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SŸX - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

335 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 71
Gots: 166 | FT: 12
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeledonia
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surly makes great, style-bending beers. I've heard this one described as unclassifiable, so I'm really curious what it's like. Enjoyed 15 August 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium very orange amber. Clear, with about one finger of whitish head. Decent retention and lacing. Not particularly attractive.

Has a tingly sizzle in the nose. Hoppy in a way that's abrasive to the nose, but in a strangely pleasant manner. It's a blast of all kinds of acids, oils, and esters, so that I have a hard time pulling out anything to put a name on.

Taste is very, very strange. It's really hard to pin down what you're tasting, because it's so different from anything else I've encountered. It's very malty and powerfully hoppy. Tastes like a cross between apple juice and bug spray, that is somehow amazing. I can't even put together how those two things could combine to make something good, but they do. Has a rich base sweetness that's overlain by a tingly buzz of bitter. It really reminds me of when I get DEET on my lips. And yet I like it.

Weighs on the tongue, like slick syrupy oil. Rather dry finish.

An interesting and quite unique beer, that I find really difficult to describe. But it is darn tasty. It's like a wall of sound, with little snippets jumping out from time to time, but I'm often lost in the delicious static and noise. It strikes me as almost masochistic, in that much of the enjoyment comes from the way in which it assaults my senses.

Last note: it's incredible how well the alcohol is hidden. I couldn't even imagine that I was drinking a 15% ABV beer, if I hadn't read the label. Very dangerously drinkable.

Photo of dmadsen
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of bfirkin45
4.95/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this both on-tap and from the bottle. Smells great, with sweet molasses, oak, and citrus coming off it.

The appearance is stellar with a deep orange glow and a shallow head on the bear. Swirling it produces an alcohol ring comparable to most wines.

I enjoyed the complexity when sipping this. I got apricot and some other light citrus flavor with a very smooth wood complexity overall. Very powerful stuff.

My first American Strong Ale and it was great, as are most beers from Todd and Omar (just Todd in the Anniversary beers). Hard to find and happy to hoard what I got. An exceptional multi-layered brew with fabulous character.

Photo of drh1382
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Kaydogg
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Chrixsus
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of assman79
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of kevanb
2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle, thanks for sharing this Ward!

Pours a very interesting orange, copper color, very clear, no bubbles or liveliness. A thin head appears briefly, immediately vanishes leaving behind no lacing or trace of its existence. The beer almost looks still, and at ~15% that wouldn't be unexpected, but there really isn't anything interesting or exciting here. The aroma changes that a bit, lots of citrus, smooth oak, sweet malt and a harsh amount of alcohol. It really pops out of the glass, but isn't the most balanced nose, the alcohol kind of dominates at times. The flavor is where this one falls off the tracks. Huge crash of wood, cloying, sticky can't get it out of my mouth taste of bad stale moldy wood. The citrus is kind of there, but it doesn't helpt his beer at all and the alcohol is extremely present dominating the finish and taking this from bad to worse. There are some interesting notes in the glass such as honey, cereal malt, a bit of fruit, but the balance is so poor and the wood just dominates this beer to no end. The body isn't bad, it's a bit more carbonated than it looks, which props it up a bit, makes it easier consume, certainly a sipper though.

Verdict: This is just plain awful, one of the worst beers I've had in recent months, surprising given the surrounding hype and the consistent quality from Surly. We had to drain pour this almost immediately, as it had no redeeming quality and was completely unpalatable.

Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of leschkie
2/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of lars925
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ahalloin
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by dreadnaught33, thanks bud!

Poured from a bottle. Pours a very clear gold honey color with full white head of tight tiny bubbles. Nice look.

The smell reveals a big depth of wood variants. Straight oak, slight char, fresh chopped wood. Other aromas present show signs of citric, some deep floral notes, a touch of butterscotch, and some minty hops. Pils malt definitely in there. Interesting and lots of depth but maybe not the most pleasing aroma.

The taste is strangely acidic and astringent in some ways. Weak malt depth in my opinion and I don't get much in terms of hops. Woody character creates that odd astringency.

The alcohol heat is fairly strong and detracts somewhat. Overall the mouthfeel seems kind of thinned out.

Overall, I like the aroma a lot and the experimentation is admirable, but I find the taste lacking in malt backbone and kind of astringent.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Al for hooking me up with this beer, it's not cheap, but looks very interesting. My first impression of the beer from what I'm told is it's a complex wood aging that also features hops that make it a beer to drink sooner than later even at %15.

The beer does not look like a typical 'strong ale,' it's a semi clear orange with deeper dark orange highlights and a ring of head, just a bit of lacing.

The smell is semi sweet very complex wood smell with a slight alcohol heat permeating through. Wood smells ranging from a vanilla to a spicy cedar. A definite honeycomb like note too, funny because of the honeycomb wood aged technique described on the bottle. Also some hop like esters come through, a sort of dry almost British like variety, but it just might have mingled with the big malts of the beer.

The beer has an ok taste but it is just dominated by alcohol. There isn't a lot of malt backbone to this surprisingly, not enough malt to support the alcohol and the wood and almost citrus lemon flavors. Has almost an acidic to astringent feel overall, not enough sweet to balance the dry acidic flavors. Some really nice wood depth here though, it's interesting how these flavors play on top of the acidicness. I really wish it had some malt depth, it just isn't there aside from some honey caramel once it warms. The feel is a little thin and very alcoholic.

Overall ok, but not worth the price tag. Interesting, but could be much better.

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 tewaris
2.46/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Muddy Pig. Served in a 12 oz tulip.

Deep amber with a viscous clarity. Medium head and retention. Doesn't smell like much at first but some malts and fruit come forward as it warms up. I am neutral on the aroma.

Off to taste --- WTF?! Acidic, harsh and somewhat bready but very shallow malt character for the octane. I am NOT digging this weird tartness at all. Drinks like a poorly made DIPA once you get past the acidity. I'd give it a 1 on taste but there is no hint of booze at all, which is something.

Mouthfeel? I am not sure what to expect but I am going with a 3, right in the middle. Not bad but nothing exciting either.

In my humble opinion, this is just not a good beer. Or maybe it's not ready (no pun intended!).

4, 3, 2, 3, 2

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of homebrew311
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of copslovebeer
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of vobr0002
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of vic21234
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Waxed bottle poured into a snifter. Got this one shipped to me from an online shop based in Minnesota.

A- Pours a light orange/ amber color and very cloudy. About a finger's worth of head fades to a film along with lots of sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Alcohol and and overall sweetness dominate the smell. Some slight hints of some fruity/ floral hop notes are in there as well.

T- Wow, this might be the most alcohol-forward beer I've ever had aside from Utopias. Once you get past the overall sweetness and booziness, I get some citrusy floral hop notes.

M- Heavy on the alcohol, a definite sipper, with some hop bitterness.

I know its 15% ABV, but I was expected this to drink a little better. It's kind of a sweet boozey mess in my opinion. I'm sure some time in the cellar would do it good, but unfortunately I could only get my hands on one bottle.

SŸX from Surly Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.