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: 4,389
Photo of superspak
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 11/2/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dank citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate pale malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of huge grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, lemon/orange peel, pine, light honey, bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dank citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate pale malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible DIPA. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dank citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate pale malt sweetness; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,681 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stealth for this one...(very fresh)

Right from the moment the can was cracked a blast of hops explodes out. When poured, a thick billowing white head tops a surprisingly clear light pale body. Nose is akin to...Pliny? Maybe a bit more pop. Rich citrus, pine, hints of fresh fruit. Taste is heavy bitterness mixed with alcohol sweetness. Creamy mid body with a crisp finish. This is one killer IPA.

 408 characters

Photo of I_want_some_heady
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Pale orange

S: Variety of citrus, pine

T: wet citrus and bitterness, much like my ex-girlfriend so that is a plus

F: medium body, crisp

Would recommend for anyone looking to try a stellar IPA!

 201 characters

Photo of XBeerBellyT
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy Orange

S: Citrus, Dank, Piney

T: Dank dank dank, citrus fruits, Bitterness. When warming up flavors came through better and bitter/piney note were subdued

F: Medium-Body

 182 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a snifter. 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.

 830 characters

Photo of jhavs
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz poured into their snifter pint glass, fresh at the destination brewery tap room in MPLS.

A= Golden straw color, pretty clear overall with a thick white head made of small bubbles. Head settles, rings the glass, and lacing clings to the side.

S= Big mix of hop aroma including pine and citrus up front which is followed by a dose of earthy resin.

T= Get citrus and pine first. Grapefruit, lemon zest followed by a bit of earthy pine and dankness. Bit of sweet malt and toast in the finish.

M= Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= Lots of strong hop aroma and flavor balanced nicely. Quite easy to drink for a 9% ABV DIPA. No noticeable booziness or alcohol burn.

 682 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can. Pours bright golden orange with slight haze. Thin white head fades quickly. Big piney citrusy aroma. Taste follows with sharp piney hops, resiny , backed by sweet toasty malt presence. Oily slick mouthfeel. This is a terrific tasting IPA, one of my favorites.

 274 characters

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

Cloudy golden orange, thick persistent head and lacing. Strong hop smell and flavor. Slight citrus and bitter aftertaste. Well balanced hop bomb. Yet another great Surly offering.

 179 characters

Photo of 2ellas
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful golden colour much like I'd imagine a fair maidens hair in the afternoon sunlight in the days of old.
smells exactly like I'd imagine a fair maiden smells in the afternoon sunlight in the days of old.
Tastes exactly like I'd imagine a fair maiden tastes in the afternoon sunlight in the days of old.
feels exactly like I'd imagine a fair maiden feels in the afternoon sunlight in the days of old.
overall a transcendent beer that harkens back to the days of yore. Find this shiz and drink it fair maidens!

 528 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a tallboy canned 10/28/15, so 2 weeks ago. Color is a very slightly hazy orange honey-gold. Three-finger head is off-white, dense and creamy, and it sticks around. Decent lacing. Smell starts with a big hit of pine and grapefruit, mixed with high-quality dank and just a soupçon of the finest cat pee expertly blended with week-old gym clothes. Some tangerine notes as well. That either dissipates or my pine/grapefruit/dank/urine smell receptors are crammed full, but next come waves of ripe tropical fruit and an earthy grassiness.

Taste progresses like the smell (minus the pee), starting with strong citrus and pine resin, then moving to the earthy/fruity flavors, with just a hint of bready malt appearing briefly before the pretty big, dry pine resin finish that sticks around a long time.

Feel is medium but fairly substantial, with the slightest touch of oily slickness, but in the best possible way. I personally don't care for IPAs that are overly slick feeling, but this one threads the needle perfectly, and the smoothness is masterfully offset with just the right amount of prickly carbonation. My nucleated nonic pint glass shows a steady steram of the tiniest possible bubbles rising up the entire time. Minutes after a sip I'm still chewing on the piney bitterness, though it's not at all astringent or unpleasantly extreme.

