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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

206 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 1,423
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: 206 | Hads: 1,423
Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (252 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 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 StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (966 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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 (532 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  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. (407 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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! (1,773 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
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! (274 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange infused hazed lighter golden with a great looking almost creamy-like sticky white head atop.Whoa man the tangerine and ruby red grapefruit are just jumping out at me in the nose,a bit of caramel thrown in makes it more than inviting to say the least.On the sweeter side on the palate,almost candied flavored hoppy goodness with a hefty caramel base,like sweet hop juice.Not for the non hophead, but it is on the sweeter side but damn I love it. (460 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 LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium sized maybe slightly bigger off white head settles to a quarter inch froth covering a cloudy honey golden colored beer filled with little particles that show this beer wasn't over filtered, which to me is a good thing.

Citrus fruit and light pine fill the hops based aroma.

Smooth citrusy fruit, light grasses and lighter even pine aspects fill the taste of this Overrated offering.

A lighter dryish aftertaste with just a noticeable bit of the citrus tastes remaining behind with this medium bodied IPA.

I like this, what to me seems to be the right amount of the west coast style of IPA in a beer, it has the taste I want without overkill. I think an evening filled with these would do a person good.
Enough said. (726 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 MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +2%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can was about 1 month old.

Pours an amber orange color. Nice citrus hops, grapefruit, bready malts, and fruity malts. Medium body, no bitterness, low carbonation.

Overall a decent beer. Not a hop bomb but good....would like to try it again fresher. (250 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (4,120 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 jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazed golden with a foamy head that lasts. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of robust citrus - grapefruit/orange with some pine.

The taste is of strong citrus - orange, grapefruit - with some pine. A firm, chewy malt backbone ties hops together and adds smoothness.

A "classic" "West Coast" IPA brewed in the Midwest! Very nice! A "hop-head's" delight! (358 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned within the week! Woo!

Over a finger of beige head. Color is a clear sunset gold.

Flavors of pine and tropical fruit. Very bright and citrusy. Grapefruit and lemon citrus. A bit grassy. Not very much malt shows here. A bit of pale, bready malts do show.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and a bit sticky. Medium bodied with a bit on the high side of the carbonation level.

Overall, this is a solid ipa. It is very easy to drink. Not overly bitter which I like. I also like how tropical it is. (487 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Can gifted by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave.

The beer is light golden orange with a half inch of white head. Aromas of pine, melon, orange, cantaloupe, sweet citrus. Tangy and hop forward with some biscuit malt presence. Tasty. (225 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can into a Dogfish Head Ale glass. Canned April 30th 2013.

A fairly clear, bronze gold amber body, with slow rising carbonation. Head is off white and is about two fingers deep, but falls to a thin puck and soapy fat collar. Not too bad looking.

Nose is fairly subtle hop wise. Mild sense of sweet melon, perhaps a hint of tropical juicy quality. Mild sweetness, a little bit of piney spice and light brown sugar.

Good bitterness matching the hint of tropical quality. Toned down malt sweetness hinted with a little bit of toasty brown sugar. Slightly more than moderate carbonation but with a hint of wet body. Hints of earthy quality on the aftertaste and finish with a matching pine bitterness.

Overall not bad, and not overrated either. (760 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 tempest
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single at Four Firkins. It certainly is a West Coast style IPA, big juicy hops over a lighter body. I'm not complaining, I like the style and this is a great example. I'd liken it most to Lagunitas Sucks. The aroma holds a great mix of pine with floral spice and sweet grapefruit. The flavor follows suit with a softer bitterness of piney apricot and less floral character. The finish is slightly dry and with the lighter body, a 4-pack would be dangerously drinkable. (480 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 8-15-13. Poured in to snifter.

A - Opaque cloudy golden orange colour with a thin layer of off-white head that reduced to a ring.

S - Grapefruit, orange rind, pineapple and a touch of caramel.

T - Nice bitterness up front. Tangerine, peach, grapefruit and a touch of sweet honey/caramel.

M - Medium body. Oily and sticky. Light to moderate carbonation. (369 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can opened on 4.27.13

A - Pours a hazy medium to dark orange wiht a smaller tan head with good retention.

S - Bitter orange peel, malts, some tropical fruits.

T - Sweet orange then some bitterness. Fruity finish.

D - Good carbonation and a bit to thin of a body.

O - Great, orange and tropical IPA with a bit of bitterness in the middle. (342 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy gold under a 1.5” foam cap with persistent multi-sized bubbles. S: Fresh meadow. T: Starts creamy malty with light fruit and then the hops come on board and it finishes with a lingering grapefruit rind bitterness. F: Creamy medium body and carbonation O: has that West Coast hop character. (299 characters)

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Overrated West Coast IPA from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.