Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Surly Furious (2011 original review)

After a long lull, Shaun is back in the co-pilot's seat helping me review two different "vintages" of Surly Furious. One can is only 11 days old, the other is over four months old. We split both cans to see how just a few months can affect the flavor of an overtly hoppy beer like this. Thanks to viewers Matt and Sean for sending me these cans!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (570) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 16, 2011
I poured a 16oz can into a tulip glass.

Appearance: One of the darkest IPAs I’ve ever seen: pure ruby gem color with massive haze. Forms a small, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Like a pine forest with tropical fruits growing on the trees. Distinct resin aroma with underlying fruit juice concentrate.

Taste: I did an experiment while tasting Surly Furious for the first time. I had two cans: one was only 11 days old, the other was four months old. I noticed the older can was more in line with a typical West Coast style IPA of grapefruit citrusy bitterness and candy sweetness. The fresh can was more East Coast with rich piney resin bitterness. It’s really interesting how just a few months, even in a can, will affect the flavor of the hops.

It begins with a sharp dry bitterness which gives way to malty sweetness. The fresh can is slightly toasty with syrup-like taste for a moment. The older can was like orange juice with distinct tartness and an almost sugary cereal-like sweetness. Both palates end with a sharp hop bite and lingering aftertaste. The fresh can was resiny and cloyingly sweet; the older can was dry acidity. Both palates were very tasty with plenty of qualities I enjoy in a good IPA. I felt that there was a noticeable mildness, almost as if the palate is trying to restrain itself. The can indicates it’s 99 IBUs, but it doesn’t seem quite the high to me. Still, a very satisfying and unique IPA.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin and tepid (under carbonated?). Hops definitely linger and dry out the tongue.

Drinkability: The well balanced palate combined with the thin mouthfeel make Surly Furious extremely drinkable. It’s refreshing while in the mouth, but the hops and sweetness can be a little cloying in the aftertaste. Still, it goes down extremely smooth and lends itself to big gulps rather than sips. A great beer to pair with a meal, but it works perfectly as a beer own its own.

Grade: 8/10

NOTE: see my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2018/03/surly-furious-2018-re-review-to-bjcp.html

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