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Overrated West Coast IPA - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Overrated West Coast IPAOverrated West Coast IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

205 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 205
Hads: 1,420
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 7.07%
Wants: 123
Gots: 208 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-05-2013

It's been said; "Its easier to brew an extremely hoppy beer than an extremely balanced beer." And you know us, we are always looking for the easy way out, so we jumped on the West Coast IPA Bandwagon and brewed this dry and hoppy ale. "Surly's a little bit of a one-trick pony, they just brew gimmick beers," and maybe we are OVERRATED, but at the end of the day it's just a beer. If yo like it, great, so do we. If you only liked us when we were small, then leave this one on the shelf. Let one of the fanyboys grab it.
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Reviews: 205 | Hads: 1,420
Photo of caskstrength
2.61/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a nice light gold, IPA appropriate white head. 2 week old 4 pack, a couple cans consumed before reviewing.

Smells are sweet citrus and pine, but subdued. No pungency or sharp hops.

Tastes showcase the pale malts mixing with some pine and citrus. But the bright zest is missing. Nothing attacks the tongue. Bready, grainy.

Mouthfeel is too heavy and sweet. Minimal resin or pith. Easy drinking for the "fanboy", for whom I'll leave this on the shelf.

Aptly named (473 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.19/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a tulip pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass and a significant amount of suspended sediment hangs stubbornly in the column.

S: Resinous pine and thick base maltose combine for a cloying and unsophisticated smell.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with spicy and bright citrus peel hops aromatics and clean malt flavors that appear rye-influenced by the middle. Assertive carbonic acidity prevents the malt from becoming as heavy as the smell suggested. Hops aromatics become muted soon after they are established. The finish is clean, moderately bitter, and slightly spicy in an ambiguous grainy/herbal way.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly resinous and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: The marketing strategy displayed on the label of this beer's packaging suggests disdainful feelings toward what it is intended to be. This beer is safe--proficiently brewed but mediocre in strategy--among actual West Coast IPAs. If the brewer's intent was to create disinterest in strong pale ales aggressively hopped with late additions of American hops cultivars: mission accomplished. (1,207 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can with a large bone-colored head over a clear amber body. Excellent lacing.
A surprisingly restrainted flavor follows a strong hoppy nose that has piney, herbal, weedy and grassy elements. The flavor is a bit metallic and dank.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation. (278 characters)

Photo of NODAK
3.29/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Aroma certainly features the pine hops you'd expect...very fresh smelling and true to the style they're going for at first, but then it seems kind of candy sweet.

Pours a dark golden color, crystal clear. Head is fairly small but present.

Taste is hoppy upfront, with a good deal of pine hops....but not overbearing at all. Somewhat middle of the road I suppose. Fades into a bready and candy sweet malt taste that really seems a little bit off to me for the style. A bit resiny on the finish, lingering a bit. Still, I don't think this is Surly's best beer by a longshot. It's a fair west coast style IPA....but they have far better. (636 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Canned 09/26/13. Reviewed live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Expectations are high given its current ratings. 500ml aluminum can served into a stem-tulip.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Okay thickness. Decent creaminess. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes. Spotty uneven inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent semitransparent dark copper of below average vibrance. Fine yeast particles are visible floating in the body.

Overall, it's generally attractive for an IPA, but is far from unique or special. No egregious flaws here. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Subtle piney and nectary hop character. It's surprisingly timid for an IPA, but has a good hop profile to it. There's some generic floral and fruity notes as well. Grapefruit, sure. Citrusy esters. Pale malts. Maybe a teensy bit of caramalt, but not so much it adds a sickening sweetness. I do get a bit of onion and garlic. Zest. Fairly fresh pine is the dominant note here. I always like Surly's hop choices. Hope they carry through in the flavour profile.

No yeast character, spices, or alcohol is detectable.

A pleasant appealing aroma of average strength.

T: Crisp piney notes/pine needles are dominant. Light nectary hops. Some floral and fruity character - grapefruit primarily. Pale malts. A bit of caramalt. Plenty of assertive hop bitterness here, but for the most part it's nicely tamed. Nicely resinous. Balanced enough, but the hops are forward and fresh enough. It's a nice little build for an IPA and is very cohesive but isn't quite gestalt. Too timid and reticent for an IPA, but still likable enough.

Low depth and intensity of flavour. Below average depth of flavour. Decent complexity. Not much subtlety.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth, wet, crisp, and oily. Refreshing. Medium-bodied, with a nice approachable presence on the palate. Good thickness. Well-carbonated. Complements the flavour profile well.

Could be softer, and could also have a bit more bite. I want more assertiveness from this beer - both in flavour and in texture.

Not astringent, harsh, rough, boozy, hot, or gushed.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but I did expect better from Surly. Not a great or world class IPA, but maybe it falls off much quicker than most? I'll plan on revisiting this one fresh. As it stands, it's a nice IPA but way too timid and closed down. I'll easily kill the others in the fridge but this isn't up to par with Surly's better offerings.

B- (2,716 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can from bobbypaulson (thanks!). Canned 1/2/14. Served in a Terrapin goblet.

