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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

912 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 912
Hads: 4,236
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 17%
Wants: 2,150
Gots: 609 | FT: 32
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

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%
View: Beers (60) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 912 | Hads: 4,236
Photo of CJCouillard
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pored from a can into a beer glass.

Pours a rich golden color with a thick white head that lasts for a while. Citrus and pine are the first thing I smell, followed by hops. Very smooth and drinkable. Gives a burst of citrus, followed by a subtle bitterness. Would not have guessed this is a 9.0% ABV based on taste.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very well done IIPA! Most beers with 120 IBUs make you slightly cringe. This beer starts strong with a hoppy bitterness, balances itself out with the smooth oats, then packs a satisfying hop finish that pleasantly lingers. Noticeable scents and flavors of citrus and pine.

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Photo of thorkelson
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the 2015 release at JL Beers in Northeast MPLS. Poured into a JL Beers tulip glass:

L - Pours a vibrant straw/yellow/orange color with a fluffy lacey head.
S - WONDERFUL hints of grapefruit, pineapple and other citrus fruit.
T - Nose is an aggressive warrior hop bitterness and finishes out malty/alcohol wonderful hints of oatmeal, pineapple, malt sweetness
F - absolute PERFECT mouth feel - one of the few 5's i've given for mouth feel on a double. something about the oatmeal and the hops and the malt. the carbonation is perfect as well
O - The best double IPA minnesota has to offer if not the best beer in all of Minnesota. Top 5 IIPA for sure.

***EDIT: After having out of the can -- the aroma is UNBELIEVABLE -- top aroma I've ever had from a beer. Updated to a 5 aroma and 5 taste. Favorite IIPA i've had to date -- SOS is right there with it.

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Photo of tyearby
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really don't need to say much about this beer other than it has a massive hop punch balanced by the malt on the back end. It is unreal. The pine and citrus are off the chain and literally make your mouth water. Crazy good! I just wish it was released more than 1 time a year.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: A hazy fold pour supports a 1” pillowy, clingy white foam collar. S: Spicy, floral hops, light fruit, citrus. T: Grapefruit, fruit, spice, grapefruit rind bitterness. The malt is moderate, the hop flavors and bitterness moderately high. F: Silky and creamy. Moderately full body and medium carbonation. O: This is a great beer that needs to be released more often.

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Photo of macher0
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From drunk notes. Thanks brentlepping for the share.

Can to tulip.

A. Bright copper color with an egg shell head. The head is a few fingers after a generous pour that slowly retreats to a similar film that leaves spotty laces. Great effervesce. The color stands out- this is a good looking beer.

S. The nose bursts with tropical fruits and a tad pine at the end. The notes were grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine and pine sap. This has a strong fragrance. This is heading in the right direction.

T. The taste follows the nose with the majority of the hop profile towards the tropical end. The hop presence is magnificent, way over the top in a great way. I got a light malt backbone - which I really like.

M. Smooth, but the full body/hops leaves a bitter bite. High to moderate carbonation.

O. For some reason I was skeptical about this ale and I was blown away. This is an excellent DIPA, worth the hassle to try. This is up there with the best - fo sho.

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Photo of 4thFloyd
3.53/5  rDev -21%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Based on almost all of the reviews, I was really looking forward to this beer. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I had a bad can (about 3 months old; can dated 2-06-15, drank on 4-25-15), but I was a little disappointed. Slightly hazy, bright golden color. Not much of a head which disappears quickly. Nice citrus aroma with just a little pine. Taste also big citrus and grapefruit, but quite a lot of pine bitterness as well. Bitterness was a little too much for me and not well integrated with the other flavors. The bitterness also lingered too long, limiting smoothness and drinkability. The alcohol is covered well. Not much malt sweetness or balance but good fullness of flavor.

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Photo of Novels
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank hell this is distro'd where I live now. It's a classic, smooth, great beer. So balanced and refreshing, crisp and hoppy without being overt. Abrasive and subtle at the same time, imagine that.

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Photo of EveningCordial
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid IPA. Lots of fruit off the nose. This was really good, but the ABV was definitely noticeable. I enjoyed it a lot and compared to other IPAs I'd put in on the upper teir, but I think it could be a little smoother. It really packs a punch in the finish.

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Photo of ramay86
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Even in this age of new-world (incredible) pales, with newfangled hop varieties that mostly make me drool, Abrasive seems like the perfect IIPA. It's hard to imagine a better version of the style.

It's complex, yet simple... marmalade, tangerine, orange juice, some conifer bitterness... and the mouthfeel is damn near sexual in nature.

