Abrasive Ale
Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #10
Ranked #134
4.52 | pDev: 7.74%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale
Notes: Hazy gold in color, this Oatmeal Double IPA has aggressive aromas of candied grapefruit/tangerine and tropical fruit. Malted oats greatly enhance the body and the high level of bitterness is balanced by this sweetness. Citra hops are used for aroma & flavor additions and for dry-hopping, while Warrior hops are used primarily for bitterness.

OG 19.5 Plato
Color 5 SRM
Hops: Citra, Warrior
Yeast: English Ale
Malt: 2-row, Golden Naked Oats
ABV: 9%
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Reviews: 987 | Ratings: 4,792 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BFCarr
BFCarr from New Jersey

4.46/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Canned 11/11/20 enjoyed 5/21/21 so not the freshest, but that's on me.

Pours hazy yellow with a medium white head that lasts. Aroma is tropical fruit and some dank hoppy notes. Taste a complex mix of hop floral bitterness and tropical citrus with some dank in there too. Aftertaste evolves after each sip. Feel is good, fairly rich. Overall, delicious and smooth.

May 22, 2021
Photo of scootny
scootny from New York

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a lovely looking brew. Golden liquid with a considerable amount of haze. Firm white head with a decent size, good retention and lots of lace.

Nose is a delightfully malty, hoppy and enticing combination. Malt has lots of toasted grains and light sweetness. A light bit of sharp alcohol is the only hint of the abv. Hops are healthy and dank. Tropical fruits abound. Citrus cuts across and makes it quite hop forward.

Taste is super. Big malt core wraps itself around my tongue. Pilsner like and lightly sweet.Then BAM! Citrus and tropical hops flood the mouth. Hop oil and pineapple, bread and mild grain sweetness. Finish is clean and dry and shortish with lingering oil and grains. No trace of alcohol in the flavor.

Feel is superb. How a beer this big can be this light and creamy. The malted oats really shine here. Silky swallow, crisp carbonation. Just top notch.

This is a such a great beer. Quenching and easy drinking. You could fool yourself into seasoning it until you fall on your face. So tasty and satisfying, I can go for another, and another, and another,

May 21, 2021
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Poured from the 16 oz. can into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Translucent orange with an inch thick white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dank tropical fruit.

t: Follows the nose with a moderate hop bite and dry finish.

m: Denser side of medium, very good body and some carbonation tingle.

o: A near the top of the top 250 brew years ago, now available in my state. Great flavor presaging the coming of the NE style. Not as fruity but with more tropical danky goodness than most of the best of the old West Coast style entries.

Apr 27, 2021
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bier #2 today, a fine, late winter day in New England.... From a 16oz can, bought somewhere recently for a bit o' coin...

It pours a rich, bright, medium golden color. Has a slight smidge of haze, but it's mostly clear. Carbo is steady, though the head is a thin layer of fine white foam, with light lacing. Has a nice aroma, with tangerine, pineapple and pithy grapefruit all present and accounted for. Body is medium to medium-plus, and it passes smoothly over the tongue.

Taste is more on the sweeter side vs. bitter.... Has peach, tangerine, pineapple, a hint of honey, a smidges of guava and passion-fruit. Has some subtle bitterness in the finish, though it is predominantly semisweet. Solid and tasty! Prosit!

4.25/5 rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Mar 09, 2021
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 11.20, opened 2.28.21 poured into a willi becher

Translucent deep amber liquid with numerous streams of micro carbonation , two finger off white crackling big bubble foamed cap , good retention, settles to a solid layer after five minutes with good lacings

Aroma is orange citrus , grapefruit, tangerine, hint of floral, hint of pine

Taste is hop forward with grapefruit, pine

Mouthfeel is a smooth , low sudsing firm yet smooth bitter bite that nicely lingers on the tongue

Good beer

Feb 28, 2021
Photo of davisdahlberg6
davisdahlberg6 from Tennessee

4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Hyvee in Owatonna, MN for $18 for a 4-pack of 16oz cans. Canned on 11/18/20 and enjoyed in a snifter on 2/21/21.
A: Pours an orange gold color with a half inch of white foam that dissipates fairly quickly. Minimal haze and semi-transparent
S: Smells bitter with pine, resin and grapefruit as well as some orange rind, citrus, and apricot. Malts smell of caramel and biscuit and there is a bit of the dank cannabis smell.
T: Wow! Hoppy bitterness on the front end, but has body and malt character to balance out the hops. Taste is similar to the nose with pine, resin, grapefruit, orange, and apricot but the citrus is more pronounced. The dank cannabis taste gets more pronounced as the beer warms and begins to dominate the after-taste and over come the floral after-taste. The biscuity malt also become more pronounced as the beer warms
F: Smooth, abv is well hidden with right balance of carbonation. Leaves your mouth a bit dry but makes you want to reach for the glass again. Very balanced and leaves your mouth feeling refreshed.
O: Another great Surly beer! Extremely well balanced and has all the qualities you want in an IPA. Definitely would buy again

Feb 22, 2021
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sethmeister from New Hampshire

4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 16oz can marked CANNED ON 11/11/20 F5166 11:41

Pours into my tulip a luminous brassy shade with a creamy frothy off white head and tons of sticky fluffy lace.

