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Terrapin Gamma Ray - Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin Gamma RayTerrapin Gamma Ray

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

455 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 455
Reviews: 351
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.1%

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Georgiabeer on 10-09-2008)
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Ratings: 455 | Reviews: 351 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 02:24:05 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Centennial for sending me this one!

Label states 10.8% ABV not the 11% listed on BA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a very thin 1/2 inch tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing whatsoever. The first smell I am getting on this one is banana bubblegum, wheat, and some honey aromas. Taste is of banana, clove/spice, and some honey notes on the finish. There is a spice aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slight crispness and a sticky mouthfeel. There is a noticeable alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and one of the few wheatwines I have tried. This one definitely has a wheat beer on steroids thing going on.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 04:17:49 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich honey gold with bumblebee borders. An attractive chunk of ivory colored cream sits atop the sunshine bright liquid, melts in fine fashion and graces the glass with tattered sheets of sea foam lace. This is exactly how a honey-added wheatwine should look.

The nose is reminiscent of a Belgian tripel without the Belgian yeast esters. It's ripe golden fruity and pale malty sweet, with a good bit of herbal-earthy hoppiness (courtesy of Perle and Mt. Hood hops). 40 IBUs is more than respectable. Despite the addition of 700 lbs of Tupelo and Sourwood honey, honey isn't appreciated per se. Here's hoping it makes an appearance on the palate.

In addition to esterless tripel, several other comparisons come to mind: high-quality malt liquor, high-quality Euro strong lager and pale-malted barleywine. Each of those is to be expected given the ingredients and the ABV. Honey adds a candi sugar-like sweetness... and still doesn't bowl me over in terms of flavor.

Specifics include pears and apples soaking in their respective fruit brandies, a surprising hint of tangy wheat and a dollop of honey. Even though there isn't a ton of character here, I tend to like this general blueprint better than some others. Check to make sure your Big Beer Lovers membership is paid up before taking the bomber home.

Alcohol is a part of the flavor profile, but it isn't raw or hot in the least. Maybe the time that has passed since the release has had something to do with that. Interestingly, the Terrapin website says that GR is now (or will be) one of their new summer seasonals. It isn't exactly a lawnmower beer, now is it?

The mouthfeel is medium-full with a hint of viscosity and a respectable amount of hang-on. The bubbles do their thing without making a nuisance of themselves. The result is no rough edges and as much smoothness as the ABV will allow.

Regarding the Side Project Series of beers, neither RoggenRauchBier (Volume 2) nor Dos Cocoas Chocolate Porter (Volume 4) impressed me. Gamma Ray (Volume 3) is more in line with the rest of the Terrapin lineup in terms of quality. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm getting a fair amount of enjoyment out of the bomber.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 21:56:07 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

alex's contribution tonight, i ended up having half this one as he could not stand it. i really did not think it was that bad to be honest, a nice and well rounded beer.

Poured a nice light burnt amber with a nice big frothy head. Great head retention and a good bit of lace on the glass. Smell was lightly hopped, but full of grain and fruit notes, apricots maybe? Lots of malt. First taste impression was very smooth, lots of carbonation and a great light feel. Slight hint of alcohol, but hardly noticeable. lots of almost sweet like honey notes in the finish and syrupy feel cap it off.

overall not ba, like i said did not steal the show but i was pleased with it overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 03:23:28 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jer for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a thin layer of white foam.

S: The nose is incredibly sweet with plenty of fruity esters. The honey is very noticeable and provides a nice sweet and floral quality. There are also some nondescript sweet fruits and possibly some banana.

T: Like the nose, there's plenty of sweetness here. The honey once again comes through as do some notes of apple and banana along with a mixed bag of other fruit flavors.

M: The body is medium with a low carbonation. However, the lack of carbonation gives it an almost syrupy feel at times.

D: A nice beer and a style that I haven't had too many of. I enjoyed the contribution of the honey to this beer and the fruitiness was unexpected.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 19:56:16 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the Side Project #3...

