Todd The Axe Man
Surly Brewing Company

Todd The Axe ManTodd The Axe Man
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American IPA
Ranked #2
Ranked #232
4.46 | pDev: 7.4%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Todd The Axe ManTodd The Axe Man
Notes: Double dry-hopping with Citra and Mosaic hops creates intense tropical fruit and citrus aromas. Brewed with Golden Promise malt and just a hint of haze, this beer finishes rich and dry.

Not quite a West Coast IPA, not quite a NE IPA. It was first brewed in collaboration with Amager Brewery in Denmark. Brewed with one malt, Golden Promise from the UK, with Citra and Mosaic hops. Named by Amager’s marketing director Henrik Papsø.
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 485 | Ratings: 2,811 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at MSP. Hazy golden body, small creamy head. Hazy IPA that is more hop-focused than the norm, but with a tart citric backbone. Really hits the spot.

 155 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Dive Bar, NYC.

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. A finger length foam head shows good retention and light lacing.

The aroma effectively features the attributes of mosaic hops. Aromas of berries, bubblegum, tangerine, sweet grass and a touch of tropical fruit.

Juicy flavors are offset by a dry finish. To its credit, it’s not too sweet. Pithy flavors of tangerine, orange and grapefruit complimented by a developing spicy middle palate that evokes notes of light pine resin. Notes of berries, bubblegum and tropical fruit over a slightly doughy malt base. A restrained and easy going bitterness adds balance.

Medium bodied, smooth, yet slightly crisp mouthfeel. The finish is dry, citrusy and with a gentle touch of bitterness.

Overall, a well done IPA that features the mosaic hops. Simple and deftly crafted. Easy drinking overall.

 860 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned 3/31/16; drank 4/24/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque orange appearance; champagne bubbles throughout.

A rough pour yielded a big, noisy white head which quickly dissipated; minimal lace.

Sweet orange citrus & mild ganja funk notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Sweet orange citrus flavor up front; dry ganja notes on the finish.

A bit too dry & quite simple. Just OK.

 381 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy medium golden caramel in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and moderate medium yellow + pale golden yellow + honey colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to large patch of very slightly mottled very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of juicy citrus/grapefruit, citrus/orange, citrus/lime zest, tropical/mango, citrus/grapefruit pith, gooseberry, and dank resinous hops over the top of moderate aromas of bready + grainy + caramel + honey malts with a just shy of moderate amounts of caramel + honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there are just shy of moderate flavors of bready + grainy + caramel + honey malts with a just shy of moderate amounts of caramel + honey sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of juicy citrus/grapefruit, citrus/orange, citrus/lime zest, tropical/mango, citrus/grapefruit pith, gooseberry, and dank resinous hops which impart a just shy of moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp upfront with a hint of soft/fluffiness mid-body and a moderate amount of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and nice elements from both NEIPAs + West Coast IPAs. Pleasantly crisp mouthfeel with a hint of soft/fluffiness as well as great juicy hop flavors + aromas with some lingering bitterness. Excellent and would definitely have again.

 1,666 characters

Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

CANNED ON 10/11/19

Lightly hazed gold under a fluffy white head of foam that drops to a spotty covering. Aromas of hoppy dankness, orange candy, pineapple, grapefruit. Bright clean hoppy flavor: tropical fruit, berries, mango, grapefruit, herbs, a touch of biscuit malt and sugar cookies. Crisp medium body. Good stuff...

 327 characters

Photo of shkin
2.76/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Skunky bitter West Coast IPA. There is absolutely nothing interesting about this beer. Normally, I would blame poor taste on the age of the beer, but based on the date on the can, it's barely one month old.

 206 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer looked like a prototypical IPA when poured. The body was pale amber in color, slightly hazy, and formed a one finger thick head. The aroma was very citric, evoking a delicious grapefruit. Deeper inhalation invoked some other fruits like guava and mango. The taste was bright and quit citric, reminding of grapefruit once again. The mouthfeel was medium and the alcohol non evident. Excellent.

 401 characters

Photo of ChrisMon02
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden orange with a nice white head that leaves excellent lacing.

Citrus, stone fruit, mostly peach and faint pine. Malt is there but sit way in the back.

Taste is strong hoppy goodness consisting of peach, nectarine skin, citrus and faint pine. Finished dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Medium and almost coating. Carbonation is well done and helps this finish on the soft side.

In your face old school ass kicker of beer. Really good and will enjoy as long as in is available in my area. Recommended if you want a change from the juice bombs.

 574 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look : One finger white head, hazy orange body.

Smell : See below.

Taste : papaya, toasted bread, mild orange, a hint of resin. Good malt balance.

Feel : Medium body and carbonation, mild hop bitterness, balanced upfront.

 226 characters

Photo of DrBeergood
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Caramel orange with lumpy head. It's hazy, and clearly heavily malted, no doubt to hold an unreal amount of hops. After the head settles down, the surface appears buttery/oily.

S: A serious hop boquet. All the hops.