Pours hazy muted orange gold with two and a half fingers of pale head. Decent retention and a fair bit of splotchy lace.

Smells of pine, citrus zest, grapefruit and an almost yeasty apple note.

Flavors are bitter overall but seemingly without the bright, robust citrus or solid malt base that I look for in an IPA. Grapefruit peel, lemon zest, pine, vague orange pulp, pepper, cracker snd a tinge of alcohol.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry, bitter finish with more grapefruit rind and pine.

From the couple goes I've had at this I finds it's OK. For my tastes there's been nothing particularly special to make me want to choose it over numerous other options. (763 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Canned 5/22/13.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but tastes a bit old 4 months later. (578 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep golden color

S-Pines/evergreens

T-A big piney hop flavor....not much of a malt impression as it is pretty hop forward....

M-sharp bitterness...very dry finish....weight is right on and feels like an IPA not as DIPA or APA...

O-This is a well done IPA but this type of IPA is one of my least favorite. It fills a niche in the Minnesota market as there are not many like this. More bitter and sharp than pure hop flavor....reminds me of Green Flash IPA from San Diego. Personally I prefer Furious (I know not apples to apples comparison) and also Saga and Hop Dish but that is my personal taste preference. This IS a well done hop forward pine dominated IPA. (667 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Zeledonia for the can!

A: Pours a clear honey color with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin layer with decent lacing.

S: Sweet orange and grapefruit citrus aromas up front with underlying notes of caramel malts and a little pine.

T: Grapefruit and resiny pine flavors dominate here with caramel malts underneath. The finish is moderately bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is dry and drinkable.

O: A solid IPA overall. I'd like maybe a bit more depth of flavor and pungent aroma, but it's drinkable and enjoyable. (557 characters)

Photo of Karl_M
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very hopified. Bitter. Sour. Crisp. Light. Weak head and body.

Lacking any significant malty character.

Drinkable for hop heads. Spicy finish. Definitely over rated!

The color is slightly cloudy and golden with the slightest bit of amber.

As the beer warms up, the pleasant caramel notes and toasty character poke their noses out from the clouds to meet the wicked hops.

Nowhere near balanced but still true to the "style" of West Coast IPA. (446 characters)

Photo of jhawth
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finished a four pack over the course of the week, this is from aggregated notes:

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy, golden yellow, fluffy two-finger head with good head retention.

Aroma: Citrusy hop notes, muted grapefruit, a little bit of pine resin. It's been a while since I had a Furious, but it seems to me that this has much less of the grapefruit and other tropical fruit notes that I get from Furious.

Taste: Malts up front, more than I expected. Almost a cereal character? Then moderate hop bitterness. Citrusy notes from the nose are not as prevalent. Some sweetness noticeable after the initial hop appearance.

Mouthfeel: Light. Light, crisp carbonation.

Overall: A very well balanced, very drinkable IPA. I'll probably drink more of this over the summer, and will come back to edit my review as needed. I'll be curious to compare it more closely with Furious, knowing that they are very different beers. (948 characters)

Photo of Dan_McNeely
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice golden appearance, good foam head

S- Standard like most WC IPAs, nothing stands out, but I still feel dig the standard aroma.

T- I like the taste, again, standard, no strong finish that leaves me craving more, but the initial burst is nice.

M- The bitter dry taste lacks depth. I don't dislike it, but again, I'm left wanting a little more.

Overall, it feels like one big IRONIC JOKE on West Coast IPAs, which if funny to me if that's what they're doing because that's what the beer represents. I feel Lagunitas is a bit Overrated...so I'll take this Midwestern attempt first... (590 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden orange. Small white head leaves wisps and some lacing.

Smell - Lots of pine and grass. Malt comes through behind it. Straightforward IPA aroma.

Taste - More grassy hops than the nose, even. Lots of pine and grass. Drops off to a sweet malt. Big dichotomy. Low bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body but as soon as the hops drop off, it gets sweet.

Overall - Meh. Not up to Surly's IPA standards. (453 characters)

Photo of irrgalaxy
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into tall glass. Slightly lighter and yellower than many of Surly's other beers. Nice head, but carbonation quickly settles down. Dry, muted smell - hop smell doesn't come through strong in the nose. Very hoppy - lingers on the middle of the tongue. Alcohol content is middle of the road - not overpowering, but it is a big can. Having more than one adds up fast.

Despite the self-deprecating text on the can, this isn't a big "gimmick" beer - certainly much less than what Surly's done in the past. Very nice, hoppy IPA that'll be nice once summer comes around, but it's not nearly as unique as some of their other offerings. (644 characters)

Photo of NilocRellim
3.69/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served from the tap.

The beer looked clear and amber.

Strong citrus-hop nose with a hint of butterscotch.

The taste was a little bitter, butterscotch, citrus-hops. The hops were most apparent and left a dryness to the tongue.

Would I buy it again? Maybe. It was good, but there are much better IPAs out there. (313 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can dated "05/04/15 F2901" poured into 16oz tulip

A — Pours a light hazy orange hue, there is a light caramel colored head that forms and leaves behind minimalist lacing.

