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Wednesday, June 16th 2010

Abrasive Ale
(Surly Brewing Company)

I am pretty excited about finally getting my hands on a few cans of Surly's newest hoppy creation. It was hard to have to put the cans in the fridge to cool down before I had the chance to crack one open but it was all worth the wait. 


From the Surly site:


"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."


Here we go...


Pour - dark golden in color with some super bright orange and reddish streaks shining through as I hold the glass up to the light. The head is super creamy and about a half inch in thickness. Wow, this looks fantastic. 


Aroma - as soon as I popped the can open I could smell the piney notes. Definitely a sign of good things to come. There are also a lot of tropical fruit aromas coming out of this as well. I find myself smacking my lips every time I go in for another whiff. Mango, pineapple, pine needles and nectarine. I'd like to dive right in, but metaphorically and literally. 


Taste - ahhh...the palate is drenched and the fun begins. Definitely a hoppy brew but yet its not one-sided and just a boat load of hop bitterness. This has character and balance and its definitely high octane. You can feel the weight of this brew in your mouth and all that sweetness backing up those 120 IBUs. Very smooth mouthfeel (see that bit about oats below) and a bit of back and forth between bitter and sweet in the aftertaste. Absolutely delicious!


Overall - impressive to say the least and certainly living up to the hype (as much as a beer can these days). Surly delivers a very solid, very hoppy yet super smooth brew that stands apart from Furious as its own breed of IPA. It has an incredible aroma and a tangy and bitter flavor profile that has a bite but should be tamed easily by any experienced hophead. Lots of amazing tropical fruit flavors come out in this brew and I must say its ridiculously manageable at just under 10%. I think you'll be very happy if one of these should end up in your hands.


Availability - April 


Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I love it just like I loved Furious and pretty much everything else they brew. Give me a four-pack of these and I'd be a happy camper. 


Note - Abrasive Ale was originally called 16 Grit, a sandpaper gauge, which was a nod to the Abrasive factory (that was actually run by Surly's founder Omar's parents for 35 years) that Surly now calls home. Also, on their site Surly refers to this beer as a "Double Oat IPA", something I've never seen or heard of before. But maybe all those oats lend to this brew being so damn smooth.

Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Abrasive Ale
Style: Double/Imperial India Pale Ale
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pale Ale, Golden Promise and Oats
Hops: CTZ bittering extract, Amarillo and Columbus
ABV: 9.7%
IBUs: 120
Date: June 16th, 2010

Posted by Russ

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