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Terrapin Substance Abuse - Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin Substance Abuse
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BA SCORE
89
very good

39 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 39
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 10
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Big78CJ on 03-30-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 20
Reviews by BeerDawgs:
Photo of BeerDawgs
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An 8oz draft at the Porter Terrapin Takeover 5/21/11.

A - A black, dark beer with a nice tan head, and some tan sticky lace left on the glass

A - Still smells like Wake and Bake, but with slight bourbon notes

T - Coffee, chocolate, sweet malts. Nice bourbon flavor that compliments the wake and bake flavor

M - Creamy.

O - An assault on the taste buds. One and done for me! I am not a huge fan of the wake and bake, but for those who are, and who like bourbon barrel aged beers, you would love this.

More User Reviews:
Photo of glid02
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store - I've been waiting to try this for a while.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malt with smooth dark chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Coffee aromas are also present, but not nearly in the amounts found in fresh WNB.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors up front are quickly joined by vanilla and mild bourbon flavors. Coffee flavors join in midway through the sip before they make way for the chocolate and vanilla flavors to come back out before a slightly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I could drink a whole lot of these oh-so easily.

Overall this one lived up to my expectations. The bourbon and associated vanilla flavors meld seamlessly with the roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. A must try.

UPDATE: Had the 2006 version that sat in barrels for 15 months recently. The coffee flavors were almost non-existent and the malt profile much sweeter than I remember. Still, the bourbon was also a touch lighter. Still a fantastic beer but I prefer the slightly younger version.

Photo of Stigs
2.28/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12oz-ish or so pour at Fatheads, as part of a Terrapin/Founders event with some damn good breakfast beers on tap. served in a mini-snifter.

A - dark, pitch black but lifeless body. uh-oh. maybe three or four large bubbles that quickly pop. lifeless.

S - faint bourbon, some vanilla sweetness. not much else, and barely any of that.

T - some dark chocolate, slightly sweet dark fruits, vanilla, the sour mash of bourbon but no accompanying heat or barrel flavor. nothing (pleasant) really stood out. bordering a port with dark fruity sweetness and everything mild and accompanying.

M - zero carbonation, even less than an old 09 Older Viscosity I had opened a couple months ago...at least that beer had some good flavors to prop itself up against. sweet and sticky, commented that I needed to brush my teeth.

D - finished half the glass, despite sharing a few sips to a few unfortunate drinking buddies. big let down. nothing appealing about this at all. first disappointment from Terrapin, and a big one at that.

note: needed to add this...as we were waiting for the event to start, the bartenders were pouring themselves small samples and getting the taps clean and prepped. one of the employees actually went out of their way to comment to the Terrapin rep that the beer was coming out unusually flat, to which the reply was more or less "yeah - its going to be like that". ive never had a problem with any beer at the venue before and fully believe that this one should not have made the long trip up north.

Photo of Philabeerphia
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my notes...Another crazy shaker pint pour at Varga on 9/11 (I would've thunk this as a snifter or tulip pour, but I'm not complaining).
This beer is exactly one shade off of BA black - more accurately it is a mix of brown, black and royal blue that evades further description for me. Regardless, it is plainly opaque, dense good sir. It is capped with a frothy cocoa-brown brim. This head adds quite a bit of character, telling me that this is no doubt a ballsy stout, foaming at the mouth and seemingly daring me to dive in. It is both tempting and slightly intimidating in appearance.
...Which helps explain why the odor has left me disappointed - even as it warms it seems to slide under my radar, maybe the wavelength of these emissions cannot be picked up by my nostrils. Yes, I'm left feeling like there's more to be had that I am somehow missing. Still, I do pick up some pleasing notes - maple syrup, BBQ brisquit (yes), roasted espresso beans and smoked almonds. Pleasant, but I really need to hunt to find it.
On the tongue this is not the case - I find myself impressed by the bombastic flavors on the palate. Milky sweet & honey-like up front, this start is complimented by chewy fullness. More complex sweet bourbon notes emerge and quickly progress into a high middle - clean & mentholiptic. It is crisp now, apple-like... still sweet though caramely, finishing with a dry ashen cocoa hoppiness as it spreads towards the finish... now the coffee expresses itself explicitly and lingers on the tongue. Everything has come together nicely... SA arcs well, like a storyteller...and considering I'm drinking 14oz of this, it has gone down easily.

