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Five - Surly Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

465 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 465
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 14.46%

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

In the Surly brewhouse, brewing our Anniversary beers mean one thing: forget what ya know and try something different. In honor of FIVE glorious years we bring you a 100% Brettanomyces fermented dark ale aged in red wine barrels. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak and classic "brett" barnyard funk balanced by dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at cellar temperature for a couple years.

(Beer added by: sarro on 08-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 465 | Reviews: 132 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Almost black. Deep brown with a bit of red. Nice head as I pour it, but settles to nothing.

Smell - Cherries and lots of red wine. Some oaky mustiness. Dark malts. Some chocolate.
Taste - Much more red wine. Really dominates. Oak too. Cherry sourness. The dark malts aren't very prevalent here. Just an undertone of dark malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and pretty sour. Dry.

Overall - Without being a huge fan of dark sours, this is pretty good. Intense red wine. Mild dark malts. Works well.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 01:24:03 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of cdkrenz


4.76/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

2 years in the cellar. It has a nice deep brown hue. The aroma is certainly that of funk. The flavor is complex, rich, delightful, and inviting. The finish is a bit on the rough side but it may be due to the low temp at which I'm consuming it. Is it worth the $23 I paid for the bottle. In my first few sips I have to say, yes.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 01:58:06 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of drewfull


4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Mackenzie's (Surly tap takeover leftovers)

A- Very dark color. Can see a hint of red if held to the light, but otherwise could easily be mistaken for a dark beer. Thin head that dissipates quickly.
S- Cherry. Cherry sour everywhere. Smells just great, with a hint of the oak barrel.
T- Cherry tart. Definitely get some red wine feel in there. Very bright and sour, although not a ton of complexity here it's not necessary as the base flavor is delicious.
M- Very nice, a little chewy. Well carbonated, extremely drinkable.
O- Clearly excellent. Happy 5th anniversary indeed. Unique take on the style from a wonderful Minnesota brewer, and makes me look forward to sampling the Pentagram in my basement even more.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2013 14:41:13 | More by drewfull
Photo of brydeen


3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed as part of Blind BIF round 8

A: Pours a cola color, with a thin, fizzy tan colored head. This seriously looks like a glass of Pepsi.

S: Lightly toasty. An oaky presence, with a faint sour aroma (wine?) with a subtle underlying sweetness. Consider me stumped.

T: Tart and lightly acidic up front, which only seems to intensify as it warms. I'm absolutely clueless here. Is it a sour brown? Nothing seems to be standing out. Probably wine barreled, but sour is all I'm tasting.

M: Surprisingly light in body. Good amount of carbonation, but not overly done. No alcohol detectable at all.

O: I'm really perplexed at what this is. I'm guessing a sour brown, probably wine barrels, but I'm still left wondering. It's certainly sour, but not in a vinegary way. It does strike me as slightly one dimensional. It's tasty, but just doesn't seem to have a ton going on.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 00:06:52 | More by brydeen
Photo of jeonseh


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at DLD.

A - Dark, hazy brown with good carbonation .

S - Sour brown ale with tart cherries, lactic acid, slight vinegar and a funky blue cheese presence

T - Tart cherry up front with lactic acid that gives it a nice tartness and bite. Good blue cheese funk that comes on the back end and lingers on in the finish

M - Good carbonation with a slight creaminess to it. Light astringency on the backend from the tartness

O - Solid sour with a good balance between tart cherries, lactic acid, and a nice funky presence

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 03:33:18 | More by jeonseh
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.84/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Getting amped up for my 32 can surly delivery from France44 next week, I felt this brew would be a great kick off. I love Surly and I'm kind of glad that its tough to get Surly brews. I would go through cases of the stuff! So on this this cold and wet spring, its time to get Surly!

A- five pours a look of the darkest ruby color you can imagine. A massive head of tan foam with red tints blasts to the top of my Hill Farmstead wine glass. Even in the darkness, shades of red ruby show through, as well as spotty floaties of sediment. No lacing on the edges, but plenty of character with the appearance

S- delicious sweet red wine, Brett, barnyard funk, darkened... But ripe black cherries, tasty apples, and hearty malt. This may be off the chart enhanced due to cellar time. I have never sampled a scent of such a dark, yet flavorful American wild ale. The Brett has slept nicely in this bottle. What a balanced scent profile!

T- massive funky tart flavors are almost "candy coated" with a red wine shell. Cherry and apple flavors are almost chewy and in harmony with the aforementioned taste. I am confident that cell wrong this not only mellowed it out, but also brought out some great qualities of balance and enhanced flavor. Tart and tasty. I have had some poor examples of red wine barrel brews, and this not one of them at all

M- good carbonation and slashing flavors all over the mouth. This is very tasty

O- best American wild ale that bundles red wine barrels and darkened ale properties. What ever has happened in this bottle is amazing. The tart fruit flavors mesh perfectly with the funkiness of a wild ale. What character and enhancement of the Brett and red wine barrels. I wish I could find this again!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 17:17:31 | More by lovindahops
Photo of beerpirates


3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

75 cl bottle poured into a tasting glass

A - Dark brown, minimal 1/2 finger head that fades fast

S - Cherries, flanders red aroma, oak and oranges.

