Heady Topper vs Abrasive

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by grynder33, Dec 7, 2013.

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  1. grynder33

    grynder33 Devotee (422) Jul 31, 2003 Wisconsin

    Our RIS blind test was held at Landmark 1850 with the bartender being very careful not to give away the identity of each glass. Participants were 6 seasoned palates,all who had in the past tried each of the stouts. We all thought Dark Lord would emerge the winner,and it did,but the results were scattered all over the place.Every RIS,except Expedition,got a first place vote.Judging was based on what the individual perceived the ideal of a limited ,complex,satisfying in every way Russian Imperial stout should be. All were served at slightly below cellar temp.Each person ranked their order of preference,very subjective indeed.5pts for first place rating,1pt for 5th.Adding them up at the endit was Dark Lord,2. World Wide Stout,3 Big Eddy RIS,4.Expedition,Darkness. I myself had WWS ranked number 1. Even the Darkness had a number 1 rating,but most tasters had it last,because of a noticeable hoppy bitterness,that at least relative to the others,took away from the rich malting everyone was looking for. Surprises were aplenty,as we were sure we knew the order of our own slip,most turned out wrong. All the beers were the same year,it was fun,and a learning experience
    morimech likes this.
  2. OrionsHunt

    OrionsHunt Aspirant (225) Jul 17, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    What year did you do, 2011? That was the only year I remember Darkness being very hoppy. That went away with a year put on it and was drinking fantastic earlier this year.

    I have done a 5 year vertical of Darkness and blind BA stout tasting, but never a blind non-BA stout tasting. Thanks for the idea though, I think that will be next for me.
  3. mnphish

    mnphish Disciple (344) Aug 19, 2012 Minnesota

    Heady wins imo. Abrasive doesn't hide the booze, too much bitterness.
  4. NeedBeerHere

    NeedBeerHere Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Minnesota

    I live Heady too and can't say I would kick it out of my bed tonight but isn't Abrasive meant to be bitter. That's the whole idea of Abrasive. Although ironically when I reviewed it critically today there was more malt that I have ever thought.
  5. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Defender (606) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Even though I find it less complex (not as many layers or something), Abrasive still wins in my book. It's just the epitome of what I love in an IPA....grapefruit. Heady is amazing, don't get me wrong, and I feel it has more flavors going on, but it still can't beat Abrasive in terms of sheer perfection in a can.
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  6. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    Zombie Dust is pretty rad, but a DIPA it isn't.
  7. NeedBeerHere

    NeedBeerHere Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Minnesota

    Yah I brought it up cause it was popular like the other two and I like it but yah I get it. To me it's as good as the others.
  8. shawnp

    shawnp Aspirant (240) Jan 15, 2010 Minnesota
    ¬°Bad Trader! Beer Trader

    Both beers are friggin drain pours. Close this thread.
    LittleGus and RKPStogie like this.
  9. celfan

    celfan Disciple (327) Jul 4, 2004 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Screw the Pliny, it will get murdered - put up Heady, Abrasive and a Toppling Goliath Sosus.

    HF Abner is the total shit, but you'll have a tough time scoring some.
  10. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    As good if not better than the others. I like really strong beer from time to time, but much prefer beer with a more sane abv. My point was, ZD isn't a giant, boozey hop monster like the other two, so comparisons between it and the others are a bit out of place. Perhaps not, this is just one mans opinion.
  11. Hawkharvs

    Hawkharvs Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Iowa

    This is where I'm at personally...however I would give more credit to Heady in being able to craft such a wonderfully complex beer that totally masks its booze content.
  12. NeedBeerHere