Photo of Proteus93
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at Beer Run, as Virginia welcomes Terrapin to the state.

A: Pours as black as they get. Noting that the beer seems a touch cold, so the head was a little on the short side.

S: Lord... if Wake'n'Bake wasn't already enough, they take all those big flavours of dark choclate and espresso and throw in a hefty serving of vanilla, woodiness, and a light, slightly smoky touch.

T: This is certainly one to allow to breathe, and approach at an appropriate temperature. Flavour is essentially the same as the nose... chocolate, espresso, oak, vanilla. There's some nice bitterness to it, and it finishes with that lingering, going down wonderfully smooth.

M + D: Rich , full in body, and smooth on the finish. Carbonation is sparkling and adds a nice quality to the creamy body. There doesn't need to be so much going on to make it a great beer, but I'm not complaining, either! Pretty awesome stuff.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a small light tan head. In the aroma, oak and whiskey/ bourbon hints. In the taste, smooth roasty coffee, and whiskey/ bourbon like hints. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry oak in the aftertaste, however like a shot of whiskey in the stomach. Big nose and thinner body than expected.

Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color with a thin head that lasts a bit before becoming a spotty foam.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and alcohol are easy to pull from the glass but is not as pleasant as hoped.

Taste: this is a complex beer as roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon tones, prune sweetness, and some espresso. Alcohol is quite noticeable here. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Very long aftertaste here.

Drinkability: as this warmed the flavors really started to work together. Very slow sipping beer here with a great name.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrapin : Substance Abuse

My sources tell me that this is the Wake n' Bake (AKA Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout) aged in Jack Daniels barrels.

Pours a jet black without much head. Aroma of sweet stout and Jack Daniels. In the taste, toasty, roasted malt, hop bitterness, coffee and whiskey providing an over the top flavor profile. Vanilla, roast, coffee and whiskey bringing to mind a JD spiked coffee. Mouthfeel is full bodied and silky smooth. Overall, the Wake n' Bake aged in whiskey barrels was a successful experiment.

Photo of bhalter8
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Trappeze, after hearing about its availability there, I anxiously made it over for a taste. Pours an ink black, with a thin tan head. The whiskey smell is powerful! Guess that Jack Daniels Barrel aging worked! The whiskey smell is prominent, but still allows the coffee and chocolate character we WnB fans have come to love, to come through. The taste is an amazing and strong front hit of whiskey, followed by the coffee tinged chocolate malt backbone. If there was one negative to this brew, it would be the barrel aging almost masks the original flavor (which I love) a bit much. It definitely warms quickly in the mouth, making it a nice sipping beer. Thoroughly enjoyed this take on an old favorite of mine. Look forward to trying some more cask versions out of Terrapin, this was a stellar first one for me.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-jet black in color with a thin tan head of what actually is created.

S-the nose has roasted coffee with notes of whiskey and lots of sugary malt sweetness adding plums and cherries. rather sweet.

T-light notes of coffee with hints of whiskey and a ton of malt sweetness. the coffee and strong dark fruit sweetness don't make a great combination and there really isn't much else happening.

M-this is thinner than I would have liked and falls off in the back lacking carbonation but does have a smooth and creamy feel to it.

D-not bad but rather simple in flavor profile and the barrel aging has thinned this out too much while not imparting much flavor.

Photo of Anthony1
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, November 08 edition,

wake-n-bake aged in jack daniels with added Woodford Reserve, brilliant

Poured a very dark and thick with a soft tan head

smelled very rich in coffee and bourbon, very great smell

taste was a very silkly sooth bourbon followed up closely by a hint of bitterness, fading into a pleasant coffee after taste. definitely a Woodford reserve front flavor which was simply great.

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with an obsidian color topped with a creamy mocha head that leaves plenty of lace

Smell: A bit of coffee and whiskey, but not as big as expected

Taste: Roasty coffee, chocolate and caramel up front with the whiskey flavor complementing the brew almost immediately; a bit of coffee bitterness adds complexity after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of the most nicely blended barrel-aged stouts I have encountered; exceedingly drinkable

Photo of Big78CJ
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was poured at the Terrapin Grand Opening this past weekend. It is a special version of the Wake n Bake that was aged in Jack Daniels barrells.