Might be my desert island beer.

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Photo of Moose90
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

16oz can dated 01/13/15, tasted 05/31/15

A — Pours a deeply bright orangey color, copper tinged edges and body, very bright overall. Thin white head leaves behind some nice lacing.

S — Smells mostly malty, this isn't as fresh as I would have liked. Still, there are nice notes of citrus, mango, lemon, grassy.

T — Tastes of bright pineapple, sweet meyer lemon, mango, honeydew melon, bright and citrusy and clean.

M — Medium-Full bodied, long and lingering finish, a bit heavy if anything.

O — Great overall, still holds up with a few months on it, this is a great beer, would love to have it fresh off the tap.

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Photo of MA_hops
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malt forward double IPA. Pine like hop character with a sweetness factor made it another solid beer. Lucky enough to try it, wouldn't go out of my way to get it again.

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

A: Clear/Cloudy, bright, golden orange with a thin white head which dissipates fairly rapidly.
S: Immediately upon opening the can, I smell grapefruit, pine and some floral notes. Upon pouring it into a glass, more malty notes begin to emerge. There's a candied like sweetness which is present.
T: Seems to be more of a malt forward DIPA. Pine like hops are present along with a dry, crisp somewhat citrusy like finish.
M: Medium carbonation, hops are prickly to the tongue, slight bitterness.
O: I was happy to land this in a trade. Fairly balanced DIPA, not bad!

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Photo of FalloutDUDE666
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hop heavy and incredibly thick double ipa. Easy to pick out the floral notes in the flavor. Surprisingly drinkable for a double ipa. High abv makes it even more enjoyable. Definitely not for the new beer drinker.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've been wanting to try this for quite sometime and finally with the help of Omensetter got a chance to try it!

A - Very bright golden orange color. Some what hazy from the amount of dry hops. It almost look like there is fruit added with some of the bubbles getting stuck in the thick resinous beer. The head is small and fine white that subsides quickly but has some residual lacing.

S - HUGE HOP FRAGRANCE! It almost rivals Pliny in aromatics with tons sweet citrus/orange/grapefruit/tangerine just bursting out of the glass. As I cracked the can there were so many fragrances that I didn't even have to pour before I knew how good this could be. There is some pine, herbal, and resin to go with it basically just a big, juice-inspired hop bomb.

T - Lots of hop flavor coming out of this one. Mostly the grapefruit and tangerine along side the pine, herbal, and resin character. There is some malt but it is very light and no alcohol to be found. The bitterness is very strong and stronger than I would have expected from the amount of sweet aromatics but it is clear that the warrior hops provide a bitterness to be reckoned with. It is this big bitterness without a serious malt backbone that makes this beer not quite a 5-star beer but very close.

M - Medium to high mouth-feel with light carbonation. It is definitely going for lots of flavor to be savored and not to be pounded. The body is quite thick for a 9% DIPA with the addition of oats and the massive amount of hop resin in this beer.

Overall, I am thinking of this beer as the Pliny of Minnesota. With it's huge aromatics and a robust hop flavor this one gives all DIPAs out there a run for their money. I really enjoyed the body and hop profile but I hope that they add some more crystal malt in the future to add maltiness to this hop explosion. I would still strongly recommend this beer and is worth trading for the next time that a fresh release comes out.

Glass- Imperial Nonic

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L (4.25) - Good golden/amber coloration. Nice fluffy white head.
S (4.5) - Bursting with hoppy aroma. Floral, citrus from a long ways away.
T (4.75) - Tastes just like it smells. Quite hoppy, and a little bitter. Pleasantly so, but this beer doesn't mess around
F (4.25) - Nice and carbonated. A little alcohol taste/feel. But in a good way
O (4.5) - I'm a huge fan of Furious, and this one is every bit as good. You couldn't drink this every day, but get it if you see it. I wish it had better availabilty and was a little cheaper!

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Photo of cvm4
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours an orange/amber body with a two finger eggshell head.

S - Citrus hops that are overloaded with pine. Good Lord! This beer is pine forward.

T - Still pine forward. Dank hops. Malt backbone. Not a huge bitter finish.

F - Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Has a wet finish.

O - Intense... This beer is a pine bomb.

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

Had on tap at Happy Gnome during recent Beer safari in M/SP. More than matched the hype. Beautiful pour...orangey light rusty accents with a rich creamy head. Big citric and tangy spice nose and complex breads and fruit flavor. Citra forward. Malts from oats/grains really added a nice touch of sweet creamy offset to the rich tangerine/citrus flavors. Expected a nice rounding in the mouth feel and wasn't disappointed.
Having said that...found it very full and assertive...not really abrasive...so to speak.
Stopped at Heritage Liquors and grabbed a bunch to bring home. Happy happy.

