Terrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial Stout - Terrapin Beer Company
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
2.83/5 rDev -27.2%
Rarely does a well made beer take a hit for looks, but the thin head on this thin pour actually seems to struggle to form before it quickly vanishes. It's black, but the carbonation seems weird. The bubbling suggests mor Dr. Pepper or A&W Root Beer than Belgian Strong Dark.
I'll admit I grabbed this from the back of the fridge--typically the coldest part--but I smell very little dark fruit. I mean I smell and sniff REALLY hard and I get maybe a LITTLE dark fruit. A fig or a plum. No Belgian yeast.
I'm not so sure about this "Belgian stout" style, but I didn't really expect something so plain with what appears as a one-off "dark sider." It's so plain. In a way, it actually tastes like the root beer it so resembled! Just a bit of alcohol zing and warmth proves otherwise. A bit of raisin and dark fruit travel a fermentation whose sole "Belgian" influence seems nothing more than carbonation--it imparts basically nothing to smell or to taste. Though the beer feels all right, this overriding non-Belgianness is disappointing.
08-07-2011 21:29:34 | More by marvin213
3.13/5 rDev -19.5%
Beer pours darkest chocolate brown, almost black, with a nice ruby highlight throughout. The initial 1/2 finger of cocoa-brown head fades quickly to a swirly skim with some lace swathing the walls of the glass.
Smell is a little metallic, almost bloody, with roasted malts and a little wood, even though I'm pretty sure it's not barrel aged.
Interesting flavors happen. There's a chocolate malt roasty creaminess meets a yeasty, chewy prune stickiness. That metallic iron presence still comes through from the nose to the taste, and the alcohol doesn't even try to hide itself. Feel is moderate to thin, and the beer leaves an overall film across the palate.
Drinkability could be higher if the flavors would play more nicely together. Maybe that bloody iron could sit one out and the alcohol could cool down a bit.
02-01-2011 03:10:29 | More by kels
3.13/5 rDev -19.5%
Thanks to the finest trader in the Sunshine State, Mr. Moose3285, for sending a bottle of this north in a recent trade.
Pours a routine, dark-cape black, no light even leaking around the edges. Smells nice, Belgian, coffee, sweets.
Well, my wife is gushing about her half of the bomber & frankly, this may be one of those rare instances where we disagree. Slice of coffee, rallies of sweetness, dollops of sugar, touch of lactose. A little thin for either a big stout of a strong dark ale, whichever way you slice the language of beer.
Decent enough beer, certainly a brew I can sit & mindlessly sip as my Twins get pounded by the Sox. But I think I'll wander upstairs & see if my wife wants the rest of it...better to put these things where they are truly appreciated.
08-20-2010 02:11:43 | More by maximum12
3.16/5 rDev -18.8%
Poured from a bomber into a Victory tulip
A- pours black with a one finger brown head that quickly fades away to nothingness. Well, that was underwhelming.
S- lights hints of cocoa and soy sauce in the aroma. Not a huge fan
T- very light cocoa, slight Belgian sweetness as well. Meh
M- medium bodied on the thicker side of the spectrum
O- not...great, and I can't imagine that drinking it fresh would have made much of a difference
02-12-2013 23:33:07 | More by bigfnjoe
3.3/5 rDev -15.2%
Pours black, with a cappuccino head which disappears rather quickly, leaving some lingering foam. Smells like smoke, dark fruit (figs, plums) and maybe chocolate. Lightly carbonated, with the alcohol well hidden. Tastes like smoke, with a bit of cocoa. Not a bad effort, but nothing special.
03-30-2010 05:35:35 | More by emmasdad
United Kingdom (Wales)
3.33/5 rDev -14.4%
Poured into Darkness snifter
pours 1/2 finger of tan brown head. Color is near black. Decent retention with some splattered lace.
Aroma: Roasted sharp malts. Chocolate. Very bitter. Maybe a hint of coffee. Nothing crazy.
Taste: Sharp roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate with some vanilla flavors. Earthy grassy hops. A bit better than the nose.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and bitter. Medium to full bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry and sweet.
Overall, nothing impressive. I was looking forward to this, but it was pretty bland. Some okay flavors but nothing to grab my attention.
09-04-2010 04:51:55 | More by mothman
3.35/5 rDev -13.9%
Terrapin Dark Side pour an opaque extremely dark brown. Head appears a latte color. The head only remained around the rim, a minute after pouring.
Smell is faint, I could pick up on lingering notes of roasted coffee and cocoa.
Its taste is much more forward than the smell. Begins with a chocolately sweetness. On the mid palate it goes into the roasted taste of coffee. It finishes similar to a carbonated yoohoo in flavor. The aftertaste leaves bitter roasted notes.
The mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is balanced.
Overall, I enjoyed the complexity of this beer. As far as I can remember its my first in the style. The name on the label is different from what it is categorized on this site. This makes a huge difference, because I would give it as a dark ale an overall higher rating than as a stout. But as with all of Terrapin's Side Projects it is definitely worth trying while it last.
