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Terrapin Capt'n Krunkles Black IPA - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Capt'n Krunkles Black IPATerrapin Capt'n Krunkles Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

140 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 140
Hads: 275
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 34
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gford217 on 03-19-2010

Side Project #10
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 140 | Hads: 275
Photo of craytonic
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shame they wasted such a great name on such a bad beer. Pours black but is an IPA, odd but we will go with it. Smell of off-roasted dark malts and some old hops (not enough hops); taste is similar, but the hops just don't mesh with the darker malts and add mostly bitterness. Pine element is more like floor cleaner than grapefruit

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Photo of claspada
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of dark chocolate and espresso with some mild earthy hoppy smells. Lots of roasted and cocoa maltiness.
The taste is a great deal of roasted and astringent malts. A fair amount of chocolate and powdery cocoa and earthy bitterness. Unfortunately not as balanced as I would like. I am not a hophead but I almost would crave some citrus hoppiness to challenge the roastiness. Maybe some dark fruitness or something, this is just too bitter.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharpness to it up front that then gets more slick and oily feeling as you swallow.
Overall this is a decent intepretation of a Black IPA, but if I tasted it blindly I would have called it a overly coffeed Baltic Porter. Needed more balanced somewhere, the Black IPA is not a beer which should be "imperialized" in my opinion.

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Photo of Fluke828
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes from a recent tasting.
Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Cigar City Snifter.

A: Black, but not completely opaque, somewhat of a "clear-black" with a brownish head.

S: Chocolaty, toffee, malty, roasted espresso.

T: Slightly hoppy at first, very malty and chocolaty, towards the finish with a chocolate sweetness left behind.

M: somewhat of a thin, mealy-feel with a medium body porter-esque, not light and bitter like an IPA.

O: Not a bad beer but not really as advertised. The group consensus was that it really tasted/seemed MUCH closer to a porter than a Black IPA. The malty and chocolaty notes really dominate and again, not a bad beer just not coming off as a Black IPA IMO.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up from Grace's a few days ago and cracked it open while watching the Penn State spring football game...

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint...

Pours an almost black but more dark ruby with a very impressive head of 1 inch that never seems to go away... Rather nice looking brew, more porter than anything... Interesting...

Porter-like roasted malts up front with a nice hoppiness in the background. Piney and earthy hops that is. Not overpowering. Was looking for a little more hop presence even if it is a black IPA...

Dark roasted bitter malts that quickly meld into a piney hoppiness for a flash and then turn rather porter-like with a dark roasted finish that lingers with a little bitterness from the hops. The blend seems a bit off here when compared to say, Sublimely Self Righteous... Its all here, the dark roasted malts, chocolatey presence, the hoppiness and bitterness... But it just never comes together that well... Its like drinking a blend of porter and IPA and neither one wants to take the lead. As this warms, it really gets sorta difficult to finish... I'm actually a little surprised as I thought this sounded great when I first heard about it...

Thin watery mouthfeel here and an unbalanced taste make this one 2nd tier to me. Pretty disappointing... I usually dig the Terrapin stuff and especially their Side Projects.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Black is certainly an adequate descriptor for this one. Impenetrable to light. Thick, foamy dark khaki colored head. Spiderwebs of lace left behind.

S - Hints of roasted malt barely slips through. Lots of pine and citrus hops in the nose, primarily pine. Definitely hop dominant in the nose.

T - Burnt grains and a light roastiness up front. Bitter hoppiness comes through quickly but does not meld well into the malt profile. Very piney tastes. Roasted malt profile becomes a touch stronger as the beer warms.

M/D - On the lighter side and a little thin in the mouth. The combo of roasted dark malt and big hops just doesnt meld well in this one. Black IPA's have been a little hit or miss in my book and this one is a definite miss.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
Huge thanks to GeezLynn for hooking me up with this rarity! [jojomdma is classic!]

This one pours up a super dark brown color that could easily pass for black. It produces a two-finger head of light brown colored foam. The retention is really pretty impressive. The lacing is curtain-like and very sticky.

This smells like some chocolate covered hops. The hops are slightly more prominent, but it's really a lot more balanced than I'd expected it to be. Very good presence of citrus hops, along with some hints of pine and even some light floral notes. Good presence of chocolate, roasted, maltiness. Mild traces of dark coffee beans.
This nose really does a good job of making me think of IPA's and Stouts at the same time.

Uh-oh. It's losing me here. This is not newarly as smooth and delicious as the nose led me to believe. The chocolate malts are way over-roasted, almost to the point of tasting burnt. This gives a not-desired touch of bitterness, which combines with the hop bitterness and amplifies it. Not really in a good way, though.
This is harshly dark and bitter. I don't like it.

