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Terrapin Gamma Ray - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Gamma RayTerrapin Gamma Ray

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

467 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 467
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 46
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Georgiabeer on 10-09-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Originally Side Project #3 released in 22oz bottles, now the summer seasonal on Terrapin's Monster beer tour and available in 12 oz bottles by the 4 pack.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 467 | Reviews: 353
Reviews by sulldaddy:
Photo of sulldaddy
4.69/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer has been in my basement for about 2 years waiting to be consumed on a night just like tonight.
The beer pours a bright clear copper to almost gold hue with loud fizzy carbonation that froths up about 1 cm of rocky eggshell white head that fades rapidly to a sturdy edge layer and wispy islands.
Aroma is sweet and fruity with peaches and pears and a bit of floral honey mixed in. Ironically I have some Savannah Bee Company at my desk at work and it was used in this beer.
I dont get any hops or booze on the nose.
First sip reveals a sticky textured fairly thick bodied brew with very fine and spacious carbonation.
Flavor is what the nose advertised with sweet fruity malt dominating the profile. I get peaches, pears, caramel, and some white grapes. There is just a little booze on the finish, but the beer is VERY dangerously drinkable and I am finishing this bottle waaay to fast to be good for my sobriety. Good thing Im just going to bed after this review.
Im not sure if this was hot when it was young, but it is excellent right now. If you stashed a bottle, send it to me, or at least enjoy it now!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glas a hazy auburn color with a well formed one finger white head that left patchy lace behind as it settled.A complex mix of phenolic spice and smoke to go along with notes of raisin and sweet alcohol,alomost like a spiced rum.Quite sweet on the palate,the mass quantity of honey shows itself, it gets a bit sticky after awhile, brown sugar and raisin mixed with stinging alcohol hits with a leather-like finish.Silky smooth mouthfeel to this beer but the alcohol can get to ya no doubt,still a good nitecap brew.

Photo of weatherdog
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gonzoillini for bringing this over for our tasting.

It was poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. It poured a semi-clear yellow orange.

The smell was of intense wheat with a hint of both honey floral notes and some citrus

The taste was just an intense wheat beer that seems much more clean than I would have expected considering the yeast used. I'm not getting a whole lot of traditional hefeweizen flavors as I would have expected. The added honey seems to smooth it out as well. Very nice overall.

It is very smooth and has a rather high carbonation. It really drinks like it has half the ABV it actually does. I was surprised when I was told it was 11%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Volume 3 of Terrapin's big beer series is a Wheat Wine brewed with honey from the Savannah Bee Company.

Hazy golden-orange color, obviously unfiltered with a good amount of chilly haze as well. The carbonation only lets out a small "psst" when the cap is popped off. That modest carbonation lays down a thin blanket of white lace that holds a good retention. Sweet, bready wheat-malt nose; honey and a mild fruitiness add to the sweetness, though the peppery alcohol pulls it back enough not to be cloying. Lightly crisp and slick mouthfeel with a semi-creamy, full body. Sweet bready maltiness meets the warming for a decent balance; a bit of hop bitterness hangs on for the slightly boozy alcohol ride that becomes warmer with each sip. Hint of honey in the middle. Suggestions of light exotic fruit of kiwi and star fruit mingle with a cotton candy or faint bubblegum flavor. Finishes a little dry with a small amount of honey flavor.

Not bad at all, the Wheat Wine has yet to solidly be defined, so it's nice to see another version out and about even if it is a limited release. Tasty, yet not as complex as expected.

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours a hazy honey gold body with a tall vanilla head that has some spiderweb lacing.

Aroma is clover honey, floral hops, and a wheaty twang. Some booziness apparent here as well.

Body is medium, with low carbonation, alcohol warmth, and some syrupiness.

Taste is complex. Sweet honey, floral and herbal hop bitterness, and a wheaty malt twang. Alcohol is warming. A touch of sweetness is never cloying thanks to the prominent hops.

Not a big fan of the style, but this is a warming winter sipper.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

Pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is cotton candy, orange, pineapple and bubble gum. Really an interesting aroma. The flavor is bubble gum, oranges, wheat and some alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured in a DFH off-centered pint glass. Thanks to mrandypandy for this awesome extra!

Pours a deep cloudy dark amber color with no head at all. Smell is a bit boozy (not surprising at a whopping 11%), also very wheaty (again, not very surprising). There's also some nice honey notes to it.

Taste is a bit strong again, there's a lot going on. I really like the honey that comes through. It's a very interesting beer and it's my first wheatwine and I prefer it to barleywines, its a lighter wheat version.

Photo of mondegreen
2.85/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a Terrapin Shaker Pint.

A: Clear golden orange with little to no head. No lacing at all.

