Side Project #24 Turtleneck
Terrapin Beer Company

Side Project #24 TurtleneckSide Project #24 Turtleneck
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Winter Warmer
3.64 | pDev: 9.62%
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Side Project #24 TurtleneckSide Project #24 Turtleneck
Notes: Terrapin’s 2014 homebrew contest winners have created “Turtleneck” spiced winter warmer. Initially brewed in the backwoods of Athens, Georgia, or someone’s kitchen, this gingerbread cookie inspired beer was artfully crafted by a crack team of Terrapin employees. Since no gingerbread men or women were harmed in the making of this beer, we hope you will enjoy with a clear conscience.
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 129 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ordybill
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear dark mahogany with a medium sized off-white head. smells like gingerbread and tastes the same. very nice.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Deep mahogany brown, nearly black color. About one finger of short lived beige head. No lacing is left.

3.75 S: Wow, this really does smell like a gingerbread cookie. Sweet and biscuity with cinnamon, brown sugar, and clove. When cold the potency is lacking, but it really comes into form as it warms up.

3.5 T: Just mildly sweet and well balanced. Gingerbread, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, molasses. Prune, date, and fig fruitiness.

4.0 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy and super smooth.

3.75 D: Tasty beer, it delivers what it promises.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For full disclosure, I'm not a huge fan of Terrapin beers. I feel like they're a maker of many (beers of different types), but a master of none. So I didn't have high hopes for this selection, and it fell largely in line with others. Hard to grade it against the Winter Warmer category since there is such a wide range of interpretations for what a Winter Warmer beer should be. So the best I can do is to measure it against what I think it's trying to be -- a dark, spiced, sweet brew that makes you think of gingerbread cookies. The beer is indeed dark, but thin, with a big-bubbled head that dissipates quickly and leaves a minimal lacing. Smell is earthy, malty sweet, molasses, with ambiguous (nutmeg? clove? not getting any ginger) spice notes. Taste is largely the same: bready malt, sweet caramel, little espresso bitterness, and a very slight spicey bite. There is a cookie element in there, likely from the grain and sugar, but I really don't get gingerbread, specifically. Mouthfeel is fine, a little thinner than I'd like for a winter warmer type of beer. Not a bad beer by any means. But not something I would seek out again given how many excellent winter-friendly beers there are in the world.

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Photo of TBoneJones
2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks headless and dark. Smells nearly off-putting. Taste is light caramel and bread, with some spice hints. Nothing like the other gingerbread beer I just tried, although that one was under the milk stout category, which I think suits gingerbread much better. But this was just lacking in itself as far as flavor in general. It seemed bland to me, just plain plain caramel malt and then just a downhill slide from there. I'll leave it at that. Winter warmers aren't my favorite style, however this didn't come off like the gingerbread warmer I expected. I like the brewery's other ales I've tried. This one just much less.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

"Terrapin's 2014 homebrew contest winners have created 'Turtleneck' gingerbread winter warmer ale. Initially brewed in the backwoods of Athens, Georgia, or someone's kitchen, this gingerbread cookie inspired beer was artfully crafted by a crack team of Terrapin employees. Since no gingerbread men or women were harmed in the making of this beer, we hope you will enjoy with a clear conscious." Brewed in the style of a Winter Warmer with Gingerbread flavor added. Available as a one off release in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a fizzy foam head of a light caramel tan color over a medium brown body with high clarity and sparse carbonation. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.25

(Smell) Chocolate, caramel grains and a faint note of toasted ginger atop it all. Fairly light bodied and simple delivery, with an underwhelming presence of ginger in the aroma. Potency is moderate. 3.25

(Taste) Thin caramel malts body, faint toasted bread malts, soft chocolate and caramel body, trace stone fruit juice, finishing on shallow notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Although ginger is perceived in here, I don't find it nearly as bold as the other spices, and certainly not leading the flavor of this beer to anything near gingerbread. 3

