Two | Surly Brewing Company

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108 Ratings

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Oak-aged cranberry stout.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-24-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 108 |  Reviews: 57
Reviews by RustyDiamond:
Photo of RustyDiamond
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared Two with Georgiabeer yesterday. #167 written with silver pen on side of 750mL bottle. 'Stout brewed with cranberries' stated on bottom of bottle. Red wax covered top and opened with little resistance. Seemed wax was barely holding the cap on.

Poured into a tulip, very dark brown-black with a tiny little fizzy manilla head. Sweet berry aroma with some cocoa and roasted malt whiffs.

Crazy taste on this one. Medium bodied stout with a hurricane of cranberry flavor. On the first few sips, I got some good cocoa notes, with a blast of cranberry and finishing stouty. After a few more sips, the tartness really seemed to intensify. I could feel the huge tartness in my jaw glands. The finish also changed into a somewhat tobacco taste.

The picture on the label says it all for me. Super unique stout that I am glad I had the opportunity to taste.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ucis
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Darkness Day 2012 Big Green Tent bottle #169. I can't say that I really wanted to wait this long. What I can say is that this was an amazing brew. The mouth feel was consistently thick and a bit chewy. Those four years have been kind. The cranberry is just tart enough and smooth dark malts cascading in my darkness glass. the nose is chocolate covered cranberries. looks like a big cup of mud with a slight crisp head. I am going to go ahead and say that I am glad I have another bottle, but wish it was another twenty. To the guy who was supposed to share his Cantillon that had an extra serving -- I hope you die. Cheers.

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Photo of DaftPatrick
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of badbeer
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, with a beige head that had good retention and spotty lacing. Smell of cranberries, though I don't know that I would have said cranberries over sour cherries, had I not known cranberries were used. Smell was also pretty hoppy; which somehow worked well with the rest of the character of this beer. Taste had tart cranberries, tannins, plums, and just a bit of roast. Medium bodied and light on the carbonation. I rather enjoyed this and wish I had another bottle of it.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Surly’s Beer Hall. 10 oz. serving in a chalice. 2016 rebrew.

Appearance: Color is jet black. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid finger of beige head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A sweet and roasty dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate and cranberries. Dark roasted barley malt with a scent of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and slight smoke with some yeast. Big sweet scent of cranberries. Also some sweet hints of lactose, creamy vanilla, and brown sugar. Very light on hops. A pretty solid rich aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a sweet and roasty dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate and cranberries. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, smoke, and yeast. Sweet and juicy notes of cranberries. Sweet taste of creamy milk, vanilla, and brown sugar. Subtle earthy hops. A really nice sweet taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a carbonation level on the higher side of medium. Creamy, silky, and pretty smooth. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall: A really good fruit infused Imperial Stout. Nice balance of dark malt and cranberry flavor.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Sheffield's

A beautiful reddish/black look with a beautiful, sticky head that remained the entire time. Smells of cherries and cranberries. Lots of cranberries in the taste.. would have gone good with a turkey sandwich! There's roasty cocoa, plenty of sugar and vanilla present too, but the red fruits are the attraction here. It was pretty light and tart and went down nice on a spring evening. The style only dictates the lower drinkability as I don't think I could have more than one in a sitting. But this glass was much appreciated.

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Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pwoods
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to PackForever1976 for the bottle. Bottle # 255. Served in a snifter and enjoyed with beachbum1975.

A: Pours nearly pitch black, decent viscosity. About a finger worth of light tan head forms and falls within a minute or two. Some lacing throughout.

S: Light stout aroma with strong coffee and jellied cranberries. Light alcohol in the back.

T/M: Coffee stout flavors with an assertively tart cranberry backing. The cranberry flavor has lots of acidity and just becomes a little too tart and astringent. Some of the alcohol comes out and adds a nice depth especially after it warms further to room temp. It has an underlying sweetness to it that continues to grow throughout the drink, but it's not at all like a milk stout sweetness. Body is about medium with nice smooth carbonation.

D: Very unique, pretty tasty, and decently drinkable. The big tartness makes you slow down a bit but not too terribly much. Very glad I got to try it and I'm glad Surly is experimenting like this. Great job with the label, FeloniousMonk!

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Photo of mikeale
4.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NuBrewm for Surly Two bottle #356
Enjoyd after my daughters second birthday party!!! Served in my Surly tulip glass.

