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Terrapin Hop Karma IPA - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Hop Karma IPATerrapin Hop Karma IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

542 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 542
Hads: 1,007
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 80
Gots: 64 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: athensbeermaster on 04-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

"The Terrapin Hop Karma IPA (formerly known as the India Style Brown Ale) is a head on collision between a hoppy, west coast IPA and a complex, malty brown ale. Brewed with 5 varieties of hops and 7 different malts, this hybrid style represents the best of both worlds." 65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Terrapin Hop Karma IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 542 | Hads: 1,007
Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep, dark brown, with moderate head, this is certainly a complex ale: Hop Karma is surprisingly a super clean, crisp, yet malt-blown-up brown: caramelized sugars sorghum punch the tongue, but quickly fizzle into a notably unexpected high-effervescence. The latter aspect really buoys the beer: the hops don't come on as strong as one might expect—I certainly think this is more of an (impressively) hopped-up brown than “a head on collision” between a west-coast IPA and a brown—but what carries those hop flavors that are present is the bright, bubbly thinness this brown achieves. Moreover, it's surprisingly free of hop-acid bitterness; indeed, while extremely clean—as aforementioned—this is achieved mostly with crisp bite and a bit of tart grassiness, which I suppose is what justifies the gesture at a specifically-west-coast IPA. This is all despite a turbidity and depth of brownness that leaves the ale almost opaque.

But all in all, given the very winning concept—especially given my personal tastes (loving both browns as well as west-coast IPAs, including and especially Terrapin's own Hi-5)—I found Hop Karma a little disappointing. It is—as I wrote above—much more a tweaked brown than a true intersection of styles; and, moreover—despite operating with a softer touch than most browns (even those especially hop-heavy)—it's still the robust browned sugars that predominant nearly every aspect of this beer. The sugar-explosion of the nose, like the front and linger of the flavors, really registers this as an ale that isn't as much a “hybrid style that represents the best of both worlds” as it is a well-modified version of one style, bringing in elements from the world of the other.

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Photo of 57md
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So – there are all kinds of IPAs (that aren’t really IPAs), why not a brown one?

Pours a chestnut brown color with a finger of head that rather quickly dissipated down to a thin film. The nose is malty and bready – sourdough to be precise. The maltiness really comes through in the flavor profile. The hop presence gives this offering balance and a nice, dry finish.

I really enjoyed this with the marinated charcoaled chicken that I made this evening.

There are only a handful of browns that are really top notch – I’d put this offering right up there.

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown with a frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma is sweet and nutty, almost toffee-like, with a hint of chocolate contrasting light citrus notes. Floral hops add complexity.

Flavor reveals deeply toasted malt as the backbone, with a lightly roasty finish. There's a tangy character in the background, and I can't tell if that's citrus hops or an old malt/metallic character.

Body is a bit light, with moderate carbonation.

Just as I've found with many black ipas, hops and malt don't jive well together in this beer. Reminds me of a beer I made. I enjoy the malt character, but the tangy notes are offputting.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours out almost dark black with a little hue of brown with a tiny light brown head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is dark malt forward with a decent dose of citrus and earthy hops. The smell is definitely malt forward after a second smell. Not sure how old this is as it is said to be retired at this point.

Taste is burnt malt forward but there what I would say are maybe some earthy hops in the background. Keep in mind I think this is an old "brown IPA."

Mouthfeel is actually quite thick for the style given I really don't see much carbonation and there was little head to this beer.

Overall keep in mind that this is a retired "brown IPA" so I am probably not reviewing this beer near its peak. It's an OK beer I guess but I am sure it would be better when it was released. Overall it is very drinkable but it really isn't at it's peak. I am however very thankful for the extra as I received this in a trade with some really great beers.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer reminded me of light, yet sllightly hoppy stout. I like hops, but this beer wasn't overly bitter and the hops paired well with the malts. My only complaint was that the beer had a weird metallic after taste. This seemed to go away as the beer warmed up. So perhaps I just got some bad bottles or something.

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Photo of tmm313
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish brown in the glass. Poured an ok 1 finger head. Good lacing.

S- Smells are on the faint side. Caramel, cracker, surprisingly big booze, plum, raisin, slight touch of pine, citrus, and chocolate.

T- Follows the nose fairly closely; however, the flavors are better on the tongue than in the nose. Caramel, bready malts, plum, earthy hop spice, booze, slight orange and grapefruit with some pine.

M- Slightly thicker than medium. Smooth on the tongue. Slightly drying with a bready, fruity, bitter aftertaste.

