Abrasive Ale | Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale
Liked This Beer
4.5 w/ 4,560 ratings
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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%

Added by Buebie on 12-27-2008

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Ratings: 4,560 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of Sammy
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh abrasive from John, brewed less than 2 weeks earlier. Wafts hops several feet. Light yellow with a big head. Big IBU. Good drinkability. Orange, tangerine, fantastic IPA, great hops. Slightly acidic, do not try to convert someone drinking Bud all night. Crazy great blend of hops.

 286 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Canned on 1/12/12.

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap. Thick chunks of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is super hoppy: citrus zest/grapefruit, pine, and some earthy herbal aromas. Taste is of citrus zest, pine, and herbal hops, grapefruit, and a malt backbone on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good and very hoppy DIPA. However, the name is a bit misleading because I don't find anything abrasive about this beer.

 648 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

finally, an abrasive in my glass! been reading about this one forever, so nice to finally get the chance to indulge. and an indulgence this is! pours a sleek reddish orange color with some haze and a couple inches of impenetrable white head. the nose is way way more fruity than I anticipated, super juice fresh squeezed hop complexion, with some pine and definitely an acidic citrus element, but I get a lot more berry and even passionfruit in this. some lighter American 2 row and caramel malts round it out. the flavor is more tropical than deciduous in the fruit department, but still pungently fruity. bitterness doesn't even come in until the finish, which makes this a really unique double ipa. the alcohol is almost entirely invisible until the beer warms up, and even then isn't punishing by any stretch. the mouthfeel is the weakest link, not bad, but a little more malt body might balance this out little better. I feel like it needs a bigger platform to stand out. carbonation is right on though, and it makes the grapefruit and other citrus hops characters come out a little more. id love to know what hops are used in this, its really different. Maybe not the most perfect example of the style out there, but you don't get to be a 100 on BA in this category by accident. Worthy of my anticipation, this is a stellar beer. I can still name a handful of others id draft higher, but this is awesome!

 1,410 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very big thanks to Billakowski for sending me this one. Opened this one up and poured it out to see it's beautiful clear golden color. The head was big and foamy with a nice white color. The smell of this beer was very nice, I loved the hoppy aroma of this beer. The taste was awesome too, there was a big bitterness in there and then deep in the aftertaste I was picking up a honey like flavor. The mouthfeel was smooth and gently carbonated. Overall I thought this beer was awesome. I look forward to having more from Surly one day.

 536 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An extremely flavorful hopped IPA with a candied citrus flavor balanced with light grasses and spruce. Still, the bittering is smooth and quite gentle.

The Abrasive Ale begins with a brightly colored medium copper glow. A basic white head forms on the beer from the steady stream of carbonation below. Retention is great along with lacing and mild legging. Only a slight haze keeps the beer from complete brightness.

Vibrant aromas orange peel, ruby red grapefruits, lemon grass, pineapple, and other tropical/citrus fruits all dominate the nose of the beer in smooth and mouth-watering fashion. A subtle yet firm maltiness hides in the shadows and only provides the structure for the otherwise hop-strong aromas.

Flavors are once again dominated by hops- all of the tropical-citrus-resiny goodness displaed in the nose manifest well in taste as well. The confectionary malts act as if the hops were drenched in a sugary glaze and then consumed. Confectioner's sugar and mild kettle caramelization may be the only nod to malt sweetness. Decorated my rosey esters and a sweeter nail polish remover alcohol give added depth and power to the already aggressive beer. Still, the bitterness and harshness on the throat remain moderate and reasonable.

Creamy up front, the beer transitions evenly into a fleeting malt but aggagerated hoppy finish. The more and more the malts fade, the more dryness and alcohol warmth come into play. Eventually the beer ends with a malty-dry texture with the aftertaste of citrus and grassy hops.

Looking at the mostly clear beer, I can't help to think that this beer has been (at least) course-filtered. I would like to try it in its unadulturated form.

Thanks again Chickdighops!

 1,715 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml can served into an Orval goblet in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high on account of the brewery. I don't usually like the style but it's Surly! I'm excited. Paired with popcorn.

A: 1.5 finger head of lovely cream lacing, great thickness, and excellent retention for the ABV. Colour is a nontransparent light amber.

Sm: A heavy hop aroma with some light cream. Pleasant and inviting. A strong aroma.

T: Very hoppy but also quite nicely balanced, avoiding the pitfall of too much bitterness on the finish present in so many (bad) IPAs. I quite fancy it. The cream isn't quite as pronounced as I'd like, but it's there. Some light toasted malt seems to come through as well.

Mf: Coarse and wet, suiting the flavours quite well. I'd like it a bit less coarse, but it's alright.

Dr: Very drinkable for an IPA. I'd like to try it on draught. It's a nice little IPA, with a nicely balanced hop profile.


11/28/13: Truncated can review.

