Surly Brewing Company and Three Floyds Brewing Company are a couple of the premier crafters of hoppy IPAs and Double IPAs, so I was excited when I heard they were teaming up to create a beer. Also teaming up is Texas brewery Real Ale Brewing Company, which I am not familiar with. The resulting creation is an American Black Ale with 9.99% Alcohol By Volume (otherwise known as 10% ABV).
Surly Blakkr is a completely black bodied beer, with a faint brown hue dimly shining through only at the very bottom of the glass. A fairly large, khaki colored head lasts for quite a while, smearing the glass with thick lacing.
The nose has some roasted dark malts, a whiff of alcohol spice, with the hops bursting with floral, citrus, tropical fruit and grapefruit notes. The roast pulls back in the taste, with the dark malts overall quite smooth, caramel accents, lighter fruit accents, with the robust hop finish starting floral, citrus, grapefruit, with a lingering aggressive hop bitterness. Warming alcohol is fairly noticeable to start, but becomes better integrated as the taste evolves. Mouth is fairly full and sharply carbonated.
Surly Blakkr is pretty much what I expected it to be, with a plethora of hops dancing expertly amongst a dark malt base. I think it was about 17 bones for a 4 pack, so it is a bit more pricey than I typically like to go, but it is certainly worth a try if that doesn’t deter you.
Surly Blakkr : A-
Beer Reviews by Prof Sudz