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SŸX - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SŸXSŸX

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

340 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 340
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 71
Gots: 166 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 07-19-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by smakawhat:
Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at the Smoke & Barrel as part of DC bottle share.

A real nice orange amber body, but a bit of soapy head with quite a thin collar though. The body color seems to be a bit more impressive.

Nose hits with citrus hop, lots of pectin like jam qualities. Tropical notes and some faint powder sugar. Not much of a malt presence it seems but it's a very memorable nose.

Taste is quite wet and watery however. Palate reaches for a very tropical hop front, and wet punch juicy. "This is like pineapple juice", someone mentions. Bingo and bang on (something I never drink cause I don't like). Thin body for such a high abv with a weird mildly sweet finish.

Overall it's got a predominant flavor I don't care for, and strangely doesn't have any malt depth to it. This is one brew I thought would be bigger but just didn't come across as such.

More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Glowing copper-orange with decent sized white head that settles back to a thin line. Unique color and surprising that it actually produced a head.

Smell: The base aroma is similar to an American Barleywine, with toffee and dark fruit, but an unusual level of citrusy hops on top. There is also a ridiculously high level of booze that burns my nose if I smell too deeply. A touch of oak and honey.

Taste: The citrus, spice and oak are very apparent in the taste. Similar to the aroma, the backbone is Barleywine-like, with toffee and dark fruits. Also, has some minor mead qualities, although I am not aware of honey being used. I know that the oak additions were in a honey comb shape, but that certainly is not actual honey. Speaking of the oak, it imparts a sour mash taste on the finish, along with the hoppy bitterness.

Feel: While the body is certainly thick, it is actually lighter than I expected, which is nice. Carbonation is also livelier than expected. Finish is very dry. While all those qualities are very commendable for such a high abv beer, it is also warming to the poin of almost burning. The Jameson that I sipped later that night actually burned less than this.

Overall: This is certainly a unique beer, and the oak adds an extra layer that is different from the typical barrel or oak aged beer. However, the base is quite simply a way too boozy Barleywine. I wonder if they could have tried to create a similar profile at closer to 10%. I really did enjoy this, but it is also a disappointment. I will let my other bottle sit a couple years and see how or if it improves this.

Photo of deebo
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-a beautiful looking brew. Orangish-red with pretty good clarity. A thick dense creamy white head that has a little staying power.
S-tons of aroma; sweet floral honey dominates. Plenty of grainy barley malt aroma
T-similar to the aroma, sweet with plenty of grainy malty goodness.
M-medium bodied a fair amount of carbonation, boozy warming finish that doesn't linger
O-a beer for contemplating. Aromatic, sweet and strong. A beer that stretches the limits of what a beer can be. Drinks like a barley wine, enjoyable fresh. I wonder how a bottle will taste with a little age.

Photo of Dave11899
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the limited one time release bottle. Nearly 2 years after available (on 06/22/14). Pours a cloudy orange with a off white white head that diminishes quickly. Aroma is of floral hops, alcohol and bright refreshing characteristics. Similar to an IPA on a hot day. Taste is boozy with honey, bread and slight caramel. This isn’t a bad thing as it is still sweet up front with a slight hops bitterness lingering. Palette is average. Nothing note worthy. Just sharp and awakening. Overall. Incredible. I will continue to search for more bottles. Probably the best beer to come from Surly except for Darkness.

Photo of MattyG85
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml waxed bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear pale golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. A solid three fingers of off white head which slowly recedes into a thin patchy layer. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Huge aroma of citrus hops. Ripe grapefruit, pineapple, mango, orange, apricot, tangerine, peach, and lemon. Quite vibrant with the fruits. Doesn't smell overly bitter with the hops. Good hints of wood. Bready malts with hints of toffee and caramel. Some honey like sweetness and sugar. A little alcohol in the aroma. A pretty sweet and fruity smell. Quite complex and interesting.

Taste: A very vibrant and juicy taste that is a lot smoother than expected. Rich and sweet citrus hop esters with good notes of mango, pineapple, grapefruit, apricot, orange, tangerine, lemon, and peach. A good amount of wood taste and some honey. Solid backing of malts with some notes of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Some alcohol heat comes in towards the finish and lingers into the aftertaste but it isn't too heavy. Hops are pretty juicy but the bitterness is cut down like an imperial IPA with some age on it. On the sweeter side of juicy. Very complex and good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a carbonation on the lower side. Juicy and chewy. Somewhat syrupy. Alcohol heat comes through pretty good but this has amazing smoothness considering the ABV. Probably the smoothest I've had at this alcohol range.

