Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Abrasive Ale | Surly Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
927 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 927 | Ratings: 4,390
Photo of AppaZappa
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11/24/15 can, poured hazy dark gold color with 1/2 inch head. Smell is fabulous: papaya, mango, citrus explosion, with bit of bread and malt in back. Taste is really hop dominated, same tropical fruit that comes in the nose but with more sweet notes, ends with bitter finish that gets a bit muddled as you drink. Mouth is crisp, very easy drinking for an imperial ipa.

This hangs with the big boys except for the back end of the taste. But that's a minor quibble; excellent beer.

 481 characters

Photo of Boto
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16oz can: This one pours a hazy, somewhat darker golden color. There was about a 2" head on it that lingered a little bit. There was some lacing. Good nose to it. Lots of grapefruit hops. Hints of orange and pine also. The taste is good. Mainly hop notes without being overly bitter. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple and a touch of pine. A decent malt presence in the background. A touch of sweetness trying to peek thru the hops. I need to stuff some more of these in my suitcase if I get out that way again!

 506 characters

Photo of Spinaltapped
4.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Strong bold pumpkin color, non-translucent, great healthy 1.5/2 finger head. A pretty DIPA.

Smell: Loads of tropical fruit and candied Mandarin and sweet clementine orange. Pineapple. A touch of marzipan? One of, if not my favorite smelling pale ale. Just an onslaught of hops.

Taste: A metric f*ck ton of sweet orange, papiya, mango from the hops. A touch of alcohol sweetness at the front swept away by a bit of prickly, sharp floral bitterness. Strong malt backbone to support the hops, but it is definitely a beer with the hops as the spotlight.

MF: It's great. Smooth, silky, medium mouthfeel. Lingers on the tongue.

 630 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy, mildly turbid, light golden yellow body, off-white velvet head with intricate blankets of lace. (Although, the next can produced a perfectly translucent body.) Orange/grapefruit nose, mint, bitter, herbal, with bready malt behind it. Bitter citrus fruit dominate the flavor (grapefruit!), slight onion, lavender syrup, with oats as a sweet nearly caramel-like backbone, harsh mint on the finish. Olfactory and gustatory senses are huge and, well, abrasive. Body is crisp, quenching, refreshing, fluid and drinkable.
Big big flavors here, a hophead's dream, just a tad too bitter for my tastes, and I couldn't appreciate the oats- the flavor imparted was less than desirable, and the intended rich mouthfeel didn't appear for me.

 734 characters

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Appears a pale yellow to gold color. Thin head with nice glass lacing.
S: Not sure of the hops on this beer but sure does smell like a ton of Citra. Lemon, grapefruit, and orange. A little resin in the finish.
T: Follows the nose. Sweet candied tropical fruits followed by a nice solid bitterness.
F: Mouth coating feel. Somewhat creamy.
Overall another one of those great hop forward DIPAs.

 395 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold to copper in color with some mild haziness. There's a sold inch of dense off white head on top. Moderate lacing. The aroma is intensely citrus hop focused. The taste is actually much more balanced than the aroma implies. It is brazenly citrus hop focused but there is some nice light biscuity malt to keep things in balance. The mouth is sticky and chewy, appropriate for the style.

 393 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from CapCollector16 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a medium off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains grassy hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with flavors a strong piney hops bitterness. Then some sweet flavors of citrus and caramel come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice 2IPA to drink for a long time.

 836 characters

Photo of BeerGeek50
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another amazing beer from my favorite brewery. These guys just keep making great beer after great beer. How can you go wrong with Citra hops all up in your nose?

 161 characters

Photo of Henefield
4.89/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I usually prefer a darker look, but this dipa is simply perfect. If your a hop head, Abrasive is a must try. One of the best beers I have ever consumed. A huge bonus for us that reside in MN!