T: A hop forward start and a big malty finish. It lights up your palate.

F: I wanted it to be more oily, like their Furious IPA, so I'll just stick with that.

O: Todd fills a niche that maybe 1 brew out of 100 can do. I'd especially recommend Surly Brewing for people who like Stone Brewing.

 516 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can dated 9/6/19.

Pours clear gold with a chill haze and a short head. Retention is minimal. Juicy and piney in the nose. Medium bodied with a crisp, tacky mouthfeel. Pine, grapefruit, and bitter citrus on the palate with balancing malt. Finishes fairly bitter, a bit malty, and with plenty of pine.

 306 characters

Photo of rypkr
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky with ugly dish soap bubbly head.

Smell is pleasant. Pineapple and mango predominantly.

Taste is nice. Finished earthier than expected which I appreciate being a classic IPA guy.

Feel is really light and drinkable.

Over good. I used to chase the top 250 list with trade but never winded up with this one. Here I am a few years later and it's just sitting on the shelf a few miles away from me, no trading required. This is good, and I'd consider buying again if it weren't $15 for a 4 pack. I'm definitely glad I never traded for this though, it's not top 250 list worthy by any means.

 595 characters

Photo of Reef
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can, dated 9/4/19
Lightly hazy translucent orangy copper with two fingers off white head, full curtains of lacing, surface continents.
Sour pineapple, citrus, guava, pine, honeysuckle, yeast aromas
Orange, grapefruit pith, light caramel, pepper, pine flavors
Soft mouthfeel with bitterness developing, plenty of carbonation, herbal aftertaste.
Unique taste, glad to see it on our beer store shelves.

 405 characters

Photo of Pivopijak
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

can (into glass)
Medium orange with slight translucency. Slight toasted malt aroma with a lychee nut tinge. Medium bodied. Various citrus peel flavors with a lingering bitterness.

 179 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.57/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 8/19/19. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden, but it's not cloudy or murky; small white head that fades leaving decent retention and lacing. The aromas are floral along with some citrus notes. Mild hints of coconut in the mix. Some fresh grass. Some bread and crackers. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose. Some grapefruit and orange coming through. More subtle hints of coconut. More fresh grass. More bread and crackers. Solid bitterness. Mild spiciness. Some black pepper coming through in the finish. Malts do their thing without dominating. Finishes juicy and dry at the same time, but it's probably on the juicier side. Alcohol goes unnoticed for the most part. Mouthfeel is nice. It's on the fuller side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp, crisp, slightly fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid IPA. It's nice, but it's really nothing "special" based on the acclaim, in my opinion. It's not bad at all, but I guess I was just personally expecting something crazier. The craftsmanship is on point. Not bad at all.

 1,093 characters

Photo of BerkeleyBeerSleuth
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big waves of citrus straight from the pour. Taste of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine Big bitterness on the finish. Malts are laid back and balanced perfectly with the beer. This is a delicious beer.

 203 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.79/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz. can served in a willibecker. Pours a dull, burnt orange with a half inch, fluffy, off-white head. Nose is all old school hops - citrus, herbal, dank and some notes of caramel malt. Taste consistent with nose with a medicinal bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an assertive carbonation. Overall, a nice old school IPA. A refreshing change from what has become the norm.

 410 characters

Photo of BigGold
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had poured from pint can, bottom stamped “CANNED ON 07/16/19,” into nonic pint.

The beautiful gold color of this early-style NE IPA is marred only a bit by yeast floaties, the aroma has many things going on but always juicy citrus, and the drinking is all about citrus bite and variety over just enough malt to get home.

 325 characters

Photo of WA_Brian
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 08/06/2019.

L: Cloudy golden color, off-white head that doesn't last very long.
S: Pine with some citrus notes underneath.
T: Generic citrus, a bit grassy bitterness. Bitterness comes mostly on the finish.
F: Medium body, not sticky or syrupy. Very easy drinking.

Great IPA. Citrus flavors are excellent but Mosaic gives it the herbal grassy bitterness that I want in an IPA. Very good balance between the two hops and extremely easy to drink.

 452 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.71/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had from can dated 8/6/19 in Seattle. Was really looking forward to this but was a bit disappointed with it. Had a bit of a "new brewery" taste to it. Never know how to describe it but malt and musty. It does tend to happen with midwestern beers I've had before. Very drinkable and otherwise pleasant but just not as good as the 99 rating to me.

 345 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy, medium golden amber with a one finger white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, citrus and piney hops, orange, lemon, grapefruit, light mixed tropical fruit. Flavor is caramel malt, citrus and piney hops, grapefruit, yuzu, orange, lemon, mild guava and pine needles. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Glad to finally try something from this legendary IPA brewery and it is quite nice. Aroma and initial taste are classic Mid to West Coast style, with an emphasis on citrus and pine. The hop herbal flavors reveal themselves over the taste, which is what I hope for in a big IPA. Great alpha oil finish with resinous pine and citrus rind. The malt thins out a little in the finish, but there is still a fine, lingering hop bitterness. I hope this stays in our market; with all the local breweries emphasizing hazies and bruts, I will take my classic IPA fix from any source and this is a promising one.