This has a medium-to-almost-full body and a mild-to-medium level of carbonation, which works very well together. It is very smooth and has a nice, small, amount of creaminess coming in.

I can't see myself drinking this one again, at all. I'm not sure why others would want to either, but that's why our palates are different. I'll leave this for someone else.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

650ml bottle courtesy of Ding!

It pours an extremely dark brown or a very light black..I can see some light shining through. A good 2 finger head of tannish foam and some lacing complete the appearance package. A very good looking beer.

The smell is hoppy with a bit of earthy malt peeking through. Some other aroma here that I can't identify.

The taste is quite bitter with the easy to identify hop characters of grapefruit grass and pine not being here, imho. The bitterness is more like a hot chocolate/cocoa flavour, not something I'd expect from anything labeled as an IPA/Black IPA/whatever.
There's some mild malt sweetness in the mix; I don't know if it helps or hurts in the long run but I'm not digging this much.

The mouthfeel borders on thick with medium to medium+ carbonation. Ok there.

Drinkability? My palate is getting a bit of bitterness overload and I haven't even finished the bottle yet. An "interesting" brew but I wouldn't want another.

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Photo of harpus
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black (darker than many stouts) with a luxurious light brown head that is well-retained.

S: Rich chocolate malt and piney hop combination. Aroma is pretty clean, but not all that enticing for me.

T: Flavor starts off bitter pine and grapefruit and transitions into a dark malt flavor. Not really a chocolate malt, more of a bitter charred barley.

M: The feel is fairly thick, with light carbonation and fairly dry for the weight.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

$ 2.25/12 oz bottle at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA
Bottle dated 11.14.14 at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma weak pine
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing
Lacing OK – partial rings and sheets of various size bubbles.
Body very dark red amber, clear
Flavor very weak – only slightly bitter with no distinctive hoppiness – no pine, no citrus, no tropical fruit – the only hint of hops is in the aroma. No malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation.

A not particularly good beer IMHO. This is supposedly only available in the box set so it appears that the seller broke the set down to sell the individual bottles. Usually the offerings from Terrapin range from good to very good – I have to assume that this sample was mishandled somewhere along the line. If I can find another, I’ll update this review.

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Photo of brentk56
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a charred ember color with a massive tan head that just sits atop the liquid and refuses to budge; plenty of lacing sheets the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Pine sap aromatics with licorice and black bread underneath

Taste: Opens very roasty, with an almost charred flavor that is joined, at mid-palate, bu the piney bitterness; underneath, there is a dark fruit sweetness that adds a prune-like dimension though all the flavors wind up in a charred muck after the swallow; with a rough bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I had high hopes for this one but the beer just lacks balance and the counterpoint of the malt and hops is jarring

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shout out to SincereNC for sending this my way. Dark black color with a very unassuming aroma. In fact it was bland and boring. The taste was also not nearly hoppy enough for me. I got the slightest hint of a single hop flower and the dark malts just didn't wow me at all. Boring. I think the best "black IPA" I've had is still Stone's 11th Anniversary/Sublimely Self Righteous Ale.

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Photo of jampics2
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A bottle split with Paulie. While we were drinking this, my car was sideswiped in the parking lot outside his place. What a bummer. I mean this beer, with the car, well, shit happens.

#1 on my list of awesome names wasted on average beers. I've become a fan of the Black IPA. I love it when it's really a roasty IPA, and I love it when it's really a hoppy porter. But this was just in limbo, trying to straddle lines that make this too safe.

Pours a black opaque color. Tan head, nice lacing. Looks rather nice.

Smell is full of roast. Not too hoppy IMO. Some citrus makes an appearance. Pine as well. But very subdued. They should drink a Sublimely Self Righteous and see how a black IPA should smell. Commit one way or another, this is more roasty than hoppy but even that is more char than nice coffee or chocolate.

The roast on this beer is just not very appealing. After my first sip, I was hoping it would start to meld. It never did. I even tried to stir it hoping it would come together in an "A-hah" moment. Nope. This is the goober grape of beers. One half roasty porter with charred profiles. One half piney hoppy IPA. All in one crummy mix. Not my thing at all, and I'm a sucker for this style.

The mouthfeel was the best part of this. Just enough carb to keep this medium bodied beer from feeling too heavy. Alcohol was well hidden in the finish.