02-19-2010 22:07:58 | More by DrinkinBoy
3.4/5 rDev -12.6%
I really enjoy Belgian Strong Dark Ales, I really enjoy Imperial Stouts. Cannot go wrong with the combo here however I say take more black malt out and just make it a Belgian strong ale, why confuse the two in the name. Different? yes - great? No. I was glad at least it shows up on the site as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Due to it not actually being in the category of Imperial Stout on this site, I have to rate it a little differently.
Poured a dark black with a nice camouflage tan head. Smell of Belgian yeast strain, dough, dark roasted malts, dark fruit, sweetness.
Taste was very similar to flavor. Play between the belgian yeast and the dark roasted malts create a dark fruity cherry flavor which is definitely pleasant, mixed with caramelized sugars and some ash. There is a slightly ashy taste attributable to the black patent malt in here. As this beer warmed up, the chocolate flavors became much more prominent. I would recommend serving around 50 degrees plus.
A relatively drinkable Imperial Stout, but since this actually falls into the category of Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I pulled it down a little on the drink-ability scale as I believe Belgian Strong Dark Ales to be one of my more favored styles and more drinkable than this particular beer.
04-02-2010 00:35:02 | More by alpinebryant
3.43/5 rDev -11.8%
Thanks to craytonic for this one
Pours black in color with a nice finger of head that dies down to some thin bubbles.
The flavor starts with a burst of fingernail polish and pine hops. A sweet and messy mix of random stout aromas underneath. Blah.
The flavor is milk chocolate and floral hoppiness. Raisin sweetness. Not much booze compared to the nose. Some quad-like characteristics on top of the base stout flavor. An improvement on the nose, but not really noteworthy.
The body is medium to full and carbonation is high but soft. Nice.
Overall, this beer turned me off at first but became much more tolerable after a few ounces. I probably wouldn't want it again, but I did enjoy this bottle.
08-30-2010 03:35:55 | More by alcstradamus
3.45/5 rDev -11.3%
Typical stout appearance, pitch black with a mild caramel colored head. Has anyone really had a stout that looks any different?
Smell is coffee, caramel, dark fruit, and chocolate. For a stout, there's more going on in the nose than dominant roasted malt, I like that.
Taste is Dark chocolate, roasted malt, mild amount of molasses, dark fruits, toasted caramel, a little nutty, and mildly bready. The bitter chocolate is up front with a nice hop base, and very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with a dry finish, but I'm not digging the thin body, I like heavier Imperial Stouts and this one needs to grow some testicles.
Drinkability is decent, if the body weren't so thin, I'd score it higher. What a downer.
04-01-2010 21:18:03 | More by jzeilinger
3.48/5 rDev -10.5%
A: pours jet black with thin white head.
S: Belgian yeasts, slight coffee and spices. Very little hops smells.
T: Bitterness from hops still present. Soysauce like body, not much here - black malts.
M: thick to the taste but finishes clean.
D: It was difficult to finish my 1/3 of the bomber.
Sampled in July '10.
I remember a fresh version of this being much tastier and hoppier. Right now, this is a muddled mess, a token stout, too thick on the mouthfeel, with its only saving grace being the belgian yeast. I suppose it is true to the style and could possibly even out with age, but at the moment, it is not good.
07-28-2010 16:03:51 | More by pitasoup
3.48/5 rDev -10.5%
Pours dark brown/black color. Decent sized light brown head, quickly fades into a thin film.
Smells just like what it is, kinda like a belgian strong dark and kinda like a stout.
Taste more like a belgian strong dark than a stout. Get some raisins, chocolate, dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is a little too thin for my liking. Starts out sharp but smooths out as it warms.
Overall, good beer. It was definitely interesting, and a good take on the style I thought.
09-10-2011 03:33:52 | More by CurtisLoew
3.48/5 rDev -10.5%
thanks to my buddy Seth for bringing this one back from Georgia!
pours a murky black with a one finger light cinnamon head that dissipates quickly. impenetrable. way too cold to start even think about drinking. his fridge was apparently set to 4 degrees. i get bitter chocolate on the nose and subtle dark fruits. the tart Belgium yeast comes out as it warms. thick but a tad watery with an odd creaminess like ice cream. i guess i would describe it as viscously slick? i like it. slightly smokey with raisins and mostly coffee. roasted malt faintly on the tongue with a short, light bitter pinch as it ends.
04-06-2010 18:07:08 | More by backfat
3.5/5 rDev -10%
22oz bomber poured into a goblet.
A: Black body with a rather un-Belgian anemic head. It does leave some lacing, though.
S: Roasted malts and a bit of smoke.
T: Mostly roastiness with some dark fruits mixed in. Straddles the line between subtle and bland.
M: Creamy, but also bubbly.
D: I'll admit it. I was predisposed to dislike this beer because it reminded me of that shitty song by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. And initially, it disappointed me to the point that it was almost a drain pour. But I soldiered on, and it kind of won me over. It's nothing I'd go out of my way for, but it's a solid middle-of-the-road RIS with a dash of Belgianness.
12-24-2009 00:35:46 | More by BarrelO
Terrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.