is one of those breweries I always associate with high quality across
the board. Since I can’t get their stuff regularly here in NY, every
beer of theirs I’ve tried has been really good. Therefore, it comes as a
shock to me that Surly Hell, is rather mediocre and average. It tastes
eerily like a lot of a generic pale lager; mild-tasting with a slight
tang on the finish (almost as if it were old beer, but the can is quite
fresh). I don’t know what happened with this one, but I’m not impressed.
I poured a 16oz can into a lager glass. It was canned on 1/22/15 and was sent to me by Matthew L. (thanks yet again!).
Appearance: Clear shade of clear gold with consistent carbonation
visible. Pours to a small, white, soapy head which mostly evaporates and
leaves no lacing.
Smell: Just a generic lager aroma. Nothing off-putting at least.
Taste: I’m not sure if this beer should be considered a Munich Helles
Lager or a Zwickel (according the description), but either way it’s not
especially German in character. It’s much closer to American pale lager
with a mild, slightly grainy base flavor. I got no distinctive flavors
as far as malts or hops, which is a little odd since it’s brewed with
American rather than German hops. On the backend there’s a slight tang
or metallic character. Cheap adjunct brews tend to have this as well,
only much stronger. What’s here is more than tolerable; it’s not
off-putting, but I’m struggling trying to find a quality about it I
Drinkability: “Hell” is the German word for “light” (in color), but in
the case of Surly Hell it would probably refer to the flavor and body.
Light but not paper thin; crisp but not overly spastic. It’s somewhat
refreshing while in the mouth and leaves a clean aftertaste. At 4.5%
it’s indeed sessionable, but I’d want more flavor to do that.