O- At first I didn't like it, but the warmer it got, the more I did. In the end, I feel its easiest to explain it as 50% Brown Ale, 40% Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and 10% IPA. It is very nicely balanced considering all the contrasting flavors and styles. I would definitely have it again.

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Photo of Omnium
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Ruby red brown in color with a finger of light khaki colored fizzy head, little spots of lacing.
S - Slight alcohol, lots of roasted malts, some burnt maple, hickory, slight earthy hops.
T - A light citrus flavor up front with some spicy resinous hops, then it gets very roasty, lots of sweet malt, maple, hickory chips, slightly smoky.
M - Creamy smooth, a touch of burn and peppery spice to it
O - Really interesting and complex IBA, lots of character to it, one of the better versions of the style thats out there.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into goblet at reefer temp.
Head average (3 cm), light brown, creamy; becomes frothy while mostly diminishing.
Lacing good.
Body is clear amber with a marked reddish hue.
Aroma is more malty than hoppy.
Begins moderately bitter and ends the same; no particular flavor outstanding.
Light to medium body, watery, carbonation soft.

I've been buying this beer when I could find it since it was India Style Brown Ale; it doesn't make it to western PA often. This beer is best when poured and allowed to open up before drinking.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Judging by others who reviewed this beer, my guess is that mine is old.
I didn't get any hop aroma or taste.
In the aroma i did pick up hints of chocalate. In the taste it was alittle more complex with chocolate and anise and molasses.
The bottle had a notch that said good to at least April 14, I don't know.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired in a trade.

A- Pours a light muddy brown body with a small off-white head that reduces quickly. Leaves little lacing.

S- Caramel, nutty, toffee, some pine and resin.

T- Starts off pretty malty with bread, caramel, brown sugar notes. The finish is a muted hoppiness - some pine. Rather dull.

M- Medium-light body, not much carbonation.

Meh, it was alright. Maybe it sat in my fridge a little too long, but the flavor and character was just lacking here.

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Photo of dankspank420
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really, really good beer.

Appearance is a reddish, mahogany brown. Little thin... light head. Nice, sticky lacing.

Smell out the bat is carmel. Then the chocolate comes through. Piney citris at the end.

Tastes really good. Similar to the smell. Allthoguh i taste more chocolate. Could use more hops, IMO.

Mouthfeel...wish it was a little less carbonated.

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Photo of prototypic
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hop Karma pours a mahogany brown color. There’s a lot of light cutting through. Backlighting reveals strong garnet highlights. It almost looks red. It’s topped with a light tan collection of bubbles. It ‘s too modest to identify as a “head.” It disappears very quickly, leaving a spotty, light lacing on the glass. It’s not bad. Not great either.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a really nice brown malt scent. Chocolate and roasted malts are easily noted throughout. Cocoa definitely stands out. There’s definitely a strong hoppy scent. It’s mostly citric scents of grapefruit, orange, and a bit of pine. It blends well with the dark malt varieties. Smells like it anyway. It’s tough to tell which will be the stronger in flavor. Smells pretty well balanced though. Alcohol is masked really well. I’m not getting much.

This is good stuff. The malt base is nice and is rather sturdy. Chocolate and malted varieties combine to create a really nice roasty, cocoa flavor. It’s a little sweet, but tastes more bittersweet and cocoa-ish. Hops are rather strong and seem to take over the flavor profile. It’s good, but isn’t quite as balanced as I’d hoped. The hops added nice grapefruit, orange, and pine flavors. It’s definitely bitter. Not palate wrecking, but bitter. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor at all. I’m barely getting any. Finishes mostly hoppy, a little malty, and rather dry.

Hop Karma has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. It’s not bad, but it feels a little thin. Carbonation is rather light and soft. It’s not smooth, but it goes down pretty easy. I could handle a couple of these in a sitting easily.

I’m a big fan of Terrapin Beer Company. Hop Karma is a pretty solid beer on their decorated roster. I’d probably like it a little more with a stronger malty side, but it’s good stuff. I’m enjoying it. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer and left nice lacing on the glass. It is a copper brown color with good clarity when held up to the light and bubbles coming up through the glass. Awesome lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, malty, molasses, citrus, and pine.

Taste: Same as above. Pretty tasty for a brown and IPA mix.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, and quite the treat.

Overall: Pretty nice hoppy brown ale. Too bad Terrapin doesn't make it up to NE. I have to grab it while traveling.

