Sunday, November 3, 2013

Surly Furious Review

Name: Surly Furious
Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 6.6%

For all the reviews I've done over the years, I've never done a review of Surly Furious, despite the numerous times I've had it over the years. The reason for this is because whenever I'm out and about, Furious is one of the beers that I usually have at social events and I'm never able to sit down to review it properly.

Surly Furious is also the first IPA that I ever had and it was at Pizza Lucé in South Minneapolis. At the time I was having dinner with a friend of mine when she swore to me that Furious was the best beer that she ever had. Up until that point, my beers of choice were mainly Grain Belt and Natural Light so I took her advice and ordered a pint of Furious. Upon drinking it, I spat out the contents and told her it tasted like Pine-Sol; After which the mustached hipster who was taking our order called me crazy for hating Furious and fetched me a Grain Belt tallboy instead.

Fast forward 2 years and I try out Furious again. By that point, my palate was a bit more refined and used to different beers styles. When I tried it again, I fell in love with it; Funny how things change!

Considered by most to be the flagship beer of Surly Brewing, this hugely popular and highly sought after IPA has quite an interesting origin story. A couple years ago, I was on a tour of the brewery when our tour guide mentioned that while the brewery was in it's early stages, Furious was not originally marketed to retailers as their primary beer. In fact, Surly had underestimated how popular Furious would be because back in 2005/2006, the craft beer scene in Minnesota was in it's infancy stages. Fast forward 7 years, Furious is now one of the most highly sought after IPAs in the country and it's only available in Minnesota. It was available in Chicago and parts of Wisconsin in 2009, but they did had to pull back distribution to Minnesota because the demand here was too great.

Yes, Minnesota finally had an IPA it could proudly call it's own....

To honor Surly's groundbreaking ceremony for their new destination brewery, now is the perfect time to review their iconic beer.

Surly Furious pours a dark orange/ruby red color with a foamy head. The visible carbonation activity is light and the lacing retention is quite good!

The nose and flavor are very malt forward with some caramel & toffee notes followed by a strong piney & citrus hop profile. The finish consists of a bitter citrus/resiny hoppiness.

For an IPA, the body is quite heavy but the carbonation is reasonably light, leading to a fairly easy drinking IPA....that is if you don't factor in the sheer hoppiness.

It may seem a bit sweeter and maltier than other IPAs out there but if you know and love the IPA style, then this beer is for you. Even with it's very strong malty backbone it's still got a nice amount of hops to keep everything mostly in balance.

Surly Furious - 9.25/10

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