Overall: Another amazing brew from Surly. Great citrus and wood flavors while doing a great job keeping it fairly smooth. It will be interesting to see how my other bottles age. Really interesting brew.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out somewhere between orange and yellow. Nice 3/4" white head on it, kinda surprised how impressive this beer looked given its high abv.

Aroma was citrus, honey and high alcohol. Not fusels, but just big hammer of alcohol.

Warming sensation upon the first sip. Still hits hard with honey and orange. As a gran marnier drinker, this was kind of up that alley. Warm citrus liquor. Along with the orange you can probably identify some apricot and pineapple. A unique beer for sure. But it also is decent to drink, so that's helpful.

The mouthfeel is difficult to score. On one hand, its amazing that a beer with such a relatively light body can be so decent and hold up the rest of the flavor and alcohol profile. Its a one of a kind, but at the same time, far from an effortless drinking experience. There's some adequate hopping to it that stands behind the scenes. There's also a light woodiness to it. Slightly acidic and tart.

A good beer to have about 3-4oz of to yourself. The entire 750ml? Not a chance. Best to open with friends, which I did. Unfortunately, that ass clown David Hurley, El Dorado Casino Beverage Manager, put the kibosh on our bottle share, even after having higher ups approve said bottle share the last 3 years. Other than that dishonesty after we had all bought our plane tickets, rooms, bets, food, waters at the El Dorado, we won't be returning, and I urge you be aware of entering the dishonest den of El Dorado casino that values their Budweiser reps more than their customers and patrons.

But don't let that get in the way of you drinking good beer. This one, Surly Syx, should probably be opened with friends.

Photo of jeonseh
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at the NWI Tasting Group December Meetup

A - Orange with hints of yellow. Looks to have a light body. Hazy beer that has a nice layer of foam sitting on top

S - Orange, grapefruit, hoppy nose with a strong alcoholic kick

T - Grapefruit and lemony presence with a slight caramel malt on the backbone. It has a strong alcoholic kick in the finish. Overall, this is a bit unbalanced and tastes what I'd imagine Mr. Clean floor polish to taste like. It's a hoppy BW that needs some lay down time given the alcoholic kick.

MF - Medium body and a bit oily. Slightly astringent as well due to the alcohol

O - Too strong right now. It's just a hoppy, unbalanced BW with too much lemon and alcohol that makes it taste almost slightly soaps. Definitely needs some time for everything to meld together.

Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Big bubbly head and lacey. Hoppy, fruity with tart fruit skins. Orange, sugar, tangerine. Very strong melange, a sour finish. A big beer. A kitchen sink of a beer that can be sipped only. Thanks John.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Onto the next 1000! Thanks to Jeff for this one. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a frothy 3 finger cream colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is spotty with little cling. Beer is a slightly cloudy bright orange-bronze. Decent.

Nose is yams, sugar, caramel, honey, citrus and a slight booziness. Very sweet and hugely aromatic. Appropriate for the style.

Opens citrus, yam, honey, and pulp. Caramel, brown sugar, and mango sap deepen the experience. Molasses too. End is sweet brown and cane sugar with a boozy finish. Aftertaste is syrupy sweet. Solid but a bit too sweet at times.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down silky and hot. Messy finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Nice.

Not really one of the better Surly anniversary beers. This one's just a bit too much on all fronts. Too sweet and too boozy without the flavor to tie all the different flavors into one unified experience.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at 3 Squares in Maple Grove. Yup, that's a strong beer. Oddly, there was a clear sour funk when the beer was fresh off the tap and faded as it warmed. It tasted like a younger sourness, and, I suspect, could make this beer really interesting in a couple years.

This is a thick, fruity beer with a dry funky edge. I get apricot, marmalade, and tangerine up front and then a more toasty fresh oak barrel kick and wood astringency (not too much, just a touch). It's understandably thick for the strength, and well-balanced by the hops. It's a very good beer as is, but I think in a 12-24 months it could be great.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Cloudy burnt orange. Off-white hefty head. Settles very quickly. Leggy on the swirl.

Smell - Hoppy. Smells very barleywine-like. Boozy. Caramel, but not very rich or sweet smelling.

Taste - Sharp alcohol. Sharp hop bite, too. Less malty than I thought it would be. Very bitter. Surprisingly bright flavors for such a big beer, but it's kinda harsh by that same token.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Not too heavy. Well carbonated. Harsh bitterness.

Overall - Gets sluggish and tough to drink.

Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to my boy beeruser for sharing this one at our Labor Day tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, fruit, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, alcohol, wood, and spice. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Two words, booze bomb. While the ABV really isn't THAT high, it felt like it. The alcohol dominated this one on the flavor which definitely covered up some more subtle flavors that were present that I couldn't make out. The aroma however was pretty nice with a slight hint of funk which I found to be surprisingly out of place for the style, but a nice integration to the other things that were going on in this one. Not my favorite from Surly that I have had, but I have a feeling they got what they were aiming for on this one. Worth trying at least once for yourself to decide.

