Mention Brut around this time of year and visions of iconic (and I use that term loosely) commercials and thoughts of endcaps full of personal care products bubble up in the brain. Apparently, the holidays are the one time a year people need to be reminded they might smell bad and should probably do something about that.
However, Brut – the green, long-necked bottle of seventh grade – is not what’s on topic here. Nor is Stetson, Preferred Stock or White Diamonds. I’m talking about Brut the style descriptor – usually of champagne/sparkling wine, but more recently used to describe a style of very dry, effervescent IPA. Surly has brewed their own version of this style, as well as (for the very first time) a genuine porter and put them in their winter variety twelve-pack. Please enjoy these tasting notes of warmth and celebration for your holiday season.
Surly Mortal Sun
ABV – 5.5%
Aroma: Crisp and chocolatey with bitter coffee notes. You can tell it’s going to be dry right from the first whiff.
Appearance: Dark brown to black.
Flavor: Dark chocolate and coffee. Very toasty body with sustained bitterness from start to finish.
Mouthfeel: Light on the palate and drinkable. This is not Darkness (i.e., heavy and sippable).
Overall Impression: If you don’t know what you’re getting from Surly by now, you haven’t been paying attention; a great representation of the style that is turned up to 11.
Surly Liquid Stardust
ABV – 7.0%
Aroma: Bitter and citrusy. Complex.
Appearance: Between yellow and dark yellow.
Flavor: There’s a lot to unpack here. Lemon peel slaps you in the face right away and the other fruity hop notes play underneath that banner – melon, mango and pineapple all popped out, but that lemon bitterness carried throughout.
Mouthfeel: Not an understatement when they say incredibly crisp and dry. Very refreshing, but the bitterness makes you pace yourself.
Overall Impression: I had to do a couple rounds of tasting to get a good impression of this one. This included stopping in the taproom and comparing it to the Brut IPA on tap there. There was a distinct difference between the two and I see why they chose to can this version. The multiple fruit undertones along with the bitterness make it a more interesting and tasty.