Todd The Axe Man
Surly Brewing Company

Todd The Axe ManTodd The Axe Man
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American IPA
Ranked #2
Ranked #233
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.
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Reviews: 480 | Ratings: 2,791
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 7/5/19

Pours a moderately hazed burnt orange, sizeable, tight, off-white head of foam; great retention yields a massive collar and a lasting dose of thinner, soapy lacing strewn around the glass.

Aroma begins with weedy grapefruit before giving way to a floral, mineral-like quality washing over suggestions of tropical citrus and wild berries.

Taste intersperses pineapple, herbal peach, flaky malt, and floral berries, throughout an evenly balanced profile, with milder notes of dank blueberry appearing sporadically.

Mouthfeel displays a medium body gliding across the palate, with equally moderate carbonation guiding to a light grit on the finish; exceptionally consistent and mildly fluffy; slightly bitter as the swallow sets in.

Delicately floral, tropical, and slightly weedy, this is like Racer 5 met Crusher: an incredibly deep hop experience that stays on the better side of crushable even as it pulls its profile across varying ends of the flavor spectrum.

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Photo of SABERG
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can dated 7/05/19 into the test glass.
A - late season sunflower color, a touch of haze, gently carbonated. A loose white froth caps the experience.
S - Pineapple, papaya, a touch of spice, medium roast malts, some orange peel as well.
T - Follows the nose well, with great definition on the palate.
M - A bit slick, medium in body, with a sweet wave that runs amock. Finish is sweet and lingering around are the fruits as mentioned.
O - A very good IPA, worth the accolades the offering has earned

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Photo of Giygas
2.32/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Right off the bat, this IPA is very malty. It feels like taking a step back in time. I'm from New England. This is like the IPAs that were being made before NE was trying to replicate the west coast style. So if you're expecting a nice Citra Mosaic IPA like I was you might want to move along.

Look: Nice head. This IPA is a little darker than most coming out these days. There's a slight haze but you can read through it around the edges.

Aroma: First thing I notice is how bready it is. There's a sharpness to it with some mango like flavors but I would hesitate to say that it smells fruity. It almost smells woody. Malt dominates the nose in this beer.

Taste: Definitely pour this in a glass. I drank the first half out of the can and it just tasted like bitter malt. It was very similar to older IPAs being brewed in New England back in the early to mid 2000s. There are hops in this beer but I feel like they are obscured by the malt. There's no balance. The bready sweetness of the malt is a completely different flavor than what the hops can deliver. It finishes kinda sticky and sweet which I don't really like.

Mouth Feel: I have no issues on the mouth feel. It has a nice medium low thickness and good carbonation. Appropriate for the style.

Overall: I really don't get why this beer is so highly rated. I really don't like this beer. If I wanted a malty beer, I would rather drink an english old ale or something more interesting. The hops don't blend well with the flavor of the malt. They seem like an afterthought. The further into this beer the more I liked it but it never hit the threshold of me actually liking this beer. I like all sorts of IPAs. One thing on my journey of IPA drinking that I've picked up is keep the malt in the background. The different flavors you can get out of hops are crazy diverse and that is what I'm interested in with an IPA. Some IPAs ride the line of maltiness and a lot of them (I'm looking at Lagunitas) somehow pull of a malt sweetness that perfectly fits in with the hop profile. This beer totally missed the mark for me. It's crazy to me how this is rated as the top American IPA on this website. Makes me wonder if I'm drinking the same beer as everybody else. The date on the can is only a month old. This should be better than it is.

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Photo of defunksta
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep golden-orange color with an SRM of 10. A strong white head, that fades pretty quickly. (3.75)

Aroma: Huge aromatic grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and orange citrus. Even some sweet mandarin orange, and tangerine. . A little pineapple, peach and mango. Don't be fooled. Then comes the mosaic with huge, dank tropical melon and berry. A delicious, rich, sweet, pale-bread maltiness underneath it all. (4.5)

Flavor: The flavors have huge citrus of lemon, orange, grapefruit rind, and pineapple. A touch of peach and mango with some stonefruit marmalade. Again, then strong, dank tropical melon and berry flavors, but not even close to bitter enough to be black tea. Not much pine either. The sweet white bread malts come through for a rather sweet finish. Leans slightly sweet. (4.25)

Feel: Full-bodied, good carbonation. Slightly resinous and oily. Yet, crisp and not creamy. A blueberry flavor lingers on the tongue afterwards, but it's more of a flavor and not all that bitter. (4.25)

Compared with Furious, this one is much lighter colored and clearer. Much stronger citrus and juicy flavor. More sweet orange and pineapple sweetness. Less pine flavor. More of a malt body and is sweeter. Less bitterness, pine and black tea. Leans further east and is more fruity.

Compared with King Sue: This one has a darker orange color. Much stronger berry and dank tropical profile from the mosaic. Its heavier bodied. More oily and crisp. Less creamy. Stronger bitterness.

Overall: Man this is a good IPA. It leans sweeter, and light juice flavors. Tons of fruity and juicy flavor. Really showcases the Citra and Mosaic combo. Tons of fruity flavor like a NEIPA, but it maintains a respectable citrus, dank and pithy fruit flavors of the west-coast, while finishing with the balance of a mid-west IPA. This beer might set the standard for a midwest IPA. (Final Rating: 4.33)

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Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that slowly died down and consistently left a short head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of orange and lime citrus are present in the nose along with hints of gooseberries.
T: The taste follows the smell but has stronger flavors of gooseberries to pair with citrusy flavors of limes. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice mix of flavors of citrus and gooseberries.

Serving type: can

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Todd The Axe Man from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2791 ratings