CynicAle | Surly Brewing Company

611 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tavernjef on 06-02-2006

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Reviews: 611 | Ratings: 1,476
Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden yellow with thick foam and sticky lacing. Smells of strong wheat tones, biscuit, malt, and banana. The taste is really nice, this is a great beer I must say, nice wheat flavors with a good warm biscuit blended in and banana on the back side. I really like this beer, I am a big fan of the style and Surly did this one justice, excellent!!

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a can: pours a slightly hazy yellow golden color with white head. Smells like a hefe, banana, clove, light fruit, and wheat on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with more light fruit.

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Photo of TH28
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. 2/8/17 can date. Appearance: Golden and lightly hazy, with a low lying white foam head. Aroma: Strong banana and Clive, reminiscent of a German weizen yeast. A touch of pear as well, but I don’t pick up any pepper as I would expect. Taste: Starts with a punch of aggressive clove phenols that is almost cloying, and an underlying bready, wheat maltiness. Light pear and a touch of pepper on the back end with an abrupt, moderately strong bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a touch of creaminess and a low to moderate carbonation. Finish: Lots of clove and banana linger, with a surprisingly strong bitterness. Overall: An interesting take on a saison, with yeast character much more suggestive of a weizen than a saison. Clove is a bit too aggressive, and the peppery character is barely discernible. That said, this beer is still very good, with a nice creaminess to the body

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A deep gold almost orange beer with a nice haziness to it. A White fluffy head of about two fingers fades rather quickly and leaves a spot or two of lacing. The aroma is bananas, cloves, lemon and coriander notes. The taste is pleasantly sweet with the same tastes as in the nose. The banana and clove stick out the most but the beer finishes with the lemon/coriander flavors and some mild bitterness. Nice and very tasty beer.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with The-Adjunct-Hippie. 16 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 5/6/2016. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon, orange, peach, pear, apricot, apple, peppercorn, light clove, biscuit, light honey/toasted bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange, peach, pear, apricot, apple, peppercorn, light clove, biscuit, light honey/toasted bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate yeast spiciness and light herbal hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, peach, pear, apricot, apple, peppercorn, biscuit, light honey/toasted bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from yeast spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/creamy/sticky, and fairly crisp balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 6.5%. Overall this is a great saison. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth, easy, and fairly crisp/clean to drink. A bit on the malty side for the style; but still stays spicy/drying enough to feel like a saison. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with a trace of haziness. There's an inch of off white to tan creamy dense head. I smell peppery to earthy Belgian yeast and faintly bready light malt. The taste is sweet Belgian yeast and bready malt. The mouth is moderately carbonated and otherwise light.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16 oz. can slow poured into a tulip glass. Plastic ring 4-pack. Bought in Minnesota. Description on can says it was brewed with French barley, English oats, Slovenian hops, and Belgian yeast. Definitely of the saison/farmhouse ale style.

L - golden yellow color, super hazy/cloudy hue. Lots of effervescence of the champagne sort. Fancy beer from a can

S - usual suspects of clove and banana, lemon, spice. Belgian yeast is very distinct vs. German yeast.

T - wheat, spice, clove, lemon peel, Belgian yeast. Not as malty as you'd think with the oats but the yeast is quite potent.

F - watery to fluffy when swished around. Malts and yeast punch the tongue of a little bit with a fine clove clean finish

O - saisons are a very popular style and I'm glad that Surly put their own spin on it. Usually part of the fancy Belgian beer club, this will fit in the crowd of regular canned beer and a fancy beer when in a glass. A champagne beer if you will! Cheers!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A sunny, honey colored vibe with a fluffy 2 finger head, that lasts only a little bit until it descends to a ring.

Floral, spicy, fruity aromas. Belgian spices, dry wheat, coriander.

Flavors of the Belgian spice, caramel malts, dry wheat, toffee, some dried banana, dried apple, white pepper, lemon pepper.

Feel is immediately parching, with a semi-dry stickiness throughout. Carbonation. Medium or light-medium bodied. Refreshing.

This was a lot better than I thought it'd be. Surly makes a pretty good Saison. I like the caramel notes.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Light hazy gold color with Med-heavy bubbles. White head is just under an inch with a hard pour. Body leaves zero lacing.

Smell: Sweet yeast with lemon.

Taste: Complex taste, lemon skin and light peppery. Feels sweet but on the lighter side. Honey dose is just enough to offset the flavors.

Mouth: Sour finish, has its ups and down but breads feel comes off pretty good.

Overall: Good brew. Acquired taste which just takes a few sips to get adjusted to. Salud!

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Photo of irrevjim
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

from a can to a beer tulip
look; bright golden caramel, 3/4" fluffy head leaves a covering, not a lot of retention or lacing
smell; cream soda, some citrus, yeast, banana
taste; like a belgian cream soda, some crisp floral hoppiness, pepper, yeast, malty cream soda flavor,
feel; a little peppery tingle on the tongue, otherwise smooth, creamy, a little odd
overall; nice, interesting belgi-cream ale, refreshing, moderately carbonated but almost too creamy to be refreshing

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Photo of KTCamm
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

3/266...served in tallbot can. Pours cloudy rusty orange. Very low foam and sits still. Fruity, funky, yeasty. Lemon fruit juice blend. Citrus throughout. Smooth, crisp and clean. Honey apricots. Really tasty.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of spices, yeast. Taste is yeast, spices, pepper and ginger stand out, some malts and fruits are present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a smooth and refreshing beer.

