SeVIIn | Surly Brewing Company

very good
46 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 06-20-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 287
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.43/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Big white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Boozy. Toasty malt. Phenols. Lightly spicy.

Taste - Yikes. Boozy. Caramel and spicy rye. Lots of wheat. Phenolic Belgian yeast. And more booze.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Medium carbonation and heavy.

Overall - This is downright unpleasant.

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Photo of Beerlover
2.88/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is what it is. a good Belgian. nothing spectacular, nothing mind-blowing.... I REALLY wish b.a. would add a "price" tab to the required fields, because this like most all other surly would get a BIG OLD FAT "1.00 - AWFUL" rating from me. I really hope that once surly opens their new 20 million dollar brewery that their prices come down a bit, in fact that what i'm attributing the price gouging on all their beers to - they gotta pay for that new brewery somehow right? so yeah 19.99 for a 750....i'm sure other surly crazed suckers paid more...serves ya right! I feel like a chump for the fact that I shelled out so much for this one but I had to try it since I skipped the "pentagram" and surly syx was pretty solid plus the bottle art is awesome as it always is with surly.
a: i'm not a Belgian expert by any means but to me this looks more like a dubbel than a tripel, its clear dark brown with an amber tint. half inch off white head
s:smells like a normal Belgian to me nothing really pops, some clove, some yeast, some flowery grassiness and what you'd expect.
t: not bad, nothing great, typical Belgian.
m: a little too much carbonation for me like an 8 outta 10, 7 being higher than I care for.
overall: another overprice mediocre beer for the guys that I have a love/hate relationship with. oh well its to be expected from surly, at least I got a cool bottle to add to the collection!

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375 mL bottled purchased in the greater Washington D.C. area, poured into my FFF Teku glass, drank 10/9/13 over several hours while homebrewing

A: 2/3 - golden-brown coloration, little clarity (cannot see and read through), initial tannish rocky head on first pour resolved into subtle glass lacing; low-to-moderate carbonation and thick alcohol legs as expected for 12.5% ABV

S: 8/12 - rye malts, Belgian-yeast stone fruit esters, little hop flavors

T: 11/20 - on the front of the tongue, there is an intense sweetness - I suspect it's from Special B and other specialty malts - as well as some fruit flavors - plum, raisin and apple; in the middle of the mouth, these flavors persisted and unfortunately did not resolve - therefore, they sat cloying on the tongue in a sticky sweet (and unpleasant aftertaste); the only thing, for me, to off-set it was the big alcohol character but this was really a mix of sweet and hot

M: 3/5 - big, chewy body (provided by the high alcohol content); appropriate carbonation

O: 6/10 - I am one of the biggest Surly fans going in the DMV area (ask some friends how I rave about Abrasive and Darkness), and, as much as it pains me to admit, this is hands down the worst Surly beer that I've ever drank, and, as a result, I don't understand the generally high ratings here; it's unplesantly cloying and too boozy, and, to be honest, I don't see it really settling into something more enjoyable because I don't think that the malt bill is too complex; I paid $29.99 for it in D.C. expecting something awesome and, although it's no fault of Surly's, I feel like I was raped

TOTAL = 30/50

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Photo of mjryan
3.07/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks good. Unfortunately it loses me after that. Aroma is bananas and booze. Taste is very sweet. Caramel, banana, hard liqour. My moustache is starching up from all the residual sugar in the beer. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Perhaps with some age this one will tatse better to me. Wow, not a fan, but that just like my opinion man.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml brown glass bottle with gold (possibly beeswax?) waxed-over pressure cap and printed-on label art acquired at a Minneapolis bottle shop and served into a stem-tulip in me sister's gaff in low altitude Minneapolis, MN. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. No ABV is listed on the bottle.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

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

Pours a half finger head of white colour. Decent cream and thickness. Head retention is poor - maybe 30 seconds tops (not including the floater ring it resigns to, which lasts maybe 1.5 minutes more). No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a nontransparent nontranslucent dull amber-brown. Abundant fine floating yeast particles are plainly visible.

Overall, it looks nothing like a Belgian Style Pale if that's what they're going for, but then the description claims they're after a Belgian Style Ale, so I'm optimistic. Not quite sure how this is meant to be Trappist, but okay. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.

Sm: Belgian candi sugar, plum fruit, brown sugar, Belgian amber malts, bready/crust malts, caramel, and distinctly Trappist yeast - which I love. It's biscuiy with that fruity edge that really evokes a fine Belgian character. Hints of fig. Maybe dates or prunes; the fruit is a bit timid.

I'm not finding any rye (no subtle spiciness), oats (no refined smoothness), or wheat (no crisp leavened body). I also don't find clove or Banana. The label's description is off, at least for the aroma.

No alcohol is detectable.

