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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: 344
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 37.04%
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: 344
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, alcohol, fruits, and wood. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a fruity finish on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but quite strong.

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Photo of oline73
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml brown glass bottle with orange-red wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year in a trade and served into a Guinness goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. 15% alcohol according to the label. I'm not sure which style this is; none is indicated on the label.

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as the bottle is poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Nice thickness and decent creaminess. Nice even consistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is an orange-copper. Nontranslucent/nontransparent. No floating yeast particles are visible; it's pretty clean.

Overall, it's a generally appealing appearance, but I can't discern the style. A bit confusing, but generally appealing.

Sm: Abundant tropical fruit. Floral hops. Pineapple, mango. A biteen boozy. Generic fairly pale malts. It's a hard aroma to peg.

No yeast character or spice is detectable.

A confusing aroma of above average strength. There aren't many distinct notes here.

T: Boozy orange, pineapple, mango, and tangerine notes. Floral hop character. Pale malts. Tepid orange juice. Lots of ripe fruit character. Some questionable bitterness comes through as well.

I'm not getting any yeast character at all. There is some noticeable alcohol warmth.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. I wouldn't call it simple, but it's not real complex. Not subtle, nuanced, or intricate either.

Mf: Warm, smooth, wet, and way too thick. Too full-bodied. The heavy presence here isn't justified given the lack of depth, diversity, and complexity of flavour. A biteen overcarbonated.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: The whole warm tropical fruit vibe of this beer isn't doing it for me. I don't know that we'll finish this even with seven of us at this tasting. The alcohol warmth coupled with the relative lack of appealing flavour results in an underwhelming beer. Not sure what they were going for with this one. I hoped for better given it's Surly. Sort of an orange liqueur attempt.

High C

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surly Syx. I don't know how to do umlauts over the y. I don't know why I should. Except that it's metal!

Before I crack the crown, and drink it up, a word about the label. It's the latest from Michael Berglund, who did last year's Darkness as well as other artistic efforts throughout the past annum. I was moved by his recent revelation that this demon character was derived from a wooden work of a friend of his who had recently succumbed to suicide. A beautiful act, to immortalize his art in another work, and what better commemoration than a Surly bottle?

Appearance: clear tangerine. with a thick snowy white head, dotted, and leaving lace. Looks great.

Aroma: fruit aplenty, mango, tangerine, apricot, orange, lime…all kinds of citrus. And the looming presence of alcohol.

Taste: Mmmm, fruit and booze, that's the first impression. You can't have this much ABV (15% is what's reported) without it making it's mark. Flavor rises higher, as well as the alcohol feel. More of the same, the tropical fruit, the citrus, a tingle of pine. And there's some woodiness covering it all, but don't expect me to pick them all out of the honeycomb. (Cherry, ash, ...dang, I had a few of them, now I forgot.)

Flavor increases in complexity, there's more and more coming through. And, all the while comes the boom-biddy-boom-boom. Shammalamma ding-dong. Boom, shackalackalaca.

What's more, this is really what we should expect from Surly. It's a one-off anniversary brew that defies categories, but it is so remarkably delicious that it only underscores Surly's ability to craft brews such as these with the greatest of ease.

After six years, this is the beer Surly should be making. It follows no clear precedent. It adopts no formulas, falls in line with nothing. And it is so goddamn tasty.

Aging isn't a question for a brew this big and boozy. Definitely put some away for a little mellowing. It's a special brew, let's slowly savor to enjoy what six years has brought us.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle from joshuaseresse. Served in a Half Acre taster glass at Tom's birthday party.

A - White foam settles to wisps, thick collar, and specks of lace. Transparent apricot body. Surprisingly attractive considering the high ABV.

S - Very unusual; this has an unusual aged quality to it, almost as if it was 4-5 years old. Fruity, with big treacle and red licorice. Quite sweet, which gets cloying very quickly but masks the alcohol quite well. Not much wood, which makes me curious about the 'honeycomb' apparatus they used.

T - Taste is similar, but not as enjoyable as it develops some fusel and astringent notes, particularly in the finish. Kind of like an aged Belgian, in that it's fruity and slightly estery but lacking in yeast character. The fruit is a tad rotten here, and there's some caramel and toffee barleywine flavors supporting things.

M - Chewy, sticky, full body. Lower carbonation, with a bit of alcohol warmth. Alcohol is pretty well tamed, and this drinks closer to 10%. Finish lingers on the palate but isn't overly sugary.

D - The alcohol is reasonably managed, but I'm not digging the flavors so much. Reminds me of a cross between a wheatwine and an old Belgian strong pale, which are two flavors I already don't care for much. My least favorite offering from Surly.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.71/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Shared by Darrell. Thanks man!

I very quickly consumed half a bottle of this. As Darrell pointed out, better to get it over with as soon as possible.

