Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

910 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 910
Hads: 4,230
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 17%
Wants: 2,148
Gots: 607 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 910 | Hads: 4,230
Photo of witterlee
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last day of 2010. Great way to bring in the new year.
Can poured into a Killians 0.5L pint glass

A-Light amber, clear, light carbonation, decent head. slowly fades

S-Orange, Citrus, Pine.

Taste-"Holy hops Batman!" Bitterness lingers. Hint of citrus.

M-medium body, smooth for an Imperial IPA.

D- Hides the ABV. Smooth at first but then the bitter hop lights up the tongue. Hop and citrus. Very drinkable, not assaultive to the senses. Reminds me of the West Coast DIPAs.

Great Imperial IPA but watch your beer budget if wanting this one.

 545 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chewy08rx for sending this extra can from my want list.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma screams Double IPA. I get a ton of resiny and pine hops, as well as some orange citrus and something that resembles cat piss - but in a very good way. Definitely a funky, hoppy DIPA.

The flavor is similar and just as good. I get a lot of orange citrus hop notes as well as some pine notes. The flavor is not quite as dank as the aroma, but it is still a ridiculous hop bomb. There is a bit of a biscuit malt backbone, but this beer is all about the hops. Medium bitterness, but the bitterness is not overbearing.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An outstanding Double IPA. One of the best I have been fortunate enough to drink.

 765 characters

Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two day old Abrasive - you can't beat that. This one pours a nice amber with a good head on it. The smell is very much grapefruit and sweet malt. The flavor a also very much grapefruit/tropical fruit with a little bit of malt to back it up - but that's not the point of this one - it's a hop bomb. The tropical fruit and seet malt keep it light and not too bitter. As it warms the malt pokes out a bit more and a hint of alcohol comes on. It tastes quite a bit like a bigger version of Wet, which is one of my favorites. The mouthfeel is the only downfall to this brew, I was expecting a bit more body to it though I guess that might be expecting everything to be perfect. However, this is a very refreshing brew and not so ovewhelming that I could have 2-3, although the big ABV is a bit limiting. A great beer and probably the most Cali DIPA this side of the rockies.

 869 characters

Photo of zulufactor
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Copprer/deep gold in color decent head that died fairly quickly

S- Mango and a bit of citrus

T- Bright and citrusy. very hoppy (big surprise there) with a hit of pine

M- good carbonation, matches the bright taste

First time i had it and it knocked me off my feet (flavor wise not the 9% ABV) not at all what i was expecting very good and even better because i won it in a bet

 382 characters

Photo of KBC1
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a nice orange/coppder color.

First smell reminded me of my Christmas tree and then the citrus smells come through.

I liked the lower carbonation.

There is no balance at all, just tons of hops, but I think that is what they were going for.

This beer is very good, but it is not impressive to just overload beer with hops. I am a novice home brewer and can easily make a beer like this for much less.

I dont want to sound like I am bashing this beer, just expected more. It is good and definitely worth trying if you are a hop head

 545 characters

Photo of tewaris
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Abrasive Ale (also called 16 Grit)
8.8% ABV
~120 IBUs
OG 19.5° Plato
Color 8° SRM
16 oz. canned on 12/20/2010 poured into a snifter on 12/21/2010. That's correct, 1 day old!

Appearance 4/5
Poured straw golden colored in a brilliantly glowing stream and looked amber-orange in the glass. Very clear but not crystal clear, perhaps because of being dry hopped and unfiltered. Good bone white head that dissipated fast and left little lacing. Odd.

Aroma 4/5
Very very fruity: mostly tropical fruit notes of mango, papaya, and then some pear, apricot. Smells similar to the same brewer's Wet. No alcohol burn or alcohol aroma at its ABV! Some onion-garlic notes that are not my favorite. An intense hoppiness but not the kind I like best, personally (pine, citrus... I wish)

Taste 4/5
Very fruity and a little sweet, light on palate but big on the bitterness at the end and in the aftertaste. Some citrus is noted in the aftertaste but overall the hop flavor is mostly of sweeter fruit. However, I am having second thoughts with at times overwhelming onion-garlic taste.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Well carbonated, but more smooth than crisp with a decent malt backbone and still clean finish.

Drinkability 4/5
An extremely easy drinking beer, but for the ABV. Mostly soft and pleasant on the senses, although I like my IPAs mean. Overly fruity for my tastes but what's worse are the discordant onion-garlic notes. That said, it's a straight up DIPA. A very good beer and highly recommended if fruity IPAs are your thing.

 1,510 characters

Photo of lhaqq
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Copper-amber body with a thin white head that stays around the edges throughout.

S: Awesome smell. Haven't had this good an IPA since the triple Pliny the Younger by Russian River. Has a ton of papaya and guava that predominates the smell. Actually ends with a bit of smoke.

