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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

1,021 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,021
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.07%
Wants: 107
Gots: 88 | FT: 7
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: 1,021 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

Sammy, May 19, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%

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.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

djrn2, May 13, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Thorpe429, May 01, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

zestar, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

nmann08, May 11, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2.2%

acurtis, May 13, 2013
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -2.2%

metter98, May 09, 2014
Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

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

brentk56, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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!

BEERchitect, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Texasfan549, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

kjkinsey, May 11, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

ygtbsm94, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

GRG1313, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

spycow, May 02, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

Knapp85, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

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!

emerge077, May 26, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

largadeer, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +10%

zeff80, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.2%

SocalKicks, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%

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.

MasterSki, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

feloniousmonk, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%

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.

StonedTrippin, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

mendvicdog, Jun 19, 2013
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Overrated West Coast IPA from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,021 ratings.