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Terrapin Boom Shakalager - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Boom ShakalagerTerrapin Boom Shakalager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

91 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 115
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 16.62%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: glid02 on 05-28-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Side Project #11
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 115
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty hazy beige color lager with an average size foamy head with OK retention and light lacing. Aroma of sweet malt base with some floral hops is quite interesting. Taste is also an interesting mix between some sweet malt with are offset by floral hops with light bittering and dry finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Maybe a tad too sweet for the style with not enough dry hops.

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Photo of largadeer
2.76/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A generous extra from craytonic. Thanks!

The pour is nice, a reddish-amber hue, and once in the glass it has a solid and well-sustained head. It's what you would expect from a marzen, but a shade darker.

The aroma is on the sweet side, but clean - toasty and nutty Munich malts, faint peppery spice, a bit of date and caramel. It could be mistaken for a light doppelbock.

Caramel malt flavors are prominent, but there's plenty of nuance: peppery spice, stone fruit and dates, light earthy hops. The problem is that it has no finesse, it's like a doppelbock without enough dark malt to balance the sweetness and alcohol. It's slightly cloying up-front, and a bit astringent in the finish, which has some noticeable alcohol and an astringent grain husk flavor. In the American quest to imperialize everything, there are bound to be some (actually, many) failures, and this is one of them - this style really just doesn't work with the amped up alcohol and sweetness, it ruins the delicacy that makes a good marzen so appealing. Not that this is terrible, it's just unnecessary.

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Photo of oberon
3.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off this is NOT an imperial pils,not even close,its a vienna and or marzen lager.Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a rich deep amber with a fluffy slight off white head that settles into a creamy mass.Aromas are clean except for a little caramel malt,much cleaner than expected.Very much a marzen on the palate,caramel with a bit of sweetish dough,a nice herbal sharpness of noble hop comes in a cleaner finish.Much lighter than expected in the mouth wich isnt such a bad thing,this should have been made in late September,I like it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

amber colored liquid coming through immediately. This was followed up closely by some nice carbonation that could be seen through the very clear liquid that was in the glass. No real substantial head on this one which was kind of surprising, and this led to not much in the way of side glass lace either.

The aroma was rather light and muted, some decent malts, and a ton of bready like flavors, but overall just a touch too light for me. Crisp, clean feel, which was nice and adequately carbonated, but again, just a touch too light to really be effective. Smooth flavor started with a light hint of caramel and a touch of earthy grains. This quickly floated away though and the only thing left was a nice touch of biscuit like flavor that linger for a moment. Very session able as it was light enough to be thoroughly and quickly enjoyed.

Overall not a bad beer by any aspect,

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Photo of nickfl
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam with just a hint of tan to the color. The body is a perfectly clear, amber-brown color. The foam settles fairly quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - A deep, malty aroma with lots of bread notes as well as caramel, plum, and moderate, spicy hops.

T - Thick, biscuit malt up front with lots of toasty notes and some light caramel. Spicy hops come out in the middle with some alcoholic notes. It finishes with increasingly fruity notes of plum and perhaps red apple, accompanied by sharp alcohol and strong, slightly medicinal hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is an unusual beer and I don't think that I have ever encountered anything similar to it before. It works better than I expected but there are still some issues. The malt richness in both the aroma and the flavor is excellent with a bready, biscuit character that is exactly what I would expect from an imperial O-fest. However, it falls apart towards the finish with increasingly harsh, medicinal alcohol and hop character. Additionally, the bready notes become harsh and reminiscent of burnt toast in the aftertaste. It seems like this beer would have benefited from longer lagering time to mellow out the alcohol and toasted malt character. It seems like there is a lot of unrealized potential here, so I may just have to buy another bottle and cold condition it myself to see what happens.

Update 4/23/11:

Based on my previous experience with this beer, I felt that it suffered from insufficient lagering at the brewery and that it might have the potential to improve with further cold conditioning. In order to explore this possibility, I bought another bottle which has been sitting in the back of my fridge for the last nine months.

So, has it improved? The alcohol and harsh bitterness have both mellowed out quite a bit, though there is still some phenolic harshness in the finish. It is definitely better and it has become more bock-like with aging. Still the excessive dry, toasty flavors remain as does the medicinal finishing notes; clearly long term lagering can only do so much.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $7.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, GA.