Photo of reddfrogg
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It took me awhile to really enjoy this beer!! This is my third bottle and at first I would have probably given this beer a 2.5 on the first bottle a 3 on the second bottle, so I'm doing the review after drinking the third bottle. My favorite beer?!?!?! not by a long shot, but it grows on you

Photo of hop_chomper
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark, orange hue. A little cloudy, with small, slighty fluffy white head. The lighter color surprised me a bit.

S: Stone fruits that evolves to a sweeter citrus. Getting lots of wood with some pleasing floral notes and dry, grainy malts.

T: Malty grains hit me first with some woody citrus. Definitely boozy, alcohol sting & some astringent characters in the finish. Tropical fruits, pine, with some thick toasted caramel color. Punchy, earthy. A sipper for sure.

MF: Thick & chewy, with a prickly dry finish. A bit more carbonated than I would have liked.

O: Aggressive and big, pretty interesting. The wood characters provide some depth that really takes the citrus and malty elements to a different level. A bit boozy. I wonder what this will taste like in a few years.

Photo of n2185
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a hazy orange-red with two fingers of white head that fade Iinto a frothy cap with good lacing.

S: lots of sweet caramel and toffee with oak dominating. There are also notes of raisins and Port.

T: similar to the aroma, lots of caramel with vanilla, toffee, and oak. There are raisins and Port toward the finish with a light alcohol burn.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is sticky sweet but avoids being overly so.

O: an interesting beer. It reminds me of an aged English old ale or barleywine.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip. Awesome label art!

A - Translucent medium orange with one finger of egg shell coloured head.

S - Caramel, sweet honey, apple, wood, and light orange zest aromas.

T - A huge hit of alcohol up front that stays distracting throughout and doesn't settle down, even after really getting deep in to this bottle; but for the ABV and the style, this isn't entirely unexpected. The flavour profile includes a big sweet honey flavour that attempts to somewhat tame the alcohol bite. Some woody notes are present as well along with white white flavours and lighter citrus notes in the background.

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Light carbonation.

O - This was certainly unique and interesting but was extremely hot. Would love to secure another bottle of this one to age.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours bright gold with a small off-white head leaving little retention or lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and sweet. Dark fruits with some caramel malt, honey and citrus hoppiness.

Tastes follows. Lots of sweet fruit flavors. Honey with a big boozy background. Finishes a bit fruity and tart. Almost tastes like a strong wheatwine.

Medium to full bodied. Good level of carbonation.

I don't like it as much as Surly 5, but it came into its own after warming a bit. Very sweet up front, but enough of a booze kick to balance that out slightly and never got cloying. Good mouthfeel brings it all together nicely.

Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle to brandy snifter:

Pours a bright pear/ruby gold with strings of slow, steady beading. A finger of starch white head fades off to a paper thin collar after a few minutes that laces perfectly through thick oily booze legs.

Syrupy hop density on the nose... the alcohol presence is a bit more obvious than others have reported. Sweet cinnamon fruit qualities, apple and grape. Evolving with every degree. What a big, complex smelling beer this is.

Holy hell... not quite as reserved on the tongue. Giant boozy sweet punch up front. Orange cream soda with caramel apple and plum accented with a sting of booze. Fresh vanilla wood notes keep the sugary booze in check. An impressive level of balance for such an imposing drink.

Surly delivers. Some age would do it some good but it is plenty approachable just as it is. Bravo.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 2/17/14

Appearance: Hazy, somewhere between burnt orange and copper - pours with a large, off-white head - leaves some nice streaks and blobs of lacing - appealing, especially given the age and rather high alcohol

Smell: Grainy malts, wood, and some hot, potent booze - big, cooked, caramelized malts - lightly toasty, somewhat syrupy - an above-average amount of sweetness, with some oxidation, kind of smells like a cross between an old ale and a barleywine, with extra booze - very hot - not trashy, fusel alcohols, more like a hard liquor... nice, but still excessively boozy

Taste: So much booze, is this supposed to be on the rocks? - caramelized malts, cooked malts, caramel and toasted grains - malt extract, liquified biscuits - above average sweetness, but the malty sweetness is somewhat tempered by the wood - hard to discern the woody flavor, so I'll just call it wood - some light fruity esters and some oily citrus - booze, layered with booze, with some booze poured on top - some oxidation, and more booze on top of that - some level of of booze would be nice, but this is over the top to an absurd degree

Mouthfeel: Full body, nice carbonation breaks up the stickiness, finishes hot with some booze

Overall: Not Surly Süx, but probably my least favorite offering from the brewery

Surly cannot make a bad beer. But they came pretty close with this one. The sheer quantity of booze in both the nose and the flavor is overwhelming. There are some nice malts here, and the wood is interesting, but it's mostly just ridiculous.