S: Strong esters. Like a strong hefewizen with some heavy Belgian notes. I really want to smell the citrus and honey I've read about in other reviews, but it just isn't there.

T: My first thought is Belgian yeast. It tastes reminds me of a Saison that I brewed with Abbey yeast last spring, but heavier. Not really what I was expecting. The spice and banana flavors overpower everything and the alcohol peeks through. It has gotten better as it has warmed, but I am not a fan.

M: Somewhat thick with low carbonation.

D: I came very close to drainpouring this. I was standing over the sink ready to let it go, but I didn't. Why? It's not necessarily a bad beer; I just don't really like it so much. At least I only bought a single...

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance a bright sun blazed amber orange haziness forms in my imperial pint glass, thick off white head forms thick floating above the body after quite the vigorous pour. Ample even intricate lacing sticks to the sides of my glass as it dwindles.

Aromatics offer up sweet bubblegum colliding with pungent honey accents very floral and nectar like sweetness. Sharp wheat accent does offer up just a touch of citrus quality among the waves of honey, labeled as a Wheat Wine I would suggest some sort of mead, to me it's more in line with something like DFH's Midas Touch. Alcohol is evident but pretty well blended among the bursts of honey with a touch of white grape skins left behind.

Flavor is a bit cloying with biscuit malts drizzled with honey and wheat sharpness, powdered yeast takes an effect as well just adding a level of chalkiness that I don't really care for. Honey and caramelized green apples and white grape tartness are ample here, a bit of over ripened banana all soaked in pretty lively alcohol.

Mouthfeel is pretty much syrup, watered down honey texture. It really clings to your palate along with a soothing alcohol burn, definitely not the smoothest heavy hitter I've ever sipped on. In fact it becomes a job to finish off one of these, full bodied with all kind of residual alcohol.

Drinkability is okay in moderation, not a beer that you will enjoy in number. I liked the flavors but the mouthfeel and alcohol did weigh me down a bit, I guess that's wheat wine. I do think some hop bitterness would have rounded out this experience so much, like Marin's version.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, original release vintage (~10/2008) at Trappeze in Athens, GA.

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with a hint of wheat twang. The aromas from the honey seem sweeter than they do fresh and have lost a bit of earthiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Husky caramel malt and wheat flavors up front segue into a syrupy sweetness midway through the sip. The ending is fairly clean and leaves a lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a smooth thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I enjoyed the aged version however I think the fresher beer has more pop. Worth a shot either way.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a clear orange body with a slight density and a thin wisp of tan head that is soon gone. There is a sea of big bubbles gliding to the surface.
S- This beer has an "imperial" cirus peanut aroma with notes of banana taffy finish and the whole aroma is very perfumy.
T- This beer has a big circus peanut flavor with a boozy finish. There is a taste of hair perm chemicals that fades after a bit in the finish. There is a soft bread crust and caramel malt flavor coming through as the beer warms.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with and alcohol heat that fades after a few sips.
D- This beer has a big abrasive start but after it opens up it is smooth with lots of big hefeweizen yeast flavors.

Photo of richkrull
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orangish color with just s bit of slightly off-white head.

Smell is fruity for the most part. Some wheat and spice coming through as well.

Taste is very very malty throughout. Some spice in the finish. Some orange flavor as well. No alcohol presence - surprising for an 11% beer.

Mouthfeel is medium+. Goes down dangerously easy.

Overall I enjoyed this one. Very good flavor throughout. Never had a wheatwine before but if they all taste like this, I'll try some more for sure.

Photo of apbarwood
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A luminous orange color with little head and just a wisp of lace. The aroma is the best feature with a powerful blast of sweet Bazooka gum, honey, and a bit of banana creaminess. The aromas follow through on the flavor with a big bubble gum flavor that leads to a sugary honey quality. The finish is a bit sticky and borders on the unpleasant but not so bad as to be undrinkable. I think a decent food pairing would help a lot. This was my first wheat/barley wine style so I'm not totally sure how this fits in the mix but I definitely enjoyed it and would deem it worth a try.

Photo of FleeVT
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a best buy notched label. Label tells the tale of a massive wheat beer brewed with an obscene amount of honey.

Pours a hazy golden amber with a light head that quickly dissipates. The continues slowly from the bottom of the glass when disturbed.
The nose is all bananas and a little wheat. Almost no alcohol to speak of, amazing for a 10.8%.
Up front it is a little bit prickly with a wheat backdrop. Bananas quickly take over with the warmth of alcohol. There is some sweetness from the honey and spice reminiscent of a Belgian Quad. Huge beer with lots of complexities.
Heavy body that is cut nicely by the carbonation and alcohol.
Big beer that deserves a shot.

