Surly – Furious Black IPA

It’s been a busy month, that’s for sure, and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. My daughter turned one, new beers have been pumping out from the local breweries, we are seeing more announce they are looking to open, and it’s almost advent calendar season. I hope you’ve been enjoying my Friday Beer News and if you have anything you’d like included in that, let me know on twitter, in the comments, or via email @

For those of you not familiar with Surly, I did an in-depth write-up of them <here> when they first announced their coming to Manitoba. This is big. They have a waiting list for expansion and have chosen to come to Manitoba. What’s more, we are going to be seeing some of their seasonal offerings, including Furious Black IPA, Damien, and both the 2016 and 2017 vintages of their Russian imperial stout Darkness.

The beer I am reviewing today is their Furious Black IPA. This beer is currently available at Liquor Marts and some beer vendors around the city. Furious Black was originally introduced as a Darkness Day beer for the 2015 release. Building on the Furious IPA’s citrusy hops, it also brings a deeper malt character with roasted malt notes and, obviously, the darker colour. Black IPAs aren’t new to the Winnipeg beer scene. Black Galaxy has been a favorite from Half Pints for quite some time and we will be seeing Torque’s Rabbit Punch Black IPA coming to liquor marts this week.

Black IPA is a variation of the American IPA style and was first commercially produced by Greg Noonan as Black watch IPA around the 1990s. It’s become popular around the Pacific northwest and southern California and is also known as a “Cascadian Dark Ale” or CDA. Typically, a drier beer with a hop-forward balance and a darker colour. The roast from the malt is not expected to be overwhelming but rather play a supporting role to the hops. You can read more about the style here or, as always, in the BJCP guidelines located here.

ABV – 6.60%
Appearance – Pours a deep dark colour with a subtle red hue when held up to the light. Nice medium brown head.
Smell – Citrus and pine notes as well as a subtle malt roast. Nice aromatic hop on the nose that stands out from the malty notes.
Taste –The taste if very like the smell. There are good citrus and pine hop notes that are certainly up front and centre. You can certainly taste the malt in this beer, it brings a subtle roasted malt characteristic that is a bit more forward than on the nose but does not detract from the hop characteristics. Less sweet than the regular Furious IPA but still with citrus forward hops.
Mouth Feel – Medium bodied with a hop forward front and a bitter finish.
Overall Thoughts – An overall tasty Black IPA. It is not just an IPA that has been darkened using Carafa 3 (although that is a malt in the beer). It brings a nice hop forward character that is supported by a subtle roasted malt character.
Do I like it? – Yes. I like this quite a lot. It’s a strong Black IPA that I rather enjoyed. This is a style that I find to be very tasty when done right, and this certainly was done right.

There are still more beers coming our way from Surly. We’ve Damien, son of Darkness, coming on November 18th and the final beer in the “Embrace the Darkness” run, the 2017 vintage of Darkness on December 2nd. Watch for those.

Thanks again for following along. Beer News is out this Friday.

– Beer Winnipeg


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