S — Smells mostly malty, little bit of juicy fruit tones, mango and light pineapple.

T — Taste is quite bitter and piney, there is a little bit of a pineapple sweetness to balance it out, lots of sweet light malts as well.

M — Light-Medium bodied, there is an adequate amount of carbonation as well.

O — Nice overall, expected a little more, it's certainly hoppy but not what I would really expect from a "West Coast" IPA, too malty. (625 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Overrated pours a golden color with a small lacing head. There is a strong aroma that has floral hop notes and lots of citrus, especially grapefruit. The taste is much the same strong floral notes, with strong citrus notes. Good body and flavors, a funny fruity aftertaste however. Overall a good not great IPA, with lots of citrus flavors. (340 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

fresh 4-pak just canned on 04/03

A-pours a clear golden sunshine color with a fresh but small white cap with some good lacing thru out

S- tropical fruits like mango papaya with citrus peel notes of orange and grapefruit

T- bitter piney hops first with a slight citrus hop taste of grapefruit tropical hops of pineapple and mango are very faint (would like more of these)

M- crisp and bitter hops with some sweet malts that try to balance this

O- Twas good @ $8.99 a 4-pk but the market is flooded with IPA'S this one is very good but not great it is recommended for sure but not a staple in the fridge for me (614 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap in a tumbler at Firkin.

We'll see about that rating... This stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises white bread, flowers, grass, very light lemon rind, and a pinch of powdered sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, with plenty of flowery grass populating my tongue and a hint of biscuit hiding in there as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid IPA, one that doesn't overdo the bitterness and goes grassy instead of overly fruit-rind-y. Not bad at all. (599 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a Surly Pint glass.

Date 03/03/14

A- Pours a huge 3 1/2 finger white head, dissipates slowly to a messy splotchy mess around the glass. Really clear, well carbonated. Golden hay color.
S- Pine, grapefruit upfront, some malt in the aroma, pine is the most pronounced scent. Nothing to unique.
T- Nice hop bitterness in the finish. More malt forward, pine, slight grapefruit, really dry.
M- Medium mouthfeel, really dry finish, well carbonated.
O- Well made IPA. Definitely on the bottom end of all the IPS/DIPAS that Surly makes. Still quality. Really enjoyable on this warm 50 degree night in MN. (622 characters)

Photo of nmann08
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz can, date on can 4/30/13

Pours a very light gold, looking at it, IPA does not jump out to you. It has a bubbly off-white to white head.

The smell is somewhat mellow. The hops come through, a bit piney, but not at the level you would expect for a west-coast style ipa.

The taste is juicy, not the bitterness you would expect. Citrus hits you up front, I 100% agree on the tropical fruit comments.

The mouthfeel is nice, but its sweet, and the bitterness doesn't show up until very late to balance it. Overall, an above average IPA, but wouldn't put it in the top-tier. (577 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Golden hued with excellent clarity. A thin layer of white head covers half of the top of the beer. Pungent grapefruit and mango hop aroma is prevalent. The hop flavor is a bit more mild than the aroma would suggest. While it is still more grapefruit hop flavor forward, it is pleasantly balanced with light malt flavor. The aftertaste is still primarily tropical flavored hops. The mouthfeel is lightly sticky, but refreshing. (435 characters)

Photo of mnbrewery
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hop profile is a little muddled. This IPA just doesn't stand out in the crowd.
Not really a West Coast IPA. Too malty for a West Coast IPA and for my tastes. (159 characters)

Photo of Qbdoo
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice light orange color. Scent is citrusy but not really powerful. Taste is extremely pleasant but not really powerful either. Unlike other west coast IPAs, it's not a hop bomb but it has a smooth, well-balanced taste and a light mouthfeel. A pretty darn good, highly quaffable beer but not the kind of mindblower I've come to expect from Surly. (345 characters)

Photo of argock
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz tallboy can into an oversized wine glass. Canned on 07/22/14 on bottom of can. Received through the neverending generosity of my brother Greg. Thanks bro.

A: Clear lemon gold with 2-finger, nearly white, frothy head with good retention and a nice collar of lacing.

S: Lemon, grapefruit, and lime combine with pine resin and floral hops notes. Malt component is lean and light 2-row pale malt grain with minimal to no sweetness, more crackery than anything else. I wish this nose had less lemon/grapefruit and more lime and juicy orange citrus character.

T: Solid flavor profile with big citrus assault with grapefruit rind, lemon, lime with floral, pine, and a little resiny dankness in the finish. Maltiness is crackery and could stand to be a touch sweeter. No yeast and alcohol is well-hidden. A good beer with solid WCIPA flavor but that's all the more I can say about it. It does not have the more lush juicy hops character I love in beers like Alpine Duet or Kern RIver Citra.

M: Crisp and light-bodied for the ABV with moderate carbonation and a very dry finish.

O: I liked this beer but it's not better than Stone IPA, Alesmith IPA, or a number of other WCIPAs. If I lived in MN, I would drink a fair amount of this, but it is missing the slightly oily, coating, more lush feel and more juicy citrus and floral character I enjoy more in an IPA. (1,377 characters)

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Overrated West Coast IPA from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.