Ashy Cynic | Surly Brewing Company

14 Ratings

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Greggy on 01-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 10
Photo of natasharai
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured with a 1cm creamy silky white head that dissipated over a couple minutes leaving a thin layer on top, with little chunky lacing. The beer is a hazy golden color.

Smell: Fruity up front with a sweet malty aroma, all followed by a smooth hop bitterness resembling citrus.

Taste: Very mellow and smooth, sweet malt and fruit taste of oranges, followed by a small sour taste, and leaving a malt after taste. The flavors meld together very nicely, nice subtleties of the wood flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy silky, followed by a small tingle on the tongue.

Overall: Easy to drink, nice silkiness and the flavors and aromas are very nicely blended together. There is no alcohol presence in the nose or palate making this beer a very nice treat!

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Photo of Kemperfi
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Followed the Surly Guys to Grumpy's (NE Minneapolis) and slammed this beer to then had to rush back for the Surly Tour.

Got the nice wood smell right off the bat followed by some hints of citrus. Was a slightly hazy light orange or yellow color with some nice lacing. Very Smooth and easy to drink, even more then regular Cynic.

Worth the detour, good job Surly.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at the Surly Three release party.

A: Hazy orange color, very similar to the regular cynic but a bit more opaque. About a one-finger head with just a little bit of lacing. Very beautiful head though, small-microscopic bubbles that created a flawless looking head, if it would have left some more lacing it would have been perfect.

S: Very strong citrus with wheat and a bit of berries and a small amount of wood, smell amazing!

T&M: Smell gives it away perfectly. Very mellow citrus and wheat balance with a small hint of light berries and a nice wood finish leaving a very distinct aftertaste. Amazingly smooth, out of cask of course but just amazingly smooth, all I can say.

Overall: Very very impressive, Cynic is amazing alone but this style has the same complexity with a nice amount of wood aftertaste and is incredibly smooth and drinkable. Hope you're able to try it someday, one of the best I've had, thank you Surly!

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Small silky white head with great lacing. Very hazy orange gold in color.

S- Oranges and some citrus zest hit the nose first. Some citrus juicy aromas with lots of nice herbal and spicy fragrances. Somewhat earth nose with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T- Light and complex flavors that are very rounded and work beautifully together. Oranges and lemon zest with hints of caramel and honey. Some light nuttiness and hints of wood, lots of herbal spice and light sourness. This beer leave your palate pretty clean with only subtle lingering flavors.

M- This beer is very smooth and light bodied. Great balance of flavors that does not overwhelm the palate. The carbonation was on the light side, I think I would have enjoyed it more with a little more carbonation.

Overall- This is a great saison. The ash aging mellowed out some of the flavors but also added some good complexity. If you see this at the bar get your self a glass of this beer.

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Photo of MPLS
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first beer of my adventure @ the Blue Nile for the Surly Three release.

A: Awesome unfiltered murky orange. The head looked white and thick. Very welcoming.

S: Citrus, dry grass, wheat.

T: Amazingly smooth, pleasant throughout the whole spectrum of flavors. The butt of it is where the wood shines, woodsy, prolonged, and slight vanilla.

M: Light bodied, smooth as the nice white head that came after the pour.

D: Might make me stop ignoring regular Cynic?

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Photo of MattyG85
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Surly’s Beer Hall. Served in a 16 oz. glass.

Appearance: Color is a pretty hazy golden orange. Lots of bubbles and a big creamy head with good retention.

Smell: A yeasty and fruity farmhouse style aroma with a scent of spice and fruit. Belgian yeast with some farmhouse funk and spice hints of black pepper and clove. Fruit hints of apricot, pear, banana, orange, and lemon. Malt hints of grains, cracker, and wheat. Good hints of oak and wood. A very nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a yeasty and fruity Belgian Farmhouse style taste with notes of spice and fruit. Belgian yeast with notes of farmhouse funk and spice notes of black pepper and clove. Fruit notes of apricot, banana, pear, lemon, and orange. Malt notes of grains, straw, wheat, and cracker. Solid notes of oak and wood that come through more with some warming. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall:A very good twist on a great American Saison. Nice touch of oak and wood that blends in well with the yeasty spice and fruit flavor.

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Photo of mothman
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a fizzy white head. Color is a very hazed golden bright yellow orange.

Aroma: Cynic with oak. Not really getting the ash oak. It has lemons, hay, farmhouse funk, yeast, and spice. A lot like cynic.

Taste: Now I get more of the ash oak. Very much like regular cynic with the addition of the oak. It is also a bit creamier.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, refreshing. Lighter bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, it is a very drinkable beer and something I could have a lot of. Very similar to cynic, but with a creamier mouthfeel to it and the aging added a nice layer to this beer. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of Greggy
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured from the cask, a nice 1 finger white head, very creamy. The body was straw colored and hazy. The beer left some nice lacing on it's way down.

S- Ample woodiness from this one. I got some nice fruitiness of oranges, apricots, as well as hints of wheatiness, and of course, wood.

T- This was very mellowed out from the wood. Starts with a nice semi-tart fruit note or apricot and some wheatiness, then the finish is ultra smooth with a great woodiness.

M- Very smooth and creamy. Great ash flavors (like my palette can distinguish ash).

D- We really stumpled on to this beer by following Todd, the brewer, to Grumpys. We had to throw this down quick (literally 5 minutes) and it tasted excellent. The cask made is smooth and mellow. Definitely drinkable.

- The bartender at Grumpys said the ash from this came from some furniture. Nice..

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Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at FOBAB but didn't take notes. Luckily Phil decided to get a firkin for the Sheffield's Beer School 1st Anniversary Party. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Poured with a tiny bit of white foam that dissipated quickly to a few stray bubbles. Hazed golden amber brew with a few tiny bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass. It's a cask beer, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt here.

S - Belgian yeast, spices and clove, a touch of wood. It doesn't smell super different from regular CynicAle, maintaining the fruitiness (apricots, pears), but losing some of the candied citrus hoppiness that is the Surly trademark. The time spent in the ash barrels must mute the hops while adding a layer of earthiness instead.

T - The ash is much more present, particularly in the aftertaste. There's significantly more sweetness and less spice as well, with nice fruity notes (again pears, apricots, peach, maybe some berries). The aging process seems to mute some of the strong yeast and spice that I didn't care for in the original. There might be a tiny bit too much wood though.

M - Low carbonation, but still enough (i.e. more than flat Hop 15 bottles). Nice residual stickiness, soft, creamy, smooth. It's all the things I like about cask beer.

D - The only mildly fatiguing element is the strong ash flavor, but unlike some other aftertastes it seems to dissipate after a minute or two causing to reach for my glass again. Definitely my favorite Surly barrel-aging experiment (although to be fair, I've only had oak barrel-aged Bender & Cynic in addition to this).

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Photo of AgentZero
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy amber colored beer with just a little bit of head that didn't stick around. Not a whole lot of life in the beer, but expected from the serving style.

S - Smells like Cynic that has been on some wood. Yeast, funk, sweet fruits. I don't drink tons of Cynic but my recollection of it is a lot like this one, although less woody.

T - Ash comes through much stronger on the taste with yeast and fruit. The ash is a bit much for a brown ale to handle, sseems like they should have not left it in as long as they did.

M - Smooth with fairly low carbonation and medium bodied.

O - Pretty good beer. I don't think I've really ever had anything aged on Ash before, and it helped this beer out a bit. Maybe a bit too much wood, but I liked this.

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Photo of OneLastDisguise
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of NodakEric
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of nheinzie57
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Ashy Cynic from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 14 ratings
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