Abrasive Ale
Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #10
Ranked #129
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: 967 | Ratings: 4,714 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of arizcards
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!

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Photo of Suds
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.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
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.

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Photo of --Dom--
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.

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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!

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Photo of bbtkd
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surly Abrasive DIPA. 9.2% ABV. Pours brown with a one-finger off-white head that left no lacing. Nose is caramel, fruit, malt, slight pine. Taste is slightly sweet caramel, heavy pine, tropical fruit, with a moderate to stiff bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding.

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Photo of NRajtarski
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass. Canned on date 11/17/19. Just picked up a four pack from the store this afternoon.

A: Poured a dark orange/amber color. The beer had a one finger amount of head that was bright white.

S: The smell of the beer after opening is apricot, mango, dank and malt sweetness. As the beer warms up pine and grapefruit become more prominent. The mango and apricot smell still lingers but not as strong.

T: Taste is incredible, hops are very present and the malt adds a nice rounded out character to the beer. This beer is all hop taste as it warms and is very drinkable.

M: The mouthfeel is medium and the finish of the beer leaves a faint taste of alcohol.

O: Overall this beer is incredible. I remember having this beer a couple of years ago but, I don’t remember it being this good! I have lived in Minnesota all of my life and wrote this beer off as overrated and overpriced. Boy do I stand corrected.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.64/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had relatively low expectations because I typically prefer a NEIPA, but this holds up amazingly... big citrus flavor and a nice bite of pine balance this out. You can tell it’s a big beer, but not overly malty or sweet. Really outstanding.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a pint can into a tulip

The aroma is darker than apricot, lighter than copper or amber. A dark golden hazy masterpiece. A decent one-finger head gives way to a persistent skein of froth and faint lacing.

Aromas of mango, pineapple, peach/nectarine, apricot, white plum, white grape, berry, and lemon/lemongrass, with hints of white pepper and clear alcohol. Just a touch of pine/resin. The brew has a nice complex aroma, but it is somewhat subdued. In other words--good, but it would be nice to have more of it.

The aromas were skewed more "sweet"; the flavors are decidedly more bitter, but not unpleasantly so. Very well balanced, actually. Plenty of malt backbone greets the tip of the tongue, with peach, mango, grapefruit, and pineapple all present. The mid-palate is greeted with more malty sweetness, balanced with grainy/biscuity goodness before transitioning to piney and dank hop notes. The finish features a return of white peppery goodness and a touch a booze. The ABV is very well hidden.

The brew is medium bodied, with excellent carbonation, and never gets sticky, as brews of this ABV can sometimes be. This one almost gets to "crisp" level in its finish.

This is an excellent American DIPA. Well-balanced in every way.

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Photo of beergoot
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, golden body with a dense, rocky, frothy head; sticky globs of foam clinging to the inside of the glass. Dank and pungent aroma; pine resin. Huge pine and hop bitterness taste; earthy spices. Heavy body; crisp, dry and prickly on the palate; rather dry on the palate but with some prominent yet balanced sweetness.

This is an eye popping double IPA, crisp and punchy. The IBUs definitely grab you with a hearty hop bitterness. If you want a powerhouse, old school IPA, give this beer a try...

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Photo of brewme
4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked-up two cans in a shipping trade with Sandis. Have heard of this brewery before, & have always wanted to try. Canned-on date of 11/20/18. My second brew from these guys, after a Furious last night. I liked this a bit better, but also: too malt-forward, a bit of a metallic taste, mild disappointment. Will revise, if second can is an improvement.

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Photo of The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As many (most?) have noted, the pine is this thing’s piece de resistance. I think that in my hazy craze I’d forgotten how great a good old-fashioned double IPA could be. Ridiculously tasty.

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Photo of golf_sierra
4.49/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy medium Amber.
Prominent tropical aroma.
Taste is amazing bitter grapefruit hoppiness. Malty sweetness is present but definitely in the background.
Mouth feel is slick and a bit sticky.
Carbonation is low.
Alcohol is present but well masked
Top notch IPA!

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Photo of UWDAWG
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16 ounce can into a snifter.

Look- Deep gold, hazy, no visible sediment, below average head retention, average lacing.
Smell- Very fragrant, citrus, herbal, slightly dank.
Taste- Citrus, herbal, slightly dank.
Feel- Medium body, slightly below average carbonation, prickly finish.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewing CO pint glass

A: Pours slightly hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles to a firm layer and leaves some thick spots of lacing.

S: Monster hop aroma, mix of citrus, tropical fruit, pine, and some spicy herbal notes, backed with bready malt and caramel sweetness.

T: Nice balance of fruitiness and bitterness. Opens tropical, passion fruit, a hint of mango and melon, citrus, tangerine and grapefruit, resinous pine, floral and spicy herbal notes, bready malt, and caramel sweetness. A touch of alcohol can come through as it warms.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, just a touch of warmth.

O: My can was a gift from a buddy when he went back to visit his frigid homeland. Pretty stoked he snagged it for me and it's drinking mighty fine, despite approaching the 3 month mark. I can only imagine what it was like fresher, but you can tell they packed this to the brim with hops given how well it's held up.

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

Barely hazy golden beer with a sticky head. The aroma is yeasty, malty, fruity and piney. The taste is sweet, grassy, citrusy and super bitter. Nice medium mouthfeel with great carbonation. Glad to have finally tried this and a welcome break from the many NEIPAs I’ve been drinking.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.49/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of pine in this awesome DIPA. It pours dark amber with a red-like hue. The aroma and flavor profile are dominated by pine and grassy notes. The malt base is awesome and balances the intense bitterness very nicely. Full bodied. 