Scent is pineapple, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, crusty bread. Spicy hop notes.

Taste is tropical fruit, caramel, honey, citrus, grapefruit and a nice piney bitter finish. Citrus. Some stone fruit - apples, pear, peach. Fairly high ABV is hidden well even as the beer warms. The malt bill tastes substantial with a sweet bready backbone for the hops to flesh out.

Mouth is oily and coating with a nice viscosity and an astringent finish.

Well I've long wanted to try this and finally got the chance. My can is not the freshest (3 months) and this DIPA is still magnificent. Can only imagine how it must be when very fresh.

Feb 12, 2021
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frankdank from North Dakota

4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into a glass suited for beer, one-half inch of foam which recedes quickly. The beer is not clear but not hazy. Smell is of orange, light pie crust and something dank. Wonderful feel in the mouth. Carbonation is very good and it is soft on the tongue and palate. I taste oranges. And there is a dankness and resiny undertone that is pleasant, ABV is hidden well.

This is my favorite double IPA but I continue to have a difficult time saying why. A reviewer said it was "gestalt' which is a fancy way of saying it all comes together well without any attribute of the beer sticking out.

I love this beer, but like many others, it is over-priced, and I wish more breweries would follow the lead of Lagunitas, which continues to churn out high-value beers at reasonable prices.

Feb 05, 2021
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16 oz can from the Wall of Beer in Clemson SC ($4.89) with a November 2020 canning date stamped on the bottom.
Pours with a slightly hazy amber colored body with a good white head.
This is a very good DIPA but some 12+ years after it's introduction it is clearly overrated and over priced . For example, I had an IPA yesterday that was about a good and cost less than half a much. This ale does have an excellent, smooth mouthfeel with well hidden ABV.

Jan 29, 2021
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium coppery amber with a big, three finger whitehead with good retention and thick lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, citrus and piney hops with a little dankness, orange, mixed tropical fruit and pine needles. Flavor is caramel malt, citrus, piney and dank hops, grapefruit, orange, pine needles, mixed tropical fruit. Citrus rind and fresh pine finish with a deep hop bitterness that is more assertive than abrasive. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. I think I would have loved this even years ago, but it is even more welcome now with all the mild, soft hopped hazy ales that are so popular now. This is what I want in an IPA: great herbal hop flavors melded to aggressive alpha oil character. And this delivers. The strong ABV brings out the flavors to a fine degree. This is close in profile to a triple IPA / American barleywine depth. The combo of pine, citrus and dankness is great. It even looks like it will pack a flavor punch. This is a legend for good reason. Although we have fine IPAs in this area, I'd buy this regularly if it was available on the market here.

Jan 28, 2021
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stevoj from Idaho

4.18/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can from Brewers Haven. I didn't get the chance to hit Surly when I was in MN, so I'm glad we're finally seeing distro here. This one of the beers that put them on the map, and it's a throwback to the old days of in your face hoppiness. Dark golden pour with a lasting soft, foamy head. You can detect a hint of caramel malts in the aroma before the hops take over. Taste begins and ends with the hop bitterness, woody, piney, sharp. This what DIPAs used to taste like. Thanks for the memories.

Jan 28, 2021
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.14/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark amber in the St. Bernardus globe with plenty of foam. Some sweetness followed by an attack on the tongue and other sensory organs. Burnt mango, grapefruit pith, It's got everything, including onions and cat pee. It's weird how this is all high notes, as in shrilling piccolo. I even think of the smell of a dry sauna with the wood and sweat. Hot, intense, acidic. It's all peel, no fruit.

As I observed in a long ago review of one of their other beers, "The insistent hot and resiny taste with an unforgiving bitterness seems like the Surly signature." From the 16 oz can purchased on the West coast. "Canned on 12/12/20" it says on the bottom, so not quite a month old.

Jan 17, 2021
Photo of ChrisMon02
ChrisMon02 from Ohio

4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love this brew. Looks fantastic with awesome lacing. Smells and tastes of citrus and melon. Really impressed by this old school favorite. Will grab it whenever I run across.

Jan 15, 2021
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours dark yellow and clear with an off white head. Head retention is good.

Smell: It has strong aromas of grapefruit and pine. There are some low resinous qualities to it with additional citrus hints.

Taste: There are grapefruit, pine, and bready flavors. There are additional other citrus flavors with resinous elements and very low melon.

Feel: It has a medium body with strong hop bitterness in the finish.

Overall, a traditional hop bomb, but not overdone or overly sweet. The flavors are well defined and the finish is pleasant and long lasting.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Glad to finally see this around the triad.Pours into an imperial nonic a clear medium golden with a thinner white head that left a few broken 'globs' of lace as it settled pretty quickly.You get the grapefruit sharpness in the nose along with some hefty resin,slightly boozy.Citric but with a zesty punch on the palate,not like Tang ,resinous on the back end and never overly sweet.Bring on the resin!Love the beer it's not overly sweet and boozy,and again it's not like drinking citrus punch.