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Photo of matcris
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Amber/orange, hazy, mild carbonation rising, a finger + of off white head that lingers a while and settles to a ring. Very slight lacing.
AROMA: A bit like a Hefe. I get fruit like banana, apricot, a bit of that bubblegum note. Also, it's not really funky but I do get a hay bale type thing. Smells very mild, but pleasant.
TASTE: Belgian yeast, banana, almost a coriander flavor, a bit of pepper. Apricot as well.
FEEL: Medium body, full carbonation, a little slick up front and drier towards the back.
OVERALL: Interesting beer, so much like a Hefe in a lot of ways.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bright yellow pour, big 1" white head on it. Aroma didn't do much for me, not much there.

Taste had some clovey spice rack, pretty clean, pepper. Lots of carbonation, some banana phenol comes in later. Lots of belgian yeasty-ness to the beer. Hid the alcohol decently. Not my favorite saison, but it does do the traditional non tart or sour thing if you're looking for that. Too much spice rack and not enough levity and dry mouthfeel for my tastes.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours clean deep golden orange, finger white head fades quickly, small spots of lace. Light grain, Belgian yeast in the nose, mild. Taste is a combo of light bread, lemon, pepper, yeast. The flavors come together pretty well with pepper lasting thru the dry crisp finish. Mouthfeel on the thin to medium side. Not a huge saison fan but enjoyed this one, refreshing.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Christmas gift from Tom after his Minnesota trip.

Pours a clear golden color with tints of orange. A rather small, 1 finger of fizzy head that retains only around the outer portion of the glass is observed. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma reminds me of a slightly muted Duvel. A Duvel light if you will. Lemon peel, straw, damp hay, moderately spicy yeast, and notes of floral hops mainly displaying as lavender.

Taste is smooth, but much less carbonated than I expected. A lot of the same taste as the aroma. Bright lemon, straw, lavender, and some ginger. Bright bouquet of flavors for a rather low abv beer.

Overall, this is a good beer. It would easily jump up into the mid 90 range if it had more carbonation. I see this pairing well with a nicely seared white fish. It gets a 86/100.

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Photo of tlema1
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: golden color, nice head
S: faint fruit, Belgian yeast
T: fruity, some peach...a little peppery finish
F: coats the tongue upfront, dry finish
O: another winner from Surly, becoming one of my favorite breweries

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light gold, slight haze, couple inches of rocky head that retains fairly well. Aroma and flavor are fairly subdued; light hay, white pepper, some lemon, maybe stone fruit. Light and clean finish. Solid summer beer but not very distinct.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours gold with a slight haze under a sudsy 1” white foam collar. S: Citrus and floral, fresh bread, light fruit. T: Pineapple to apricot, light bread, pepper on the finish, finishes dry. F: Medium body, medium high carbonation O: An outstanding saison that has a good balance between the hops and yeast flavors.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a large stemmed tulip at the new Surly facility.

An above average saison 3.75
A – Pours a hazy orange with an off white head. 4
S - Funk, very minimal pepper, citrusy - orange and tangerine, with some peach. 4
T - Citrusy yeast and hops bitterness with a balancing maltiness. Biscuits 3.75
MF - Medium light with a very dry finish. 4

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Photo of maedhros09
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: dark gold, slight haze with a couple fingers of white head
Smell: floral, tropical fruit
Taste: Great balance, starting a bit on the sweet side and fading to a acidic (lemony?) peppery dryness and finishing with a puckery herbal bitterness.
Feel: Perhaps a bit more carbonated than average but not effervescent like most bottle conditioned saisons

Overall: Cynic captures the smells and flavors of a good saison with a very nice balance. The main pitfall is that it doesn't have the explosive effervescence that I love in saisons (Hennepin, Dupont, Stateside), although the carbonation level is pretty good. The ABV is nicely moderated at 6.7%. Even if it doesn't find a spot in my fridge on a regular basis I would be happy to get it on tap if I were looking for a solid saison.

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Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I must admit that this is my favorite summer beer, and definitely one of the most unique and flavorful Belgian Saison beers

A- A very light blonde with medium amount of carbonation.
S- The Belgian yeast character jumps right out with floral, fruity notes and you get a slight pepper aroma.
T- The fruity yeast supplies orange, lemon, banana and other floral notes. But the pepper taste along with balanced malt makes it such a tasty combination. What a crisp and clean finish
M-Medium body and moderately carbonated.
O-A distinctive Belgian Saison that delivers such a pleasing and refreshing drinking experience.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured From a can at Lakeside Street Coffee House. Rather than a saison, I would've pegged this as a very dry, tripel. Definitely solid. Better than solid.

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Photo of ARoman
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz can poured into a Belgian tulip. The aroma is floral with bread notes, apricot and peach notes, as well as a peppery and woody spice and a bit of a muffin dough. The hue is a clear, effervescent yellow-brown with a white, thin sudsy head that has ok retention and very little lace. The taste is a medium bitter and sweet (perhaps a touch more bitter than sweet), with a light sour touch. The texture is slick and waxy, but on the thin side, with a light fuzz and a medium light body that has notes of dough, underripe stone fruit, bitter citrus, and a touch of a peppery spice that strengthens at the finish which is crisp, with a pepper zip, and is dry and somewhat astringent and a bit wooy. The aftertaste is moderate with a burnt bread crust quality, dough, and pepper, which mellows, but lingers.

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Photo of Moose90
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into 16oz tulip

A — Pours a light almost hazy yellow color, bright and tall white colored head forms and leaves behind fairly consistent lacing.

S — Smells of bright yeast and ester notes, light wheat and malt presence as well. Banana, mild clove and pepper.

T — Tastes like the nose with a little bit extra sweetness. Nice fresh banana and yeasty notes. Peppery balance, nice and almost wheaty.

M — Medium bodied, long and lasting finish.

O — Nice Saison, would love a little funk in it, but that's just me.

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CynicAle from Surly Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 1,476 ratings.
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