    NeedBeerHere Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Minnesota

    Interesting... I've never thought of Abrasive as boozy but it does come out around the time big stouts do so maybe I'm so used to boozy RISs that I don't notice it.
    BrettHead likes this.
  13. mnphish

    mnphish Disciple (344) Aug 19, 2012 Minnesota

    Brian from the 4F email quote is worth posting in this thread: "
    Anyway, it's here in the cooler with all the other Surly stuff. It's still as delicious as you remember, and it's still better than that one beer that urges bad science and tells you to drink from the can. Seriously, follow the advice of smart people like Surly and use your glass like a civilized person."
    SipIt and Seefeldt like this.
  14. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,589) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    I've been getting my hands on fresh Abrasive this year....usually within two weeks of date on can and it is truly magnificent. Not saying there might not be other beers this good but I won't even look when I have access to this nectar...a bit pricy at $16 a 4 pack but shit how often would you spend $4 a pint for some crap in a bar? There are so many great beers out there but this is as good as it gets for a DIPA...$4 for a 16 ounce can is a no brainer
    lonewolfcry and psychotia like this.
  15. 46and2

    46and2 Initiate (152) Mar 28, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I had both, fresh, on the same day, but didn't really think of them as going head to head. As a narrow part of the overall spectrum, I think they are dissimilar on the DIIPA spectrum though.

    I paired them with 4 games of softball and probably some "warm up" beers, though I cannot remember.

    I also drank them both, from the can, in left center field. That is how I roll.
    LittleGus likes this.
  16. theCoder

    theCoder Disciple (393) Oct 24, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    YES SIR I agree. Although I don't think Abrasive being that bitter but honestly and (sigh) this always gets me flack but I do not like Abrasive. Had it on more than one uh I think at least 4 occasions at varying freshness (day of canning to a week old) and everytime just was not there for me. HOWEVER!!!! I had it on cask at Grumpy's Roseville last year and it was amazing. Much like when I had Hop Slam on Cask I have a new preferred way to enjoy it.

    PS: Abrasive however did make a BOMB ASS steak marinade, yea literally poured it in a giant bag with a steak that's it, and it was amazing (the steak).
  17. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Zealot (567) Dec 7, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Abrasive is on cask today at Grumpys NE, along with many other Surly offerings (no Darkness).
    I believe it starts at 4:00 pm, but I could be wrong.

    Side note, I didn't even really care for Abrasive on cask last week @ Surly tap room, but love the original.
    SipIt likes this.
  18. theCoder

    theCoder Disciple (393) Oct 24, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Now that may be a nice treat for myself once I get this thing submitted for a job I'm applying for :-D thx yo.
  19. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Zealot (567) Dec 7, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I just saw the Surly post.
    It starts at 5:00 pm
    Besides the Abrasive cask, they'll have Smoke, Damien, Cisco Bender and Furious.
    SwinginParty likes this.
  20. SipIt

    SipIt Aspirant (237) Jul 18, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I was there last Wed too, and thought the cask abrasive was anything but good. I've really enjoyed it on cask before, but this one flat out tasted like a growler where the cap wasn't screwed on for a week. I know there is less carbonation in cask, but it didn't appeal to me at all. Side by side the regular was 20 times better IMO.

    I love Abrasive and Heady, not sure I can pick one over the other, but do agree with a lot that have said I don't go out of the way for HT when Abrasive is here.

    VDODSON Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 North Dakota

    Abrasive destroys it. Leaving for Moorehead in an hour to pick some up.
  22. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Devotee (425) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    I don't think they taste alike at all to me. I am in the vast minority that does not dig Abrasive. Just don't like it.

    Heady was REALLY good, but seemed to fall off faster than any beer I ever had. I drank the first of my 4 pac at like 10 days old, and the last at only a month or 5 weeks and there was quite a difference.
  23. nickapalooza86

    nickapalooza86 Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2010 Wisconsin

    If you even get any more Heady, shoot a brother a message:rolling_eyes:
  24. SwinginParty

    SwinginParty Initiate (178) Jan 22, 2014 Minnesota

    Ahhhhh.... the ever elusive Cisco Bender.
    BeerGoogler and BottleCaps80 like this.
  25. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Zealot (567) Dec 7, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Haha...damn autocorrect.
    But that was from 2 months ago...