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful "old school" double. I love the bitterness and over the top hops. I never miss getting some when I see it.

12/8/19: Re-reading my last short review, I still agree from before. It’s wonderful except that it has no smell compared to today’s NEIPAs. The creamy mouthfeel matches the great NEIPAs though which is a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Body is just faintly sandy of haze with a large but light off-white foam that dies much quicker than you think to a thin ring leaving some sporadic fuzzy lace.

Smell is a divine and complex hop cocktail coming on like orange liqueur and triple sec, but far more complex and wild, with herbal accents, green yet woody pine and a butterscotch-like malt.

Taste is tangy and deeply complex with stinging hops counteracted by a nice malt presence that simultaneously does not interfere with too much flavor. Plenty of room is left for all sorts of different citrus, evergreen, allium and wild herbs. I even get a hint of mint, and again the malt is a sort of graham-butterscotch deep in the background.

Body is medium and feel is crisp with an almost completely dry finish. This is reminding me of some other potent yet expertly crafted tributes to the hop, such as Hop Juju and Waldos'. It's very worthwhile, but don't come in looking for a jooosy frooty croosher. This is boldly old school and does not suck.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16oz can into glass. Stamped 'CANNED ON DATE' of '10/18/17 08:33'.
Mostly clear, just a little hazy, amber/orange body with bubbly white head which settles to thick cap, moderate lacing.
Aroma of dank piney hops, hint of sweeter tropical hops, quite spicy.
Taste is bitter, dank, pine and citrus hops. Sweeter at the end, and bitter again.
Medium syrupy mouth feel. Totally quaffable. Numbing.
Being a seasonal, this is a beer to look forward to, regardless of its high price. The 2016 brew was a disappointment, and I only bought one 4-pack. This 2017 brew is a return to form from years prior to 2016. Even though a lot of other IPA's have come to market, and the NE IPA craze has become so popular, this 2017 'Abrasive' is still a treat. Great that it is available so soon after canning. Lip smacking good. Drink fresh.
2018 Release
On par with best past year releases.
Aroma is a very good balance of dank citrus hops and sweet tropical hops. Distinctive smell to this beer.
Taste is a great combination and balance of bitter, dank piney hops and the sweeter citrus hops.
Mouth filling and dense mouth feel. Bitter, dank, dry, and sweet.
Another year of producing a beer to a level to which one is accustomed. A real treat again this year.
2019 Release
Quite sweet, dank, and yummy.

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Photo of Rristow
4.77/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted from can. Pours a slight hazy orange with white head. Aroma is tropical and citrus fruits with some floral notes. Taste is pretty in your face bitter. Flavors of orange, resin, pine, grapefruit, passion fruit, floral notes. Huge bitter IPA. Very well done.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.95/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm sharing a can of this with my bro-in-law over the 4th Holiday. It poured a hazy orangish with no head and no lace. The scent had hints of sweetness and citrus spice. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink for a dipa. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall it was a solid beer.

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

Rcvd in trade. Two cans. This was poured into a pint glass and a snifter. There was barely any difference between the two glasses. The appearance was a nice looking hazy orange to brown color with a decent one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. Once the head died down, the lacing wove around the glass in a nice speckled sort of fashion. The smell had a nice blend of sweet citrus to sweet sharp freshly cut pine and it came through in a strong aromatic way allowing a decent sweet maltiness to come out as it warmed. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and added a nice sweet maltiness coating my taste buds. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. The carbonation was there. The normal harshness of an AIPA was there assaulting my tongue very good. Overall, what a great beer all around. Well worthy of having again.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice golden amber semi clear color with an off white head that sticks and leaves a nice lacing
S @ big hop resin, ganja, garlic onion in a good way, orange peel, peach; tangerine, papaya, passion fruit, pummelo, melon, overly ripe fruits, background is sweet caramel malt
T # big hop resin, garlic onion in a good way, ganja, orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine
M & medium mouthfeel, alc covered at 9%, aftertaste is orange peel and grapefruit
O $ pretty damn decent beer. A little bit standard for the genre at this point imho. But a good beer. Compares to stone ruination or any other good double ipa.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.77/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Trying this at home now to give it a fair shot. Pours a golden blonde with hints of honey, light haze. Head starts off at a webby 2 fingers, then recedes somewhat quickly to a bubbly ring.

On the aroma, tons of melon. Following with papaya, grapefruit, orange rind, and some onion.

Taste is much better than I remember it. Tons of fruity flavors - I'm guessing amarillo, citra, and galaxy here. Some cantaloupe, watermelon, passion fruit, onion...finishing off with grapefruit and orange, and a harsh astringency. Unfortunately after the first sip it starts to decrease in quality for me and it begins tasting much like onion and astringency. Pure bitterness. That first sip is heavenly though.

Feel is creamy and tight, leaving a resiny starch on the palate.

Overall, yeah, again - not as great as Todd the Axeman. Todd can be drank smoothly the whole way through and doesn't depend on temperature or initial perception as much to create a killer beer. This one seems to fade fast in flavor and leaves me desiring less bitterness and more fruit. The astringency also knocks it down some. Definitely a decent beer, but not the caliber of Todd or other greats.

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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 4714 ratings