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Photo of aleigator
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surly abrasive '15

Pours an orange-amber color, with a half finger broad, white head.

Intriguing aromas of grass, lime, pineapple and biscuity, sweeter malts. Due to the prominent malts, the fruity hops melt well into the beers sweetness, evoking aromas of juicy ananas dipped into honey, with a prikly kiwi peak to it.

Lively, slightly metallic mouthfeel, highlighting the citrus qualities of the beer.

Tastes of citrus, with a dank quality to it and balancing, earthy malts. This is bursting with hops, unleashing a very bitter, slightly tropical onslaught, almost overpowering my palate. It does not, because of glazed malts, providing nothing more but a basic malt presence, letting the hops shine big times. Finishes with an immense, dry bitterness, accentuating citrus hops, which stay on the tongue for a very long time.

Pine and honey, accompanied by a subtle metallic hint, resulting from the carbonation, interact incredible well with the tongue numbing citrus bitterness, tranforming the taste more and more into a tropical fruit direction, due to the distinct, honeyed malts infusion. This beer is truly abrasive, while it highlights all the positive characteristics of a well composed IIPA. Its versatile in taste, while it provides a merciless bitterness, wrapped up by citraic fruits and honeyed malts.

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Photo of gsmit
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

not an overly bitter beer. the hopiness of the beer is very citrus like... but lasts a little too long for my pleasure.

a lot of flavor and a nice bite.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a tulip glass. Canned on 01/23/2015.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber with a slight haze and 1/2 a finger of head

Smell: Citrus hops with strong aromas of pine

Taste: Similar hop profile to the aroma, lots of grapefruit and citrus zest with some peach in the finish

Mouthfeel: Crisp finish, bitterness is intense but well controlled

Overall: A great example of making an intense DIPA that still offers a lot of balance for experienced hop heads. Always impressive to have this much hop flavor without an overly sticky finish.

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Photo of dboon
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can. Murky orangish - yellow pour with a white head. Citrusy hop aromas. Tasty with citrus and topical fruit hop notes. A sturdy caramel malt backbone which keeps things in check. Above average body and mouthfeel. A solid DIPA that lives up to the hype.

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Photo of mmahanna41
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

#1.... Only wish it were available year round. Best IPA, APA, Double IPA/APA. There is not a beer out there better. Better than Zombie. Beats Surlys other great "Todd the Axeman". All my opinion and I hope you disagree because that just means more for me.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can sent to me by Ryan, thanks so much dude.

This one pours a slightly hazy burnt orange color, with a half inch head, and tons of lacing.

This one smells quite herbal, a bit of marijuana, with a good amount of juicy, pungent citrus fruit as well. The smell just jumps out of the glass.

This one is so fruity, so wonderful, and so hoppy. Moderately bitter, with some pine resin, with a lot more juicy fruit- orange, pineapple, and some grapefruit. This one is pretty sweet, but that's balanced by the bitter pine and the herbal character as well. There's not much in the malt department, and nothing in the alchohol department- it's not noticeable at all.

This has a very juicy mouthfeel, with a body of medium heft. The carbonation is fairy low, but not distractingly so. I'm not sure if this is the normal level of carbonation, or it's lower than usual as per some of the 2015 batch(es) of Abrasive. No matter, though, it's still carbonated, and it still tastes quite good.

This deserves it's status as one of the best IPAs in the country. So good.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tallboy canned on Feb. 6, 2015 and enjoyed from a nonic pint glass today, March 23, 2015

A: Hazy golden orange with a creamy head that leaves a good bit of lacing on the glass

S: Bright citra hops, candied white grapefruit, light pine, and some boozy malts. Love the nose on this one: simple but aggressive.

T: Dominated by notes of bitter white grapefruit flesh, pine needles and sap, sweet candied citrus, and fresh-cut grass or flowers. Extremely refreshing, and not too boozy (though there's no doubt you're drinking a high ABV beer). I like that it's fairly sweet, but not caramely or saccharine like so many amateur DIPAs.

M: Sticky and substantial, but really easy drinking. Light carb contributing to that creamy mouthfeel.

O: One of my favorite DIPAs, right up there with Bodhi and Hopslam and maybe only slightly lagging behind Permanent Funeral. A fantastic nose, an intense flavor profile, and a wonderful mouthfeel make for a great beer-drinking experience. Holds up well, too: had about 12 of these over the last month and there's only a very minor issue with the hops falling off.

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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.