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SŸX - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

69 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 343
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 36.77%
Wants: 70
Gots: 169 | FT: 10
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 (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 343
Reviews by theCoder:
Photo of theCoder
3/5  rDev -20.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
2.88/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this one from Rutger a couple summers ago and just haven’t been up for taking on this big bruiser alone. Finally found a couple willing volunteers to help out. Cheers for the brew man!

From a 750 into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, creamy, off-white head with good retention. Clear safety orange in color with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a foamy cap with lots of lacing down the glass. A foamy ring remains leaving some splotchy lacing sticking to the sides of the glass as it empties. Looks pretty nice, really.

SMELL: Lots of toffee, caramel, some butterscotch, lots of piney hops, some melon aromas, and some nice notes of citrusy hops. Huge nose. Very bold with lots of everything going on. A touch of spice as well.

TASTE: Toffee, caramel, some nice melon sweetness and alcohol up front. Quite fruity with lots of honey sweetness. Some alcohol at the swallow with a big finish of toffee sweetness, honey, piney and citrusy hops and lots more booze. This certainly is a bruiser.

PALATE: Medium-thinner body with medium levels of carbonation. Lighter on the palate, goes down smooth enough with a bit of a scratch and finishes surprisingly dry. An astringent finish for sure.

OVERALL: What a beast. Some good flavors here for sure, with lots of malt character and plenty of hops for fun, but it is certainly boozy and the feel is too astringent for it to really be an enjoyable big beer. I understand why this beer is so divisive. I wasn’t the hugest fan, but the other two I drank it with were much more positive, with the one person absolutely loving it. Obviously a beer like this isn’t for everyone, which is what makes it so much fun. Thanks again Rutger! This one was good times.

 1,753 characters

Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 1,662 characters

Photo of jaminjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of deebo
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

 576 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Dave11899
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

 617 characters

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of warmbier804
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of MattyG85
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
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.

 1,685 characters

Photo of boogerisu
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 1,656 characters

Photo of jeonseh
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

 810 characters

Photo of VikingsFan1215
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of bif_fat_sellout
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Shawner
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of optimator705
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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SŸX from Surly Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.