Easily one of the best beers I've tried this year is Surly Abrasive Ale, their double IPA. Yeah, I know that the fact of me writing about IPA's is about as new and surprising as Kim Kardashian getting photographed in People or Us with a new, soon-to-be-ex boyfriend. But when you read my IPA posts, you can tell by my my impassioned writing that I love them, and they're usually what I seek out when I want a beer. When you want an IPA, nothing else will do. And Surly Abrasive is an IPA par excellence.
Already featuring the venerable Furious in their lineup, Surly takes it up a notch with Abrasive, recently on tap at Northdown in a special tasting along with the beers of Mikkeller and Three Floyds. Abrasive is a 9.5% ale, not as robust, piney, grainy and malty as Furious. This is West Coast, the best coast, style, baby, with mounds of hops seamlessly infused into the mix, a hazy amber beer with a massive head and strong carbonation. Abrasive carries a lot of citrus flavors and hints of sweeter malts. The hops provide a classic tongue-coating bittering that builds up as you progress through the drink.
What really sets this apart is how well Surly has incorporated the West Coast style into this delicious beverage. You cannot have very many of these but the hops and carbonation naturally slow your pacing anyway. This is a great sipper full of hop enjoyment.
4.6 of 5 stars.