T: The citrusy hops take up most of the taste. Ends with a creamy pine finish. The finish is bitter but little aftertaste.

M: Perfect level of carbonation. Fairly heavy, but not too thick.

D: Hides the abv, though the flavor is intense enough that it may not be too sessionable. Well, I take that back. It's delicious. I could have a ton of these.

 630 characters

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 4pack from Blue Max for $15. Canned on 12-20-2010. Served into my Revolution 20ozer:

A - Pour produces a nice 1 inch thick white fluffy head which dies eventually to a nice white white foam ring around the edges with some nice cloudy in the middle. Nice copper, amber, golden color with bubbles floating up to the top. Lacing retention is sticky and patchy.

S - Grapefruit, pineapple, other citrus notes as well as pine and nice danky smell. Reminds me of Wet with more of a pine bite. Very good.

T - Nice citrus tones that are found in the nose with pine and resinous flavors. Citrus flavors in the beginning then a nice floral arrangement in the middle and then pine and resin at the end. Its very delicious!

M - Great carbonation. On the lighter side considering the ABV. Smooth and refreshing.

D - Very, very good. Really easy to drink. Delicious DIPA that I wish I could drink all the time. Awesome job on the smell and flavors for this one, Surly. I'm glad they canned it again this year and hope they do it more in the future.

 1,051 characters

Photo of minnesotaryan
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark orange with a minimal white head at the the top.

Smell - Pine, citrus, pineapple and grapefruit.

Taste - This is a bold and extremely intense beer, the hops and malt balance nicely to create bitter and sweet perfection. Heavy pine and citrus flavors, the alcohol is very apparent. Deliciously drinkable.

Mouthfeel - Lingering alcohol/bitterness on the tongue, thick with low carbonation.

Drinkability - This beer is a beast. Complex, very hop forward, one of the best double IPA's I have ever drank for sure. I look forward to this every year. Surly creates some exceptional beers, this is no exception.

Serving type: can poured into a Surly pint glass.

 677 characters

Photo of wrightro07
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A nice amber colour with a nice fluffy white head.
S: The smell is amazing. This beer right after you crack open the can bursts out the aroma of pine trees and citrus hops. I would love to have my house smell like this everyday. When drinking this beer I had to enhale the smell everytime before a sip.
T: This is the best double imperial IPA I have ever had. It is huge to say the least. Huge in hops and malts. Abrasive makes Furious seem weak. The difference is that big. Even though the ABV is 9% one would never have guest it. This beer is smooth.
D: The overall drinkability is incrediable. I wish I could buy this all year round. It is too bad that it is only brewed once a year. If you have not tried Abrasive and you are a hop head this beer should then be on the top of your wants list.

 800 characters

Photo of mousefool1
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Insanely flavorful IPA released today in cans. Had to get to the liquor store (France & 44th - they had lots) to make sure I got some of my favorite Surly brew.

Appearance - Orange beer with a small white head that quickly dissipates. No lacing on my glass. Not perfectly clear.

Smell - Pine trees, pineapple, fruit cocktail.

Taste - Huge bitterness followed by intense pineapple, pear, peach flavors with a little syrupy sweetness. The bitterness wipes my tongue clean at the start of every sip so I can experience it again and again. Alcohol is somewhat apparent in the back of my throat. A sweet beer but not cloying. Man candy.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation but the bitterness makes it seem lively on my tongue. Medium to heavy thickness.

Drinkability - With the apparent alcohol, thick mouthfeel, and intense flavor, this is not a sessionable beer but that's not the point of a double IPA.

This is a beautiful beer. Get some.

 934 characters

Photo of TheDudeBeers
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Beer for a Glass, From a Can"

A - Nice Golden Orange Color with an inch of white head

S - Sweet Citrus smell, Hops, and malt

T - Citrus Fruit, Malt and Hops....a whole lot of hops. Truly terrific taste

M - Medium Bodied with high carbonation

D - It's a bit more intense than Furious, but I love it. Some people may not want to drink a beer this intense for a whole session or on a regular basis, but I would love to drink Abrasive on the reg.

 448 characters

Photo of drizzam
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy amber body topped by a foamy one finger eggshell white head. Good head retention with spotty lacing.

S - Extremely citrusy hop nose. Pineapple, grapefruit and tangerine abound in a citrus and hop extravaganza. Smells extremely delicious!

T & M - Holy citrus hop goodness! I got this beer this Summer and waited to review the last can...I think the extra time mellowed the hops a bit. Don't get me wrong, there is still a voluminous hoppiness to it, but it seems to be balanced out with the malt a little more. There is a serious citrus aspect to this brew...it finishes like you just got done eating a tangerine. Medium bodied and very creamy and slick. This is about as good as it gets for a IIPA!