The beer is orange hued with a small white head. Lots of booze in bothe aroma and flavor. I would definitely describe this as hot. Oak and alcohol with a ton of malt and some citrus soaked in alcohol. Flavors clash and the overall presentation of the beer is off kilter. Overall, this was not that great. Not a repeat for me.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One inch white head in a dark golden/amber body. Great head retention and lacing considering the ABV.

Nice woody/honey aroma.

"White grapey". I feel like there is a sweet honey alcoholy finish. Leaves the mouth burning from the booze.

Medium mouthfeel, adaquate carbonation.

Woo, pretty different strong ale here. Different attributes. To sum it up I would say a honey booze bomb, at least for the time being.

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Photo of John_M
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Generously obtained for me by Ottodyer a few months back.

The beer pours a solid copper amber color with good head retention and decent lacing. This beer definitely smells rich and boozy (to be expected with this kind of abv. I suppose), imparting considerable canned peach, cherry, apricot, tangerine and light vanilla in the aroma profile. This beer just smells as if it will very sweet and boozy on the palate. That being said, the flavor profile is pretty huge and intense in this beer, showcasing considerable tropical fruit, vanilla and butter, but with a goodly dollop of hoppy bitterness in the finish as well. While I was grateful for the hoppy bitterness in the finish, it still wasn't close to being sufficient to tame the huge sweetness and alcohol in this beer. Four sips into this beer and I was already wondering if there was any hope that I'd be able to finish off the 10 ounce glass I poured for myself (I didn't make it, as it turns out). This beer defines the expression of heavy and tiring on the palate, and after just four sips, I could already feel my cheeks starting to warm. Mouthfeel is full, with a long, rich, hot and alcholic finish.

An impressive effort from Surly, no doubt, but this just comes across as a beer that Surly made hugely alcoholic, just to show that they could pull it off. Bully for them I guess, but this is just not a very enjoyable beer to drink.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a burnt orange with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap, loads of bubbles with spotty lacing to follow

S: Very aromatic and hot too. Big citrus burst comes out with with a light toastiness, sweetness and plenty of heat

T: Initial sweet and malty upfront with a punishing booze blended with pungent citrus to follow: orange peel, tangerine, dash of lemon zest. Pine and light tropical fruits in the background make this one tasty brew. The finish is sticky, hot and delicous with a lingering hop bitterness which is accepatble. Wood is detected but I was actually looking for a bit more.

M: Medium to big bodied, well carbonated. Loads of flavor coat the palate and hang around for quite a while. IBUs are priominent.

O: In your face. American Strong Ale it is indeed. I forsee this beer going the distance! I want another.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml orange waxed bottle, the label says this is 15%abv. Purchased from France 44 online.

It pours a 24K gold with a 1 finger head of foam that refuses to shrink much and when it does, it leaves plenty of lacing behind.

I took this out straight from the fridge so I'm not getting much in the way of smell. What I can get is a fruity kind of sweetness, and some of the alcohol. I'll take some more whiffs when it warms up.

On first sip, the first thing that comes to mind is how dry it tastes to me. A fruity kind of dry; kind of bitter with some hints of tartness. Some sweet notes move in, you should see me shaking my head while swishing the beer in my mouth...or not; I bet it looks silly.lol.

The sweet tastes honey like but I'm not sure on that point. There's a massive attack from the potent alcohol going on now. Another sip in and yes, there's definitely more than a hint of tartness. Intended? In an American Strong Ale? I'll have to check the other reviews to see if anyone mentions it.

The finish is where I taste the fruity tartness the most, and the alcohol. It has a fine mouthfeel but I'm a little concerned over yes, I'll say it again, the tartness.

This is not what I expected from Surly given the style but maybe it's because of the, and I quote from the label, "Utilizing 6 wood species in a "Honey Comb" shape for aging" end of my quote of label.

Warming up during the session hasn't improved things from my palate's point of view. It now tastes dank, tart, alcoholic...not my cup of tea at all. The smell is about on the same level now. Completely off style if it is, in fact, supposed to be an ASA.

I wasn't a fan of the Five. Chalk me up as not of fan of Six. I'll take your regular offerings any day, Surly.

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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.

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Photo of xnicknj
2.67/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to therobot

Pours a clear golden copper color with a bubbly crop of white head on top. Fades into a carbonated film with some spotty, patchy lacing on the glass.

Curious nose with a mixture of citrus fruits, toasted oak and boozy warmth. Honey and caramel with fruity sweetness and solventy alcohol. There's also a funky, yeasty, butteryness that keeps coming back to me (against my wishes).