Appearance: Slips out a clear-looking, copper-brown body with a well-sized, reasonably dense, off-white head.

Smell: Large wafts of lightly sweet-scented German malts giving off scents of toasted bread and grain. Secondary notes of floral-toned hops with a hint of spiciness.

Taste: Rich German maltiness, primarily the sweet toasted bread amalgam of Vienna and Munich malts. Medium-light sweetness throughout. Light Red Delicious apple fruitiness. Spicy, floral Noble hops imparting a medium degree of bitterness which lingers a bit beyond the drying finish. Negligible warming alcohol character.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Very slight stickiness in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Overall, it's fairly good for one of these 'imperialized' lagers, but personally, I'd have been happier to see a lighter, sleeker version of this, as a heavy lager doesn't exactly hit the spot on a sweltering afternoon in the mid-90's.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear deep copper, capped with a finger of off-white head. This retains with a thinner look but this stays soft and creamy, with a good frothy flare-up to it that leaves a good bit of sticky lacing clinging to the sides of the glass. Hops offer up some flavor here in the aroma, with a layer of spice, earth, and gentle floral tones that all sit on top of tangy malt notes of caramel and toast. The spiciness of the hops really works nicely here with the bready sweetness of the malt. Almost liked a spiced cookie thing going on. There is a touch of alcohol heft here but it just gives this some fullness in the nose.

Those Noble hops have some aggressiveness to them, bringing earthy flavors, green citrus, and a spicy and gritty bitterness to the table and lay with a certain amount of heaviness on the tongue. Thick sticky notes of toffee and toasted bread swoop in from behind and do their best to offer up some balance but the hops really control this profile for the most part. Those earthy hops linger with some dryness and some leftover bitterness that gets a little borderline harsh at times. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, with a big creamy sharpness to the feel that almost gets a little bit too carbonated at times in the back of the throat. There is some alcohol heft present in the body but it is mostly confined to feel and luckily stays out of the flavors.

I wasn't a big fan of the few examples of this "Imperial Oktoberfest" style that I've had before but this was probably the closest that I've come to really liking one. While fairly hop forward at first, this did even out nicely as it warmed up and achieved a smooth balance between the hops, malt, and alcohol that I wasn't expecting as I neared the bottom of the glass. Well done Side Project effort from Terrapin here that I wouldn't mind seeing them refine and explore again down the line.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I need to unpack the rest of my glassware... This guy pours a clear russet topped by over a finger of creamy ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, banana, BO, bubblegum, helium, limestone, white grapes, cinnamon, and some slightly watermelon-leaning citrus hops. What an odd and off-putting odor. The taste holds notes of bittersweet toffee, orange peel, pepper, nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, red grapes, light charred biscuit, honey, booze, and flowers. The body is a stern medium, with a moderate carbonation and an almost drying feel. Overall, a bit much for the imperial lager crowd, with tastes going all over the place accomplishing little beyond confusion. It's alright, but nothing I'd go for again. Stupid love of NBA Jam...

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Photo of russpowell
3.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in NC

Pours an effervescent honey/amber color with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Fairly nice head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, oakyness, & orange piko tea

T: Breadyness, toffee, booze, metallic hops & a touch of woodyness up front, there is a faint spicyness (cinnamon I think). Heat persists as this warms, along with orange piko, caramel & woody hops, plus breadyness. Finishes dry, bready with a touch of peach schnapps, this almost came together

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, balances nicely, but a touch too hot

Given the "imperial" nature here ( I'd just call it a hellesbock) this drinks alright, seems to be begging for another 2+ months in the cellar. I had much higher hopes

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew should have come with a warning signs do not consume solo. Poured a deep ruby amber body with a nice caramel tan head forming thick, sporadic lacing lines my 1/2 liter Oktoberfest mug. Aromatics offer up earthy/herbal noble hops and bready caramelized candy notes. A healthy dose of booze cinges the nose hairs, I should have took the warning shot with my first few sniffs. Flavor wise it beefed up the popular caramelized malts kicking up the ol' abv with more than normal impy O fest noble hop levels. At first when cooler this beer was drinking like a big but tame beast, as it warmed up the beast was uncaged. Alcohol and cloying malt presence made this beer a challenge while drinking alone. Mouthfeel has some syrupy moments but the healthy carbonation level and big alcohol were balanced out most of the time. Drinkability keep it to a cool 12 ounce pour and you'll be safe, quite the strange experience and the sweetness reach Diabetes inducing levels towards the end of the whole bottle.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours an amber color with 1 inch of white head.