D - Three words...Through The Roof! I only wish they distributed in WI because this would be a daily staple in my fridge. Wow! Good stuff!

 849 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As The CANQuest (TM) goes, I was Furious a short while ago and now I'm going to get downright Abrasive. The CAN's graphics take me back to the USS Fulton (AS-11), and my days as a general Deck seaman, chipping paint, grinding what I had just chipped and painting back over the chipped, ground surface. What a great life! I was in with stone psychos, both in terms of fellow deck hands and leadership. The ship was crazy and I fit right in. It set me on a path from which I have not yet returned and may never at the rate that I am going. A Happy Veterans Day (belated) to all of my brothers and sisters! We may have left as strangers, but we're all family now.

From the CAN: "Beer for a Glass, From a CAN."; "Fresh Beer, Keep It Cool!"; "Get Surly!"; "Sure we're abrasive. We were abrasive long before we were Surly. If you visit the brewery you [CAN] still see remnants of the industrial manufacturing factory Omar's parents ran for for 35 years within those same four walls. Bandsaw blades, grinding wheels, and 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]."

A note on this review: Based on one set of statistical data, including N2 CANs, this is CANQuest (TM) review # 400! 390 CO2 CANs + 10 N2 CANs = 400! And on New Beer Sunday # 300, no less! Milestones, all around. Yes, my math may CANstitute ticking, but as someone said, if it's truly fun, why not celebrate twice, meaning that CAN # 400 will also merit balloons and whistles. Hatas may line up at the door.

Hey, jagov, CAN we get a review, ya long-winded f**k?!?

Okay, following the Crack & Glug, I was facing a finger-and-a-half of dense, eggshell-white head with good retention. As it slowly fell, it left behind lacing that may require a chisel to remove. Also, who planted a pine forest in my kitchen? The place smells like I am out in the field with my uncle, the hunter, when I was just a kid. Color was a hazy orangish-amber and that was just fine with me. I have railed repeatedly on the negative aspects of filtration-driven clarity. If it falls bright, so be it, but to manually run a beer through screen to clean it up for the masses reeks of destruction. It strips out character and flavor, like giving me a frontal lobotomy. Maybe that's what they meant by "under-brewed". The nose was simply mouthwatering. It was like standing in an evergreen forest on a snowy day - cool, biting, fresh, resinous. Mouthfeel was medium but I could feel the grinder against my soft, pink tongue, removing everything in its path to my poor little taste buds, rocked into submission by so many AALs. My sinus cavity began to fill with the scent of industrial-strength pine and my tongue suddenly spontaneously combusted. I tried to put it out with another mouthful of beer, but it was like putting out fires with gasoline. Gah! This is why I got so deeply hooked as a hophead. Does anybody see a screeching monkey on my back all of a sudden? The finish was suddenly mellow, as though my nervous system had been ground down to the nerve endings and I was content to allow the Aeolian Harp to play across my spine. Gasp! A bandsaw blade to my Brain Housing Group might have the same effect. This ain't abrasive, it's downright industrial! I would be afraid to take this in my beach cooler - I'd end up like Bruce Dern at the end of "Coming Home": stripping off my dress blue uniform and wading into the surf, never to be heard from again. Shee-whack!

 3,578 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 16 ounce can a deep amber color with a creamy beige head. On the nose, I get a ton of hoppy aromas, pine, orange, grapefruit. On the palate, medium bodied, with a whole assortment of tropical fruits--mango, pineapple, grapefruit--light honey, caramel.

 267 characters

Photo of koopa
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours and attractive light copper to pumpkin with honey folds. The crown is really nice...1 white finger with lots of retention and lace.

Smell: Grapefruit, grassy herbal notes and pine over sweet malt, caramel malt and a hint of tobacco.

Taste: Same as nose. A healthy caramel malt dose but an undeniable grapefruit accompaniment. Bold yet balanced.

Mouthfeel: A touch thick with moderate to low carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty hefty but very balanced.

 532 characters

Photo of hophead247
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was great, but I still prefer Furious..Pours a clear orange golden with a large frothy off-white head that leaves nice lacing as it recedes. Aroma is a big dose of hops, including grass, earth, pine/resin, citrus and some rind, along with a hint of caramel. Flavor is sweet on the outset, followed by nicely balanced hops and malt, with spice, pine, grass/earth and more citrus rind and a mild lingering bitterness and some residual warmth. Nice stuff, if not a touch sweet, but still a very nice DIPA.

 512 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can into a Snifter glass

A- Pours a golden cloudy orange with a nice 1 finger off white head. Little lacing but nothing great

S- Insanely fruity with strong pine and earthy hops.