Photo of nickthegun12
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sweet mead!!!

i aged this beer a year...

a very dark orange hazy color...with not head...and nice lacing

smells funky sweet....almost smell the wheat...mead smell...

taste is very sweet!!! sweet sweet sweet....the alcohol comes through a lot...

surprisingly not very dry feel...not overly carbonated....

not very good drink ability...it is 11% abv!

Photo of mdaschaf
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for this bottle, gave it to me in the only actual trade we did.

A: Pours a bright, clear orange color. A small white head forms from the pour, but dissolves to nothing but a small ring around the edge. No lacing at all.

S: Extremely sweet. A good bit of banana, some apple, and lot of honey. A hint of alcohol as well.

T: Cloyingly sweet from the honey. A little bit of banana and apple and a bit of clove spiciness. A little bit of sweet caramel rounds out the malt bill.

M: Very syrupy, and on the thicker side. Slight alcohol presence and there is a little bit of heat as it goes down.

O: Pretty good, not my favorite flavor profile, so far beers heavy in honey aren't really my thing, but this one is better than most. Drinkability is decent considering the ABV.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy rust-orange with a thin head that all but dwindles to the thinnest crown you can imagine. Haze is like a dreamy hop-blurred thing, although I'm not expecting a whole lotta hops here.

Aroma is very much in the Belgian pale ale category, with yeast, clove, glazed doughnut, apple, peach and pear all coming out to play. Candy-like, floral, spicy.

Flavor is very sweet, with white grape, green apple, lotsa banana, honey, sugar cookie dough, and a dash of white pepper. Sweet beers are great as long as they're not overdone, and this isn't. But it teeters awfully close to the brink. One key to its success is the alcohol, a hefty 11%, which isn't flaring out or in any way unwieldy. It's kept in check, only providing that nice down-by-the-fire warming glow, which aids in balancing out the sweetness. A bit decadent, and that's fine by me.

Texture is a little syrupy, fitting for the sugary flavors. It's here and in the finish that the honey comes out most prominently.

In a blind test I might have guessed a particularly hefty Saison, or a Belgian strong blond, or even a double Pils. Or a Wheatwine. Whatever, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Watch the temp, as the first bottle I had a couple weeks ago was a bit too cold. I didn't make the same mistake this time, and no surprise, the flavors popped out much better. Stylistically elusive, and seductive to anyone who likes a good sweeter beer.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to...the traders who sent me bottles. (My Apologies for not remembering, im a bit flustered.

22oz side project release.

Pours a slightly cloudy peachy brown/yellow with a stark white head that it takes a vigorous pour to produce and who's retention is less than impressive, as are the hints of lacing left behind.

Nose is full of sweetness. Malt candy and honey with some almost belgian like yeast notes and a slight indication of maybe some spice presence. A bit of alcohol in the nose as well.

Hmmm. This does taste almost belgian in character. The wheat presence is alot more noticeable than i was expecting. Starts of with mellow honey and malt rising as it goes on. A good wheat profile makes this one have a real belgian flare to it. Most wheatwines are more comparable to barleywines, but this one really does seem more like a giant ass wheat beer, which is what it is. The finish is mildly dry with honey, wheat and yeast, and some candy like malt lingering on with some alcohol heat into the finish.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be as far as viscosity, but the carbonation is a tiny touch high for the style. That being said, the slightly, and i mean slightly, higher carbonation makes for a better beer in this particular case, due to the prominent wheat presence.

Drinkability is pretty solid for 11%, but its obviously not something your gonna session the shit out of. And if you do...well...there are many clinics and hospitals that are out there for you whenever you are ready to get your life back on track.

Overall a very nice beer. Really the most wheat-like wheatwine ive had yet. Most are more barleywine-like in nature but this one is clearly a wheat beer first and a big beer second. I'd be interested to see how it ages, and im glad i have another bottle to find out. Definitely a must try for any fan of the new school style of wheatwine. Interesting, educational, and enjoyable stuff. Keep em comin terrapin.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a sizzling brown, with lace sheets. Wheat aromas.Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability, complex, did not need the honey sweetness except for popularity. Citrus orange. Bitter more than sweet. Big booze well hidden. Bread in a bottle.Understated carbonation.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with a thin lacing of head. The nose has notes of wheat, straw, faint grapes, and faint apples. The taste is wheat and straw up front followed by grapes and a faint apple sweetness in the finish. There are mild hops for balance. The mouthfeel is light for the ABV, smooth, and mildly carbonated; slightly viscous.

Overall this isn't a bad beer, but the viscosity, sweetness, and the wheat intensity are a little too much for me.