This is a great, great beer, and one that lives up to the world-class rep. It's wonderfully complex, yet from beginning to end it hangs together beautifully, with not a note out of place. Killer stuff, and one of my all-time favorites.

 1,588 characters

Photo of brewskis
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a finger of an off-white head.

Aroma definitely shows off the Citra hop. The nice sugary sweetness from the oats and 2-row go perfectly with the Citra characteristics and make it a very juicy aroma. Get pineapple, mango, lots of orange, grapefruit, all being the overly-ripe, juicy variety. Also get a big herbaceous dankness. Awesome.

Taste follows the aroma, which is what I was hoping. Get tons of overly-ripe, juicy fruits. Get mango, some pineapple, good amount of orange marmalade, and grapefruit. Lots of dankness too. Get just a simple sweetness from the light malt to provide an nice canvas for the hops. Bitterness is pretty tame compared to what the title suggests, but you still get a slight pine resin, citrus peel bitterness there. Dries out nicely into that slightly bitter finish. Very light booze taste on the finish too.

Medium body. Outstanding smoothly crisp, creamy mouthfeel. Finishes oily and sticky.

This one gets a lot of hype, but it is well-deserved. Judging by their Todd the Axeman and Abrasive, Surly really knows how to brew with Citra. A wonderfully complex DIPA that stands up there with some of the better ones out there.

 1,197 characters

Photo of kbwalters
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold into a tulip glass; canned on 10/20/15, consumed on 11/5/15.
Look = 4.25 Pours a densely cloudy, murky but vibrant orange color with tons of floating particulates and sediment; 1.5 fingers of crisp, white head composed fades to a ring but leaves a nice lace.
Aroma = 4.5 Big fruity hop aromas, tons of citrus and tropic fruit notes dominate the aroma. There is also a nice sweet malty backbone; overall the aroma is strong and fragrant. Very pleasant.
Taste = 4.75 Actually outshines the aroma a little bit; tons of citrus, orange, pineapple and other tropical fruit flavors; some balance is provided with a nice light malty backbone and a significant bitter finish.
Feel = 4.5 Full bodied with low to medium carbonation; smooth feel, nice body for a DIPA.
Drinkability = 4.5 Very easy drinking for a DIPA at 9%.
Overall = 4.55 Terrific double IPA, among the best I’ve had. Lots of citra hop flavors and a nice bettering presence from the Warrior hops, strong in every category.

 992 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Canned three days before consuming.

Cloudy dark amber/light brown color, with a clear white stable head.

Hoppy smell of pine, citrus in general and grapefruit in particular.

A very full flavor, with a lot of citrus-filled hops and sweet malt tones. Body is present, but not overpowering. Feel is dry, which is not necessarily a feature which I always appreciate in DIPAs.

 375 characters

Photo of OmahaKF
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smell is of pine resin, pineapple, mango, and malt sweetness. Taste is tropical fruit and orange citrus - very juicy and not very bitter with a smooth finish. Alcohol is well-hidden and this does not drink anything like a 9% beer. Great beer!

 245 characters

Photo of Cfred371
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought this beer from Heritage liquor in Maplewood, canned on 10-2. I've never had Abrasive so I was pretty excited
Look: pours an amber, translucent color, with some good carbonation.
Smell: the smell is awesome. The hops give a tropical fruit scent and a little pine. Also a bit of an alcohol smell?
Taste: the taste follows the nose then gets real bitter. There's a slight alcohol taste to it, but the brew is 9%.
Feel: the beer seems medium bodied, and has a dry finish, but not as extreme as I've had
Overall: this is a great beverage, and worth picking up a 4 pack.

 573 characters

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

Pored from a can into a beer glass.

Pours a rich golden color with a thick white head that lasts for a while. Citrus and pine are the first thing I smell, followed by hops. Very smooth and drinkable. Gives a burst of citrus, followed by a subtle bitterness. Would not have guessed this is a 9.0% ABV based on taste.

 320 characters

Photo of Umdrunner
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very well done IIPA! Most beers with 120 IBUs make you slightly cringe. This beer starts strong with a hoppy bitterneoss, balances itself out with the smooth oats, then packs a satisfying hop finish that pleasantly lingers. Noticeable scents and flavors of citrus and pine.