The beer poured dark black with the thinnest note of dark tan bubbles around the rim of the glass. A strong bourbon smell comes wafting out of the glass with a hint of coffee and burnt chocolate. The taste was similar to the smell. The jack daniels added a fantastic bourbon nose and breath to the already tasty burnt coffee flavor. The chocolate notes play off the whiskey very well. Mouthfeel was flatter than expected but quite well suited to the beer itself. I hope Spike tries a few more Wake N Bake casks, it is a great beer for these kinds of mods.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub during their 12th anniversary celebration. This is one I've been wanting to try for a very long time. Thanks so much Dave and Lee for making it happen! Pours black and somewhat viscous with a slight tan head, but it sticks to the glass nicely. Wonderful aromas of vanilla from the barrel, caramel notes, subtle whiskey, cocoa, and light roasty notes. Tastes of seemlessly integrated chocolate, espresso, vanilla, very clean light bourbon, and slight tannins from the barrel. The mouthfeel is super smooth, and amazingly well integrated, with just a tiny bite from the tannins to keep it interesting. A sipper, but what a sipper! This has evolved into an exceptional beer. Kudos to Terrapin on this wonderful beverage.

Photo of beerdown77
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was very heavy and boozy. Actually, this is simply Wake-n-Bake aged in whiskey barrels. To no surprise, the whiskey came right out to bite your face. It was almost overpowering on the nose, but more tolerable on the tongue. In addition to the strong alcohol presence, there was a surprising amount of carbonation. Other flavors included chocolate, Irish Car Bomb, and coffee. This is a one-and-done for sure.

Photo of gford217
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, to say I've been wanting to try this one would be an epic understatement. Tapped to commemorate the opening of the Brick Store 12 years ago. Is there any way it could live up to my expectations?

In a word, YES!

It poured much like the regular Wake 'N Bake - completely black with no light passing through. There is a surprisingly big, creamy mocha head on top that recedes very slowly and leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is wonderfully balanced and I was surprised by a couple of things. First, it is much sweeter in the nose than I was expecting. There is not nearly as much coffee as the regular WNB and there is not only the chocolate sweetness but also plenty of vanilla as well. Secondly, the bourbon is much more integrated into the nose than many beers aged on whiskey. Great nose.

The taste is spectacular, and it takes all of the complexity and balance of the nose and amps it up a bit. There is all the sweetness of the chocolate, vanilla and even caramel up front before a light roasted malt presence takes over. The finish is where I bumped this up vs. the aroma as the coffee bitterness is actually present and balanced by a smooth whiskey burn going down. So damn tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a solid soft carbonation and super, super smooth with the oatmeal still present in the mouthfeel.

Well, this is certainly the best Terrapin beer I've ever had and, unlike the Big Sloppy Monster, the barrel aging has done wonders for the base beer. Because of the unbelievable balance, the drinkability is as high as any beer in this style. One of the best beers I've had in recent memory and the best possible way to celebrate the Brick Store's anniversary. Terrapin needs to make some more of this stuff...now.

Photo of calcio360jrd
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was able to have this numerous times on draft at world of beer-clematis in the last couple of months.

Pours out that wonderful motor oil color and thickness, the sign of a great imperial stout. The smell is all jack daniels, a good thing seeing that i like jack daniels. Flavor is bourbon up front with the deliciousness of the wake n bake coming on the back end, just a marvelous blending of the 2 flavors.

I had no idea this was retired, that makes me sad. I was glad our product manager james was able to get a keg of this a couple months ago and i'm glad i was able to make a dent in it.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an onyx black body with a thinnish, dissipating, tan-hued head.

Smell: Predominately, it's a nose of roasted malts soaked in gourmet coffee and bittersweet chocolate bits. Particularly mild, mingled notes of the Tennessee whiskey. Slight hint of oxidative wafts. Vague, indistinct fruitiness, though this certainly grows at it warms a touch.