T- Fruit juice and Furious. Insane amount citrus and pineapple from the hops with a great caramel malt background that is hard to reach with so much pine and earthy hop presence you'd be crazy not to try this brew!

M- Medium body with moderate carbonation and a real nice bitter finish.


 482 characters

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

A -- A hazy, golden apricot color that pours into a good head and leaves a nice lacing.

S -- Very floral, citric, and bitter.

T -- A juicy citrus and tropical fruit splash followed by a piney bitterness with a touch of sweetness.

M -- Full bodied and pretty heavy on the palate leaving a solid dryness.

D -- Very good beer, solid to the style. More than worth the buy.

 372 characters

Photo of brewdub17
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: By being unfiltered this Double IPA has a foggy but deep color structure. The body is mostly a dull, orangish gold with notes of light gold towards the bottle of the glass.

Smell: The complexity of the the smell makes it almost indescribable. It has strong, fresh hop notes that are led by sweet, full malty smells. The hop smells are a combination of floral and citrus aromas. The combination of Amarillo and Columbus hops are crafted well.

Taste: The sweet malt flavors are distributed well throughout the mouth with a hoppy freshness coming first and lingering for the duration of the tasting. As said before, the combination of hops are blended wonderfully and make for an extremely enjoyable taste.

Mouthfeel: The complex flavors wake certain taste buds from a slumber during the first sip. The mouth is covered well with strong but not overpowering flavors. Very well crafted.

Drinkability: The ABV may be pretty high (and not really noticeable) but if you somehow get your hands on a grip of Abrasive Ale you'll be sure to have a hard time stopping the consumption.

 1,088 characters

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

Can pour served in a Duvel tulip

A - Golden amber, with modest white head and very good lacing.

S - Floral hop bouquet, acidic citrus, cat urine, and a dab of honey. Wow.

T - Citrus bitterness mixed with floral hops and wildflower honey up front, with some caramel in the middle. Although a sweetness remains throughout, the hops are more than enough to keep me enthralled - the slightly sugary, yet blisteringly bitter piny finish and aftertaste are flat out amazing. I can't even imagine this fresh.

M - Deliciously chewy for a beer this hoppy; a bit like HopSlam in that regard - pure hop nectar. Good carbonation.

D - Due to scarcity, one is perfect. If I lived in Minnesota, two would be great!

Blown away despite high expectations, I'm in awe. I reserve the right to up the taste score after trying this fresh next year - it's absolutely stellar now, but giving a 5 is unfair, as I know it'll be even better. Omar, I love you.

 938 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome extra from biniek13. Poured into a nonic.

An amber/golden body with a two finger head that exhibits good retention. Nice lacing.

Smells of caramel/toffee malts and floral/piney hops.

Caramel/toffee malts are knocked away by resin and floral hops, intensely piney and slightly citrusy hops (grapefruit/orange zest). Pine and resin bitterness take over, but the caramel/toffee malt sweetness keeps bitterness in check.

Full-bodied, oily, well carbonated with a crisp and slightly dry finish and lingering hop bitterness that boarders on smokiness.

Definitely a piney bitter chop to the throat style DIPA. I'm into that, so solid drinkability in my books.

 665 characters

Photo of wedgie9
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from can obtained from a trade. Pours clear amber orange with a huge white head that is frothy and rocky with excellent retention. Nose is bitter and citrus hops with a great malt backbone and just a hint of bread and yeast. Flavor is bittersweet up front with some caramelization on the middle along with pineapple and other tropical fruits. The hops come in with light lemon and bitterness on the back. The body is medium with average carbonation and a beautiful tropical fruit and bitter finish. This is a first class DIPA.

 533 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bauermj for the trade! 16oz can into a Hopus tulip pours a crisp bubbly orange with a nice frothy off white head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is burnt caramel in front of sharp pine hops. The taste is a nice amount of pine hops just in front of a nice burnt caramel backbone, very nice balance with the hops winning out while not entirely overpowering. The beer is medium bodied with well hidden alcohol, quite smooth and refreshing. I must say, this is a very enjoyable DIPA, one I would certainly love to have again.

 581 characters

Photo of SykDoc
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass. It pours a very nice golden amber color. A 1/4 off-white head forms and slowly reduces leaving a blotchy full coverage lacing. No sediment and carbonation visible.

The aroma is mostly pine with some nice sweet lemon/grapefruit in the background. Not too complex but very good.

The taste is also very good with primarily a hoppy pine/citrus component with some malty almost honey like sweetness.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and strong, but quite smooth. Interestingly, abrasive as the drink continues leaving a strong dryness on the palate at the end. Carbonation is solid as well.

This beer is easy to drink initially but seems to build up a head of steam and the palate gets destroyed by the end. ABV is hidden to me and it is very good overall, but difficult to have more than one.

 825 characters

Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 910 ratings.