Monday, February 27, 2012

Surly Abrasive Ale - Craft Beer Review #164

Here is what the Brewer says
We brewed this beer originally at the end of 2008 as a farewell to growler sales. As usual, we underestimated the demand for the first Double IPA in Minnesota. We brewed the beer again in the spring and released it as a draft only beer. It was originally called 16 Grit, a size of abrasive grit used at the old Abrasive factory that once stood where the brewery now resides.

My Thoughts:
Appearance:  This brew poured a very hazy burnt orange color.  The head was about an inch thick of foamy off white head that quickly reduced to leave just a skim coat of foam.  The lacing throughout was very sticky.

Smell:  This beer had a massive nose!  Bold hop forward notes of citrus, grapefruit and even some pine.  As you sniff more you'll also get a bit of floral and grassy hops.  As hoppy as it is to smell you can definitely tell there is some caramel malt present which will clearly be used to help balance this hoppy monster.  Being a hop head this beer is as good as it gets!

Taste:  The beer I had the chance to review is sitting just under 4 weeks old (bottled 1/12/12, drank on 2/9/12).  Even at the 4 week mark this beer is all hops!  A powerful citrus presence is with you from start to finish.  Mid-drink the citrus is joined by some oily pine bitterness and then a mild, but apparent malt backbone.  The finish of this brew is just wonderful.  As powerful as it is on your palate you would think it would leave you with some massive bitterness, but instead you are left enjoying a hint of floral and grassy hops which make you want to come back for more.  As far as double IPAs are concerned this is one of the best that I've ever tried.

Mouthfeel:  This beer is very sticky.  The carbonation level is average with an average body to match.    I really enjoyed how this beer played with my palate on every single sip.  This really is one of those brews that you want to sip to enjoy!

Drinkability:  At 8.8%abv and about 120IBU this is a monster of a beer.  It is not a session beer by any means.  This beer is meant to be drank on a special occasion where your palate is free to enjoy everything this brew has to offer.  To me this is a perfect after work beer, or a relaxing weekend night at home brew.  

Serving Type: 16oz can
My Rating: Overall 96.8/100
Look:4.8 | Smell:4.8 | Taste:4.9 | MouthFeel:4.8 | Drinkability:4.8

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