A. Black with a bone white head, light lacing

S. Cranberry juice, Tart, Malt

T. Cranberrys, chocolate, Coffee

M. Creamy, robust, rich yummy Tart finish

D. Alcohol is hidden well, highly drinkable except limited to around 400 bottles...
I love this Beer!
Thanks to NuBrew again!!!

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the new Acadia Cafe. In short, this beer comes off like chocolate covered cranberries. I wish I had more experience with cranberries to better describe the wonderful flavors I'm getting from the fruit. It really develops on my tongue and in the aftertaste with great sweet and tart berry flavors. The chocolate and malt is there too, providing a tasty foundation for the rest of the tastes.

Overall, this was a delicious and very different beer. Simply put, yet another winner from Surly.

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Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this from feloniousmonk, cheers Al!

Pours a burgundy hued chestnut with a finger of mocha head, Very good lacing & head retention

S: Tons of raisins, some chcolate & a bit of coffee as this warms

T: Raisins, prunes & bit of dark chocolate up front, much dryness, along with some leafy hops. A touch of minty hops, oaky dryness, more prunes, & some more chocolate as this warms. I also get much cherry tartness & coffee. Finishes with minty hops, oaky dryness & too much tartness

Dry & chewy with smooth carbonation

Drinks alright, don't like cranberries, so that hurts this beer with me. The tartness & dryness isn't helping either. I expected more...

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Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml wax topped bottle into a snifter. This was marked as bottle # 382. Thanks go to Jw347 for this trade.

Pours a deep black with a finger or so of creamy mocha colored tan head. Retains nicely with a thin layer of foam, which gets a good frothy flare-up going when swirled, leaving thick cascades of lace behind. The aroma is Wow! Delicious smelling tart cranberries up front with some underlying notes of roasted chocolate, molasses, smoked meat, soy sauce, and a touch wet tobacco in the back. There is a touch of warmth to the bouquet as well. Also, I didn't hear anything about this beer being barrel-aged but I'm definitely picking up some rather prominent oaky character that mixes with the cranberries up front to form quite the pungent pairing.

The cranberries are even more prominent in the taste, with a crisp and tangy tart bite right up front that just lingers long and proud throughout the profile. A bit of tannic feeling oak character is also present, that while not being quite as noticeable as it is in the aroma (thanks to all of that cranberry tang) it's definitely there. Underneath lies the Stout flavor, with chocolate and caramel sweetness mixing with the cranberries to impart a nice tangy base that also included notes of roast, smoke malt, and a bit of soy sauce. Man, that cranberry just kills in the finish with a dry and lingering pithy feeling bitterness that just sticks to the palette. The mouthfeel is quite interesting. It feels medium-fuller bodied at first but a moderately creamy carbonation that combines with the flavors (maybe it's the fruit tartness?) gives it a slicker and viscous feel that makes it feel a touch thin. As this warms and works on the palette though, the body really starts to come together for me and it starts to feel right considering everything that is at work in this beer. I'm not sure what the ABV is on this (edit: it's 9%) but it's extremely well hid. It definitely makes its presence known with some light heat elements in the aroma and taste but the only real hint of it comes courtesy of a light flush in my face as I work through this bottle. Very nice!

Wow, I honestly didn't think that a "Cranberry Imperial Stout" would quite work out as well as it did because I REALLY DUG THIS! The cranberry character was really strong and lingering and was more than a match for the underlying Stout character that was present. There was just a ton going on with this but it was somehow all brought together into a wonderfully flavorful and easy sipping experience. Nice job Surly!

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 12 oz. Arcadia tulip.

Allowed this to approach room temp, heeding the bartender's advice. It retained a nice cap of creamy tan latte foam, lacing the edges of the glass in fine style. Body was black, impenetrable, though I didn't break out any flashlight to find that out.

First whiff had a fine chocolate and cherry/cranberry essence. It was a last holiday reminder as Spring was about to begin. Inhaling later caught an oaky woodiness as well.

Flavors of chocolate at first, with a sharp cranberry tartness in the end. Barrel characteristics of wood and vanilla. The taste reminded me of Brown Heaven by Flossmoor Station, further indicating the possibility of bourbon barrels.

The tart twang at the end was welcome at first, but coupled with the complexity of other flavors, I grew weary of it towards the end of the glass. Ended up sharing about 4 oz. with a friend. Recommend a small pour of this, but overall I enjoyed sampling this experimental offering from Surly.