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Photo of Daktah
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a hazy medium brown with a frothy off white head. Good lacing left behind. Smell was hops and a little sweetness from the malt (a little chocolate and nuttiness). Taste is more of the same, with a great balance of hops and full malt taste. There's a little doughy taste as well, which was a nice surprise. Mouthfeel on this one is great and really carries the flavors well.

A very interesting beer; I can't think of anything I've tried that is similar. Definitely on top of the Terrapin offerings for me at this point.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours clear dark brown with a bright ruby hue, small foamy light tan head with decent retention and short lasting lace

S- nice roasted and malty profile, brown sugar and molasses, a touch of chocolate. Pine and herbal hops are noticeable but predominantly malty in the aroma profile

T- chocolaty and malty with some burnt sugar notes, the hop flavors kick in near the back end and almost provide an astringent character to the finish. Picking up some piney notes before a dry and roasty finish

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and lively finish

O- the base malt profile is solid, nearly textbook for the style. The hops are kind of all over the place but somehow seem to compliment nicely. Interesting and worth a try

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Photo of sommersb
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 05-28-2013
Freshness: Best by 07-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

A: Pours a clear brown beer with an off-white head of 3 fingers and more. The head retention is excellent with a good showing of lace.

S: Starts with bready malts and caramel, then leads in to earthy and pine hop aromas. Also hints of nuts and woodiness. Smells like an interesting brew...

T: Hop bitterness is the first taste I get, with a medium to high level of bitterness. There's also some supporting caramel malts, but the bitterness is more prevalent. Other flavors are of nuts, like pecans. The taste is somewhat of a letdown after the pleasing aromas.

M: The feel has some unpleasant chalkiness to it. Carbonation is medium to high. The finish has notes of nuttiness and hoppy bitterness.

O: Overall I wasn't too pleased with this offering from Terrapin. The look and smell were good but it just didn't seem to make a cohesive tasting beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is a brilliant style fusion. thanks to claystation for bringing this one over. it pours a soapy milk chocolate brown color, with great tan suds on top, lacing up the glass. the nose is sweet chocolate malt with light toast, and a whole buttload of fresh bitter hops. its a huge contrast between malt and hop in this one, but they get on wonderfully with one another, despite their seemingly rival intensities. the flavor yields to the grains first, with sweeter, full bodied, mouth washing sensation that hints at a Hershey bar with almonds. the hops wait patiently, ramping up slowly as the beer concludes. they are bitter and bright, and they cut the sweetness of the malt expertly. I love how distinct each half of this beer is, and how much is really going on while still making sense. fine carbonation, maybe a little light, and a fuller medium body. pretty drinkable at 6% abv, and a beer I will definitely revisit when I have more than one to enjoy. I have not had much from terrapin, but this gets me excited to seek out more. really excellent meld of the brown ale and ipa.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into FFF nonic pint. Best before the 4th week in July.

A - Pours dark mahogany with a few fingers of off-white head. Leaves behind a splotchy lacing as the head recedes. A marbled layer of foam remains on the surface for the duration.

S - Smells of wet oats, almond, and grass clippings. Some roasted malts and caramel sweetness along with rich, earthy hops. I get more brown ale than IPA from the nose.

T - Toasted malts and caramel from the start. Barley and a distinct nuttiness in the middle. Drying pine through the swallow.

M - Light, crisp feel with a relatively clean finish. Maybe a touch undercarbonated.

O - I am a big fan of Black IPAs, so I figured I'd give this one a shot. While it isn't bad, it definitely came off much more brown ale than IPA to me. The malts are the main player with roasty, nutty, and sweet notes. Mild pine hop bite on the back end. Not too shabby, but not one I will seek out again.

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Photo of JohnQVD
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish-brown body with a wispy light tan head that leaves little behind. Smell is baking bread with caramel and roasted ?. Taste is bready with a twinge of the caramel and a semi-dry finish with a touch of medicinal lingering bitterness and a bit of licorice as you get into the glass. Feel is moderately light, with full carbonation.

Overall, this is a solid, interesting hybrid. It's got more bitterness than a standard brown ale and more maltiness than IPA. It's quite drinkable and threads its way between the two styles well.

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a deep brown color with a red hue and an off-white, almost toffee colored head. Retention isn't so great but it still looks fantastic

S-Probably the best aspect of the brew. Nutty, sweet, malted barley and a faint note of hops. A bit boozy as well. Smells so damn good

T & MF-Lemony hops at the front, followed by a nice malted caramel sweetness. Almost like sugared almonds. Alcoholic bite at the finish where the hops make a presence again. A touch over carbonated, crisp, but it goes down smooth. Very well balanced and full bodied brew.