 996 characters

Photo of Mister_Faucher
3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz single can purchased at Hop & Hound in Bothell, Washington.
Just flown in from Minnesota, Canned on date is 08/06/19, two weeks old! Poured in to a pint glass.

Look- Slightly hazy, brilliant, golden honey color. Large, impressive, off-white head that recedes slowly. Solid lacing.
Ample carbonation visible in the glass.

Smell- Citrus (tangerine, grapefruit, lemon), tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, passionfruit), pine, bready malt, slightly floral.

Taste- Tangy citrus, tropical fruits, maybe a little melon, a bit of pine and sweet malt.

Feel- Medium bodied with a heavy, dry, bitter finish. Nice carbonation play on the tongue.

O- My first time trying this beer and I don't really get all the hype. Pretty much just a tastier take on a west coast IPA. Definitely not worth the $5.75 I paid.

 816 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 8/13/19

A: Medium golden orange - hazy but not a turbid slurry, could pass for chill haze - pours with a medium sized off-white head but fades quickly to just a small collar

S: Citra and Mosaic play well together - orange zest, floral citrus, orange and grapefruit juice, with hint of lime - notes of pine and tropical, herbaceous aromas - lightly fruity overall - hoppy but with Midwest sensibility, as there is some malt here to balance - pale grains, light biscuits, malty sweetness

T: Citrus, with primarily orange and grapefruit juice, zest - floral citrus as well and a spritz of lime - Citra seems more prevalent than the Mosaic, but the Mosaic is here with its signature combination of herbal, grassy, pine-like tropical notes - more malt than "NE IPA," of course, with a nice graininess that reminds me a lot of other Surly beers - pale malt, cracked grain, grain tea, light bread, light biscuits - medium bitterness overall - lightly sweet overall

M: Medium body, medium-low carbonation, more crisp than smooth

O: Axe-cellent

I'm still not clear on how some of this appeared in MA recently, but what is important is that I am drinking it. If everything gets to be its own style these days, then Todd the Axe Man is truly a Midwest IPA. It's a bit more aggressive than Surly's own Furious or Bell's Two Hearted, but it's in the same family. I happen to like this style.

 1,394 characters

Photo of ichorNet
3.81/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wow, I had no idea this was in the top 250 beers of all time... really? And, let's see here... the top American IPA on BA?! Huh. Well then. I picked up a can of this, my first ever Surly offering (though I had the Amagher/Surly collaborative version of this at Lord Hobo for Zwanze Day like five years ago or so, if I recall correctly), at my local Craft Beer Cellar just yesterday afternoon, which I found weird. Maybe that means we'll get more Surly soon. I've kinda always wanted to have a glass of Furious, so I hope that happens.

Anyway, this is a Citra/Mosaic DDH IPA that borders on (but doesn't quite become) a double IPA, and it has a lot to live up to based on those reviews down below mine. Pours a deep golden color, almost like a medium-amber honestly. Remember IPAs looking like this? Yeah, I know, I barely do either. The head is decently foamy, measuring about two-fingers of slightly-off-white suds that lace pretty nicely. Good legs and structure to the head here, for sure, and I can see a lot of carbonation rising from the bottom of my glass, which is always a good sign. I think this is a tad darker in color than the current trends, but the recipe is very 2014, so kudos to them for sticking to their guns.

Even though this was only canned 5 weeks ago (just hit my distribution area, so it's not like I've been sitting on this review or whatever), it smells kind of... old? Sure, there are the requisite tangerine, papaya, pine resin, and grassy notes that every decent Citra/Mosaic IPA should boast, but it just doesn't have a lot of vivacity to it. Some light tannins and crisp biscuity malt come out too... almost has an English IPA bent to it for whatever reason?

The flavor profile is, once again, a bit malty and stiff, though with some good grassiness and citrus pith. However, it just feels kinda stale and been-there-done-that. There's no excitement to be had here! This was great when I had it on that Zwanze Day when it was a new beer, as I recall, but this doesn't do much for me nowadays. Feel is pretty good; medium-bodied and well-carbonated with a nice biting bitterness toward the finish and a smooth, massaging mid-palate. Anyway, I don't know if it's the recipe that's changed, or if this really falls off after only a few weeks, or what, but... yeah, I'm not loving it. Definitely not the top "American IPA," and it would honestly be nowhere near my top 100 if I bothered to assemble such an exhaustive list.

 2,454 characters

Photo of Ronl12
3.92/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 oz can into stemless wine glass. Dated 7/3/19.
Look is nice cloudy orange hue. Smell is spicy and a little malty. Taste follows nose with a little fruit up front then some bitterness in middle and end, Feel is fairly light. Overall a nice IPA more West Coast but a little juice in front end. A nice change of pace from the NE IPAs I have been drinking.

 355 characters

Todd The Axe Man from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2811 ratings