I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Midwest recently, and, of course, I made it a point to stock up on a few things I can’t get ahold of here in NC, the first of which on the beer review list is from Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis, MN. Surly’s Furious (ALC 6.6% IBU 100) is an American IPA that leaves permanent mark on those who’ve had it, and I can’t wait to dive in and see what the buzz is all about. Surly questions, “A tempest on the tongue, or a moment of pure hop bliss?” Let’s find out.
Pours a burnt orange/copper. Aggressive pour produces a thick, bubbly head that leaves behind a creamy island of foam in the center that lasts throughout. Heavy lacing coats the glass. Light carbonation.
Dank, grassy hops and grapefruit at the forefront. Biscuity malt. Smells very sweet. Earthy yeast. Faint citrus on the nose.
Creamy and buttery. Surprisingly light mouthfeel considering that Furious is such a BIG beer. Biting bitter hops and spicy finish are long lasting.
Sweet meringue, heavy caramel and buttery toffee. Powerfully bitter grapefruit and lemon. Fresh mowed grass, pine, overripe fruit, anise and roasty malts. There is even a slight oakiness flavor I would never have expected. Very complex.
Furious packs one hell of a punch. Each element seemingly stands alone, threatening to overpower and cause havoc. The hops are dangerously bitter, the malty backbone more like a sternum, and the earthy spice notes are far stronger than you would expect from an American IPA. And yet, somehow Surly has created a beer that is balanced despite its characters all being egomaniacs. Furious will slaughter your tastebuds–in a good way–so don’t even attempt to follow it with another IPA. So, a tempest on the tongue, or hop bliss?… How about a lab-controlled cyclone?