s - Smells of pretty mild caramel malts, and light citrus.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, light dark fruits, and light citrus.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - An ok beer, but probably not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a Terrapin pint glass. Forms a dangerously huge head that robs me of nearly 2 ounces of beer. Head falls away in a few minutes leaving no lacing on the glass. Beer is moderate carbonated and dark red to brown with a lot of haze. It looks OK.

Aroma is kind of grainy with a lot of malt sweetness in there. Interesting aroma overall.

Beer is medium body and a little bitter. Mostly sweet up front with nice midpalate character. For an imperial pilsner or whatever this is, its about what you'd expect. Drinkability is OK and mouthfeel is OK.

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Photo of mothman
2.76/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pils glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki head. Decent retention with some lace. Color is a clear orange gold.

Aroma: Light grassy hop aroma, with some pale malts. Biscuit flavors. Not too much for a 9% beer.

Taste: Grassy hops with some pineapple and fruit flavors. Biscuit malts with some bready flavors. The booze shows a lot here, not in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and dry. Rather large bodied for the style with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry and bland.

Overall, this beer just isn't for me. Way too big for the style making it pretty undrinkable. Not too big of flavors either.

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Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a beautiful crystal clear deep copper color with a off white half inch filling the rest of the glass. It had some good head retention and decent lacing as well. Excellent looking beer overall.

The aroma has a sweet grainy, bready and malty quality to it. Some earthy hops shine through a bit as well. Pretty decent aroma for the style.

The taste has a grainy and malty quality to it with some caramel coming through as well. A big dose of dry, earthy hops come through and last well after the finish. Little bit of alcohol comes comes through but not too bad. The earthy hoppiness was definitely much bolder then any other beer of this style I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it had some good flavors going on but I just don't think this style lends itself well to being imperialized. I feel it lost a lot of it's drinkability by being such a big beer instead of a light easy drinking one drank in a larger quantity. An interesting beer but probably not one I'd buy again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this beer. One of the best named beers I have tried in a long time.

The beer pours a amber color with a white head. The aroma is resiny hops and earthy hops with some toffee notes. The flavor is toffee, caramel, grapes and a little bit of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: light caramel, some grassiness, and a hint of lemon citrus.

Taste: caramel, lemon zest, pear and apple sweetness, a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is quite prominent.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Drinkability: slower sipping marzen. Decent flavor profile but one bomber is more than enough in a session.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy copper, with a 1 finger initial head that fades away to a thin ring. A little hot in the nose, and although malt driven, the malt isn't very toasty, well rounded, or bready. A little too austere and alcoholic. The flavor is similar, with a sort of vague bitterness on the finish capping things off. Not very true to style nor really very satisfying if truth be told. Oh well, not every beer turns out exactly as you'd hope.

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Photo of harpus
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep bronze color with a 1 inch off white head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: I get some sugary matly apples with some hints of caramel blended in. Some hints of banana on the backend. Ok.

T: The label seems to very well describe this one correctly. I get some malts banana with some creamy malts. I also get some bitter earthiness on the backend blended with some faint hints of alcohol. Good.

M: Medium body with a very good carbonation feel. Very good.

D: This ones goes down very easy.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Not worth hunting, but if you have access and like the lighter beers, then definitely give this a try.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle courtesy of Ding!

A clear copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam and some spotty lacing, it sure looks the part of a Marzen, damn the upped abv.

Oodles of sweet malt greet my nosebuds, it smells fruity as well. Some light graininess in the background. Can't say the same for the alcohol. It's there.

The taste is grainy, some caramel sweetness but less than I expect going by the smell, and plenty of alcohol and hoppy bitterness, something I was NOT looking forward to.. Very very warming and actually kind of burns my throat. Some of the "Imperials" of lower abv styles I've been able to deal with/enjoy. Sadly, not this one.

