The Surly Brewing Company is in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota (now with a destination brewery in Minneapolis too) and currently only distributes itself in the greater Twin Cities area (as of the original writing). It is fair to say that Surly is one of the most talked about and coveted brewers at the current time. Their beers are consistently delicious and flavorful. This beer was originally called 16 Grit, after the size of abrasivee grit used at the old Abrasive factory that once stood where their brewery is now.
This 9.0% ABV Double IPA pours a deep, but still shiny and clear, copper-amber-orange in color. There is about an inch of off-white, thick, choppy, creamy foamy head. The aroma is of massive hops with tangerine, cantaloupe, tropical fruit and pine. It has a sticky sweetness to it. Despite its intensity, there is a smoothness to the aroma, full and round. The taste is massive, a fruit and pine hop blast, sweet, then bitter, fruity and smooth. All of the hop notes from the aroma appear in the taste. All that hoppiness sits on a firm bed of dark toasted malt. The finish is strongly bitter, countered somewhat by the sweetness, all in good balance. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and smooth, with a tingle of carbonation. According to the website this is brewed with oats, which would account for its smoothness. This is a massive and very good DIPA!
Tasting great in 2016 too: The beer pours a hazy burnt orange
amber. There is an inch of foaming, thick, white head. The aroma is
tropical, citrus, mango skin. The taste follows the aromas, intense
citrus, tropical, lots of mango skin and passion fruit, with just a
bit of earthy dank. The finish is astringently, grapefruit peel dry,
with a moderate bitterness, that would be even more intense without
the ample underlying malt (that lets the hops shine). The beer drinks
smooth and round, with pleasant carbonation.