Dec 19, 2020
Photo of ScaryEd
ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy amber gold color with 2 fingers of effervescent off-white head. Decent retention. Leaves a good amount of sticky lacing before settling into a thin cap of foam.

The aroma is very citrusy up front, bringing notes of grapefruit, lemon and orange juice. There's some subtle tropical notes as well, namely fresh honeydew melon. Nice amount of pine and sweet, doughy malt.

The flavor follows the nose: A huge wave of grapefruit and candied orange with a surprising honeydew melon punch. The sweet, grainy malt character is very much present. There's even a very subtle note of almonds in the back. Finishes piney, grassy, earthy and bitter. Absolutely a hop grenade but extremely well-balanced.

Feel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very creamy and smooth with just a hint of booze. Dry with a lingering coating of bitterness.

Overall, this beer definitely lives up to the name, as well as the hype. The hops punch you in the face, but apologize afterwards with a sweet malt character. Fruity, yet earthy and bitter. The ABV is very well-hidden.

Dec 16, 2020
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz can into a pint glass. Canned 10/29/20, so a little over 6 weeks old.

Looks spectacular in the glass. Slightly hazy yellow with hints of amber body. Small white head persists in good form throughout, impressive given the abv. The lacing is simply superb, thick rings throughout.

Strong aroma of tropical fruit.

On tasting, well, the name certainly fits the beer. A strong bitter grapefruit peel assault on the mouth. But here's the thing. The malt base is also very strong, giving a sweet fruity wash that ebbs and flows with the grapefruit. Loving this.

Mouth very close to full. The finish is somehow the exact opposite of the taste, a slight sweet fruity hit followed by a lasting dry grapefruit bitterness.

Overall, just an outstanding and complex old school double ipa. Happy to have grabbed a 4-pack, sorry not to have grabbed 2 or 3

Dec 13, 2020
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap that leaves good lacing

S: A good mix of citrus and pine up front along with some lighter tropical fruit notes and light malt

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a wave of citrus and candied hops and then picks up the tropical fruit and pine. Moderate but aggressive bitterness that is balanced by some malt. Finishes with lingering candied citrus

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very good DIPA that is simply a classic, must-try brew. Aggressive, but still on the easier side to drink. Again, a must-try

Dec 11, 2020
Photo of ianbaggett74
ianbaggett74 from Minnesota

2.95/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I used to LOVE this beer. 2020's release is not the same. Flabby, boring, no hoppy bite, malty finish. VERY disappointing. Only good for getting an expensive buzz.

Nov 21, 2020
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden straw color with almost a finger of head. The nose has some tropical fruit notes but it is much more muted than I expected based on this beer's reputation. The flavor profile has a solid malt backbone with definite notes of tropical fruits mixed in. The finish is a fine bland of hop bitterness and residual sweetness.

This is a very good offering but, based upon the name, I expected an assertive resiny and sharp piney quality. That didn't happen.

Nov 16, 2020
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from North Carolina

4.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single from Kings Beer & Wine 12-18-19 for $4.19. Canned on 10-31-19; consumed on 2-17-20.

Beer poured a golden orange with a nice white head with the original pour.

Nose is old school double IPA, not the hop burst you get today but a beautiful combo of the sweet malts infused with grapefruit, orange, and mango.

Taste is awesome! Huge malt base meets a Citra dominated hop addition with orange, mango, and grapefruit balancing nicely. Finishes with a solid bitterness; 8/10 on my scale.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and very smooth.

Overall a wonderful old school DIPA that is big and flavorful but not the old school booziness. Well made! I will definitely seek out a four pack next fall!

Feb 17, 2020
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

4.01/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a tall aluminum can m this brew is a hazy, dark straw color with a thin white head. The aroma is very fruity...citrus and melon....orang and lemon peel and some fleshy grapefruit. Full bitter and aggressive flavor. Some alcohol warmth. Full body. Satisfying.

Dec 24, 2019
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a lightly hazed amber with a two finger creamy white head. Heavy amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is tangerine, grapefruit rind, caramel and piney hops.

T - The taste is tangerine, mango, grapefruit, caramel malts, toasted biscuit and piney hops.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - A classic DIPA.

Dec 13, 2019
Photo of --Dom--
--Dom-- from Missouri

4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a beer. I’ll say it again. WHAT A BEER. Gosh I feel like I waited years to finally get my hands on this and it does not disappoint at all, not one bit. This is one of maybe 5 beers I’ve had in my life that I would say not only live up to, but exceed the hype. I don’t even need to say anything besides this. It is a PERFECT example of an old school ipa. Not west coast, not a juice bomb. Candied stone fruits galore. No booziness at all for the abv. Scary drinkable. I’m gonna have another even though I probably shouldn’t at 9%. It’s well worth the cost of admission.

Dec 09, 2019
Photo of cpeanosk

4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bitterness and sweet hoppy citrus all wrapped up in this intense hop bomb. Rarely do you find this amount of bitterness balanced out with the oatmeal malt characteristics yet still drinks like one of the most impressive IPA’s. Bitter lovers enjoy!

Dec 07, 2019
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 4792 ratings