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Terrapin Golden Ale | Terrapin Beer Company

207 Reviews
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Terrapin Golden AleTerrapin Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States | website

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Terrapin Cream Ale.

Added by aracauna on 05-10-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 431
Photo of kylehay2004
3.61/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed while at the brewery in Athens, ga. Single finger frothy head on a clear and Golden body. Wheat and bread aroma mostly. High carbonation and medium body, refreshing. Touch of noble like hops greater than expected for a cream ale. Very drinkable but more on the pilsner side than cream ale side which is fine with me as cream ales are not my favorite genre.

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Photo of metter98
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a large patch of white bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of lemon, corn and grainy malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of green apples along with hints of corn and other adjunct malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes similar to an American Blonde Ale but has a creamier mouthfeel.

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Photo of Knapp85
1.67/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had this with two friends and we all agreed that this beer was a little odd. It was the first beer i ever had from Terrapin and I was nervous to try more for fear that it may end up being like this for all their beers. The label said Golden Ale so I was expecting something like a Belgian style and when I found out this was a Cream Ale it was clear as to why it was different than I expected. Even after knowing what it was supposed to be I wasn't overly impressed.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After trying on tap, the brew was quite lackluster. From the bottle, it seems that many of the delicate flavors and aroma come through better, not having to compete with the tap carbonation. The bottle shows more fruity, estery, and apple flavors without comming across grainy or too watery. The beer does remain light and refreshing with a mild hop balance (English) and a little tart. Still lacking the smoothness and medium texture of a Cream Ale.

Thanks Ding.
August 12, 2009: Thanks jyounger30!

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Photo of brentk56
2.87/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a reasonable head that shows good retention and some lacing

Smell: Vegetal corn aroma dominates and not in a good way

Taste: Starts out with a rather neutral, bready flavor; after the swallow, a harshness kicks in that doesn't blend very well; in addition, the corn character starts to appear

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I guess this is designed to be a crossover beer; I'm not a big fan of the style and there is nothing in this brew that I find compelling

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a golden color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and medium lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is dominant and somewhat enjoyable. Taste is a mix between sweet malt with some grassy notes. Overall, I thought this was well done but not very complex – a good session brew.

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Photo of nickfl
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light copper color, excellent clarity and a very small, frothy white head.

S - Grainy, a bit sweet, and maby some apple.

T - Grainy/ malty, with a fair amount of grassy/ earthy hops. Very dry, light finish.

M - Light body and high carbonation. A bit of hop astringency.

D - Overall a pretty drinkable session beer. More or less right on for a cream ale (although I am not sure if that is a compliment). Terrapin can, and usually does, do better.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich golden amber with sunshine yellow borders. The lemon-tinted ivory head is three fingers to start and has barely budged in the several minutes since the pour. It's a good color match for the beer beneath (I always talk about that as if it's controllable by the brewer) and looks pretty good as it deflates. Because of the assumed hop deficiency, not much lace sticks. Scattered watery shreds is about it.

The nose fails to impress. Cream ales are at something of a disadvantage when it comes to focus and Terrapin Cream is no exception. They aren't especially malty or hoppy or spicy or anything else that might provide an olfactory or a flavor hook. My favorite version of the style (Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice) was spicy if I remember correctly. This one smells... uh... blonde malty.

The flavor profile is as expected. Actually, as cream ales go, it's pretty tasty. Five different malts are in use, with untoasted pale barley and corn (flaked maize) clearing running the show. The thing that puts it ahead of the pack for me is that it's sweet enough without being cloyinging so. I always want a little vanilla flavor in my cream ales and very rarely get it. No vanilla here.

The hop bill is a good one (Cascade, Mt. Hood, Santiam), or would be if I could appreciate it. I might be able to pick up a hint of citrus way down deep if I concentrate, but this clearly isn't a hop-centric beer. The finish is notable in that a fair amount of bitterness creeps in to compete with the sweetness. This is a relatively complex version of a relatively simple style, which is the main reason why I've given it the taste score that I have.

Not much to report on the body/mouthfeel front. Cream ales should be at least medium of body in my mind and this one just barely reaches that goal. I'm glad that it isn't overly bubblicious and can imagine that it would make a fine session beer if one has a decent tolerance for sweetness. One bottle isn't too much, but several might be pushing it once all that sugar begins to add up.