O-Exceptional brew. I've never tried a dark IPA, but I really love this combination. If you see this, do not pass it up

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Photo of zeledonia
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I like IPAs, and I like brown ales, but this is an unusual hybrid. Tasted 10 April 2013.

Pours a murky deep brown, just clear enough to see through the very edges. One finger of pale tan head, good retention, spotty lacing up the sides.

Smell is unique, and really interesting. Definitely sugary malt-forward, more brown ale than IPA, but with an intriguing citrusy slant. Everything fits together so well that it's hard to pick out individual components. But this is one of those cases where the whole works really well - warm, sweet, rich, and fruity.

Taste is fine. Less sweetness than I expected based on the smell. But there's still a light brown sugar presence, followed by a mid-level hollow bitterness. Not bad, but a bit on the dull side; where the smell brought the best of both styles, this has less than half of each.

Feel is meh. Medium-bodied, slick. Medium-low carbonation. Slippery, want it to slither away more quickly.

A unique beer, with the smell as the definite high point. There, the two styles work together in excellent harmony. But I find the rest of the beer muddled and lacking direction.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Fairly dark red-brown. Big sudsy tan head. Lacing is craggy and thick. Nice.

Piney and earthy hops. Richly toasty and roasty. Dark bready malts at work in the nose. Not much like a IPA. More like a hoppy brown ale.

Very earthy with a one-note pine. Best if enjoyed by July, but this beer doesn't come with a fresh hoppiness. Staleness gives way to a more interesting maltiness. A little bit of that pot smoke dankness. Dry, crisp finish could use some more pizzazz. A little bland. Roast, pine, barley, and earthy grit.

Drinks burly. Medium body and medium carb.

Not bad, but just not the beer for me. Can't say it's that satisfying.

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Photo of Roman5150
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance: dark amber, mahogany brown

smell: west coast hops, piney resin, english malts

taste: great balance in between being malt and hop heavy, the description on the bottle is spot on. The pineyness offsets the english malt and creates an interesting, smooth aftertaste. Wish it had a higher alcohol content, but it's a great session beer as a result.

mouthfeel: not very carbonated, pretty dry

overall: never had a Brown IPA before, so I can't really review to style per se. But this is a highly drinkable session brew that nails a perfect balance between malt and hops. Being more of a hop guy, I found this much easier to enjoy the maltiness as theirs plenty of hoppiness to suppliment it.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a DFH IPA glass. Best before the second week of September.

A: Deep mahogany brown. Pretty and clear with great lacing and tan head.

S: Biscuity malts and fruity hops. Nice enough.

T: I like this! Citrus forward hops, tempered by sweetness conspires to make for an interesting, tasty beer. Tropical tinge with a drying endtaste. Yum.

M: A bit lackluster.

O: Recommended. Would drink again.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a ruby brown, and sits in the glass as dark brown, nearly black, with a huge rocky head of dirty yellow-brown bubbles that mellows into a half a fingers width of much smaller and smoother bubbles. In body, the beer is clean of particles with only a faint haze, while carbonation bubbles are weak and far between in rising up to the head. The beer leaves a slippery lacing that leaves thin sheets on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of creamy caramel and brown sugar malts with hints of pancake syrup. On the fringes of the smell lingers a bubbling tingle of sweet citrus peel, but it is rather weak beside the big malt smell. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter and then malty sweet with a nice mellowing mouth feel and bitter back bite. The flavors begin as light caramel, quickly building into roasted and toasted nutty flavors with a touch of syrup and brown sugar beside a light bitter tingling which builds into the finish. The finish is of bitter orange or grapefruit peel and aspirin flavors, mingling with the light malty roast. The finish does not last long. The aftertaste is of light citrus hops and slight roast flavors. In the mouth, the beer feels medium in body with a slight watery finish. Carbonation begins prickly and fierce but nicely mellows into a silky smoothness on the tongue. The mouth is left slightly damp with only a light hint of hoppy dryness. Overall, this is a nice American brown ale, but I do not see it as anything more than that. According to Terrapin, this is one of the first American dark “India” beers, so I will give it the benefit of the doubt and say it is just an older example of the style, but I do feel a little let down by the fact that it doesn’t have a big juicy hop smell like I was hoping for. This beer is tasty and interesting, and worth a try for any brown ale fans out there, but is a little disappointing to me and doesn’t really stand out to my palate.

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Terrapin Hop Karma IPA from Terrapin Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.