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, thinly syrupy, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is mild, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly sweet over earthy bitter or spice. Alcohol presence is low and there are no off characters. 3.25

(Overall) It's a decent, incredibly easy drinking lighter-bodied Winter Warmer ale, although I am hard-pressed to notice ginger or gingerbread flavor standing out in this beer above that of other winter warmers. The winter warmer flavor is lacking in general, and this beer's thinness leaves a lot to be desired. Arguably one of Terrapin's least impressive Side Projects to date. 3.25

Terrapin Beer Company's
Turtleneck Gingerbread Winter Warmer

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

$ 7.64/bomber ($ 0.347/oz) from State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD
Undated bomber at 42 degrees into snifter
Aroma – no ginger, no hops, no malt
Head small (< Two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, rapidly diminishing to two mm partial ring and no layer
Lacing - none
Body dark brown/black, opaque, effervescent
Flavor – not gingerbread, in fact not much flavor at all, a hint of brown sugar, kind of a musky aftertaste; no malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 4, Overall 3.25

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.72/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

22 ounce bottle - $8.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body, though not much in the way of head formation beyond some accumulating beige-colored bubbles.

Smell: A bit tangy, with hints of gingerbread, cloves and a thin measure of implied dark maltiness. The nose falls far short, not exactly coming across as inviting.

Taste: Dark malts with a noted dark breadiness, but falling short of hints of chocolate or coffee. Scantly earthen throughout. Tangy cherry-like fruitiness. A dusty, muddled mix of spices. Minimal hops. Drying on the finish. Flavors run vague and are generally unappealing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: Not good.

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Photo of Brackh
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark pour. Carbonated well. Some spicy on the smell. Some nice touch of spice on the taste. Nothing crazy here. A decent winter beer. I had it in May though.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear though almost opaque very dark garnet red in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of ginger, allspice, clove, and cinnamon over the top of moderate aromas of dark fruits (plum).

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts with a moderate flavor of dark fruit (plum) sweetness and molasses. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of ginger, allspice, clove, and cinnamon. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades away fairly quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish from the spices.

O: A nice idea for a holiday beer, I have to admit that I am a sucker for a good gingerbread cookie at the holidays. Nice spice combination that gives a similar flavor/aroma to real gingerbread. Alcohol is well hidden and it drinks pretty easily.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, to black, opaque, nice 2 finger tan head, not much lacing

S: Sweet spices, ginger, cinnamon, malts

T: Spices, gingerbread, sweet malts, little bit of hop bitterness at very end

M: Medium, but much thinner than expected for such a dark beer

O: Really good representation of the style. Definitely something I would like to hang by the fire with and make some s'mores during the winter time.

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Photo of mverity
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an opaque nut brown at the edges and pitch brown away from the edges. Some light tan head when poured, but that faded quickly into a thin collar and wisps when swirled. Fair lacing and legs. Aroma is spiced caramel malt sweetness, and not much else. Taste is the same as aroma with marshmallow, a toasty biscuit malt flavor as well, there's a nice nuttiness that reminds me of candied pecans. Body is a bit thin for a winter warmer, but it has nice low carbonation. There's no real big alcohol burn or robust warmth like I associate with winter warmers.

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Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Pinglehead brewpub.
Nearly opaque, dark red-brown. Spicy and very appealing aroma.
Spicy, perhaps too much so, but not overpowered by ginger.

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Photo of PostRockandCats
2.99/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

L: Dark, dark red with a finger of tan head with large bubbles.

S: Dried ginger and malt. Not a lot going on here.

T: Banana with some spices and malt. Not overly big, just there.

F: Heavy and cloying in the worst of ways.

O: I'm rather disappointed; up until now, Terrapin has always knocked it out for me. I'm really not a fan of this. There's not a lot of depth.

