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Overrated West Coast IPA - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Overrated West Coast IPAOverrated West Coast IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

952 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 952
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.07%
Wants: 98
Gots: 80 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-05-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 952 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tallboy can, thanks John. Pours golden with a little head. Citrus orange hop aroma, and that is the taste that delivers. Superior IPA and very drinkable. Just a minimum of malting to keep your palate from shredding. Well crafted. Smooth and satisfying.

Serving type: can

05-19-2013 03:05:04 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Serving type: can

09-30-2013 23:05:13 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

05-13-2013 23:20:45 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

05-01-2013 19:23:00 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4/5  rDev -2.2%

05-09-2014 22:28:20 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a very impressive head (two inches and good retention) that leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Citrus and hemp, with tropical fruit undertones

Taste: All hops and no malt, dominated by hemp and tropical fruit more than citrus; very bitter, after the swallow, with a touch of medicinal aspirin

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Surly got what they were shooting for though from my personal standpoint, I would prefer more citrus in the flavor profile

Serving type: can

06-30-2013 20:28:27 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Serving type: can

05-11-2013 01:41:49 | More by nmann08
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If West Coast-style IPAs are indeed overrated... and if an upper Midwestern brewery wants to make one to show that it is indeed overrated, they should probably try to screw it up a bit to make a point: not make a great one to further promote such hype. In that regard, Surly's attempt is an epic fail!

Bright copper in its initial pour, its exuberant carbonation races to the surface- hurrying to amass a light and frothy white cap. Incredible honeycomb retention and lace adorn the glass more and more with each drink.

Bright citrus aromas captivate the nose with notes of grapefruit, orange zest and with a hint of pine. Thin caramel malt supports lurk in the background and instead of offering balance, they allow the fruit character to seem riper, juicier, and more vibrant.

Thin caramel and toasted grain coax the early palate, just ahead of an onslaught of hop character. Sharp white grapefruit, freshly zested oranges and a light chive-like earthiness towers over the middle palate. Its dry malt backbone lightens considerably in order to allow hop flavor and bitterness to dominate. Finishing decidedly bitter, yet smooth- a resinous pine-like taste offers a long, clean lingering.

Light, crisp and clean throughout- the ale is far too drinkable to be in excess of 7%- but there it is: drinkable as lager and brightly flavored, its nearly impossible to drink this guy slow. Exacerbated by bone dryness, the alcohol is masked easily by hop bitterness- drying the palate with ease. With no astringency, void of residual sweetness and no alcohol bite- this IPA is as effortless as they come.

Surly partially proves their point- that the drier, criper and more accutely bitter West Coast IPA's are popular, perhaps to a fault. But they are certainly not overrated!

Serving type: can

09-04-2013 17:45:12 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.2%

05-13-2013 23:37:01 | More by acurtis
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

09-29-2013 14:43:05 | More by ygtbsm94
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kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

05-11-2013 13:56:46 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev -2.2%

04-21-2013 04:20:28 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

05-02-2013 04:22:18 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

07-20-2013 06:44:08 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out as a nice golden color, very clear looking with a fluffy white head on top. The retention and lacing are very nice on this beer. The smell has a solid amout of citrusy pine hop aromas. The taste is also quite hoppy but does have a solid malt backbone to it as well. The mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of boozy heat to it. Overall I enjoy it, I look forward to drinking the rest of the cans I got.

Serving type: can

07-03-2013 03:10:03 | More by Knapp85
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +10%

01-04-2014 03:44:38 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright saturated orange, slightly hazed, sticky foam all around the glass.
Huge citrus pith in the aroma, very citric hops high in alpha acids.
Bitter grapefruit, bittersweet orange marmalade. Slick green resin. Super drinkable.
Rivals the best of the West Coast. Get some!

Serving type: can

05-26-2013 16:24:40 | More by emerge077
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largadeer

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

08-13-2013 00:20:27 | More by largadeer
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westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

08-15-2013 06:10:50 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, golden colored, beautiful white, lasting head. Looks the very picture of a class West Coast IPA. All systems go, ready or not.

Aroma: ahhh….yep, it's hitting all the right notes. Sticky, prickly pine, plenty of citric notes, blasts of tropical fruit, lemon and pineapple hit the forest floor. Put the grapefruit in mango and mix it all up. Perfectly pleasing.

Taste of it: Boom, boom. It's got it all, bangs the right spots, strikes the right notes. Not too much malt body to interfere with the hop delivery. Body is lean and light, dropping hop delights with each new sip. In each way possible, this meets the mark of the West Coast IPA. Which makes me wonder…but, first, let's read that can…

What's with the HYPE? It's been said; "It's 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 OVER-RATED, but at the end of the day, it's just a beer, if you like it, great, so do we. If you only liked us when we were small, then leave this one of the shelf. Let one of the fanboys grab it."