Drinkability was average. I'd love to see this reworked, because Terrapin has it in them to make an awesome Black IPA. This, however, is not it. I'd rather drive this crummy rental car for the rest of the year than drink another bottle of this.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Note- Rating this as a Cascadian Dark Ale, not a regular IPA.

Bomber, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours out near black with an initial 2 finger beige head that initially seems fizzy and unimpressive, but retreats into a denser layer, leaving some nice lacing along the way.

Pretty nice nose- piney hops and rich dark roasted malts in equal proportions, with some chocolate chip sweetness underneath. The sweetness is notably stronger in the mouth, followed by a raisin tanginess that threatens to overwhelm the roasted/hoppy combo that define the CDA style. Medium-thick bodied with fluffy carbonation and fairly dry and toasty finish, but with a lingering chocolate stickiness.

Overall impression: Decent take on the CDA style. Could use a few tweaks to lose some of the sweetness/tanginess.

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Photo of bdupree
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours with a gigantic cocoa colored head, with a lot of dense foam. The color is just jet black. Almost hard to even see light pass through. Overall appearance is very good.

S: Very powerful hop aroma, with a great deal of resin and pine. Some citrus comes through, but I think the roast overpowers that. Based on aroma, it is hard to tell what this will taste like.

T: The hops show up immediately, but then finishes with a kind of charcoal aftertaste. I am a big fan of IPA, and a big fan of the dunkel. I thought this would be great, but bottom line is that the two don't play together very well. In the taste, it seems as though the bitter hop flavor I love is canceled out by the roasted malt and bitterness of chocolate and coffee.

M: Definitely not as heavy as it looks. The high alcohol is almost invisible, and it will pack a whallop after drinking half the bomber bottle. It is smooth on the palate, but the sharp contrasting flavors don't finish well for me.

D: I didn't know what to expect with this, since it was the first black IPA I have tried. Bottom line, not sure if I would pick this up again. I'm sure this will go over well with a lot of people, but it just wasn't fit for my palate.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black (darker than many stouts) with a luxurious light brown head that is well-retained.

S: Rich chocolate malt and piney hop combination. Aroma is pretty clean, but not all that enticing for me.

T: Flavor starts off bitter pine and grapefruit and transitions into a dark malt flavor. Not really a chocolate malt, more of a bitter charred barley.

M: The feel is fairly thick, with light carbonation and fairly dry for the weight.

Have had a couple of shots at this wale and am not really too excited about it. Aside from the fact that I'm not a big fan of this style (the hops and the malt do nothing to compliment another), this is just a pretty uninspiring beer from a brewery that I have otherwise had good experience with.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a large bottle.

Pours a dark oily black. Barely any light passing around the edges. Head is off white and thing. Decent retention.

Smells of floral hops and pine, with some sweet malts mixed in.

Tastes like a mix of bitter and floral hops. Pretty much just the hops in the taste. They aren't bad though.

Feels moderate to thin. Carbonation is very mild.

Its good. A bit different. Hop heads will enjoy. Would have liked it better of there was a bit more variety in the taste.

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Photo of kirkmichel
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Blackish brown and opaque, with a light clingy tan foam.
S-Wierd - I smell piney hops and toasted hops with a smoky undertone and an almost medicine-y quality. So not necessarily wierd in a good way.
T-OK - A bit over toasted and bitter for my taste, but gives you a little hop zing. Unfortunately, not much there besides the zing, but not unpleasant at all. Did I mention how bitter it is? I feel like someone just poured some Fee Brothers in my glass when I wasn't looking.
M-Nice carbonation, and light on the palette. Very different than it looks, and even kind of refreshing.
D-If you can get past the bitterness, this is a nice beer; I just think it came out a bit unbalanced, so one is enough for me.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A glossy black/deep brown pour. Medium off white head, some rockiness, some lacing. Good contrast with body.

Aroma isn't strong. Hints of roasted malt, some dark bitter chocolate and pine. Roasted pine?

Flavors make up for the lack of nose a bit. Combo of dark pine, unripe black plums, dark chocolate and anise...faint anise. Not sure which way they are trying to go here, of if any way. Not bad, nothing outstanding. Solid intro to the new style though, as it combines the bitterness and pine with the roasted malt.

Drank it fairly well.

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Photo of tone77
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, light coffee. Taste is roasted malts, some hops in the background, mild in flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a decent beer, but nothing special, and a little disappointing from this fine brewery.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 5/21/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - pours a dark brown with one finger light
> tan head light carb

s - Smells of citrus hops. Maybe some pine hops as well.

t - Tastes of smooth pale malts and faded citrus hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - An ok IPA. I thought the hops in the taste were a bit faded and this had just hit the shelves. Would try again.