Taste: Dark, roasty malts express fully sweet flavors of chocolate, chilled coffee, and dark caramel. As with the nose, the whiskey tastes are fairly light, yielding soft hints of vanilla and oaken barrels. Still, there's some light hints of age and oxidation to the malts, which just leaves me thoughtfully wondering how old this keg is exactly. Well-restrained roasted malt bitterness. Finishes sweet and fruity with a few drops of fine sherry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Smooth, oat-laced mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This one goes down tremendously easy. A very admirable brew from Terrapin and one they need to start pumping out to the thirsty masses on a regular (or even semi-regular) basis.

Photo of beerphan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Wake 'n Bake aged on Jack Daniels barrels
@fatheadspgh Post Big Pour Breakfast Brunch 2010
draft -> 12oz snifter

Arrives oily black with no head or lace, as expected

Nose: Vanilla, oak, some bourbon

Thin oily body. Impressively smooth, with lots of charred vanilla bean and roasted malts. More cocoa than coffee, but loads of both. The bourbon is in the background and mellow, which is a huge plus in my book. Dark fruits and a slight bitterness round out this delicious brew.

I think the mellowing bourbon from age really upped the ante with the one. I am going to have to keep an eye out for vintage bourbon aged beers, as I usually find the bourbon offensive.

Thank you @fatheadspgh for the barrel and the great waffles from point brugges cafe.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So proteus93 sends me a text message from the "Terrapin Welcome Party" that Beer Run was holding Wednesday, August 19th. "Dude, 14-month barrel aged wake'n'bake in a sixtel, won't last the night, get down here NOW." I practically chugged the remainder of my Pisgah Vortex I (note: this was and will likely remain for the foreseeable future a poor idea) to rush down to try and snag a glass of what I as a former Georgian, Athens-resident, and beer enthusiast recognized to be Substance Abuse. Served in a 10 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours out of the tap (I watched it intently) an inky, dark, viscous-looking black with, complete with about one-finger of tan head. The retention on this one, admittedly, is not so great, but w/ a barrel aged, spirit-instilled RIS, I'm not complaining too much. There is, however, a good persistent foam collar, and - again, persistently - an almost imperceptible dusting. The effervescence is only visible around the rim of the snifter, slow and sparse and fine. The lacing is similarly retarded though perhaps less retarded than I would imagine it might be - glittery and runny but still sheet-like in some spots and blobby in others.

Aroma: Very mellow and subtle but very complex. A slew of bittersweet cocoa intermingles with pungent wood notes, a faint spicy spirit note - which, to mention again, is incredibly mellow and well integrated - a nice number of other earthy and toasted, roasted malts, a slightly wholesome oatmeal note, and a slightly smoky presence - char on the barrel, perchance?

Taste: Heaven. Chocolate milk with whiskey, this one, just like mama used to make. But seriously, the cocoa notes in this one are authentic, intense, complex, and very inviting, sweet and milky. The whiskey notes are, just as in the aroma, subtle and well-integrated - this is by no means a bourbon/whiskey/spirit "bomb." It's just a well-blended brew, and the 14-months this beer spent in the barrels really shows here. Some definite barrel notes - vanilla, slight coconut - compliment the remainder of this beer. That is, the barrel notes compliment an already fantastic toasty, wholesome brew, characterized by moderate coffee notes (highly faded in this well-aged version of Wake'n'Bake), cocoa, raisins, and slight spice. Simply stellar.

Mouthfeel: Even, creamy, smooth, and slightly prickly, though it doesn't come across as an alcohol prickle or burn.

Drinkability: I intensely regret not getting another glass of this the night I was there - I was in a huge rush to get to a prior engagement - and though I went back the next late afternoon, I missed the kicking of the sixtel by about 5 minutes. Alas, not my night. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to have the chance to try this amazing brew. Wake'n'Bake is already in my "Top 5 Brews to Age" list - taking an already impressively crafted oatmeal/coffee stout and setting it down for a year subdues the coffee and turns this one in to a deliciously amazing oatmeal cookie bomb. Add a mild hint of whiskey and barrel notes and you've got yourself a true, delicious winner. Abuse doesn't even begin to describe what I would do to this brew if it were regularly available. Hopefully one day! Seek out if humanly possible.

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Terrapin Substance Abuse from Terrapin Beer Company
89 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.