I knew that this beer wouldn't come close to ascending the heights that my previous Terrapin Beer Company beers have achieved (TBC's hop fetish dovetails perfectly with my own). It only makes sense that a brewery would need to include a more approachable beer in their lineup in order to appeal to all comers. I'd like Terrapin Cream Ale to come out of its shell a little more, but given the style, it's a pretty good effort. Thanks to timtheenchanta for the toss-in.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cream ale?!?!? Well as the name implies this was an excellent golden ale. Poured a clear golden pale yellow without a head or significant lacing. There was some very nice visible carbonation though. Smell was light, crisp and clean. Graing and bread like with a small floral aroma mixed in, but very strong. The flavors was fantastic for outdoors on a hot day. Light, crisp, and refreshing. This one will really cool you off. Extremly drinkable, could put these down all night. Overall very nice light, summer brew, that I could enjoy anytime.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. single for $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a straw-colored, yellow body with half an inch of fizzy, white head on top.

Smell: A subdued aroma of lemon and spice set against equally mild maltiness with a small note of wheat crackers.

Taste: Light pale maltiness with tiny touches of toast and tangy wheat. Slight sweetness. A bit of creamed corn. Spicy hops, with a very slight lemongrass character, and a restrained overall bitterness. Finishes quite crisp with that faint toasty and wheat tastes lingering on.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high, slightly prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, easily drinkable beer if ultimately unremarkable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Terrapin golden ale pours a straw-gold body with yellow highlights beneath a short head of bright white that fades fairly shortly but leaves behind some thick spots and streaks of lace.

The aroma is malty with a very subtle sweetness and a hints of grain, as well as the occasional waft of juicy-apple-like fruitiness.

The flavor is fuller, although it follows along the same line. It's mostly focused on the straightforward, gently sweetish grain aspect, and then livened by the yeasty fruitiness and some background spicy and floral hops. A moderate bitterness is present, and it's balanced, but the focus is that sweet dollop of malt up-front.

Overall it's a pretty damned drinkable beer. I've had beers like this before, and after one or two they start to become a little stickier in the mouth than I like, but I think there may be just enough balance here to keep it going. Nice.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the I Want That IV BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, grain, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is light but bready with mild flavors of caramel, spice and grain. There's a decent hops presence that provides a little balance. The malt character is thin but on-target for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, it's light which makes it a beer that you could pound down several of, but overall I found it to just an ordinary beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 3/23/08, Cheers to Ding for this one!

Pours an effervescent straw/golden with 3 fingers of eggshell white head. There's a slight sheen or haze to this, almost viscous. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & lemony notes, plus some bready notes. A bit of honey once warm

T: Grassy & grainy notes up front, plus some lemony hops. Bready & grainy flavors as this warms. Finishes a little dry, somewhat grainy, with floral hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with fairly vigirous carbonation. Balances pretty well, nice hop presence

Drinks very easy, not the best cream ale, but I could see sucking a few down on a steamy summer evening in the South

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ

A: Pours a clear straw yellow in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger tall bright white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light amounts of lemon/citrus along with some adjunct malts (corn and grain) and a light amount of light fruit (apple) sweetness.

T: Light flavors of cracker and adjunct malts (primarily grain) with some light amounts of sweetness. There are very light notes of lemon/citrus and green apple.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: Very easy to drink and definitely sessionable - the best aspect of this beer is the mouthfeel.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears a pale straw golden clear offering with a bright white head forming above the body, lacing is scarce and uneven as it dwindles. Aromatics tart creamed corned accent with a touch of green apple and sturdy malt bill flowing wth finesse. Flavor has a cereal mix of creamy corn and sweet two row pale malts, a barely noticeable herbal hop mix equates to a mediocre form of the brew known as Terrapin. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied where as the rest of their brews are rather heavy hitters, I'd much rather have this than a BMC brew but that doesn't say much, nice opening brew. Drinkability is nice a refreshing mix of malts hops and adjuncts as a cream ale this brew serves it's purpose, with some hop burps between sips.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy yellow gold. Nice creme head. This beer seems a bit sweet to me. Not sweet like a fruit beer, but sweet and grainy slightly. Quite malty. Caramel tones are there too. Feel is a bit thicker on liquid. Might be a bit too sweet for some, but it is good enough for me.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oddly, I don't see the word "Extreme" anywhere on this bottle or it's label, but, on the other hand, I do enjoy the image of the rafting turtle, so we'll call it even.