Photo of ElGordo
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber with orange highlights, topped by a thin, slightly creamy white film that just about disappears immediately. Very little carbonation. Aroma of sweet pale malt, honey, a hint of candi sugar, light, earthy wheat, and a touch of light, floral hops.
Palate is sweet throughout - candi sugar and a touch of simple syrup up front. Honey and light hops come through before the swallow, with some mellow fruity notes. Finish is a lingering sweetness, with notes of honeysuckle and white grape.
Body is a little sticky and syrupy and very still. This is a strange style, and I'm not sure this beer is the best example. Interesting, but I'm not really thrilled here.

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

12oz bottle, thoughtfully presented at my doorstep by a man named Bart (on his tractor)

appearance: served in a delirium chalice, murky apricot body, very light beige ring. hmm

smell: very sweet - apricot, pear, peach, a touch of vanilla, toffee, heavy wheat, booze

taste: this thing is pretty messy but i like it, maybe i just really like wheatwines...overly sweet - canned white peaches, pears, vanilla,apricot, brown sugar, heavy wheat structure, alcohol sweetness, tons of honey

mouthfeel: thick, somewhat syrupy, alcohol actually masked pretty well

drinkability: good

Photo of UGADawgGuy
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I thought I'd missed the boat on Gamma Ray (Side Project version), but an astute BA pointed out a place where I could still get some. I just finished my first bottle of it, and I'm still collecting my thoughts...

Appearance: This is a BEAUTIFUL beer. In my opinion, it looks nicer than anything else Terrapin has brewed (and they make some pretty beers). Gamma Ray pours a rich, vibrant orange-mahogany color, and a weizen pour renders the brew only somewhat translucent. The head isn't impressive; I raised only about one finger with a fairly aggressive pour. But the body of this beer is awesome-looking.

Smell: Hmm...I like most of what I smell here, but not all of it. The first aroma is of fermented honey (like mead, as others have noted). Following that honey scent, I detect some German yeast -- it smells Weihenstephaner-esque -- plus cloves and wheaty twang/funk. It's the combination of funky honey and funky wheat that leads me to question this beer -- just as in the taste.

Taste: This is a fermented honey/funky wheat beer, with a noticeably warming alcohol presence. The yeast is in the distant background, and the banana/clove esters are very difficult to find underneath all that fermented honey and sour-ish wheat. I've never tasted a beer that remotely resembled this. Lurgashall mead is the closest thing I've had, and it may be more subtle than Gamma Ray. This stuff packs a wallop. To its credit, the beer's flavor makes more sense as it warms, which works out well since it's a sipping beer. I'd recommend serving it at about 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mouthfeel: Well, Terrapin did a good job on this front, reminding you that this was brewed with honey. Mouthfeel is relatively thick and sticky, although I wouldn't call it "creamy." Effervescence is above average, and the beer itself is relatively heavy in the mouth. Mouthfeel is one of this beer's strong suits.

Drinkability: The ABV is 11.00%, and the wheaty tang and fermented honey make a bomber challenging to finish alone. I don't know if the alcohol's well-hidden or not, thanks to the overpowering honey and wheat funk. But I can tell you that drinking more than one bomber in a sitting would be extremely difficult.

On the whole, I encourage you to try Gamma Ray, if you can get it. I've been told that this is going to be their summer seasonal moving forward, although I strongly suspect that they'll tone it down a notch if they plan to sell it on a regular basis. Worth a try for wheat beer fans. May be off-putting to those who aren't accustomed to wheat beers.

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this Orange/Gold cloudy nectar into my Sam Adamns Perfect Pint Glass. It has an inch or so of rich creamy head. The first sniff I'm getting bananas, alcohol, oven baked biscuits. I can't wait to dive into this. The beer is so rich, almost like a banana bread. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste. The honey sweetens this nicely and its not too overdone. The carbonation is very soothing and makes your mouth long for another pull. Its a very tasty concoction. This is definitely a winner in my book. Thanks to Jyounger30 for the hook up on this one.

Photo of cjgator3
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours an orangish amber color with a thin and fizzy off-white head that quickly disappears.

S- The aroma is sweet candied sugar, honey and bananas and some fruity esters as well. The nose is pretty appealing, can't wait for the taste.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet, but I do not find it to be too overwhelmingly sweet. The banana flavors that appear in the nose are also prevalent in the taste. The finish is a little warm in the finish, but it is not as hot as I would have guessed considering the 11%.

M- The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- The alcohol is definitely there, but I think this beer does a pretty job at masking it. Gamma Ray is dangerously drinkable considering its high ABV.

Overall, Gamma Ray is another great brew from Terrapin. I am a huge fan of the Side Project series and look forward to the next on. I am impressed with this offering and can't wait to see how it ages. highly Recommended!

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Terrapin Gamma Ray from Terrapin Beer Company
85 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.