 191 characters

Photo of Evilyak
3.67/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

i knew i shouldn't have bought this one, but i did it anyway. i really dislike citra, and this tastes like one more citra ipa (or dipa in this case).

pour is nice - hazy orange with a thick, white head. looks like a good beer.

smell is citra - citrus fruit with a touch of pine. taste is citra - sweet, pulpy fruits. there's a touch of pine and bitterness at the end, but nothing too much to be offputting.

feel is syrupy and clinging - robitussin-like in how it lingers. for 9%, the alcohol is hidden wonderfully, so there's that.

if i liked citra, i'd probably love this beer. but i don't. it's one note at best and it gets old for 16oz.

 645 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Surly is kind of amusing ... the brewery is anything but surly, they're a friend to all beer lovers, and this beer is anything but "abrasive" ... it's actually a welcoming blast of fruity hoppy goodness. I've had IPAs and DIPAs that are pretty bitter and might qualify as "abrasive" but this beer is not like that. Most of the flavor I get is fruity and rich and malty, not just bitterness for the sake of bitterness. Yes, there's a bitter kick at the end, just to remind you that is a DIPA, but it's a minor part of the overall taste profile. This would be in my top 10 of "beers I wish were distributed in the state of Washington," and it's one of my favorite DIPAs ever.

Serving: 16 ounce can into a tulip.

 715 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one muled home to MD from Chicago by some good co-workers whom are my cerveza burrows. Poured from can into a Sam Smit pint glass. Nice hazy orange with 1 finger head that continues to hold 5 minutes in. About as good looking as an IPA I've seen in a glass. Smell is all bursting with grapefruit and citrus hop greatness. Taste is powerful hopness, with a really nice mix of citrus, pine and some dankness and some of the oats is noticable. Bitter on the finish which is the only negative but its tolerable considering how good this beer tastes. Very rich feel as well. Overall, its an excellent double IPA.

 624 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured an opaque orange/yellow with limited white head. Decent lacing.

S: HOLY CRAP! The hops absolutely jump out of the glass. Pineapple, orange and grapefruit citrus, some pine, but also some bread in there.

T: A little more muted than the aroma but very similar, citrus and piney hop flavor, the pine combines with the late lingering bitter which was the only downfall. Otherwise, wonderful.

F: Nice full mouth feel, juicy up front with lingering bitter on the back of the tongue.

O: Impressive!

 514 characters

Photo of AmericanSpartan
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't care how it pours or how it laces...this beer smells, feels and tastes outstanding. You can smell the hops a foot away from the glass. The rich feel in the mouth coat the palate and the bitterness keeps you on your toes. Citrus balances the bitterness and the oatmeal brings a uniqueness to this kicks IPA.

 316 characters

Photo of Qbdoo
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Murky light orange with not terribly substantial white head. Mind-blowing aroma of citra hops: grapefruit and a hint of orange. Taste is similar but there's a touch of sweetness balancing out the bitter hoppiness. Mouthfeel is slightly thin for a 2XIPA but there's also a creamy quality to it. This is a superb tasting and extremely well-balanced beer. Truly world class.

 371 characters

Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing phenomenal about this pour, it's ok, at best. Semi-clear, and it leaves moderate lacing in its wake. The smell is beautiful. The perfect mixture of citrus and grass. I could sniff this all night long and say "wow". It tastes even better; superb balance of nose and taste, an absolute treat. I get a bit of burnt melon on the back end, but it does nothing to detract from the pineapple on the front, and velvety texture mid-finish. This is a really nice beer.

 466 characters

Photo of Jwburns75
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received a 4pack in a trade today, this glass is bursting with flavor, and none of those are abrasive to this palette in the least. The pour is a lighter colored shade of straw yellow with some transparency. Taste is in yo face. We'll done beer, probably the only 9.0+ abv IPA I have had in which there is no trace of alcohol in the taste at any point. Very nice brew indeed.

 379 characters

Photo of BSiegs
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep gold color with moderate clarity. Two fingers of white head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The aroma is big with a lot of tropical fruits, melon, pine, resin, dank. The taste matches, although not quite as powerfully. The hop presence is the initial flavor, and then a balanced, malty body leaves some slight sweetness on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish. The oatmeal adds to a very smooth body. Overall, a really well done, balanced DIPA.