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey (what else!) color with a modest head that quickly fades to a film and fails to lace

Smell: Mead-like and boozy, with a sweet apple aspect

Taste: Starts out sweet and mead-like with a growing sweet apple element that is joined, mid-palate by a lot of alcoholic warmth; after the swallow, the sweetness dominates

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation and a lot of heat both during and after the swallow

Drinkability: I would have thought this one would have aged far better than it did; just way too sweet and boozy for me

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 23:20:50 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy deep copper color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of honey and deep wheat malt is quite enjoyable. Taste is a nice mix between some sweet wheat malt with traces of honey without being excessively sweet in a gross way. Full body with good carbonation and alcohol is very well hidden. Way too easy to drink but still showing some great complexity.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 03:50:39 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Thorpe429


3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a slightly-clouded yellow with a decent white head.

S: some dryness from the wheat comes through but the overall levels of sweetness really come through with a lot of honey.

T: very sweet with a ton of honey and some very mild fruit flavors. A bit cloying.

M: medium body and somewhat syrupy.

D: really affected by the sweetness levels; not something I could really enjoy more than 4oz. or so of.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 11:17:53 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Rustico Restaurant & Bar, Alexandria, VA

A: The beer poured golden yellow in color with lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of wheat and earthy hops.
T: The taste is somewhat sweet and has flavors of bananas and honey along with notes of wheat and yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer is very drinkable because the alcohol content is very well hidden.

Serving type: cask

06-12-2010 00:19:26 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque (though it clears considerably upon hitting room temp), deep honey-hued body with a thin, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Candyish, honey-soaked nose with a distinct, tangy, toasted wheat component and notes of spice, white wine, and chewing gum.

Taste: Both sweet and tangy, with a honey-glazed crisp wheat flavor and taste of sweetened and clove-spiced banana juice. Hint of gum and beeswax. Splash of sauvignon blanc. Restrained hop bitterness. Very slight chaff huskiness. A touch of warming alcohol on the back end. Finishes sweet and spicy with a lingering white wine taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Some stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty! I'll admit to liking it more than I thought I would. Goes down about as easy as an 11% ABV wheatwine brewed with honey possibly can.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 20:40:35 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 02:23:45 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a hazy golden orange with minimal head. The smell is akin to a hefeweizen, with some wheat, lemon, and banana, but with an added sweet honey tone and a dash of nutmeg. The honey comes through greatly in the taste, joined by the banana, cloves, a twinge of bitterness, and an underlying bit of romaine lettuce. The body is decidedly beefy, with a low amount of carbonation and a thickly smooth feel. My first step in the wheatwine direction, and I must say I am excited to seek out others!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 07:50:44 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of MasterSki


3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chad for sharing the original Side Project version of Gamma Ray. This is just over three years old now. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A half-finger of white foam settles to a thick collar, some wisps, and negligible lace. Lightly hazed orange-yellow body.

S - Wheat, honey, some citrus notes, yeast. The alcohol that I remember from this beer seems to have disappeared and I think it's an improvement, however a lot of the spicy yeast character has also faded away.

T - Taste is again quite mellow, although a touch of alcohol shows up in the finish. Otherwise it's similar to the aroma, with cereal grains, oranges, pale malts, and a touch of honey.

M - Lower carbonation, medium-full body, slightly grainy texture. Not much alcohol heat present.

D - Well - three years certainly blunted much of the alcohol. However a lot of the complexities of the fresh beer have also been smoothed over. I still haven't a wheatwine that I've really enjoyed (unless it's been obliterated by adjuncts or bourbon barrels), so I'm guessing this style just isn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 19:15:45 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original Side Project release acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of Little Guy 2 BIF so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, some wheat, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong honey & caramel sweetness that is quickly followed by some breadiness from wheat and a hearty malt character. There is also a strong alcohol bite. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, this is a decent beer but there are others in the style I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 01:41:02 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in NC

Pours orange/amber with a sliver of peach colored head. Nice viscosity to this, some lacing, zero head retention

S: Pears, white grape juice, & juicy fruit gum

T: Follows the nose up front. More of the same as this warms along with dryness, green banana & lemony hops,slight woodyness, (maybe the sour wood honey??) butterscotch/honey notes as this warms, along with some booze warmth. Finishes warming, with juicy fruit, dry with much honey notes & green banana (a bit too much IMO)

