Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beer Review: Furious

Reviewing the Furious from Surly Brewing Company. I will always remember this as one of the first IPAs that I ever had and enjoyed -- on tap in 2008 at Sheffield's Bar in Chicago. There's a funny story about that day, but that's for another time, and only for my friend Maks to reveal...Thanks to BeerAdvocate user Mid for hooking me up with the fresh can.
Score: 90

Canned on 12/06/11. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass and enjoyed 12/28/11. I had an older vintage can earlier in the year. You can find that review, for comparison, below this one. The score above reflects the fresher can.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color that falls somewhere between transparent and translucent, with a finger and a half of soapy khaki/tan colored head that slowly settles into a ring around the glass and clump of thin head in the middle. Pretty great lacing. 4/5

Smell (from the can): Deliciously pungent and fresh citrus aromas. This is much better and fresher smelling than the two month old can I had earlier in the year. Lots of zesty tropical fruit -- lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and hints of pineapple and orange. Huge whiffs of pine. Some nondescript floral/herbal aromas too. Yum! 5/5

Taste: Lots of mellow, but fresh and zesty pine/citrus notes throughout. Malty grapefruit and lemons. A bitter piney hoppiness upfront quickly mellows into a more subtle bitter finish. Hint of caramel on the mid-palate and in the finish. Furious finishes with the same pine/citrus flavors it starts out with, though the bitterness is more subdued in the finish. The beer seems to get more malty as it layers. Though the taste was much better with the fresher can, this can was not nearly as hoppy as I remember Furious being when I last had it on tap many moons ago. Nonetheless, this is a very solid single IPA. Certainly superior to the oft hyped Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and Lagunitas Sucks (though both are substantially more available in more places than Furious, which is only sold in cans in Minnesota). 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light-medium carbonation. Finishes dry and bitter. As with the older can that I drank, the beer feels undercarbonated, which keeps the bitterness and zesty flavor of the beer from "popping" on the tongue (rather than falling flat). 3/5

Overall: Though the fresher can was certainly superior to the older can, I still recall this beer being better when I had it on tap in Minnesota and Chicago last year. Perhaps the tap's added carbonation is the missing ingredient to take the flavors from good to great. Certainly an IPA worth trying, but note that freshness is pretty important here. 20 days of freshness seemed to make a big difference in flavor and aroma in my opinion.

Recommendation: A really good starter IPA for casual beer drinkers, and a solid IPA for beer geeks. Absolutely worth seeking out, but get a fresh can. Try reviewing the aroma from the can before you pour it into your glass. The smells seemed more pronounced in the can. That may be psychological, or it may be from the increased oxidation of volatiles.

Pairings: Hamburgers.

Cost: $12 for a four pack of 16 oz cans.


OLD REVIEW from BeerAdvocate.

Served from a can, freshness date is 10/11/11, poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Enjoyed 11/17/11

Appearance: Pours a Amber-Copper color that is translucent, but on the darker color side. Pours a finger and a half of head, settle down to half a finger. 4/5

Smell: Very floral, grapefruity citrus hops aromas. 4.5/5

Taste: Tastes exactly as it smells, but more subdued. The bitterness is not overwhelming and rather than peaking, mellows out over the course of flavor to finish. Has a very piney/citrusy taste. Subdued bitterness may be due to beer's month-plus age. I recall the flavor being much more pronounced last time I had it (off tap). Flavor falls flat, sadly. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: More watery than expected. The carbonation seems a little off, which keeps the bitterness and flavor of the beer from "popping" (rather than falling flat). 3/5

Overall: Still one of my favorite IPAs in memory, though the third time was not the charm. I will have to try a fresher batch and re-review.

No comments:

Post a Comment