 523 characters

Photo of drew42e
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with average head. Smell of melon and tropical fruit and taste to match. Nice mouthfeel and extremely smooth for abv. Another winning beer from Surly I wish we could get more regularly in CA

 206 characters

Photo of anteatr23
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden and clear, one finger head. Smells of sweet malts, sticky hops with citrus. Taste is crisp, nice strong bitter flavor, but not dominating your palate. Bitterness lingers with some subtle sweetness in the mix of all the hoppiness. The ABV is well hidden here, as this is a refreshing and unchallenging DIPA. Really delicious and well done.

 358 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Golden in color, clear in appearance
Smell - Herbaceous, pineapple, citrus, dank, grapefruit
Taste - Herbaceous, citrus peel, grapefruit, pine, medium plus bitterness, some malt sweetness
Feel - Sticky, dry finish, slight alcohol warmth going down

Overall - A killer DIPA!

 280 characters

Photo of majorbase2
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a large white foam head. Recedes after a few minutes, leaving a thin head on the surface and a lot of lacing on the sides.

Aroma is very strong on tropical fruits. Pineapple, grapefruit, mango, and tangerine. Citra hops and light pine.

This is quite the bitter/hop bomb. This brew is hoppy enough as it is, but add in the bitterness and this one one unique brew! Grapefruit, orange, and pineapple are very strong on the front. Taste is much stronger on the citrus and pine than the aroma. Some very sweet malts on the back end.

Medium bodied, and quite sticky going down. The 9% ABV is masterfully masked, with the only hint of alcohol coming from the slight buzz I got from it.

An excellent effort from Surly. Pleased to find this (rather surprisingly) on the shelf of my local small-town Co-Op. After being slightly discouraged from my disappointing experience with Todd The Axe Man, Surly delivers here with Abrasive. If you like hops and bitterness, look no further than this beer.

 1,022 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can dated 10/27:
Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow, with perhaps a splash of orange. Fluffy white head that continues to cover the surface through the drink. Some lacing.

Nose is melon, tropical fruit, pineapple and sweet orange or tangerine. Decent strength and generally sweet.

Taste is a little more tart to open, the pineapple/orange note hitting first. Then the tropical and melon notes hit, along with the lightest heat from alcohol (on a colder beer more so). Flavors just fade to a lightly fruit-sweet taste. The interesting thing is that taste does cling to the tongue a while. With subsequent sips, this slowly builds up and has a pithiness to it-but the other flavors never let it take full hold. Feel is enveloping and sort of soft, and about medium in body.

Wonderful beer, reminds me in certain ways of OTWOA, although this is a bit more citrus and is softer.

 886 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint-sized can:

Pours slightly hazed golden with lasting creamy white head. Lacing sticks.

There is a heavy dose of pine, grapefruit, pineapple and tangerine.

The taste of bitter pink grapefruit and tangerine (some pineapple) is balanced by a candy-like malt sweetness that is just enough to give it a pleasant balance. Alcohol very well-hidden - hardly noticeable if at all. Long pleasantly bitter, fruity hop finish.

Full-bodied and very smooth.

A "hop head" delight for sure! Huge punch of delicious hop goodness, but silky smooth malt backbone. Very nice to say the least!

 581 characters

Photo of uvachief
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fresh can that was canned 3 weeks ago. Pours a beautiful golden amber on the orange side. Best thing is how clean and clear it is. Nice fluffy head to boot. Best looking DIPA I have seen. Smells of hops buried under citrus like grapefruit, oranges or tangerines and mangos. Smell is quite alluring. Taste is wild. Big citrus up front balanced by high hops for a really drinkable beer. Very smooth for something with such high abv. Finishes a little piney rather than huge piney because of all the citrus. IPAs are not my thing but even I love this beer. Just the right thickness and feel. Really good.

 613 characters

Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 4,390 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!