MF: Medium bodied, warming with semi-assertive carbonation.

rinks pretty easy for the ABV, but the complexity hurts a bit. This would've been better suited for January, but I couldn't resist

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 04:24:35 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale and wheat malt scent along with a warm yeast fruitiness. It appears to be a "BIG" hefe. The banana/clove character is outstanding. The taste is great! It has a smooth, wheat malt flavor along with a warm honey character. It goes down slow and sweet and finishes with a touch of alcohol heat. The yeast esters are abundant and create a wonderful fruity taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific wheat wine. I love the yeast character. It's velvety smooth with a nice honey sweetness and a warm finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 20:32:49 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Beer is cloudy and yellow with a white head that falls away leaving lacing on the glass. Carbonation medium to low.

Aroma is strong and full of banana esters. Very overwhelming. Sweetness, some honey, and some wheat.

Beer is full bodied, kind of surprising. The flavor is really really sweet. There is some wheat based bitterness, nothing in the way of hops or anything else. The beer hits all sections of the palate, drinkability not so much. The high alcohol is not warming as you'd expect but the overall sweetness makes it difficult to drink. My first wheatwine, overall an OK beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 01:56:19 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 03:19:17 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a slightly hazy, orange color with gold highlights. It had a small head of white bubbly foam that left some sudsy rings of lace.

S - It smelled of wheat and a spicy heat. There were fruity notes, too (apple and pear).

T - It hits you with wheat and honey. There is a touch of banana and a good deal of spiciness and clove.

M - It was crisp and very sharp with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale with a potent alcohol heat.

D - This is a really good wheatwine. It is good that it was a 12oz beer, though, cause it is a strong easy drinking brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 23:20:40 | More by zeff80
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 15:14:16 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a yellowish orange color with a wispy head despite strong pour. No lacing develops.

Smell: big fruit and honey sweetness is pleasant, and a hint of alcohol is present.

Taste: pears, apples, and green grapes lead the fruit flavor profile, with a bunch of honey sweetness hitting the tastebuds late. Sugary hard candy flavors are wrapped all over this. Alcohol is noticeable, and bitterness is mild overall.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start and smoother at the finish. Some dryness arrives late and alcohol provides warmth.

Drinkability: one glass was enough in my session as this is a slow sipping ale. Would be great on a cool afternoon or evening.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 18:15:31 | More by Gavage
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy auburn color with good carbonation and a pretty thick pour. Looks good. Nose is a mix of wheat, booze, spice and honey. Taste followed the nose well. Quite sweet on the palate and the honey wheat combo really stands out. I like! Drinkability is good and a very good rep of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 19:03:32 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a murky orange color with light carbonation evident. About an inch of white head with no retention.

s - Smells strongly of wheat. Also a little bit of honey, pine, bananas, and spices.

t - I thought bananas were the main taste here. Also tastes of some orange, wheat, honey, and a little bit og booze.

m - Medium body with low carbonation. Smooth and feels great.

d - I thought this was a pretty good wheatwine. I enjoyed the banana smell and taste was very enjoyable and thought it was very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink considering the high ABV. I would definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 01:48:08 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this bottle, the original Side Project 3 release in a foil-wrapped bottle.

A: The wheatwine is a clear golden color, transparent with a thin white head.

S: Honey, an addition to the mix, adds weight to the body, a sweetness that crowds out the intense wheat aromas.

T: Fortified? Definitely. The wheatwine takes the pale, airy wheat concept to the nth degree. Orange and honey are spicy and sweet, adding depth to the body of the ale. The wheat lacks the oomph that many wheatwines have, making it a deceptively drinkable ale.

M: The mouthfeel is strong and heavy but not disgustingly so. Frankly I really enjoyed the stronger body and nice bite without the lingering booziness.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 01:28:55 | More by akorsak
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 15:38:22 | More by rhoadsrage
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Terrapin Gamma Ray from Terrapin Beer Company
85 out of 100 based on 455 ratings.