Review of Surly SeVIIn

Surly SeVIIN

A cold bottle, straight from the refrigerator, with condensation on the glass obscuring the lovely orange-red color and off-white lacing.

I figured ‘7’ would be just right to combat a unlucky day, but perhaps not.

I received a bottle of Surly SeVIIn for my birthday, recently, and for $23 for 21 ounces, I wish I would have had two of something else.  Surly describes the beer as a dry-hopped, Belgian-style strong ale finished with Brettanomyces.  As the beer warms in the glass, the aroma is very pleasant, with a strong banana presence and perhaps subtle clove notes; if there is supposed to be a citrus aroma from the dry hops, it’s faint, obscured by the banana.

Unfortunately, the would-be pleasant banana & clove flavor is overwhelmed with a noticeably strong, lingering alcohol presence that leaves a powerful warming, almost astringent/drying, sensation in the mouth.  On the alcohol warming scale of off-flavors, it’s definitely “hot and bothersome.”  I can’t stress this enough: I opened this bottle on October 7, 2013, but had I opened this bottle a year later, perhaps it would have been salvageable, if not good or excellent.  I’ve heard other rumors that Surly has recently distributed other beers that have not been immediately drinkable—i.e., have not had a sufficient conditioning time at the brewery—and the bothersome alcohol presence of SeVIIn certainly provides evidence to support such rumors.  This beer was, and is, not yet ready for sale.

If you have had the misfortune to overpay for a bottle of Surly SeVIIn and not had the misfortune of drinking it already, perhaps you should wait to celebrate their seventh anniversary until the date of their eighth, and you may at least benefit from my unluckiness.

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