T - Very oaky, slightly sweet, hint of funk and a nice tart finish. Cherries are throughout but not getting the "wine barrel" aspect noted on the label , it tastes like a " soft/light version " of a good rodenbach grand cru "

M - Light body, dry and sweet with light carbonation

O - Decent beer but not something I’d seek out.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 15:01:10 | More by beerpirates
Photo of ngeunit1


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Reddish-brown with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades normal.

S - Sour cherries, oak, vanilla, red wine, other dark fruits, some dark malts, funky Brett, and some tart green fruits.

T - Sour cherries, funky Brett, oak, vanilla, red wine, dark fruits, dark malts, tart green apple and other green fruits.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-light carbonation. Smooth with a tart and sour finish.

D - Nice wild ale. Good overall balance and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 04:45:43 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Rutager.

A: Black liquid with a slight tan head around the edges of the glass.

S: Smells like an oud bruin. Caramel malt and sourness.

T: Pears, white wine, red wine, oak, chocolate, hazelnut and caramel.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a low level of carbonation.

O: Interesting wild ale reminiscent of an oud bruin.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 01:19:03 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thank you to Steasy66 and Mikesgroove for each getting me a bottle of this!

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown with half a finger of khaki head.

Smell. Malt vinegar and sweet dark malts, a little cherry and dark fruit. Yum!

Taste. Sour, cocoa, red berry tartness, old dank barrel, a little dry funky brett.

Mouthfeel. Lighter than medium body, lowish carbonation.

Overall. Interesting, different and very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 02:21:54 | More by Rutager
Photo of Jfriz25


4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Dark brown with ruby edges. Thin off white head that's fades to a film of tiny bubbles.

Smell- The dominant smell is sour apple but underneath there is some earthy funky stuff going on.

Taste- The taste follows the smell pretty closely. Sour apple, some cherry, funky leather seems to finish.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin body but the carbonation makes the overall mouthfeel smooth and almost creamy.

Overall- Really glad I got a chance to try this out of the bottle after having a sample at the great taste. It lived up to my drunken memories. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:47:47 | More by Jfriz25
Photo of Jriggz


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with tan head that discipates quickly to ring. Smell sour cherries with slight funk. Taste sour cherries, red wine, moderately sour with slight notes of oak and funk finish. Mouthfeel lively with dry finish. Decent Brett brew. Nice job Surly!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 22:27:03 | More by Jriggz
Photo of oline73


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the November Baltimore BA tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a mostly clear mahogany color with hardly any off white head. The head fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: I'm getting lots of dark sour smell, some wine and a hint of red berry tartness. Just enough malt sweetness to compliment the sourness.

Taste: Wine and red berries with some malt sweetness in the background. Just a touch of vinegar and a hint of bitterness. The finish is tart with some fruity vinegar notes.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with tingly carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: This is a nice dark sour. Quite smooth and I think it will age quite nicely. I would have more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 21:10:30 | More by oline73
Photo of DovaliHops


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, with a reddish hue. Light, off-white head. Scent is a good amount of cherry with some red wine vinegar. Slightly tannic and acidic. Somewhat funky with nice tart fruit aromas. A hint of tobacco as well. Taste is just as it smells. A lot more dry than I was expecting. This one is DRY! The cherry and tobacco flavors go lovely with the sour and sweet fruit flavors. Tart red wine flavors, and some acidity that compliments it well. Mouthfeel is extremely dry and somewhat acidic. Puckering. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is the only wild ale I've ever had from Surly...could be the only one they've brewed...I'm not sure. However, whether they were new to this last year, or this is something they are looking to get into, I encourage it. Very lovely experience with this beer. Would love to have another bottle of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 07:56:09 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of bigfnjoe


3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a waxed bottle into a Hennepin tulip

A- pours lack with a one finger tan head...that's a little odd looking for a sour. Decent carbonation, and real dark. Huh...

S- aroma is of light cherries, wood, and a little funk. Tannins are high in this one. Not bad

T- the taste is largely of vinegar, with some funk. Also getting some tobacco coming through. I don't get much of the base beer, but I do get a lot of the barrel....very disappointing

M- thin body, part for the course

O- I expected a lot more from a brewery from Surly, but this one is a whiff IMO

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 02:46:58 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of brystmar


3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jon!

Brown-black body pours zero head or lace. Aroma is very mild and disappoints; some sour fruit, mild roast, tiny bit of funk. Meh.