 273 characters

Photo of thorkelson
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the 2015 release at JL Beers in Northeast MPLS. Poured into a JL Beers tulip glass:

L - Pours a vibrant straw/yellow/orange color with a fluffy lacey head.
S - WONDERFUL hints of grapefruit, pineapple and other citrus fruit.
T - Nose is an aggressive warrior hop bitterness and finishes out malty/alcohol wonderful hints of oatmeal, pineapple, malt sweetness
F - absolute PERFECT mouth feel - one of the few 5's i've given for mouth feel on a double. something about the oatmeal and the hops and the malt. the carbonation is perfect as well
O - The best double IPA minnesota has to offer if not the best beer in all of Minnesota. Top 5 IIPA for sure.

***EDIT: After having out of the can -- the aroma is UNBELIEVABLE -- top aroma I've ever had from a beer. Updated to a 5 aroma and 5 taste. Favorite IIPA i've had to date -- SOS is right there with it.

 872 characters

Photo of tyearby
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really don't need to say much about this beer other than it has a massive hop punch balanced by the malt on the back end. It is unreal. The pine and citrus are off the chain and literally make your mouth water. Crazy good! I just wish it was released more than 1 time a year.

 277 characters

Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: A hazy fold pour supports a 1” pillowy, clingy white foam collar. S: Spicy, floral hops, light fruit, citrus. T: Grapefruit, fruit, spice, grapefruit rind bitterness. The malt is moderate, the hop flavors and bitterness moderately high. F: Silky and creamy. Moderately full body and medium carbonation. O: This is a great beer that needs to be released more often.

 369 characters

Photo of macher0
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From drunk notes. Thanks brentlepping for the share.

Can to tulip.

A. Bright copper color with an egg shell head. The head is a few fingers after a generous pour that slowly retreats to a similar film that leaves spotty laces. Great effervesce. The color stands out- this is a good looking beer.

S. The nose bursts with tropical fruits and a tad pine at the end. The notes were grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine and pine sap. This has a strong fragrance. This is heading in the right direction.

T. The taste follows the nose with the majority of the hop profile towards the tropical end. The hop presence is magnificent, way over the top in a great way. I got a light malt backbone - which I really like.

M. Smooth, but the full body/hops leaves a bitter bite. High to moderate carbonation.

O. For some reason I was skeptical about this ale and I was blown away. This is an excellent DIPA, worth the hassle to try. This is up there with the best - fo sho.

 962 characters

Photo of 4thFloyd
3.53/5  rDev -21%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Based on almost all of the reviews, I was really looking forward to this beer. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I had a bad can (about 3 months old; can dated 2-06-15, drank on 4-25-15), but I was a little disappointed. Slightly hazy, bright golden color. Not much of a head which disappears quickly. Nice citrus aroma with just a little pine. Taste also big citrus and grapefruit, but quite a lot of pine bitterness as well. Bitterness was a little too much for me and not well integrated with the other flavors. The bitterness also lingered too long, limiting smoothness and drinkability. The alcohol is covered well. Not much malt sweetness or balance but good fullness of flavor.

 716 characters

Photo of Novels
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank hell this is distro'd where I live now. It's a classic, smooth, great beer. So balanced and refreshing, crisp and hoppy without being overt. Abrasive and subtle at the same time, imagine that.

 198 characters

Photo of EveningCordial
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid IPA. Lots of fruit off the nose. This was really good, but the ABV was definitely noticeable. I enjoyed it a lot and compared to other IPAs I'd put in on the upper teir, but I think it could be a little smoother. It really packs a punch in the finish.

 261 characters

Photo of ramay86
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Even in this age of new-world (incredible) pales, with newfangled hop varieties that mostly make me drool, Abrasive seems like the perfect IIPA. It's hard to imagine a better version of the style.

It's complex, yet simple... marmalade, tangerine, orange juice, some conifer bitterness... and the mouthfeel is damn near sexual in nature.

Might be my desert island beer.

 372 characters

Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 4,389 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!