A pleasant, appealing aroma with a distinct Belgian character. Average to mild in strength.

T/Mf: Brown sugar and bready/crust malts. Plum fruit. Stonefruit. Some light fig. No prune or dates. It's a biteen jammy. Belgian amber malts. Some biscuit malt. Light candied character. Hardly any hop presence is noticeable - maybe a light complementary fruitiness. Caramel. Trappist yeast is obvious here, with plenty of subtly fruity Belgian character. Rich, biscuity, and vitamin-filled. There's not too much sediment. Faint raisin, even dried grape (as pretentious as that sounds). Fermented cherry.

Not as well balanced as it should be. A bit too sweet; probably too candied as well. Has a cohesive enough build, but it's far from gestalt. Shockingly shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Lacks complexity and subtlety - especially for a Belgian style ale. Not intricate or nuanced. I'm a bit disappointed given the brewery, but I guess there's a reason they're not known for their subtle styles. You go to Surly for IPAs, imperial stouts, and sours. Subtlety isn't their strong suit.

Not finding any brettanomyces yeast.

No alcohol comes through, which is quite an accomplishment.

Smooth, wet, unrefreshing, and nicely thick. Medium-bodied. Decent presence on the palate. Plump. Could be more accessible. Fairly filling. The texture suits the flavour profile decently, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. A biteen overcarbonated.

Not crisp, oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Downable but forgettable. A real disappointment for a Surly anniversary brew. There are elements I like, but ultimately it falls short. What it does succeed at is hiding its ABV nicely. I wouldn't get it again, and it's not Surly's strongest fare, but I'm glad I got to try it. A nice brew for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or trade partners. As a Trappist style devotee, I'm pretty let down.

And the rye/oats/wheat? Nowhere to be found. But I think that's a good thing. You don't muck up a traditional Belgian with those additions to the grain bill.

I'd recommend setting this one down for 1-2 years. It might develop, and at this price point, it needs to.

An unambitious safe attempt at a traditional style that ultimately falls short, but surprisingly not due to its unorthodox grain bill - just its lack of mastery of the essentials of the style.

Surly should stick to their strong suits - IPAs, imperial stouts, and sours - and should abandon attempts at intricate styles like this. As much as I like Surly, they're just not cut out for traditional Belgians.

Lowish C+

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Slight haze on a rich dark amber/light copper. Small off-white head has a loose bubble structure. Drops to a small cap and noose fluffy collar. Some tiny spots of lacing.

Smell: Fruity. Banana, ripe cherry, and apple. Slight funk adds some earthy elements along with a bunch of clove. Some backing fruit sweetness along with a very faint tart note. Belgian yeast is minimal. Some caramelized malt sweetness backs it all up. A lot more cherry as it warms. Some vaguely spicy esters.

Taste: Yeasty. Candi sugar sweetness over a powdery yeast. Spicy esters coupled with some serious ripe banana and a touch of tropical fruit. Some mango with a mild tart cherry. Funky with a touch of damp earth. Warming alcohol on the back of the sip. Malts run a touch bready with a solid caramel sweetness. The longer it sits the more clove and ripe banana jump out. Fruit leather. A bit raw and grassy.

Mouthfeel: Medium pushing toward full body with a moderate carbonation. Slightly dry, but mostly clean finish.

Overall: 7...7...7...wait, what?

An obvious experiment for Surly. Carries their typical brash style, but lacks a little overall complexity. Crazy fruity though.

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Photo of mothman
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Washington square.

Beige head. Lots of lace. Color is a golden orange. Vibrant.

Flavors of very sweet malts. A lot of bready flavors. Candied sugars. Bananas and cloves. Wheat. A lot of spice. I think it is brewed with rye which makes sense. Just massive malts. I get a bit of pineapple as well. Very strong and boozy.

Mouthfeel is very dry. Medium feel to it, but you can tell it is strong.

Overall, this beer is way to hot right now to enjoy. It is too sweet and too malty. Needs some time to round out a bit. Just not for me.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale was orange in colour, and smelled of belgian yeasts and rye, with aromas of honey and orange. It tasted pretty good, fruity and yeasty, with a strong alcoholic flavor and finished with bitter citrus hops. Plenty of flavor with a medium body.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to Jeff for knocking off all these Surly Anniversary beers. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger light cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a bright red-orange. Lacing is stringy and web-like with great cling. Solid.

Nose is a mellow Belgian yeast mixed with intense citrus hops and cane sugar. Sappy and resiny. Aromatic and very interesting but I'm not sure I like it.

Opens citrus, starfruit and pineapple. Belgian yeast, acrid, sap hop bitterness in the middle. Cane sugar and booze at the middle and end. More sap and amber in the end with resiny hop bitterness at the finish. Sweet, sappy aftertaste. Enjoyable but a touch awkward.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down slightly hot and aggressive. Messy finish with a filmy, light but lingering aftertaste. Pretty nice.