Tart and acetic up front. Roast fades in favor of some fruitiness. Acetic once again. Not too much going on here, honestly. A good attempt at a sour; hope they continue the testing.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 21:14:39 | More by brystmar
Photo of vandemonian


3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surly Five is an ok wild ale. Dark and harsh. A little too much vinegar for my tastes. Not so great.

A. Black colour and a crappy head. 4

S: Sour with a little maltiness. 4

T: Malty with a sour kick. Vinegary. Pretty nice though. 3.5

M: A little flat. 3

O: 3.5

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2012 02:55:47 | More by vandemonian
Photo of brewerburgundy


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle mostly stored in a fridge since I received it, Duvel tulip.

Very Porter-like looks; a light brown with more yellow highlights and scant light head.

Lightly tart strawberries, quite oaky, vanilla, a bit of barnyard, raspberry iced tea, and chewy malt in the background. Strawberries and cream, with a more pronounced acid note as it warms.

Again, it's lightly tart and I could see it being downright sour in the future. The berry flavors are more toward raspberry and the oak is expressed with much more tannin.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit slick. Not many bubbles. Alcohol isn't really apparent anywhere. The acid and tannins dry the mouth moderately, enough to get the salivary glands going.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 02:22:04 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with red hues. Thin ring around the glass, no lacing.

A nice mix of red wine and grape juice. There is some roasted malt that adds a nice sugar sweetness. Oak is subtle.

T-Red wine and sweet malts. Not as juice like as the noise leads you to believe. There is a slight char and dark roast in the taste. lingering finish.

M- Light bodied, good carbonation, slightly sticky on the lips.

Really reminds me of the Monk's Cafe Flanders. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 01:41:10 | More by korguy123
Photo of xnicknj


3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to therobot

Pours a deep, ruddy red color with near-purple tones. Crop of beige head dissolves, leaving some spotty lacing on the glass.

Funky and sour in the nose with dark red grapes. Brett and wet hay with some red wine and oak notes. Soft alcohol warmth.

Sour and biting up front with red wine and grape skin. Brett-induced funk with some wet hay and lingering yeastyness. Soft fruits, raisins and sweetness with a touch of dry lactic tartness. Finishes dry and warm.

Fuller medium body, slightly higher carbonation, dry and lasting on the tongue. A nice wild ale from Surly, although there's better options out there for the $20 tag.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 23:35:04 | More by xnicknj
Photo of jmarsh123


4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep red almost purplish hue with a small brown head and a little lacing.

Smells like a medium bodied red wine with a lot of oak character and some brett funk along with sourness.

Similar flavors although the brett stands out a bit more. Again a lot like a medium bodied red wine with lots of lush red grape and some oak along with the bretty funk.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Had this on draft at the FFF XV party and loved it so decided to age my bottle. Not holding up quite as well as I'd like, but still a really wonderful beer and one I apparently like more than its rep. I wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 21:51:17 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of emerge077


3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft served in a small footed goblet.

Second time trying this, first time with a full pour. The color appears black at first, with a brown hint in the lower meniscus of the glass. Towards the last third of the glass, it's a reddish transparent copper color. Thin ring of froth around the edges, it didn't have much head to speak of.

Tart and vinous aroma, wet barrel and cherry skins.

Flavors are similar, black cherry, some tannic cherry skin bitterness, lightly oaky and toasty. Feels a bit thin, though there's an ample level of tartness to it, lending some acidity that carries it through. Finishes somewhat dry and clean. The flavor profile seems Flanders-inspired, which always hits a sweet spot for me. It was good and i'd have one again if the rare opportunity arose.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 21:33:35 | More by emerge077
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Weebay for sharing this one.

A - Dark brown, almost black in colour with some red wine coloured glow around the edges. A ring of cream coloured head formed on the poor and quickly disappeared.

S - Sourness up front with a big oak presence and some dark cherries.

T - Sour up front with a big black cherry flavour. Tart. Some red wine and oak flavours come through in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2012 18:36:04 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of minnesotaryan


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had multiple times, fresh on tap and in bottles and now after almost a year later opened another, and wow is it drinking good!

pours brown and turns black as night, slight cream head

smells sour and tart, bretty and lactic, sour cherries, rich and complex

tastes incredible! tart cherries, tobacco, brett and lactic yeast, sour fruits (peach and pear, apple) nice complexity, a little less tear jerker like now, truly delightful.

medium body, prickly carbonation and a wonderfully dry finish.

wow this is drinking nice, love the complexity, lots going on, but not so much that you can't pick it apart.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 03:26:42 | More by minnesotaryan
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing! The body is black. There is a small amount of bubbles somewhat resembling a head.

The aroma has chocolate and tart cherry. Notes of vanilla cream are mixed in.

The taste is nice and tart in the beginning. I notice a pleasing subtle cocoa finish. I like the clean lemon tart flavor without any vinegarryness.

This is medium bodied with a small amount of prickly carbonation.

Not bad, this exceeded my expectations.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 02:12:41 | More by andrewinski1
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Five from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 465 ratings.