was going to be disappointed with this beer because I have built the hype up so much in my head. Thankfully, this beer delivered on all fronts. One of the best DIPAs I've had period. I have to get more.

Photo of rastapenguin22
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of pierceska
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Shag
5/5  rDev +10.4%

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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,668 ratings.