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Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Diomede
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of edbeered
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Short review: Cranberry Darkness(?)-yum! Longer review: This pours an opaque black color, with a small brownish head that quickly dissipates and little or no lacing on the glass. The smell is tart and fruity. The taste blends a tart cherry/cranberry flavor with a malty buttterscotch flavor, overlying the toasty burnt flavor of the chocolate malts. I don't detect much of a hop presence. The mouthfeel is full and rich. This is a full flavored brew and drinkability depends on one's liking for fruit in beer. Done well I like it. This is done very well and I like it a lot.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one is for Bill, I told you I would find something good!

Big thanks to Hoppymeal for this one. I had been wanting to try it and he came through big time on this as well as others. Very nice red wax dipped 750 ml bottle with wonderful looking artwork. Served at cellar temperature in an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 07/28/2008.

The pour was wonderful, with a rich dark brown, nearly opaque, save for a few touches of reddish highlights coming through on the side and the bottom of the glass. A huge head of tan foam, perhaps three inches high, came over the top and settled down only gradually, just enough to leave behind about an inch of foam across the top which stayed there for what seemed like forever. Rich side glass lacing, sticky as all hell, coated the entire glass and really made for a nice looking, albeit messy situation.

The aroma was rich with fruit. This was very nicely done. You could definitely tell there was a nice sweet stout underneath though, as touches of chocolate and lactose came through from underneath of it. But the main player by far was cranberry. Not overly tart, but enough to offset the rest of what was there. The flavor was more of the same. The initial taste was that of a rich milk stout, butt hat was very short-lived as sooner then later the fruit took over. I am a fan of fruit beers, and have had quite a few. They can go right or horribly wrong, I was happy to see Surly doing this one right. Rich, almost decadent dessert like flavor here. Rich notes of cranberry sorbet like flavor swirled around in a light chocolate base, with hints of vanilla and a touch of bitter in the finish. This was by no means a heavy stout, nothing big about it at all, more subtle then anything. The feel was al little light, not as full as I would have wanted, however it was still done very well. Good carbonation and an easy sipper. I would guess the ABV was in the neighborhood of 5-6%, no more as this was easy to put down and did not really leave much of a lingering effect on me.

Overall I thought this was really good. Very different and well made. Not exactly what I was expecting from them, but that made it even more interesting. Not sure what the cellar life of this one will be, but a rare bottled treat for me for sure.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from scoobydank quite a while back. Thanks, man.

Appearance: Opaque dark brown, slightly turbid, hints of ruby red around the edges. Pours with little head, an inch at most, and leaves little lace.

Smell: Chocolate covered cranberries, molasses, slight fruity sourness. Really unique and a lot more appetizing than I was expecting.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light tartness meets roasty bitterness. Semi-sweet, this one has a great balance of sweet, sour and bitter. The bottle doesn't list the ABV, but I'd guess it's fairly high from the viscous texture. The finish is dry and somewhat tannic, presumably from the cranberries. This beer surprised me quite a bit - another unique and enjoyable offering from Surly.

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Photo of supercolter
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty decent beer, had this at Mackenzies on tap.
Appearance is pretty good, dark almost maroon color with some head and no real lacing.
Smell is good, with a large overdose or dark fruit- most notably cranberries and some almost coffee malt.
Taste is nearly identical, except they come through sharper and more abrupt. Fruit, then malt.
Mouthfeel is very good, medium to heavy in body and some good carbonation.
Drinkability is good.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jonbonfondle
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Zealot, thanks Michael Jack style. #360 out of 400, just made it in.

Pours dark with cranberry red highlights when held into the sun. If this were a play it'd be called cranberry in the sun.

Very complex smell right away, chocolate, caramel, dark sugars with a mix of sour and cranberries.

Sour, tart cranberry tastes dominate this beer with the malt backbone of a good Imperial stout hiding underneath. This beer has an oily coating on the glass that makes it have longer legs than Rita Moreno.

Just a solid beer, I laughed, I cried, it was even better than Cats.

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Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for unleashing this rarity. This is bottle # 163 out of approximately 400 bottles(thanks to TomDecapolis for finding out via chacha).

Appears a deep black with a small tan head that quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, vanilla, nougat, dough, sugar, fresh sugar coated donuts, dried cranberries, and caramel.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more dried cranberries coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, tart, cocoa, caramel, sugary, semi dry with tart fruit, and bitter cocoa running along the palate.

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Two from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 108 ratings