I'm going to pick this apart for a bit. From day one, Surly had always been trying to jump on the "West Coast IPA bandwagon", but they flubbed it with that failure, Furious. Next thing: Is the part in quotes directly from some review online, and does that person feel silly, or superior? Next: I hate the phrase "at the end of the day". Political talking heads on the 24-hour news networks use it constantly, over and over, and it pisses me off to see it on a Surly label. Finally, …oh, the fanboys. How much anti-Surly resentment did they turn around and stuff into that small bit of copy? Why is there still anti-Surly resentment? Haven't those people dried up and blown away already?

So what am I wondering…ah, this is damnably delicious. And what if Surly had debuted with Under-blown, or…Extra-plated..what was it? Yeah, over-rated. It's nearly a note-perfect rendition of the much beloved West Coast IPA, San Diego style. Surly originally was meant to be a provider for our region, our marketplace, of this type of brew, the type not found in our homeland. But their "over-hopped", "over-hyped" Furious seemed to really fit an unscratched itch, a never-known niche. Detractors of Furious and it's over-done hopping forget the major amount of malts involved. Maybe that's what helped it over the hump, and let this community of beer drinkers take that overly hoppy wonder to our collective bosom? If they'd led with something like this, a clear clone of the West Coast style of IPA, so plump with the citrus and piney qualities, instead of something with a bigger malt component like Furious, would it have been the same? Would it have eventually met with popularity, or relative indifference, except for the rabid, hop-hungry species beers geekicus?

It is dry. It is hoppy. It's very bitter, and what's weird? It's about a dollar a 4-pack less than Furious. Because they could save money on the malt. Man, that must be how those over-hopped, over-hyped beers work. That's how they getcha man, that's how they do it.

Already some wags on the net are saying "it's, dare I say it, better than Furious." "Better than"? More to the taste of your hop-greedy palate, perhaps. Also, perhaps, these people are the ones I spoke of earlier, the ones Surly wasn't ready to cater to seven years ago, and have merely been biding their time pretending to enjoy Furious until Surly would produce something leaner, hoppier, drier, …here's what I'll say: while I appreciate this, respect it, like it, nay, love it…it only proves to underscore what a successful creation Furious truly is. I'll also say this: …no forget it, I've said it all already. Good one, but will not replace Furious for me. I'm glad they finally did it, though, and wish it would stick around. Top notch effort, lads. I enjoy over-rating your beers, but, you knew that, fanboy that I am.

Serving type: can

04-27-2013 08:09:46 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can shared by Aniela. Thanks! Served in a pint glass.

A - White foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and specks of lace. Hazed orange body.

S - Big lemon, grapefruit peel, and pine. Very neutral and understated crackery malt backbone.

T - The taste is similarly heavy on lemon and grapefruit peel, pine, and grass. Very low sweetness, either from hops or malt. Well-attenuated and crackery, with a restrained malt character and moderate bitterness.

M - Dry, medium body, pleasant carbonation, and well-hidden alcohol.

D - A good beer that is definitely West Coast in execution. Easy to drink for the ABV. Could actually use a tiny bit more sweetness to offset the bitterness. I also appreciate that this is totally different from Furious.

Serving type: can

08-14-2013 01:53:28 | More by MasterSki
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

kind of a funny concept here, and a hilarious story on the back of the can to accompany this actually not overrated at all ipa. the fourth of july looking can pours a light copper colored brew with two inches of bone white foaming head. the nose is indeed akin to the west coast styles, high alpha, simple barley malt, and a sticky fresh character that reminds me of the finest ganja. the flavor is perhaps a little less dank than the nose, a little more in balance, but the sweeter, juicy hops definitely take center stage. some subtle notes of mango or guava or something else tropical, but this isn't a fruit ipa at all, its pretty straight forward really. good carbonation keeps its pep all the way through, while the body is sort of middle of the spectrum. this is rather drinkable for its size, and one can was definitely not enough to satiate me. I would get this regularly if it were available in Colorado. an enjoyable stab at the arrogant left coast scene.

Serving type: can

04-27-2013 16:21:49 | More by StonedTrippin
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SocalKicks

California

4/5  rDev -2.2%

12-17-2013 05:22:52 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

06-19-2013 15:30:41 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.36/5  rDev -17.8%
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-

Serving type: can

11-28-2013 06:47:20 | More by kojevergas
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Overrated West Coast IPA from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 952 ratings.