From a land far, far away from me is another really solid beer. It is probably safe for me to now include Surly in my list of breweries that I can rely on to not have any big misses. While that is nice, it does not help me much since I do not have any sort of regular access to their beers. At least I get to reminisce about this one over the Christmas weekend.
Feeling a bit surly today . . .
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company (Brooklyn Center, MN)
Style: American India Pale Ale
ABV: 7.50% (on brewery website)
Tasting Notes: Stored in the fridge before being served in a pint glass.
Aroma: A fruity, citrusy hop aroma that is full without being overwhelming. It also has a good, slightly sweet maltiness underneath that balances the whole out quite nicely. – 9.5/12
Appearance: A slightly pale golden amber color. One plus finger off-white head that is thick, creamy, has great retention, and leaves very nice lacing on the glass. Clear with rising bubbles visible. – 3/3
Flavor: A nice hit of citrusy hop flavor up front that transitions into a sharp, piney bitterness after that (quite a nice combo). The malt character is slight by comparison, but is enough to keep it from being way out of balance. The finish is nicely dry with the bitterness and some of the hop flavor lingering for a bit. – 16.5/20
Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth drinking, but does finish with some astringency (that seems to work). – 4/5
Overall Impressions: I really just wanted to drink this one directly from the can, but I would have missed out on the very nice aroma. I can barely imagine how vibrant this beer must be when served super fresh at the brewery or nearby. Certainly hop dominant, but does balance out some as it warms. A very nice beer that I want more of. Could have argues for an even higher grade on this one. – 8.5/10
Overall: A- (41.5/50)