Medium bodied bordering on full, with medium carbonation, it has a good enough mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Let me just say that I'd PASS if someone offered me one. It isn't to my liking any which way...

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Photo of cjgator3
2.86/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head. 

S- The aroma is malty with some sweet caramel and a moderate touch of hops. The aroma is pretty subdued.

T- The taste like the aroma is dominated by the malts and caramel with a spiciness coming through in the middle along with a lingering bitterness and warmth from the alcohol in the finish. I'm just not digging the flavor profile in this one.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- I love Terrapin and pretty much the entire SP series but I was let down by this one. Not something I would purchase again. 

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.92/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I picked up this Terrapin bomber in Roanoke, $7.99 at a grocery store. I was more excited about this side project than any other to date, based on my conversion to Bavarian lagers in kick-ass old (OLD) brewpubs in southern Germany.

The beer pours a dark copper color, more reddish than I expected, clear, with a thin spotty head. Maybe so little foam due to the high ABV.

It smells sweet and malty and bready, sugar and toasted malts. It tastes stronger than I'd want for the style, some alcohol burn that doesn't make this feel like an authentic Bavarian lager. Marzens should be easy to pound in quantity, and non-marzen lagers especially shouldn't be this abrasive, least in my opinion.

Thickish body and sticky mouthfeel, again pretty aggresive for a lager. I guess that's why it's called "imperial", nice they're pushing boundaries but it's not really enjoyable.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light golden brown with a good head that died slowly and left some lace. A nice balance between some piney, sour hops and minor sweet malts along with a plethora of pils/bread malt. Overly dry with not enough balance as the hops and sweet malts are simple but overpowered so the light body is dominated by the pils/bread for a crisp yet cutting beer that gives off a bit of grassy (husky) feel and the ABV bleeds a little in the backbite. A decent lager to sip on but just not one I will seek out again.

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Photo of claspada
3.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear deep copper color with a off white head; good head retention and decent lacing as well. Excellent looking beer overall. Much darker than I originally expect.

Aromas are sweet graininess, lots of bready and malty quality to it. Some earthy hops shine through a bit as well.

The taste has a grainy and malty quality to it with some caramel coming through as well. A big dose of dry, earthy hops come through in the finish. A lot of poor ratings on this beer and IDK why. Granted it tastes more like a good IPA or a nice American Amber than a traditional lager, but that is a good thing. Lagers are tasteless and boring, yeah I said it, so what...

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is great, enough said, buy this beer and anything you ever see from Terrapin, period!

Overall it has some great flavors and anyone that says anything different is wrong. Is it worth $7.99, probably not, but I enjoyed it anyway.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Terrapin's website: Volume 11 in our Side Project Series of beers is The Terrapin Boom Shakalager! This out of the box Imperial Lager weighs in at a hefty 9.0% ABV. Handcrafted with all German malts, hops and yeast it has an aggressive flavor that will wind most anyone's Cuckoo clock.

This amber elixir has an aggressive balance of sweetness and bitterness that is complemented by a bombardment of citrus from dry hopping with German Tettnanger hops.

OG: 19.5 FG: 3.2 ABV: 9.0%

HOPS: Magnum, Perle, Hallertauer Mittelfruh, Tettnanger (dry hop) MALTS: Pilsner, Munich Malt, Vienna, CaraMunich III

Cask at the Brick Store.

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

Smells of pilsner malts with good amounts of breadiness. Also present are mild floral hops with even more mild light citrus hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust pilsner malt flavors with hints of darker malts kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are smooth bready flavors that fade midway through the sip to allow leafy and light citrus hop flavors to work their way into things. The hops carry through to a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass with no problems and could have another.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I was expecting a toned down version of their original imperial pilsner but I was given a mildly hoppy and robustly malty brew differing fairly substantially from the now defunct imperial pilsner. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dave for sharing. Served in a tulip. Poured a translucent amber with a white, quarter inch skim of a head. Nose is bready/pruney, sour mash, caramel and the classic pilsener rankness at the finish. Taste consistent with nose - no real surprises here. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a mild viscosity and a lively effervescence. Flavor profile was a bit muddled on this one - all and all, not really my thing.

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Terrapin Boom Shakalager from Terrapin Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.