ETA- took on a slight Root Beer note after warming.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bottle poured into this bubble Pokal glass ($2 off, and best by 11/3/15)

A: Deep dark black/brown with a slightly mocha head that is thick but goes away rapidly. Collar but no lacing.
S: Weird, sweet malt and slight roast. Cinnamon/pie smell as well, but you have to hunt for it. It is ethereal.
T: Better as it warms, but not by much. The gingerbread comes through mostly in the aftertaste. Overall, a bit singular with roasted malt and a bit of astringent coffee.
M: Even moderate level of carbonation.
O: I thought this was a 2015 beer, so I was surprised to find a bottle of it. I'm glad it was on sale, because it wouldn't be worth it at $10. Every gingerbread beer falls short in the wake of GBS.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a glass - somewhat brown with a light tan head. Somewhat malty on the tongue with spice present that doesn't last well Enjoyable in a limited way.

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Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A deep garnet beer with sweet brown sugar and alcohol dipped dark fruit being predominant on the nose and palate.Some of the gingerbread comes thru but the dark fruity sweetness is the biggest element of the beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but upon closer inspection it is clear and very dark red in color with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a collar ounce the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of ginger and dark fruits are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of ginger and dark fruits along with slight bits of sweetness. Slight hints of other spices are noticeable towards the finish. It begins to taste more like gingerbread once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice take on a holiday-themed winter warmer. It hides its alcohol very well and doesn't have any warming properties.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark ruby brown, with a modest tan head.
smell: Some gingerbread notes for sure though ginger doesn't stand out to me. Nice winter warmer nose though a little on the subtle side.
taste: Much like the nose though a little more balanced.
overall: Nice effort. Interesting and enjoyable.

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Photo of ShanePB
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thin, more pumpkin spices than gingerbread although most of the two are the same. It just didn't lend itself akin to many of the other gingerbread beers on the market.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.86/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 7.99. Bottled 11/3/14. Served in a Terrapin goblet.

Pours a deep but transparent ruby brown with a half finger manilla head. Little retention and just a bit of lace.

Simple enough nose with gingerbread and some baking spice. Decent but thin.

The taste of vague spice and moderate booze is unfortunately almost as mild as the aroma. Ginger, faint cinnamon, old caramel, dry cocoa, an earthy almost dirt quality and a fair bite of alcohol. The flavors are a bit disjointed and raw without really ever coming together with the authentic gingerbread cookie I was hoping for.

Medium body with slightly overbearing carbonation. The finish is arguably better than its taste. Cookie, spice and some slight alcohol.

I'm typically a supporter of Terrapin's work but Turtleneck was a fail for me. Neither the adjunct flavors nor the base beer made this something I'd want to finish a bottle of, let alone revisit.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A 22oz bomber picked up Dec.2014 at Greens on Buford Hwy

L - Brownish-red with a little bit of clarity, and no lace or head

S - Brown sugar, molasses, caramel. Very sweet.

T - Like the smell, a sweet winter-warmer with toffee, molasses, dark chocolate, and brown sugar tastes. Booze is fairly well hidden but does has some warmth to it.

F - Light bodied and avg carbonation

O - A good winter warmer, but wish the gingerbread had a stronger presence

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Photo of Paincane
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with slightly red edges and a khaki head. Bread, molasses, cinnamon, sweet malt, baking spice notes produce a great winter warmer. Medium bodied and easily drinkable as it hides its 8.4% ABV.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a robust stout, a very enjoyable beer. I did expect a little more gingerbread taste. Overall the flavoring is just right not overpowering. A little bite on the back end I am guessing is due to the 8.4% alc/vol. This is a great holiday/winter brew.

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Photo of ScentedHeathen
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

the taste and feel was average right out of the fridge but after warming up it was very pleasant. I recommend drinking this with some Christmas baked goods. like Stollen or pumpkin bread. I wish the aroma was stronger though.

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black, cream head with good lacing.

Aroma: Gingerbread spice, touch of chocolate.

Flavor: Big nutmeg, medium roast, mild chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lingering spice finish.

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Side Project #24 Turtleneck from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 129 ratings