Clear, bright yellow hue, nicely fluffy, ample head...lookin' good...

Aroma: largely empty, but innocuous, creamy to nullsville...

Taste: light, bright, sunny, easily quaffable...tiny tones of citrus fruit, and miniscule drizzles of honey...likeable, but not lovable, drinkable, but not thinkable...

Acually, this is an incredibly well-brewed crossover/commercial brew, if the folks of Georgia could eschew the macros in favor of this.

A very good cream ale, does what it ought to and does it well.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a crisp pale and Vienna malt scent. It's a bit sweet with a light hop aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth mildly bitter taste that boasts of pale malts mostly. It goes down easy and finishes crisp and clean. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. I liked this beer despite other not so good reviews. It's balanced and flavorful; an easy drinker.

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Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Keith for sharing. I often say beers have bready flavor, but this tasted like straight-up fresh sourdough and white bread. It drank smooth with just a light malt tang. Some golden beers are blandly drinkable, but this beer provides both lighty toasted malt flavors in addition to being highly sessionable. Worth a try in you like golden ales and cream ales.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost brilliantly clear, bright gold color. It is topped by a quickly disappearing pale white head. The aroma has notes of sweet corn, a subtle herbal hop profile, and perhaps a touch of toasty malt in the finish. The taste has a definite sweet corn note to it as well. The beer is quite light on the palate and the finish has a nice level of astringent bitterness to it that serves as an offset to the sweet corn note. There is actually a fair amount of bitterness to this beer, and it really does help to keep the sweet grain character in check. This is a nice example of the style, and I could see myself drinking a couple of these on a hot, sweaty Summer day.

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Photo of Tone
3.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of wheat, hops, slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, hint of cream, and hint of pine. Fits the style of a Cream Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, hint of metallic, hint of hops, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, better aroma than body or blend.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a clean pint glass at a cold cellar temperature.

a. Clear with some very light flaky sediment. Nice soapy head that fades gradually. Lacing around the first sip only, that was most of the head.

s. Doughy yeast. Adjuncts are there for sure but not unpleasantly so. Hops are there in the aroma.

t. Sweet with some cooked corn as well. There are some light citric hops which certainly are well attenuated, no lingering bitterness.

m. Light bodied. Pretty well carbonated. Finishes dry and chalky.

D. Pretty standard fare here. A decent "light" beer in my opinion. For a cream ale, this doesn't stick apart from a Gennessee.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to ThorsHammer for this brew.

Best By: 09/12/07

Pours a clear pale yellow color, nice carbonation, little fizzy white head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, some spices, and slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, good balance of malts/hops, spicy, and some caramel. The finish is slightly bitter. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, not too bad of a brew.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Golden straw colored liquid with some greenish tinges against light. Relatively clear, but slightly cloudy with a little active carbonation. Thin white head with light retention and some streaky lacing.
S: Meh, graininess is the dominant smell here. Hiding in back is a sleight honey like sweetness and some earthy grassy tones but not much in way of malt or hops.
T: Surprisingly thick and creamy, almost too much so. Like the aroma, this is has a very strong grain taste. Slightly sour and fruity. This isn't bad, just not very interesting. The mouthfeel is too heavy in the end for this beer. Overall drinkability isn't bad, but I wouldn't seek this out.

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Photo of Zorro
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of DeaconBluez and the BCG BIF.

Pours a clear golden colored ale with a fast fading white head.

Smell is a bit malty with a hint of crackers in the scent. There is some light fruitiness to this mostly the scent of honeysuckle. Mild herbal hop aroma, this is a mildly aromatic beer.

Taste is a little sweet at the start with some corn flavors. This beer stays a bit sweet with a hop bitterness to clean things up that matches exactly to the level of sweetness. No extra or subtle flavors to this one just clean beer that is a notch above the BMC bunch in taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A smooth tasty beer that does what it aspires to be, just a good non-challenging beer. Very easy to drink and an excellent choice to nudge the macro drinker in your group towards better beer. Not a beer I would seek out but if I was in Atlanta and this was the best thing available next to Heineken I would pick this.

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Terrapin Golden Ale from Terrapin Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.