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Photo of Mikus
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Right off the bat, have heard some pretty good things about Terrapin (and who wouldn't love the Grateful Dead reference?)... anyways, poured from a 12oz bottle into my Breaker Brewing Co. snifter. Beautiful jet black body with a inger or so of off white head. Not a big nose on this one, but some bitter chocolate, and dark malt, and a hint of licorice were there. Not a big hop nose at all, and it would seem as though this was v. fresh (11/14/14 enjoy by date). Nice flavors of coffee up front, with a nice bitter middle note, as well as a nit of a floral hoppy taste as it warmed up. For a Black IPA, maybe just a bit lagging on the flavor complexity... wanted a bit more hop flavor to balance the nice maltiness and appropriate amount of bittering. Great mouthfeel, reminiscent of a nice porter or BIPA. Overall, a decent beer, but I would likely chase down a Self-Righteous or NightTime if the options were available. Decent grade for the style.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Turbinator glass.

A - Black, black, black! This one is opaque with a cola-colored finger of head. Nice lacing and retention.

S - Lots of bold piney hops hit first. As it settles, the malt makes its way through. Roasted coffee & chocolate. The hop aromas seem to have melted away into the other parts of the nose.

T - Interesting. Strong hop presence - piney & a bit earthy. Bitter but not overpowering, the strong roasted malt rounds out the hops. Some roasted coffee. Some woodsy flavors.

M - Carbonation is a little much and distracts slightly.

D - Not bad, but the high abv coupled with the carbonation takes it down a bit.

Interesting brew - there's hints of a heavily-hopped stout here. If that's your thing, this would be a good one for you.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to nesued for sending this one my way. Saved for last during our tasting sice this beer is so infamous.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is dark blood red nearing black. About a finger of light beige head fades quickly to leave modest sopy lace around the glass.

The aroma is pretty straight forward. Modrate citrus hops with a strong malt presence. Not much else going on here.

The flavor is similar to the nose. The hops aren't super strong but give just enough punch to let you know they are present. The smoked malt seems to take over the reigns and drive this one home. Hints of grass and earth linger in the finish.

Medium body with average carbonation.

Overall a decently drinkable beer. Much better than my last BIPA.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft into growler from Fat Head's.

Picked up a growler from Fat Head's and consuming immediately.

A-pours a virtually opaque black liquid with a ton of dense creamy tan colored head leaving a good thick lace.

S-citric hops hit the nose first, black malts with notes of chocolate lie underneath. floral hops in back with notes of pine and some metallic acetone.

T-dark chocolate, slightly bitter, floral hops, notes of citrus and a little bit earthy. acetone lightly in back adding a metallic finish with light bitterness.

M-silky smooth on the palate with a good medium body, a little chalky and dry in the back. carbonation is a little lack allowing it to fall off slightly in the finish.

D-this has a nice balance, the chocolate flavors with floral and citric hops make for a nice contrast. the acetone and lack of carb take away slightly.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 6/5/10

Courtesy of PDXHops

Reviewed as a Cascadian Dark Ale

Pours a dark cola-brown, settling much darker. No light is getting past the Cap'n. The head rose to nearly three fingers of billowy foam, though it drops to about 1/4th inch pretty quickly. Very good lacing so far. Thin retention. A few long trails of lace are left around the glass.

While on the whole it seems balanced, hops are still at the fore of the aroma. Floral & piney with a few muddled wisps of citric hops. Some interesting things are going on in the aroma, namely cocoa nibs & a hint of coffee beans. A mild juicy sweetness is buried in the back, but this seems pretty dry.

The taste is closely in line with the nose. Even-handed pine notes & floral hints mingle with citrus undertones. I'm picking out a little grapefruit, orange peel & lemon zest. Fairly restrained bitterness, but a decent hop flavor. Toasted dark malts made up a hefty backdrop; baker's chocolate & faint notions of coffee. The malts are a little overbearing, in my opinion, but at least they don't bring too much sweetness to the table. Nice dryness.

Medium bodied with carbonation that leans toward the low end. I could go for either a bit more carbonation to make up for the restrained bitterness (or more bitterness for that matter); either one would be fine. Finishes dry with a few pine & toasted notes lingering.

I think this is a pretty good take on an emerging style. A ramped up hop bill might not be a bad idea, but it's decent as is. On the whole, Cap'n Krunkles is pretty solid. May he sail long & pillage along the way. Hopefully time finds him with refined sailing skills & a more bountiful stash of loot.

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Terrapin Capt'n Krunkles Black IPA from Terrapin Beer Company
85 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.