Abrasive Ale | Surly Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 940 | Ratings: 4,486
Photo of bubseymour
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

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Photo of AmericanSpartan
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.16/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of Jwburns75
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of drew42e
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
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

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Photo of anteatr23
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

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Photo of majorbase2
4.46/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

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Photo of uvachief
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.37/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of I_want_some_heady
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

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Photo of XBeerBellyT
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
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

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of jhavs
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of mschrei
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of 2ellas
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
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!

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Photo of Beers-es
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
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 soup├žon 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.

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Photo of brewskis
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
4.46 out of 5 based on 4,486 ratings.
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