Sweet and citrusy up front with some boozy warmth. Pineapple, grapefruit and orange with juicy, pithy fruit flavors. Woody notes with toasted grain followed by honey and syrupy sweetness. Slightly cloying, and there's also a yeasty funk that seems to come through the profile. Finishes with persisting citrus fruit, alcohol and sweetness.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky, chewy and lingering on the tongue. This is the first Surly beer that I really didn't like, which is super disappointing for me. Too sweet, too funky, too weird and completely unbalanced.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had bits & piece of this brew on tap at a couple festivals & wasn't impressed, but the atmosphere was hardly conducive to serious contemplation. Now I sit in my warm chair with slippers, fleece, & word processor...ah, that's better. 750ML bomber split with my wife.

Pour is IPA orange, it might be amusing to try to pass this off as an IPA to some unsuspecting idiot. Nose is a letdown, which I remember clearly; faint exhalations of honey & grass that's been packed in a wood crate. Not much going on.

Syx is that rarest of creatures - a letdown from Surly. Booze is out of control, rubbing alcohol style. Citrus clashes with this harsh base unpleasantly. Wood enters stage right & increases the confusion. Hops taste almost stale, & add a side of mint, grain, indistinct light fruits. Experience is heavy, sodden, cloying. I'm looking at all the ounces I have to get through, & the high octane ABV, & thinking, oy vey.

Not sure what the brewery was aiming for here, but it couldn't have been this - it's like Surly Three gone bad. A mishmash of tastes that don't mesh well at all. Not a good beer.

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Photo of gford217
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with orange wax.

Pours a deep, clear orange with a small soapy beige head that recedes slowly and leaves some sticky legs and lacing on the sides.

Aroma is boozy as hell with lots of alcohol, vanilla, and oak. Sweetness dominates the nose in the form of heavily caramelized sugar and booze-soaked light fruits, apricots and pears. Hints of citrus as well, oranges especially, though it's definitely hidden behind the alcohol and sugary sweetness.

Whoa, and I thought the aroma was heavy. The taste is oaky tannins, molasses, orange zest and straight up alcohol, which just completely burns the throat after each sip. Apricots and pears are still there but the spiciness and boozy burn are the dominant components.

Mouthfeel is heavy and massively sweet and alcoholic. Decent carbonation keeps it from getting completely out of hand.

This is a serious beer and one to be shared as the booze, in my opinion, is not hidden at all. I would peg it pretty close to 15%. Not my favorite from Surly, but, hey, that's a high bar.

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Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing bright orange with a little head of super soft light khaki foam that leaves some light lacing. Decent retention.

Getting almost only pure orange juice from the nose. Juicy, sweet and citrusy rounds it out.

This is such a different flavor than what I was expecting going in. I hear "american strong ale" and always think dark and loaded with malty sweetness and booze. This is definitely different from that. Loads of citrus up front with fresh mandarin orange and pineapple leading the assault. Light bitterness and fruity citrus sweetness. Maybe a little orange blossom honey. Warm, bordering on hot alcohol at the end, but not overwhelmingly so. The heat does linger long after drinking. Some hoppy bitterness at the very end also.

The body feels WAY lighter than a 15% beer. Not a complaint at all on my part. The heat will remind you that it is all of 15% though. Actually has a nice summery feel to it especially with all of the orange. Finishes lightly sticky, but still feeling the warm alcohol.

I have to say that this is a very original take on the style. It's bright and IPA/DIPA citrusy that you just don't typically find in the style. Can't personally tell that this was wood aged, but maybe it is just adding to the citrus component of the overall beer. Enjoyable, but yes, boozy and hot. I'll lay one down and save it for a future date for comparison, but very glad I tried it fresh also.

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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.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears clear orangish gold. Dense white head with splotchy lacing and terrific retention. Nose is intensely full of caramel malts and a thick honey sweetness. Earthy hops cut through the sweetness. Notes of oak and toast come through. Taste starts sweet with honey and caramel. Dry woody notes come next and provide warm toasty bread qualities. Tons of honey present along with molasses and heat at the end. The mouthfeel provides high carbonation and plenty of body. Overall, another delicious brew from surly (what's new?). A little in the hot side... Definitely a nod to the barleywine style.

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Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-08-13 in Maple Grove, MN at 3 Squares

A - pretty clear orange-gold with a 1/3-finger white head into a 10 oz goblet. Much lighter in color than I expected Light lacing and medium alcohol legs.

S - Quite different. Sweet citrus, alcohol, stone fruit, dark fruit and spice.

T - Tart, sweet, mildly bitter, alcohol. Light malt, stone fruit, lemon citrus, honey, oak. Finishes fairly dry and tart/sour with a residual sweetness and alcohol. Similar to a barleywine but with its own unique flavor.

M - Medium body and light- medium carbonation. Tingly and prickly.

O - I had this as a dinner aperitif and nursed it through the meal, supplemented with water and a Summit Saga IPA. The Syx is a favorable sipper that I would enjoy having again. Of interest, I was very lucky to get a glass. It came out last week and the bottles sold out right away. It was just fortunate this craft beer bar within walking distance of the hotel still had it on-tap!

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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.

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