Served into a stem-tulip in Minneapolis, MN. Expectations are high. Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor. Reviewed as an imperial IPA because the description on the back identifies it as such. Canned 10/30/13. Reviewed live.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Decent frothiness. Nice consistency. Head retention is good - about 5 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent quasitransparent copper of good glowing vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks pretty good for an imperial IPA but isn't unique or special. No egregious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Dank hop resins and pine character. Some complementary nectary hop character. Lighter floral and herbal tones. Plenty of hop oils. Pale malts. Sticky tree sap. Maybe some evergreen. It's a delightful and appealing hop profile with seemingly well-chosen hops. I'm really looking forward to trying it. A clean and inviting aroma of above average strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable, nor are any off notes.

T: Pine is definitely dominant, evoking pine needles, sap, and nectar. Floral and herbal hop character is subsidiary but effective. I do pick up some grapefruit and citrusy zest. Pale malts provide a supportive but unobtrusive foundation and keep the hop bitterness fairly well balanced without curbing the necessary hop bite too much. The malty side actually feels a bit candied. I'd like the hop bitterness to be a bit more tamed.

It's an extremely cohesive build, and even borders on gestalt. Enjoyable. I would like more depth of flavour, and the intensity of flavour is a bit low for the style. Flavour duration is excellent, leaving hop oils and accompanying bitterness lingering on the palate. Complex enough, but it could use more subtlety and intricacy. Not nuanced per se.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Never soapy. Very clean.

Mf: Crisp, smooth, wet, refreshing, pleasantly biting, and approachable. Oily. Well carbonated, if a bit intentionally overdone to accentuate its bite. Good thickness and body. Nice presence on the palate. Surprisingly soft. Complements the flavour profile well, with some limited custom-tailoring of texture to taste.

Not astringent, harsh, rough, boozy, hot, or gushed.

Dr: Very drinkable for an Imperial IPA. Surly is clearly one of the big dogs when it comes to hoppy beers, and I always dig their deliberate considered hop choices. I'll burn through this 4-pack without any trouble. Perhaps my favourite thanksgiving brew.

High B

 3,686 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a 10 oz. snifter @ an undisclosed location. Thanks to scubarex for the tip, and autumnaldave for the hookup!

Bright orange body with slight reddish tint. Sticky cap of foam that clings well to the glass. Pungent and resiny hop aroma. Very citrus forward, and dank like the funky stuff in Snoop's pipe. If I had to guess i'd say Amarillo due to the heavy citrus. Edit: Citra. Body was a little light, with more balanced maltiness than expected. Tasted like Flossmoor IPAs that use Golden Promise malt. Firm pine bitterness, with some florals mixing in. Dry finish, with a tiny bit of sweetness that helps to savor it. Really nice hop showcase in this balanced DIPA.

 675 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear burnt sienna color and a frothy head that sheets lacing down the sides of the glass

Smell: All matter of citrusy aromatics with tangerine being foremost

Taste: Citrusy grapefruit, up front, with plenty of tangerine sweetness in there as well; after the swallow, the beer builds in citrusy bitterness with plenty of sweet tangerine elements persisting into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Wonderful citrus blend that makes this beer incredibly refreshing

 551 characters

Photo of oline73
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber/golden color with a half finger of nearly white head. The head dissipates leaving just a thing ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Bitter citrus hops dominate. Actually smells quite fruity as well, but the hops really take over.

Taste: This beer has an awesome hop profile. Bitter hops hit the tongue first, but there is definitely enough malt sweetness to keep up. The citrus hop bitterness is joined by fruity hints of pineapple and tangerine. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate carbonation. The finish is dry and the beer sticks to your whole mouth.

Overall: This is an awesome Double IPA. One of my favorites. All the flavors work together perfectly, don't change a thing.

 785 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of zeff80
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, off-white head of bubbly foam. Nice head retention that left behind thick, sticky, rings of lace.

S - Great aroma. Grapefruit, other tropical fruits, bubblegum and pine. There was a mild caramel aroma, too.

T - This is was an Imperial IPA should taste like. Bitter, spicy hops with fruity kicks of grapefruit and orange. Some pine. Burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and finished dry. A medium bodied beer that hides it alcohol content.

D - This is delicious. Worth the price in every way.

 563 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a few cans of this from kbutler1. Thanks! I was able to try this beer a couple times last year in growler form, pleased to see it available in cans now.

Poured into a pint glass, Abrasive is copper-colored, clear and bright, capped by a finger of white foam. It's a few shades lighter than Furious despite the significantly higher alcohol content.

The aroma is outstanding. Redolent of peaches, pineapple, papaya and grapefruit, this is one of the most intoxicating and complex hop profiles I've encountered. Malty sweetness blends with the hops in a way that makes you think you're smelling a fresh fruit salad.

The taste lives up to the aroma, exhibiting flavors of yellow peach, mango and pineapple. Interplay between the sugary malts and fruity hops makes me think of alcoholic fruit punch. I can't overstate how fruity this one is, it's dominant to the point of overwhelming any other flavors. It finishes on a bitter but juicy note, tropical fruit flavors lingering long on the tongue.

Medium-bodied and neither dry nor syrupy nor overly bitter, I can't fathom why they would choose to call this ale Abrasive. It's a refreshingly unique take on the style, and one of my favorite beers of the year so far.

 1,218 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98.3% out of 100 with 4,560 ratings
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