Not one of the better anniversary beers. The fruity flavors from the Belgian yeast and the dank, sap and resin hop bitterness just don't quite work together. This is a decent beer but not quite my style.

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Photo of jlindros
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Light fluffy head, nice messy lacing, hazy orange red color

Nose booze and phenols, some juicy malts, floral spicy hops lighter, candy syrup.

Taste sweet candy, little syrupy, bright citrus and floral hops, mild spicy, candy orange peel, syrupy light caramel, mild booze and phenols, mild fruit notes. Long bitter spicy hop finish.

Mouth is med bod, syrupy, lighter carb, mild booze.

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Photo of stevoj
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle share thanks to Steve. Edging towards sour, tart and tangy. Medium amber, soft soapy head. Soft yeasty notes. I wish it went more solidly in one direction, than trying to span genres.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of rudzud
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Received in a trade and shared at a party at JLindros's place. Poured into a Kate the Great snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured a clear honey hue with thin light wisps. No real lacing though

S - Quite phenolic, very very light fruit and esters.

T - Taste is loads of phenols, sweeter fruits, light sugary malts. LOADS of booze though.

M - Mouthfeel is on the thinner side with a good amount of alcohol noticeable.

O - Overall this beer was FAR too phenolic to be truly enjoyable. Still, a nice little tick.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of thebigredone
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well, let's get right to it.

Not sure exactly what Surly was trying to accomplish here, but this was not good.

Several different tastes immediately assault the tongue, clove, hops, something weird and almost dirty, and a kaleidoscope of other unintelligible flavors. This does not work well together.

Of the four of us drinking this, two of us (including me) drainpoured our glasses. One of us quasi-enjoyed it, and the other thought it was okay. Not something I would drink again, let alone seek out.

Score - 3.19

Edited - With a year or so in the bottle, this is starting to come together some. I would increase my original score from a 3.19 to a 3.75.

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Photo of deebo
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A 10 oz pour at BLB for $6
A-plenty of lively carbonation with a thin film sticking to the glass. Clear with a dark amber color with ruby highlights
S-not terribly aromatic for a Belgian. Some fruity esters (prune and molasses) with a little malt character with just a hint of Brett funk.
T/M-initial sip is beautiful. Malt and fruitiness reminiscent of a Belgian strong dark upfront and in the middle but it finishes differently as it very dry with a hint of sourness. A little boozy but highly acceptable for a 12%+ brew.
O-probably not my preferred choice for a 90F day but had to try to decide if I want to fork over $20 for a bottle. Like this brew but think it would be better served without the Brett as it totally dries this out and leaves a sour astringent taste.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep amber cloudy orange with a one finger head.

S-Darker fruits, yeast, clove, rye.

T-Unblanced. Balance isn't even close. Lots of Belgian yeast, cove and darker fruits. But they do not go together with the rye and caramel.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

O-The flavors were good individually, but as a whole, no balance. Maybe letting the beer age would help it.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 11/14/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Appearance: A somewhat medium amber, darker than I expected - some ruby and some gold highlights - pours with a medium sized, eggshell white head, fades to a borderline solid cap, leaves a nice web of lacing

Smell: An interesting mix of malts and Belgian influences - rich caramel, pale malts, and a touch of rye - decidedly bready - the Belgian yeast strain imparts some clove and banana - some candi sugar - some other light fruity esters, like pear and apple - some cooked, caramelized aromas - some alcohol in the finish

Taste: Interesting and tasty - some definite Belgian influences, but really tastes more American than Belgian - interesting blend of pale malts, caramel malts, lightly spicy rye, and a touch of oats - malty sweetness from the malts, and some candi sugar sweetness - Belgian yeast, with banana and clove - apples and pears - some booze in the finish

Mouthfeel: Close to full body, rich, very smooth, nice carbonation

Overall: I've got a friend... Who I've known since I was SeVIIn

This is quite interesting. The malt profile is quite unique, and the Belgian influences work quite well. This isn't the best thing I've had from Surly, but that is far from an insult. Very tasty and worth a try.

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Photo of gatornation
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a dark amber color with an off white head nice lacing a few floaters
S- herbal with dark and light fruits grainey with Belgian yeast
T- fruits dark and ripe bananas and raisins plum, and fig with clove and malts
M- medium carbonation fruity and sweet ABV well hidden
O-good stuff but overpriced IMO

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a beautiful amber pour with a finger of off white head which gave off some nice lacing. aromas of sweet caramel, candi sugar, dates, and subtly hopped. the flavor is a bit harsh at first.. oxidation, alcohol, banana, a slight bit of grapefruit citrus.. blended in with lots of sugar. a very odd tasting beer.. somewhere between an amber, barleywine, belgian. medium to full in body with low carbonation.

this is a nice beer, but i'm still somewhat confused on the style! i feel like maybe for these anniversary beers, surly may want to consider 375ml cork/cage bottles. a smaller serving for a high abv beer. also, they may sell more, at a lower cost and a style that not too many peple would probably go crazy over (unlike pentagram, darkness). also, smaller size bottle would help people discover a style that's very unique, and one could purchase 2 bottles, one to drink fresh and one to age.