    You must really have a lot of time on your hands...lol
  26. SwinginParty

    SwinginParty Initiate (178) Jan 22, 2014 Minnesota

    It took literally a second to scroll up 5 posts. Do you still have dial up?:confused:
  27. Phil_H

    Phil_H Disciple (315) Jun 4, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Very different beers, both good, would still pick Heady over Abrasive if asked to choose.
  28. GottaHaveMyHops

    GottaHaveMyHops Initiate (139) Mar 14, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I actually tried Abrasive and Heady Topper side by side a couple of weeks ago and I have to say:

    1. They are both mesmerizing
    2. Abrasive has a killer nose, better than the Heady, just pungent tropical fruits, piney, resiny greatness.
    3. Heady Topper is just more balanced, the nose is great, but more subdued. I believe they intended for the Heady to have better balance though.

    It is tough to decide which is better but I am always blown away by how great Abrasive is. I even tried a 3 month old Abrasive right before drinking a week old one, and that beer holds up remarkably well with a little time. Couldn't say how it would be after sitting for longer though.
  29. HawkeyeNation

    HawkeyeNation Aspirant (240) Jun 18, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Trick question now. The answer is King Sue.
    Pintofbrown likes this.
  30. Pintofbrown

    Pintofbrown Initiate (0) Jun 25, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    You know I have to agree with you on this.
    HawkeyeNation likes this.
  31. runfoodrun

    runfoodrun Aspirant (229) Jun 18, 2008 Minnesota

    Sue is amazing! One of my favorites! But it's no Topper or Abrasive. Let's be realistic on these threads folks. Sue is my fav PA, but come on, it's not a DIPA.
  32. Pintofbrown

    Pintofbrown Initiate (0) Jun 25, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Aaaaand, this is where you find out we are talking about KING Sue, not Pseudo Sue. Let's "be realistic folks" and develop some reading comprehension skills.
    HawkeyeNation likes this.
  33. runfoodrun

    runfoodrun Aspirant (229) Jun 18, 2008 Minnesota

    Sorry, didn't realize TG brewed such a thing! Hail to the King, baby!
    Pintofbrown likes this.
  34. DBijnagte

    DBijnagte Initiate (109) Dec 7, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It may be better but until King Sue is produced on a decent scale it's not part of the conversation. As of now it's a one off that such a small percentage of the population has drank that it's deliciousness is moot. Heady and Abrasive are both reasonable pulls for anyone trading.
    randjuke and runfoodrun like this.
  35. MCImes

    MCImes Disciple (353) Dec 31, 2010 Connecticut

    If 'king' is still single hop citra Ive never been less excited about a TG beer. (which are obviously the bomb in general).

    if they balance it with other hops, I cant wait to try it.
  36. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (415) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Trick question. This is the answer:


    Or this:

    #76 MNPikey, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
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  37. psychotia

    psychotia Disciple (319) Jun 27, 2009 Minnesota

    Was excited to try this, however I found the king sue to have an phenolic taste and linger. Yes I could taste the pseudoSue basis, but for me it needs more of that pseudoSweet to hold up against the increase in ABV. Fortunately I now have a few growlers of pseudoSue to get me through the next week this weekend.
  38. ocgasman

    ocgasman Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I've had Pliny (both Younger and Elder), Abrasive and HT recently. Throwing out Younger since it isn't bottled, this is my ranking:

    Abrasive > PtE > HT.

    That being said, I think Alpine and Beachwood are equal to Abrasive. JMHO.
    McRyan likes this.
  39. PieOhMy

    PieOhMy Devotee (419) Feb 23, 2013 Minnesota

    Love it. The whole thread has basically been turned into "I've had X rare IIPA and it's better than Heady and Abrasive. Prove me wrong motherf**ker." So I'm gonna say right now the winner of this battle is, when they do it, if ever, is Town Hall Imperial Mango Mama.
    McRyan likes this.
  40. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Aspirant (245) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I think this thread is long enough and encompassed enough other beers in comparison...

    ...cue obligatory Saga superiority comment in 3...2...1...
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