Photo of Curt1
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cold 750ml bottle.

Appearance: Hazy orange with little head retention which is an off white. Loads of sticky lacing.

Aroma: Alcohol (in a good way) sweet fruits and honey.

Taste: Whoa! What a BEAST! Very much barley wine in taste, citrus with some spice, smooth alcohol, and fruity flavors from the hops. Very complex beer here. Surprising smooth for nearly 15%!

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy with pleasant carbonation.

Overall: Grade "A-". It does become a little harsh as it warms, but I greatly enjoyed tasting it fresh. I'll taste it again in a year to see how this is developing.

Photo of oline73
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head. The head fades to a layer on top of the pour and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet alcohol with some juicy citrus notes. I'm getting a strong pineapple note here too.

Taste: Quite sweet with tons of juicy citrus fruit notes. Like the smell, I'm getting lots of pineapple, but there is some apricot too. There is some warmth from the alcohol along with a nice hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is really drinkable given the high abv. The fruity notes were really nice. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Photo of FourBetter
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank twice. Once cold, then again later. The second bottle was opened, and allowed to breathe and warm for 15-20 minutes before pouring. Big difference. Main review is the warm pour.

Allowed to warm and poured 6 -7 0z from the Syx bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy, golden orange. Very little head but nice lacing.
S: Sweet aroma of orange and apricot. Sweeter malts and spice. Alcohol smell was present but balanced.
M: Nice concentration, not thin like some high ABV's. Just the right amount of carbonation.
T: The warmer pour really allows the flavors to outperform the booze. Sweet fruit flavors, orange/tangerine, apricot, honey. Subtle wood flavor comes and goes along with the malt and some spice to balance out the sweet aspects. Alcohol is definitely there. It nicely warms your throat and tummy the way a good whiskey would but without the burn.

O: Very nice strong ale. The warm (slightly cooler than room temp) really brought out all the layers that Syx had to offer. Each sip seemed to show something a bit different than the last.
The alcohol is not nearly as prominant as when drank cold, where it seems to dominate and taste more acidic, hiding the rest.

My advice: drink warm/cool. Age some and see what pops out after 1,2, 5 years.

Photo of beerpirates
2.49/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

75 cl bottle poured in a tastingglass

Bright copper color with nearly no head. Messy aroma.
Oak, honey, slight citrus, and boozy. Not starting off well.
Sweet as balls. Thick and syrupy body. Lots of fruit, plenty of residual sugar, veryhigh bitterness in the finish. I’m not liking this. Thick, sweet, boozy. Wirh a very high bitter finish
I can’t fathom taking more than 3 sips of this,
One of the worst beers i ever had !

Photo of yokken
4.41/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got two bottles of this on release day. Couldn't wait to open one. Ended up shattering a carboy tonight and decided to throw caution to the wind.

First thing I noticed was the color. It's truly beautiful. A vibrant orange shines through the glass. It's not completely clear, but not hazy or muddy. About a finger of head, if not less. I didn't pour it very hard. I wanted to savor every drop that I could.

Up front, the smell was a bit understated. It smelled like alcohol and fruit. Which fruit, I couldn't exactly put my finger on. Like others have said, it's extremely complex, but I seemed to note a bit of banana out of the wave of smells. As it got warmer, I noticed more alcohol smell.

I took a nice mouthful, and was surprised by a sweet-and-sour explosion. As it calmed down I noticed lots of fruit, and the alcohol was making my gums tingle. It's definitely a big beer, though I wouldn't have put it at 14.5% upon the first, third, or fifth sip. However, again, as it got warmer I could definitely notice the alcohol coming out. It's tough because this is definitely a sipper, but you want to enjoy it when it's still cold enough for the alcohol to be balanced.

It feels great in the mouth, not thin but not too chewy. Has a verrryyy pleasant dry finish. It's not *too* dry, though!

I'm no connoisseur but this is a great beer, easily worth the money for a once-in-a-lifetime offering. I'll let the other bottle mellow out for a few months. Get some if you can, it's gonna go quick!

Photo of GarretD
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I normally never review beer and I will not go into these details others have already provided. I will only say, get a bottle if you can !

Very boozy and a little fruit...dry finish and my gums are still tingling from this stuff...

I'm really not a huge fan of Surly, but this was a good one.

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SŸX from Surly Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.