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Photo of cbeer88
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted blindly courtesy of Blind BIF #8. 750ml bottle poured into Night Shift snifter.

A: Moderately dark amber with a very clear body. Solid 2 fingers of slightly off-white head. Exquisite lacing. Looks like a heavy East Coast DIPA.

S: Bananas, raisins, cloves - a generally fruity smell. Smells like a Dunkelweizen.

T: Bit of heat up front, then a blast of fruits, followed by a brandy-ish taste. Fruits are well mixed, but I get notes of dark fruits like cherry, dates, raisins, etc, plus some apple. Strong candi sugar flavor. Tastes like a Belgian Strong Ale.

M: Medium-to-high bodied, sweet and sticky but not cloying. Carbonation a hair on the high side.

D: Smooth for the ABV, but at 12.5%, it's a sipper.

O: This beer is very interesting. I'm not in love with it, but it is unique. I think if they yanked a little candi sugar out of there and got the ABV down a bit, the beer would benefit greatly. Well made, just a little too much going on.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Have to compliment Surly on some very nice label art here, even by their own high standards.

A: Cloudy copper/brown with a light white head.
S: Sweet and fruity apple pear, Belgian yeast is very bold, brettanomyces mustiness floral hops. Excellent, the most enjoyable attribute of the beer for me.
T: Starts fruity and sweet again until brett cuts in pretty forcefully. Rustic and earthy. A little spice/roughness, which could either be the rye and/or the 12% abv? Just enough bitterness to cut the sweetness. Brett is a little agressive here for my tastes.... Finishes dry with a slight alcohol burn.
M: Body is full, with ample carbonation. Chewy, almost heavy.

Not bad, but seems the sum total doesn’t equal the parts. Heavy, a little dull and overbretted. Not something I would buy again.

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Photo of Umdrunner
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from cellared bottle, burnt orange with fluffy white head. Scent of malt, spice, citrus. Flavor is spicy, clove, banana, malt with unique citrus and boozy backbone. Moderate carbonation and mouthfeel.

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Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surly. Rye. Big. Where do I sign over my paycheck? Delicious on tap, finally sitting down to work my way through a bottle. With help from my lovely wife. Nice artwork & yellow-waxed 750ML bottle.

The pour is just the dirty side of clear orange. Clear white head. Nose is head-over-heels yeast, big Belgian bananas, cloves. I feel like I should be able to inhale something else, but I can't.

SeVIIn is an admirably clever name, & I wonder how long it took Surly to think it up. Oh, the beer. It's as complex as a quadratic equation. The yeast remains in the forefront of the beer, tossing in a chaw of bubblegum to go with the bananas & cloves. The rye adds a tag to the yeast's (probably) inherent spiciness, which makes it veer completely off Belgian territory. Mid-section is fruit, like those sheets of fruit sold to tweens, what the hell are they called? Cherry, pearish, fruit influence grows as the beer warms. 'Fires of hell' level of alcohol, & my belly is electric-blanket warm. Sweet sweetness takes over on the finish. With my sweet tooth, this is going down rather swiftly.

Not as good out of the bottle as on tap. Very good, but not the ryegasm that I was secretly hoping for.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 9.1.13

A - Pours a hazy ruby-amber with a one inch tan head that fades slowly.

S - A touch of tartness, then lots of sweet fruitiness. Apple, banana, cherry.

T - Similar to the nose, mostly sweet fruits and some breadiness.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Very, very sweet and fruity.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Surly Darkness Glass, shared with scoand.

A- Pours darker than i expected, 1/2 finger white head dissipates to a thin ring around the glass, splotchy lacing, orange.copper color.
S- Brown sugar right away, the alcohol is very evident in the aroma, comes out strong, this definitely needs some aging. Slight clove aroma in the back, malt as well.
T- Hot right away but still drinkable, not as bad as I was expecting. The belgian yeast is evident the more i drink it, clove, and banana come out on the backend, brown sugar and caramel upfront, allot going on, very complex and unique.
M- Big mouthfeel, coats the palate, sticky/dry finish, bitter after taste.
O- Not to bad, needs some aging, but overall i enjoyed this beer, definitely need to share with someone else, would be hard to drink on your own. Complex, i look forward to trying this again in a year or so. Happy Seven Years Surly.

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SeVIIn from Surly Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 287 ratings.
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